While the average weather hasn't been super motivating for many forms of fishing, it's probably the best time of year to focus on simple bread and butter species around the bay. The many species on offer for angler at the moment are bream, garfish, salmon, pinkies and flathead. The best part of fishing for these species is that most of it can be done from the shore, kayak or in close in the boat. The current amount of freshwater washed into the bay has dirtied the water up and although this makes the water look very uninviting, the fish can normally bite better.


The bayside rivers and creeks have had a real good flush out and this has fired the bream up a lot over the last few weeks. The Patterson and Maribyrnong rivers have been producing some nice bream as more food is flushed around for them, and they have decreased sensitivity due to murky water. Customer Robin fished the Patto just recently and found a few nice bream near the mouth. Robin landed fish to 38cm on scrubworms fished on small whiting 'flasher' style rigs in 90 minutes of fishing.


The same area around the mouth of the Patto has also been producing salmon as they move up and back along the Eastern side of the bay. While they sometimes don't hang about for long, if the conditions are good the fish shouldn't be far away. Onshore winds and dirty water lines are good signs, especially if there are any baitfish schools about. Mordialloc through to Frankston is the region to look around through, with bluebait and whitebait the best baits. For the lure anglers, slim profile stickbaits and metal 'angry baits' have been effective in long casts into the wind, while small minnow soft plastics have also been catching fish once a bit of scent is added. Youngster James has been enjoying the salmon on soft plastics and lures with dad Chris when they can find a break in the weather.

Once the weather backs off a bit the garfish will come back on the chew. The same areas mentioned for the salmon have also been producing some good size gars when the wind hasn't been too strong. Onshore winds of 10 knots or less are generally what to look for when chasing the gars, and make sure you have heavily weighted and buoyant floats like the strada sliding floats. These floats are able to carry lots of lead for casting weight but will stay upright and alert you of any small gar bites very well.


The top end of the bay has also been producing some nice flathead in the shallows. The region from Port Melbourne through to around Sandringham has been the most productive stretch, will Atona bay another good spot to try. Staff member Dylan caught a bucket load during the calm weather trolling hardbodied lures from 90 - 130mm in size, with the best depths being around 2.5 - 3.5m of water. The rougher weather has seen many caught in even closer with the breakwalls and piers producing fish to around 42cm most days. If you're going to target a feed of flatties, make sure you lure or bait has got plenty of natural attraction and scent. Baits of small squid or squid heads have lots of movement in the rough water and might even score you some pinkies also. Small 'flutter jigs' are excellent for casting good distance as are soft hybrid vibes. The best lure choices are ones that the fish can find the easiest in the murky water, and gel or aerosol scents will increase their effectiveness 5:1.

 


Although the weather has been bitterly cold and average wind wise over the past few days , there is some decent weather with light winds on it's way. While the weather may not have been the most helpful for the fisherman there has still been a bit happening locally for rugged up anglers. The garfish have been around on the piers along the eastern seaboard of the bay, with Mornington, Seaford, Frankston and Sandringham all good places to start. Staff member Don has been catching a few around Mornington over the past week, with some good sized fish in the schools. Small silverfish and maggots have been the best, but as usual a fine grit berley and properly balanced floats are a must.


Customer Nathan has also been catching the gars from Seaford pier. Nathan has been finding that the fish are most active around the last bit of daylight into the first hour or so of night. Nathan has been berleying and fishing silverfish back in the berley trail but also paying attention to which direction the berley is being carried.


Nathan has also been catching some nice bream from Patterson river. Maximizing his fishing time after work hours Nathan has landed bream up to 42cm recently from the river. During his latest session Nathan caught 2 nice fish both around a kilo, and both on mussel. The bream were most active just after sunset and will still bite well with the dirty water conditions. Customer Cip has also caught a couple of nice fish recently from the Patto, but on lures. Cip has been using small sinking stickbaits and plastics but has found the stickbaits have been getting the bite more often. Letting these lures slowly sink and flutter down to the bottom has been when most fish are grabbing them.


In westernport there has been plenty on offer from the local piers, with a heap of pike, mackerel and flathead to be caught over the reef and weedbeds, and barracouta mid water. Customer Nath has landed rock flathead to 45cm fishing from the piers and has found soft plastics the best way to jag a few. Small 3 inch paddletail plastics have been the best performers especially in small whiting or wrasse colours. Customer Angelo has been catching a heap of big pike and couta from the pier down at Flinders on soft plastics also. Flinders is an excellent location to fish plastics for fish like pike as they patrol the thick kelp beds. Angelo has slowly gotten into the lure fishing and is having a ball catching lots of variety of the finesse plastic techniques.

