Last week provided some great fishing offshore for those eager to get back into it after a wipe out week with weather and sea conditions. Nevertheless anglers certainly made up for lost time and got stuck into some great bottom fishing.


Offshore: As I said in the intro the offshore fishing over the last week was great for most who headed out. Our parts manager Joey Bourke took Friday off and headed off Port Fairy with his brother Allistar. This was Allistar’s first trip offshore in a very long time and what a way to start his addiction back up with a big school shark close to 25kg! It would’ve definitely fought a bit harder then the trout and perch that he is used to that’s for sure. The boys also landed another smaller school shark so they have some tasty fish for a while yet. Xavier Ellul from the Tackle Shack fished off Port Fairy Saturday with his Dad Marty and Luke Gercovich. The boys landed some big snapper to 85cm along with a gummy shark, nannygai and some nice latchet too which are a species of gurnard and are very tasty on the plate. After getting some great fish and realising what they had stumbled upon they called up Luke Smith who also landed some big snapper and a nice flathead also. Some great work by Marty to call his mate over so they could get into the action also which doesn’t happen too often in the fishing game which is usually very secretive so great job all around. Sam Powell also headed out but off Warrnambool on Saturday with his brother Ben and nephew Tommy who was ecstatic with his first gummy shark and a couple of cray fish early in the morning. Tommy has found a real passion for fishing over the past few months and is regularly spotted down at the Hopkins River casting soft plastics after school. Something that we don’t see too often anymore is kids out and about down at the river or their local waterway fishing but rather sitting in front of a tv screen or computer game so it’s a breath of fresh air hearing kids getting back into the sport like Tommy. Another young gun who headed out was Liam Smith who fished off Port Fairy during last week with his dad Barry. Liam landed his new pb gummy shark and was absolutely stoked with it. Phil Pirotta landed a nice mako shark off Warrnambool on Saturday which is going to make a tasty feed for myself and my family thanks Phil!


Surf Beaches: The news on the street is that there are a few salmon starting to poke their heads up around our beaches. Mick Mahney has been getting some solid fish casting the TT Lures Hardcore metals into the many gutters that have been forming right throughout the coast. Fish to 2kg have been caught from Peterborough in the East right through to Portland in the West. These awesome fighting fish can be caught on a wide range of techniques from baits on either gang hook rigs or with a double paternoster, casting lures into the gutters pinpointing the moving schools or combining both these techniques with a double paternoster rig with a bait on one of the hooks and a surf popper on the other. With this technique you draw the salmon in with the smell of the bait which is usually on the bottom hook and then if they pick the bait off you still have the surf popper that is working in the wash creating bubbles. This technique is also productive on the snapper throughout summer especially if the small fish move into where you’re fishing and keep pinching your bait. The surf popper usually keeps them entertained enough to eat that too. When casting metal lures into the surf the rod of choice is a 9ft shore spin that enables a nice long cast with the heavier lures but also allows you to get your line out of the waves a bit more which helps with line management and control. Scott Gray has also caught plenty of salmon the past week while casting Samaki metal lures around Port Fairy.


Estuaries: The Hopkins River is fishing the slowest I have seen in recent years and I’m not sure of the reason for this. There are schools in most areas of the river and not just in the deeper sections that we are used to this time of year. I fished on Saturday for a few hours and couldn’t for the life of me work out what they were doing or why. Big schools were in front of Proudfoot’s, Deakin and up around the Toorum Stones but they just wouldn’t fire up. The 4 undersize fish that Mick Hunt and myself caught that day were very skinny which could mean that they have already spawned and are a bit doey due  to that. Either way it’s a very frustrating place to fish at present. The Curdies river has slowed down some what from what it was fishing like a couple weeks ago but the exciting thing is the number of perch and the size of these fish that are getting caught. Soft plastics fished along the bottom on 1/12 and 1/8oz jig heads with a paddle tail have accounted for most fish that I know of including an insane session of 40 perch to 47cm from a couple of gun anglers.


Freshwater: The Merri river has slowed down a lot this last week on the trout front which as one angler put it is due to the pressure of so many fishing lately. Maybe this is so but it’s great to see so many anglers out enjoying themselves even if some people aren’t too happy with the added pressure. Woodford in the upper Merri has seen some nice fish taken lately on hard bodies and small soft plastics fished in the many pools along that stretch of river. The water in both rivers is still fairly clear which is odd for this time of year where we usually see them in flood or at least dirty due to the rain falls through winter. Maybe this has something to do with the slowing up of fishing rather then the pressure from other anglers. Hopefully we see some sort of flow in the not too distant future and they start firing up again.


We are in for it this week with some crook winds and some pretty impressive swell hitting the coast so fishing will be limited. Until next week tight lines and best of luck