From trout to tuna
  |  First Published: October 2014

We have yet again experienced a phenomenal bluefin tuna season with school-sized fish still being caught just several kilometres offshore throughout the month of August and even into September!

The numbers of barrels may have been down compared to previous seasons, but the availability of fish ranging from 6-12kg being in such close proximity to the coast has had a plethora of boaters out on the water trying their luck.

Many also took advantage and bottom bounced baits and plastics in depths averaging around 60m and came up trumps with early season snapper approaching 5kg, nannygai to 1.5kg and gummies to 12kg.

Surf anglers have also been busy with solid King George whiting, gummies, salmon and silver trevally responding to bait and berley with 2 hours either side of high tide being the prime time. If this tidal phase occurs on dusk, even better.

Those putting in the hours on the Port Campbell jetty have also been rewarded with similar species being caught.

The Curdies River has been productive for bream to 39cm with local live shrimp being the number one bait to employ.

Soft plastic enthusiasts have picked up fish in the river in depths approaching 4m, which occurs just a metre or two out from the bank side weed growth. This estuarine river can easily reach depths of up to 8m out in the middle. These depths prove largely unproductive due to a lack of weed growth and oxygenated water. The most productive waters lie within 3m of the river bank and as previously stated, can reach depths approaching 4m.

Many anglers including myself often cast medium diving minnow lures directly at the bank using a fast retrieval. Many of the banks are undercut and bream regularly hold station here, awaiting a morsel to swim by. This also makes trolling lures a very viable proposition. By trolling more ground can be covered in a set period of time compared to static casting. However due to an ever-changing depth, which governs weed growth plus trying to allow for a waterway that literally snakes its way down to the lake and concentrating on the sounder just to keep lures in the strike zone; trolling is no easy feat here, I can tell you.

The bream have, by and large entered the river in preparation for their annual spawning run. This is largely governed by the amount of freshwater pushing downstream. Presently the bream can be found in the lower reaches but if heavy rains stay away, don’t be surprised if schools of bream move up beyond the Boggy Creek (Curdievale) boat ramp.

The Gellibrand River is relatively quiet with the majority of catches of estuary perch and bream being made up of undersize fish.

An excellent fish to target here are sea run brown trout with some fish easily topping 2lbs. They can be found hugging the bank side reed beds with minnow lures, soft plastics and blades all attracting bites.

Whether targeting the sea, surf or estuary this spring is certainly looking like another bumper season down here.

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