While a lot of anglers wouldn't think it, many 'swamps' in and around the outer metro suburbs can produce an array of fish, if you know how to look for them. In any given system you can catch redfin, rainbow trout, brown trout, carp, roach, tench, eels, blackfish, silver perch, yellowbelly and murray cod. Not all locations hold these fish, but some most certainly do. The main culprits you'll come across are of course carp, redfin and eels - especially if you're bait fishing.

In a local wetland customer Daniel has been throwing the newest Aussie colour 'bent minnows' to attract the attention of some XL redfin. Daniel has been catching some chunky fish, with 40cm+ the norm in some systems. Because of the reeds and shallow weed Daniel has been fishing the shallow surface lures and spending less time fouled up and more time hooked up!


A typical series of 'wetland' or swamp lakes is somewhere like Berwick Springs. Now anyone can simply open up their default mapping app on phone, or a melways if you're old school and find these sort of locations. Many are overlooked because of their proximity to housing estates or 'un-glamorous' look, but virtually all of them will hold freshwater fish of some sort. With many interconnected lakes and drains, Berwick Springs is a large habitat for these fish to move around in, and plenty of vegetation to support food for these fish. With carp to over 10kg in here, some of these systems can hold some serious fish!


Speaking of carp, customer Jordan has been catching school sized fish on the fly rod in these sorts of lakes. Jordan knows that there carp in almost all of them, and they are a very good fish to hone your lure and fly fishing skills on. Jordan has found plenty of carp sunning themselves and cruising just under the surface in search of food, and a well executed cast and presentation of fly has gotten the interest of a few. If you're more a bait fisherman then these fish will still test your skills - but you certainly need to rig and gear up for them accordingly. No 4/0 snapper hooks and heavy lines here, most of the time fishing without any finesse will see you go home without a bite. If you're interested in fine tuning your fishing on these readily available species talk to the guys in the shop to make sure you're gearing up correctly, and giving yourself a good chance at catching something.

 

We're really heading into trout time! The cooler weather and water means that the streams and lakes have been a bit more active over the last few weeks, even if water levels are lower and clearer than normal. If we get some decent rain draining into the rivers over the next month things will be even better as the larger fish move to spawn.

Customer Luke from Ace Adventures donned the waders and fished some of the small water above Noojee with a mate recently. Luke found there were plenty of fish willing to take a swipe at a well presented lure, with around 25cm being about the norm.


Customer Brendan also enjoys his trout fishing and more so stream trout fishing. Brendan has also been fishing the Noojee area, with the Latrobe, Toorongo and Loch rivers all getting a look at. Brendan found that small shallow running 'jerkbait' style hardbodies were the most effective, especially in foil sided flashy gold and natural colours. For most of these smaller rivers this style of lure is an ideal starting point as it won't dive too deep and snag up, and will also hold quite well in faster water. Using an 'aggressive-natural-neutral' colour range you will normally be able to find a lure that will get you the results on the day.


Brendan found the fishing really hotted up just before dark as there was a hatch of small caddis which really got the trout aggressive. The period just pre-dusk can see fish become active is holes and pools that you may have already fished with no result, so it pays to hang around sometimes and see just how many fish are in the deeper sections. If you're a keen fly caster, this period is when you will enjoy some success using larger dry flies up to size 10 or 8, especially in a 'stimulator' or 'elk hair caddis' pattern.


Just over the range, Eildon has still been producing fish from the pondage using coarse style methods, with the odd fish taking a long-cast spoon or hardbody from the banks. The weir itself is sitting at around 55% at the moment and has been rather slow on the trout front, with the normal response from anglers searching for trout being "Yeah a few small ones". Most of the fish being caught at the moment are coming from the main arm, from Eildon boat harbour through to just inside Big River inlet. Flat-lined tassie devils are definitely a good option to carry, with a larger 'spawning trout' pattern hardbody set a few metres down also giving you the chance at annoying a larger fish on it's way to spawn.

Customer Sam entered the Eildon Fishing Competition last week and didn't do too bad. Sam was fishing the main lake casually chasing the trout and he ended up with a couple of nice fish. Trolling lures around the timbered edge found browns to around 40cm for Sam, with assist hook rigged flatlined spoons and tassies doing the damage.  

 

There have been plenty of people out squid fishing during the week! The land based reports have been a bit on the quiet side, but with calm conditions and clear water the squid fishing has been excellent. Westernport bay has been the go for many anglers, with plenty of quality Autumn squid coming in.

Customer Lee took his young son out in Westernport where they fished along Tyabb bank. Lee's son had just purchased a new graphite rod with his birthday money and used it to good effect with a nice bag coming in. Size 3.0 and 3.5 Yamashita jigs in both UV whites and red foils were the standouts on the day.


Fishing in the same area customer Peter caught some ripper squid with some proper giants coming in at around 2kg. Pete has been a fan of the 'nemo' or broken colour patterns on the squid, with 15lb braid helping to drag these larger models out of the current easier.


