The local bream population had gone a bit quiet with the clear green water in most of the estuaries and lakes, and bream reports were quite low. The fish get cagey in the clean water and go off the bite a little bit, or regulate their feeding to low light times or when there is strong winds. With the recent small bit of rain we have received the fish lower their guard and bit a bit easy-'er' to tempt. Not that the weather mattered much to customer John. John and mate Bashir fished the Tambo river in Gippsland to land some nice clean bream. The guys found that live shrimp and fresh prawn were the most effective when fished along the river bank drop offs.


Back in the Patto, customer Tony has been catching a few nice fish. Tony has been fishing early morning around first light and this is when he has been catching most of his fish. Small live freshwater yabbies have been effective, but they must be fished on ultra-fine gauge hooks and light leader, with little or no sinker. The fish will sense if the yabby is impeded by a heavy hook, thick line and 'anchor' of a sinker stopping it from acting natural.


Customer Ange has also been catching a few bream in the Patto with some mates. The guys have been lurecasting from their kayaks, which off the ultimate stealth approach to these flighty fish. The most effective lures of late have been 'ned-rigged' soft plastics, and small slow sinking hardbodies. These lures are best fished with very small 'pops' of the rod tip to create a kick but not scare the fish. Most bites will come as the lure or plastic has stopped or settled on the bottom.

HOT SPOT: The Patto will continue to fish well after more rain this week, especially around the first flood gate. Just remember to scent up your lures and baits as the water turns murky.

 


While the windy weather of late hasn't been great for the boat based fisherman wanting to get out in the bays, the local estuaries around the bay and further afield have been producing some good bream. The mixed freshwater in the local systems has stirred them up enough to get the fish fired up and give anglers a bit of cover. The Patto has been running hot with the bream of late, even though it hasn't been getting fished that much.

Customer Tony got down to the river recently and caught some nice sized fish among the canals. Tony was fishing small live freshwater yabbies on fine gauge hooks on light leader to fool fish up to 39cm. 


More anglers having success in the Patto have been using mixed techniques. Customer Tony fished the main river near the end boat ramps during the week to land bream to around 35cm. Tony was using shrimp and freshwater yabbies on a basic running sinker rig. The main river has been seeing a lot of attention for mullet fisherman of late, and a lot of the berley and commotion also brings the bream around for a feed.

Customer Jake has been landing some chunky fish on lures in the canals. Jake has been using a mixture of hardbodies and plastics to land the cunning fish, but his persistence and belief that the fish will eventually eat a lure is also a vital skill to employ on such tricky fish. If you're into your plastics and lure fishing, make sure you pop into the store and check out some of the new lures available.


Down the road the Gippsland lakes have been fishing hot-and-cold for the bream. Being such a large system, the fish can be at the complete opposite of where you're fishing - especially if you only fish a few locations. Generally at present most of the bream and lower in the systems, where they school up in preparation for spawning. They can be frustrating to tempt when in such a mood, but cycling through different lure and bait options will see you eventually gain success. Customer Paul was down in the lakes system recently and found the the fish were keyed onto his plastics, with the newest model UV loaded 'Squidgies' being the most effective.


In the same part of the world angler Pat got into some nice bream. Pat was fishing the 3 rivers out in the Gippsland lakes and caught his brace of fish on fresh sandworm.

 


If you're the traveling type of angler it can be very easy to pack up and give Melbourne a break over the winter months, with the potential of warm sunshine and good fishing too much to resist. Barramundi fishing is popular for Victorians during winter, whether it be the top of the NT or to northern QLD.


Speaking of the NT, customer Bob flew to Darwin with a mate to try and get into some barra and whatever else was on offer. The guys fished with Peter at NT Fishing who put them onto some nice fish. Being a barra novice, Bob stopped by for lure and tackle advice and packed some essentials with him. We are pleased to see that Bob and mate got into some fish and had fun using the gear they purchased. Among the different forms of fishing they did they got to catch saratoga and barra from freshwater billabongs, and some nice barra and threadies from the salt.


Big threadfin salmon were a common capture in the larger rivers, with some real honkers up to 10kg landed. A couple were kept for a feed seeing they are excellent eating. The threadies are suckers for 'soft vibes' fished deep in the river channels and holes.


Customer Billy has also been escaping the cold Melbourne weather for a warmer climate. Billy regularly travels to Cairns and does a fair bit of fishing while he's there. Billy came into the store just before he left and stocked up on some different lures to try on the local barra. Even though only land based Billy has managed to land some respectable barra around 70cm using the lures he purchased. The main trick has been to scroll through different lure styles to find the one that's best suitable for the conditions, with shallow and deep running hardbodies working well, along with sinking soft vibes.

