Bigger bream on the bite
  |  First Published: September 2007

After a quiet start to the year, the Hopkins River has started producing the quality bream it is renowned for. The good rains and an open rivermouth have combined to give the river the best flush it’s had for a couple of years – and the fish have responded!

Although there are plenty of smaller bream around, there have been numerous reports of fish well over 1kg being taken. With the rain, the lower reaches of the river around the ski lane have been producing the most fish. Bait anglers have been having good success using baits of brown shell, which is a naturally occurring mollusc that can be procured from the river.

Lure anglers have been having success using lipless crankbaits such as the Daiwa Pro Vibe 55 and the 43mm River2Sea Baby Vibe. Using lures such as these you can work fish holding in deeper areas than you would usually be able to using a bibbed diving lure.

The water has been dirty, but not so bad as to make fishing impossible. With continued wet weather through September though, things could change. If it gets really dirty and a massive plume of freshwater pushes out into Lady Bay, there is still another option. In years of previous high rainfall, good bream have been taken from around the boat ramp area at the Warrnambool Breakwall.

The Breakwall itself is always worth a try for salmon, particularly if it’s too rough for a planned surf fishing trip. Recently Levis Beach has been the most consistent local producer of salmon, with fish up to 2kg being taken. Coinciding your visit with an afternoon high tide can often make the effort worthwhile.

Merri River trout anglers will be hoping for more rain to maintain the present high levels during September. Under these conditions, the trout really stack on the weight as they feed over the newly flooded ground. There is often a lot of dirty water between the fish but they are usually of good quality. Most fish are between 1–1.8kg, with enough 2kg plus fish around to keep up your morale as you battle the cold conditions. Paddletail soft plastics have been working well in the dirty water. Also, with lure losses common in the dirty water, plastic lures are much less expensive to lose than hard-bodied lures.

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