April is a month where there can be considerable seasonal change with what fish species are available, particularly depending on what happens weather wise.
Summer options and species can still be available early in the month, but may be a distant memory come the end of April if temperatures drop quickly or, heaven forbid, we get some decent rain. However it does look like we are in for another bumper southern bluefin tuna (SBT) season with an enormous number of boats heading through town on the way to Portland and Port MacDonell.
Locally some SBT and albacore have been taken by boats leaving from Port Fairy Harbour. The journey to the shelf from Port Fairy is a little longer and more exposed but, given the crowds at the other ramps, it is worth considering if you have a big boat.
With SBT sighted off Warrnambool, as well as a large fish being lost by an angler not even targeting them, more anglers could make use of the Warrnambool area to chase tuna. However with the condition of the ramp and difficulties in launching there, it’s no wonder anglers head to the other areas. The sooner the Council responds to this matter the better the opportunity will exist for gamefishers to explore the area off the Warrnambool coast, perhaps negating the need to travel further west. There is a petition at Hooked on Rods and Reels to try to get the Council to improve the local boating facilities. Get in and sign it to have your say.
For those chasing the tuna, purples and blacks have been essential colours to have somewhere in your spread, with Zukers being popular skirts and Killer Vibes popular hardbodies. As well as the tuna, quite a few mako sharks and even a porbeagle shark have been taken out from Port Fairy recently.
Both the Hopkins and the Curdies rivers were closed in early March and may well remain so for some time if we don’t get any significant rain.
The Hopkins has been producing good numbers of bream but the average size is well down with most fish being 28-32cm. There are many undersize fish around at the moment, which is a good sign for the future. Crabs and peeled prawn have been the most productive baits of late with lure anglers catching most of their fish on cast or trolled hardbody lures.
There have been the odd reports of mulloway being seen in the river attacking baitfish so if they are in the river they’re stuck there now till the mouth opens. Haven’t heard many reports of perch in either the freshwater or the saltwater sections of the Hopkins, but now is often a good time to target them.
The Curdies had been producing good bream in the lake section but floating weed has now made that a difficult chore particularly for lure anglers. But if you can put up with the weed, the Curdies is well worth a visit for keen breamers.Reads: 646