Customer Alex has not long returned from a trip up north and is straight back into things with some excellent squid coming in to the boat. Alex was fishing with his father up the top end of the port to land 13 squid all up.


Customer Brendan also fished the port with a mate chasing squid, launching at Stony Point. The guys worked their way along the banks, changing their depth and drifts from 2m through to 9m of water to find a bag. The last hour of the run in tide fished best and a fair variety of jigs were used in order to find some success, with the most consistent being natural red foil/grass whiting and glow white.


Some of the boys' squid were up to 37cm long hood length, with a couple more lost at the boat along with a big cuttlefish estimated at around 2kg.

 

There have been a few anglers making the most of the perfect autumn conditions out on the bays during the week, and even more so with a public holiday thrown in there too. While there hasn't been an endless supply of fish, there's plenty happening if you're out there giving it a crack. There has been a small run of excellent size Autumn snapper hanging around the bottom end of the port, and they've biting fairly well so that has had some guys out there hunting.


Customer Igor fished the port over the weekend and managed one of these lovely reds. Igor fished south of Stony Point and landed a ripper fish of 5.6kg on pilchard. An excellent fish caught in exceptional conditions!


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also bumped into a few similar sized snapper while fishing the southern half of the port. James has been fishing around some of the shallower mud beds in search of elephant sharks for his customers, and has hooked some big snapper as by-catch. Pilchards and fresh squid on smaller than usual hooks have caught snapper to over 6kg in water as shallow as 5m. The area around Elizabeth Island and 'The Corals' are good areas to look for these fish.


 

The bream and flathead fishing both around the Gippsland estuaries has been very good recently for both bait and lure anglers. Whether you're going to nick down to one of 'The Big 3' rivers around Bairnsdale or Lakes Entrance or you're keen to drive further on out towards Mallacoota the fish have been going well. 

Friend of the shop and local Marine Accessory Distributor Trevor sent us a photo of one of his relatives with some nice bream from Lake Tyers. The bream were caught land based on a mixture of baits, with crab and worm being used.

Around the same area customer Jordan has been catching some solid bream on hardbodies. Jordan has found that the fish have slowed off a bit from shallow running lures and surface offerings, but are still very keen to smash a deeper running hardbody like the Daiwa Spike or Yakamito Devil Edge. Both of these lures will 'crash dive' to over 2m so they can be held right down where the fish are feeding.


Most of the fish Jordan has been catching have been in the mid 30cm size range, with a few nudging the 40cm mark. Deeper running hardbodies or soft plastics will gather more and more attention from the bream in the rivers as the days get cooler. These lures are perfect to slowly bump along the rock edges in rivers such as the Tambo or Nicholson.


Staff member Chris has just returned from a trip a bit further afield around Bemm River and Tamboon inlet with mates Bill and Colin. While Chris had shocking weather with gale force winds and rain while he was away, as soon as he got back to the shop the weather cleared (We'd like a dollar for every time that happened). So as the usual story goes, Bill and Colin had plenty of fun catching a good amount of dusky flathead to over 80cm while Chris was back at work.


There were plenty of excellent sized flatties caught from Tamboon and Bemm River using a variety of soft plastics. The main killers were the 'Bungee Baits' paddle tail shads which are ultra durable, which helps in the mouth of a big angry flathead or tailor.

 


Many trout anglers have been reveling at the start of the cooler weather that is coming through, as it means crisp Winter mornings wading the rivers in search of trout. Well at the moment we haven't quite seen the cold weather but the trout fishing has been good none the less. All of the rivers in the Eildon region have been fishing well, with the level of the Goulburn back down to a more fishable height. While the Goulburn has been popular and producing fish, it has been the Rubicon that has really stolen the limelight. The Rubicon river has had an influx of 'escapees' from a nearby farm - Brook Trout. These brook trout aren't native to Australia and can only be caught in a handful of rivers up towards the snowy mountains, or the Rubicon.

Now is the time to try your luck on these fish, as word has well and truly gotten out and the river will only get busier and busier the closer we get towards the season close. Talk to the guys in store if you're interested in chasing them as they can be very aggressive towards certain lure offerings.


Customer Anel has been catching a heap of brookies on some new lures he just purchased. Anel has been liking the Duo Ryuki minnows with brighter colours like pink doing the job for him. Anel said that many of these brook trout were holed up in deeper pools and keeping the lure down on them was as important as lure colour selection.


Customer Zoran stopped by the river after doing his usual Eildon run, and he had some fun on the brookies as well. Zoran fished the middle reaches of the river and found that heavy bladed spinners worked wonders on these fish, especially when fished slow and held through the school.


Not to be outdone, customer Mohd also fished the river but with fly rod in hand in search of a brook trout or two. Mohd has been fishing similar sections of river but searching the head of the pools and edges of current seams using small nymphs. Small tungsten head nymphs are excellent to use here as they get down faster to where the fish will eat them, with many rock gardens and current lines dotting the mid and upper sections of river.


