Here’s hoping for less wind and more fish in December
  |  First Published: December 2013

I’m not concerned about global warming; it’s global blowing that seems to be the problem here in the south west of Victoria recently.

Although the fact that boats can’t continually access the offshore fishing in the area that keeps the fishery productive, it does get frustrating at times. Recently this has been the case with precious little opportunity for anglers to access the good shark and snapper fishing that has been available to those who have managed to sneak out in a gap in the weather.

Come December these species should still be available to offshore anglers, although pinkie-sized snapper will start to become more abundant than the better specimens. The first yellowtail kingfish of the season should also be around towards the end of the month and mako sharks will also be a distinct possibility for those willing to put in the time and berley.

The inshore areas should also begin to fire as water temperatures rise. The Killarney area and the inshore areas just out from the Moyne at Port Fairy and in Lady Bay at Warrnambool can produce some good whiting in the 40-45cm range at this time of year as well. Drifting or using an electric engine around the shallow bay areas in calm, clear conditions sight casting to squid is not only but a great way to get a quality feed but great fun too. Cray season will also be in full swing with both divers and hoop netters hoping for good conditions to target their quarry.

December is perhaps my favourite time for fishing the Hopkins River, before the holiday crowds really come out in force. Warmer conditions often see shallow water and surface techniques providing some spectacular luring action. Big bream hooked in shallow water at this time of year really know how to make a drag wail.

Small mulloway are also still turning up as by-catch both in the Hopkins and around the district. Just having the chance of coming across a mulloway, something that hasn’t occurred with regularity for a few years, makes estuarine excursions all the more interesting. Estuary perch have been in good numbers downstream with the dirty water recently but should be pushing back upstream come December. Yambuk Lake has produced some good bags of bream in the past month. Most fish have been taken in the lower reaches, no doubt pushed down by the recent rains.

Trout should be the last thing on peoples angling agenda at this time of year. However as I write another big rain event has pushed the rivers up to high winter levels which often brings the trout on the bite. It’s always a good option if the weather curtails your desire to fish offshore.

The first kings of the season should hopefully turn up in late December.

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