Mother nature sure did throw a curve ball at us anglers this week and this was felt in the estuaries and rivers more than anywhere. High winds, big swell and some straight out crap conditions were seen across the south west but it wasn’t all doom and gloom with some nice fish landed by those who headed out.
Offshore: after Ashby Hoey’s massive tuna caught last week the hype was back in full swing and boats went out searching the high seas for that fish of a lifetime. We have received so many phone calls and messages at the Tackle Shack as to where the tuna have been and to be honest there’s no correct answer. The bait is that wide spread that they might be in 30m of water one day and the next they might be sitting in 70m so doing the hard yards and searching is the aim of the game. What I can tell you is there is a lot of whales and dolphins around at the moment and for some of the best at the sport this is a great spot to start looking as they feed on the same bait as the tuna. Pete McCallum and work mate Tom Robinson caught a solid fish off Port Fairy on Sunday whilst trolling a Bonze Darter purchased from our shop here. Pete has worked pretty hard for that fish and after a rough trot for his business Gum Tree Caravan Park during the covid pandemic it was great to see Pete with a smile on his face after landing this fish. The school tuna reports are non-existent at the moment but in the next month or so we should again see those 20-30kg size range fish make their way back into the inshore grounds where anglers will be chasing them with stick baits and small skirts. We have just received our range of stick bait rods for the upcoming season with some exciting new additions that will suit everyone’s budgets and experience. There are whispers of some squid starting to make their way in close also which is a sign that the water is warming up and the king fish won’t be too far behind them. The usual areas such as the breakwater, killarney and Portland break water have all been producing some squid for both the table and anglers bait stocks. Gummy shark have been a bit quieter this week but that’s understandable as there hasn’t really been a chance to get out and bottom bounce due to the inclement weather. October is usually the month that we see the winter species drop off and the summer run of fish begin to make their way down into our waters which is the most exciting time of year as we don’t know what will turn up this year.
Freshwater: Lake Purrumbete has been the place to hit this past week with some big browns hitting the deck. None more so then the two that Mark Gercovich and Luke Gercovich caught on shallow diving Duo Realis 80 minnow and a shallow hard body. Marks fish measured 72cm which is a huge fish but has less condition then Luke’s that weighed 9lb in the old scale. 2 quality fish caught by 2 quality anglers that certainly put the time into chasing the south wests biggest fish. Scott Gray fished off the bank from the crater lakes last week and landed some nice tiger trout on small soft plastics cast from the bank where the wind was blowing onto. A fairly new species introduced into Lake Purrumbete these little critters are great aerialists and put on a great show when hooked.
Estuaries: Probably the most effected waterways from mother nature the estuaries across the south west have turned a chocolate brown after some flood water came down from up north. Before this we seen some of the best fishing we have had in years for Ep’s, bream and the occasional mulloway. One estuary that hasn’t been effected by the flood water is the Fitzroy which remains clean and fishing well for bream. Mick Hunt had a ball casting Atomic shad 40’s across the rock bar which accounted for loads of bream to 40cm. The water was crystal clear according to him where you could see 8ft down to the bottom. Once the water clears in the other estuaries I would expect the fishing to be just as good if not better than before. Last time I fished the Hopkins the bream were wide spread and on all sorts of structure including rock walls so here’s hoping summer gives us an opportunity to target these great fish on surface plastics and surface lures. Nelson is still fishing well for all three main target species according to Todd Holcombe who fished it with his 3 sons for Mulloway to 80cm on Samaki Redic jerk baits trolled around the poles down the front. They also landed heaps of bream and perch casting small blades in the deeper water. If you are after accommodation while in Nelson give the River Vu Caravan park a call on (08) 8738 4123 which is a stone throw away from the bottom boat ramp. Not only are Dean and Patty great people but they also fish and Deano has been known to land lots of Mulloway in his time.
Hopefully we all can get out this week and enjoy the warm conditions towards the end of the week and wet a line. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.