Trout and Tuna still the go
  |  First Published: July 2011

The big southern bluefin tuna that showed themselves during the 2010 season off Port Fairy/ Warrnambool haven’t eventuated at the same time this year.

School fish between 8-14kg have been the most frequently encountered fish, but aren’t in the numbers that they are further west. Most fish are coming from out wide with 70m to the shelf areas being more productive than the inshore areas that fired last year.

Smaller skirts and hardbodied lures have been the key if the fish are proving to be finicky. There are still a few makos around and I know of at least one good thresher taken in the area whilst tuna fishing.

Gummy shark are still featuring in the bags of offshore bottom bouncers with a few pinkie snapper. A couple of school mulloway were also taken in the Moyne by anglers doing late night vigils.

With the amount of small tuna being encountered in close off the Portland to Cape Bridgewater region in mid June, I’m sure there will be a few that have moved east come July.

On the estuary scene the Hopkins has been particularity quiet the past few weeks on the bream front with just a few medium-sized perch being the main captures. Interestingly though, plenty of quality bream around 40cm have been taken from the Merri River.

These fish are being taken around the Stanley Street Bridge mainly by bait anglers but there have been a few taken on lure and fly.

Usually in July the trout season is just beginning to hot up locally but this year with the continual bursts of flooding rains it’s just been one continual opportunity to target trout in flowing water.

I thought my reluctance to do much trout fishing earlier in the season was due to focusing on other species even though river conditions were unseasonably perfect. Then I heard about the size of a snake that had taken up residence at one of my favourite spots…another good reason why trout fishing in the cooler winter months is best!!!

Most fish I’ve heard of recently have been taken from the Merri. However last season the Hopkins River received a stocking of 4000 brown trout, up from the usual 2000 fish in 2010. That combined with a wet summer/autumn should provide some great fishing this year.

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