In early spring around Warrnambool the fishing is still all about winter conditions and species, despite some patches of spring-like weather. There are bream and trout to be caught in dirty water, still some salmon off the beaches, and the best saltwater fishing is occurring well offshore. October, however, should see anglers looking forward to a range of options opening up as the summer fishing season slowly kicks into gear.
The bream are schooled up in deeper water in our estuaries, but should begin to disperse as the water warms and they begin feeding over a wider range of areas. This in turn should bring them into contact with more anglers. The Hopkins River has a relatively deep mouth at present and hopefully later in October some mulloway will enter the river. It’s been two seasons since there was a decent run of these fine fish in the river, so here’s hoping a few start showing up.
October is often a good month to do some surf fishing. There is still the chance of some good salmon, while summer species such as small snapper and various shark species should also be an option. A nice calm evening on Yambuck, Fitzroy, Logans or Cutting Beach could provide some good action. I’ve already heard of some good sharks being taken off the local beaches.
Offshore anglers have also been taking advantage of the recent good weather with some nice snapper to 3kg being taken on the 40m line off Warrnambool. While the focus of most snapper anglers will be on Port Phillip Bay during October, there are still good fish to be taken locally, particularly in deeper waters.
With a number of local rivers being open all year due to their classification as sea-run fisheries, there has been plenty of good trout taken over the winter months. The average size of the fish in the Merri River was a little down on previous years when we’ve had good rains. The better fish I’ve heard of have come from the upper Hopkins where trout numbers are lower, but the fish of over 2kg are definitely worth targeting.
With some freshwater estuary perch and even the slim chance (particularly at this time of year) of a golden perch, the freshwater section of the Hopkins is often worth a look. Despite these rivers being termed sea-run trout fisheries, most trout taken are resident estuary dwelling fish. If you were going to tangle with a true sea-runner, however, now is the time to be looking.
Popular playground area, Lake Pertobe, has for the first time received a Fisheries small waters stocking of 200 rainbow trout. The fish should grow well as there is plenty of food available in the shallow weedy lake. The lake also used to contain a population of redfin and some large eels, which may be encountered by anglers targeting the trout. Remember there is a bag limit of five trout in these waters, which are designated as family fisheries. The trout are probably best returned though, so someone else can enjoy catching them as well. There are plenty of other options available if you’re after a feed.Reads: 2200