The winter snap made itself felt again this week which put a stop to some anglers hunt for that fish of a lifetime. Luckily the fish were still on the chew for those braving the weather.
Estuaries: The estuaries around the South West are still fishing well for bream, perch and the odd mulloway but it’s the reports coming from the Hopkins River this week that has got anglers talking. After a very quiet couple of weeks there were some quality fish taken over the weekend on both bait and soft plastics in the higher reaches of the system. Barry “Sticks” Johnson landed some great fish on Zman Green Pumpkin Slim Swimz. A mixture of bream and ep’s were included in his bag of fish along with a mulloway that won its freedom after a short fight on light line. Jubby had a great session while fishing baits from the bank up around Jubilee Park where he landed in excess of 40 bream. He also mentioned that he reckons that they bit due to the wind blowing onto the bank that he was fishing as it stirred up the bottom. Also reports coming in of big schools of perch down below the bridge which is a common occurrence this time of year as they begin to do their thing. The best technique for this time of year is fishing small metal blades through the schools with short sharp lifts that really seem to rev the fish up. This time of year is more important than ever to have sharp trebles on all your lures let alone the metal blades. This is due to the fish having very hard mouths from eating the hard baits all summer so inspect your lures after each fish to make sure they have a sharp point on each treble. In other estuary reports the Curdies River was opened on Saturday morning after some very high water levels were starting to become a hazard for nearby towns etc. After some excellent fishing over the past few weeks it will be interesting to see if this continues after the water drops and gets a good flush out. Speaking of good flush outs the Glenelg River has had a good flow come down from up top and is currently pretty dirty from Taylors Straight all the way up to Pritchard’s but don’t be discouraged there is some cracker fish being landed. John McCosh landed a cracker Mulloway that weighed 29lb while trolling the lower reaches of the river. He also landed a trophy size Estuary Perch that measured 58cm and an astounding 5lb! That’s a serious fish in anyone’s book and certainly one John will remember for a while yet. Some great bream that have been almost white in colour due to them coming into the system down the mouth have been caught on both lures and baits on an incoming tide. From the poles down is the place to try but there is some huge clumps of kelp that are making it difficult to fish cleanly. If you get through all those you’re going to be in with a shot of some quality fish.
Saltwater: With some not so pleasant conditions for offshore fishing lately the reports have slowed down considerably. As I write this now there are a few anglers out off Port Fairy trying for a Gummy or School shark on the bottom and in search of the many schools of tuna that have flocked to the South West. As much as we as anglers prefer a nice calm sea to fish in the tuna love a bit rougher weather and become more aggressive towards bait and lures. Even though the offshore conditions haven’t been great to head out in there has been some great reports coming in from anglers casting to salmon schools from the beaches. Some great fish to 2kg have been taken casting a mixture of metal jigs and metal slicers into the gutters that are forming along well known beaches like Levies, East Beach and Yambuk. This is a great way of getting kids into fishing and getting them to feel how a fish hits a lure as when the salmon eat a lure they usually crunch them. The other great thing about them is they are relatively easy to handle with no teeth or major spikes that will cause damage to you or your kids. If you’re having trouble determining what is or isn’t a gutter off the beach come in store and we can show you an example of a gutter and what you should be looking for when targeting Salmon or any species off the beach for that fact.
Freshwater: Just like the past couple of weeks the most productive place to target a trout has been the two lakes at Camperdown in Lake Bullen Merri and Lake Purrumbete. Mark Gercovich landed a stonker of a trout that weighed 9lb and measured 67cm on a hard body casting into the edge of the weeds. There was also another big fish caught that was 8lb+ by Victorian Inland Charters operator Michael Evans. The redfin seem to be sitting fairly deep around the 30ft mark and have been pretty quiet. Fishing live minnow down deep will be your best bet along with using micro jigs for them and rip them through the schools.
With some winter species really firing up this past week we will see some more reports coming in thick and fast next week. Hopefully you all get out for a fish this weekend. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.