Snapper reports have been pretty good considering it's late June. The snapper in the bay have fired up somewhat since Melbourne copped some ugly weather a little while back, so if you're a snapper freak then now's just as good a time as any to go out and try pin a good sized fish. The best part is that the snapper action hasn't been too confined to any certain areas of the bay; there have been fish caught from Geelong to Port Melbourne and Brighton to Mount Martha. Customer Vic made use of some ugly weather earlier in the week and perched himself along the rocks down towards Mornington. Vic was targeting snapper and lost a couple of fish, but the fish that he did land was a beast. Fishing with a whole pillie on 60lb leader Vic managed to land a thumping fish of 10.2kg - not bad for landbased in June hey...meanwhile across near Williamstown in only 8m of water customer Reece caught this nice 7kg fish on pilchard while drifting along a small dropoff with flatties in mind. That's the shoreline and city in the background.

Along pretty much every reef patch in the bay the pinkies have been in plague proportions. While there have been heaps of fish to attack a bait, a lot of them have been on the small side. A lot of the fish have been around the 30cm size, with a few bigger models mixed in. Larger baits and bigger hooks are a good idea if you're after a few bigger fish for the table. Soft plastics are a good option when chasing pinkies, and brands like Zman are excellent when the smaller fish are chewing other plastics to bits. If you're lucky you might even get some by-catch like customer Shane did. Shane was fishing out around Mordi with a 4" plastic when he landed a rare catch. This strange fish is an Australian Angel shark, which can reach around 1.5m in length.

For the squidding enthusiasts, the calmer weather we have had has been perfect for hitting some of the piers and rock ledges in search of a few. The southern end of the bay has been the best recently, especially along Mornington, Blairgowrie and Portsea. Staff member Don headed down to Portsea pier during the week and found some nice squid and cuttlefish. Don found that size 3.5 Yakamito's in gold foil were the best on this occasion, with all squid and cuttlefish caught on similar jigs. Customer Ryan has also been catching a few squid from the rocks around Mornington recently. Ryan has had to work hard and hop around in search of a few but he has been getting good numbers in the end. Size 3.0 and 3.5 Gancraft and Yamashita jigs have been the best, with green/gold tones/grass whiting patterns working the best. Most of Ryan's squid have been in the 300g size lately. 

 

Most anglers have a 'dream fish' or place they would really love to go and fish. For Customer Barney his dream was to catch a big barra. Barney fulfilled his dream recently while he was in Darwin with his wife Irene. Barney was fishing aboard Vision Charters with skipper Ben when he caught these 2 rippers at 94cm and 95cm. These nice salties were caught trolling hardbodies around the Shoal Bay region just north of Darwin. Nice one Barney!

 

While the southern bluefin tuna fishing can be good in western Victoria, the attraction of jumbo bluefin is what lures gamefisherman to Tasmania. Many of the fish caught around these southern waters are 100kg+ 'barrels' as these fish are regularly caught within a few kilometres from the shoreline. Customer Frank ventured down to the Apple Isle only a couple of weeks ago in search of his own 'barrel' and wasn't disappointed. Frank fished out from Eaglehawk Neck on the southeastern coast of Tasmania and was lucky enough to hook a jumbo sized tuna on his 50W Tiagra. After a 2 hour fight the fish was boated and weighed in at around 120kg. The big fish took a Rapala XRAP 30.

 

Tuna reports from western Victoria have been a bit wish-washy over the past few weeks, mainly due to on and off again weather. When the conditions have been good, there have still been school fish caught right through from Port Fairy to west of Bridgewater. Most of the fish caught have still been around the 10kg mark, with the odd bigger fish towards 20kg. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been doing trips on the tuna in both Portland and Port Fairy recently, with some long days required to keep customers catching fish but in the end everyone was happy. Ever reliable XRAP30's and Halco Laser Pro 160's have been doing well for James along with smaller skirts in the 5" size. James has noticed a lot of people finding fish but not catching them as they are running lures that are too large at the moment. A lot of fish have been feeding on whitebait and pilchards so the smaller profile lures are doing the trick.

