As snapper season starts to heat up more and more the fish (especially more so in port phillip) will have longer and more frequent bite 'windows' which is good news for all snapper anglers. Most anglers out there will be targeting the reds with bait fishing techniques, but artificial lures also work very well on them when used in the right scenario. You can catch snapper on plastics and other lures in virtually any area that you would normally catch them on bait, the trick is to use the right equipment. The main feature for catching snapper on plastics consistently is having a high quality, light weight graphite rod and compact but powerful reel spooled with quality braid. Snapper will soon find faults in your outfit, so having a very smooth drag along with good quality fluorocarbon leader and quality jigheads is the only way to go. 

Customer Alex has been landing fish to around 4kg on lures while out in his kayak from the northern end of the bay. Alex has also had larger fish on that have rubbed him off and chewed through heavy leader. Recently Alex has had to use 40lb leader to keep hooked fish from hitting structure. Soft plastics have been the order for Alex, with 4'' flickbaits and worm patterns doing well. 

Customer Daniel has also been out during the week chasing the snapper on plastics. Most of the fish Daniel has been catching have been around the Ricketts Point area, with 4'' plastics getting hit more often than larger presentations. 

Westernport bay has been a little more consistent for anglers chasing snapper, with slightly warmer water temperatures contributing to this. The northern end of the port has been good for school sized fish, especially around the Joe's Island region. Staff member George fished with a couple of mates out from Corinella over the weekend. The guys fished around some shallower ground in search of a few feeding fish, and used a bit of berley. Zealcol 'snapper snack' was used to bring fish in to the baits, and the advantage of the shallower water also meant that the current didn't drag too much of the berley away. George and the guys boated 3 nice snapper during the run out tide from 2kg through to 3.6kg, with squid the only bait to get a hit when fished on 6/0 light circles. 

Customer Ferdi also had a session out in the port recently, where he got onto some nice school fish along with a good table sized gummy. Ferdi was fishing with a mate out from Hastings and found that squid and pilchard worked the best on these fish. Customer Damien fished out from Corinella with a couple of mates over the weekend for some nice fish. All up 6 nice snapper were boated, up to 5.5kg in weight. The guys were fishing in 10m of water and out all the baits used found that squid was the most productive, with the squid hoods the gun bait when fished on a 5/0 circle hook.

The last couple of weeks there has been a good run of school sized snapper moving around the bay, which excellent numbers being caught from the shore. Most of the fish have been in the 1 - 3.5kg size, but there have still been a good amount of fish from 5kg + being landed from the piers and rock walls. Most of these spots have fished best during a rough southwesterly wind, which can be uncomfortable and difficult to fish in - but these are the conditions that bring the fish close enough to the shoreline to be caught. These onshore conditions also stir up the bottom which creates food for the hungry fish so it is a good time to target a snapper with your two feet still on land. 

Staff member Kozi has been targeting the snapper from the shore up around the St Kilda/Brighton section of the bay, where he has seen fish to 4kg. Most of the fish have been caught after dark, with a mixture of baits working well. Locally caught squid and also pilchard has been effective, and Kozi has been fishing a simple running rig with 5/0 circle hook with these baits. 

Customer Ahmad has also been fishing from the eastern shoreline of the bay where he has been doing well on snapper up to 5kg. Ahmad has been fishing from both rock walls and piers, mixing it up when the fish move about. Ahmad has found that the most effective baits recently have been pilchard, squid and also harder baits like yakka and salmon. Cocktail baits with yakka or salmon have been good on the larger sized fish, keeping the small pickers away. Customer Jun also caught a very nice snapper from the shore recently. Jun has been fishing from the piers around Mordialloc and he landed a lovely fish at night just recently. Jun caught the one fish on pilchard, estimated at around 6kg. 

