Barrel bedlam rages on into summer
  |  First Published: December 2015

All the attention recently has been on the amazing run of big barrel-sized southern bluefin taken recently right along the western coast of Victoria.

Warrnambool didn’t miss out either, with some big fish boated and tales of ones that won their freedom. One that didn’t get away was a 127.7kg fish, caught off Warrnambool by Anthony Ljubic aboard Lucas Wilson’s boat, Cassius Cray. The fish was taken on 24kg line on a Tiagra 30W in 62m of water.

But it hasn’t just been tuna anglers that have been taking advantage of some unseasonably good sea conditions recently. Quality school and gummy shark are being targeted with great success offshore in around 40m of water from Peterborough right through to Port fairy. Sharks can be a despised pest in many areas of the country, but the school and gummy sharks of the South West are a different story and are the complete package. Not only are they a fantastic table fish but with fish of the quality being landed recently (around 12-20kg), they are an exceptional sports fish.

December is perhaps one of the best months to be fishing the Hopkins River. The fish have well and truly returned to the edges, and the holiday crowds usually haven’t arrived and the mouth is usually still open or not long closed.

Bream and perch respond to a wide variety of luring techniques, over the entire course of the river , and there is often a mulloway or two sneaking around to keep things interesting.

Another exciting December occurrence is usually the first kings of the season showing themselves. Usually this occurs later in the month but with some of the warm days recently, it feels like they can’t be too far away.

King George whiting have already shown up in some of their regular haunts and should continue to be a viable target in December. Shallow waters around Lady bay, Port Fairy and Killarney can produce some good fish just on dusk and into the night.

Trout season has been a bit of a non-event with the lack of rain this season but luckily there are plenty of other species firing up.

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