Variety for summer
  |  First Published: December 2010

January is a popular time for both holiday and seasoned anglers to get out and about around the Warrnambool district.

However the holiday season is renowned for throwing up anything weather-wise. Winter-like wind and rain, the non-stop southeasterlies or (hopefully) the fine calm sunny warm weather both anglers and holiday-makers hope for. But despite what the weather gods throw at us there are always plenty of different places for anglers to consider wetting a line.

Many holiday destinations have just one super spot or species, and if it shuts down for one reason or another then the trip could be wasted. But here there are a wide variety of options to try out to satisfy the keenest of anglers.

Fine weather and flat seas

If you have a safe and seaworthy boat heading out from any of the local ramps to the 30-40m region usually produces some productive bottom fishing for snapper and gummy sharks. Berleying for pelagic game sharks is another option for those suitably equipped.

Try trolling for Australian salmon, yellowtail kingfish and snook around the shallow reef areas.

Drop netting similar areas for crayfish is also best in such conditions. Try throwing plastics for pinkie snapper in between hauling up the hoop nets.

Average weather

If sea conditions aren’t great there are plenty of good inshore options only 1-2km from any local ramp for fish such as pinkie snapper, salmon, squid and whiting. Morning produces the best conditions before the sea breeze gets up.

There are plenty of productive surf beaches to spend a summers evening that can produce fish such as pinkies, mullet and salmon with the chance of the odd gummy or mulloway.

Poor weather/rough seas

The Warrnambool breakwater and the rock wall at the mouth of the Moyne is best fished in such conditions for pinkies and salmon.

There are plenty of estuaries from the Curdies to the Fitzroy that produce good bream and mullet fishing for the holiday angler. Add estuary perch and the odd school mulloway if you’re fishing the Hopkins. Often the wetter and windier the weather is, the better for the estuary fishing is at this time of year.


Trout can still be taken over the summer. Bait fishing the deeper holes with shrimp or mudeyes or flicking natural toned soft plastic stickbaits is the best option. Redfin are also a popular summer option. Lake Gillear, Lake Aringa and Lake Ellingamite are the best local options to try and secure some sweet tasting redfin.

Perhaps one of the most important things about being successful over the holiday period, whatever option you choose, is doing the hard yards and getting up early to fish first light and trying to avoid the crowds as best as possible.

Avoiding the crowds hasn’t been much of a problem recently as the continued big wet has hindered many anglers’ plans. When boats have been able to get out good snapper and gummy sharks have been taken off Warrnambool and Port Fairy.

The Hopkins and Curdies rivers have been fishing well for bream when the river clears in-between each flush of fresh water. Hopefully all this 2010 rain will see us have a bumper angling season in 2011

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