You would think that going off the past weeks conditions that nobody has been fishing; but that’s not the case, as there were some very keen anglers who just couldn’t wait after lockdown. Let’s dive in and have a squiz at what kept anglers busy this week.

Saltwater: The Hoey boys Dan and Phil went out to put some hours on their new engines and decided to have a look for a tuna off Portland while they were at it. Trolling their favourite skirts from Bonze they soon came up tight to a rampaging barrel. After a short fight Phil had the fish boatside, and it made its way through the side door and onto the deck. The boys then ventured home, putting it on the scales which read 120kg. This weekend should see some more boats heading down the Princes Highway in search of a true line burner. Saturday looks like holding some decent swell, although gradually dropping down Sunday. In these rough conditions lures such as Bonze Exocet, JB Jindivick and Jaks Barrel Bullets are all a great starting option as they will hold in the water more due to their heavily weighted head and smaller profile. It can also pay to go the other way and fish a big cup face that causes lots of disturbance splashing around on the surface. If you’re using something like these cup faces you need to keep checking your leader especially just at the head of the lure as it can cause the leader to fray with the movement of the lure. In other saltwater reports we have seen some great salmon again at Killarney with fish to 2kg being caught by anglers using metal lures. These fish haven’t been hard to find, when schooled up in big numbers. Simply look for the darker patches of water that are moving up and down the beach, and place your cast in front of them. It’s also great exercise too chasing them up and down the beaches. 40-60g metals are the standout option, but there are increasing numbers of anglers starting to use small stick baits as well. Stickbaits have a more erratic action when twitched through the water, compared to metals. 9ft rods are the preferred weapon of choice to cast these lures as they provide great distance on the cast and also allow the angler to get the line up and out of the wash when retrieving the lure. If pinging lures into the surf isn’t your thing, then try fishing blue bait on a single paternoster rig. This time of year the salmon will move up and down the beach which is why casting lures is the preferred option due to being able to chase them down quickly. Berley is an essential part of bait fishing for salmon and can be done quite easily off the beach but the secret is to not put your berley too deep in the water. Typically using a scaler bag with a 2kg berley frozen log just placed in the wash that comes up the beach will be enough to keep them in your area. If you put it in too deep your berley will disperse too quickly, and you’ll be chewing through berley left right and centre.

Estuaries: the rivers in the South West have been swamped with water from upstream in recent weeks. The Hopkins and Merri rivers are almost unfishable especially the Merri, which has been engulfed with fast flowing water that doesn’t seem to slow down quickly. The Hopkins will still be fishable for those willing to fish the deeper water with blades and soft plastics. If soaking a bait is more your thing, then try baits such as shrimp, cut mullet and if you’re really keen, then walk the banks and find some crabs which is what an angler landed some cracker bream on last week. Crabs wouldn’t be my first choice of baits this time of year, but the fish that this particular angler caught say otherwise. Due to the flow and the depth that the fish are holding in, you’ll need to fish some sort of sinker for the bait to be able to hold. The Curdies River is one system that isn’t too flooded.The Curdies was fished heavily this weekend when Allansford and District Angling Club held their first competition for their new season. Beetle Baillie and Brendan Howard caught the heaviest bag for 10 fish which weighed 8.771kg, and also caught the heaviest individual bream with a 1.125kg fish making its way to their net. The Glenelg River has continued to produce Mulloway over 30lb this past week despite the crappy weather. I’ve heard of several fish now that are over 30lb with some more winning their freedom after long fights on heavy gear. Trolling larger hard bodies round the 150mm long size has been the preferred method, which is not dissimilar to a couple years ago when more big fish were caught on the same method. These fish have been spread out so there is ample opportunity for everyone to have a crack at them. If you’re planning a trip away and need somewhere to stay then call Patty and Deano at River Vu Caravan Park on 0439 384 158 and book your cabin or powered site. They have their own private jetty which is great for those who come and go at all hours of the night meaning you can leave your boat tied up.

Freshwater: Lake Purrumbete has again produced some cracking brown trout this past week with brown trout to 3.7kg being landed on shallow hard bodies cast from the bank. Allistar Bourke caught a ripping 3.7kg fish and also said he had 2 other big follows which sent out a huge bow wave after the lure. The fish have been tight in the weed beds and only a few metres off the bank at times. A keen eye is a must with even the slightest movement in the weeds being enough to turn your slow day into something special. Floods, strong winds and closed seasons have put a bit of a dampener on most other freshwater fishing.

With wind looking like it’s easing early next week we might actually get a window for those looking to head offshore. If not, pack your gear and head over to the Glenelg in search of the mighty mulloway. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.