Port Phillip has really been providing a variety of fish for anglers recently. Pretty much every fish that one would want to catch in the bay can be caught right now. From pinkies, snapper, gars, salmon, kingfish, flathead and whiting the species choices are pretty widespread, it's just a matter of picking a fish and targeting it.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters reports of insane pinkie snapper action, with plenty of fish up to 2kg around the inshore reefs. During low light conditions these fish are going nuts, with multiple rods getting smashed on every bait that hits the water. The plastic fishing for these fish has been very good too, with all of the same areas like Black rock, Williamstown and Mornington all producing heaps of fish if you're fishing plastics.


Soft plastics in the 2 - 4'' size range have been the best of the pinkies, with 'stretchier' and tougher style plastics proving to be excellent value for money, with more than a dozen fish landed on a single plastic and no signs of damage. 'Bungee baits', Zman's and Squidgy 'Biotough' are all excellent options, just pick a natural and a bright colour to suit most conditions.


While fishing baits or scented plastics around the inshore reefs, fish like red mullet can be a common bycatch. Customers Ryan and Nick have been a heap amongst the pinkies, flathead and salmon along the eastern seaboard of the bay. Normally if you are over shallower heavy reef you will start catching the red mullet, and as you push deeper to where the reef steps down you will find less of these and more pinkie snapper.


There have also been some serious salmon in the bay for a while, with big schools spotted anywhere from Black Rock through to The Rip. Most of the fish have been around 1kg in size which makes them great fun on light spinning gear, or not bad on the table if they are looked after. Small metal lures up to 15g have been working well, along with tiny, whitebait imitation soft plastics. If you manage to get one of these lures to the bottom without a salmon intercepting it, there have been sand flathead to around 40cm keen on eating it.


Further north in the bay, there have been some decent bream mixed in with the schools of pinkies. While the pinkies have been much faster to get to the baits, the numbers of open water bream have been a surprise to a few anglers. The shallow sandflats around the top end of the bay have seen bream feeding around low light conditions where they have been taking baits and lures meant for flathead. This 43cm fish was caught by customer Michael, on a 4'' soft plastic aimed at a shallow water flathead at first light.

 


The estuaries out along the east Gippsland coastline are fishing well at present. The holiday crowds have quietened off and water traffic is back to a minimum and the fish are eating. The Gippsland lakes themselves have been quiet however, with some rumoured blue-green algae present. Lake Tyers has been producing fish for anglers keen enough to be on the water early and late, and move about to find the fish. Customer Shane was down at Tyers just recently where he landed this ripper flathead that measured 92cm. The monster flattie took a 5'' prawn imitation, which needless to say Shane has stocked up on again.


The bream have been actively feeding around the margins of the lakes and creeks in the area, with shallow diving minnows and surface presentations getting the most consistent results. A common theme recently has been the use of brightly coloured lures to 'shock' the bream in to giving a 'reaction' bite. Where natural or ghost colour patterns may go unnoticed the brighter contrasting colours key in to the fishes inquisitive nature and the only way for them to test is by using their mouth!


Customer Ryan with some average Gippsland bream caught using small brightly coloured surface and subsurface lures, with overcast and slightly choppy conditions favoured as being the most productive.

 


The bream fishing around Melbourne has started to heat up from the recent bit of rain we've had. The water had been very clear around the local estuaries and rivers and the fish were becoming flighty and a bit harder to trick. Now that there is a bit of colour to the water again, the fish feel a bit less vulnerable and have been going about feeding more actively and they haven't been as touchy on offerings.Customer Tony normally fishes the Patto regularly and his prediction was the fish were going to bite well this morning, and he was right. Tony fished earlier today to land 10 nice bream from 38 - 42cm. Tony fished small live freshwater yabbies on 10lb leader to land his fish, with a couple even busting him off on 10lb.


Customer Vis also fished the Patto recently with a mate, and using the same bait they landed a nice bag of bream. Vis was rapped with how successful the yabbies were when fished on the Gamakatsu 'C10U' stinger hook.


