The trout fishing has ramped up, right down to the wire with the looming season close. While there are only a few days left for the stream trout fishing around the state, there are still plenty of options to provide your fishing fix. The Eildon pondage has been fishing well for mostly brown trout over the past week with cooler conditions and some less rampant water flow. Customer Graziano fished the pondage recently to land a nice solid brown of around 3lb on lure. Graziano was fishing a spoon style lure fitted with rear assist hooks and it did the job.


While not really representative of our local trout fishing, customer Jason has just returned from an NZ trip chasing the super-sized trout in the hydro canals. Jason managed some lovely fish with both browns and rainbows in the mix to well over the 10lb mark. There are a few methods that successfully fool these large fish, but on this occasion the lure of larger soft plastic swimbaits was deadly. Jason found the Megabass magdraft in 5 and 6 inch sizes very effective on these large aggressive trout. Working the lures back slwoly along the canal edges resulted in the bites, with most natural trout parr or minnow colour patterns working well.


Speaking of NZ, it seems there are more and more anglers venturing over to chase the mega trout every year. Customers John, Niroj and Goran have all been over before and caught these fish but are currently over in the land of the long white cloud again chasing that 'mega' trout.


The guys have been fishing the hydro canals around the Twizel region and so far have caught fish to just under 19lb. While most of the fish this trip have been large rainbows there have been some smaller browns in the mix also, with fish of 6 - 7lb average 'small' fish.


A mixture of techniques have been working on these fish, with soft plastics and hardbodies very effective when working close to the bottom. The bulk of the fish however have been caught using a 'spawn run' egg technique that uses a variety of trout egg or 'globug' pattern flies, fished tight to the bottom. These flies are fished with splitshot and a trailing nymph pattern to entice a strike from the bigger 'lazy' fish. This technique also works well in our local rivers, especially at present as the fish start to ramp up their spawning movements.

 


While the weather here in Melbourne has been nothing short of atrocious of late, don't let it deter you as there as some SERIOUS Murray cod to be caught into the depths of winter - with the real focus coming from the large impoundments like Eildon.


Customer George came in to the store last week before heading up to Lake Eildon with one thing on his mind, big cod. George fished with a mate where they put in cast after cast, and their efforts were rewarded. Lake Eildon cod don't come easy generally and the boys had a ripper session where they boated 3 fish from 50cm through to a monster at 1.03m. The boys battled the cold conditions and relentlessly threw around big lures, and really came up trumps. Another 3 bites were had but not kept on the hook, with a mixture of lures working, at various times throughout the day and at different locations on the lake.  


The Zerek Stalker wakebait was a successful lure, landing 2 of the 3 fish when slowly knocked along the surface. The other fish and bites came on slow rolled soft plastic swimbaits like the daiwa live trout.


Another angler fishing the lake was customer Thomas. Thomas knows the lake well and knows that to catch cod here you simply have to spend the time out there casting, and have various lure setups to change up when the location changes. Thomas had a couple of bites from the lake over the weekend and manged to pin a healthy fish somewhere in the 80cm on a soft plastic swimbait. The successful lure being the Megabass magdraft with a few hook and weight modifications.


A bit further afield but using the same theory and fishing similar water angler Terry has been nailing some lunker cod. Terry has been fishing Lake Burrinjuck out near Canberra. Targeting the same sort of structure in these lakes has been a sure fire way to head in the right direction, targeting the large cod that are cruising out for food. Terry has also been fishing low light and slowly working a big swimbait along these areas has caught some ripper fish of late.

 


The good thing about fishing is that you can catch something no matter where you go that has water! A few customers have been out and about lately and catching while on holiday which is good to see. Young gun Harry was on holiday with the family in Tasmania and just had to have a fish. Fishing from one of the jetties in Hobart Harry caught a chunky bluethroat wrasse. Harry landed the solid fish on squid, which gave him a good workout on light gear.


In the states' East customer Manny has been tangling with things with teeth. Manny has been out around Mallacooota with family and has done some fishing offshore. Among the tiger flathead and snapper caught bottom bashing a hook up was had short lived, bitten off. Manny saw the culprit near the surface and cast a bait rigged on wire out and  soon enough the fish was back on. A feisty mako shark of around 30kg was brought up to the boat and the culprit was caught.


