Mulloway fishing in the Hopkins River continues to be as productive as it has been for many years.
In late November to early December, anglers were taking fish from upstream above Jubilee Park, to right down near the mouth and at various locations in between. Using cubes of pilchard or mullet unweighted on light gear was a fun and easy way of connecting with a mulloway as well as some quality bream.
Lure anglers also were capturing these fish both casting and trolling with the Daiwa Double Clutch being a stand out hardbody. Soft plastics mimicking the prolific schools of whitebait were also successful.
Most fish are still just either side of legal, but would be great holiday targets during January if they stick around. Remember to carefully release any fish under 60cm, because they are the future of this improving fishery.
Whilst the bream and mulloway have been good, perch have been somewhat quiet, although a warm January night is always likely to produce some good surface fishing action for perch.
Kingfish will be a much sought after target during January. Last year west of Port Fairy was the hot area with just the odd fish coming from Killarney and the Basin areas. North Shore also had a quiet season last year on the king scene. Each year is different and it is always best to keep your eyes peeled for schools on the surface. Kingfish, even once located, can be notoriously fussy at times so be prepared to have a variety of strategies, from live baits to stick baits and various large soft plastics in your arsenal to try and tempt them. Also, make sure your equipment is well maintained and up to scratch in case you do hook up.
King George whiting have been in good numbers inshore recently and will be a popular target for anglers in January. Sand holes around reef and weed beds around Lady Bay, Killarney and Point Fairy bay are the places to try. A feed of calamari is also on the cards in these areas at this time of year.
No matter which of many options available, one of the great contributors to angling success in these busy summer holiday months is to get out on the water early or late. These low light periods not only are prime feeding times for many species, but also helps avoid the majority of holiday anglers. It’s amazing how a productive early morning fishery can be a piscatorial desert as the sun gets high in the sky and boat traffic increases. Morning sessions also have the added advantage of negating the sometimes ever-present summer southeasterlies that are the bane of anglers at this time of year.Reads: 808