The past week has seen the south west blessed with some great weather and some even better fishing to go with that. Calm seas have made the venture out more comfortable and the rivers have got a good workout also.
Saltwater: As I mentioned in the intro the calm seas continued this last week and anglers took full advantage of this with some great captures of a variety of species. There was a welcome sight of some quality snapper this past week for those bottom bouncing off both Warrnambool and Port Fairy. Scott Gray, Ed Richardson and Stephen Rhook headed out onboard Zac Cross’ 9m Sea Cruiser from Cross Country charters where they had a great day. The boys caught a variety of bottom fish including some Tassie Trumps, Snapper, Nannygai and Blue Eye Trevalla. A relatively unknown species in years gone past the Tassie Trump or Striped Trumpeter is becoming a regular target species due to their hard fighting nature and exceptional tasting on the plate. Sam Powell and Gary Kermond weren’t be outdone and also joined the Tassie party with 3 of their own also on Saturday. Just when we thought they were an uncommon species in our waters the Dance boys took David “Butch” Cassidy out and they also landed 3 trumps. The best part of all this is due to their unknown habits and migration patterns the peak body for recreational fishing in Victoria VR Fish are undertaking research of fish frames donated by recreational anglers such as the above anglers mentioned who all donated the frames towards the research. With this data they will be able to hopefully work out their migration patterns, growth rates and just a general overview of their stock numbers thanks to anglers. It hasn’t all been about the trumps though with some big Gummies being caught by some very happy anglers. Anne-Marie Oosthuizen just can’t help but catch quality fish with a 26.2kg Gummy from Saturday along with some knife jaw, snapper and a small Mako shark also taken for a wicked feed for the whole family. Scott Adinsall also landed a 26kg Gummy but this was in 50m of water off Port Fairy which is great for the smaller boats that still want to get into some of the action. The tuna reports are thin but there is dribs and drabs of fish being caught by those putting in the time. There has been some reports of barrels being marked up out deep off Port Fairy but a capture is yet to be had. Another welcome sighting is that there is a steady run of Salmon off the beaches and also off the Breakwater after a slow start to the season. Bruce Henderson caught some nice fish while fishing Levi’s Beach during the week from a short session. Hopefully we see some of the big fish that we are all used to this time of year after a bit of a flop of a season last year.
Estuaries: The Curdies River continues to produce some quality fishing this past week for both bait fisherman and lure casters too. After being told how well it was fishing I finally bit the bullet and went Sunday and after a freezing cold start the action soon heated up. Myself, Tim Vincent and Lewis Holland landed a heap of quality Bream on both soft plastics and metal blades cast into the drop offs. Even with the increased boat traffic the fish were very aggressive towards our lures especially after we swapped to a lighter jig head that allowed the plastic to sit in the strike zone longer. The most productive area was around Dances Road near the Quarry and the last straight before entering the lake. Michael Hunt also had a great day landing some nice fish also on soft plastics. The Hopkins River has again thrown up curve balls for anglers and seem to be moving around quite a lot with some anglers getting a few fish one day and not even a bite the next. Mulloway have been spotted by those fishing around the ski run but only by their fish finders. There was one caught below the bridge by Graham which measured 78cm who puts in a lot of time for them. If you can handle the cold it’s definitely worth sitting out there and having a crack at them. Live mullet or cut baits are the standout baits in winter so putting a bit of time into getting fresh bait is a must to be successful.
Freshwater: Lake Purrumbete is proving to be a frustrating place for most anglers lately on the trout scene. Lots of big fish have been sighted but the conversion rate to these as captures is very low. We fished the lake Sunday afternoon after the Curdies and sighted 4 fish in a short session. None of these fish committed to the lure and after speaking to a gun angler who said the same thing it was starting to sound like an all round struggle that day. One of our customers Craig stopped in for some advice on the way to Purrumbete and after getting some advice he landed a big rainbow measuring 62cm which is a quality fish in anyone’s book. This particular fish took a Rapala Spotted Dog taken on the troll which Craig was pumped with. The Hopkins and Merri Rivers have started to dirty up which is go time for trout anglers and that’s exactly what Murray McDonald did paying off with a healthy 4lb+ brown taken behind Nestles on a worm fished on the bottom. Proof that you don’t need flash lures to catch a trout and the old worm still catches just as many fish.
With some fresh days coming up over the weekend and a big high tide in the afternoon we should see some more estuaries firing up with some salt water pushing into them. Conditions don’t look favourable for offshore fishing due to some swell and wind predicted. Hopefully everyone has a great weekend and lands something to get their fix. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.