Seasonal Southwest Stirs
  |  First Published: November 2005

November is when things really start to fire up in the southwest. Although it seems to take that month longer for the season to get going down this way, it’s certainly worth the wait!

Local rivers such as the Curdies and the Hopkins begin to clear and the bream spread out over a greater area, having completed their spawning run. This makes them a more viable target for boat and bank anglers. With clearer water it’s also a good time to try both artificial lure and bait techniques.

Yambuk Lake has been producing some good bream captures recently, mainly on baits such as podworm and grey back. The Hopkins River will be hosting the ABT Bream Classic competition on the weekend of December 4 and 5. The classic runs to the standard ABT format with teams of two using lure or fly techniques to produce a bag of five live bream. These fish are weighed in and then released. The field is restricted to a minimum of 40 boats.

At this time last year the Hopkins was producing some excellent bream fishing on soft plastics, although it will be interesting to see what effect a tournament field of 40 boats has on the fish. However, it is this challenge that makes this kind of tournament fishing interesting. Best of all, the fish go back into the river for next time.

Last year around late November, the Hopkins experienced a good run of school mulloway. Unfortunately, for those competing in the ABT event, the pre-fish ban will limit opportunities to target these fish this year. Luckily, there are other locations down this way that produce mulloway, such as the Moyne River and several of the local beaches. A trip to the Glenelg River at Nelson isn’t too far away either. There have been some good mulloway catches in the Glenelg already this season. Sometimes it’s best to source live mullet from the Hopkins or the Merri before you get to Nelson. If the mulloway are in good numbers then livies can be hard to get down there sometimes.

Estuary perch, which have been very quiet over the last few months, have started to move and should be viable targets through November. Any calm and humid night is worth a trip out on the water. If you’re up for a challenge then try targeting them with surface lures.

The inshore run of snapper is usually well underway by the end of the month. Most snapper caught in the southwest of the state are regarded as pinkies. Large snapper are taken in the area, but 95 per cent of the time the fish will be somewhere between 27 and 50cm. This might seem disappointing to chasers of big reds, or those of you fortunate enough to live in areas more conducive to large snapper, but there are positives. Unlike many excursions chasing large fish, most well-organised outings down here will succeed in catching at least a few pinkies.

Another benefit is the variety of other fish that live in the same area and take similar baits. Long waits are unusual, particularly with a little berley. Travelling a long way is not always necessary and good fishing can be encountered in a radius of 0.5km from all the ramps. That’s pretty handy these days given the high price of petrol.

Local beaches and break walls also produce fish although the time of day is probably a more important factor than location. An early start, to ensure baits are set between first light and sunrise, usually produces some action. Late afternoon to dusk is also productive, but is often unfishable due to afternoon sea breezes, which are common during the warmer months.

* Ainsy can you put in a generic Mulloway shot that you haven’t used from the bunch I sent .

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