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Bang on the bream
  |  First Published: February 2014



The bream in the Curdies River have certainly been on the chew in recent weeks, with the number one bait being local live shrimp. However, it appears that the spawning season is coming to a close with many fishos noting that at least half of the fish caught for the table are devoid of spawn or ova.

Likewise, the bream are beginning to spread far and wide in the estuary with only a certain amount of fish feeding in the lake as the mouth is still open and under tidal influence. Other fish have been caught upstream in the river as far as Lone Pine.

Soft plastics, metal blades and minnow lures cast tight up against the river bank are also taking many bream.

I fished the lake Sunday morning for 6 solid bream to 39cm with 2 each taking frozen prawn, live shrimp and small spider crab. Thanks to Bill Nelson for netting me some shrimp and crab; Bill managed his bag within 3 hours on Saturday using shrimp.

The Hopkins River has been consistent for bream but many fish are undersize and care should be taken when releasing them. The average decent bream coming on board are barely topping 32cm, however larger bream approaching the high 30s have been landed but these fish are the exception rather than the rule.

Shrimp, cut crab, packet prawn and brown shell are accounting for many. So too are soft plastics and lures. The fish are spread far and wide throughout the estuary but some spots that have recently fired have been opposite the institute over the muddy shallows, Rowans Flats and the channel drop-off along the pumping station strait.

The Gellibrand River at Princetown has estuary perch and sea run brown trout taking metal blades and shallow diving minnow lures fished extremely fast along the bankside reed beds in the lower reaches. Many EP are undersize so please keep the minimum legal size (27cm) in mind. The trout are averaging between 400-700g and are very feisty little critters, especially on light gear.

The whiting fishing has really picked up after being so slow. Many anglers are putting this down to lower than average temperatures experienced in the first half of summer. Since it seems that the seasons are all running up to two months behind it’s finally nice to experience a decent summer and all that goes with it. The whiting are averaging around 42cm with some elbow-slappers coming in close to the magical 50cm mark. The bigger whiting prefer fillets of pilchard and thin strips of calamari over pipis.

The snapper and gummy shark scene is consistent over reefs sitting in 20-40m and plenty of juicy nannygai (red snapper) are still about with the bigger specimens weighing between 1.5-2kg.

The way things are shaping up it looks like autumn will be dry, warm and mild, which should make for some excellent angling opportunities.

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