 

There have been a few customers out fishing the estuaries of East Gippsland over the last few weeks, with the common theme being bream and tailor. The bream fishing will start to slow down as the weather cools off, but instead of numbers of fish we can expect better average size, whether you're bait fishing or casting lures.

For the tailor numbers Lake Tyers, Bemm River and Tamboon Inlet have been the hot spots with some fish reported upward of 90cm. An average fish at the moment is around 45-50cm with fish to 2kg not uncommon. Most lures are attracting their attention, which is not good if you're casting a $35+ hardbody around for bream. Baits of fresh mullet or bluebait are also doing well.


Customer Brendan fished Bemm river just recently where he scored some solid fish in the lake. Brendan found local sandworm to be the most productive on fish to 40cm.


Customer Louis returned from a quick trip to Marlo where he was lure fishing. Louis was trying out some finesse soft plastics and small vibes while fishing land based in both the Snowy and Brodribb Rivers. While the bream were on the small side, he did find that the luderick were interested in both the vibes and plastics. Fishing both these lures slowly on the bottom with small movements he caught some nice luderick. The most effective soft plastic types were very small straight tail worms designed for catching yakkas in Japan, and these were deadly when fished on small lightweight jigheads right down to size 10.


Back around Lakes Entrance customer Bashir has been catching bream. Bashir has been fishing the Tambo river where the fish had been slow, but excellent size when they came through. He found that live shrimp and peeled prawn were the best baits with both black and yellowfin bream to 40cm taking a liking to them.

 


The squid reports have slowed up a bit since some of the inclement weather forced anglers off the water, but with good weather this week we should again see some decent fishing. The most consistent areas have been the bottom end of Port Phillip and around Flinders has been good also.

Some of the squid that we have seen coming from Flinders have been nearly 2kg, with an average one about 900g at the moment. The cooler water normally brings in some of the big spawning models so don't be surprised if you hook some monsters here at the moment.


The southern part of Port Phillip around Blairgowrie and Sorrento have been producing of late also, with Sorrento being the pick of the piers. Fishing smaller jigs like size 2.3 and 3.0's around the slack water period has been a good way to put together a bag of small squid also. Customer Tony got his bag recently on size 3.0 jigs, with Yamashita '490 glow' colours being the standouts. He did mention that a lot of people were struggling to catch, either using far to heavy main line or not picking the correct sink rate jig for the conditions. This is where it pays to have a range of different styles of jig, not just different colours.

 

The local stocked lakes have been fishing well for trout over the last week of the school holidays. While the weather was reasonable anglers were out making the most of the feisty trout. The standouts have been Karkarook Park Lake and also Eildon pondage for some bigger fish.

Customer Gordon has been catching some really nice specimens from the pondage, with fish over 2.5kg not uncommon. Gordon has been fishing a coarse method with both 'trout dough' and powerbait in a variety of colours. Gordon has found many anglers giving up easily on his last few sessions, with many people only staying for half an hour or so with no berley - which is one of the keys to getting these fish going.


Staff member Don took his nephews Zac and Aaron out to Karkarook Park for a spot of trout fishing and they weren't disappointed. Don showed the boys how to set up their lines correctly for this style of fishing, and after a little while they started getting into some fish. Fine mix berley got the fish going after about 20 minutes and the small fine gauge hooks did their job in pinning the trout in the jaw. The trout dough caught more on this occasion, but 'lime twist' coloured powerbait also caught a couple of fish.


Another young angler catching trout at Karkarook Park is Breanna. Breanna was fishing with her dad Darren at the lake where she hooked and landed 3 rainbow trout by herself. The feeder cage rig worked wonders is keeping the fish active in the area that they were fishing, and gave a burst of scent around the bait when it hit the water.

 

Melbourne's local metro estuaries have fired up on the bream front over the past week, with some of heavy but brief rain making it's way into the systems. The bream, especially local fish which see a lot of human interaction become skittish and flighty once the water clarity stays too clear for too long. Heavy rainfall brings more food into the rivers and estuaries for them and gives them more cover from potential predators.

Since the last lot of rain the bream have fired up in all of the rivers including the Yarra, Maribyrnong, Werribee and Patto. Customer Jake popped in the store just during the week to grab some new limited lures and next thing he was catching some rippers out of the Patto. Jake was fishing the new rattling model bent minnows to fool the cagey Patto fish.


We've received a very limited supply of new 'Aussie special' rattling bent minnows. These lures are extremely effective at getting bites from picky bream and the limited colours will be a sure thing. Make sure you grab one before they disappear, at this rate they won't be available for very long!


Over in the Werribee river the bream have been on the chew as well. Member of the Keysborough Angling Club had their Melbourne Rivers fishing competition, with around 12 members out having a crack. Out of all the anglers fishing, the best results were had by members fishing the Werribee. Dave weighed 4 bream for around 2.3kg while Paul landed 3 bream for 1.2kg.