This past week has seen some impressive catches both offshore and in the estuaries. Anglers braving the conditions have been taking advantage of the small windows that we have had in between foul weather, so here we go.
The Hopkins River has again fished well all over the river, with anglers having success from the mouth right up to Toorum stones.
Skeeta Andrews landed his personal best bream of 48cm and 1.7kg on a live crab up at Jubilee Park. The catch was while fishing the South West Shield among many angling clubs from the district, giving Warrnambool and District Angling Club the win in the two-leg series.
A good turnout saw many fish brought to the scales, with a few going over the kilo mark.
The fishing has been great again this past week along the sand and mud flats throughout the river. Best methods have been dragging grub style plastics along the bottom stirring the mud up, which in turn makes the fish a bit more aggressive.
There are still a heap of mulloway in the system, but with the weather being so spasmodic I would wait until we see some more stable weather with a rising barometer where it peaks at more than 1040. For some reason this seems to be the best pressure for chasing these fish.
This time of year, cut mullet seems to work really well and will also work well for the bigger bream and estuary perch as it stays on for longer – especially when the piranhas are around.
If you're using cut mullet, it's super important not to use weight as it will only make the fish drop the bait with any foreign weight.
The number of kingfish have again been great offshore of Port Fairy and Portland, with some great fish being taken on live baits and sluggos and stick baits being cast deep into the schools along the many reefs and shallow bombies.
Bait jigs have been a must have for all fisherman chasing these hard-fighting fish as there is an abundance of slimy mackerel and yakkas that have taken up residency this year.
Finding schools of these great baits with your sounder is the best way to target them.
A simple lift and drop retrieve of the bait jig will entice a multi fish hook up and your bait supply will be up and running in no time.
Along with the kingfish in close, the tuna have also been great of late and have been taking a wide range of stick baits: from Nomad Madscads and Riptides, Rapala 12 and 14cm stick baits and the bassday bungy casts have all been accounting for many fish.
There are quite a few fish at the Tower Hill area in 20-40m of water.
If casting isn't your thing, try a skirted lure in the 4-6" range in natural bait fish colours.
Pakula Micro Uzis and Uzis have been working well in the Crystal flash colour along with the ever-reliable Black Magic Jetsetter in Burple.
When seeing the feeding fish, it's really important not to drive straight through the middle of the school as this will only make them dive down and most of the time vanish.
So a nice wide birth around the school will be your best option at a hook up or two.
Lake Purrembete has been fishing steadily for redfin and trout in the deeper sections of water lately.
Chris Ferrugia landed a belter of a brown trout, weighing in at 11lb 4oz, caught on a live minnow some 100ft down on a downrigger.
A fish of a lifetime for most anglers, especially at this time of year when the fishing isn't as productive as the winter months.
Lake Bullen Merri has also been producing some great fishing, with many anglers catching some nice chinook salmon fishing pilchard cubes and downrigging minnow-style lures and Tassie Devils around the 40ft mark of water.
With some rough weather upon us, it might be a slower week this coming week.
However, I hope you can get out and among some of the action.
Until next week, tight lines and best of luck.
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