 


The big bream are starting to fire up with this weather. The local rivers such as Patterson and Yarra have been seeing more solid fish caught since the rain has started up, with things expected to get better as it gets colder. This time of the year is more about quality over quantity which fish over a kilo expected. Customer Ryan has been fishing the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers to land some nice to around 35cm on plastics. Ryan has been finding the fish holding tight into the bankside structure so weedless rigging of the plastics has been the most effective way of getting to them.


Out in Gippsland the big bream are starting to fire as customer Justin has been experiencing. Justin and brother Braydon have been fishing the three main rivers and have been landing some nice fish on all manner of lures. The Tambo and Nicholson have been producing the most fish with some big bream well over 40cm in length hanging about. The best bite on these fish has been with small grubs like Zman and Bungy Baits, along with small sinking hardbodies and stickbaits. These lures fish well when let sink slowly along the bank edge or structure, and are worked back with a series of slow hops.

 


The bream fishing has really heated up as Autumn has kicked along. Traditionally Autumn is a great time to be out chasing bream whether it's local or down the road. The bream fishing throughout Gippsland has been good, as many of the estuaries that have been shut over the warmer months are now open and have some fresh water pushing down them, and tides moving the bait around and firing the fishing up. Staff member Chris fished out in Gippsland with mates and found that the bream were aggressive towards baitfish pattern hardbodies around the weedbeds.


The Gippsland lakes are starting to produce some large bream as the weather cools down. with the three big rivers all producing fish. The recent rain has triggered some bigger fish to start schooling for their spawning movements later during winter. Customers Luke and Luke fished the rivers recently and found some solid bream to 44cm in the Tambo. The boys found that the early morning bite was the most productive fishing, and the addition of stealth was what got the bite over the line. The boys moved into position by the use of boat paddles as to not spook the fish.


Meanwhile back in the local rivers the bream have also been fishing pretty well. The Patterson river is always a good spot to tackle a decent bream, as customer Ange has been doing. Ange has been lure casting from the shore during both the day and at night, and he has been catching fish to around 35cm. Lately small deep running crankbaits have been the most effective for him, as they bump along the bottom to entice a bite. Staff member George has also been down at Patto and has been landing fish to similar size. George has been fishing a variety of baits and has found baits like pipi, squid, and small strip baits of fish have been working when fished on very light leader and sinkers. The fish have been biting well into the night, with some as late as 11pm.


The Werribee river has produced some nice fish for anglers fishing with small freshwater yabbies. Customer Glenn from the Keysborough Angling Club weighed in two nice fish recently fishing the lower section of the river. Both of Glenn's fish were in the mid 30cm size range. Baits of shrimp have also been effective when fished around the reed edges.


The Yarra river has also been fishing well for bream. Customer Ryan has been enjoying some good sessions on the fish while fishing land based. While the water clarity was excellent the fishing was tough, with picky fish cautiously rejecting lures if they weren't sure of them. Ryan has managed some nice fish to just under 40cm on small shrimp imitations. Small stickbaits and sinking hardbodies that imitate the local shrimp have been the best when let sink slowly around the pylons and pontoons. Staff member Dylan has also been catching bream to just under a kilo in the Yarra recently. Dylan has been fishing small baitfish profiled soft plastics around the retaining walls and concrete pylons in the river. The Megabass Hazedong shads have been excellent when fished on a 1/12th jig and slowly twitched very close to the structure.



 


Most of the estuaries out in Gippsland are set to fire up if more rain falls between now and Easter. While up until last week all major estuaries from Lakes Entrance and east were closed to the ocean. With water levels high and no clean salty water pushing in the fish can slow off the bite and be harder work to catch. They are still however there to be caught, and that's what will normally separate good anglers from those set in their ways.

Staff member Dylan and mates fished out in some of the estuaries recently and while conditions weren't ideal with wind and heavy rain the fish were certainly there to be caught. Fishing shallow mud and sand flats and finding the main holding areas for the fish was the first key, then working out the more successful lures was the next step. With an abundance of small school prawns and shrimp the surface bite was excellent. Over a day and a half around 60 bream were caught, with another estimated 25 whiting and around 60 flathead. A very small bag of fish was taken home, with some whiting, flathead and luderick keep for a feed.