Squid fishing around the bay has been good recently for anglers from the shore, kayak, or in the boat. Most of the usual haunts are producing squid, from one side of the bay to the other. There have been some nice squid coming from the top of the bay around Altona and Williamstown, as staff member Ian found out. Ian fished over the weekend with mate Bruce in search of a few squid and possibly a snapper. Ian fished in various locations from Williamstown to Altona and down to St Leonards, with squid coming from all locations. Various jigs worked best, including size 3.0 Gesolas and Yamashita Sutte-R. The most successful depths were around the 4m mark, with the ultra shallow too glassed off during the day. After catching their squid, Ian and Bruce moved out a bit deeper in search of a snapper, but with no avail. They did however land a few good sized flathead and salmon on snatcher style rigs fished with fresh squid. 

Along the southeastern side of the bay, staff member Kozi reports some good numbers of squid coming from Bighton, Beaumaris and Mornington piers. While Brighton can be a bit patchy, darker coloured jigs work well when there hasn't been too much angler traffic along the pier. Staff member Dylan has caught some nice squid to around 1kg from Beaumaris during the week, with dark coloured Yoshikawa jigs in size 3.0 working the best.

Australian salmon have been thick in the bay at the moment, with schools being caught along both east and west sides of the bay. Customer Ryan reports that Beaumaris bay through to Sandringham has been boiling with fish to 2.5kg on some days. While the salmon may not be visible some days, they are more than likely working 'deep' and harassing bait schools that aren't on the surface. Ryan has been out in his kayak and has found a few patches of fish pushing bait towards the surface, where he has been smashing a few with soft plastics. Whitebait imitation soft plastics in the 2 - 4" size have been dynamite, especially in white/pale yellow/pink colours.

Further down along Frankston and Seaford there have also been salmon working along the shoreline. Staff member Kozi has been down on more than one occasion and has done well on fish around 1kg on flickbait style plastics around 3" in length. Days with a strong southwesterly wind have brought the fish right in close to shore.  

The trout fishing local to Melbourne has been pretty good recently, and because we haven't had a great deal of hot weather it should continue. Bait, lure and fly anglers have been getting in to a few fish both local and afar which is good. Generally once you've been in the car and out of the suburbs for a bit over an hour there are multiple options for chasing trout, whichever direction you head. Up around the Eildon region the fish have been on and off, but this can generally be the case with Eildon, especially in the pondage. Bait anglers preparing for a solid session on the pondage can normally expect fewer fish, but there is always a chance of one of those 'Eildon monsters' coming along. 

Customer Reece was fishing in the Eildon area over the weekend in search of 'that' fish. Reece is a pretty dedicated lure angler and hits the trout a fair bit, and the fish he caught on the weekend was the icing on the cake as far as he's concerned. Reece was throwing small slow floating hardbodies in trout parr colours when he noticed a big fish cruising. Reece managed to get a gentle cast in front of the big rainbow and it soon came over and smashed the lure. After a few decent runs, Reece got a good look at the fish and after a quick pic it was on it's way again. 

Not too far away from some of the Eildon streams, customer Jordan has been having a bit of fun on the fly. Jordan has been looking around some small water in search of a few trout to cast both wet and dry flies at, and there has been no shortage of stream sized fish to cast to. Jordan has been using a mixture of techniques including indicator nymphing which has caught most fish from deeper pools and runs, and for slower edges and pools a few fish have also risen up to take small dries like Adams's Parachute and Kosciuszko Duns. 

Staff member Dylan has also been out over the weekend in search of some stream trout. Dylan has been fishing around the Yarra Ranges and South Gippsland areas, with streams like the Latrobe, Little Yarra and Loch getting a look. While most of the fish are small in the streams, they can be good fun to present flies and lures to. Even with warm conditions over the weekend, the water in these streams has still been very cold and clear, and running well.

A mixture of both brown and rainbow trout have been caught, with recent sessions providing a few more fish on the dry flies that nymphs. The slower moving pools and runs have been fishing well with flies like Royal Wulffs, Elk Hair Caddis and Adam's Parachutes.

