Many anglers would know of the kingfish action that is happening around the state, especially locally around Melbourne. The action around the rip has been hard to miss, with a heap of quality fish coming aboard for those fishing amongst the aquatic traffic. There have been fish from 55cm through to around 12kg with plenty of 65 - 75cm fish about, and they have been willing to take jigs, live baits and dead baits. Getting fish towards the surface and casting stickbaits and plastics has been a good way to land them too. 

Customers Steve, Jason and Mick fished the rip over the weekend and had an excellent session on fish to around 7kg. The guys managed a few fish on live squid but found the jigs to be the most effective. Working jigs from 100g through to 210g worked in the various depths that the fish were holding in. 


Customers Will, Thao and Johnny also fished the area over the weekend and got into some nice kings. Jigging and dropping live baits both worked, with the occasional dead bait going off as well. 


The kingfish have been so prevalent that they are even making their presence found by anglers quietly minding their business in search of other species. Among the small fish working the whiting ground along Westernport's top end, there have also been fish spread further around the port. Customer Dan was fishing land based near Corinella targeting a feed of whiting with strips of squid when one of his KGW baits screamed off. He was pleasantly surprised when a legal kingfish was finally subdued and on the beach.  


Further down the coast the kingies have been running as hot with the offshore ground from Port Welshpool really producing some nice fish. Young gun Mike ventured out from Welshpool and got amongst some nice fish up to 8kg or so. The fish around the inner islands have been responding well to smaller kings and plastics, along with live squid and slimey mackerel. Yakkas have been catching also if the other baits are hard to find. 

 


With some good weather forecast over the weekend, many will be trying their luck offshore for the bluefin tuna. These fish have been holding in good numbers from around Barwon through to Pyramid Rock, and in water from 15m out to 70m or so. While there have been some nice fish pushing 30kg, many of the fish have averaged around 13 - 20kg. There have been schools further east towards Inverloch and further but many anglers will be targeting the fish closer to Melbourne.  

Customer Rick went out during the week and had a shot at putting some fish in his boat with some guidance from Gawaine Blake. Rick and Gawaine managed a nice brace of fish in the 20kg out from Port Phillip Heads. 


While fish have been caught on all methods, the standout techniques of late have been trolling skirts behind 'flippy floppy' or strip style teasers. Skirts in the 3 - 5 inch size have been best when run around 5ft from the back of the teasers, with small bullet heads the most effective. The other effective technique is either slow trolling or casting poppers around the edge of the schools, which creates a similar sound wave and surface disturbance to entice the fish towards the top. Poppers in the 150 - 230mm size range have worked, with around 160mm about ideal to create enough attraction and be easy enough to eat. 


EJ Todds Representative Mitch has landed a few nice fish out from Barwon in the week, with 160mm Maria poppers doing the trick when worked subtle around the schools. Popping for tuna is less aggressive than many think, with a 'GT' style rip often too much and sending the fish turning away. The 60m area off Barwon was the best fish holding zone during the week. 

 


Lake Tyers has been fishing very well for anglers out chasing multiple species from the boat, kayak or bank. While the lake is still closed and high and in need of a decent flush out there have still been plenty of fish caught. The bream fishing from about half way down the main arms into the main basin has been good along the flooded edges and covered rocky bars, on both bait and lures.  Some nice bream can be caught early morning around these very margins on unweighted yabbies or prawn, or small suspending lures. 


The flathead fishing in the lake has been good also with some large fish caught. Again the bottom half of the lake has produced most of the fish, as the higher reaches have a decent amount of fresh water around the upper section of the water column. Customer Paul fished the lake recently and found some nice flathead to an estimated 74cm. Fishing the flooded margins and shallows saw Paul snag fish on 4 inch weedless-rigged soft plastics. 


Customer Bob also landed some nice dusky flathead recently fishing from the shoreline. Bob caught fish well into the 50cm size bracket on pilchard and bluebait on a running rig. Fishing the baits along the second drop off saw all the action. 


The tailor have also been floating about the lake and they have generally been large. Fish to 80cm have been marauding the bait schools and even chopping hooked bream and flathead up. Bob landed a few tailor to 1.5kg from the shoreline of Fisherman's arm on bluebait on his most recent trip. 


A simple walk across the sand dune at the mouth of the lake has seen plenty of salmon about also. While the lake isn't open to the sea, small amounts of water seep through the dune to the beaches edge and provide nutrient to smaller schools of baitfish which in turn attract the salmon. Fishing the deep shoreline gutters straight out from the shore break with a paternoster rig has been a good way to land salmon to around 1kg for customer Dan. TPE style soft plastics attached to a surf popper of the bottom dropper have been an excellent 'crab proof' offering that the salmon will take after being lured in by the scent of the bait also. 

