Bang on the bream bag
  |  First Published: April 2014

Those very uncomfortable days when the mercury hovers close to 40ºC are thankfully over for another year. All we need now is some solid rain in which to freshen up our estuaries.

Autumn is the prime time of the year to get out on the water and chase bream. The holiday crowds (barring Easter) have well and truly gone back to work/school leaving our waters less crowded for those who consider themselves dedicated angling enthusiasts.

But after a hot summer and distinct lack of rain, all of our estuaries’ mouths have closed to the sea scattering the bream throughout the various systems so they can be a little harder to locate on a given day. In saying that, the sheer size of the bream on offer is, as a general rule, on the larger side of things.

Presently the Curdies River is no exception to this rule. The bream being taken are bigger than the norm however the fishing can best be described as hot one day and quite chilly the next. A considerable amount of time is being invested by anglers simply trying to track down a school of feeding fish. Those who crack the code are well rewarded with some fish approaching 40cm in length while other anglers simply go without.

The big news is what’s happening on the saltwater scene. Where do I begin? Well, we have had some windy weather of late that kept many boaters close inshore but as it turned out this was a good thing. Snapper to 55cm have been taken in depths as low as 3m. The fish have apparently come right in close to feed in the turbulent water. This has been good news for the land-based angler. Those setting cray pots on inshore reefs have been well rewarded with plenty of those succulent red beasts being caught. This season would have to be considered an absolute cracker for crays!

Further offshore in depths approaching 55m, sand flathead to 900g have been a common catch, especially on the drift. Gummy sharks to 17kg and yellowtail kingfish to 11kg are about, but many boaters that specifically target them are really putting in the hours in which to attract a take. The current kingy season in the southwest can be best described as below average.

Here’s a bit of southern bluefin tuna news to whet appetites: Apparently spotter planes have been tracking schools out wide off South Australia and the news appears to be all good. Schools of smaller tuna the size of football fields are on their way eastwards to southwestern Victorian waters. So too are smaller schools numbering up to 50 individuals of much larger SBTs that have been estimated in excess of 100kg.

This aerial surveying of SBT is all thanks to the fact that commercial long liners are now allowed to work the tuna schools off our coastline. Let’s hope that the quota system is fair and many fish are left for amateur anglers to chase as we all know which group of fishos benefit our local economies more!

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