A mixed bag of reports this week has been flooding into the shop which is a great sign for all of you anglers looking to get stuck into our great fishing along the South West.
Saltwater: there are plenty of options for all you offshore anglers with some nice snapper still being caught on both slow pitch jigs and the humble old pilchard fished on paternoster rigs such as the Black Magic snapper snacks. The down side of this time of year is the plague proportions of barracouta that are around which is great for tackle shops like us but not so good for anglers trying to chase snapper and shark on the bottom. This time of year there is lots of smaller fish in close around the 20m mark so if you’re looking for a feed start looking in the 40m line and go from there. Keep your eyes peeled for busting schools of tuna as they are one of the best baits going around. The best part of these great fish is not only do they make great bait but they can be cooked so many different ways and even eaten straight off the fillet there and then. All you will need for some bait is fillet the fish and leave a thin piece of meat on the skin and keep the rest of the flesh as food. This week has also seen some great king fish caught out of Port Fairy with fish to 15kg being taken on live baits. Brad Rantall landed his first on board Salty Dog Charters during the week which was on his bucket list of fish to catch. Although the numbers of these brilliant fish aren’t high the size of them more than makes up for it with some 15kg fish being caught recently. With the rip at Port Phillip bay fishing so well for tuna and kings it might give the locals here some more time on these fish without the boat traffic that we usually see this time of year. Just please remember to keep your distance from other boats when fishing and respect each other out there. At the end of the day it’s only fishing and we don’t need confrontation out on the water. Some quality whiting continue to be caught around the Killarney area with some captures taken recently. Customers have reported that the whiting snatchers in super lumo have been the stand out rig spruced up with some pippies fished in the sand patches between the weed beds. Not only can you catch them from your boat but they are also readily available from the shore. There are plenty of little bays and rocky points where you can easily target them on most rods. While doing this from the rocks you should expect to catch silver trevally, salmon and a fair few wrasse so you will definitely be occupied.
Estuaries: The local rivers have started to fish well again after a slow week last week. As I had hoped for in last weeks report there has been some Mulloway make their way into the estuaries that will keep some anglers very busy over the next few weeks. Tim Vincent caught a solid 66cm mulloway from the Fitzroy river on a Daiwa Bait Junkie soft plastic. Along with this welcome surprise we caught multiple bream on soft plastics fished along the edges up from the boat ramp. One of our regular customers reported seeing mulloway busting the mullet below the bridge in the Hopkins 3 days in a row. The high tides during the night mean that these fish can cruise in nearly undetected in the cover of darkness. Although some of these fish may stay in the system for prolonged periods of time it’s not uncommon for them to come in on the high tide and then back out again once the tide starts running out. When these fish are fixated on mullet it’s very unlikely for them to eat anything else so getting mullet is essential. There is a few ways to get them but the most popular is fishing with pod worms on a double paternoster rig cast and retrieved slowly through a burley trail. The key is not to strike as you will literally rip their lips off and they will be useless to you that way. Once you’ve gone and gathered the live mullet you can rig them a couple of different ways. I prefer fishing them on a running sinker rig on the bottom with a single octopus 5/0 just through the back which allows the mullet to swim for a fair while and also gives you a really good hook up rate. I’ve always been a big fan of the Baitrunners for this style of fishing as it allows you to have 2 different drag settings without having to worry about loosening and tightening the drag once the fish has taken the bait.
Freshwater: There has been some nice trout coming from our local rivers this past week. Tim Treloar landed a 65cm fish over the weekend which is a quality fish year round but to get it in the summer was a great effort. Local river rat Allistar Bourke also landed a great fish of similar size casting soft plastics in the Merri. The water is super clear at the moment which should see some redfin begin to get caught in the Merri above the weir.
If you need any help at all with the fishing along our coast please drop in and see us at the Tackle Shack. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.