Silver light in gloomy conditions
  |  First Published: September 2011

One good thing about fishing in the Warrnambool area is the variety of options that occur all year round.

Basically whatever the season, whatever the weather, there is usually a few different targets for anglers to pursue.

That theory has been pushed to the limit in the last month with horrendous weather and water conditions keeping all but the keenest anglers indoors.

Trout fishing is always a winter staple and most keen river anglers await the times of high flow to move the fish into the shallow runs. However recently the rivers are running too high, too fast and too dirty to even make this form of angling practical. Hopefully come September, when all the regions rivers re-open completely with the new trout season, levels will have dropped enough to produce some good angling.

Let’s hope that by September we start to experience some great spring weather and some fantastic fishing due to the effects of the sodden last few months. In years past when water levels remain high for a long period of time there can be some good flood plain trouting on the lower Merri.

I haven’t heard any report of this occurring as yet but it could be an option worth trying if levels remain high for a prolonged period.

The estuaries are also very high and dirty and, combined with the strong winds, haven’t been an attractive proposition of late. Soaking peeled prawns in tuna oil used to be a good method during times of high dirty water when even obtaining fresh bait is impossible. Fly anglers also have success fishing the lower extremities with dark coloured flies under these conditions. The best estuarine option of late has been the silver trevally in the Moyne River.

The back passage is separated from the main river and thus remains free of the dirty water, making it more suitable for the trevally. Good fish averaging 35-40cm and up to 55cm have been taken on the high tides or at dusk and into the night. Baits such as bluebait, whitebait and pipis fished on a paternoster rig have worked well, while heavily weighted soft plastics and vibe lures have also produced fish for lure anglers.

As you would also expect, offshore and surf options have also been severely limited with the current conditions. There have still been school bluefin present off Port Fairy but getting out there amongst them has been the problem. There have been precious few windows of opportunity recently, even for those in big seaworthy boats to get just to the inshore areas where the fish have been.

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