After disappointing summer weather, early autumn has produced far more settled conditions. With calmer seas, offshore anglers have been able to target the local shark population, taking mainly blues, as well as the odd thresher and mako. The blues have been prolific at times, with some being caught on flies and one on a snapper rod and lure while jigging for couta.
During May, game fishermen will be looking forward to the possible arrival of the southern bluefin. The last few seasons have been very disappointing. Fingers are crossed that this year everything conspires to bring some fish within range, in numbers that are worth targeting and with weather that allows you to do so.
Small pinky snapper continue to be abundant both inshore and offshore. As the month progresses, the fish will move back into deeper water where they can still be targeted during the winter months. Haddock and silver trevally should continue to be found during May in locations like Portland Harbor, Port Fairy Bay, Lady Bay and the Moyne River (silvers mainly here).
With the mouth of the river remaining open to the sea right up until Easter, the Hopkins River has continued to fish well for bream throughout March. A number of bream over 1kg were taken during the annual Easter competition with the largest going 1.4kg. There have also been good bream in the lake section of the Curdies River at Peterborough.
Estuary perch should begin to become more prevalent in the estuary section of the Hopkins River. Trolling hard-bodied lures just before dusk and into the night is a popular technique to try at this time of year. May has also been a good time to target estuary perch in the fresh water section of the Hopkins. Walking the banks and casting a floating 7cm Rapala is a productive technique that can result in some spectacular surface strikes. In addition to this, the brown trout will begin moving and can be taken using similar techniques to the perch.
Trout will soon start moving in the Merri River, particularly if we get some rain. May is normally a good time to troll lures above the boat ramp at Dennington, but the last couple of years have been pretty quiet due to the lack of rain, which is needed to put that little bit of pre-spawning aggression into the trout.
With the onset of the cooler months, salmon anglers are usually preparing for some good sessions. This year however, there have already been plenty of salmon around the coast, with some excellent fish of between 2kg and 3kg being taken using a variety of techniques.Reads: 660