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Summer holiday fishing firing up on cue
  |  First Published: December 2012



Summer is well and truly upon us with the holidays now upon us.

That spells an influx of holiday makers heading straight for our beaches and waterways. A definite increase of boat traffic can pose a problem for local fishing enthusiasts but it doesn’t have to be an issue. I personally love this time of year what with many people out and about enjoying the sunny weather.

Also this time of year I fish outside the envelope, so to speak. During the day when everyone is out on the water enjoying themselves, I’m relaxing in the shade or having a nanna nap. When tourists start to vacate the water in the late afternoon and preparing to either go out on the town or fire up the BBQ, I’m preparing for an evening session on the water.

Early morning when the holiday makers are still snuggled up in bed, I’m back out on the water chasing fish and quite often the first to do so.

So there’s no need to get upset with all the tourists flooding our lakes, rivers and estuaries. Remember they are investing vital dollars in our local community and come the beginning February, they’ll be gone.

The Curdies River has been hot with many boaters as well as some intrepid bank anglers chasing bream. Whilst the fish have been spawning the only bait they were even interested in was shrimp, which happened to be scarce in the river. Many anglers imported shrimp in frozen form from another estuary. Now that the breeding season for bream is, by and large, behind us, the fish have once again taken on some ‘normality’ and are now back to taking a wide variety of baits and lures on a given day.

Many fish are averaging around 33cm but there are quite a few larger specimens being landed every so often.

The Gellibrand River at Princetown is also receiving a certain amount of tourist attention but early morning and after dark are prime times to wet a line in the river without all the holiday makers out and about.

After dark large estuary perch are taking live baits such as shrimp suspended under a float or shallow diving lures cast along the bank side reed beds.

Some anglers incorporate a light stick on or above the float to use as a strike indicator as the perch takes can be very aggressive.

Blue-nosed bream are also taking baits such as shrimp, crab and local whitebait fished live and unweighted on the bottom.

Soft plastics and blades are also picking up many fish. From sunset through to sunrise is the time to be having a crack in this often overlooked river.

Currently good snapper, school and gummy shark, sizeable flathead with the odd nannygai and morwong thrown in for good measure are being caught over reefs in depths of 30-40m. Closer inshore smaller pinkies, often in plague proportions are stealing many bottom bouncers’ baits.

The inshore weed beds are holding some superb King George whiting averaging 42cm and the fish are taking pipi, mussel and thin squid strips but don’t delay in getting that berley working first!

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