This week has all been about the estuaries and the barrels off our coast. Some exceptional captures have been taken even with the dodgy weather we have had but that didn’t deter the anglers getting out and about.
Offshore: the hype of a late run of barrel tuna is full on at the minute with some big fish taken by local anglers and some regional anglers who have travelled to jump on board a charter. Matthew Hunt Fishing Services had a double hook up on his first pass over the school on Monday off cape grant which is only a short distance offshore. The boys on board landed one of these fish which weighed in at 129kg after a tough fight. They had another 2 shots during the day making it 4 hook ups and definitely a day out for all involved. On Wednesday the crew from Salty Dog Charters Port Fairy ventured out on the hunt for a jumbo tuna also. The aim was to get young gun Ashby Hoey a shot at the Junior female world record on 24kg tackle. With their custom Ranga Rod in tow they soon became connected to a fish that was definitely going to beat the current standing record. After an hour on the rod the fish was in the boat and off they went to the weigh master to see just how close it was. The fished weighed a whopping 147.9kg and easily blew the previous record out of the water but due to a technicality the fish was deemed ineligible. Nevertheless this fish was a beast and a great achievement for a very determined young angler. We are sure that she will get her chance again and will again smash it out of the water and claim that world record. With the rough stuff set in for the next couple days I’m sure we will see some more big fish hit the deck of the keen anglers hitting the big blue. The best methods have been trolling skirts through the schools of feeding fish with either a teaser in tow or just with a bigger spread out with skirts set in different positions. We still have a couple of the very popular Bonze spreader bar in stock so get in and grab yours today to give yourself the best shot at a fish of a lifetime.
Estuaries: our estuaries around the south west are all fishing very well for our popular species such as bream and ep’s. I recently fished the 2020 Perch Search in conjunction with the Victorian Fisheries Authority along with 9 other local anglers. What this perch search is all about is trying to capture the brood stock for the states stocking of estuary perch. Fishing the Hopkins, Curdies and Fitzroy rivers we were able to collect over 120 ep’s over 3 days which gave the 2 fisheries scientists some great fish to sort through and decide which ones were most suitable for the program. Some excellent fish were taken in all of these rivers except for the Fitzroy which was super clear making it hard. Luke Gercovich caught some great fish to 45cm along with Jack and Chris Allwood who plugged away in the deep water for their fish. Dan Mackrell and Declan Betts caught some belters in the Curdies River over the 3 days including Dans metre long mulloway caught on 6lb leader. The biggest fish for the weekend was a 47.5cm obese perch that weighed in at 2.04kg which I was lucky enough to land on my favourite soft plastic the Zman Slim Swim. By all reports it was the most successful search yet which just shows how good our perch fishery is down here. Along with the perch the anglers also caught some great bream on a range of lures and soft plastics. To our surprise the fish seem to be still in the shallows even with the dirty water we have seen come down the past 2 weeks. There were many fish over the kilo mark and some that blew that to pieces. 45cm was the biggest fish landed but there were some bigger models hooked but they won their freedom after running the anglers around the many submerged trees and rocks. Well done to all who volunteered their time and equipment for the 3 days to help make our great fishery even better for the future.
Freshwater: Lake Purrumbete and Bullen Merri have been producing some great trout and salmon fishing of late for those trolling lures on down riggers and flat lining. Some fish to 8lb have been taken from Lake Purrumbete in the past week with one monstering a OSP Bent Minnow cast over the thick weed beds around the lake. Bullen Merri has seen some big rainbows and chinook salmon along with some very healthy brown trout too. Daiwa double clutch 95’s along with the Rapala Xrap 6 in the spotted ghost colour have been catching some quality trout and salmon in bullen merri. The beauty about the double clutch 95’s is that you can troll them by flat lining without the aid of a downrigger or paravane due to their deep diving bib. Some great signs this past week for both lakes and they should continue for a couple more weeks yet.
This weekend’s conditions look putrid for heading offshore with strong winds but the following week looks like it will be a lot better so I’m guessing the estuaries will be the place to be again. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.