Mulloway in the Hopkins
  |  First Published: February 2010

Good offshore angling conditions have diminished in frequency as the dreaded southeasterlies kicked in, along with some cooler weather.

When anglers can get out plenty of gummy shark are being taken off both Warrnambool and Port Fairy. The ability to be able to effectively distribute your berley in 20-40m water has been a key to consistent success.

Good numbers of King George whiting are still being taken around the inshore reef areas. Tom White has been taking good multiple catches fishing into the evening in the Killarney area.

It’s amazing the different variety of baits anglers are using now for whiting since the humble packet of pipis has disappeared due to price hikes. Self-sourced fresh baits such as spew worms, clickers, Nelson cockles, even small strips of salmon and trevally have been producing the goods.

Reef areas well west of Port Fairy have been the yellowtail kingfish hotspot of late. Most fish taken have been in 4-6kg but Julian Dickinson from Apostle Marine managed to land a 13kg king on a popper. These areas are big boat only territory as it is a long ride home into any sort of east/south easterly wind. March represents the last reliable chance at catching a kingfish so hopefully we get some good late summer weather.

These conditions will also help anyone wishing to fish for mako sharks, which are thankfully back on the target species list. Well done to the many anglers who actively and passionately presented their views to the relevant bodies that saw an overturning of this proposal.


In March hopefully we will be once again in the grip of tuna fever. More anglers in the 2009 season were using Warrnambool and Port Fairy ramps as a departure option for these fish. Hopefully the fish will travel this far east like they did last season.


The estuaries continue to fish well. The Hopkins in particular has fished well for bream. Whilst smaller fish have been prolific and providing holiday-makers with plenty of action, there still have been some quality fish taken.

Paul Tippet got one of 42cm to the fork whilst Stewie McKinnon landed a fish of 45cm to the fork. The same day Stewie lost a fish he suspected to be a mulloway. A week later Ben Carter, who was fishing with Stewie this particular morning, landed a 76cm mulloway.

A few other mulloway captures and sightings have occurred in the Hopkins over January including one fish taken by a fly angler. The fish haven’t been what you would call prolific but it has been a number of years since there has been a few in the river. Even though the mulloway are still pretty unlikely captures, when a big bream takes off hard with your lure or bait you think for a minute, ‘maybe it might be…’

If you're think of visiting the area during March then keep in mind the Hooked on Rods and Reels Shipwreck Coast Fishing Comp. Held from the 6th to the 14th there are a variety of categories from makos to mullet, tuna to trout, so there is something for everyone.

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