Didn’t the weekend turn it on for all the offshore anglers who have been waiting to get out! The rivers were also a great option for those with smaller boats or restricted to bank access.
Saltwater: Port Fairy and Warrnambool boat ramps were a hive of activity especially on Sunday which was the better day by far. The shark fishing was again brilliant for the crews that were berleying on anchor. Peter Goode landed a big school shark over 24kg which was part of a full bag for his boat. Tom Fox from the work shop at Richardson Marine headed down the coast towards Peterborough for some quality snapper to 54cm and a few big Nannygai off the bottom. There are signs that the summer fish species are coming in, with more snapper and nannygai being caught. Lewis Holland caught a nice big King George whiting on a jig fishing on the bottom in 42m of water. We were all surprised when this tasty critter came onboard. A rare capture down here on this particular technique, it’s starting to become a regular occurrence in deeper water at this time of year. It seems to be when anglers aren’t targeting them either, and usually with bigger hooks aimed at gummies. Not sure if anyone has ever targeted these bigger fish in the deeper water but it sure seems that there is a population of larger whiting living out there. In other saltwater reports, the excellent salmon fishing continues with loads of big fish being landed by young and old. Young fishing diehard Taiyo Summerfield caught some ripper fish whilst on holidays at Killarney with his dad. After showing me some pictures of his captures back home on their winery up north, he and his dad grabbed some metal lures in search of these salmon. A day later we received a picture of a big salmon that Taiyo landed and if his smile was anything to go by he was pretty wrapped with it. It’s great to see some kids getting out in the fresh air and wetting a line.
Estuaries: the Hopkins River bream are in full spawn mode, and are beginning to sit deep and suffering from the dreaded lock jaw. In saying that there has been some great fish caught on the edges just off the side to these big schools that we are noticing on the fish finders. From what I can tell there isn’t a pattern on where they are going to be sitting, but you just need to keep moving about. I fished Saturday for a couple hours and found plenty of fish schooled up from the ski run all the way up to the Hen and Chickens reef. We even sounded up a school of big mulloway at Kings Head so they might be starting to make their way into our river. We did manage a few fish on soft plastics fished on the outsides of the schools of fish which were all full of spawn. During this time of year to help preserve our fish stocks, try limiting the amount that you take as these fish might be the ones that keep our premier river producing for years to come. Further west into the Glenelg River another couple of young guns Ollie Sharp and Toby Hellessey caught some ripper bream and estuary perch while fishing with their dads Allistar and Dean on a boys weekend. Casting lures all weekend the lads found good numbers of fish up from Sapling Creek. Searching for the elusive Mulloway the boys didn’t land one, but found out what they bite like on live mullet and salmon with a couple of short takes when slowly trolled along behind their boat. They have both said they will be back to have another crack at them for sure. The gurus of Nelson, Dean and Allen Unwin, have been catching some nice fish of late on live mullet behind their putter. As Allen said to Dean Hellessey on the weekend he can drive over these same fish for hours, and then boom 3 rods go at once. We speak a lot about them flicking the switch and finally chewing and at the moment this has never been so true. If you see them on your fish finder and really want one you have to persist on them which if you’re like me it’s really hard to do without your mind wondering. Patience is definitely the key for these big rewarding fish.
With a pretty grim weather outlook this next weekend I wouldn’t expect much action to happen offshore. Until next week tight lines and best of luck!