Wet winter quiet should break
  |  First Published: October 2012

A traditionally wet winter has been keeping things fairly quiet on the angling scene in the south west.

Even the expected winter staples of salmon and trout have even been a bit quiet. Despite a wonderful 3kg capture by Leyton Bennet, the lower Merri trout have been hard work, particularly the larger models.

Bream in the Hopkins have also been inconsistent, however good bags of estuary perch have been taken when anglers have been able to locate fish in the dirty water.

Even though we’re into the second month of spring, October can still have a very wintry flavour in the south west.

While the snapper season will be starting to hit top gear in Port Phillip and Western Port, things on the saltwater scene usually take a bit longer to fire up as the water temperatures slowly rise. Nevertheless some good snapper to 65cm and gummy sharks have been taken during the very few windows of good weather conditions recently in deeper waters.

October has also been known to throw up some decent weather and flat seas. As it’s too early for kingfish and crayfish season (November 15), a better option may be to try a bit of surf fishing for shark. If you get a patch of good weather, places like Logans, East and Yambuk beaches can produce good gummies and seven-gill sharks. The salmon you have been stocking the freezer with over the colder months are great bait for this type of fishing.

The inshore reefs should also see a few squid around for you to stock up on for bait for the summer ahead – if you can resist the temptation of eating them. Shallow reefs around Port Fairy and Lady Bay as well as the Warrnambool breakwater and Port Campbell jetty are good areas to target the squid.

Moyne River often has a population of bream and silver trevally at this time of year to test the drags. Mulloway are also are common target and the turn of the high tide is a popular time to try for them with live mullet, spew worms and clickers (Bass yabbies) being the most productive baits. Mulloway in the Hopkins have become somewhat of a mythical beast over the past couple of seasons. Hopefully things change this year, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Trout fishing should be good in all the local rivers and lakes this spring with all the rain we have had. Despite these rivers being termed ‘sea run trout fisheries’ most trout taken are resident estuary dwelling fish. However if you were going to tangle with a true sea runner, October is the time to be looking.

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