Snapper have been dominating offshore catches this week. Sam Powell had a great day on Friday afternoon, getting several really nice fish in just 30m of water. Gummies have also been found on the same grounds. There was a report of a solid thresher shark being hooked trolling off Portland this week which was lost, in less than 10 metres. Tuna are still yet to show up in any numbers, but a couple of unconfirmed reports have come in from Killarney. Kings are slowly but surely beginning to show up at Portland- no large numbers yet.
The squid have once again fished very well on the calmer days this week. Killarney, Portland (town reef) and Port Fairy have produced- but for land based anglers the Warrnambool Breakwater, the Port Campbell Jetty and Apollo Bay harbour will be your best bets. Use a size 3.5 jig in most waters in the south west. In the same areas, whiting have fished well, although a little quieter this week than the last few. This is probably due to less anglers on the water. Pinkie snapper have been really good in the waters over 5. Joey Bourke and Tim Vincent got onto a few pinkies this week over at the Portland north shore, drifting the reefs using the Daiwa Bait Junkies on a 1/8th oz jighead. Trevally also showed in the catch. Crayfish have been caught in some really good numbers this week along our coast, by both divers and netters, and some great abalone too around Port Fairy.
Mulloway have showed up this week finally. Corey got onto a ripper of over 70cm fishing the upper Hopkins with Michael Hunt. Corey was fishing the Cranka Minnows in the Smelt colour- a newly re-released lure which has already scored some impressive captures. There have been plenty of mulloway sounded up through the Hopkins so there should be quite a few caught next few weeks. While most mulloway are caught by anglers fishing soft plastics for bream and estuary perch, you can certainly target them. Live mullet, live spew worms and pilchards are the preferred baits. For lures, trolling deep 80mm jerk baits takes a good share, as does soft plastic jerbaits between 3-5″. Ashby Hoey also got onto a couple bait fishing locally. Alongside the mulloway, some great bream and perch have been taken. The middle reaches of the Hopkins have been best from recent reports but Tooram Stones is holding a few perch. The deepened mouth of the Hopkins following the floods has meant large amounts of saltwater moving in, bringing saltwater fish in. A snapper, and trevally, were caught off the bridge this week by the St Josephs fishing class. In past years this salt has brought in flathead, wrasse, zebrafish, stingrays- who knows what’s going to come in!
Freshwater has been pretty quiet this week, although Purrumbete’s redfin fishery is certainly on fire. Plenty of big bags, with fish up to 48cm, have been taken. Fishing live minnows over schooled fish in 10m (30ft) has been the best bet. You’ve still got a few weeks of reasonable conditions for trout until the rivers slow too much in summer- just watch for snakes as it’s a pretty good year for them.