After the excellent angling conditions experienced during early January, it was only natural that the weather would turn bad later on in the month. When conditions have allowed, however, some excellent captures have been made along the west coast.
Pinky snapper are prolific offshore, with many anglers targeting them on soft plastics. The waters of Lady Bay have produced some good pinkies, along with some quality whiting. Whiting have also been biting well just before dark in the Killarney and Port Fairy areas.
Some smaller kingfish have been taken in these areas as well, but most keen kingfish anglers have headed to Portland to tangle with the larger run of fish there. Some good thresher sharks have been taken locally with fish of over 50kg encountered by anglers targeting these greyhounds of the sea, as well as by snapper fishers who have had an unexpected encounter.
Estuary fishing has been good over the summer holiday period. The Curdies has been quiet, but the Hopkins has been fishing exceptionally well. Bait and lure anglers have caught good bags of bream, with plenty of kilo plus fish among them. The lower reaches of the river have been particularly productive.
There have also been plenty of mullet, small salmon and trevally in the river, but there are no recent reports of mulloway (which is strange given how long the mouth has remained open). There have also been some interesting incidental captures such as pinky snapper and some big golden perch, so you never know what you might come across. Further upstream, in the freshwater, Darren from Wilderness Kayak adventures reports encountering estuary perch, which can be a good option in March if the sea conditions ruin your planned offshore excursion.
With the dry conditions inland, more and more anglers are trying their luck along the coast. Just remember though, this area of coast is exceptionally dangerous and there are often several days in a row when it is simply not suitable to go to sea – no matter how well the fish have been biting. This limited access is one of the main reasons that the offshore fishing here is so productive in the right conditions.
March is one of the most reliable months weatherwise, however, so with the warm water all the summer species should still be available. Hopefully they will be accompanied by the start of the bluefin run. It makes for a perfect time for the Hooked on Rods and Reels Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic. It will be on from March 8-16. With senior and junior prizes in 13 categories ranging from game species to freshwater species, there is something for everybody.