Estuary Perch and SBTs
  |  First Published: April 2010

The Hopkins River continues to produce good bream angling despite the mouth being closed.

There are plenty of small bream but there is always the chance of a big fish like the 1.4kg fish taken recently by Barry Johnston.

The fish have been responding to well to hardbodied lures like the Ecogear SX40, Zipbait Rigge MDR 46 and the Cultiva Mira Shad fished along the recently submerged edges.

Come May the fish will probably being schooling up and the middle of the river and the VX vibes and other such blades will be all the rage.

Estuary perch have also been biting well in the Hopkins River recently. I have had some enjoyable dawn and dusk sessions fishing surface lures around the Bay of Biscay region. Quy from Hooked on Rods and Reels has also been also getting amongst the perch on both fly and lure further upstream near Jubilee Park.

May is often is a good time to try for estuary perch in the freshwater section of the Hopkins. It’s too cold for snakes and the larger perch are often feeding up in preparation for their spawning run into the saltwater over winter.

Across at the Curdies the river mouth is also closed. The higher water levels can allow easier access to the lake area and some good flats style fishing.

Tuna getting better

Even though tuna were scarce recently, things have begun to turn around. Barry Pender of Southern Coast Fishing Charters headed out on a charter but with no reports of tuna being caught off Warrnambool he was unsure what they would find, if anything.

They travelled out past the shelf to a depth of 1200-1400m and decided to try their luck and put out their lures. It turned out to be a successful day with the boat catching five albacore and three bluefin – with the biggest being around 40kg. Several other fish got away!

May is always regarded as being a prime month to target southern bluefin so hopefully the bite is well and truly on during this time.

On the smaller, but tasty, end of the scale, King George whiting have continued to be taken in Lady Bay, Warrnambool and Lighthouse Bay, Port Fairy.

The recently-held Hooked on Rods and Reels Fishing Classic was blessed with good conditions during its week-long running time. Despite the fact that the game shark, tuna and kingfish categories went unfulfilled, there were still some quality fish taken. The heaviest fish taken was a magnificent snapper of 6.5kg.

The heaviest gummy was a keenly fought affair with a fish of 13.3kg taken by Peter Goode taking out the prize. Other notable category winning captures were Terry Roberts’ 3.4kg Hopkins mulloway, Paul Tippet’s 1.28kg bream and Neville Schooler’s 780g King George whiting.

Southern bluefin taken of Warrnambool by Southern Coast Fishing Charters.

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