Customer Alex was down at the river during the week, before the rain where he found the fishing a bit slow. He landed some bream to 33cm and found the most productive time was about 5am as the tide was pushing in. With clear water he found the fish would bite delicately and drop the bait if any resistance was felt, with fine gauge hooks being the only way to pin them. Light leaders and almost no sinker weight was also key to getting the fish to mouth the baits for long enough to be hooked.

 

If you are out towards Lakes Entrance or anywhere in East Gippsland and are thinking of chasing the bream then right now the fishing is excellent. Most of the estuaries are running warm and full of food items such as prawn, shrimp, garfish and other small baitfish - and this abundant food has got the bream biting. You can certainly catch a few fish by bait fishing from either the shore or in a small craft, but the lure fishing is simply too good at the moment to pass up. Many anglers have been reporting crazy sessions where 50 fish on lures isn't uncommon - but there are certainly some tricks to help boost the bite for you. Firstly, you MUST use a light and responsive graphite rod. This sort of fishing is all about control and feel and simply, with a fibreglass rod you have none. Light braided line will help you with the feel factor, as it will indicate any subtle bites or taps on the lure, and it will also get the lures to swim better - which results in more bites! 

Customer Russ tried his hand at lure fishing for bream for the first time down at Bemm River. Russ did well landing some chunky black bream in the lake, with Luckycraft 'flash minnows' and 'bevy shads' getting the job done for him. Russ looks stoked and will probably continue on board the lure fishing train now.


Victorian Tackle Representatives Gez and Mitch were also down at the Bemm doing the same thing on the bream, and they report that the bream are really going well. Using 'bent minnows' and other surface pencils along with shallow running 'jerkbaits' like luckycraft flash minnows, Gez and Mitch report that in some areas they were going a fish a cast, with many double hookups on nice size fish. Again finesse tackle certainly helps, as these fish are cruising along shallow clear flats and can be spooked easily.


Staff member Dylan also fish out in Gippsland over the weekend, with a bit of variety of fish landed while targeting the bream. Fish like this 37cm yellowfin bream were crunching surface poppers and stickbaits, with every fish for the trip taken on a surface lure. Big amounts of small prawns in the estuary really got the fish hitting the surface aggressively.


Customer Jordan with a nice 39cm yellowfin bream caught on a surface pencil from the weekend. Small lures that fit the profile and natural colours of a school prawn got belted when they were cast into the right areas. 

 


While the local bream fishing isn't going too bad at all, the Gippsland lakes is on fire for bream fishing. The fishing has been great, whether you're bait or lure fishing - but it is the lure fishing that has been very hard to beat. The warm waters of the gippsland estuaries have really geared up with lots of prey items for the hungry to chomp through, with shrimp, prawns and small gars all getting smashed. Lots of lure choices are working very well at the moment but the hardbody and surface luring has been 5 star. Anglers are reporting multiple hookups and not uncommonly landing 30 or 40 fish in a session. 


Customers Jordan and Josh fished from their kayaks recently and found that the bream were more than happy to hit their surface lures. Both the guys were fishing small surface stickbaits in the 60mm size range and they landed over a dozen fish each, with this session Josh's introducing to bream lure fishing! Surface lure fishing is very visual but there is certainly a knack to triggering the big bream to eat, and having refined tackle makes this a whole lot easier.


Now, if you've always thought bream on lures is a conspiracy, check out how much these fish wanted these 'bent minnows'. Customer John was out in the gippsland estuaries during the week where many bream like this were caught using these surface stickbaits. These premium quality lures certainly get the interest of many a bream, and now is the best time to be out using them.

 


It feels like at least half of Melbourne is away somewhere along the east gippsland or NSW south coast over the Christmas break, and rightly so - with this part of the country some of the best we've got (opinions may vary...). While the increase of angling pressure over this time does shut some of the fishing down there are still plenty of options for everyone, and generally always some fish to catch somewhere, no matter your skill level. Speaking of skill level, staff member Don is away along the south coast of NSW currently but as we expect, still getting a fish in. While not entirely a fishing holiday, Don has managed some time out to walk the local estuaries casting lures. Don has found bream, flathead, tailor, trevally and flounder taking a liking to his small hardbodies and plastics. Don said that he has been targeting the quieter sections of the estuaries away from boat and foot traffic and working slowly through an area, making sure the water is covered effectively.


