By the time you read this report we should be well and truly under the grip of winter. However, at the moment, it’s only just managing to dig its cold claws into the balmy weather we’ve been experiencing throughout the state. I can’t believe that I’m waiting with anticipation for the weather to turn a little nasty to turn on some species, fill up some water storages and put a little run into the rivers.
The trout that had been biting well in the upper Merri went a little quiet during the protracted calm spell in early May, only to fire up again once we got a bit of rain late in the month. These upper areas will of course be closed by the time you read this. Good trout can continue to be taken through out the closed season in the lower Merri. This area, downstream of the highway bridge at Dennington, remains open during the closed season. It can turn on some quality trout fishing if we get the expected rains. The lower Merri has also been producing plenty of yellow eye mullet and the odd bream to bait anglers in the Stanley Street bridge area.
The Hopkins has been fishing well of late, whether the mouth has been open or closed. It is a continuing reflection on how the river continues to produce despite being such a popular destination. A catch and release competition held recently saw over 120 bream tagged and released. Many other local angling clubs have regular competitions on the river and the heaviest fish in most recent events have been over a kilogram with some quality bags also taken.
Bait gathering and boat launching can be difficult when the mouth is closed but good fish have still been taken. Even if the river is dirty with winter rain, by the time this goes to print, good bream should be found in the lower reaches, particularly on a run in tide. Estuary perch have been relatively quiet but should be present in better numbers in the estuary by the time this goes to print. The ski lane is always a good place to start during July.
Salmon have been showing up at most surf beaches with Princetown, Levies, Killarney and East beaches being some of the better ones. There have been captures of some quality fish between 3kg and 4kg amongst the normal run of salmon between 600g and 1kg. Hopefully, this points to a good winter for salmon fishing on the southwest coast. The recent weather has been good for getting offshore but I haven’t heard of too many exceptional catches; small snapper between 30cm and 35cm have dominated catches. Disappointingly, there has been no sign of southern bluefin along the coast.Reads: 540