Finally, the Hopkins River has fired up, which has seen some big fish make the net of numerous anglers.
Offshore conditions have been reasonable, but the action seems to be in close lately. Whiting has been high on the target list of many right through summer and has been caught right up and down the coast.
As I mentioned, the Hopkins River has produced some cracking bream this past week for both the bait and lure casting anglers. Allansford and District Angling Club held its ninth competition on Sunday here, where there was some great fish caught. None bigger than Wendy Pemberton's 1.262kg bream, which was also one of five bream in her and husband Slick's bag that took out the heaviest bag. Heaviest fish in the men's section was caught by John Gordon, which was a healthy 1.149kg bream. Kade Gordon caught the heaviest fish for a junior, weighing in a 790g bream. The majority of these fish were caught on crabs, cast in tight of the walls.
Now is the time that we generally see the bigger fish come out to play after being hammered over summer by the hundreds of tourists that frequent the river. Alex Craig is also one that has been getting stuck right into the big fish, landing some absolute dinosaurs up to 46cm from the bank. These fish are are incredibly dark, which would suggest to me that they have either been up in the fresh for a long time or have spent some time lately digging in the mud for the shells and other feed that lives in the mud.
Either way, the fish seem to be in the shallows and feeding really well, so get out and amongst them.
The school tuna have continued to be a handful off Port Fairy ...
Over at the Glenelg, there has been some great top-water fishing in the upper sections of the river. Jesse Stone and Matthew Nash have been getting some ripper estuary perch in their kayaks way up river lately on top-water. These fish aren't afraid of big lures, with the boys casting lures up to 100mm long and getting belted off the top.
Further downstream, there is a steady run of mulloway still being caught in the lower sections of the river from Taylor's Straight down to the entrance. Again, live mullet and deeper diving hard bodies will be the best option for targeting these iconic fish.
The Nelson Nongs are on this weekend, which is a yearly tradition of a big bunch of anglers that camp up at Pritchards and do a bit of fishing.
I'm sure we will hear about how the fishing is off Dudley Wright, who lives for this day, and now he has his new boat up and running for it; there's no stopping him.
The school tuna have continued to be a handful off Port Fairy and Killarney, providing a near impossible task at times.
These fish, on one particular day, were almost pushing the lures back to the boat without taking them.
When they are like this, there's not much you can do to change the result other than keep changing lures and downsizing until one comes unstuck.
King fish have been mixed in with these fish also lately, which, when they turn on, are giving anglers a real surprise when hooked.
What some are doing is if they find the tuna are being hard work then they are trolling lures away from the school and coming up trumps with a blind hook up.
This is when there is no surface activity and no sign of life on the surface, which typically means that these fish are just holding deeper at the time. Using diving lures such as Halco Laser Pro 160's and 190's in popular colours like King Brown and the Pilchard. Trolling these along with small skirts at a speed of 6-8knots will give you a great chance of hooking up to one of these speedsters.
One fish that has been biting lately on the surface is the big salmon at Killarney and Port Fairy. Liam Smith and his dad Barry were chasing king fish when they stumbled across a big school of hungry salmon in the 2-4kg range. The boys kept a few for fresh gummy baits and released a few others also.
Meanwhile, on the bottom scene, the gummy shark have been exceptional, with some crews bagging out in under an hour and then releasing more after that.
Snapper and Nannygai are also fishing very well if not for size but numbers as well.
Anchoring is your best option while berleying the hell out of the bottom and waiting for it to do its thing. Our pilchard berley logs are the best option for this, as pilchards have a lot of natural oil content and provide a great slick that will lead the fish to your baits.
The redfin at Lake Purrumbete have fished well again this week, while using minnows down deep in the schools of fish on the fish finder. There has also been some decent trout and salmon caught on the same technique, so it's a lucky dip at the moment as to what you will catch.
Lake Bullen Merri has been fishing quite tough and this could be due to the amount of bait in the lake. Anglers who target perch and redfin a lot have been collecting their bait here with ease. They are both potting and being able to be collected with a dip net. Remember your limits, as they are only 40 per person with no minimum size limits.
Some nice weather is on the cards for the weekend and sees light winds, which should make it possible for some shelf trips or a full day offshore. Remember, if you catch something you're proud of, send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share it on our Facebook page. Until next week tight lines and best of luck.
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