Customer Jinsu has also been fishing along the east gippsland coastline in search of some decent flathead. Jinsu has well and truly got decent flathead covered with some smaller 35-50cm fish making it to the frypan, and this mega 90cm fish making its way back to the depths. Jinsu has found that 'squidgy' wriggler and paddle prawns along with 'bungee baits' paddletails doing all of the damage when slowly whipped along the estuary drop offs.

 

 

 


If there was any time to try your hand at lure fishing for bream, then now is it. Bream on lures CAN be a tricky affair, with larger fish definitely not stupid or easy to fool with artificial offerings. The bream fishing at present is very good, with the recent rainfall giving many of the local systems a good flush out, and bringing some more food in for the bream. Moderately discoloured water also gives the fish some cover, so their guard is down a bit more than if the water was crystal clear.

Many of the local estuaries have had some reasonable size fish on the chew, with fish to 40cm not uncommon. Many lures can be used to catch these fish, but with the warm water temperature a lot of fish will be actively hunting surface prey like prawns and shrimp, along with insects and schooling baitfish.


Customer Jordan has been experiencing some excellent bream fishing in places like the Werribee and Maribyrnong rivers over the last week, with quality fish like this as recent as Xmas day. Jordan has found that the most successful lure has been the new Jackall Spytail, which is a jointed 'S' bait - which imitates the injured baitfish almost identically. Jordan has found that the fish have been following the lures closely, only to crunch them on the pause after a few short jerks.

 

Tasmania is the place for bream fishing. Pristine rivers, estuaries and landlocked lagoons dot the Isle and some of the bream that move in and out of these systems are massive. Customer Jack and his dad recently fished the apple isle chasing these bream were they did well. Zerek flash minnow soft plastics were the standout, with plenty of 40cm plus fish taken on them in Ansons bay. The flash minnows are also a durable 10x style soft plastic so lure casualties were kept to a minimum. 

 

 

With another lashing of rain around the suburbs, the bream have kicked up a gear in the local rivers and estuaries. The freshwater influx has brought more food to the fish and given them a bit more cover from predators so they're happy to eat. All of the metro systems are producing fish, with the Yarra, Maribyrnong ad Patto going well. Customer Robin fished the heart of the city itself and tricked a couple of fish using plastics. Robin was fishing a light 3lb setup with small curl tail and worm plastics smothered in 's-factor' scent. Robin also said that there was still lots of fresh pushing down and the bites from the fish were very subtle.

Customer Tony had another session down at Patto for some nice bream. Tony found that the fish were hitting hard in the dirty water, with the run out tide producing all the bites. The most effective baits for Tony were small live freshwater yabbies and shucked mussel.

Once the water clears up again the bream should really fire up, with some areas around the metro systems holding bream like this. These fish weren't super responsive but can still be caught using a bit of finesse.


 


 

The heavy rain that Melbourne experienced may have put fishing off the cards for a few days but it has breathed some life into the bay and it's estuaries. Bream, mullet and mulloway have responded well to the flush out the local systems have received. Staff member Dylan took advantage of the clearing water during the week and had an afternoon session chasing the bream on lures. After a slow start, about a dozen bream made their way into the net, with a variety of lures doing the damage. Some new hybrid wakebaits caught their fair share of fish along with soft plastics.


Dylan trialed the new 'biotough' squidgy soft plastic range and it is safe to say that they will be as deadly as the time tested standard range. A handful of nice fish scoffed the new biotough wriggler in UV bloodworm, including this 1.5kg plus model. Pop into the shop to check them out - they are a winner!


Customer Tony Conversano has also experienced some good local bream fishing during the week. Tony has been mixing up his baits to see what the fish are interested in at the time with prawn, mussel and freshwater yabbies all doing their bit. With dirty water conditions a light berley trail of 'snapper magnet' has helped dramatically, which consists of a prawn and mussel shell based scent.


The mulloway population have made their presence known after the rain also, with the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers producing some nice fish. Customer Jovan has caught fish to around 7kg using live mullet (and patience) after dark in the metro rivers.