Southwest Summer Salmon
  |  First Published: February 2006

Salmon are mainly regarded in Victoria as a winter option. However, recently here in the southwest, in the early parts of summer, there have been many excellent catches of quality salmon.

These fish have been taken in impressive sizes and in a variety of locations. Places such as Port Fairy Bay, the Killarney area and even the Warrnambool Breakwater have seen salmon averaging between 1.5 and 2kg with some schools containing larger fish over 3kg.

The salmon schools have provided a good option for anglers given that other species have been inconsistent, despite some good weather in early summer.

Good catches of 30 to 40cm pinkies are around most coastal areas along with the odd good fish to 3 and 4kg. However, captures have been good one week then quiet the next.

Some blue sharks and the odd mako have been tangled with early in the summer, which is a great sign. In February, there should be some good action to be had on pelagic shark species. Pick your day, berley consistently and you should soon have some action in the trail.

The yellowtail kingfish have been scarce. Hopefully they’ll be more plentiful come February.

Good catches of King George whiting have been taken around Killarney and Port Fairy and this should continue through February. As is usual for this area, numbers may not be high but the fish are quality specimens often over 40cm. Dusk to just after dark are the best times to target these fish at this time of year.

On the estuary scene, high water levels (due to a closed mouth) have hampered Hopkins River anglers’ bank access and launching. Despite this, some good bream continue to be captured via a variety of techniques. If the river remains closed for most of the summer then fishing in the river is likely to be rather quiet in February.

Estuary perch angling was somewhat inconsistent during 2005. Followers of these fine native sportfish will be hoping for a good burst of black crickets, which often occurs in February, to fire them into action. Use black crickets under a float or with surface lures or flies. It can be exciting action on a warm summer night.

Bullen Merri Bass Tournament

The perchs close relative, the Australian bass, has been attracting many local anglers to Bullen Merri over summer. A leg of the ABT BASS electric circuit will be held at lake on 12 February.

If you’re keen on giving the bass a try, some of which have grown to 1.5kg, come along for a look. Contact Steve Duff on 0411 037 418 for more information.

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