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.

 


There have been plenty of local freshwater options lately for anglers to catch on lures or bait without driving too far. Carp, trout, redfin and yellowbelly can all be caught fairly locally to the suburbs if you're will to put the time and effort in. Customer Ryan and mate Nick have been doing well on the redfin of late, with some chunky fish landed on lures. Ryan and Nick have been fishing various locations around the suburbs with all of them holding fish. Ryan has found that when the smaller redfin start to bite it is then time to fish a bigger lure. The larger lures have been getting the attention of the larger fish, with loud 'full tungsten' style lipless vibes really getting the fish going when worked back aggressively. 


Customer Mohd visiting from Malaysia enjoys his fly fishing and has been doing well lately. Mohd has been fishing lots of stocked urban lakes and catching trout on midge patterns just under the surface and also some big carp on wet style flies. Some of the carp Mohd has been catching have been around 10lb in weight, and they can be good sport on light fly or spin gear - and there's plenty of them to test your skills.

Customer Niroj has been fishing some of the local waterways lately too in search of yellowbelly and redfin. Niroj has found plenty of smaller redfin as bycatch while looking for yellas, and some of the yellowbelly he has caught have been very solid. Small gape spinnerbaits in 1/4oz fished with assist stingers have gotten the better of most of the short striking fish.


 

Many of the local stocked lakes have been producing trout over the past few weeks with Karkarook, Pakenham, Emerald and Rowville all worth a shot. Fishing coarse methods (maggots and berley in short) has been the most effective way to catch one of these yearling rainbows. If you do want to learn more about ways in which you can make the most of these fisheries then pop into the store, like customer Joszef did. Joszef picked up a few coarse fishing essentials and took off, and came back to the shop about an hour later - he had already landed a couple of nice rainbows and a crucian carp from Emerald lake. 

 

Customer Jordan has also been making the most of the feisty urban lake rainbows recently. Being a 'trout-nut' and not having any rivers to fish, Jordan has been catching the rainbows on fly to keep his casting arm nice and loose. Jordan has found that small damsel or dragonfly nymph patterns have been the most effective lately. These fish will also take small lures such as bullet minnows or micro soft plastics for the spin fisherman.


 


With the school holidays coming up next week, DEPI Victoria have stocked a number of local suburban lakes with yearling rainbow trout so that kids of all ages can access some decent fun fishing that is close to home. For a complete list of lakes that have been stocked please follow the link below.

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/fish-stocking/school-holiday-trout-stocking

While these trout may be small and feisty and can be caught lure, fly and bait-fishing; they aren't complete knockovers, especially if you are using the wrong gear or methods. The single most effective method for catching these fish is 'simplified coarse fishing'. The use of specific berley mixtures, rigs and baits will just about ensure success at any location. If you're unsure about any of the methods used we can show you in store as without proper explanation it can sound confusing. 

Staff member George and his mate Pero used this 'simplified' method of coarse fishing down at Karkarook Park Lake just recently to land their 10 trout in a short time. George said that the fish would bite very timidly and any resistance against them would force them to drop the bait and move off. In this scenario very light tipped 'feeder' style rods and the most effective tool for hooking these type of subtle biting fish. 


Staff member Don also took his young twins down to Karkarook Park Lake for a bit of fun on the trout this week, and using the same light line method of fishing the twins were unstoppable. Even a 2lb carp came along and took one of the baits, which became soup for one of Don's European friends.

In a suburban wetland not too far away, fishing nut Jordan has been honing his skills and tactics on some redfin while the weather has been average. Jordan has been using a variety of methods including weedless soft plastic rigs to entice the reddies from out of the reeds and grass. The good thing about this form of fishing is that virtually every wetland or suburban lake around Melbourne will have these fish in them. A good way to practice your skills close to home  

 

 

West gippsland is a fairly large area with lots of freshwater fishing options. At the moment there have still been some nice trout to be in the local rivers, while some of the dams in the area can produce some good results on carp, redfin, trout and Australian bass. Customer Jordan has been flyfishing some of the rivers in the region during the week to land some nice brown trout to about 500g. Jordan has mainly been fishing nymphs on the local trout, with a couple also taking wet flies.

Customers Rene and Brad fished down at Blue Rock dam recently using their Old Town canoe. The guys had a bit of fun with redfin and bass in the dam using a variety of lures like Gillies wide body jigs. Customer Mick took a few of his mates down to Lake Wellington near Sale recently in search of some carp. Fishing the lake and also the Avon river the guys caught some chunky carp which they took home to use for a European fish soup. The best rig for the carp was a small ball sinker fished right down to a number 6 baitholder hook loaded with a bunch of juicy troutworms. 

