Big salmon on the agenda
  |  First Published: September 2013

Plenty of anglers have been reaping the benefits of solid Australian salmon.

One popular spot has been Newfield Bay near Peterborough where some absolute thumpers to 3.2kg have been hooked and landed amongst smaller specimens that are averaging around 800g. Again the placement of baits such as squid tentacles and fillets of pilchard right in the many gutters in and around the top of the tide has seen the majority of catches take place.

The southern bluefin tuna scene quietened right off as winter ended, with many boaters feeling that the season ended prematurely. Catch rates dropped right off with almost no reports coming in from Portland, Port Fairy and Warrnambool, however after a bit of investigation plenty of tuna ere being landed just over the South Australian border off shore from Port MacDonnell.

As these schools travel from west to east on their never ending pelagic journey around the globe it should be only a matter of time before these schools hit our shores. The only down side is that all of these fish are battling to pull the scales down to 12kg.

Calamari are now moving en masse inshore to mate, lay eggs and complete their lifecycle. Snapper are following them in, no doubt looking forward to their annual feast of squid prior to spawning themselves. Already reports are coming in along our coastline of snapper to 4kg being caught in depths of 40-70m. Boaters chasing school and gummy shark seem to have been the first to come across the incoming red brigade.

Land-based squid anglers have had great success simply by putting in the hours off the Port Campbell jetty and jigging. The best time is still at night with those braving the elements being rewarded with plenty of squid but in saying that there has been plenty of squid action occurring during daylight hours.

The big news in the estuary scene has been some thumping estuary perch to 52cm being taken from the upper and lower reaches of the Hopkins River. Plenty of perch of all sizes have been caught but quite a few have certainly been in the upper echelon.

Perch from 45-51cm have been literally pulled out from underneath Proudfoots Restaurant which is built out over the river not far from the mouth, with minnow lures cast and retrieved in and around the pylons has been successful. Nearby, the moored boats are also holding fish and so too is the road bridge.

Upstream in the fresh from Tooram Stones through to Cudgee, those walking the banks casting minnow lures on dusk and after dark have taken more perch to 52cm. Other stretches of the river, even in the estuary itself are holding EPs. It’s just a matter of finding a concentration of fish and waiting until they switch on.

Thanks to the recent rains all of our rivers and estuaries now seem to have some flow happening and although not all river mouths have opened to the sea as yet one can only hope that this will occur in the near future giving many estuaries a welcome and long overdue flush out.

Bigger estuary perch can be taken under the cover of darkness.

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