The news that every regional Victorian angler was hanging out for was delivered last week when the restrictions on distance we can travel and time spent fishing was lifted. And of course we had some great weather while we were in lockdown and as soon as it is lifted the high winds and rain have hit us. Never the less there were still some nice fish caught in our Estuaries and Lakes.
Estuaries: the Hopkins is alive and well with some quality fish being taken right throughout the system. Peter White and Barry Johnson had a great day fishing soft plastics on the edges landing bream to 1.2kg and some good perch also. The fish seem to be holding in the shallows still and haven’t quite made the annual migration to deeper water for their spawning. In saying that it’s a sign that they aren’t too far off from doing so because they are in tight feeding up so if you’re needing a fix then I’d suggest doing it this weekend before they develop lock jaw. Dave Baxter also had a cracking session catching several fish over 40cm using scrub worms. By the sounds of it the bream are pushing up on the soft bottom ground such as mud and sand so they are obviously digging for worms and river shell. If you’re casting lures and the day permits you can spot fish feeding in these dig holes and are usually easy to catch if your casts are accurate. Casting a shallow suspending hard body past the dig hole then twitching and pausing the lure right in the dig hole will most likely entice a bite. If you cast on top of the dig hole that fish will most likely disappear due to the splash and noise of the lure hitting the water. If you’re not patient enough like me and you don’t want to see the fish you’re targeting then there are plenty of fish that are sitting slightly deeper around the Pelican Point area and are easily caught on blades with short sharp hops. Doing this will also get you connected to some nice Estuary Perch as well which when they switch on in deeper water you can catch cricket scores with ease. If you’re looking at fishing from the bank then along the ski run is a great option. Fishing mad youngster Albie fished with his dad over the weekend landing some great fish on prawns. They also lost some bigger fish to the rocks also but as you can see by the picture of Albie he doesn’t seem to fussed. Yambuk is full of blue green algae and is in real trouble after being blocked for a considerable amount of time. According to Whitey there are massive clumps of algae along the boat ramp and the smell is unbearable so keeping clear of this area would be my suggestion.
Freshwater: the upper Merri River has been producing some really nice trout on bigger hard bodies cast into the running water. The clarity is virtually non existent but that doesn’t deter the trout from smashing these bigger lures. Tim Vincent fished Woodford on Wednesday evening and landed a couple of quality fish on the Daiwa Presso 95’s. The bigger lures will cause a bigger profile in the water making it easier for the trout to see in the discoloured water. Chances are this time of year that if you think it’s a good spot for a trout to sit out of the flow then there will be one there. Just pepper the spot and change the angle of your casts to work that area over. Look for the calm water in each pool and fish the edges of those. No special retrieve will be needed as you will only have to cast and retrieve with a steady speed. Lake Purrumbete has been producing some nice fish also casting lures in the weed beds and around the many bait schools that start to develop in the deeper areas. Using your fish finder to find these bait balls is an essential part of fishing in this lake when the fish are on bait schools. On the higher end fish finders you can actually see individual fish tormenting the bait balls and where they are sitting in the water column which makes it easy to work out which lures to cast or troll. Using a downrigger for this will make sure that your lure no matter what diving depth it is will stay in the strike zone for longer.
Saltwater: with the inclement weather this past week I haven’t received any offshore reports and with good reason too. Big swells and some horrible wind chop have made it impossible for any size boats to get out on the blue water. There are still some quality salmon being caught from the beaches around Port Fairy and Killarney by anglers casting metal slugs and baits such as Pilchards and Blue bait. These fish are moving quite quickly so keeping on the move is your best bet but if you find a good deep gutter then work that over. With so much white water and big seas there will be gutters that haven’t been there for a while so keep a sharp eye out for these deeper pockets of water that will be holding the bait and in turn the predators. After this weekend we will have more idea of where and if there is any tuna around our area with more boats being able to get out and explore with a great forecast for the weekend. I would also not be surprised if there are some great shark and snapper caught too so head out and give them a go.
Until next week tight lines and best of luck.