During the harsh wind and rain of winter many fishing options can end up out the window. A trip up to Eildon can be a good option to catch some fish. If you're a boat fisherman the lake has been producing pelagic trout to around 500g throughout the main arm. Flatline trolling tassie devils and small spoons has been the most productive method to snare a fish or two, with brighter coloured tassies like number '55' or 'FLP' solid performers time and time again.

The pondage has also been seeing some nice fish come out, with the odd lure caught fish but predominately ruled by artificial baits. Customer Gordon has been seeing some really solid fish caught from his last few visits so it is still a very worthwhile drive up through the ranges.


Customers Zoran and Jim are normally very successful in fishing the pondage. During recent trips the guys have been catching fish to around 1.5kg on dough baits and powerbait. Fishing in conjunction with a crushed pellet berley has been the key to attracting the fish and keeping them nearby, while having two different baits out maximizes your options. The steep bank area along Riverside Drive has been one of the more productive parts of the pondage over the last week or, with many fish sitting in the old river channel waiting for a feed.

 

 


Dirty water normally means no squid action, and with the freshwater in both bays at the moment the squid reports are certainly slower than normal. However knowing where to fish during these conditions will see you increase your chances. The northern end of both bays has seen more discolouration and worth a wide berth for the next 5 days or so. Southern Port Phillip around Sorrento and Portsea is your best bet, with an almost constant water clarity.


Along the bottom end of westernport at Flinders, customer Angleo has been making the most of the conditions and still getting into the squid. While the water clarity has still been murkier than normal, there have been squid happy to eat both baited jigs and artificials. Fishing gel type scents on your jigs when conditions are against you is a good way to increase your odds. Angelo has been doing very well with baited jigs from the pier along with size 3.5 jigs from the 'Clicks' range, with colour 17 being one of his favourites.

 

 


Melbourne's rivers have been turned to coffee after the recent heavy rain. While not looking ideal for fishing, the local bream have been biting their heads off since the heavy rain started coming down.The Yarra and Patto have been producing fish for land based bait anglers. Both rivers have slightly cleaner water down under the dirtier fresh layer so that's where you need to be fishing. Lightly weighted rigs with a simple running sinker will produce fish, and it is worth stepping up your flurocarbon leader to around 8lb to prevent break offs on structure. The most productive baits have been scrubworms, freshwater yabbies and sometimes the humble prawn. Just be sure to pick your hook style and size accordingly, as in this example three different hook styles would be needed!


Customer Andrew has not long gotten back into his fishing and has been doing well on the bream down in the Patto. Andrew has been throwing a few lures around but has found while the water has been dirty that bait has been the go. Andrew has been fishing live freshwater yabbies on small 'C10U' hooks with very little weight to catch plenty of fish up to 35cm. This is one of the most successful methods for the Patto, so if you haven't tried this method give it a go!

 

 

 

While the weather hasn't really been all that flash around Melbourne and the West coast, the tuna fishing has been fairly consistent when anglers are able to find a break in the weather. With some better patches of weather coming through over the next week conditions look like they might let anglers get out and into the fish again!


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been down along the West coast over the week and has been catching tuna up to around 15kg with customers. James has been reporting numbers of fish from as shallow as 50m with the 60-100m contour holding good sized schools. Out wider just inside of the shelf numbers of fish are patchy but there. James has found small skirts in either bullet or jet head styles have been the most productive lures, with lumo/mackerel colours along with brown/pink squid and also white. Running a mixture of these along with natural blacks and purples will cover most bite scenarios should you encounter them. 

 

 

 


The surf beaches around the region have really been producing some quality salmon of late. With some nice calm winter weather and moderate swell it has made for good beach fishing conditions, and salmon to over 1.5kg just top it off. While there have been fish along most of the beaches, Gunnamatta and St Andrews have been the pick along the peninsula, with Kilcunda and Venus Bay providing plenty of fish heading down into South Gippsland.


Staff member Don fished Gunnamatta for an afternoon during the week to land a few nice sized fish. While Don wasn't fishing for 8 hours, fish around the kilo mark were around and responded to his berley. With other anglers on the beach reporting no fish, and no berley it really is the key. Don berleyed up enough in the gutters to bring some fish in and keep them there. Bluebait and soft plastics got the bites on the paternoster rig but the key is getting the fish in to your area.


