The buzz of summer has definitely been felt these last few days, and the fishing has turned it on for us once again. Most of the action has been offshore this week, but there is still some good fishing to be had in the local estuaries.
Saltwater: King George Whiting are in full swing right across the South West with anglers searching near and far for a feed of tasty “ting”. Brandon and Ray Dorman landed some great fish whilst fishing off Portland on Saturday afternoon bagging 20 or so. The Portland area is definitely the big whiting capital of the South West, with fewer numbers but a better size average than other areas (such as Killarney and Port Fairy). These two areas have also been producing some quality whiting on a range of baits including spew worms, clickers, pippies and squid. All these baits can be used on either a running rig or a fixed paternoster depending on the terrain you’re fishing. If you’re fishing weed and reef, then a fixed paternoster will be the option for you. If you prefer fishing sand patches in between the weed then a running rig will be the one for you. We can’t recommend the Black Magic Whiting Snatchers and Whiting Whackers enough, after having success on them ever since their release. All these rigs are built on quality fluorocarbon and Black Magic’s famous KL1/0 circle hooks; they make hooking fish simple. Our resident whiting diehard Cam loves these rigs, in particular the Green Grub colour, with pippies. Last Wednesday he showed me how it was done, with us bagging a dozen whiting in the harbour at Warrnambool. Along with the whiting we were plagued by small pinkie snapper which were all undersize, but provided some excellent fun on light gear especially once we swapped to soft plastics where we caught 20 fish in as many casts. Fishing with my favourite snapper plastics (Berkley Gulp in any of the 3” models), these fish needed little convincing to eat our offerings. Further offshore the snapper fishing is still fantastic with a plenty of fish being caught on both baits and jigs fished over likely looking ground. There has also been some good captures of gummy sharks too, with some anglers bagging out in quick succession. Fishing fresh cut baits and the humble pilchard have been the best option for a feed of flake. The summer run of tuna are here and anglers are pumped and ready to hit them up at the next chance they get. Trolling small skirts and casting small stick baits has been getting anglers hooked up on the standard 6-15kg fish especially over at Portland and North Shore. The other species that have had anglers buzzing is the yellowtail king fish which are tormenting anglers on baits and lures. Fish to 19kg have been caught over the past week but they are by no means easy to catch. Lots of time is needed to get fish consistently and you have to be prepared to catch nothing more often than not. We have just received a big shipment of locally made Baitfisher 10” Slugs in all the popular colours ready to tackle the king fish and tuna this summer. Perfect for both trolling and casting at the hungry packs of fish on the surface.
Estuaries: Shannon O’Brien has been getting some nice bream and perch fishing into the night in the Hopkins River. Casting hard bodies along the edges down the bottom section he said they have been hitting really hard which isn’t surprising as the best tides have been at night. Shannon also mentioned a number of Mulloway smashing mullet on the surface below the bridge also which is a great sign for the months to come. There has been some good captures up river recently, and now that there is also fish in the lower section it means that there is quite a few in the system and should see them readily taking both baits and lures when the water begins to clear. During the day it’s been a slog again with some anglers scratching their heads not knowing where to fish (me included). Further west, Yambuk is fishing well below the caravan park for bream, especially by anglers fishing off the bank. Fresh shrimp are the go to bait, but if you can’t get any of those, the humble peeled prawn is also a great option for you to take. Fishing a really light sinker is the way to go and will mean that bream don’t feel any foreign weight when eating the bait. The Curdies river is full of algae at present, especially in the lake. Unfortunately with a lack of flow and warm weather beaming down on the algae it will only get worse, unless we get some flow coming down. It’s a shame as summer is my favourite time to have a fish in here.
There are some half decent days this next week to get out and have a fish so you just got to go when you can. We are going to run the fishing report right through the summer to help you all get your rods bent and up to date with all the fishing news. I hope you all have a great Christmas and a safe new year. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.