Open Estuaries and trout season open
  |  First Published: August 2009

Despite much recent local angler focus and discussion revolving around some serious issues, such as the ineffectiveness of recent ramp modifications and the concern over possible new boating regulations, there has been some fishing going on.

Curently all the local estuaries are open to the sea. The combination of downward flowing freshwater and incoming tides will benefit the both the fish and the systems they live in.

Good bream have been taken around the lower reaches of the Hopkins River with quite a few 40cm plus fish amongst them. Bait anglers have been doing particularly well in this area. A few silver trevally and salmon have been mixed in as well making things interesting.

Further upstream lure anglers pre-fishing for the Vic Bream tournament have found the fish patchy but still often getting a few quality 38-40cm fish amongst their bag. Further upstream into the fresh water there have been some decent estuary perch taken in the Hopkins, as well as a few in the Merri. These larger perch are often encountered in the estuary at this time of year but I haven’t heard of many big perch taken here so far this winter.

September is often a wet time here in the southwest, and the recent windy and wintry conditions have seriously curtailed most local offshore options. Before the weather turned for the worse there had been some quality gummy sharks taken around the 40m mark. With many offshore options quiet or un-fishable, September is a good time to start preparing the deep freeze for the coming summer season. If you can stop yourself from eating them, squid and garfish are popular targets in the sheltered bays around Killarney and Port Fairy at this time of the year. The salmon you may have been catching over the winter make great cut baits and berley for snapper and shark

After being restricted to the designated sea run areas over the past few months, trout anglers will have a great variety of streams to pursue their quarry once September comes and the season opens. There may often be considerable leg work involved, with many blind casts made into dirty water, but the quality of the trout make it a worthwhile experience.

Most fish usually range from 1-1.8kg with enough 2kg+ fish to make things interesting. The Hopkins, the Upper Merri and the Mt Emu Creek are the most well known, but there are also several smaller streams and creeks that all are capable of producing fish. Large wet flies, paddle tail soft plastics and shallow running hard bodies will all produce fish

estuary perch

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