 


For those anglers keen on the bluewater billfish action, the south coast of NSW has been producing a red hot marlin bite from Jervis Bay back down to the Bermagui area. With warm currents pushing in close to the coast the marlin fishing has been excellent with many anglers reporting dozen fish days. There have been some small black marlin caught in close but most of the fish are striped marlin ranging from 80 - 120kg. The good thing about these fish is that have been caught in fairly close, as they roam the front edge of the current hunting bait. 


Customers Damien, Christian and Steve ventured up the coast for a quick weekend on the fish and they weren't disappointed. The guys shot straight to Jervis Bay and got out into the 150m area and looked for bait. The largest slimey mackerel were the best when bridled and run off the outriggers with around 3kg of tension. Very slow trolled slimies account for all their fish which ranged up to around 120kg. The larger sharks have been a problem around the marlin and bait however, as one of their fish couldn't be released after an attack from a bronze whaler. 

 

 

 

 

 


Now is a great time of year to be fishing locally, especially in Western Port. The large gummies on offer around the Western entrance and inside the port are excellent with some seriously-sized females moving in to pup. Fishing fresh baits along the bottom curve of a channel or gutter will generally lead to tangling with one of these fish, it just comes down to timing the stage of the tide. 

Customer Trent landed a ripper gummy fishing along the edge of the main western channel near Vetnor. Fishing chunks of freshly caught yakka and trevally provided Trent with the opportunity to release this 25kg fish. 


Customer Dan also landed a ripper gummy fishing with mate Seb. The guys were fishing around the Western entrance where they found some nice patches of reef and fresh bait in the form of wrasse and parrotfish. Fishing nearby to the reef resulted in a lovely shark of around 20kgs. Large chunk baits tend to ward most small pickers away in this environment, and leave plenty for the larger gummies to hone in on. 


There have been some nice school snapper caught in the port by anglers fishing the cunjie ground and rubble through areas like the north arm out from Hastings, and across towards the corals in similar bottom terrain. Fresh squid, pilchard and yakka have been the best-chance baits. 


Customer Nigel has been fishing the North arm in Western port where he has consistently been landing snapper up to 70cm. Nigel has been fishing small patches of cunjie in 10 - 13m of water. Most of the school fish have been sized from 55 - 65cm and have been taken on pilchard. 

 

Even though conditions haven't been ideal for many during the week, there have been some keen anglers making the most of the decreased boat traffic offshore and tangling with some good size bluefin tuna. With some better weather forecast for the weekend and early into the week there should be more tuna reports coming from outside both bays. The water offshore from Port Phillip heads has been teaming with life, including bluefin tuna to 30kgs. While these fish can be aggressive and hit with speed and anger, they will also shy away from lots of different lure offerings if they aren't interested. Most anglers having regular success on them have been incorporating some form of teaser, be it a flasher style rig or soft surface squid 'flippy floppy'.

Customer Johnny fished with mate Will during the week where they shot outside from Sorrento. The boys found success in slow trolling 150mm poppers around the edge of the schools giving them the occasional bloop to entice an enquiry.

Customer Zak also boated a couple of lovely tuna during the week, and offshore from Port Phillip also. Zak found that small skirts in the 4 - 5'' range were the most effective when run in conjunction with a flippy floppy teaser. Small bullet style heads running off the teaser also provide straight predictable tracking to help the fish line the lure up.

Customer Billy fished with mates out from the heads and landed some nice fish in the 20kg mark on skirts up to 6 inches in length. Running polished bullet heads behind flasher rigs was the most effective method, and in water around 50m deep.


 

The bit of rain that some of the state has received over the past fortnight has really given a breath of life for the freshwater streams and lakes, and fired the trout up some more. With a rise in water levels and an increase in water turbidity the trout have been actively feeding up and responding well to anglers fishing lures. 

Customer Matt has been fishing the pondage at Eildon over the past few weeks and has been landing some quality trout on lures. With overcast conditions and passing rain the trout have been patrolling the riverbed edge and flats looking for some easy prey. Matt's spoon style lures throw a lot of light and have an erratic action when slowly retrieved so they have been an excellent searching style of lure to find which areas the fish have been patrolling. 

