If you’re an estuary angler like myself then last week wrecked your plans for the next couple due to the flood waters that we seen across the South West. Luckily for those who head offshore we seen some great conditions over the weekend which allowed those to head out and land some quality fish.
Saltwater: we have seen some great fish sent in this past week by those fishing both off Warrnambool and Port Fairy. One of those was a great snapper that was landed by Gavin Buchanan and Barry Thomas which measured 80cm and weighed in at 7kg. A quality fish for our area and could be a sign of things to come over the next few months as the water begins to warm up and the bait moves in closer. Gav also reported some king fish that raced under his boat when he lifted his berley bag in so we could see an early start to the king fish obsessed anglers pursuit for them. Clear skies and calm conditions are a favourite amongst the many that target these hard fighting fish due to them coming to the surface and sunning themselves. The clear skies make it easy to spot as the bright yellow tails really stand out in the blue water. At the Tackle Shack we have the biggest and the best range of king fish lures in the south west and can point you in the right direction for all budgets. Sam Powell landed a big school shark off Warrnambool on Sunday which weighed 29.5kg! Their boat also landed some bottom fish such as latchet, sea perch and a 5kg striped trumpeter which are becoming a lot more popular species with more anglers targeting them. I believe that the development of technology is a big part of this also with majority of boats having a 4 stroke outboard hanging off the back which allows for great mileage compared to the 2 strokes of yesteryear. Fish finders also are a major factor in anglers targeting fish in these depths due to these instruments pin pointing the structure where they are found. Adam Fowler our school based apprentice fished off Portland over the weekend for a great gummy shark and other bottom fish. When will this great season of shark fishing slow down?
Freshwater: again this week the crater lakes at Camperdown have been as busy as ever with some big old brown and rainbow being caught. The addicted trout family of the Gercovich’s have been catching some great fish lately at Lake Purrumbete on both shallow running hard bodies and soft plastics including the healthy fish displayed by Xavier. Peter White and Peter Kavanagh ventured to Lake Bullen Merri on the weekend where they landed 4 Chinook Salmon and a nice rainbow on Daiwa double clutches in laser wakasagi flat lining along the edges. Other anglers are also using pilchards down a berley trail to entice these healthy fish. Whitey mentioned that the boat ramp is still not quite right for bigger boats so a bit of care is needed when launching and retrieving your boats. The Hopkins, Merri and the Moyne rivers will be a couple weeks before being fishable due to flood waters that came rushing down these rivers. When the levels drop and the volume of water slows we should see some great fishing for those targeting them on hard bodied lures and soft plastics.
Estuaries: with the flood waters hitting our estuaries hard we have received little to no reports this past week. I know of some good bream to 1.5kg being caught on the mud flat opposite Proudfoots by a bait fisherman over the weekend. While the river is running hard like it is these areas will be your best option as they don’t receive the flow like other parts of the system does. When the water is dirty like now cut baits such as mullet and live shrimp if you can get some are the best baits. Unfortunately another of our favourite waterways across the south west the Glenelg River had a fish kill over the weekend due to drops in oxygen levels in the water and the recent run off from the rains. An estimated 1000 fish were lost during this including bream, perch and mulloway but speaking to some locals these fish kills only occurred in some areas which is not as bad as first reported. Hopefully this iconic river can get back on its feet and we can all enjoy the red hot fishing that is available over summer.
With some stronger winds and not so great weather on the way I think fishing opportunities are going to be limited big time. Hit up the crater lakes if you need a fix over the weekend and take the kids too as the trout and chinook salmon are a perfect species for kids to learn on and hone their skills. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.