What a turnaround we have seen this week for fishing conditions! A stark weather contrast in the time frame of just seven days; cold, rough and windy days, to sunny conditions and glass outs. Some great fish were caught this past week, so let’s see what’s been happening.
Offshore: as mentioned the offshore brigade were spoilt for conditions and this accounted for some quality captures. Joey Bourke and Cam Pickert from the workshop had a field day fishing off Port Fairy scoring 8 sharks. With a mixture of gummy and school sharks the boys were left pretty busy throughout the day. Joey caught fish of the day with a school shark weighing around 30kg. It’s great to see these big sharks beginning to fire, especially coming into winter which is traditionally the best time to target them along our coast. They have been wide spread from 50m right out to 400m of water; it just comes down to your capabilities and the other fish you wish to catch. The crew onboard Intruder had a brilliant day fishing on the edge of the shelf catching 3 sharks, 3 Tassie Trumpeter and a few other bottom reefies. TJ Symons got fish of the day with a solid trump weighing 10.48kg which I’m sure would have put up quite the tussle. The tuna fishing has been insane the past week especially for school fish. Harry Linke and a mate headed off Portland on Tuesday with them getting their bag of tuna and Harry landing his first school shark of 13kg. Harry said he’s never seen so many patches of tuna, and was surprised at how close they were after landing their last fish inside Lawrence Rocks. The bigger fish are still mixed in with the school fish so it’s a lucky dip at the moment. We have just introduced Billmark lures into our range of skirts which have an excellent range of colours and head shapes available. Port MacDonnell has still been producing some quality fish for those trolling skirts and cubing pilchards. Extreme Marine Charters landed an absolute giant of a fish weighing in at 171kg on the ever reliable Bonze Exocet in Paris colour.
Estuary: the Hopkins River remains open with a decent channel flowing into the ocean. This has brought with it plagues of small salmon into the system which is a good sign for the mulloway hunters. Typically when these fish make their way into the system, the silver ghosts aren’t too far behind them. The tides have been pretty favourable also with the better high tide being around tea time or a bit earlier. I always liked to focus a couple hours before the peak of the tide and around an hour after it. As long as there is some water movement down there that seems to fire the bream up. If you can sit around where the clean blue water meets the brown river water, that’s a great place to start. Casting soft plastics and Cranka Crabs up current and letting them flow back into the strike zone is a deadly technique. The Glenelg River is fishing quite well for mulloway down the bottom section of the river from Dry Creek to the mouth. Taylor’s Straight has seen some nice fish caught up to 13lb. Fish of this size provide some great fights on lighter tackle whilst targeting bream or perch. Shane Quinlan caught an absolute thumper perch which measured 57cm! Over the past couple of years Shane has taken up targeting perch on live minnows under floats, and has found how deadly this technique is. Anytime you can get a perch over 50cm, it’s truly a fish of a lifetime.
Freshwater: the Hopkins and Merri rivers have been fishing well for trout and we are seeing some crackers getting caught. Luke Gercovich has been casting swimbaits after dark with great success landing trout to 63cm so far. As the water begins to get darker the old favourite Rapala spotted dog and perch colours in the floating range will come into their own. Over at Camperdown Lake Purrumbete has continued to produce some nice redfin for those using lures and live minnow down deep. John Clements took the crew out from Ozfish TV in search of some tasty reddies. They weren’t disappointed, landing fish to 40cm on a range of lures and baits. These fish tend to move around a bit following the contour of the bottom and will just keep coming through. You’ll get dry patches and then your rod will be bouncing non-stop. Using your fish finder is paramount to work out what depth they are sitting in and once you find that it’s a matter of setting up and waiting.
This weekend sees some moderate winds and medium swell but could still be fishable if you want to head offshore to take advantage of the exceptional fishing we are having at the moment. Some great tides around lunch time on both Saturday and Sunday should see the lower estuaries get a beating. Until next week tight lines and best of luck!