 

 

 


Melbourne's rivers have been turned to coffee after the recent heavy rain. While not looking ideal for fishing, the local bream have been biting their heads off since the heavy rain started coming down.The Yarra and Patto have been producing fish for land based bait anglers. Both rivers have slightly cleaner water down under the dirtier fresh layer so that's where you need to be fishing. Lightly weighted rigs with a simple running sinker will produce fish, and it is worth stepping up your flurocarbon leader to around 8lb to prevent break offs on structure. The most productive baits have been scrubworms, freshwater yabbies and sometimes the humble prawn. Just be sure to pick your hook style and size accordingly, as in this example three different hook styles would be needed!


Customer Andrew has not long gotten back into his fishing and has been doing well on the bream down in the Patto. Andrew has been throwing a few lures around but has found while the water has been dirty that bait has been the go. Andrew has been fishing live freshwater yabbies on small 'C10U' hooks with very little weight to catch plenty of fish up to 35cm. This is one of the most successful methods for the Patto, so if you haven't tried this method give it a go!

 

 

 


Most anglers don't realize but the winter fishing for both pinkies and snapper can be excellent. While numbers of fish aren't as thick as say October, the rewards are certainly there for anglers braving the cold conditions. There have been fish scattered all over the bays bu the real hot spot for numbers of fish has been the top end of Port Phillip. The reefy areas from Black Rock further north right up into the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers have been the better spots to focus on.  Most of the fish have been from 35 - 50cm but ththere have been much larger fish about.

Customer Maresi caught a ripper fish from Lagoon pier recently under the cover of darkness. Not much details are known about the capture but either way landing a big snapper sure beats staying at home!


The typical schooling size fish from the Docklands region have been on the chew lately, with both bait and lures getting bites. Productive baits have been pilchard and salmon fillets, fished on twin snelled 1/0 hooks. If you are able to cast baits like this unweighted you will be much more successful, as the fish will aggressively take the bait as it slowly wafts down. The same can be said with soft plastics - heavily weighted jigheads might gain extra casting distance but they all snag up much quicker and don't attract as many bites on 'the drop' like lighter weights do. Small 3 inch grub and paddletail style plastics are proving very effective at the moment, especially through the afternoon into night.


Customer Ryan has been catching plenty of fish in the 40cm size range from the Docklands and nearby piers, on both lure and bait. Ryan's more successful bait lately has been small strips and fillets of Australian salmon, which have also been plentiful.

Customer Jake has also been catching quite a few good sized pinkies while chasing bream in the metro rivers on lures. The lower sections of the Maribyrnong and Yarra have been holding good sized schools which have been responding well to worm style soft plastics. As these schools have been moving with the tide, having a depth sounder capable of locating them without too much fuss s the best way to maximize your fishing time.

 


The bread and butter species like gummy shark are an excellent option during the winter months, as you are able to catch them shore based in the bays, from the surf beaches, boat fishing the bays and also offshore. The best part about this style of fishing is you don't have to go overboard, for a landbased session a surf outfit of your choice is the way to go, along with a sturdy rod holder and enough tackle for the session. 

Staff member Dylan did just this last week, took to the the ocean beaches in search of a gummy or two. A nice gummy of around 7kg hit the sand during the first hour of the run in tide, and took a fillet of freshly caught grass whiting on a single 8/0 circle hook. Picking your preferred beach during the day can give you the advantage in spotting the more likely gutters and rips, and taking the guesswork out of your fishing.  Programs like Google earth can also help you identify similar features from the palm of your hand, but just be mindful that these conditions can change subtly between aerial shots.


If the boat fishing for gummies is more your thing, then the offshore fishing at the moment has been worth getting in to. The gummy fishing just offshore from Western Port has been exceptional, with much better average sized fish coming in. Among the gummy sharks, you will also have other species like snapper and flathead to keep you busy offshore, so you can really bring back a mixed bag at times.


Frogleys Offshore Victorian Rep Gerry took his new boat out for a spin last week in search of a gummy or two while offshore conditions were good and he wasn't disappointed. Gerry landed 2 lovely fish destined for the table using the lightweight Atomic Arrowz offshore model rods.

Customer Steve also got out offshore in the same region to land a nice fish just under 11kg. Steve fished a patch of reef that he normally tries for gummies and found multiple fish around it. Locally caught couta was the best bait for the day, which were thick mid water and easily catchable on small sabiki style rigs.

 


The river around the bay have been fishing well for bream and mullet over the week. Conditions in the rivers have cleared up somewhat compared to what they were earlier in the week, and subsequently the bream should become a touch more fickle, but they can still be caught. The mullet have been responding very well to fine mist berley if you're fishing Patterson river or Mordialloc creek, and a little bit of surface chop will definitely help as well.


Customer Ryan has been fishing the Maribyrnong river during the week where he has landed some nice bream up to 35cm. Ryan has been finding the most productive method for him is very slowly 'grubbing' a small soft plastic along the bottom. Scent has helped turning small bites and knocks into solid hook up on shy fish also.


