The news that all anglers across regional Victorians have been awaiting; the end of lockdown! With a surprisingly warm start to spring, countless anglers have spent the week rigging rods, cleaning boats, and getting ready for the new season ahead. Let’s take a look at what’s likely to get caught over the next few days as we head into the weekend.

In the salt, we haven’t really been hearing any reports over the last few weeks. Despite a few good days, the weather overall hasn’t been favourable. Travel and time restrictions further limited things. Killarney has been producing a few fish for beach anglers from reports this week. Australian Salmon will be the number one target along that stretch of beach. Casting small stickbaits and metal lures is the preferred method for these fish. High tide is usually the best time to be there, although sunset is also prime time. There’s really no need to fish heavy tackle for salmon. Many salmon anglers make the mistake of using tackle that’s more suited to shark or snapper fishing. Our beaches down here (especially Killarney) don’t require much more than an 8’6 – 9′ rod, matched with a 4000 sized reel and 20lb braid. You’ll be able to cast just as far using a smaller lure and enjoy the fishing even more. I’ve often found that a smaller presentation will often out fish anglers blasting a 60 or 80g metal lure out, and when the water is clear and the fish flighty, it’s a night and day difference. If you do get onto a few salmon, be sure to keep only what you need for food or bait, and let the rest go. It is sad but a lot of these fish do go to waste; it only helps to let a few go. More for the future!

The estuaries have been producing some fantastic fishing over the last few weeks. September, especially during floods like we’re seeing now, is rarely prime time on the rivers. Despite fast flowing and muddy waters right down the Hopkins, there’s been some quality bream and perch caught. Down the lower end of the Hopkins, black blades and scented soft plastics have been the number one selection. I’ve been fishing the river regularly with a few mates, using Daiwa Bait Junkie minnows, Ecogear VX35 and Strike Pro Cyber Vibes. Bream and perch have been all over these lures, from the ski runs right down to the mouth. Plenty of good-sized mullet have also been grabbing lures of all varieties, all through the same locations as the bream. Some clean blue saltwater has also been pushing up on the higher tides. Further upstream, anglers have been running deep hardbodies such as Daiwa’s Spike and getting some cracking bream. Mark Gercovich has been amongst them with some nice catches to show for it. Barry Johnson and Peter White also got amongst some solid perch late last week. It’s still some time before we see the waters clear and drop, and the fish move up on the edges, but for now the fishing is good enough for spring.

Trout have been the main freshwater target this week. With the Merri beginning to drop and clear, that’s been the top spot to try. Fishing larger hardbodies is the go-to tactic during spring locally. Allistar Bourke had a good session during the week using Duo’s Realis minnows. The opening of the 2021/2022 trout season in Victoria unlocks a few more options; that’s how I’ll be spending my weekend. Other fishing options in the freshwater have been a bit slow of late. Redfin have been quiet, and freshwater perch don’t generally fish well this time of year. River Blackfish and Murray Cod closed seasons also came into place this week, for a few months.

There are quite a few options to choose from this week, with no doubt more with the ability to travel! Let’s hope we’re blessed with good weather and even better fishing this week! Tight lines.