Silver lining to the cold conditions
  |  First Published: August 2016

Persistence is the key during the month of August. The cold months can produce excellent fishing but can be tough work. Although important, it’s not just a matter of getting the right weather conditions to make your efforts bearable. Sometimes you can catch quality winter species and other times it can feel as if everything piscatorial is in a state of hibernation.

Bluefin continue to be in good numbers offshore from Port Fairy and Warrnambool, but things have changed a little since the last report. The larger inshore fish (14-20kg in around 40-45m) seem to have thinned out and been replaced by a big run of smaller fish in the 6-12kg range but much further offshore in the 60-65m range. These fish have not been visible on the surface some days but can be located by trolling in the vicinity of lots of bird life. No barrels have been landed recently in the local area, but there have been stories of big fish lost, so you never know when your number might come up.

There have been some decent rain events to get the rivers flowing and fire the trout up, but the conditions aren’t quite reaching the really heavy, dirty flow stage. There have been good fish to over 2kg taken but they do take time, dedication and persistence. With the water still flowing fairly clearly, dawn and dusk have been the prime times. I have been having good success using 6cm Daiwa TD and Presso Minnows in natural colours.

With most rivers in the state still closed up to midnight, Friday 2 September, there are still sections of some local rivers open for trout fishing due to their sea-run classification during August.

In the Hopkins the bream have well and truly schooled up in the deeper water. They are easy to locate on the sounder but enticing them to bite can be difficult. If the mouth is open, work your efforts around the change of the high tide. This same change of high tide has been the most productive time to fish the Moyne River at Point Fairy. Silver trevally, small salmon, mullet and even a few tailor have been attracted to the constant flow of tuna offcuts from the cleaning tables and provide plenty of fun for young anglers, or even older ones after some bait stocks. Light tackle, with just enough weight to get down in the current and a little chunk of tuna can provide almost non-stop action.

Rivers open for trout fishing during August

Merri River (downstream of the Bromfield Weir)

Hopkins River (downstream of the Hopkins Falls)

Moyne River (downstream of the Toolong Bridge)

Gellibrand River (downstream of the Great Ocean Road Bridge)

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