The freshwater reports have been overshadowed a bit by snapper but there has been a bit on offer in the sweet water. Murray cod season has just opened up and is looking good for the Summer ahead, there have been yellowbelly and redfin caught locally and the trout fishing has been excellent still.

Eildon pondage has again been the standout if you're chasing a couple of nice trout and not fussed on either lure or bait fishing. Customer Zoran has been fishing the pondage and has been catching fish to around 2kg on a mixture of dough and powerbait. Long rods fished with mono have been the go in setting the hook on subtle bites and pickups where shorter rods simply can't.


Eildon pondage received a top up of ex brood fish averaging 4kg last Thursday, with plans for another top up before Christmas, so it is well worth a trip up. Customer Jozef helped release some of the fish into the pondage which has baited him to get back up and try to catch them. Jozef did witness some large fish caught on small hardbodies as they cruised through the shallows as they hunted for small minnows and insects. Having a spin rod rigged with a small hardbody or plastic is a good idea while you're bait fishing.


A bit further north many anglers tried their luck fishing for cod over the opening weekend. Mulwala had a large field of anglers for the Cod Classic, with some lovely fish to over a metre caught. Customers Shane and Sue Brown fished the busy lake over the weekend with tough fishing but did manage a couple of small cod casting spinnerbaits at the timber.


Customer Steve also tried his luck for the first time on the cod, fishing the Murray up around Cobram. Steve and mate Ev camped in the area and tried a few techniques on the cod, with Ev landing a 57cm fish on a large yabby. Steve tried out some lures he purchased in store and nailed a nice 60cm fish on a spinnerbait. Steve has since purchased a baitcasting outfit to get into them even more.


Reports from Sugarloaf reservoir around Mebourne's outskirts is that it has been fishing well for yellowbelly. The dam is normally reasonably quiet for anglers but can be a good spot for a walk around the shoreline casting lures. Of late the yellowbelly have been active, with warm water bringing the fish on to the edges to look for food. Customer Ryan has been catching fish to around 40cm on a mixture of vibes and soft plastics. The vibes have been a fast way to 'search' the banks for a school of fish, while the weedless rigged soft plastics can be fished back slowly and thoroughly to make the most of the patch of fish.

 


Port Phillip has still been seeing most of the snapper action of late, with some afternoon bites during the week along side the normal early morning feeding routine. The best bet is still to be out before light and  mark up some fish before setting anchor and berley, but if you're into fishing gentlemen's hours then you can still score a fish or two.

Captain Jack fished out from Patto recently to score a nice table sized snapper using a 'snapper snatcher'. Jack fished in 18m and baited up the snatcher with chunks of yakka.


Fishing out wider has been more effective the past week, with the bulk of the reports coming from 16m and deeper. Out from Mornington Captain Bill has been picking up fish to 5kg on pilly and silver whiting. Customer Zoran has also been landing fish early morning out wide from Seaford in 19m. Zoran has been finding silver whiting to be effective at the moment, and he has been berleying with 'snapper magnet' pellets to get the bite going.


Customer Damien has been marking a few fish up out in 19m also. Fishing out from Patto, Damien has been looking for active on the sounder just above the bottom, and sitting around these fish. Squid, pilchard and silver whiting have all been effective on fish to about 4kg.


Out from Seaford customer Mark has been finding some quality fish. Mark has landed fish to better than 6.5kg just earlier in the week, with silver whiting being the best bait. Just make sure to upsize your hooks if fishing larger, harder baits as the snapper's jaw power can roll smaller hooks back into the bait which will foul the hookup. 5/0 and 6/0 are minimum for baits like medium sized whiting and other baitfish.


There have been plenty of school sized fish about recently too, with pinky numbers fairly thick around the inshore and channel reefs. Customers Benny and Ryan fished out from Frankston during the week to land some nice table pinkies on pilchard. If smaller fish are present, pilchard halves or cubes on smaller 2/0 hooks are a much better way to hook up than using whole baits. Customer Dennis has also been finding good school sized fish this week. Dennies has been fishing out from Patto where the average fish has been around 3.5 - 4kg.


