It seems that the big Hopkins River bream went well upstream last year in an attempt to find the right salinity in which to spawn.
They went early and stayed late so it now appears. Mid summer saw solid bream start to move back down and fish to 40cm were caught by anglers targeting estuary perch with hardbodied lures in the upper reaches for quite some time. Areas such as Jubilee Park and Tooram Stones suddenly came alive with good bream.
Since then the fish have apparently moved down as far as the pumping station, which is not far from the road bridge.
However I did receive one very recent report from two anglers who managed six bream in a short session to 34cm using frozen packet prawn. All fish were taken in the lower reaches of the river. This is contrary to other reports I have received involving bigger fish. Only time will truly tell if the Hopkins bream fishing has once again returned to a status quo.
The Curdies River has been quite productive of late even though the southwest is currently experiencing a ‘mini’ drought. Less than 20mm of rain fell in January and February has shaped up to be consistently warm and dry.
With the mouth long closed the lake levels at Peterborough are low and choked with weed making boat launching and travelling to the river mouth near impossible. All boaters are launching at Curdievale (Boggy Creek) and heading downstream to the river mouth in search of bream with mixed results.
However myself and very few others have travelled in the opposite direction and found plenty of fish to 38cm way upstream. Plastics such as Gulp 2” shrimp as well as live shrimp netted in the weed have accounted for nearly all fish caught.
The offshore scene is still going great guns with plenty of calamari, King George whiting and small snapper about in depths less than 20m.
Don’t discount the Port Campbell jetty for squid and whiting. An incoming tide and lots of berley increase the chances of taking home a feed or two.
In depths varying from 30-70m some solid snapper to 8kg have been pulled off deeper reefs. So too have gummy shark to 23kg, nannygai to 1.5kg and from nearby sand patches, flathead to 1.8kg.
Southern bluefin tuna from 13-30kg continue to be caught in depths varying from 35-50m. The schools are small and the tuna seem to be chasing schools of sauries and large pilchards that are congregating inshore. The by-catch has been large Australian salmon to 4kg that are also chasing the same bait fish. I have an unconfirmed report of boaters launching from Port Fairy and travelling out to 70m depth to fish for mako shark but instead coming across a school of SBTs and landing a couple of 30kg specimens.
All in all, the fishing scene in the southwest is going great guns but some much needed rain is required to freshen up our estuaries right now.
A solid Curdies River bream taken well upstream from other anglers.Reads: 639