What a wild week of weather we have encountered already! No fishing reports this week which is not surprising with what we have been through so I thought I would run through some options for you all moving forward. Don’t pack the gear away yet as there is some red hot fishing just around the corner if you are prepared to work hard for the rewards.
Saltwater: Port Phillip Bay this time of year sees the annual squid run down the bottom section of the bay. These areas include Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale, St Leonards and further around towards Portarlington. Typically down towards Queenscliff these big squid are found in deep water from anywhere between 5-15m and put up a really good account of themselves once hooked. To target these big calamari in the fast flowing water that Queenscliff is famous for, you’ll have to change the way you set up the jig. Most of the anglers that target these big squid fish their jigs on a paternoster rig with a fixed sinker at the bottom and their jig a metre or so above that. There are other ways too with the addition of snap on weights for your jig but you will find that the paternoster rig will give you greater contact with the bottom. Further up the bay, you’ll be able to find them on usual ground with weed and sand patches. On the clear days and in shallow water, you can see what they are guarding; their eggs. A distinct white patch on weed beds are the squid eggs and you can bet your house that there will be a squid nearby guarding those eggs. If you’re looking for a feed don’t feel bad about keeping your bag of 10 squid per angler. The life span of a squid is about a year so they regenerate quickly, and won’t be affected by you taking a few. When targeting squid clean water is a must; so the squid can track down your jigs. Another option is Portland and the endless options that winter time brings both in the bay and offshore. Trevally, Whiting, Salmon and the odd Snapper can all be caught both off the Lee Breakwater and in the harbour. All these fish are a great option for kids and will keep them entertained for hours. Fishing smaller baits such as squid strips, pippies and fillets of blue bait will give you the best chance at hooking into some action.
Estuaries: the Glenelg River at Nelson is the hot spot for many this time of year as the water dirties up and the Mulloway come out to play. These big mystical creatures will often hang out down the bottom section of the river waiting with their heads up current for the eels and other bait that gets flushed down with the flow. Usually these fish aren’t hard to find on your fish finder and will present as big arches sitting somewhere near the bottom. Once you find them it’s a matter of waiting until they are ready to eat which could take hours but for that short time when they decide to eat it can be pure mayhem. Along with the mulloway the resident bream really fire up in the dirty water and can be targeted on a myriad of different techniques from fishing baits in the deeper sections to casting soft plastics and blades along the many drop offs in the system. Dark colours such as black and brown in blades will account for the majority of your fish and will even be a tasty treat for a mulloway or estuary perch. The Hopkins River is worth a miss for the next week or so as the water is flowing quite hard and is filthy dirty. Once the flow slows down the fishing should be red hot!
Freshwater: Lake Bullen Merri is well worth a crack at with some nice Chinook Salmon and even a big bass being caught prior to lock down 5.0. To add more fishing opportunities into the lake Camperdown Angling club members helped the VFA to release tiger trout into the lake. This makes 5 targetable species in the lake and a whole heap of options for everyone. From polaroiding the banks in search of the big rainbow and brown trout that the lake is known for to trolling deep for chinook salmon this really is a great fishery. Great news coming from this heavy rain fall that we have just experienced is that both Lake Bolac and Lake Tooliorook are both overflowing. Both these lakes have experienced hardship in the last few years with Lake Bolac almost completely dry during the drought. Last time Lake Bolac had heaps of water in it anglers were experiencing once in a life time rainbow trout fishing with 8-10lb fish being common. Get your trout gear ready and go try smack a few.
With no reprieve from the weather this weekend fishing opportunities will be limited but hopefully we see some reports starting to come in. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.