April is cooler for many catches
  |  First Published: April 2017

April used to be when the tuna season would swing into gear big time. However, these fish have been in good numbers inshore since January, so the anticipation of April is not a factor this season. Perhaps it may see some bigger barrel tuna show up, as Easter has sometimes seen some of these 100kg+ fish encountered.

The good numbers of pinky snapper and gummy sharks that have been taken recently should also be around this month. We often get plenty of calm days in April to access these fish. April is probably the last month to reliably target the King George whiting, which have been in good numbers along the coast in the past few months.

The estuary section of the Hopkins River has been fishing well recently and should continue to do so. Bream have been in good numbers with plenty of fish around 30cm keeping everyone happy with the odd bigger fish to 40cm+ to keep things interesting. Mulloway have once again entered the river in decent numbers with most fish in the 65-75cm size.

With the cooler season looming, the local freshwater river reaches are more appealing. Not only do the browns start to stir as the water cools, but the estuary perch can also begin to move as they prepare to head down to the estuary over the cooler months. There have also been plenty of bream in the lower freshwater sections of both the Merri and Hopkins that add to the variety of what you may come across in your adventures.

Packing lightly and wandering along the riverbanks flicking soft plastics or hardbodies like the 6cm Daiwa Presso or TD minnow is an enjoyable way to spend a session. The likelihood of snake encounter also diminishes as the days get cooler and shorter.

The popular annual Shipwreck Coast Competition was held recently. Despite a shift forward to mid-February from its usual March date, the weather wasn’t conducive to offshore angling in particular, for many of the designated competition days. Despite this, there were some quality fish taken in virtually all sections of the competition.

Plenty of tuna around the 1m mark with 116cm being the best, kingfish to 113cm, numerous mulloway between 70-80cm with 83cm being the largest, bream to 45cm, trout to 61cm and EP to 46cm were just some of the quality fish brought in.

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