The bluewater action offshore from both bays rages on, and with conductive weather the kingfish and tuna will keep anglers busy right into April. There have been some smaller fish pushing in from the West, but tuna to 30kg have still been about in excellent numbers. The fish have been caught from Kilcunda through to around Torquay, with Flinders through to Barwon Bluff holding great numbers and attracting anglers launching from either bay. Customer Kane fished with Gawaine Blake recently and got into some nice solid fish in even better conditions out from the heads. 


Customer Ahmad fished with mates out from Barwon and found good numbers of fish that were playing ball for once. Ahmad and the guys enjoyed catching tuna to around 20kg on surface stickbaits and poppers with plenty of smaller kingfish hanging nearby also. The best region was around the 40m depth. 


The kingfish have been hot and cold if you've been fishing around the rip and Port Philip Heads. While the fish have been around, the conditions in the rip have changed on a daily basis with wind direction and tidal strength all contributors. Most of the fish in the rip have been in the 3 - 7kg size range, with some larger fish finding the live baits of unfortunate anglers. The offshore points and structures have been more consistent but fish size has been a size bracket smaller overall when finding numbers of them.


Customer Jason has been landing some solid fish offshore around Cape Schank. Jason has been casting stickbaits and poppers along with hanging live baits down to see what is working. Live squid and yakka have been good when presented to the fish from the correct angle around these pressure points and ledges. Fish to 1m and around 10kg have been found holding up around the schank but landing them is a different story!


Customer Justin fished with mate Ben around the schank also and landed some nice school sized kings to around 80cm. The guys found live squid to be the most effective bait on them, especially when slow trolled deep around the ledges and points in roughly 20m of water. 

 

 

 

Western Port's run of whiting reports continue in and show no real presence of slowing as we enter Autumn. While the water temperature creeps lower the fish continue to bite as well as ever, with the only real Autumn indicator being the odd angler chasing the fish slightly further south in the port. Speaking of the southern end of the port, and of quality KGW - customer Mark boated a ripper whiting that knocked the genuine kilo mark easily. Mark's 53cm fish weighed 1.1kg and was caught down along the Balnarring/Somers region. That sort of fish is worth money this weekend!


Back up the top of the port customer Chris has been smashing the whiting with his mates. Chris has been fishing out from Warneet and doing well on fish to 46cm on pipi and squid. Chris has also been landing some quality pinkies while chasing the whiting, which we should see more of over the next couple of months.


Up the top end of the port there have been some large fish landed by anglers amongst the school sized whiting. Customer Colin fished out from Blind Bight recently and landed a nice bag of fish with the largest weighed 825g - which will yield some ripper fillets! Colin has been finding the deeper marks around Joe's Island more productive for him with half his bag comprising quality fish like this at times. Californian squid and pipi have been the best baits for him. 


Customers Mark and Cip have also been doing well on the whiting around the Joe's Island region. The boys have been fishing the shallower ground during bigger tides and moving to the deeper patches of cunjie as the tides slow and finding some better fish that way. Mussel and pipi along with fresh squid has been the best baits for the guys. 

 


The estuaries around Lakes Entrance have been fishing well for bream and flathead, along with King George whiting. Lake Tyers has been fishing well for bream and flathead, with the flathead really providing anglers with some action. Anglers fishing larger plastics and swimbaits are connecting with sold fish from up in the shallows out along any drop offs and ambush points.

Customer Dan fished with Jarrod from the Compleat Angler head office after some nice flathead on larger lures. The standout lures were Biwa swimbaits and large Yakamito plastics fished slowly along the likely territory, with flathead in the 70cm mark landed. 


Staff member Dylan fished the lake also in search of some larger model flatties, but lucked out with plenty of fish from 50 - 65cm landed but no monsters. Swimbaits in the 170mm size range were the best lure choices, especially when rigged with chin weights to run deeper along the ledges and gutters. 


Around Lakes Entrance and Metung there has still been prawn activity. Staff member Dylan collected around half a kilo under a full moon recently, covering no more than a 15m stretch of bank. Over the next new moon the prawns should be even more active and worth targeting. Amongst the prawn activity there has been a load of whiting caught. The region from Kalimna through to Tambo bluff has been the main area of interest, with plenty of school sized fish caught on mussel, prawn and pipi. 


The rivers of the Gippsland lakes have been fishing well for bream recently. With fish spread out widely through the rivers, the lower sections seem to be producing better numbers compared to higher reaches. Customer Paul fished the Nicholson river over the weekend and found smaller school bream aplenty along the edges of the river below the boat ramp. Paul found the best success on amber coloured grubs fished on light jigheads. 


Staff member Dylan also fished the Nicholson river last week for a few hours on the way home from Lakes Entrance. With strong 25 knot winds ripping through the river the upstream reaches provided more cover. Bream to 1kg were caught on a mixture of 80mm UV coloured plastics, and deep diving crankbaits. Most of the fish were found sitting out from the edge along the back of the first drop off, in small schools. 

