With the rain we've had around Melbourne the local estuaries and rivers have fired up and the bream have been feeding quite voraciously. Normally timid and subtle feeders, the black bream in the local rivers have fired up a bit as conditions have been prime for them. The mixture of warming water temperatures and an influx of freshwater and food sources, coupled with a post-spawn hunger has made the fishing for them quite good recently.


Customer Tony saw the forecast coming and made sure he had supply of live yabbies and he hit the Patto. Tony managed 10 fish in a short morning session, with fish from around 400g caught right through to some monsters up around 44cm. Tony fishes his live freshwater yabbies on very light line and little sinker, coupled with a fine gauge 'caddis' hook to keep them alive. Fishing them in the middle of the river was where the fish were roaming and once they ate the yabbies the fine gauge hook pinned them through the lip like it was nothing. Keeping these yabbies alive for as long as possible is paramount for tricking the larger fish.

 

 


While many anglers have had their sights set on snapper out in Westernport, there has been plenty of by-catch to actively target. The gummies have been fishing well whether you're out along the offshore ledges or fishing some of the deep channels or contours well inside the port. Customer Ben fished out along the western entrance in search of a big gummy and landed a monster female in the 30kg range. This fish had been offshore for some time as it's colouration is well suited for clear oceanic waters. Fresh cutlets of mackerel and salmon were excellent on the gummies for Ben.


Customer Bart has also been landing a few gummies, in amongst some other bycatch fishing out near Rhyll. Fishing were the eastern channels drop into some deeper water, most of Bart's gummies have been in the 5 - 8kg mark. Super pilchards and whiting heads have been very effective when fished on Reedy's rigs paternoster rigs. Fishing the shallower edges along where the channels drop Bart has landed a heap of pinkies and quality baits like salmon, yakkas, mackerel, pike and trevally. A bit of berley consisting of pellets and pilchard oil logs has really helped ramped up the bite with these species around the slacker stages of the tide.


While targeting snapper customers Daniel and Vito landed some nice table sized gummies. Fishing fresh squid and yakka chunks the gummies came along and provided some quality by-catch in between snapper bites along the north arm. Customer Edly also found some tasty bycatch while whiting fishing around the middle spit in the form of quality garfish. Edly found them hard to tempt and hook at first, but ramping up the berley mix and changing to smaller, narrow gaped hooks the bites were soon converted. A fine grain berley trail set up over the shallow banks is normally a good method of finding some of these tasty fish.


On the whiting front the fish have been fairly good for a few weeks. While many are sidetracked by the snapper the whiting fishing has been worth the effort. The top end of the port around the many channels has been producing whiting up to the low 40cm mark. The abundance of smaller school fish hasn't quite infiltrated the estuary as yet, but as the water warms these fish will fill the catches. Staff member Don and mate Sam fished out from Warneet over the weekend and found a good bag of fish to 41cm. Small strips of fresh squid and pipi made for the best baits when fished on smaller hooks than usual - as the bites were quite timid. Changing hook pattern to suit baits and fish activity is paramount to keeping on top of the bite at times.

 


Westernport has been fishing better for snapper on the past month than Port Phillip bay, mainly due to water temperatures. The fish have been on the bite for a little bit longer here which is normal, and they have been fairly well spread out throughout the port. Customer Tony has caught some nice fish over the past week week and even a few while whiting fishing! Tony managed a lovely fish 4kg fish on a small fine wire worm hook around the corals while chasing whiting, and was lucky to land it! The parabolic nature of the rod Tony was using was ideal to keep the fine hook in and not bend it out.


Along the north arm a good run of  fish continues, and customer Zach has been in the midst of it. Zach has been fishing fresh baits, with couta, pike and calamari all producing fish. Some of the better fish have been taken during the night and have been pushing the 7kg mark.


The same region of the port has been producing snapper for customer Manny. Manny headed out for his first snapper session in the port and managed a couple of nice fish around the 3.5kg mark. Manny had been fishing outside Eagle rock in 17m of water and found paternoster rigs tipped with strips of fresh squid were the only rig that got bites.

 


Port Phillip bay has been producing some good school snapper from about Mordialloc north around the shallow reef ledges. While the bay hasn't been producing as many fish as westernport, there has still been some fish about to be caught. Most of these fish have been caught in relatively close during bouts of average weather.  Customer Advan has caught some nice snapper to 3.5kg in close of Black Rock. Advan has been fishing around 8m of water and using pillies for the best result.


Customer Bashir fished out from Sandringham in search of snapper and has landed fish to around 4kg. Bashir has been fishing around isolated reef patches and pinnacles and has found pilchard to be the best. Staff member Dylan fished around Mordialloc in search of some snapper over the weekend, but with only small fish caught. Dylan concentrated on shallow reef outcrops with deep running hardbodied lures and deeper reef patches using flutter style jigs, with around 30 fish caught - but only up to 45cm. Many of the fish caught were between 35 - 45cm and perfect pan size.


Looking like snapper but silver are some of the bream that customer Minh has been catching. Minh has been fishing the Patterson River and using scrubworm to land multiple fish a session. Minh has caught fish to 44cm using worm in the river. The bream have been moving about the river quite freely, with fish caught from the bar at the river mouth right up to the rockwall towards the Frankston freeway end of the river. These fish will only get more active from now on and feed more aggressively around many areas of the river, and nearby metro rivers.

 


Eildon has been fishing well over the long weekend for anglers in search of a few different species. The main lake has been fishing well for yellowbelly from around the Frasers region north. Most anglers have been catching the yellas on live yabbies and lures. Small vibe style lures and plastics have been worth packing. The cod fishing in the lake has also still been excellent in all parts of the lake. A few larger cod have been caught up in the northern end of the lake around the entrance to the Deletite arm. Customer John fished the lake further south around the Jews creek arm and inlets and landed a nice cod on lure. John's cod measured 66cm and fought hard.