Dennis has been fishing with a few mates and has landed fish to 6.7kg, with the most productive depths still out from 16 - 18m. Marking fish on the sounder is fairly crucial as it can show you the mood and size of the fish, and whether to stop on them or not.

 


While Western Port has been fishing well for good variety, it seems a fair bulk of anglers out doing most of their snapper fishing have been out in Port Phillip so reports are less than normal. There have been decent reports of snapper coming from around the port, but the main hotspots are the 'Lysaughts' region, Rhyll and Cowes deep, and through the 'corals' area. The bait preference for the Western Bay has been pilchard, or fresh baits of locally caught species like squid, salmon, couta and yakkas.

Customer Bart had a good session with some mates out from Rhyll. The guys managed 3 table sized gummies and a good bag of snapper to around 3kg fishing in 17.5m of water. Bart said that pilchard was by far the most effective bait, and the fish bit best around the last stage of the run out tide.


On the whiting front, many customers have been remarking "Have the whiting have started already?" The short answer is yes. The Whiting normally start around September in the port but number catches are patchy, with larger fish making up the bags. Currently at present there are good numbers along the banks throughout the top end, with some quality amongst them. As the heat of Summer approaches the school fish will make up the bulk of the catch up along the banks, but right now there are some good ones about.

Staff member Don has been out on the 'tings' again which is no shock to us, with fish to around the 40cm marking up his recent bag. Fishing deep in Bagge Harbour towards 'Crawfish' Don and mate managed 30 fish with lots around the 37cm size. Usual baits of pipi worked well but long thin strips of fresh squid were also very effective on 'worm' style hooks in the current.

 


Blue Rock Lake has started to warm up for fishing, especially if you're chasing the bass. The water level of the dam is around 2m lower than normal and reveals lots of partially submerged structure - so be mindful when navigating the lake. The bass and redfin have been biting fairly well along the shorelines and through the standing timber, with both bait and lures working well.

Customer George landed a few fish to around 30cm last week in the boat. George was fishing close to the vertical timber and using freshwater yabbies for bait.


Staff member Dylan has been fishing the lake over the last few weeks and while no monsters have been encountered there have been a few fish about. With  water clarity down on normal visibility darker coloured lures and strong silhouettes have been more effective than natural patterns. Small swimbaits and wakebaits have been catching the lion's share, with odd fish taking a crankbait fished deep through the timber. Some of the Megabass range has been the standout, with the Shading-X and Vibe-X Vattalion both working well.

 


Port Phillip remains the number 1 choice for many anglers when it comes to catching snapper. It can be less daunting for anglers who haven't done as much snapper fishing as others, but can also get quite rough when strong winds rip up. This week we have had plenty of strong winds and rainfall which has kept all but the keenest anglers off the water, but it has really knocked the snapper bite up another gear.


Early in the week as the Southwesterly blow backed off the fish bit very well, with good numbers moving about and right up into the shallower murky water to feed. Customer Phil made the most of the bite and scored fish around the 6kg mark fishing out from Chelsea. Baits of squid and silver whiting were the most effective for him. Customer Bashir has also been capitalizing on the good bite since the rain with fish to 5kg coming from 13m of water out from Black Rock. Pilchard and gars have been the best baits for him.


Customer Dominic and mate Gary fished out wide from Mt Martha over early during the week to land some nice fish. The largest fish weighed just over 8.5kg and took silver whiting. The hard baits have been a definite preference for the snapper over the last few weeks, with silver whiting deadly. Other hard baits worth fishing have been small salmon or yakkas, with the pickers normally leaving these alone. Customer Sylvio fished out from Black Rock using silver whiting and pilchard over the weekend and reports fish to 5kg biting well around the 12m area.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Port Phillip recently and most anglers reported snapper back at the weigh in. The largest fish weighed around 4.5kg, with plenty more caught between the 1-4kg mark.