 

Many anglers would know of the kingfish action that is happening around the state, especially locally around Melbourne. The action around the rip has been hard to miss, with a heap of quality fish coming aboard for those fishing amongst the aquatic traffic. There have been fish from 55cm through to around 12kg with plenty of 65 - 75cm fish about, and they have been willing to take jigs, live baits and dead baits. Getting fish towards the surface and casting stickbaits and plastics has been a good way to land them too. 

Customers Steve, Jason and Mick fished the rip over the weekend and had an excellent session on fish to around 7kg. The guys managed a few fish on live squid but found the jigs to be the most effective. Working jigs from 100g through to 210g worked in the various depths that the fish were holding in. 


Customers Will, Thao and Johnny also fished the area over the weekend and got into some nice kings. Jigging and dropping live baits both worked, with the occasional dead bait going off as well. 


The kingfish have been so prevalent that they are even making their presence found by anglers quietly minding their business in search of other species. Among the small fish working the whiting ground along Westernport's top end, there have also been fish spread further around the port. Customer Dan was fishing land based near Corinella targeting a feed of whiting with strips of squid when one of his KGW baits screamed off. He was pleasantly surprised when a legal kingfish was finally subdued and on the beach.  


Further down the coast the kingies have been running as hot with the offshore ground from Port Welshpool really producing some nice fish. Young gun Mike ventured out from Welshpool and got amongst some nice fish up to 8kg or so. The fish around the inner islands have been responding well to smaller kings and plastics, along with live squid and slimey mackerel. Yakkas have been catching also if the other baits are hard to find. 

 


With some good weather forecast over the weekend, many will be trying their luck offshore for the bluefin tuna. These fish have been holding in good numbers from around Barwon through to Pyramid Rock, and in water from 15m out to 70m or so. While there have been some nice fish pushing 30kg, many of the fish have averaged around 13 - 20kg. There have been schools further east towards Inverloch and further but many anglers will be targeting the fish closer to Melbourne.  

Customer Rick went out during the week and had a shot at putting some fish in his boat with some guidance from Gawaine Blake. Rick and Gawaine managed a nice brace of fish in the 20kg out from Port Phillip Heads. 


While fish have been caught on all methods, the standout techniques of late have been trolling skirts behind 'flippy floppy' or strip style teasers. Skirts in the 3 - 5 inch size have been best when run around 5ft from the back of the teasers, with small bullet heads the most effective. The other effective technique is either slow trolling or casting poppers around the edge of the schools, which creates a similar sound wave and surface disturbance to entice the fish towards the top. Poppers in the 150 - 230mm size range have worked, with around 160mm about ideal to create enough attraction and be easy enough to eat. 


EJ Todds Representative Mitch has landed a few nice fish out from Barwon in the week, with 160mm Maria poppers doing the trick when worked subtle around the schools. Popping for tuna is less aggressive than many think, with a 'GT' style rip often too much and sending the fish turning away. The 60m area off Barwon was the best fish holding zone during the week. 

 


Lake Tyers has been fishing very well for anglers out chasing multiple species from the boat, kayak or bank. While the lake is still closed and high and in need of a decent flush out there have still been plenty of fish caught. The bream fishing from about half way down the main arms into the main basin has been good along the flooded edges and covered rocky bars, on both bait and lures.  Some nice bream can be caught early morning around these very margins on unweighted yabbies or prawn, or small suspending lures. 


The flathead fishing in the lake has been good also with some large fish caught. Again the bottom half of the lake has produced most of the fish, as the higher reaches have a decent amount of fresh water around the upper section of the water column. Customer Paul fished the lake recently and found some nice flathead to an estimated 74cm. Fishing the flooded margins and shallows saw Paul snag fish on 4 inch weedless-rigged soft plastics. 


Customer Bob also landed some nice dusky flathead recently fishing from the shoreline. Bob caught fish well into the 50cm size bracket on pilchard and bluebait on a running rig. Fishing the baits along the second drop off saw all the action. 


The tailor have also been floating about the lake and they have generally been large. Fish to 80cm have been marauding the bait schools and even chopping hooked bream and flathead up. Bob landed a few tailor to 1.5kg from the shoreline of Fisherman's arm on bluebait on his most recent trip. 


A simple walk across the sand dune at the mouth of the lake has seen plenty of salmon about also. While the lake isn't open to the sea, small amounts of water seep through the dune to the beaches edge and provide nutrient to smaller schools of baitfish which in turn attract the salmon. Fishing the deep shoreline gutters straight out from the shore break with a paternoster rig has been a good way to land salmon to around 1kg for customer Dan. TPE style soft plastics attached to a surf popper of the bottom dropper have been an excellent 'crab proof' offering that the salmon will take after being lured in by the scent of the bait also. 

