It’s June and once again the winter is upon us, however, the fishing can still be hot if you can make the most of any breaks in the weather.
We are in the middle of another excellent tuna season, with plenty of action occurring at a variety of depths. Out near the shelf, albacore have been in massive numbers, from tiny jellybeans that would be lucky to push 3kg to some better fish over 10kg. There are also school-sized bluefin among them to keep things interesting.
Closer into shore in the 40-50m range, there are also plenty of school-sized SBT and despite them being a little mobile and at times finicky, they have been of excellent quality. Many of these inshore fish have been in the 18-24kg range and put up a serious fight, particularly on spin gear. Along with these more prolific smaller fish, there have been a couple of bigger tuna both lost and landed locally. Trav and Darcy Graham, Harry Bermingham and Jeff Dimech landed for a 99.9kg tuna in only 19m of water as they trolled back to the ramp at Warrnambool. A 64.2kg fish was also brought back into port by Wayne Dalton of Boat Charters Warrnambool.
After a particularly long period of closure, the Hopkins River finally opened. Only time will tell whether all the mulloway that were in the river have hightailed it out to sea or not. Maybe some new stocks come in!
With the high levels due to the closed mouth and lack of rain, it has been amazing how far some bream have been pushing up the river. Many sections of the river between Torram Stones and Allansford (usually regarded as the domain of freshwater species) have been holding significant populations of bream. The freshwater lifestyle has obviously been agreeing with them as they are in solid nick and pull hard.
The winter trout season was a bit of a non-event last year with the lack of significant rainfall. So far this year that pattern has continued with local rivers running clear and low, most unconducive to productive trout fishing.
With the closed season for salmonids in 2016 beginning from midnight on Monday 13 June, to midnight on Friday 2 September, there are still sections of some local rivers open for trout fishing due to their sea-run classification during June. These rivers are: The Merri River (downstream of the Bromfield Weir) the Hopkins River (downstream of the Hopkins Falls), the Moyne River (downstream of the Toolong Bridge) and the Gellibrand River (downstream of the Great Ocean Road Bridge.)
Hopefully the trout have had a good 18 months or more sitting at the bottom of some of the many deep and fairly inaccessible pools in the local rivers, putting on plenty of condition. Once we get some decent flows these fish will begin to feed in the shallow runs, making them a more viable target for keen lure and fly casters.Reads: 217