Among the desirable fish were plenty of big tailor and silver trevally all equally happy to eat the expensive lures. The most successful lures were the Sammy 55, Gunfish, Sugarpen and overreal wake, which all represent small prawns and baitfish panicked on the surface. Retro-fitting these lures with small and sharp stinger hooks increased hookup rates by at least 50%, especially on the bream and whiting. Customer Daniel also fished in a nearby estuary where he landed some nice yellowfin bream from similar shallow sand flats.


Around the Gippsland lakes the bream fishing has been good if you're looking in the right areas. The main 3 rivers are producing some nice fish at present and should start fishing well for the larger fish the deeper we get into autumn. Customer Bashir and mate fished the lower tambo river to land a nice bag of fish on a mixture of baits. The most successful baits for the day were live shrimp and freshwater yabbies fished on number 8 'C10U' fly hooks.


Customer Ian also fished the region recently and found some nice bream floating about in the Nicholson river. Ian found that the best baits by a mile were live freshwater yabbies. If you're using slightly larger than normal yabbies it doesn't hurt to pull the claws off them to give the fish a good chance at hitting them and hooking up.

 


While there have been some inconsistent estuary reports, anglers spending the time on the water are ultimately reaping the rewards - whether it's locally in the Yarra and Maribyrnong or out in Gippsland.


Customer Shane proved that the real only way to catch fish in make sure you're out there doing it! Shane caught and released a monster flathead of 92cm from the shallows in Lake Tyers just over the weekend. The monster fish swum back to the depths and shows the quality of the fish on offer. Shane was fishing the Nowa arm of the lake, which seems to be a bit more productive than the main basin at present. Warmer water mixed with a more brackish salinity is keeping both flathead and bream happily eating.


There have been enough bream hanging about on the edges of the estuaries and rivers of Gippsland but the trick has been offering them what they want to eat. With loads of small shrimp flicking about along the reed and grass edges customer Morgan found a skinny profiled surface lure was most effective. Morgan has been fishing a few estuaries recently and has found the fish wanting different lures most of the time. Small shrimp profiles in the shallows have been very effective, while larger crab and minnow soft plastics in the deeper water have been getting the bites. Changing lures and baits to try and persuade the fish is all part of it.


Customer Ryan has been finding some quality fish in the local metro rivers. Ryan has been fishing both the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers and landing bream to around 39cm on bait and lures. Ryan has been finding soft plastics effective but only when fished right up in cover and shade, as the fish aren't covering out from cover to eat. Watermelon coloured plastics in curl and paddle tails have both been good, while baits of cut crab have also been working. Fishing larger crabs requires hooks in the size 2 range, with wide gapes helping to present the bait and aid in positive hook ups.

 


While there have plenty of active fish to be caught, many of the estuaries both local and into Gippsland are in need of a decent rain and flush - with quite a few landlocked at present. With no real rain to open up these estuaries they are closed, with warmer water than normal and not affected by tides and salinity which has turned the fish off somewhat. Clearer than normal water has also made the fish flighty, perfect if you're up for a challenge!


Staff member Dylan fished with mate Adrian down in the estuaries from Lakes onward where the fishing was tougher than normal. Fishing around Lakes and Marlo, Dylan and Adrian caught around 20 bream up to 41cm - with surface lures performing the best. OSP bent minnows and Bassday sugapens were the 2 best lures, perfect imitations of the available bait. Fishing these lures around pockets in the thick weed and over silt beds were where the fish had been holding more consistently. Many other anglers were seen but without turning a reel, but they also weren't paying attention to what bait was around and where the fish were holding.


Speaking of bait, these estuaries all had good numbers of prawns about. While they weren't huge there were plenty about to use for bait or for a snack. Most of the prawns have been from 6 - 12cm long and these are what a lot of the fish have been feeding on. Dylan and Adrian kept a bag of dusky flathead from 38 - 50cm working lightly weighted prawn pattern soft plastics around the silt beds.

 


Now that many of the holiday crowds have come back home the estuaries have started fishing a little better out towards Lakes Entrance. The sheer amount of people on the water had kept the fishing a bit quiet and the fish a bit skittish, but now things are starting to heat back up. Around Lakes itself there has been a good amount of variety caught, from kingfish and King George whiting through to bream and flathead. Customer Josh fished around Lakes in search of nice flathead and he wasn't disappointed when a nice 72cm fish jumped on a hardbody in the shallows. The successful lure imitated a small garfish perfectly, and he caught many other flatties around 40cm on the same lure.