 


For those anglers keen on the bluewater billfish action, the south coast of NSW has been producing a red hot marlin bite from Jervis Bay back down to the Bermagui area. With warm currents pushing in close to the coast the marlin fishing has been excellent with many anglers reporting dozen fish days. There have been some small black marlin caught in close but most of the fish are striped marlin ranging from 80 - 120kg. The good thing about these fish is that have been caught in fairly close, as they roam the front edge of the current hunting bait. 


Customers Damien, Christian and Steve ventured up the coast for a quick weekend on the fish and they weren't disappointed. The guys shot straight to Jervis Bay and got out into the 150m area and looked for bait. The largest slimey mackerel were the best when bridled and run off the outriggers with around 3kg of tension. Very slow trolled slimies account for all their fish which ranged up to around 120kg. The larger sharks have been a problem around the marlin and bait however, as one of their fish couldn't be released after an attack from a bronze whaler. 

 

 

 

 

 


Now is a great time of year to be fishing locally, especially in Western Port. The large gummies on offer around the Western entrance and inside the port are excellent with some seriously-sized females moving in to pup. Fishing fresh baits along the bottom curve of a channel or gutter will generally lead to tangling with one of these fish, it just comes down to timing the stage of the tide. 

Customer Trent landed a ripper gummy fishing along the edge of the main western channel near Vetnor. Fishing chunks of freshly caught yakka and trevally provided Trent with the opportunity to release this 25kg fish. 


Customer Dan also landed a ripper gummy fishing with mate Seb. The guys were fishing around the Western entrance where they found some nice patches of reef and fresh bait in the form of wrasse and parrotfish. Fishing nearby to the reef resulted in a lovely shark of around 20kgs. Large chunk baits tend to ward most small pickers away in this environment, and leave plenty for the larger gummies to hone in on. 


There have been some nice school snapper caught in the port by anglers fishing the cunjie ground and rubble through areas like the north arm out from Hastings, and across towards the corals in similar bottom terrain. Fresh squid, pilchard and yakka have been the best-chance baits. 


Customer Nigel has been fishing the North arm in Western port where he has consistently been landing snapper up to 70cm. Nigel has been fishing small patches of cunjie in 10 - 13m of water. Most of the school fish have been sized from 55 - 65cm and have been taken on pilchard. 

 

Even though conditions haven't been ideal for many during the week, there have been some keen anglers making the most of the decreased boat traffic offshore and tangling with some good size bluefin tuna. With some better weather forecast for the weekend and early into the week there should be more tuna reports coming from outside both bays. The water offshore from Port Phillip heads has been teaming with life, including bluefin tuna to 30kgs. While these fish can be aggressive and hit with speed and anger, they will also shy away from lots of different lure offerings if they aren't interested. Most anglers having regular success on them have been incorporating some form of teaser, be it a flasher style rig or soft surface squid 'flippy floppy'.

Customer Johnny fished with mate Will during the week where they shot outside from Sorrento. The boys found success in slow trolling 150mm poppers around the edge of the schools giving them the occasional bloop to entice an enquiry.

Customer Zak also boated a couple of lovely tuna during the week, and offshore from Port Phillip also. Zak found that small skirts in the 4 - 5'' range were the most effective when run in conjunction with a flippy floppy teaser. Small bullet style heads running off the teaser also provide straight predictable tracking to help the fish line the lure up.

Customer Billy fished with mates out from the heads and landed some nice fish in the 20kg mark on skirts up to 6 inches in length. Running polished bullet heads behind flasher rigs was the most effective method, and in water around 50m deep.


 

The bit of rain that some of the state has received over the past fortnight has really given a breath of life for the freshwater streams and lakes, and fired the trout up some more. With a rise in water levels and an increase in water turbidity the trout have been actively feeding up and responding well to anglers fishing lures. 

Customer Matt has been fishing the pondage at Eildon over the past few weeks and has been landing some quality trout on lures. With overcast conditions and passing rain the trout have been patrolling the riverbed edge and flats looking for some easy prey. Matt's spoon style lures throw a lot of light and have an erratic action when slowly retrieved so they have been an excellent searching style of lure to find which areas the fish have been patrolling. 

Customer Vince has also been doing some trout fishing in the streams between Eildon and Noojee and he is also finding some decent size trout. Some of the larger tributaries have been producing brown trout to over 50cm. Most of the fish in these type of waterway are generally in the 20 - 25cm size range, so fish this size are exceptional. Vince has been fishing one of his favoured light spin rods with small hardbodies for all the action. The more tannin in the water the brighter the lure colour for extra contrast, with orange and black being favourites for him. 

Any rain event during Summer and Autumn can provide an extra boost in trout activity in the local rivers. If you're going to bait fish these rivers baits like cut worm are excellent after rain also.