The west coast continues to produce tuna for the anglers out in search. While there has been no shortage of school fish there also has been a good number of 'barrels' about to keep the keen hunters keen. Customer Jason fished with mates recently and was involved in the capture of a barrel in the 150kg range out from Portland. Even though these big fish are normally actively hunting schools of redbait and pilchards, this fish had an undersized pinkie in it's stomach. Bright pink and red skirts have subsequently been productive out from Portland lately.


Customer Damien also headed down to Portland with mates in search of some more school fish, which he caught easily. While many anglers are venturing out towards the 'horseshoe' out along the shelf in search of these fish, there have been plenty in mush closer. Starting your search in around 50m has been good, and also puts you in with the chances of a 'barrel' - as they as normally frequently found in this 50 - 70m depth line. A mixture of lures did the job on fish to 12kg, with JB micro dingos and Bluewater classics the standouts. Colour variations between lumo, pilchard, bright pink and almost all others in between all did the job.


Customer Rocky came past the shop to grab some last minute lures suggestions and terminal gear before hitting the fish off Portland. Rocky and mates got stuck into the school fish with most weighing around 12 - 15kg. Trolling small skirts in the 4 - 6 inch range has been been the most productive, with a mix of dark and light colours going well. Rapala's new XRAP Extreme also caught fish as it can run truer at a more 'enticing' speed for the tuna.

 

 


The salmon numbers have been increasing over the past weeks, both on the beaches and also in the bay from the piers and rocks. Nearly all of the beaches have been performing well with the average size of the fish around 1kg. Customer Mark has been catching some nice fish out on Venus Bay beach number 1 on both bait and lure.


Customer Mario has also caught some ripper salmon on the beaches lately. Mario fished the surf around Lakes Tyers and found the gutters holding some really solid fish. Mario found bluebait the most effective with fish to over 2kg happily eating full sized baits. The run in tide was the most productive time, especially with low light around dawn giving the fish some cover to feed.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the beaches from Kilcunda to Williamsons just recently, with over 60 fish landed by anglers. The average size of the salmon were around 900g each, with customer Norm landing the biggest fish at 2.5kg. Bluebait and salted pilchards were the most effective bait, with a few fish taken on surf poppers in various colours and also on plastics. Fishing the popper/plastic combo on the bottom hook keeps the sand crabs away from the baits and if you are using the TPR 'bungy baits' the crabs can't even tear your plastic up!


Staff member Don has fished the surf during the week and caught salmon to just under 1.5kg. Don has fished Gunnamatta and has found good numbers of fish moving along the beach, from gutter to gutter. As usual berley has been the difference between catching 1 fish or holding the school around to catch a lot more. Pellet berley layered with freeze dried pilchard is the way to go, especially if made before time and let to soak with some extra oil.

Don found the salmon most happy to eat half bluebait, with double headers on twin hook paternoster rigs not uncommon. Spinning with 40g and 60g slugs was also very productive around the edge of the gutters, especially when the swell started pumping. Fishing the metal lures with corded assist hooks was the best way of keeping the fish hooked up.

 


The trout fishing has ramped up, right down to the wire with the looming season close. While there are only a few days left for the stream trout fishing around the state, there are still plenty of options to provide your fishing fix. The Eildon pondage has been fishing well for mostly brown trout over the past week with cooler conditions and some less rampant water flow. Customer Graziano fished the pondage recently to land a nice solid brown of around 3lb on lure. Graziano was fishing a spoon style lure fitted with rear assist hooks and it did the job.


While not really representative of our local trout fishing, customer Jason has just returned from an NZ trip chasing the super-sized trout in the hydro canals. Jason managed some lovely fish with both browns and rainbows in the mix to well over the 10lb mark. There are a few methods that successfully fool these large fish, but on this occasion the lure of larger soft plastic swimbaits was deadly. Jason found the Megabass magdraft in 5 and 6 inch sizes very effective on these large aggressive trout. Working the lures back slwoly along the canal edges resulted in the bites, with most natural trout parr or minnow colour patterns working well.


Speaking of NZ, it seems there are more and more anglers venturing over to chase the mega trout every year. Customers John, Niroj and Goran have all been over before and caught these fish but are currently over in the land of the long white cloud again chasing that 'mega' trout.


The guys have been fishing the hydro canals around the Twizel region and so far have caught fish to just under 19lb. While most of the fish this trip have been large rainbows there have been some smaller browns in the mix also, with fish of 6 - 7lb average 'small' fish.


A mixture of techniques have been working on these fish, with soft plastics and hardbodies very effective when working close to the bottom. The bulk of the fish however have been caught using a 'spawn run' egg technique that uses a variety of trout egg or 'globug' pattern flies, fished tight to the bottom. These flies are fished with splitshot and a trailing nymph pattern to entice a strike from the bigger 'lazy' fish. This technique also works well in our local rivers, especially at present as the fish start to ramp up their spawning movements.

