Summer can be tough, but also great time, to fish. The influx of tourists to our region has been great for businesses, but boat ramps, jetties and river banks can begin to resemble Bourke Street as anglers line up. So how can we deal with all this added traffic, and then the shy fish that go along with it?
Early and Late
Your typical holiday angler is one to sleep in, have breakfast with the family, buy a bit of bait and wander down to the water mid to late morning. Hitting the water before sunrise, or staying after dark, is a good way to have more water to yourself, but also be out in the prime fishing time. During summer, many fish become shy during the daylight hours with constant ski boats, walkers, swimmers and anglers crossing their paths, so night time is when feeding begins. This is especially true for fish like bream, perch, trout and mulloway in rivers where human activity is more concentrated.
Off The Beaten Track
The south-west of Victoria is blessed with an extensive coastline and many inland hotspots, many only known to locals. These spots will be the go during the holiday period as the average weekend warrior will have no idea about your honey hole. For instance, instead of fishing off the Warrnambool breakwater shoulder to shoulder with other anglers, the coastline around Lake Gillear would be your better option for a land based snapper or salmon. More fish and less people is the reward for anglers who get off the main spots.
Try New Things
Think of how many of the same stickbaits our summer kingfish see, or how many Motor Oil Z-Man soft plastics our bream see in the holiday period. Fish have much better memories than we give them credit for, and will certainly get smarter and smarter the more lures/baits they see. Come the end of summer, and the fish probably hesitate to eat an actual baitfish! Trying different lures to what everyone else is throwing is a smart move, give the fish something they haven’t yet seen.
Different Target Species
The old faithful summer targets (snapper, whiting, squid, bream) sure get a bit of pressure over summer along our coastline. Summer can be a great time to chase a few less targeted fish, and then get back into the more popular options either side of summer when there’s less pressure. Fish like sweep or redfin can be a lot of fun and much easier to catch over summer.