While the snapper are the main focus at the moment, there have been some nice King George Whiting caught around the southern end of the bay. Customer Michael fished around Tootgarook with mate Dominic and some nice solid were caught. Fishing around 6m of water was best, as the pinkies would take over in the deeper water. Pipi and fresh squid was also very successful, with the squid giving some substance to the bait when the pinkies were hassling eh whiting off the baits. The whiting should only improve from now on, with the Mt Martha-Rye-Blairgowrie region a good place to focus on.

 


Snapper reports have slowed up a little from the port as anglers flock to Port Phillip - but the fish are still there to be caught. They are spread around the port fairly well at present, and you can find a quiet pocket to target them in easily enough. Customer Frank fished out from Corinella and landed snapper up to 6kg on pillies recently. Further south around Rhyll the fish have been going fairly well out from Observation Point and across on the Corals. Customer Bart fished out off Observation in 17.5m during the week and landed fish to 4kg on pilchards.


The gummies have been turning up on snapper bait as usual for anglers in the port. Customer Chris landed 2 table sized sharks during a snapper session recently up around Joe's Island. The myriad of smaller feeder channels and gutter in this region of the port are home to a large amount of smaller gummies, and they can easily be intercepted by sitting along the gutter edges on a run out tide as they move back through the channels. Fresh squid and yakka are very effective baits in the murkier water.


On the gummy front, customer Tony caught a nice one while out on the snapper over some shallow reef not far from the corals. The nice gummy weighed around 9kg and took fresh squid. For anglers out on the banks in the same area, the whiting have been biting quite well. The shallows of Coronet Bay have been producing school fish to 32cm, while the top end banks have been holding better sized fish. The deeper water off the banks has been the holding ground for the big fish, but is hard to fish unless you're fishing smaller tides.


On the squid front Flinders had been producing some nice models up until the heavy rain. Customer Angelo has been caught some nice squid to around 1.5kg on his last outings to the pier. Angelo has caught on a mixture of silver whiting baited jigs and the Clicks 'Black Opal' in size 3.0.

 

Now is the time to be out targeting the super sized flathead that terrorize the Gippsland estuaries. The warmth in the water lures the big fish to the shallows where they will soak up some warmth and pounce on anything that swims past them. With numbers of small prawns and mullet in the shallows these 'crocs' are well and truly in feeding mode.

Captain Bill and friends have been catching some solid fish out towards Mallacoota in the estuaries, and all on lures. Bait fishing can be an option for these fish, but you are almost out of the game unless you are fishing live mullet or prawn. Lure fishing using large lightly weighted soft plastics, hardbodies or swimbaits will put you in the right zone to land some rippers like Bill has. many of the fish have been around the 80cm mark which are very respectable on light tackle.

 


With some warm weather coming through the freshwater reports haven't been as thick - as many stream trout anglers stay away from some of the snake infested rivers. But there has still been on offer if you are out and about! Down at Blue Rock Lake the redfin and bass have been getting caught by angler casting lures. Most of the redfin have been in the 25cm size range with big numbers moving about in the bays and coves. Many of the bass have also been on the small size but there are some big fish in there for those persistent enough. Customer Jordan has been catching a few on deep diving crankbaits along the edges of the timber with lures like the Daiwa Spike and Yakamito Devil Edge both working well.


Staff member Dylan has also been catching some fish to around 30cm size range in the lake, with small swimbaits and crankbaits working the best. The new Megabass Vibration-X Vattalion has been a very good addition to the box for this area, as the fish have really been hitting it.


The yellowbelly have been fishing well in most of the dams and impoundments around the state, with Lake Eildon producing some nice sized fish. The fish can be tricky to locate in such a big waterway but once they are found normally you can catch a couple. Fishing the vertical timber with plastics has been a good method on sounded schools, along with casting and trolling crankbaits on the rocky edges. Customer Jason has been catching some solid fish to 55cm on hardbodies from the shores of the lake over the week.


Among the yellowbelly some good sized redfin have been getting in the act. Fishing a bit larger lure has been one method of catching slightly bigger fish than normal, with small lures simply getting pestered by fry sized fish. The larger fish are happy to eat a bigger lure and you may catch a yellowbelly or two by upsizing lure.