 


While the weather here in Melbourne has been nothing short of atrocious of late, don't let it deter you as there as some SERIOUS Murray cod to be caught into the depths of winter - with the real focus coming from the large impoundments like Eildon.


Customer George came in to the store last week before heading up to Lake Eildon with one thing on his mind, big cod. George fished with a mate where they put in cast after cast, and their efforts were rewarded. Lake Eildon cod don't come easy generally and the boys had a ripper session where they boated 3 fish from 50cm through to a monster at 1.03m. The boys battled the cold conditions and relentlessly threw around big lures, and really came up trumps. Another 3 bites were had but not kept on the hook, with a mixture of lures working, at various times throughout the day and at different locations on the lake.  


The Zerek Stalker wakebait was a successful lure, landing 2 of the 3 fish when slowly knocked along the surface. The other fish and bites came on slow rolled soft plastic swimbaits like the daiwa live trout.


Another angler fishing the lake was customer Thomas. Thomas knows the lake well and knows that to catch cod here you simply have to spend the time out there casting, and have various lure setups to change up when the location changes. Thomas had a couple of bites from the lake over the weekend and manged to pin a healthy fish somewhere in the 80cm on a soft plastic swimbait. The successful lure being the Megabass magdraft with a few hook and weight modifications.


A bit further afield but using the same theory and fishing similar water angler Terry has been nailing some lunker cod. Terry has been fishing Lake Burrinjuck out near Canberra. Targeting the same sort of structure in these lakes has been a sure fire way to head in the right direction, targeting the large cod that are cruising out for food. Terry has also been fishing low light and slowly working a big swimbait along these areas has caught some ripper fish of late.

 


The squid fishing has been good around the bay as the water clarity stays good.Most of the usual land based locations are producing, with the mid northern end of the bay starting to fish well.


Staff member Dylan has been fishing from the shore around the top of the bay and has found the fishing pretty good. Multiple sessions of bag limits have been had in short time, normally around an hour. In amongst a few anglers fishing the standout jigs have varied a bit but blues and purples have been very effective lately. The Yamashita 'Live Search' jigs with incorporated rattle have been deadly when t hings have gone quiet.


Around the Brighton region customer Peter has been catching a few nice sized squid from the shore. Peter has found green/glow jigs have been effective during full sunlight conditions.The same sort of jig colours have also been working for customer Aaron down near Mornington. Aaron and mates have been fishing the reef in approximately 6m of water and doing well. Green/glow, gold foil and also red foils have all been working in that depth.


On the whiting front, there have been good catches of excellent size fish coming from Westernport bay over the past week or so. While there hasn't been many anglers chasing them, the fish getting about have been of very good average size. Customer Steve found out last week that the quality of the fish was good, fishing around Tankerton and the middle spit. Steve found that the bite was hot at certain stages of the tide but as usual the fish had to be followed around and baits changed to suit. Pipi and fresh fresh was excellent with most fish going on pipi.


Customer Pat fished with his dad out in the port recently and found a good bag of fish around tortoise head and the surrounding banks. Pat fished the outgoing tide and moved about to stay on the fish. The bank edges fished the best in water around 5m deep. Pipi and mussel cocktails got the bites when fished on a small wide gap hook.

 


The gummy shark fishing around the southern end of the bays and offshore has still been excellent lately. While the consistency inside the bays isn't 100% the fishing is good at present. Customer Josh regularly fishes the southern channels around Rye and Blairgowrie and has again recently with good results. Josh managed a nice gummy around 14kg from the south channel over the weekend. Fishing baits of fresh mackerel and salmon was the key, and presenting these baits directly along the channel ledge was also crucial.


When the conditions have allowed, the offshore fishing has been very good. The sections of reef outside both bays are a good starting point for solid gummies. Customer Thao fished outside the western entrance recently to land a few nice fish up to 18kg. Thao has been fishing 25m of water around small isolated patches of reef, with freshly caught baits from the area getting the bites. Parrotfish, wrasse and mackerel have all been deadly on 8/0 circle hooks when dropped around the reef.


Customer Joel has also had the same idea lately, targeting offshore gummies. Fishing towards Cape Schank Joel and mate landed 3 nice fish around the 12kg mark during their last session. Joel has been fishing in water around 40m deep and has found barber perch and salmon very effective on the fish.

