Open mouths opening options
  |  First Published: July 2017

The Hopkins River last month was experiencing a run of winter mulloway, and it appears that plenty of fish are being caught using a wide variety of methods and tactics.

I was recently in a large chain tackle store in town and while waiting at the checkout a report came in of a legal fish just caught by a land-based angler who was fishing with bait off the Mahoneys Road pontoon, which is adjacent to the boat ramp.

Meanwhile two other land-based anglers were stocking up on specialty frozen bait, such as baby bottle squid, as they had already been in the thick of the action and wanted more.

The Hoppies is also producing a few solid bream around the 40cm mark. After dark and in low light conditions some fish have been found feeding in the shallows and over the mud flats, but most fish are being taken on metal vibe lures in depths around 3m and deeper. Working the channel edges adjacent to any mud flats or reefs has seen some excellent fish taken.

The coral bommies that rise up from a flat bottom in and around the institute and the Bay of Biscay, have also held fish. A sounder is invaluable in locating the bommies, otherwise it’s just chuck it and chance it.

Fishing the depths is the go over the winter months with either vibes or soft plastic crab imitations.

Hard baits are also catching plenty with live crab and brown shell the pick of the bunch.

The Curdies River is also firing for bream, with the lower reaches of the river just before to the entrance to the lake being the prime spot.

Thanks to recent heavy downpours of rain, the whole system is filling and a decent flow is happening in the river. If the rains keep up, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t, it will only be a matter of time before the mouth opens to the sea. This is usually done via the local council once a critical mass has been reached. This is due to the massive sand bank that exists at the river mouth.

The best baits have been frozen packet prawn (shell left on), live crab, shrimp and greyback minnow. Drags should be backed right off or let with the bail arm open, as the bigger bream are hitting like freight trains, but once they feel any weight they tend to drop the bait. The fish are simply grabbing the bait and running with it, before swallowing it some seconds later.

Lure enthusiasts are doing well fishing in the depths out from the riverbank with metal vibe lures gently hopped along the bottom. The fish seem to be holding in around 4m depth.

Both estuaries are performing well for winter bream, and this should continue if we don’t receive a massive rain event, which would put both systems into flood.

The Hopkins mouth is open, which explains the mulloway in the system and hopefully soon the Curdies will follow suit.

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