After being cooped up for a week, with few fishing options around, I bet you’re all keen to get back on the water! Here’s the best options in the south-west when we get released this Friday (tomorrow).

Salmon

The salmon fishing over the last few weeks has been fantastic in the inshore waters of the south-west. The bulk of the action has been from Killarney Beach, but fish are also being taken out of boats towards Port Fairy and off the East Beach. Casting metal lures and small stickbaits into the surf on a high tide, either side of the sand point has been the preferred tactic over at Killarney. At Port Fairy, trolling small divers and metals inside the bay and along the back of the beaches will find fish. Scott Gray has also pulled the fly rod out and had a wave of the wand once a school ┬áis found. There’s been some really good sized fish, and big schools of them, so on a calm day large black patches of fish can be seen moving along the sand behind the breakers. These schools look like a reef, but if they are moving up and down the beach there’s only one thing it can be!

Trout

The south-west rivers are at a really good flow level and in their prime to produce some great fish this winter. The Merri River weir is always a popular spot and for good reason too; it gives up some big fish. The junction of the Hopkins River and Mount Emu Creek is another productive location, and the Hopkins Falls (both walking downstream). At this time of year the brown trout are in an aggressive mood as they try and spawn, often eating out of aggression rather than hunger. The trout don’t have much success spawning in the south-west rivers, unlike elsewhere in the state where targeting spawning trout isn’t the best idea for keeping a trout population in the river. I’d recommend 3″ soft plastics and 75mm hardbodies (eg Rapala F7, Daiwa Double Clutch, Daiwa Presso) for this time of year.

Tuna

The barrels have been going hard last few weeks. The bulk of the action has been between Warrnambool and Apollo Bay where big schools of bait and tuna have been feeding around the gas rig. Fish to 120kg have been taken. There’s also really good numbers of school fish, in that same area but also off most of the usual ports locally. These fish haven’t seen much pressure this week (apart from the few boats breaking the rules and sneaking out), but we should see plenty of tuna reports in this week if the weather allows.

Let’s just hope for a good week weather wise and the opportunity to get out there!