While many people might not expect to catch fish right amongst the crowds in the heart of town, and customer Anne proved that theory wrong. Anne fished the 'main' Cunninghame arm in front of town at Lakes Entrance and landed a ripper dusky flathead of 52cm. Anne was fishing with plastics and this was her first fish on a soft plastic, which is awesome. Customer Daniel was also fishing the shallow lagoons around the estuary mouth at Marlo where he caught some nice flatties to a similar size. The fish in this region have been gorging themselves on small prawns too, so if you can imitate them or use them you're in with a good shot!


Customers Jordan and Morgan both fished some of the estuaries around Lakes Entrance and Marlo recently, where the boys managed some nice bream. Fishing out of their kayaks, the boys had some good surface fishing with bream to 35cm taking 'deruzze' dead sticked amongst the weed, but the real winner was the Jackall 'spytail' fished with short darts and jerks along the riverbank edges. The fish would hammer the lure after a small twitch as it slowly 'died' and drifted along the drop offs.


Customer Ange fished the Gippsland estuaries in his kayak recently where he had a ball on the bream using mainly surface lures. Ange stocked up on a few different style of lure before heading away, with plenty of fish taking small prawn and baitfish imitations. The best lures were the new colour and size 'sugapens' along with small Tiemco 'deruzze' - which are both very natural in appearance and action. Ange landed some nice bream to 40cm using these lures, working them through the shallows. This surface action has not long heated up and will be on the table for a while yet, so get out there and make the most of it!


Young gun Ashie Damelio has been having a ball catching some nice black bream out in the estuaries also. Ash has been bait and lure fishing with his dad Steve and is well and truly hooked on fishing, as he's normally picking up more lures in store than dad!

 


For the anglers heading away out towards East Gippsland the estuaries are fishing well at present. While you may still have to move about to find some fish, the estuaries are producing some nice bream and flathead for both bait and lure fishing techniques. Customer Keith was fishing out near Bemm River recently and caught some nice bream, with some very big yellowfin bream amongst the catch. Keith caught most of his fish using ultra stealth tactics, just 1kg mono line and bass yabbies for bait.


Customer Cameron came into the store recently to gear up for targeting large flathead down at Lake Tyers. Cameron left with some lure suggestions and technique advice and went in to catch some solid fish straight away. Cameron caught some thick flathead to just shy of 70cm throughout the shallows over near the 'Glasshouse'.Small mullet imitating plastics did the trick on the flatties with the Zman plastics the main producer.


Back around Melbourne in the local Patterson River, customer Robin has been catching some bream. Robin has found that the bream in the Patto respond well after a bout of rain, which we are due for. Fishing juicy scrubworms on small circle hooks in the discoloured water has earned some nice fish to around 1kg for Robin. The next few days should be perfect for this style of fishing locally, whether it be in the Patto, Yarra or other local river.

 


There have been plenty of good bream caught over the past week from anglers fishing the local creeks of the bay and also into gippslands' estuaries. The estuary water is warming and the fish are becoming more and more active, with plenty of food available. Customer Jordan has been catching some really solid fish on plastics during the week, with some thumpers to 44cm nailing small grub plastics that imitate marine worms.


Customer Paul fished the Gippsland lakes over the weekend in his kayak and found the fishing a touch slow but he still managed to catch bream to 32cm on soft plastics. Paul found feeding fish sitting along silty drop offs where they were happy to pick up a 'TPR' plastic grub off the bottom. If you're unsure of how this style of grub entices fish - simply check them out in the test tank in store!


The bream fishing around the gippsland lakes has been a touch patchy, with numbers of fish still schooled up and holding from late spawning movements. There can be a bit of time in between finding fish but when found some decent numbers can be had. Staff members Dylan, George and Chris fished regions of the lakes over the long weekend with customer Daniel and while finding the fish was patchy, around 40 fish were caught on lures. A couple of fish were taken on small hard bodies but the real winners were soft plastics.


Staff member Chris took out the title with more than a dozen bream landed on small TPR grubs in motor oil colour. The most effective method that the fish were really keyed into was a bright motor oil grub fished on 1/12th jighead to help it stay right in the strike zone, which was at the base of steep rock walls.


Back around the local estuaries customer Tony has been catching some quality bream also. Tony has been fishing the Patto and landing bream to 38cm. Tony has found that fishing the river a day or so after heavy rain has been the most effective, and when the fish are biting the most aggressively. Tony has found small freshwater yabbies fished on 'C10U' or 'wacky' style hooks provide the best hook up and snag proof rate. Just remember to use as lighter weight as possible, and the larger fish are picky and will rarely eat baits with huge big sinkers attached.