Customer Vince has also been doing some trout fishing in the streams between Eildon and Noojee and he is also finding some decent size trout. Some of the larger tributaries have been producing brown trout to over 50cm. Most of the fish in these type of waterway are generally in the 20 - 25cm size range, so fish this size are exceptional. Vince has been fishing one of his favoured light spin rods with small hardbodies for all the action. The more tannin in the water the brighter the lure colour for extra contrast, with orange and black being favourites for him. 

Any rain event during Summer and Autumn can provide an extra boost in trout activity in the local rivers. If you're going to bait fish these rivers baits like cut worm are excellent after rain also. 

 


The whiting reports from both Westernport and Port Phillip have continued to be excellent. While the height of Summer can provide numbers of smaller fish, there have still been some excellent fish caught if you can weed through the smaller school fish. Customer Trent has been fishing a bit deeper for whiting in Western port during his last few sessions and has been racking up bags of very solid fish out from Newhaven. Larger strips of squid fished as hang baits in the current have been the best baits to filter away all but the bigger fish.


Customer Dale took his young fella out and had some fun on the whiting recently. The boys have done best when fishing around the middle spit in 8m during the start of the start of the run in tide. Pipi and squid have been the best with more numbers going to pipi. 


Customers Mark and Cip have been doing well on the whiting fishing out from Warneet. The guys have been catching good numbers of school fish from 32 to 41cm during the rougher conditions when there haven't been many others out. These conditions while less pleasant have had the fish biting much harder and good quantities of fish have been coming over the side in a short amount of time. Pipi and mussel have been the best two baits when fished on 'dropshot' style hooks. 


Customer Domenic has been doing well on the whiting fishing out from Tootgarook. Domenic has been fishing some of the shallow weed beds and has found smaller patches of nice size fish. Pipi has been the most effective bait for him when in the shallower water. 


Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice bags of fish out from the southern peninsula. Ryan has been fishing in close around Dromana and Safety Beach in 6m of water. Fishing the same area he has found squid and flathead, with small tenderised strips of squid being his favoured bait, especially once pre-cut and soaked in aniseed oil.  

 

With some decreased traffic on the freshwater lakes and rivers many anglers have been doing their best to get some serious freshwater fishing in for cod and yellowbelly. Lake Eildon has seen a few more serious anglers putting in the time for both species, with customer John being one of them. John has been fishing the lake over the past fortnight and has some pretty much all spots to himself, where he has landed a few metre plus fish. John has been bait fishing some deeper holes, beaching the boat and accessing the shoreline. Using heavy bait cast gear he has been landing the fish quickly for a photo and off to swim again. 


Speaking of big cod, customer Ned came in and purchased some lures to try for cod while fishing around the Seymour section of river. Ned bought a few different styles but stuck it out with a medium sized surface crawler which he landed 2 ripper cod on. One fish measured 85cm and the other just nudging the metre mark, both caught using a dead slow retrieve with the surface offering. Ned caught both fish casting parallel to the bank and working the shoreline drop off instead of straight out in the deeper water. 


Back up at Eildon customer Trevor has been catching a few golden perch. Trev has been fishing up around the Delatite arm of the lake and has been fishing the fish in close to the edges. Trolling medium running hardbodies has been the most effective of picking a few fish up, but holding the rod is also key. Fishing a trolled rod in hand helps transmit small bumps and nudges better and also helps 90% more in minimising snagging up or fouling the lure on weed or timber. 

 


While there have only been small breaks in the weather the past week, there have been some anglers able to get amongst some nice pelagics down along the west coast. Portland bay has been holding good numbers of school bluefin and kingfish from water as shallow as 10m. These fish have been fairly finicky but there are always patches of feeding fish to catch. 


Customers Benny and Damien stayed down at Portland for a few days and had some relaxed fishing, with kings and tuna on the list. While the kingfish were either playing fussy or slamming lures in super shallow water and breaking them off, the tuna were a bit more cooperative. Some patches of fish weren't interested while others would belt the teaser lines and any lure in the spread. Amongst that, the most productive lures were small 4 inch skirts run behind floppy floppy teasers. 


When the weather turns a bit average or chasing flighty tuna and kings about gets old, there are plenty of other options in close to Portland harbour. During a recent trip there customer Mick nailed some thumper whiting like this solid fish. Fishing in close to the harbour and along the scattered North shore reef can see some supersized whiting caught, with fish pushing 50cm not uncommon. Strips of squid are one of the gun baits here too, and while fishing these whiting grounds there are excellent chances that kingfish and even tuna could turn up.