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.

 

 

 


The bream and flathead fishing around the local and out of town estuaries has been excellent, even with heavy holiday crowds. The cooler water temperatures have got the bream at a comfortable level where they can feed in the shallows without the water being too hot, and the flathead can also ambush these shallow areas too.

Customer Morgan was down in Gippsland with mate Jinsu where they caught some nice bream on lures. Overcast and slightly breezy conditions made for some good fishing, with the fish eager to eat the lures. The most effective lures on the day were the Jackall 'spytail' jointed stickbaits. When these lures were fished with sharp twitches and a pause the fish would hit them ferociously.


Customer Shane has been out near Lakes Entrance over the break chasing the big flathead about. Shane ordered in some 'live prawn' soft plastics to give a good run on the big flatties and he has put them straight to good use. Shane has been catching good numbers of table flathead on these lures but also fish to nearly 70cm.


Working these live prawns with a sharp-hop-and-fall retrieve has been the best way to get the attention of the larger flathead, and being tear-resistant they seem to last well against the sharp teeth.


Customer Tony has been back to his old tricks, catching some nice bream in the Patto.Tony fished after some light rain using freshwater yabbies and landed 6 nice fish up to 42cm. Among these, 3 fish busted Tony off against the pylons and mussel encrusted poles, and that was on 10lb leader. The Patto will continue to fish well as we get some more rain during Autumn.

 


The recent rain has really kicked the local estuaries into gear around Melbourne. The freshwater influx has dirtied up a lot of the rivers and creeks and washed food to kick the food chain along. 

Customer Tinh has found that the bream have been feeding up heavily during rougher weather and rain.Tinh has been fishing some of the piers like Frankston and Mordialloc where the bream have feed foraging around the pylons. He has also found that freshwater yabbies have been the most successful bait for him, especially when fished on a Gamakatsu 'C10U' hook.


Around Patterson river things have started heating up. Customer Tony has found that the bream have been more active since the rain, with the fish less finicky and more inclined to bite on a variety of baits. The best baits have still been small freshwater yabbies, with Tony's last session getting him 4 very nice fish from about 8am onward. Tony also mentioned that the main river was very dirty but a bit cleaner inside the canal system. 

With all the rain that has made it's way into the local estuaries, many keen anglers are thinking one thing; Mulloway. The Autumn rainfall can see these fish pop up from seemingly nowhere and go on the chew, but it is really the concentrations of mullet schools that these fish follow. The increase of freshwater in the estuaries can condense the baitfish and give the mulloway an easy feed.

Customer Peter reports of some activity around the local mulloway haunts, with this 110cm fish caught just a few days ago. Peter has been after a metre mulloway for some time, and was stoked with this fish, which was released. The fish took freshly caught Mornington squid.