Although levels are still low, the water quality in the Curdies River and lake remains high. Bream to 39cm are on offer to anglers using a wide variety of baits and lures.
The mouth of the Curdies River remains closed, so natural baits such as Greyback minnow (whitebait) and shrimp are relatively scarce, so frozen packet baits such as prawn and ‘glassies’ have come into their own.
Many fish are feeding in the lake but unless you own a flat-bottomed bass boat or kayak, much of the lake remains off limits. Even in my bass boat I have to raise the outboard and put my electric into shallow drive just to navigate about.
Soft plastics are also catching many fish but due to such shallow water the fish spook easily when moving around. A heavier jighead is required just to gain some distance from the boat. At the same time the plastic must be fished fairly quickly to clear any bottom dwelling weed growth. So a ‘slow roll’ must be employed just to clear the weed but at the same time the angler must keep the plastic from breaking the surface; for some unknown reason it tends to spook the bream here, especially when there is a distinct lack of wind to agitate the water’s surface tension.
Unfortunately I still have little to report on the Gellibrand River at Princetown. Last year’s massive fish kill has apparently taken out the mature stocks of bream and estuary perch. Smaller bream are about, as well as mullet, juvenile salmon and plenty of sea run brown trout, but it’s going to take quite some years for stocks to build up.
Upstream in the freshwater section some excellent native blackfish to 1.8kg have been taken in and around snags on local ‘Chapplevale’ scrub worm and bait sized yabbies. Brown trout to 600g have also been taken on spinner type lures cast at the inflows to any open body or pool of slower moving stretch of water.
The tuna season is all go with all roads leading to Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland abuzz with vehicles towing huge ocean going craft. Plenty of southern bluefin and albacore to 25kg are being taken in depths from 300-700m.
Over on the South Australian border, big barrels to 120kg have been caught out wide while smaller fish from 6-15kg have been taken much closer inshore in depths as little as 20m. And these fish will inevitably be heading our way!Reads: 1932