Many customers are still picking up fish on small skirts, like this school fish caught on a 4" purple skirt . If the tuna have been picky towards your offerings though then these new lures might solve the puzzle. These new 'Pacemakers' from Samaki are the ultimate offering to fool fussy tuna. Pictured here in the pilchard colour in both 140DD and 180DD compared with the real deal. Pretty hard to spot the difference! Available in store now in a variety of colours.

 

The high country and snowy mountains region has been producing some nice trout for anglers persisting the cold and bitter weather. The surrounding areas of Jindabyne and Eucumbene have been producing spawn runs of brown trout making their way up the rivers. Staff member Ian fished with mates Claude and Nick recently in search of a few quality brown trout. Ian fished a tandem fly rig on spin gear, working it through likely runs and pools to land some nice brown trout.

Customers Zoran and Johnny also fished the same technique in the same sorts of areas to land some cracking brown trout, with some of the larger fish weighing nearly 7lb. 

Staff member Dylan also took the trek up to the snowies with mates in search of a few quality trout on lure and fly. Fishing various larger hardbodies like Rapala F series, Dylan caught trout to around 5lb working lures aggressively around deep runs and ledges. Casting tandem fly rigs with added weight off a 5 weight fly rod was tricky in the stiff breeze but Dylan also caught fish around the 5lb mark using this method.



Dylan and mates also fished some smaller water away from the crazy crowds in search of some fun on the 3 weight creek outfits. After a bit of walking and a lot of fish spooking the guys caught some nicely coloured small creek trout and also missed some much larger fish in the 4 - 5lb size. Small tungsten bead headed nymphs fished under a NZ yarn Strike Indicator were effective on the smaller creek fish.

The trout fishing in the lakes has been good recently, as the conditions have been perfect for them! Cold weather with rainfall really triggers the trout to feed up and move in their annual spawning congregations. Lake Eildon has been fishing well around some of the arms like Jews Creek and Big River. Customer Mick fished the main arm out from Eildon boat harbour in search of a few trout, and he did catch a few small browns trolling tassies behind downunder sinkers. 

Customers Rene and Andrew also fished Lake Eildon recently, where they camped out and did some trolling. The guys trolled a mixture of lures like Tassies, Merlins and Rapalas - with a few pelagic browns taking a mixture of lures. The guys trolled around Jews Creek and Big River to find their fish.

The western lakes normally fish well at this time of the year, and this year has been no different. Bullen Merri, Purrumbete and some of the northern lakes like Wendouree and Toolondo have all been producing fish. Lake Bullen Merri has been producing some quality size fish from anglers trolling and baitfishing. Young angler Gabrielle was fishing out in the lake with live bullhead minnow when this massive brown trout got hungry. At around midnight her bubble float went under and this 4.3kg trout came up. What a cracker!

 

Reports coming from Port Phillip Bay have been a bit quiet recently. There has been a run of snapper hanging around since the start of the rough 'winter' weather which has gotten a few anglers excited, but action close to home has been a bit quiet. The salmon have been showing up around some of the local piers like Frankston, Seaford and Mordi during a bit of onshore southwesterly chop. Baits of bluebait or whitebait have been good, along with small plastics and metal slugs.

Around the estuaries the bream have been touch and go with the recent rain and average weather. Baits of prawn and scrubworm have been tempting a few fish out of the Patterson River. The 'Patto' has also seen a couple of mulloway caught recently as well. Customer Ben managed 2 in a session recently using plastics, with the bigger fish measuring 80cm.

Over towards Altona customer Tony reports of some reasonable squid fishing in close, with size 3.0 jigs doing the damage. Tony also caught some nice sized flatties on strips of freshly caught squid out deep.



