The local land based fishing has been quite good at the moment, with most bread and butter estuary species on offer. In the Yarra, Maribyrnong, Werribee and Patterson rivers there has been god numbers of mullet to be caught, with the size ranging from 15 - 35cm. Small floats and fine grit berley are the key to success on these species. There has also been some nice bream being caught by both bait and lure anglers. Cutsomer Brendan has been killing some time down in the river fishing small soft plastics in search of a bream or two. Brendan was casting a small lightly weighted Zman grub from the shore and landed a nice chunky bream of 35cm. Brendan was rapt as he had been spending some time targeting the bream with lures and finally broke the duck.

 

The odd mulloway has also been caught by dedicated anglers fishing for them in the local estuaries. Customer Adrian had some success with a school sized fish caught towards the end of the river on a live mullet. These fish do take a bit of time and patience to work out, but the rewards are there for anglers doing so.

 

The Aussie salmon are starting to make their presence felt along most of the beaches at the moment, along with good numbers of them in both bays. While numbers aren't huge just yet, the size of some of the fish has been impressive - with fish to around 4kg confirmed. Customer Ben fished down at Gunnamatta recently to land a cracker of around 2kg from one of the close in gutters. Fish to 2kg are generally a bit more common early in the salmon season, so if you're after a bigger fish now is your time! Once the winter really kicks in larger numbers of fish in the 400g - 1kg size range will be more commonplace. Baitfishing and spinning has gotten results on the fish, with bluebait still a favourite. 

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also found some solid salmon recently while fishing the southern end of the bay. James has found good schools working dense baitballs, with a lot of the fish in the school up around 2kg, and a handful of bigger fish to just under 4kg. These are good sized fish in anyone's book, and they really test the limits on the light gear. Small Yamashita Golden Bait skirts have been good, along with Pakula Micro Uzi's when trolled along the edge of the schools. Soft plastics, metal jigs and flies all thrown into the path of feeding fish will also get a look in. 

 

Trout reports have still been good over the last week, and should only fire up a bit more with recent rain around Melbourne. In some areas the larger brown trout will start to school up in preparation for winter spawning migrations, so the use of larger more aggressive lure patterns will evoke a territorial response from these fish. Customer Josh has been out around the ranges in search of a bigger trout and came up good with this cracker. Josh was using a spawn trout pattern hardbody when he caught this nice brown. 

Customers Jordan and Morgan have also been fishing the Eildon area over the last week with the fly rods and they have again found some nice little stream fish. The local trout have been taking both dry and nymph patterns in various sections of water. Morgan has been tying up his own patterns to represent the local nymph population and they have been dynamite. The quality trout fishing should continue right up until the seasons close in June.

 

Reports of southern bluefin tuna coming from the west of the state have slowly started picking up. Reports have been coming from Port Mac, Portland and Port Fairy - with the majority of anglers focusing around Port Mac and Portland. While fish have been caught out around the 'shelf' there have also been lots of patches of fish in much closer, with some only 10km offshore. Customer Warren fished out from Portland on charter recently and found that the tuna on this day were eating everything from hardbodies to skirts. Customer Danny fished out from Port Mac recently and has seen consistent action on the tuna with fish to 30kg coming aboard. Danny has been doing well with Xrap 30's in colour LUU UV and also in Richter skirts in the Lumo/93 colour combo.

Customer Frank reports that tuna schools were seen around 8km out from Portland, but as with most of these big school the fish were feeding on whitebait and almost impossible to catch by trolling methods. Casting 'salmon sized' lures at these fish is a much more effective method, with small micro jigs and plastics in the 4" size being the standout. 'Matching the hatch' is very important when targeting these tuna while the feed on whitebait. Customers Ryan, Karl and Paul fished out from Portland just recently to land some nice sized school fish in only 20m of water. Richter skirts in dark colours worked the best on these fish. 

 

Whiting reports have slowed down a lot over recent weeks with cooler weather, and numbers of fish have thinned out somewhat. In saying this however, good whiting fishing can be had right the way through winter - you just have to work a bit harder for them. Many anglers aren't catching heaps and heaps of fish, but the fish that have been caught have been quality. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has still been getting reasonable numbers of fish for his customers, with many quality fish over 45cm. Customer Carlo has also been catching fish to 41cm on baits of pipi and squid, with a light coating of S-factor scent to top it off.

Customer Jamie has also been catching some nice whiting out in the port recently. Jamie has been fishing the Tankerton - Tortoise Head area and also across at Sandy Point. Jamie has caught fish to 45cm in length, on a mixture of pipi and squid, with the addition of premixed scallop berley to keep the fish biting. 

 

Autumn around the bay can be good for the landbased angler, with a few different options to test your luck on. Mullet, bream, mulloway, squid, pinkies and whiting can all be caught from the shore if you are in the right areas and have the correct gear. There have been a few mulloway caught from the areas around the docklands and some of the local rivers over the last few weeks, and while these fish are never easy to catch - patience and persistence definitely pays off. Customer Michael got onto a good fish just last week using live baits, which pulled the scales down to around 15kg. All Michael said about his fish is that it was captured around the 'wall'. Staff member Don has also had some luck on the smaller school sized mulloway locally, with a few fish in the 60 -80cm mark eating soft plastics. Don tested some of his light gear out on the fish and came out on top, quality gear goes a long way when you're targeting fish like mulloway.

