Trout and redfin numbers improve
  |  First Published: July 2017

The last month has seen an increase of trout and larger redfin activity out west while the salmon appear to be moving into the white water down the Surf Coast with a little more frequency.

The Barwon River in Geelong has had its seasonal discolouration and turned a coffee colour due to the rainfall run-off, which pretty much negates lure fishing. The best bet if you have to fish it is to use big scrub worms and hope that a carp or redfin gets it before an eel!

Wurdiboluc Reservoir near Moriac is starting to produce some big redfin to 44cm with a little more consistency since the cooler weather has set in.

Michael Evans has been casting and retrieving lures out at Wurdi Buloc Reservoir near Moriac and catching a few big redfin. Michael says that it has been hard work with lots of casts. If you put in the hours, your patience will be rewarded. Dawn and dusk have been best, while overcast and light winds are ideal conditions to hit them up during daylight hours.

Michael has been using 3” Ecogear Power Shad soft plastics in green and brown colours and Nories Wasaby spoons in black, silver, gold or white colours with a slow constant retrieve. Small brown and rainbow trout have also been making an appearance at first and last light as well. Michael says that the lake margins from the rock walls or along the sandy banks have been good and anglers should cast out amongst the large weed beds.

Hugh Hanson has fished Stony Creek Reservoir a few times over the last month where he has caught a few redfin and trout casting bent minnow lures. Hugh saw a few trout rising to duns, so flyfishing could be a good option here.

Anglers drifting for flathead inside Corio Bay have enjoyed captures of fish from legal length to 45cm with a few giving 50cm a nudge.

Australian salmon have been smashing baitfish on the surface well within casting distance for land-based anglers near Geelong waterfront and St Helens. Calm mornings have been best and the schools are easily spotted as they approach. For boaties seeking some salmon fun, Point Henry and Avalon have both seen schools cruising about.

Pinkie snapper from legal length to 35cm have been caught by anglers flicking soft plastics along the Geelong waterfront. I’d expect these to taper off over this month, so give it a go sooner rather than later.

Garfish have been a popular target for land-based fishos in Corio Bay over the last month with a few quality fish caught under a quill float when the wind allows. They’ll take almost any bait and can be worked into a frenzy using berley. They aren’t great mates with cormorants though, so if you see one of these birds nearby, there won’t be too many garfish!

My neighbour Adrian had a ripper few hours one night fishing off Limeburners Boat Ramp with two mates. The lads got stuck into a stack of gummy sharks including one on a whiting rod baited with pipis! They spent a lot of time catching and releasing small gummy sharks and kept a couple for a feed. Adrian said they did hook one ripper, but it got off after a smoking run.

Danny Skene took Leigh Cherry and Bradon Szponer out off Portarlington last month hoping for a snapper. In cool conditions the lads managed five beauties including a personal best for Bradon using pilchards as bait.

Calamari were about the Bellarine Peninsula in good numbers in the weeks leading up to the start of the month. The size has moderated a tad, but they are well worth a look. Key locations last month were Clifton Springs and St Leonards and I’d expect them to remain a viable target over July.

Brendan Brown often drives down from Ballarat to fish Corio Bay and often gives me a call to see what’s biting. I replied with a few options and he chose to fish Clifton Springs. Brendan ended up with his bag limit of calamari caught drifting over the shallow weeds nearby and was out of the water mid-arvo!

The Barwon estuary has seen a few silver trevally, yellow-eye mullet and juvenile salmon caught close to the mouth on an incoming tide. They love raw chicken and pilchard fillets and bite best when the water is clean, so give it a go about two or three hours after the tide has started to move back in.

The hot tip for Bass Strait fishos is to keep an eye out for southern bluefin tuna this month. Fish over 100kg were caught out off Apollo Bay and Port Fairly last month. Let’s hope they pay the Surf Coast a visit!

The beaches and rock ledges along the Surf Coast have been coughing up a few quality salmon around the 1.2kg mark.

If you fish after dark near a bit of reef, you have a chance of catching a gummy shark or pinkie snapper too.

Fish HARD – Die Happy! Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to --e-mail address hidden-- with “VFM” in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997 348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 1mb (file size).

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