After a mild start to winter and a continuation of the awesome bluefin bite, in late June the weather gods finally threw up the conditions one would expect from the Shipwreck Coast in winter.
Come August I’m sure there will be plenty of other wintery blasts, but also hopefully a few windows of opportunities for keen anglers to get out, as there are still plenty of fishing options available even in the depths of winter.
The estuary scene in August should see anglers targeting bream and perch populations in the deeper sections of the river. A lot of keen bream lure anglers aren’t big fans of using vibration baits in the deep water in winter, and for sure it doesn’t compare to a summer surface bite. It can also be frustrating when the sounder is lit up with schooled up fish that refuse to bite. However, it can be a very effective way of catching fish at this time of the year. With many other angling options also out of action with the weather, a leisurely session drifting up the centre of a local estuary and throwing some blades, soft plastics and vibes can be a lot of fun. It is also a good time to take anglers who may not have the proficiency of rod work to cope with a warm month edge bite out for a lure session - if they can handle the cold! Another good thing is that the fish can be targeted all day as opposed to those early morning starts often required in the warmer months. As stated in previous months, the recent increase in mulloway numbers in the south west also can add to the interest levels in such a session.
Bluefin tuna continued to provide plenty of offshore action early in June. It has truly been an exciting season particularly with the fish being very close to shore. This is allowing lots of people the opportunity to get amongst action, usually exclusively available to big boats fishing well offshore. Sneaking out after work for a few quick Bluefin sessions in fantastic conditions really had me pinching myself that it was in fact winter and we were still in Victoria. Many anglers who have had their Bluefin fill have been returning some spectacular bottom fish captures with gummy shark, school shark, decent snapper to 5kg and queen morwong featuring on the cleaning tables. These bottom species are all still an option in August if sea conditions allow access to them. Australian salmon are another winter staple and they have been in good numbers around all the likely local salmon haunts early in June, so I would assume this should continue into August.
One downside of the recent good weather is the trout scene has been fairly quiet due to the lack of flow in the rivers and warm water temps in the lakes. Come August, and given the recent horrid weather, I’m sure the salmonids will have fired up in the colder weather. Remember only fish in the sections of the rivers open at this time of year.Reads: 406