The pinkies have been fairly ravenous lately, with loads of anglers catching fish from many shore based areas of the bay. Any rock platform or pier has been worth a shot lately, just be ready to fight through the schools of smaller fish. Customer Dennis fished from the shore at he mouth of the Patterson River just recently where he landed some nice pan sized fish. Fresh squid was the gun bait on these fish.

Squid reports are good around the bay, with most of the piers fishing well. Southern piers like Mornington and Blairgowrie have been good, especially for anglers fishing smaller sized jigs. Staff member Don took his young twins down to the pier just recently, where they had a ball catching squid on 2.5 sized red and gold foil jigs.

 

Westernport Bay has experienced a normal Autumn run of elephant fish and although they have been relatively quiet last year, numbers are better so far this season. Many anglers crossing over between whiting and gummy water have found the elephants, as this is prime territory for them. Water in the 5 - 10m depth along the edge of grassbeds seems to be a very good place to start. If in doubt, head to the 'elephant triangle' which is the open water section triangulating from Rhyll to Tortoise Head to Settlement Point at Corinella. This area is generally silt and sand mixed with small patches of grass and rubble, and is thought to be the main spawning ground.

James from Unreel FIshing Charters has been taking clients out in search of some elephant fish in the port, and he has been saying that the fishing for them has been good. James has been moving around the 'triangle' to finds the schools, and has found baits of fresh squid and pipi have been the best. Anglers fishing whiting type gear and rigs with a heavier 30lb fluorocarbon leader and 2/0 circle pattern hook have been the most successful. The heavier leader is to prevent the elephants' sharp dorsal spike from busting the lighter line as they thrash around. Customers Jarrod and Andrew fished from the shores of the port just recently in search of a gummy. The boys fished around the Lang Lang area and while no gummies were caught they did get amongst a few elephants, along with most other anglers. The most successful baits for the guys were small chunks of pilchard.

On the gummy front, calm Autumn conditions have had anglers making the most of the weather and good fishing. Gummies in the 5 - 8kg table size have been common along most of the channel edges and potholes, with a few larger fish further south towards the western entrance. Baits of fresh trevally, yakka, squid and salmon have been the most effective. Customer Will from the Hard Yards Fishing Club fished in search of a gummy recently and caught this nice table fish on a fillet of fresh couta.

 

South Gippsland normally experiences a run of snapper later than the bays around Melbourne, and although this year the snapper run has been quiet in general there have still been a few fish floating about. Normally around Christmas the snapper turn up around the estuaries in South Gippsland but a small run of fish has been around recently. Customer Aaron caught this nice red of around 8.5kg on freshly caught squid fishing in the Singapore Deep channel just recently.

A few kilometers away, customer Paul also caught a cracking snapper that pulled the scales down to 20lb. Paul was fishing just offshore from Mcloughlins beach when he caught the thumper.

 

While the local kingfish have pretty much just about finished, there have been scattered reports of a few here and there moving about. Customer Darren was out from Westernport before Easter where he had a crack for the kingies amongst some bottom bouncing. Darren fished cocktail baits of squid and pipi to land some nice whiting and trevally, and then worked some bommies and ledges for a kingie. Darren ended up trolling a pink Williamson squid skirt around and found a nice looking patch in 25m of water when bang off it went. Darren ended up with a good sized kingfish in the boat, a good way to top off the day.

 

Tuna reports from the West coast have started to filter through, and should only get better over the next month. Good numbers of fish have been spread out from around the 40m area right out to the shelf. Most anglers have been working the areas close to the Horseshoe and bagging out fairly easily. Average size at the moment is good, with plenty of 15 - 25kg fish, and a few larger thrown in. Hardbodied lures and skirts have been about equal in effectiveness at the moment. Customer Shane fished out near the shelf just recently to land a couple of nice 20kg fish on Pakula skirts, while customer Miraz also got into a few nice tuna. Miraz fished over the Easter break and caught fish to 18kg out wide from Portland. A mixture of Billmark UV enhanced skirts and also the Zerek Pelagic hardbody in Bonito did the trick.

 

Just prior to Easter, the South coast of NSW experienced a hot marlin bite from Eden all the way through to just South of Sydney. Customers Anton and Justin fished the Alliance tag and release tournament at Bermagui recently - where the boys tagged some solid striped marlin. Justin caught his first marlin on a lumo Topgun skirt and 15kg. Customer Ben also fished out from Bermagui recently to land a nice striped marlin of around 80kg on a live slimey mackerel.

A bit further away customer Peter was fishing offshore from Yamba in far Northern NSW when he landed this nice cobia of around 8kg. Peter caught the fish on an unweighted pilchard on wire trace intended for mackerel, and fought it for 30min before it gave up. Customer Kevin from the Noble Park Angling Club sent in a picture of a nice Golden trevally he caught when was in Broome last. Kevin caught the 16kg fish on squid on a local charter.

A little closer to home, the Eastern estuaries are fishing well at the moment. Customers Terry and Peter recently fished around Merimbula with baits and lures. Tailor to 4lb were chopping at lures of all sorts in Merimbula lake, along with some nice silver trevally. Peter caught this thumping yellowfin bream in the lake also on a small piece of striped tuna fished around the weedbeds. Customer Andrew was down at Lakes Entrance over the Easter break and he took some time to fish the local lakes and also chase prawns as well. Andrew and a mate had a blast catching prawns, and between them they managed about 8kg of quality prawns, along with some sand crabs.