Estuary species have been fishing well over the past few weeks, with late winter rain really helping the fishing along. The main species being bream and mulloway throughout the Gippsland lakes and around the metro estuaries. The Gippsland rivers have been producing the bream throughout mainly the lower reaches as the salinity levels are more comfortable for the fish. Customer Peter was recently fishing from the shore of the lower Tambo with his wife where they landed some nice fish. Multiple bream up to 42cm were caught on sandworm and prawn.


Around the Melbourne metro rivers the bream have been found down a bit lower in the systems and semi schooled up in more open water. The lower Werribee river has seen a lot of the fish down in the lower river just up from the boat ramp, with crab and freshwater yabbies being the baits of choice. In the Patterson river the bream have been found towards the lower river and out into the mouth of the bay, and open waters of the river. Staff member Dylan has been fishing the river recently and finding good numbers of fish to around 41cm. The fish have been moving about and timid, but have been taking small crab and yabby pattern soft plastics on the open water mudflats and silt beds. There has also been the odd mulloways cruising the main river as well for anglers using heavier gear.


On the mulloway front, there have been fishing cruising the metro rivers and also in decent numbers in the western coastal estuaries. Staff member Dylan fished some of the western rivers with mates recently in search of the mulloway and after a lot of searching the fish were found. Among all the boats fishing nearby the fish were quite spooky and moving about a lot - but found with the use of side scan on the sounder.


All up 10 mulloway were landed, with the largest measuring around 90cm. The mulloway were hard to tempt and were only willing to eat a small selection of lures, with small heavily weighted vibes being the pick of the bunch - with a few picked up on soft plastic also. Subtle action in the lures was what the fish were after most, with light tail twitches on the plastics and soft lifts on the vibes getting the fishes' attention.

 


The late Winter rain has done wonders for the estuary fishing both locally and down into Gippsland. The local Port Phillip rivers have been fishing well for bream, particularly with bait. Customer George was fishing the Werribee river just last week where he found a few reasonable size bream, but was also pleasantly surprized when a nice 90cm mulloway decided to eat one of his bass yabbies. George managed to wrangle the fish in using very light main line and leader which was a good effort.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the Melbourne metro rivers in search of bream over the weekend with mixed results. With only a few members able to fish over the weekend there weren't a huge number of fish weighed in, but the fish that were came from the Patterson River. The Patto has been running dirty in the main river with fresh coming down from the top, but the bream have been feeding actively. Customers Paul and Dave managed a few fish around 350g from the river using mainly prawn for bait. Fishing eddies and small drop offs in the river will see you come across a few fish as they cruise out of the main current and feed at their leisure. 


Down in the Gippsland lakes there have been some solid bream on the chew as the freshwater pushes down the rivers and gets them schooling and into pre-spawn mode. The fish in the 3 main rivers have been biting well, once they have been found. Looking for downstream areas of higher salinity has been where a few fish have been hanging out lately.  Customers Brendan and Phil have been doing well on nice fish into the 40cm mark fishing the Mitchell river in Bairnsdale. The best baits for targeting these bigger fish have been cut crab and freshwater yabbies. Fishing these hardier baits generally flushes out the smaller 'pickers' and leaves a solid bait intact for a bigger fish to eat. Just make sure to match your hook style and size to the bait correctly.

 

 


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.



 


Autumn is a great time of year to be out chasing the gummy sharks, both in the inlets and bays and also offshore. When calm Autumn conditions prevail, the gummy fishing can be very productive as many have been finding out. Customer John landed a cracking gummy of 23kg recently while fishing offshore from Port Albert. John was fishing 26m of water and had a 20 minute fight in light line with the big female gummy, which snapper the stem of his reel off the rod during it's last powerful run. After some tense moments the fish was in the boat. The successful bait was freshly caught slimey mackerel.


Inside Westernport there have been plenty of table sized gummies about, and some elephant sharks floating about in the same areas. Fishing the muddy waters around Corinella, customer Alex has been landing fish to around 6kg. Fishing freshly caught fish baits around the edge of mudflats and channel drops has been the most consistent method, with baits of mullet, salmon, trevally and mackerel all working very well. Customer Anel and mates have been catching both gummies and elephants from the shore around Corinella and Lang Lang on oily baits like pilchard and salmon. Fishing after dark has been the best, with the fish moving right in close to the channel drops.


The south end of Port Phillip has been fishing well for autumn gummies for local anglers also. Customer Petar has been catching quite a few fish out from Rye in both the Rye and south channels. Petar has been averaging a few fish around a metre most trips, with some larger toothies earning their freedom also. Freshly caught yakka and squid have been the most effective baits.


If you're going to put some time into targeting these gummies, it's well worth stocking up with smaller hooks and sabiki rigs, along with a good amount of berley - as freshly caught bait is simply the most effective on these sharks. The scent that a fresh bait puts out is irresistible to any nearby shark. Petar has been catching yakkas not far from where he is fishing, with some berley and small lures. Jigging small slow jigs in the deeper water has been very effective when the mackerel come through the berley trail, which is keeping him busy and providing him with quality fresh baits.

 


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.