Bottom bouncing time
  |  First Published: February 2016

Our long, dry summer continues on with plenty of opportunity to get out there and wet a line. Don’t forget the summer essentials – wide brimmed hats and sunscreen are necessary to ward off sun damage. Although most boat ramps are generally still quite crowded, arriving early should guarantee a park as well as avoid a prolonged wait to launch.

Sea fishing appears to be a priority for most, and plenty are willing to try their luck. Late December saw the ocean surface temperatures finally rise above 18°C which is a sign of good fishing for most. Travelling out to the 40m mark still seems to be the most popular move to make. Recently, fishing for whiting has been a tad slow but I’m sure that by the time this report is out, the situation will have changed for the better.

Bottom bouncing out wide has seen gummy and school shark, pinkie snapper, blue morwong, good sized leatherjackets, and blue throated wrasse come to play. Currently, there have been unconfirmed reports of yellowtail kingfish to 10kg caught in close, but from January onwards these hoodlum fish will certainly be on the chew absolutely everywhere. Divers exploring the inner reefs have scooped up plenty of crayfish. These reefs are out of bounds for the commercial boats, and with crayfish prices approaching $130 a kilogram, diving for your own makes a lot more sense!

The Hopkins River has seen plenty of angler and boat activity of late, but this will drop right off once the kids go back to school. Plenty of soapy mulloway have actively taken lures and bait meant for bream and perch. Those in the know have taken an each way bet by simply upgrading their leader from 6-8lb to 12lb.

The mulloway are mostly under 3kg, so they are not really suitable for the table – however, they are great fun on light gear.

The Gellibrand River at Princetown remains closed and quite full, with high water levels under the football ground bridge making it virtually impossible to venture upstream in a tinny in search of bream and estuary perch. Downstream there have been mullet, salmon and some sizeable sea run brown trout taking lures such as blades and soft plastics.

The Curdies River is fishing reasonably well with bream to 37cm taking local live shrimp, minnow lures, blades and plastics worked close to the bank. The fish have well and truly spread out right along the river; so don’t discount going upstream from the Boggy Creek boat ramp as well as down.

The sea and estuary fishing should be consistently good down here from now until Easter, so don’t waste time sitting at home!

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