 


The bluefin tuna have been thick around Portland and Port Fairy over the past few weeks, but the weather has been too inconsistent for anglers to be out chasing them. The fish have been found from 25m out to right across the shelf and everywhere in between. While the majority of the school fish have been the smaller 7 - 18kg fish there have been some 20kg+ schoolies hanging about. Customer Jack got down to Portland during a calm spell and got out and amongst them. Jack found the fish on skirts in the 6 inch size, with pilchard colours doing the best.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been catching plenty of school fish for customers, out from Port Fairy and Portland. James has been catching fish on both hardbodies and also skirts, with no real standouts, just mixing the lures up in the spread to suit the bite and preference on the day. The area out towards the shelf has been the most productive, from around 150m and deeper.


Customers Damien and Benny fished Portland with the rest of the gang during last week's calm weather and found heaps of fish. Amongst the action there were multiple hook ups and mayhem, with the majority of fish taking small skirts in the 4 - 6 inch size range. Colour preferences were towards 'evil angel' or pilchard patterns, redbait colours and also lumos in both green and pink. While one 'barrel' was hooked and lost, the majority of the fish were around the 10kg mark, with the largest landed at 12.1kg. The area out towards the shelf was holding the most fish, but some patches being found from around 80m and deeper.

 


The autumn run of salmon is starting to show up both along the beaches and inside the bays, with varied size fish getting around. The back beaches of Gunnamatta, Kilcunda and Venus Bay are all producing fish, with some nice fish to 3kg turning up. Inside the bay the fish have been moving along the eastern shoreline from Portsea to Mordialloc as onshore winds condense the bait for them. Customer Aziz has been catching some thumpers as they make their way past the piers, with some really sold fish around 3kg getting around. Aziz has caught fish from Sorrento to Patterson river, with weather conditions dictating where to fish. The most successful lures for Aziz have been small pencils and stickbaits that imitate garfish and whitebait.


Around the eastern seaboard there have been schools of salmon working the shoreline gutters and inlets. The mouth of Patterson River, Seaford pier, Mordialloc pier and Frankston piers have all been worth a look, especially during or after a strong onshore (southwesterly) wind. The poor baitfish really get pinned in by these strong winds, which gives the salmon an easy meal. Customer Scott got down to the mouth of Patto and found a school of small fish keen to eat plastics. The tip for catching these fish in calm conditions is to down scale your plastics to small offerings in the 2 - 3 inch size, matched with 1/12th through to 1/6th jigheads.


The beaches around the Bass coast have been starting to produce some nice salmon. Customer Mark has been fishing Venus Bay and has been landing fish to around 1kg. The small gutters and holes in close have been holding small numbers of fish which have taken bluebait and pilchard. A light berley trail consisting of pilchard mix and medium size pellets has been the key to catching multiple fish before they move off. When conditions allow small plastics and metal stickbaits have been working exceptionally well also. The best performers have been the Yakamito 'live fry' and Bungy Baits 'viber'.

 

While the run of 'barrels' has slowed off compared to weeks ago, the bluefin action continues along the west coast. There have been fishing found as close as Barwon Heads and Torquay but most of the action is happening down at Portland. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching plenty of school fish for customers out from Portland and Port Fairy. Most of the fish have been in the 5 - 13kg mark, with small weighed skirts doing most of the damage.


Customers Benny and Damien are down fishing Portland at present and report that the fish are spread out, from 60m through to the edge of the shelf. While the size of the fish is generally on the smaller side at the moment some of the boys have managed 5 way hook ups on schoolies around 7kg. A range of skirts and hard bodies have both been working, with Xrap 30's and JB dingos getting in on the action in most 'Portland' colours.

 


Squid reports have been pretty good from most of the piers locally lately, even though some locations have a bit of dirty water flowing in. The Mornington Peninsula as always is the best bet for consistency - whether you're fishing off the rocks or one of the piers.


Port Phillip has still been fishing ok, as staff member Dylan found out over the weekend. Fishing dirty water not far from the city amongst other anglers Dylan caught 3 nice squid in under half an hour and then left before another rain band came through. Size 2.5 jigs were the best performers with Yamashita's newer 'Live search 490 glow' models proving very effective compared to other anglers offerings nearby. Customer Lilong also fished the Sandringham area for squid along with Sorrento for a good bag. Lilong found that Yamashitas were the most productive, in both Aussie limited colours and also PyonPyon search models. Among the decent squid a couple of cuttlefish were also caught which was a bonus.


Staff member Don has been fishing the peninsula with both Mornington and Stony Point the favoured locations. Don has been averaging a couple every session with most around half a kilo. Size 2.5 and 3.5 jigs have both been used depending on current, with red foil and natural brown/green patterns working well. Customer Angelo has been down at Flinders recently fishing the afternoons and catching some nice squid. The squid recently haven't been as big as Flinders standards but still quality, around kilo. Size 3.5 Clicks and Owner jigs have been doing the damage in a variety of colours.