Customer Mark fished Venus Bay beach number 1 with friends over the weekend where they did really well on the salmon. Bluebait and pilchard were the best baits but again the key was to create a berley trail to bring the fish into the small holes and troughs just out from the shoreline. When making your beach berley you have to ensure that you have enough smell and consistency to create a trail for the fish to hone in on, but it also has to be fine enough to not feed the salmon and send them away full and no longer hungry. A normal beach session will see around 20 litres used so make sure you pack your gear adequately and don't cart too much heavy and unneeded gear with you. 

 

 


Most anglers don't realize but the winter fishing for both pinkies and snapper can be excellent. While numbers of fish aren't as thick as say October, the rewards are certainly there for anglers braving the cold conditions. There have been fish scattered all over the bays bu the real hot spot for numbers of fish has been the top end of Port Phillip. The reefy areas from Black Rock further north right up into the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers have been the better spots to focus on.  Most of the fish have been from 35 - 50cm but ththere have been much larger fish about.

Customer Maresi caught a ripper fish from Lagoon pier recently under the cover of darkness. Not much details are known about the capture but either way landing a big snapper sure beats staying at home!


The typical schooling size fish from the Docklands region have been on the chew lately, with both bait and lures getting bites. Productive baits have been pilchard and salmon fillets, fished on twin snelled 1/0 hooks. If you are able to cast baits like this unweighted you will be much more successful, as the fish will aggressively take the bait as it slowly wafts down. The same can be said with soft plastics - heavily weighted jigheads might gain extra casting distance but they all snag up much quicker and don't attract as many bites on 'the drop' like lighter weights do. Small 3 inch grub and paddletail style plastics are proving very effective at the moment, especially through the afternoon into night.


Customer Ryan has been catching plenty of fish in the 40cm size range from the Docklands and nearby piers, on both lure and bait. Ryan's more successful bait lately has been small strips and fillets of Australian salmon, which have also been plentiful.

Customer Jake has also been catching quite a few good sized pinkies while chasing bream in the metro rivers on lures. The lower sections of the Maribyrnong and Yarra have been holding good sized schools which have been responding well to worm style soft plastics. As these schools have been moving with the tide, having a depth sounder capable of locating them without too much fuss s the best way to maximize your fishing time.

 


With intermittent rain and wind, the squid fishing has been sporadic - good when conditions clear but then put off for a few days while the water becomes stained and murky. The good news is that even when conditions are like this the southern end of Port Phillip is still worth a shot and much more consistent.

Customer Romello fished from Sorrento pier over the weekend where he landed a few. Romello cycled through a few jigs and found the Yamashita Q Lives were the best, with deep models working while the tide was pumping and shallow models doing the job when the tide stopped. Romello also landed a small cuttlefish from the pier using a Yakamito size 3.0 jig.


Customers Dale and Lochie fished out from Rye during the week in search of some calamari and they weren't left hanging with an excellent bag of squid making it home. The guys found that UV whites were the most successful in 4 - 6m of water straight out from Rye.


Customer Steve has also been getting into both the squid and whiting recently. Steve has found that both can be caught while fishing the same marks, with the squid often chasing the whiting around and attacking hooked fish. KGW patterned squid jigs can be very effective in these conditions, and the Hayabusa Aussie limited whiting colour has been excellent at tricking these squid. If you're able to keep the larger squid at bay good numbers of whiting can still be had, with areas like the southern section of middle spit and Tankerton fishing well - along with further south around Point Leo and Cat Bay.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been fishing well for whiting also. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been experiencing good bags of fish from around Rye to Sorrento, with mussel and squid standout baits. While there can be a bit of moving about to stay on these fish at this time of year, once you put together a bag of these tasty fish it will all be worth it!


For the land based guys the whiting have been a bit harder work. The odd fish has been caught shore based, with Mornington and Portsea piers probably the best two to be trying from. A bit further down the road there have been some nice school sized fish from around Lorne. Customer Jim fished Lorne pier over the weekend with a few mates and they weren't let down with a few nice fish to take home. Prawn and squid were effective baits from the pier, and accounted for King George when cast over the sand towards the weed - and grass whiting when dropped into the thick weed beds.

