This past week hasn’t felt like summer at all. Cold winds and rough seas made it difficult for some anglers to head out. Luckily for most the summer run of king fish made up for the bad weather.
Saltwater: yellow tail king fish were out in force last week both off Port Fairy and Portland. For some they were near impossible to land (me), while for others they really turned it on. Phil Pirotta had a real hot patch over at Portland with multiple days of red hot action on top water. In one particular session he mentioned that it was the craziest day he has ever seen on kings. Him and 4 other boats who were all mates landed in excess of 80 fish for the day. Most of these were caught trolling Sluggos and casting stick baits and sluggos once someone hooked up. The Gercovich gang have also been belting them on Sluggo’s and other top water lures. They have also been doing their bit for Fisheries research with tagging and releasing the majority of fish so that Vic Fisheries have a better understanding of numbers and re-capture rates. So if you catch a king with a tag in it record the number, call the number on the tag and record the length and general location of capture so a better understanding can be determined with these fish. It’s not all king fish over at Portland though as Russell Anderson discovered landing some quality pinkies on jigs and soft plastics on his new Samaki Zing Extreme V2 rod paired with a Daiwa Phantom Hyper reel along North Shore. Russell’s 2 best fish were over 50cm which are a great fight on light gear. In closer to home reports the King George Whiting have also turned it on this week with some thumpers caught. Russell Allardice landed a ripper measuring 54cm and weighing 1.15kg which was 1 of 17 for that session. Fishing off Port Fairy as Russell was can be a bit hit and miss but he certainly found them in a good mood this session. Killarney has also been producing some nice fish especially since we seen 2 lots of tides again after a few days of dodge tides. Our recommendation for baits would be pippies and fresh squid if you catch one before you head out. The Australian Salmon have still been ruffling a few feathers of unsuspecting anglers targeting whiting on light gear.
Estuaries: The Hopkins River looks as though it will close soon with the sand bar becoming very shallow and very wide compared to late last year. Hopefully I’m wrong and some silver slabs can come into the river and keep a few anglers busy. There has still been some nice fish landed by those fishing live crab, peeled prawn and river shells in the lower section. Further up stream the Estuary Perch have been smashing the top water lures. Warm nights where there is lots of bugs flying around is my favorite time to target them as the fish will be up on top eating these insects off the surface anyway. Casting loud lures such as Jackall Pompadour and Cicadas will drive them wild enticing a bite. In the other Estuaries there has been some cracking Ep’s caught in the Curdies on shallow diving minnows. The bream have been steady also both above Boggy Creek and below. This time of year sees a large majority of these fish head up stream into the snags where they can become very tricky to target due to how close they hold on the structure. Accurate casts are a must up here along with a slow retrieve with lots of rips and pauses. This will allow the spooky fish more time to determine whether or not they want to commit to the lure and eat it. The standout lures for me in the past up river has been Ecogear Sx40’s in the 352 colour and also the Atomic Shad 40 in Ghost Brown Shad. Both these lures can be made to suspend really well with simply changing the split rings and trebles to a heavier gauge or a bigger size. To get this right you might need to change the sizes of trebles a few times to get it right but once you do, it will make a massive difference to your catch rate. Heavier leaders are needs to extract these hard fighting fish out of the heavy cover that they hold in. This is really needed when a big Ep gets a hold of your lure and wants back into its snag. Tying an FG knot will greatly increase your accuracy and will also give you the best knot strength in your leader knot when ripping them out. A bit of time learning and practicing this knot will improve your fishing in every situation where braid and a leader is needed.
Freshwater: Taylors Lake at Horsham has been producing some epic Cod fishing on topwater and deep diving lures. 80cm-105cm fish have been landed along with some thumping big yellow belly. A great place for a weekend getaway to target a species not yet readily available in our area. The Rocklands is producing some nice Redfin on live minnow and Yabbies fished deep amongst the schools on anglers fish finders. Lake Purrumbete is fishing well for Brown Trout to 6lb by those trolling lures and live bullhead on downriggers. The redfin in here are also sitting very deep and are getting tempted by live minnow also and soft plastics fished on a drop shot rig. These lures can’t really be fished effectively in this depth on a conventional jig head so a drop shot rig does quite well.
Looks like the warm weather is about to hit us this weekend which will be a welcome relief for most anglers after last weeks cold snap. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.