There has been a decent winter run of snapper in Westernport Bay since Melbourne had some proper rough winter weather a few weeks back. Not long had this weather started and snapper were being caught from a few land based spots as well as by anglers in boats. The fish have also been fairly well spread out, with reports coming from the top end of the port, right down to the fast eastern sections. Customers Chez and Adrian got out on the port recently and did well catching some nice winter fish to 7kg. The boys were fishing over in the eastern arm and using fresh squid to tempt these reds.

 

Customers Andrew and Ben have also had some success on the good sized winter fish in the port as well. Andrew was fishing towards Corinella when he landed fish between 5kg and 8kg. Squid heads and strips were the most effective baits. Customer Ben fished the shallows of the top end of the port during the night recently to land snapper to 7kg. Ben found that fresh squid was the gun bait.

 

On the squid scene, reports have been good during slightly calmer weather. The shallow areas along Tyabb, Quail and Stony banks fished well during low wind and low light times. Rough, churned up banks have forced the squid a bit deeper off the edges, and they can still be caught in depths of 5 - 7m. Customer Jarrad fished the Tyabb area between 2 - 5m of water to catch some good squid on the drift. Early morning produced some on baited jigs, and once the sun got up red foil size 3.5 Yamashita jigs did well. The biggest hood length measured 40cm which took the Yamashita jig. Customer Ben also fished in the Tyabb area for a good bag of squid taken on size 3.5 jigs during the week.

Whiting reports have slowed right down, with the odd angler catching some respectable fish but definitely not in the summer numbers. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting together some nice bags of fish for customers, with whiting averaging the 38cm size taking fresh squid and pipi. Along some of the deeper, more reefy sections that James has been fishing he has also pulled up the odd nice size cray.

 

The run of tuna along the West coast has been good over the last couple of weeks, the main dilemma has been getting a break in the weather to get out and chase them. In saying that, clear skies and light seas have made for some frustrating fishing with plenty of fish in fairly close and working through bait schools near the surface. In this scenario many anglers are spooking the schools by trolling too close, and with 'standard' tuna sized skirts in the 6 - 8" size many of these fish will refuse to bite. Most of these schools have been feeding on small bait such as whitebait, frogmouth and the occasional small saury or pilchard. In this scenario an engine-off drift with the wind, casting smaller lures like stickbaits, plastics and even jigs to the school can produce results. Sinking stickbaits are a good choice as they can be cast well and worked aggressively across the surface, and if no bites have come they will sink with a seductive flutter through the school and get the bite.


Keep stickbaits and jigs small for finicky surface - feeding tuna, 70 - 130mm is the best size range.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has spent a few weeks down around Portland and Port Fairy catching tuna with customers, with loads of school sized fish to be caught. James has been finding natural coloured hardbodies and skirts have been more consistent of late, and after a lure top up at the store James was off catching fish again.

Customer Ben fished out from Port Fairy recently with some mates, where they caught some nice bluefin to around 18kg. The better performing lures in the spread were XRAP30's in the 'dorado' colour, with depths around 60m holding good numbers of fish. Customer Mick also fished for the tuna aboard a charter recently to land some school fish in the 10kg size range. Trolled skirts and hardbodies in dark silhouettes were the best on the day.

 

The trout action has been good in many of the local streams and rivers recently. With Melbourne's cold and windy weather at least fishing in some of the rivers you can get a bit of a break from the wind, and sometimes the rain too. Customers Jinsu and Jordan have been fishing local rivers near Noojee in search of a few spotted river wrigglers.

Jinsu has found that soft plastics like Gulp Minnows and turtleback worms have been effective in dirtied up pools when visibility is low, while Jordan has been catching fish on a mixture of flies. Jordan has been alternating between indicator nymph fishing and also wet flies like wooly buggers and the like. Between both of these techniques the guys have been pulling some nice sized browns for the streams.

Up around the Eildon region, customer Vince has also been getting a few trout here and there. Vince has found that the most effective lures for him recently have been small spinner like the Blue Fox Vibrax, in plated gold and also brass colour. With a bit of colour to the water he has found the trout have been able to find these lures a bit easier.