While the weather can be starting to get a little cold for some, land based fishing around Melbourne has it's options at the moment. In some cases you don't have to travel any more than about half an hour from the suburbs to get into some good fishing. Up towards the top end of the bay there have been some nice bream and pinkies moving about, with customer Robin having some good success in the city itself. Robin found plenty of small bream willing to attack baits along with some nice chunky an sized pinkies. Robin had a bit of fun on these fish on the light gear and in the 'upside down' river. 


Further down towards Black Rock customer Steve got a pleasant surprise when he hooked up to this ripper flathead from the beach. This beauty measured 63cm, not bad for from the shore! Around the piers on the Eastern seaboard there has been some good salmon fishing on the rougher days, with fish to 1kg reasonably common. Small soft plastics in natural whites and blues have been getting there attention, along with metal slugs in the same colours and occasionally bluebait and whitebait under a float. When the salmon haven't been around, there have also been reasonable numbers of garfish hanging about. Generally the calmer conditions have been more favourable for the gars, and once you have established a good quality fine berley trail you can normally pick up a few. Silverfish, prawn and maggots have been the go recently, with finely balanced floats ensuring that you can see any slight touch from the fish.

 


Most of the Gippsland estuaries have started slowing down over the past month or so as the water starts to cool down. Bream, flathead and most other species are still being caught but not in the numbers compared to the warmer months of the year. This time of year however can be good for quality size bream, with some of the larger fish feeding up before the winter pre-spawn.


Staff member Dylan has been paddling around some of the eastern estuaries recently, where some nice flathead and bream have been caught. Most of the larger flathead have been sitting on the flats late in the afternoons with some sun to warm the water, while a lot of bream have been caught fishing shallow drop offs and ledges with small hardbodies.


Customer Brett fished out in the Gippsland lakes recently in search of some bream, with a few nice school fish around and eating the lures. Most of the fish were hovering either side of 30cm, and were hitting small hardbodies like Daiwa Double Clutch 60's with gusto. Slightly warmer water temperatures have had these fish feeding right up along bankside structure still.

 


The Eastern estuaries of Gippsland have been fishing well for bread and butter species such as bream and flathead. The estuary of Mallacoota has been a bit inconsistent as a whole, but still big enough for most anglers to find some quality fish. Customer Ryan fished Mallacoota in his kayak recently and had some fun with some nice model black and yellowfin bream caught on lures. During overcast and rainy weather conditions Ryan found the bream to be more inclined to hit the lures when compared to bright sunny weather. 


Amongst the bream there have also been some quality dusky flathead caught as well. Customer John fished the Gypsy Point area and caught flathead to 68cm like this ripper. John used a reasonable piece of tailor fillet to catch and release this nice fish. The Gypsy Point section of the estuary has also been producing some nice size bream for anglers using baits like sandworm and prawn around the deeper water.

 


The local Melbourne rivers and estuaries are fishing well for bream at the moment with the warm weather and intermittent rain. The Patterson and Maribyrnong rivers are producing some nice bream for bait and lure anglers, with the lure fishing really turning it on recently. Customers fishing bait in the main river channels of both rivers have caught bream to 42cm, with freshwater yabbies, scrubworm and frozen prawn doing the job. When fishing the main flow try and mix up rigs between unweighted baits through to heavier sinker rigs to see which method is working on the fish. The main section of the Patterson river has also produced the odd flathead before the rain, with staff member Dylan landing a 51cm fish over the weekend on a lure.


Staff member Dylan has also fished the lakes in his kayak over the weekend and has caught some school sized fish on a mixture of lures. Hardbodied lures like Ecogear SX40's and atomic cranks have been good when cast alongside floating pontoons and rockwalls and let sit around the structure. A few fish have also taken smaller subsurface offerings as well, with plenty of small mullet around the system for the bream to prey on.

 

 

While a lot of people don't seem to think there's much happening on the fishing front over the winter months - it can be the best time of the year to target fish like bream. There an still be some very tough days when chasing them, and a bit of ground work to locate the fish - but once they are found they are generally found in good numbers. Most often than not the fish are located in the deeper sections of the waterway during the colder months, so that is a good place to start looking. Customers Thao and Nick fished around the estuary of Mallacoota during the week with a few mates with bream being the main target. 

Both of the boys caught some nice fish to just over the 40cm mark using various different lures. Most of the bream were found in small schools and responded to lures being fished deep and slow. The most productive styles of lures were plastic and metal vibes along with Cranka crabs.

Thao and Nick also kept a feed of flatties in the 45cm size range while out targeting the bream. Dusky flathead this size are a very common by-catch while targeting bream in the eastern estuaries, and are perfect size for a couple of fillets.

 

 

Reports coming from Port Phillip Bay have been a bit quiet recently. There has been a run of snapper hanging around since the start of the rough 'winter' weather which has gotten a few anglers excited, but action close to home has been a bit quiet. The salmon have been showing up around some of the local piers like Frankston, Seaford and Mordi during a bit of onshore southwesterly chop. Baits of bluebait or whitebait have been good, along with small plastics and metal slugs.

