Full estuaries need a flush
  |  First Published: September 2015

Mid July finally saw some welcome rain fall in the South West. Along with the rain came an icy blast, the likes of which we have not experienced for some time.

However, we anglers cannot always have our cake and eat it too, unfortunately. The upside is that the Curdies estuary is extremely full. So full, in fact, that if anglers want to launch at Boggy Creek (Curdievale), they’d better pack some waders, as gumboots just won’t cut it. I imagine that this month the mouth at Peterborough would have been manually opened, giving this system a much needed flush out.

After the water has settled and tidal movement takes over once again, as a general rule of thumb the fish should be very conducive to bait and lure. This should last right into spring and hopefully summer as long as a late winter storm doesn’t close the mouth. Otherwise, things are looking up for local bream anglers.

Those braving the cold have found some solid bream in the middle and lower reaches of the Hopkins River. Brent Hodges and his father had some recent success using bladed lures in dark tones fished along drop offs or along deeper stretches for some very solid bream. Brent’s dad even managed a soapy mulloway as well as an estuary perch.

This time of year the fish tend to school up away from the shallows in preparation for their annual spawning run. The amount of fresh water pushing down from the upper reaches usually dictates where the fish will be congregating at a given time. This is where depth sounders really come in handy.

The Gellibrand River at Princetown remains rather turbid with plenty of muddied water currently flowing down from the Otway Ranges. However, bait anglers fishing tight up against the bank and out of the main flow are picking up the odd bream as well as smallish mulloway. Cut pilchard and packet prawn are working more than likely because of the strong scent these baits give off.

This could very well be the final report on southern bluefin tuna for the season. August usually sees the fish move on with only the odd straggler being picked up from then on. Last month, there were still plenty of school fish about and in quite close to shore. A popular spot has been out from the Bay of Islands near Peterborough with the offshore natural gas pipeline being used by many as a marker as to where to start trolling. A lot of tuna are feeding on small whitebait so small skirted lures in white and even chrome slices ripped through a surface school has seen plenty of hook-ups occur for some.

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