November is a fantastic time to get out on the water around Warrnambool, like many other areas along the Victorian coast. It’s just a matter of deciding what you’re going to pursue. That is if you’ve finally finished celebrating Geelong’s premiership win!
November is a time when many south coast anglers are on the look out for some mulloway action. Last season, however, was poor, with very few fish caught in either the Hopkins or Moyne rivers. The mouth of the Hopkins was either blocked, or open only for short periods. In the Moyne, many believe the seals that took up residence at the boat ramp were a deterrent to any mulloway schools remaining in what is basically a fairly small system. Hopefully this season sees local areas begin to produce some better mulloway catches.
Fishing from any of the surf beaches near the mouth of a southwest river is also a good way to encounter mulloway. There have already been some good gummy shark, pinky snapper and salmon taken off the beaches, near the mouths of the Yambuk and Fitzroy rivers. Yambuk Lake has also produced an excellent couple of months of bream fishing, making it an excellent multipurpose fishing destination.
The Curdies and the Hopkins rivers have continued to produce good captures of bream recently, and this should continue into November. The Hopkins has been producing some quality estuary perch recently as well, with some fish between 1–2kg being taken on live minnows and minnow style soft plastics. These quality perch can be very elusive, with an endless amount of smaller perch seemingly dominating captures. When these better quality fish are encountered, however, you can be in for some special fishing as they display excellent fighting prowess. Restraint should be used if you encounter a large number of big perch: it is good to see most people these days see the benefit in releasing the big breeders.
Some quality brown trout are still being caught in the local rivers. The Hopkins and the Emu rivers, in particular, have been producing quality fish. I know of two fish of nearly 3kg being taken recently. These two waters may not produce the numbers of fish of the more heavily stocked Merri, but there are some quality trout available to make the hard yards walking the bank worthwhile.
On the offshore scene, most recent good captures have been taken by larger boats fishing well out around the 40m line. As the water warms smaller snapper will begin moving inshore. Good mixed bags of these fish, plus King George whiting, trevally and squid can be taken by smaller boats in waters from 5–10m.Reads: 5511