Another miserable weekend for us in the south west left anglers scratching their heads on where to wet a line and mother nature threw a spanner in the works for that plan also.
Estuary: The two major rivers in Warrnambool the Hopkins and Merri have seen a considerable amount of water come down due to the recent rain falls over the past week or so. What does this mean for fishing in the estuaries now? Well depends on what species you want to chase. As a rule of thumb when the dirty water comes down we usually tend to see the 3 targeted species in bream, estuary perch and mulloway head down the bottom of the systems. This is solely due to them finding the happy medium of salt water that sits below the fresh as salt water will always sit below fresh water. In order to make this theory work there also needs to be a tide or big swell coming into these estuaries. There has been some great bream caught below the bridge on an incoming tide. We should also see some estuary perch make their way down to the bridge and surrounds after a long stint up in the fresh water. During these times don’t be surprised if you catch a trout in the lower section too as it has happened in the past after a lot of water has come down. The Glenelg River has been fishing excellent for bream on the incoming tide also as Peter Kavanagh reports where he has been catching some great fish using pod worms that were freshly pumped from the estuary. Some nice mulloway were also landed by Pete and good mate Tim Goodall with the biggest weighing 7kg on a live mullet trolled behind Pete’s putt putt.
Freshwater: the local trout brigade would have loved seeing the upper sections of the river flowing this past week. After a relatively lack lustre winter where the water was quite still it’s a welcome return for anglers. Once the flow slows to a manageable speed I’m sure there will be some trophy fish caught. Some big fish have been spotted around Merrivale but these fish are possibly the smartest in the system and due to the skinny water they inhabit are quite spooky at times. Mark and Xavier Gercovich had a great session in the Merri casting Westin Shadteez and the new Daiwa Bait Junkie minnows which accounted for 4 trout for a combined total of 23lb! Reports coming in that there is some water running into lake Bullen Merri which should stir things up a bit. The Chinook salmon are still going well along with the odd rainbow trout. Pilchards cubed in a berley trail are the best option for the chooks and trolling tassie devils on either a down rigger or flat line trolling has been accounting for the rainbows.
Saltwater: the salmon fishing from the beaches has slowed down this week after some serious swell hit the coast. Xavier Ellul from the Tackle Shack landed a nice fish from Yambuk beach on a Fish Inc flanker on Monday. Himself and Tim mentioned that there was some great gutters but the fish just weren’t in the numbers that we expect this time of year. Port Fairy has been more steady with reports and should continue to deliver good fishing in the coming weeks. When trying to find out where these gutters are the easiest thing to do is stand at the highest point and look for these couple signs of a gutter. 1. Simply looking for darker colour water can give away a gutter especially on the sunny days. 2. Spotting an area where the waves build up and fade away without crashing is also a sign of a gutter. 3. Also the last thing I would say is don’t just look way out to the back of the waves as sometimes the best gutters are those only a few meters off the beach. And don’t think that the biggest fish won’t hold in this water. That goes for any species off the beach including gummy shark and mulloway.
Hopefully the weather can hold off from what it says it’s going to be this weekend and you guys and girls can get out amongst it. If you’re wanting to chase trout in the running water extra care is needed due to the volume of water coming down. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.