Good weather conditions at the start of summer have seen plenty of variety in angler’s bags.
This will hopefully continue through February, which is usually the best month for getting some warm weather and flat seas.
Offshore anglers have had a wide variety of options to pursue, with most focusing on snapper and shark species.
The bigger snapper of a few months ago have passed but there is still a few 3kg fish mixed in with some solid pinkies. Add a few gummies or a school shark to your bag and it’s been a good day.
Mick Rantall of Hooked on Rods and Reels along with Rod Stephens had a very productive day on the gummies recently.
Closer to shore some good whiting have been taken mainly at first and last light. Normally productive areas such as Killarney and Port Fairy Bay have been producing plenty of 40cm plus fish along with the less-fished Lady Bay. Solid whiting have been taken by anglers targeting this area; some even coming from the boat ramp jetty.
Calm weather has also allowed anglers to get close into some productive sweep fishing locations around the coast.
The sweep an often overlooked, but are a hard-fighting, nice tasting fish but always take care when fishing in close to the cliffs and bommies.
Kingfish are always a popular target in February and already some captures are occurring in a variety of locations along the coast. These are from locations like the reefs well west of Port Fairy and the basin area at Killarney, to some more unlikely locations like a bag of 5-6kg fish taken in 30m off Warrnambool.
An angler fishing off the Warrnambool breakwater, of all places, also lost a king. Haven’t heard of many mako sharks being caught yet but they are a popular target species during February. Lets hope we can still fish for them!
Even with conducive conditions for sea fishing, the estuaries have also been producing their fair share of fish. The Hopkins River in particular is fishing well. Senior school children from St Josephs school managed to catch and release an incredible 128 fish over three days. 119 of these fish which were bream well over half of these were legal size.
These fish were taken off the bridge, on basic rigs with frozen bait and in the middle of the day so it goes to show there are plenty of fish on offer at the moment in the Hopkins.
Thanks to Daiwa Australia for donating some fabulous prizes and the Fishcare volunteers for all their help.
As the holiday season has began I have been amazed at the amount of people you see fishing along the bank and you regularly see them pulling in fish. Trying to get through all the bream to catch a salmon can be a task in itself, but a great sign for the river is the weed beds are full of small 2cm bream; indicative of a good spawning season this year.Reads: 1501