Spring would have to be my favourite time of year. The cold winter is long behind us and gentle, warm weather and spring rains have replaced those cold, often violent storms.
The heat of summer has yet to rear its head so our waters still run cool. As far as fishing goes, winter species are beginning to make way for the summer run snapper.
Anglers who frequent the jetty at Port Campbell are reaping rewards that are coming in the form of some solid calamari squid. Snapper to 7kg are following the squid inshore in search of an easy feed. As a rule of thumb, the biggest snapper are generally caught prior to the New Year. Afterwards, smaller pinkie snapper replace them, especially in depths up to 20m. The big snapper are still about but reefs out in depths of 40m+ are where to concentrate efforts.
School and gummy shark to 19kg are being picked up not far offshore over weedy and rubble bottom. So too have sand flathead to 900g and nannygai to 1.4kg.
Recently off Port Fairy, two intrepid boaters caught a 100kg tuna in depths less than 200m. The boys were out chasing shark when the tuna showed up and took the bait. Initially, the fish was thought to be a southern bluefin that failed to move on with its brethren on their never-ending pelagic journey around the Southern Ocean. However it was later identified as a Pacific bluefin, which is still a scarce catch in our waters.
Finally some good reports are beginning to filter in from the Gellibrand River at Princetown. Some reasonable bream and estuary perch to 33cm have been caught in the lower reaches. This is great news considering the massive fish kill that took place here over a year ago. The fish are responding to baits such as scrub worm either fished unweighted on the bottom or suspended under a float and fished close to the bankside reed beds. Frozen packet prawn is also picking up a few bream down near the mouth over the sand flats with after dark being the prime time.
September and October has seen plenty of big bream action in the Hopkins River. Plenty of bream approaching and sometimes breeching the 40cm mark have been caught on lure and bait. This is the first time a distinct concentration of blue-nosed bream have been on offer for anglers since the big floods affected this river well over 2 years ago. Baits such as locally sourced brown shell, shrimp and crab have worked well. So too has soft plastics and minnow lures that dive to over 1m.
The heavy winter rains that kept the Curdies River running hard and dirty have long since dissipated and the river has slowly settled down and finally some consistent reports of bream to 41cm have been taken in the lower reaches of the river. Hardbodied minnow lures or soft plastics in shrimp and minnow patterns fished hard up against the bank have also accounted for plenty of fish.Reads: 1032