Stable weather to hit the briny
  |  First Published: April 2015

The autumnal weather is beginning to stabilise allowing many boaters more time to access the briny. Many hardened anglers swear that autumn is the best time of the year to get out and wet a line. No argument from this little duck.

Right along our coastline inhabiting local inshore reefs, yellowtail kingfish from rats to 3kg to hoodlums over 7kg are responding to knife jigs, trolled lures such as Rapala X-raps as well as dropping down juicy baits such as fresh baby squid.

Popular spots have been the inshore reefs that almost enclose Killarney Beach just west of Warrnambool to Grannys Grave just off the mouth of the Hopkins River at Warrnambool. Lady Julia Percy Island that lies directly south of Yambuk is also a hot spot for those who have the watercraft to access the inner reefs that surround this natural fishing fad.

Just offshore in depths of approximately 15m has seen plenty of schools of southern bluefin tuna actively feeding, however most attempts to get these fish to attack baits and lures has fallen on deaf ears. By that I mean tuna ears!

Knife jigs, trolled Rapala X-raps and bait fishing have failed most but a select few have come up trumps sending out fresh whole squid baits unweighted and actually landing the odd fish. It’s a taste of things yet to come so don’t despair!

In similar depths for those who failed to attract a tuna bite there has been plenty of pinkie snapper to 40cm being boated over or near inshore reefs. Please don’t get your hopes up on bagging out as many fish are barely of legal size, if that. Cut pilchard and blue bait has worked here.

Some of our inshore reefs especially just off Killarney Beach just west of Warrnambool have held some impressive King George whiting. In fact, the fish have reached lengths of 51cm, which means close to a 1kg in weight.

Land-based anglers have had a real chance of bagging fish like this and those who launch at Warrnambool and make their way around to this little hot spot are definitely in with a chance. Don’t expect to bag out (daily limit 20), but some anglers have caught in excess of 6-9 fish, especially on dusk.

Fresh pipi meat as well as thin, squid strips baited on a 2/0 bait holder hook have turned up results for a few keen fishos.

Those who can get hold of a cray tail off local pro anglers and using hose stocking twine (to hold the bait on the hook) will certainly get an enquiry or two. So too will distributing berley into the wash on the top of the tide.

The Hopkins River has seen bream to 40cm taking shallow diving minnow lures in the upper reaches simply by twitching close to weed beds and drop offs.

Peterborough Lake has been steady for bream to 38cm taking local live shrimp and ‘greyback’ minnow fished unweighted on top of the weed growth. Those who possess a drag net can legally use it here in the shallows to net the greyback. Pinning the hook through the top jaw of the bait without killing it has seen some excellent bream strikes.

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