Cool Weather Species Still The Focus
  |  First Published: October 2005

Even though we’re into the second month of spring, October can still have a very wintry flavour here in the southwest.

While the snapper season will be starting to hit top gear in Port Phillip and Western Port, you’d probably be better off waiting until November before you put much serious inshore effort into the snapper around here. October has been known to throw up some good weather and flat seas though, and as it is too early for kingfish, a better option may be to try a bit of surf fishing for sharks. If you get a patch of good weather, places like Logan’s Beach, East Beach and Yambuk Beach can produce good gummies and seven-gill sharks. The salmon you’ve been stocking the freezer with over the colder months are great bait for this type of fishing.

The inshore reefs should also see a few squid around for you to stock up on for bait for the summer ahead. If you can resist the temptation of eating them that is! Shallow reefs around Port Fairy and Lady Bay as well as the Warrnambool breakwater and Port Campbell jetty are good areas to target the squid.

Most of the estuaries are relatively quiet currently. Things should be picking up though during October as water temperatures begin to rise. Spawning aggregations of bream can be encountered at this time of year but consideration should be given to what you keep to ensure that enough of them have a chance to do their business.

The Hopkins River will be hosting an ABT bream classic competition on the weekend of December 3 and 4. The classic runs to the standard ABT format with teams of two using lure or fly techniques to produce a bag a 5 live bream, which will be weighed and released. The field is restricted to 40 boats so if you’re interested, you had better get your entry in as soon as possible.

The trout season has been open for a month and I’m sure many good captures will have been made despite the absence of major flooding to date. During the closed season the lower Merri remains open because it’s classified as a sea run trout fishery. It’s been producing some good fish to those working hard, mainly in low light periods. The average size has been between 1.2 and 1.8kg with the odd trophy fish amongst them. Many anglers have been using soft plastic lures to good effect with traditional wet fly and lure casting techniques also effective. However, the really hot fishing that can occur with high, dirty flood waters hasn’t occurred yet this season.

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