 

 

Lake Eildon has still been fishing well for most species, and will continue almost into the depths of winter. At present the lake level is sitting at around 55% and has been steadily dropping since summer as water is diverted down the Goulburn for irrigation. What this means is that there is more structure exposed and the fish are continuously moving to new structure, so a bit of searching around is always necessary. Never the less, fish like redfin, trout and golden perch have still been caught on a variety of methods. Customer Trevor came into the store after fishing with a group of anglers up towards the Bonnie Doon end of the lake, where there were a few nice goldens caught. A few were caught almost in front of the Peppin Point caravan park trolling deep running hardbodies. Customer George also caught nice goldens like this 61cm model on scrubworms recently in the lake.

 

 

There has still been some good freshwater fishing despite the hot weather around Melbourne, with some of the cooler trout streams and lakes producing along with local urban lakes. Customer Peter took his daughter Kristina down to Emerald Lake to fish for the rainbow trout and she was rapt in catching one of her own. The nice rainbow took a Powerbait nugget in Rainbow colour fished on the bottom. Staff member Kozi has been fishing some of the locally stocked lakes for redfin recently, and while most of the fish have been fairly small there has been no shortage of them to catch. Kozi has found Karkarook to be one of the better ones recently, with soft plastics working well. 2.5 inch Zman grubs in the bloodworm colour have caught most of his fish when fished on a 1/20th jighead.

 

Up around Eildon the Goulburn River has been fishing ok for trout but water levels are fairly high and the are well spread out. Jason from bullet lures has been catching a few nice browns in the river up around Alexandra on the redfin coloured bullet lure. Customer Daniel spent a few days on Lake Eildon in search of yellowbelly, but with lots of boat activity that plan was soon out the window. A backup plan of his was to search for feeding carp and present flies to them. Around some of the calmer bays and points the carp were active enough to cast wets like wooly buggers and matukas in front of them with good success. Using a #7 outfit to combat the wind, carp to around 6kg were caught and dispatched.

 

Autumn can be a great time to target Murray cod on baits and lures in the lakes and rivers. As the water temperature drops and the water levels rise with rain the fishing can turn on. Cod will happily sit in the snags in the cooler water, and move to the depths once the shallows become too cold. Knowing this can give you hints as to where to look for them in your local waterways. 

Customer Chris fished the Murray a bit and on tuesday night he landed this ripper fish at 95cm in amongst a few small trout cod and carp. Chris managed to land, photographic and release this fish by himself in the river below Yarrawonga. All the fish Chris caught took fresh shrimp. 

Customer Norm also did well on the cod last week, during his first session on Lake Muwala with a mate. Norm was introduced into the world of lure fishing for cod and had a ripper session for his first. Over 2 days around 15 cod were caught on a mixture of lures including floating hardbodies and spinnerbaits, with fish ranging from 58cm right through a 110cm monster that Norm caught and released again safely. 

Customer Ves fished the river up around Barmah last week where he landed 4 nice cod ranging from 58cm through to around 70cm. Ves caught fish during the night and day and found that cheese wrapped to a baitholder style hook using Black Magic Bait Buddy worked the best, and also stopped the baits from being picked off. 

There have also been a few smaller cod caught in Lake Eildon this week. Smaller floating hardbodies like Halco Poltergeists have been working well when trolled around timber and rocky outcrops, and other fish like trout, redfin and yellowbelly will also hit this size lure as well. 

 

 

With some hot Summer weather recently, most of the freshwater fish are quite active, with the exception of trout. The Murray River has been running at a good level and has been producing cod and yellowbelly to anglers persisting through the heat. Customer Zeljko caught this nice Murray cod in the river around Bearii, which is near Barmah state forest. The cod measured 88cm and weighed 7.6kg, and was caught on cheese.

 

Customer Tun went down to Dandenong Creek for a bit of fun during the week on some carp, and after he berleyed up with some fine grit berley they soon came around. This carp was the largest at about 10kg, which took a piece of unweighted bread fished in the trail - good work on cleaning out the carp Tun!

 

 

With a few cooler days still mixed most of the local stocked lakes haven't been too bad for catching a few trout. Customer George has been fishing some of the local stocked trout lakes lately for a bit of fun on the fly and spin gear. George has been catching some larger than average rainbow trout using a few different variations of the Wooly Bugger flies, and also on small shallow hardbodies in the 50 - 70mm size.

Customer Monica has also seen some success at local lakes such as Karkarook Park by using Rainbow coloured Berkley Powerbait fished on a small ultralight treble. This rig type is deadly on stocked trout when used in conjunction with zealcol Trout Pellets.

At Rowville Lakes customer Trevor reports that the roach were going mad last week, with 31 caught between him and his son on a mixture of corn and maggot baits set under a float. The same rig also saw a massive 31lb carp caught by his mate too.