The pondage and tailrace of the Goulburn river has also been fishing well for trout. The pondage has been fishing well for large trout to 4kg on specialist trout dough and 'captain america' powerbait. The Goulburn river around Taggerty has been excellent for trout with lower levels. Customers Dennis and Fredi have both fished the river in this region and have caught some solid trout. Both of these guys have been catching their fish on hardbodied lures, with mid-range divers being the most effective. Flashy gold, red and smelt patterns have been the colours that have worked best when worked very erratically with quick pauses.

 


The past week has brought the snapper on the chew a bit better in Port Phillip. Water temperatures have risen to between 15-16C and when this stabilizes the fish will bite even better. Earlier in the week the fish went well off Carrum over the mud, while plenty were also caught up around Black Rock and south around Mornington.


Customers Mark and Daniel fished out from Frankston in 16m and found some nice fish, which ate on the first set of baits. Pilchard and fresh calamari caught the fish, with 5 landed between 4kg and 7.5kg. Out in the same area customer Ben also got into some nice fish. Ben fished the 17m line to land fish to around 5kg in weight.


Further south around Mornington customers Taki and Wilson landed some nice fish from the rocks. The boys have been fishing some pretty heavy weather but are geared up to suit and they have been getting into the fish. Using pillies the boys have had fish to 7kg, with Saturdays sloppy weather producing a good number of fish to around 4kg.


Up around Ricketts point customer Gareth has been out in the kayak landing pinkies to around 50cm on lures. Gareth has caught fish trolling hardbodies and also on soft swimbaits and 'neko' rigged plastics. Gareth has been trying a few different methods and has been catching fish on many when others using bait aren't getting bites.

 


The action in the estuaries out in gippsland is starting to warm up as the weather does. The warmth in the water has increased the activity level of the larger flathead and bream, and with this they have been on the prowl. The estuaries of lake tyers, marlo and bemm river have been fishing well for both, as has mallacoota inlet. Some of these estuaries will see a scattering of prawns in the backwaters and the fish will hunt these.


Staff member Dylan fished lake tyers on monday and landed a handful of bream on small shallow running hardbodies around the super shallow mudflats in the lake, in between searching for large flathead. Dylan fished 6 and 8 inch swimbaits around the likely haunts and had a few enquiries with one mid 70cm flathead staying connected to a Megabass magdraft swimbait.


Friend of the shop Trevor has also been getting in to some nice flathead from the lake. Trevor has been fishing the new SXC shads from Yakamito to land the bigger fish. The heavy tail kick and body roll of these plastics really gets the attention from the big flathead and gets them to pounce.

 


Flinders pier is still producing serious squid for persistent anglers. The squid fishing around the southern end of Westernport and Port Phillip bays has been good, with many anglers landing some big squid. This week customer Angelo has been catching some solid specimens but on some different jigs and colour schemes. Angelo has been experimenting with UV whites and also bright UV 'aggressive' colours with all of them working.


Sometimes these aggressive attention-seeking colours can work when nothing else does as they scream 'over here, eat me!' Especially in the clear oceanic water in the south of the bays, these colours really stand out. Angelo is normally a fan of passive and natural colours from Flinders pier but his gamble on some other colour patterns has paid off, so it's worth a shot!

 


Customers Izzy and Bruno are holidaying up along the northern coastline of NSW, and getting some fishing in while they're up there. The have been fishing the region from Byron Bay back down to around Lake Macquarie and have fun with various fish on their journey. Fishing just offshore from Brunswick heads Izzy landed some lovely snapper up to 4kg on Reedy's rigs with pilchard on them.

The offshore fishing in the same region has also had it's mix of bigger fish too, with some big sharks around. After some bite offs, Izzy and Bruno set up an overhead rod with some bigger hooks and trace, and Izzy managed to beat a big bronze whaler after an hour long fight. The bronzie was attacked and bleeding from the gills so it was kept and shared around to some of the locals. When the wind has been up the guys have been fishing inside the rivers and estuaries, and have been having some fun catching perfect eating size flathead on soft plastics. The soft plastic fishing for flathead will only get better along the coast and locally over the next few months.

 


While the snapper action hasn't been red hot, there are more fish caught every week - with the really good fishing coming over the next week or so. That said, keen anglers out there fishing for the reds are catching them, just not with red hot sessions. Customer Mario has been catching a few decent fish from the piers and rocks in Port Phillip, and hasn't been seeing too many others doing it. Preparation in collecting fresh bait and long hours of persistence have been the fruits of the labor and red rewards have been coming his way.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding the snapper fishing a bit tough at the moment, but time on the water has been getting him results for his customers. When James has been fishing Port Phillip he has been looking around the northern end of the bay from Williamstown to Brighton and Altona. James and clients have landed fish to around the 5kg mark on fresh squid and local pilchards either early morning or late into the evening.


Across in Westernport the snapper fishing has still been holding more consistent. There have been reports of fish coming from most of the port but the top of the north arm has been the best area (and potentially the busiest) to target these fish. Customers Christian and Damien fished deep around Crawfish rock to land a couple of fish to around 3kg. Fresh squid was the best bait to have, along with sinkers up around 20oz for this deep tidal scour.


Not far away in the same region of the port customer Dorian has been landing a few nice snapper. Dorian has been fishing from Tyabb through to Joes for fish like this one up around 7kg. Fresh local baits of squid, yakka and couta have been excellent up the top end of the port.