In the Patto customer Jake has been catching some excellent bream on lures. Jake has been fishing a mixture of lures and recently tried out some Yakamito sinking stickbaits with great success. Jake managed some quality fish on the 2 different colours that he used  with most fish eating the lure as it fell slowly towards the bottom. Fishing these stickbaits on a tight line will ensure that any subtle bites are detected as soon as the fish knock them.


Small freshwater yabbies have accounted for good numbers of fish from the Patto recently, especially when fished with  as little sinker weight as possible. For a lure to imitate small yabbies the Megabass bottle shrimp have been very effective when fished on 1/32oz beat roller jigheads.

 

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The bream and flathead fishing both around the Gippsland estuaries has been very good recently for both bait and lure anglers. Whether you're going to nick down to one of 'The Big 3' rivers around Bairnsdale or Lakes Entrance or you're keen to drive further on out towards Mallacoota the fish have been going well. 

Friend of the shop and local Marine Accessory Distributor Trevor sent us a photo of one of his relatives with some nice bream from Lake Tyers. The bream were caught land based on a mixture of baits, with crab and worm being used.

Around the same area customer Jordan has been catching some solid bream on hardbodies. Jordan has found that the fish have slowed off a bit from shallow running lures and surface offerings, but are still very keen to smash a deeper running hardbody like the Daiwa Spike or Yakamito Devil Edge. Both of these lures will 'crash dive' to over 2m so they can be held right down where the fish are feeding.


Most of the fish Jordan has been catching have been in the mid 30cm size range, with a few nudging the 40cm mark. Deeper running hardbodies or soft plastics will gather more and more attention from the bream in the rivers as the days get cooler. These lures are perfect to slowly bump along the rock edges in rivers such as the Tambo or Nicholson.


Staff member Chris has just returned from a trip a bit further afield around Bemm River and Tamboon inlet with mates Bill and Colin. While Chris had shocking weather with gale force winds and rain while he was away, as soon as he got back to the shop the weather cleared (We'd like a dollar for every time that happened). So as the usual story goes, Bill and Colin had plenty of fun catching a good amount of dusky flathead to over 80cm while Chris was back at work.


There were plenty of excellent sized flatties caught from Tamboon and Bemm River using a variety of soft plastics. The main killers were the 'Bungee Baits' paddle tail shads which are ultra durable, which helps in the mouth of a big angry flathead or tailor.

 

There have been a few customers out fishing the estuaries of East Gippsland over the last few weeks, with the common theme being bream and tailor. The bream fishing will start to slow down as the weather cools off, but instead of numbers of fish we can expect better average size, whether you're bait fishing or casting lures.

For the tailor numbers Lake Tyers, Bemm River and Tamboon Inlet have been the hot spots with some fish reported upward of 90cm. An average fish at the moment is around 45-50cm with fish to 2kg not uncommon. Most lures are attracting their attention, which is not good if you're casting a $35+ hardbody around for bream. Baits of fresh mullet or bluebait are also doing well.


Customer Brendan fished Bemm river just recently where he scored some solid fish in the lake. Brendan found local sandworm to be the most productive on fish to 40cm.


Customer Louis returned from a quick trip to Marlo where he was lure fishing. Louis was trying out some finesse soft plastics and small vibes while fishing land based in both the Snowy and Brodribb Rivers. While the bream were on the small side, he did find that the luderick were interested in both the vibes and plastics. Fishing both these lures slowly on the bottom with small movements he caught some nice luderick. The most effective soft plastic types were very small straight tail worms designed for catching yakkas in Japan, and these were deadly when fished on small lightweight jigheads right down to size 10.


Back around Lakes Entrance customer Bashir has been catching bream. Bashir has been fishing the Tambo river where the fish had been slow, but excellent size when they came through. He found that live shrimp and peeled prawn were the best baits with both black and yellowfin bream to 40cm taking a liking to them.

 

Melbourne's local metro estuaries have fired up on the bream front over the past week, with some of heavy but brief rain making it's way into the systems. The bream, especially local fish which see a lot of human interaction become skittish and flighty once the water clarity stays too clear for too long. Heavy rainfall brings more food into the rivers and estuaries for them and gives them more cover from potential predators.

Since the last lot of rain the bream have fired up in all of the rivers including the Yarra, Maribyrnong, Werribee and Patto. Customer Jake popped in the store just during the week to grab some new limited lures and next thing he was catching some rippers out of the Patto. Jake was fishing the new rattling model bent minnows to fool the cagey Patto fish.


We've received a very limited supply of new 'Aussie special' rattling bent minnows. These lures are extremely effective at getting bites from picky bream and the limited colours will be a sure thing. Make sure you grab one before they disappear, at this rate they won't be available for very long!


Over in the Werribee river the bream have been on the chew as well. Member of the Keysborough Angling Club had their Melbourne Rivers fishing competition, with around 12 members out having a crack. Out of all the anglers fishing, the best results were had by members fishing the Werribee. Dave weighed 4 bream for around 2.3kg while Paul landed 3 bream for 1.2kg.