 


The bread and butter species like gummy shark are an excellent option during the winter months, as you are able to catch them shore based in the bays, from the surf beaches, boat fishing the bays and also offshore. The best part about this style of fishing is you don't have to go overboard, for a landbased session a surf outfit of your choice is the way to go, along with a sturdy rod holder and enough tackle for the session. 

Staff member Dylan did just this last week, took to the the ocean beaches in search of a gummy or two. A nice gummy of around 7kg hit the sand during the first hour of the run in tide, and took a fillet of freshly caught grass whiting on a single 8/0 circle hook. Picking your preferred beach during the day can give you the advantage in spotting the more likely gutters and rips, and taking the guesswork out of your fishing.  Programs like Google earth can also help you identify similar features from the palm of your hand, but just be mindful that these conditions can change subtly between aerial shots.


If the boat fishing for gummies is more your thing, then the offshore fishing at the moment has been worth getting in to. The gummy fishing just offshore from Western Port has been exceptional, with much better average sized fish coming in. Among the gummy sharks, you will also have other species like snapper and flathead to keep you busy offshore, so you can really bring back a mixed bag at times.


Frogleys Offshore Victorian Rep Gerry took his new boat out for a spin last week in search of a gummy or two while offshore conditions were good and he wasn't disappointed. Gerry landed 2 lovely fish destined for the table using the lightweight Atomic Arrowz offshore model rods.

Customer Steve also got out offshore in the same region to land a nice fish just under 11kg. Steve fished a patch of reef that he normally tries for gummies and found multiple fish around it. Locally caught couta was the best bait for the day, which were thick mid water and easily catchable on small sabiki style rigs.

 


While the stream ans river trout season has closed up for 2018 there have been some nice fish caught, and the lakes both local and out of town are producing trout. During his last session on the Goulburn before close customer Dennis had some excellent fishing. Dennis managed a few smaller trout while spinning bladed lures in the river but the cherry on top was a lovely big rainbow on fly that weighed 1.5kg. Dennis managed the rainbow on a small dry fly on the edge of a fast run just behind Thornton.

The Eildon pondage has been worth a fish for many anglers, with some large brood stock fish just recently released. Store owner Glenys was up along the pondage over the weekend with friend Greg where a few fish were caught. Greg and Glenys caught trout from the Bourke Street end of the pondage on both bait and lure. The smaller rainbows took a liking to only the 'chunky cheese' powerbait amongst all other flavours, and the Yakamito trout spoons also worked well when cast and worked back on a slow retrieve.


A bit closer to the suburbs the local stocked lakes have been fishing well for many. Customer Nathan was fishing Devilbend just recently where he caught a mixture of both brown and rainbow trout using Yakamito trout spoons. Nathan has been casting them long and wide from the first jetty, and letting them sink down a bit before starting a medium paced wind.


Customer Tommy has just recently gotten back into freshwater fishing, and has been super keen to get out there after purchasing a new light lure casting outfit. Tommy has been honing his lure skills at local lakes Devilbend and Karkarook with good results. From Devilbend Tommy has been catching some nice trout and redfin on soft plastics, with small paddletails like the Zman slim swim the most effective, while the redfin are in very good numbers at Karkarook. The same soft plastics along with small blades and vibes have been doing the job when very slowly moved along the bottom.

 


The squid fishing in the bay has been on the improve during the calm weather, and should only get better if the weather stays consistent. While the top end of the bay has been a bit patchy, the southern end around the peninsula has been good for anglers. From Mt Martha south to Sorrento has been the area to try, with most reports coming from this area.

Customer Thanh had a good session out from Rye during the week with a nice bag of squid coming in on the new 'Aussie limited' colours from the Hayabusa Japan stable. The Mullet pattern and UV white has been excellent for land based fishos in the area too.


Customer Michael fished out from Sorrento recently in search of some larger squid which he found by fishing deep. Michael was fishing 8m + south of Sorrento to land some proper calamari. The outgoing tide was productive and Michael fished faster sinking Yamashita jigs to get down to the squid in this depth.

Customer Ryan has been catching plenty of bait sized squid out from Mt Martha recently. The shallow ground in close from the beachboxes has been holding good numbers of smaller squid, and they have been favouring natural patterend jigs in size 2.5. Often aggressive colours will gain in the interest of the squid, and a quick switch to a toned down natural pattern will get the hook up. Quick change clips are super popular with squid anglers these days and it is these exact scenarios that make them well worth having.