Around the estuaries the bream have been touch and go with the recent rain and average weather. Baits of prawn and scrubworm have been tempting a few fish out of the Patterson River. The 'Patto' has also seen a couple of mulloway caught recently as well. Customer Ben managed 2 in a session recently using plastics, with the bigger fish measuring 80cm.

Over towards Altona customer Tony reports of some reasonable squid fishing in close, with size 3.0 jigs doing the damage. Tony also caught some nice sized flatties on strips of freshly caught squid out deep.

 

 

The Gippsland lakes are still fishing well for estuary species such as bream, mullet and flathead. The lakes around Paynesville and Metung has been good along with the Nicholson, Tambo and Mitchell rivers. Bream are being caught on baits such as chicken gut, prawn and glassies, while the flatties are loving glassies at the moment. Customer Colin fished from the banks of the Tambo river just recently with his kids where they caught a heaps of nice bream. Using bait of prawn the guys got into a heap of fish and had a heap of fun.  Customer Thao also fished the lakes near Metung recently to get a few schooled up bream, and some nice table sized flatties from the area also. Plastics and vibes were the best types of lures for him.

 

 

A lot of the estuaries out in Gippsland have been fishing well for species like bream and flathead, and they should continue throughout winter. Recently the eastern section of the state has received a fair bit of rainfall, and most of the smaller systems are in semi-flood mode, with dirty water. These systems will still fish well, as the fish will concentrate themselves towards saltier water. Finding these pockets can be time consuming and frustrating but worth it in the end.

Customers Dave and Marcos fished the estuary system of Mallacoota over the weekend in search of a few bream on lures. The boys were confronted by slightly discoloured, cold water but that didn't stop them catching fish. The hot technique for the trip was to fish vibes along the contour lines and drop offs, and in doing so they landed some nice black bream to 41cm, and yellowfin bream to 37cm. 

 

 

Port Phillip Bay can provide a bit of variety in terms of fish species but generally you have to target a specific species to have the best results on it. Lately there has been a bit to offer boat based anglers with whiting, squid, cuttlefish, snapper, flathead, salmon and trevally to name a few.  Customer Ryan fished with his mum and dad out in the boat targeting a few different fish with soft plastics. Pinkies, trevally, red mullet, salmon and pike all attacked the plastics in around the shallow reefy areas. Ryan's mum Marianne got stuck into some nice sized pinkie snapper on small soft plastics which soon found the esky. Customer Carlo also had some mixed bag fishing across near Queenscliff with whiting, flathead and squid all coming to the party. Carlo had a bit of moving about to get decent numbers of the whiting, but after a few drops they started coming aboard. Size 6 Shogun Wide Gap or Mutsu Light + SA pippies = a deadly whiting combo!

Customers Dan and Cam had a leisurely session out around Sorrento over the weekend with some nice sized squid caught. Cam and Dan landed squid to around 1.5kg on a mixture of fast sinking jigs around 'The Sisters' with a couple more further back towards Rye. Customer Steve also fished in the area over the weekend, with some nice squid around 1kg taking the Albino coloured Harimitsu near Rye. Steve also landed some nice flathead to 50cm in the same area using Zman 4" Paddlerz and Squidgy Fish rigged on 1/2oz jigheads. Customer Ryan went out in search of silver trevally recently over towards queenscliff. Ryan had some good success on 1/8oz rigged stickbaits on the run in tide, hopping the plastics around small sand holes and weedbeds.

 

 

With some warm weather forecast the Summer species should be fairly active over the weekend, especially fish like yellowtail kingfish. Customer Simon fished down at Mallacoota recently where he got into a few kingies offshore. Simon found that most of the fish he caught were located in 15 to 30m of water hard against baitballs. Simon found the most productive method was to locate the school and feed a livebait or jig down and hook up then drop another jig down once the hooked fish was nearing the surface. This tactic resulted in multiple hookups on these fish. If you are planning on targeting the kingies locally over the weekend, make sure you drop by and stock up on an assortment of jigs. Shimano's Butterfly Flat-falls are an excellent option for local fish as the are compact in size and drop fast in deep or fast moving water, while maintaining an enticing slide and flutter as they fall.

Down in South Gippsland customer Shannon fished from the shore in around Port Albert targeting flatties. She fished from Rutter's jetty with her outfit that was purchased from the shore only a week earlier. Using a small size 1 circle hook baited with squid, she managed to land this lovely flathead of 54cm. She also made sure to mention that this fish was 10cm bigger than her Dad's biggest flattie.

Also in the same area, customer Anthony chased a few flathead in the estuary. Anthony found some nice water for chasing flathead and he anchored up and started using bluebait. Anthony managed to get a nice bag of flatties from the area and all on the bluebait, with most of the fish coming on the run out tide.