Around the pondage there have still been some quality trout being caught, especially early during the day. The low light bite has been good for both lure and bait fishers here. Customer Frank has been landing some nice trout of both species on both methods, with coarse feeder fishing one method, and casting 13g Tassie Devils in colour 55 his other successful method.


Young angler Flynn fished down at Karkarook after coming into the store with his dad, and caught his first trout. Using the suggested dough and feeder cage rig suggested by the guys in store was the successful method. The locally stocked lakes can be quite productive at this time of year if you pay attention to the small details in rigging and fishing methods.


 


Snapper reports from Port Phillip have been good over the last week, and with some heavy rain entering the bay and strong winds forecast things should fire again over the weekend. There have been fish spread out over the mud and in most corners of the bay now, so no real 'hot spots' to concentrate on. Customer Jacques hasn't done a heap of snapper fishing this season but he did get out over the weekend to land fish to 6.5kg out from Carrum. The 16m line was where Jacques found his fish.


Fishing the same depth out from Frankston, customers Jason and Damien scored fish to a similar size. After one of their fish didn't release well, Jason decided to jump in and swim it properly, which is dedication! The boys found smaller hooks and baits were the trick, with most of the fish hooking themselves properly.


Fish to 6kg aren't anything to complain about!


Around the Black Rock area there have been plenty of fish caught. The main sections of reef have been holding pinkies and larger fish along the perimeter. Customer Lev fished around the reef in 7m to land reds to 4kg. The fish bit well around 7pm as the light faded, and the most effective baits were live squid. Over near Mordialloc customer Ben caught a couple of nice 4kg fish on pillies as well.


Down around Mornington there have been reports of snapper also, from the shallow reef right out beyond the mussel farm. Customers Robbi and Matej fished out towards 12m and landed some good school fish to 2.5kg. The fish went well over a mid morning tide change and silver whiting chunks on snapper snatchers performed the best.


While fishing for snapper customer Ryan got a nice table sized gummy out from Mornington also. Ryan was fishing out in 18m with snapper on the mind, but that didn't stop the gummy from taking a piece of fresh red mullet fishing on the bottom. Gummies around the metre size aren't super common for Port Phillip, but if you're fishing fresh chunk baits you've always got a shot.

 


The run of snapper continues to fire for anglers with reports coming from both bays and Welshpool too. The hot fishing should continue for the next month or so before the fish slow up a bit. Customer Donna landed a lovely fish of 7.1kg out from Sandringham over the weekend. Donna was fishing in 14m of water and using fresh squid for bait.


Staff member Chris got out during the week and had a fish around Mt Eliza in 16m of water. Chris marked good numbers of fish on the mud and set baits out. Silver whiting was the go, with multiple hook ups and nothing going on pilchard. Chris landed fish to 4.8kg on the whiting.

Young gun Frankie landed a lovely conditioned 4kg out from Chelsea in 10m of water while on the drift. Freshly filleted flathead was the bait of choice, and a good option as this area holds lots of smaller prey sized flathead.  


Out from Black Rock the snapper have been pretty good. Customer Jason fished out in 15m looking for a early morning bite. The most productive bite time was daybreak with 8 fish coming aboard and taking a mixture of pilchard and silver whiting. In the same area customer Paul threw a few plastics about and scored a good bag of fish from 1.4kg to 5.5kg. The most effective soft plastic size were 4 inch, which matches most of the snappers' forage food.


Out in Westernport customer Bill has been catching fish to around the 5kg mark over the weekend. Bill has been fishing the North Arm around Lysaughts and has been using a variety of baits. Bill has found that the smaller fish have been picking pillies, while the better fish have taken a liking to strips of fresh couta.


Further up the port past Joe's Island customer Chris and mate Ben have been landing snapper to 7kg. Fishing the start of the run in tide has been the most productive for them, with the snapper biting early in the tide. Nearing the top of the tide was a bit slow for them, but some smaller table size gummies made up for it and were a welcome addition to the bag.


Down at Welshpool the snapper have slowly started firing. Customer Justin caught some nice fish to 8kg. Justing was fishing the Singapore Deep area and found that pilchard and squid were the two most effective baits.