End at nigh but on a high
  |  First Published: July 2014

Come July we should be nearing the end of what has been a pretty impressive tuna season. There have been plenty of fish at the shelf, with barrels at various locations, and good numbers of albacore and mahi mahi. Good weather windows have kept local fishers, and many who make the journey down to the southwest, fairly content.

Only one barrel was landed locally with a 93kg fish landed by Dan Hoey of Salty Dog Charters off Point Fairy in May. During July the tuna are still often there this late in the season but a lack of suitable conditions and the fact that most have been giving it a good crack for a few months, tends to limit the number of boats chasing the fish.

Offshore anglers have also been using the recent good weather conditions to their advantage by targeting the local gummy shark population. The proliferation of tuna frames and bits and pieces make for great bait at this time of year for this pursuit. Once again, gummies are still a viable July target, if the weather allows and we are due for some serious winter weather given the brilliant late autumn conditions.

The Hopkins River has still been producing the odd mulloway surprise for bream anglers either fishing with cut mullet or lures. The good size estuary perch that were biting well in the freshwater section of the Hopkins during May, should be moving downstream and be a viable target in the estuary section during May.

Despite the cooling conditions good catches of bream and estuary perch can be taken on deep-water techniques, such as vibing and heavily weighted plastics in areas around the ski lane section.

The Moyne River has also been fishing well of late with some big daytime tides for a variety of species, including mullet, trevally, small salmon, bream and the odd school mulloway.

The trout fishing that began to fire with the rain in May, soon dropped off with the ensuing weeks of fine warm weather. Even though it is July and most trout streams in the state are closed, there are still sections of some local rivers open for trout fishing due to their sea-run classification. They are: the Merri River (downstream of the Bromfield Weir) the Hopkins River (downstream of the Hopkins Falls), the Moyne River (downstream of the Toolong Bridge) and the Gellibrand River (downstream of the Great Ocean Road Bridge.)

The number of northerly wind days recently has produced plenty of suitable conditions for those targeting salmon along the surf beaches. Wandering along casting a metal slice is a productive method that continues to gain popularity as opposed to the more traditional stationary bait fishing techniques.

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