Dive into Cray Season
  |  First Published: November 2011

It seems like it’s been forever coming, but finally things seem to be improving after an extended duration of conditions that have restricted many angling options.

As I write the rivers are beginning to clear up and the weather is starting to show signs that we are finally heading into the warmer season. Hopefully during November our local waterways will be showing the ecological benefit of the prolonged wet period and the fishing will be firing up.

At this stage the Merri and the Curdies rivers have cleared quicker than the Hopkins. This has seen trout fishing slow in the Merri but the bream fishing has really begun to pick up in the Curdies. The bream have began to push up from the lake and can be found up stream towards the ski area both midstream and also on the edges.

The fish in the Hopkins also appear to have begun their upstream migration despite the dirty water, with bait anglers taking good fish in the deeper areas above Kinears. Yambuk Lake has also fished well for bream at times with the best captures coming downstream from the lake.

The Merri, whilst still producing a few good-sized trout hasn’t produced the number of fish one would expect given the conditions. Perhaps the fish kill earlier in the year had more effect than first thought. The Hopkins and the Mt Emu have been fishing well; if also a little inconsistently, perhaps due to the extended period these rivers have remained up the past few months.

At least the trout fishing has given anglers something to focus on during this cold wet and windy period. As for other options recently, some salmon have been taken off the beaches with Levi’s beach and around Peterborough producing some good fish to 3kg. Anglers spinning with metal slice lures have been producing the best captures.

Anglers that have been able to get offshore are still getting the odd gummy shark. Come November they, along with snapper, will be the main focus, as anglers hopefully will have more windows of opportunity to head offshore.

The early season snapper fishing off Warrnambool and Port Fairy has produced plenty of good fish from 2-5kg the last few years and anglers will be hoping for more of the same this year.

Bottom fishing in 25-40m of water is the place to target these fish along with the by-catch of school and gummy shark, squid and the odd blue morwong.

On the inshore scene with crayfish season opening on November 16th, many divers will be scouring the local reefs in search of these fine-eating crustaceans. Don’t forget to check size limits and stick to the bag limit of 2 per person.

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