2021 has come and gone, and we now look forward to what 2022 has in store for us. If it’s anything like how 2021 ended, it will be an absolutely fantastic! We had a mixed bag of reports this past week, and despite dodgy weather forecasts, the ocean really did turn it on in the end.

Saltwater: the amazing year of shark fishing has continued this past week, with some great captures off Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland. Last week Jubby from our workshop headed out with good mates Wal and Darrian off Warrnambool for a bag of nice gummies, a nice snapper and some big slimey mackerel. Fishing down near Childers Cove in their favourite spot proved fruitful, landing over 10 gummies in about 2 hours. Now the boys are stocked up with some great bait in the slimeys, and also a brilliant feed of flake for all their families to enjoy. Nate, Timmy and Xavier and I from the Tackle Shack headed out after work on Thursday, for a nice bag of snapper and nannygai caught straight off Warrnambool. The plan was to fish plastics and jigs but Xav had other plans, bringing some pilchards and Snapper Snacks. After finding a fresh cuttle fish floating on the surface, the boys quickly prepared it and sent it down. Soon after Xav was hooked up to our first decent snapper. Then Timmy caught a decent arrow squid and that too made its way onto the hook and another snapper was in the boat. After a quick shift in spots we landed a good nannygai, before they began coming in one after the other. I was feeling a bit second hand on the front casting deck while fishing a soft plastic, when I got thumped and fought a decent pinkie to the boat. We ended the night with a unbelievable sunset with a glassed off sea. Other great captures late last week and into the new year were Scott Addinsall’s giant silver trevally that measured 62cm! Scotty said when he hooked it he thought it might have been a rat king as they had already caught some that day. Not a common capture in this part of the world at this size but certainly a very welcome capture. On this particular day he also caught a big school shark along with some kingfish fishing with good mate Brandon Dorman. Kings to 102cm were on offer for the boys casting sluggos and squid strips. There’s also plenty of whiting along the coast still; Tim Vincent put a bag together out of his kayak late last week at Killarney.

Estuaries: the Hopkins River looks to be on the mend with some clear water in the system and some nice captures for anglers putting in the effort. Tim Treloar and Michael Hunt fished on the weekend for a few hours catching some nice fish just under the kilogram mark. Casting Gulp soft plastics, the boys caught numerous fish with the best 10 going a smidge under 8kg. It seems as though they are both on rock walls and the shallow flats, which makes it a great time to get out and about as you’ll have plenty of options. The Glenelg River is also fishing well for mulloway and estuary perch throughout the river. Fishing live mullet has been producing some nice mulloway down the bottom section of the river for those that are putting the time into them. The estuary perch have been wide spread which is a common thing this time of year after they have come down to spawn in the cooler months, they typically move back upstream beyond Dartmoor. It’s a great challenge this time of year to suss out what they are going to feed on and where, but when you do it can certainly be a brilliant time. Surface lures for the perch would be my go to especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Casting as close as you can to structure is something that you’ll need to do and will result in a few lost lures, but in order to be consistently catching fish and enticing the bites you just need to. Beefing up your leaders to 8 or 10lb will mean you’ll have a bit more room for error when you hook the fish of a lifetime.

This weekend doesn’t look all that great for offshore fishing except maybe Sunday so time will tell. If you are heading out stay safe. Until next week tight lines and best of luck!