Summer sharking
  |  First Published: March 2012

Summer south easterlies have been the bane of offshore anglers so far this summer.

However when conditions are good, combined with some good water temperatures that we have been having, excellent captures have been occurring. March is often a great time for offshore anglers if these temperatures hold, with all the summer species still being available and the first signs of tuna a possibility off the shelf as well.

Shark fishing has been the highlight locally for a variety of species. Warm water temperatures have seen some great captures, and many near misses as well by anglers fishing for mako sharks.

Many of these acrobatic speedsters have earned their freedom from despairing anglers. One that didn’t get away though was a 193kg beast taken mid summer in 50m of water off Warrnambool.

Gummy and school sharks continue to feature in anglers bags and have been consistent for some time now. A more unusual occurrence has been reports of a decent-sized shark of some description cruising in the Hopkins. Seals have been encountered up the river in recent years so there is no reason to think the rumour is impossible and the beach at Port Fairy was even closed for some time one day due to the presence of a large shark.

We have encountered hammerhead sharks whilst fishing for kings at Portland which are an unusual shark to come cross in this part of the world. About the only species I haven’t heard of are the hard fighting thresher sharks. Threshers are often a good possibility and a popular target in March though, with the waters behind the Killarney/ basin areas in 12-40m a good spot to start a trail.

King George whiting have been biting well off the beach at Killarney of an evening and should still be available during March. Kingfish have been a bit sporadic locally, isolated reports from Killarney and the areas west of Port Fairy, but also many of anglers putting in a lot of effort for little result.

On the estuary scene, bait in the form of pod worms are readily available at the mouth of the Hopkins river at the moment and can be quickly converted into some good bream in the same area.

Come March, the river will probably be closed for the first time in a long time after the many high water flows in 2011, as it is almost closed at the time of writing. The rising water over the new ground should produce some good angling as fish, both bream and estuary perch move into the recently flooded ground to feed.

The Curdies River is producing good bream at the moment both in the lake and at the other extremities up in the tea tree lined areas away from the water skiers. On the freshwater scene no trout reports recently but Lake Gillear has been producing some good redfin to over 1kg.

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