It might sound funny that the days are starting to get warmer and, coincidentally so are the snapper reports. The increase in sunshine slowly warms the water temperature, to the point where the snapper will feed for longer. At the moment, the temperature along the eastern side of Port Phillip is hovering around 14.5 - 15C, which is starting to fire the snapper up. The fish will generally go from a very short and fickle early morning bite to hitting the baits with more gusto as the month rolls along. Towards the end of the month we will see more frequency in their bite windows, with morning and afternoon sessions seeing some action. Customers Peter and Matt went out from Frankston earlier in the week in search of a red, and the morning bite saw them land 2 nice fish at 65 and 67cm. The guys were fishing out along the 16m line, and their pilchard and fresh squid head baits both went off at around 7:30am.

Staff member Dylan went out on Friday morning with customer Dave, in search of a couple of reds on the plastics. Laucnhing from Mordialloc, they fished out around Ricketts Point and Beaumaris Bay to land a nice fish of 3.2kg, amongst a heap of smaller fish. Best depths were 6 - 9m of water, with small plastics working much better than large offerings. Zman grubs and jerkbaits in the 2.5 - 4" size have been good, as there are lots of schools of small baitfish around. With lots of small baitfish in the bay, the snapper have been opportunistic - feeding on this bait. Because of this, a lot of school sized fish have very sharp, pointy canine teeth, as you can see in the photo. If you're bait fishing, make sure you beef up your leader to at least 60lb - and 40lb up if using fluorocarbon.  

With some calmer conditions recently, Port Phillip has fished well for squid. The areas from Frankston south have been the best, as the more northeastern sections of inshore reef have been churned up with onshore winds, which has made the water a bit milkier and the fishing a bit tougher. Not to say that the squid aren't there, but the most effective method for the northern section of the bay is to use a baited jig under a float or a bright coloured UV or luminous jig, smothered in scent like Egimax spray. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been out chasing squid on charter with customers, and while the numbers of squid have been hard to pick through, there have still been some quality sized specimens coming aboard. James has been using jigs with strong silhouette or bright cloth colours to get his bags out from Altona and Williamstown. 

The Gippsland estuaries and rivers are starting to really fish well for bream. The Gippsland lakes around Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance has been fishing well for bream, mullet and luderick for both bank and boat based anglers. Baits of prawn, chicken gut and worm have been the best for all three species. Further East, Mallacoota has been fishing well for the bream and some large flathead are starting to move around as well. 

Customer Paul fished Mallacoota for a weekend just recently in search of a few big bream, and there were some nice fish caught. Paul and mates fished both top and bottom lakes, along with the upper reaches of the river to really see if they could track down a few fish. Most of the fish were caught along the lake margins and edges, using various lures including suspending hardbodies, vibes and also plastics. As you can see by the picture of all the lures that were used - there's no such thing as too many lures!

The next few months are the best time to get out and fish for our freshwater natives like yellowbelly. Once December rolls around the Murray cod season will open up again and these fish should be back on the bite. Staff member Harley fished with a mate at some local dams during the week that has been stocked with yellowbelly, bass, and the odd Murray cod. Harley and his mate worked the series of dams and overflows in search of some yellowbelly. The first dam Harley fished resulted in a nice bass on his lipless vibration bait.

The second dam that the guys fished was loaded with yellowbelly. In a few short hours, the guys caught over 20 yellowbelly and one lone Murray cod which were all released unharmed. The small lipless vibration baits were the most effective when hopped slowly along the bottom. Yabby and juvenile yellowbelly colours worked the best in this water.

Within around an hour's drive from Melbourne there is some good trout fishing. To the north there is the Yarra River and surrounding tributaries, while heading into southwest Gippsland there are plenty of smaller streams out towards Noojee and the surrounding area. Customer Jordan went for a drive towards Noojee over the weekend in search of a few trout on fly. Jordan fished a few of the small rivers and streams in the area using a few different tactics, and he eventually found a few fish. 

In one particular stretch of water he found that small dark coloured bead headed nymphs were the best, landing both browns and rainbows from these areas. Fishing the small nymphs under a strike indicator he was able to tell when the fish ate the fly. In another more snaggy and overgrown section of water Jordan could see a few fish rising to the surface, so a quick change to a dry fly produced the results. Small parachute adams and similar deer hair surface flies got some interest from the small fish. Jordan also found the odd spiny cray in some of the deeper pools, which he had a look at then let go again.