The weekend just gone had a few anglers in a spin, including myself, after the forecast for Saturday wasn't quite what it was supposed to be.
Nevertheless, there were some excellent fish caught by those who jumped at the chance to head out both inshore and offshore.
Sharks and tuna have filled the reports this week for the offshore scene, with some quality specimens landed.
Winter is the time for school shark and this last weekend was certainly a great example of this for most that were fishing on the bottom.
Ashley, Neville, Chloe and Jacob Dance fished offshore with Neil Woolstencroft and had a day to remember on the school shark, boating 21 in a crazy session.
The best part was that they tagged 15 of them, which will be hopefully used to track their growth rates and migration over their lifespan.
If you happen to catch a shark that has a tag in it there will be a number to call on the tag itself along with a tag number assigned to that particular shark.
Don't feel bad about keeping one of these shark either as it is part of the process.
Record its general location, record the number if you're releasing the shark again, the length if you can and the angler's name and call the number on the tag.
The tags for shark are yellow so they should stand out on the grey skin.
I went out offshore as well on Saturday with Sam Powell and Richie McKellar and even though it was rough, the boys landed six schoolies, sea perch, a nice Nannyghai and other undesirables.
I spent most of the day on the floor of the boat in a bean bag suffering from sea sickness but had front row seats to a pretty hot hour bite window.
Rods were buckled over every drop and we were soon on our way back in where we landed our six tuna while trolling Zerek speed donkeys and Halco Lazer Pros around the 50-70m mark.
When we got back to the ramp, it was a hype of activity with boats, anglers and fish everywhere.
Sharks and snapper were the standout species on the cleaning tables, with some quality specimens being cleaned.
Dan Mugavin caught a cracker school shark, about 20kg, that they caught off Warrnambool on one of their last drops of the day.
On Sunday, the fishing was a bit slower on the bottom fishing side of things but the tuna were still thick.
Tim and Oscar from the Tackle Shack headed out with a customer in search of some tuna off Port Fairy.
They landed five on the cast and trolling through the many bust ups.
The Hopkins River is a real struggle at the moment with cold water temperatures and some clear water making it tough on anglers.
The most activity that I've heard of has been up around Toorum Stones above Jubilee Park where there has been some nice kilo plus fish taken but the numbers are fairly low.
There have been whispers of some more Mulloway being caught around the Kinnear's Hut area but these are all unconfirmed for now.
If you're looking to chase a Mulloway then Nelson is still the place to be, with some excellent fish being landed around the Princess Margaret Rose Caves area right up to Sapling Creek as they move further upstream in search of the mullet.
The standout bait that anglers have been using is a cut bait off the Yakka's that frequent the breakwater in Warrnambool.
Fishing as light as possible in both the leader size and sinker size will greatly increase your strike rate.
My preference when chasing them on bait is an 8kg mono main line, with either a 20lb fluorocarbon leader or just use the main line tied directly to the hook.
A good quality bait runner reel is my favourite way of targeting them on bait, as it allows you to click it up from a light drag setting to a heavier fighting drag.
Don't strike too early either, as mulloway have been known to come back multiple times for a bait before committing to eating it.
Mick Hunt has been catching plenty of quality bream from the Curdies River still on vibes and soft plastics fished deep.
The fish are widespread from above Boggy Creek all the way down to the lake, which makes for great fun for all.
The trout are still going well in the upper Hopkins River for anglers walking the banks, casting soft plastics and hard bodies cast up into the runs.
Lee Sutton has been having great success on small nymph-style plastics fished on a painted jig head.
Fish to 5lb have been getting caught on this particular technique.
Lots of small fish have been landed on hard bodies and soft plastics which would probably be last year's released stock.
We are pretty lucky down in the South West that we don't have a closed season in any of our rivers.
This makes the region a pretty popular destination for anglers far and wide to chase a trophy trout.
Tackle Shack has a couple of specialist trout anglers in the store that can certainly point you in the right direction.
With some foul weather on the way this weekend, fishing opportunity will be limited across the south-west region.
Despite the predicted conditions, hopefully, we will see some great captures again.
Until next week tight lines and best of luck.
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