Over the other side of the globe customer Jordan has been on honeymoon in Japan. While not a fishing trip, Jordan still managed to sneak in some fishing with a guide on famous Lake Biwa. Lake Biwa is known as the 'testing ground' for many successful lures that eventually make their way to us and is full of largemouth bass. Jordan fished for the bass on a quiet day with estimated at more than 500 boats fishing one area! Finesse soft plastic techniques will now have here were the go on the day, with wacky and texas rigged plastics proving successful on a slow day. Catching fish is the name of the name in Japan, and their hard work results in some techniques that make our fishing easier!


 


Customer Paul had a leisurely fish up at Mulwala in his kayak for some exploring and in search of a cod or two. Conditions were good and made for enjoyable kayak fishing. Paul did some good recon work for future trips and managed a nice little cod on a spinnerbait. Paul ran the spinnerbait along side a fallen laydown up on a shallow flat and the fish came out and clobbered it. Paul found the channels and flats around the Kiffins area the best.


Young gun Aliff has been fishing both locally and also up around the Eildon region and has been catching some nice redfin of late. Aliff has been using his new lightweight LT RG spin set up with both soft plastics and slow sinking hard bodies to land the fish, with about equal results coming from each. Natural minnow colours in the hardbodies have been the most effective, while small 'creature' soft plastics have been excellent as well.


Customer Angelo and mate Tony normally fish the salt but decided to venture into the fresh recently and explore. The guys hit up the Eildon region and scoped a few areas, and ended up fishing the Goulburn near Thornton. While it was a learning curve for the boys, Tony walked away the victor, landing a nice little rainbow trout from the river on a 7g tassie devil. The river was reasonably high when Angelo and Tony visited which makes it hard, but is at ideal fishing level at present.


A bit further field in the high country customer Anel has been chasing spawn run brown trout up in the Kosciusko high plains. Anel has been fishing with mate Sam and between them they have been catching around 30 fish a day. While no real big fish have been moving up, most of the fish have been a respectable 2 - 3lb.


The most productive lures for the boys have been mostly high end Japanese trout lures including Bassday, Duo and Daiwa. The Daiwa double clutches have been a firm favourite when unsure of a starting lure, with the new trout patterns proving deadly. The next big onslaught of rain in the high country should see more fish moving up the rivers.

 


Things are good in the fresh! There are plenty of options for all manner of fishing and heading in all different directions. Up around the Eildon region the pondage has been producing fish from pre-holidays stockings when conditions allow. With plenty of water still being sent down the Goulburn river the pondage has experienced increased flow which has made the bite a bit inconsistent. Fishing during the next spell of low pondage flow will see the fish come back on. Dough style baits and light line have been the key to catching these fish. Staff members Don and George fished the pondage during the week and found a few smaller fish amongst tough conditions. Persistence and the correct berley have been key.


While the Goulburn itself hasn't been super exciting in terms of trout reports there have been some nice fish caught in the rivers above Eildon itself. Customer Chris had a good weekend fishing with his two boys recently on both the Delatite and Howqua rivers. While Chris had good success fishing small bladed spinners and hardbodies, his sons Atticus and Flynn caught both brown and rainbow trout on unweighted worms free drifted into some of the pools.


In the south Gippsland region the rivers have been running as low and clear as ever but still producing fish. While the fish may be small they are not pushovers and still require an element of stealth in approach unless you want to see the tail end of the trout heading in the opposite direction. Customer Brendan fished the Noojee region over the weekend and landed a few typical brown trout from the Latrobe river. Brendan found that the most effective lures were small slender jerkbaits in natural galaxia patterns.


On the cod scene things are starting to heat up for the bigger fish. Early Autumn is an excellent time to target the bigger fish in the lakes and dams, while the smaller fish will still keep you busy. Customer Shane fished Lake Mulwala just recently with his wife in some lovely conditions.  The lake produced a few fish for them, with 3 nice cod around the 60cm mark taking spinnerbaits worked along the channel edges.


Continuing on with the cod, the locally stocked lake of Karkarook Park has produced a couple of fish for persistent anglers. While they aren't monsters they have been caught on lures and can be caught. Customer Cip fished the lake last week and connected to one of the small cod on a small spoon. Cip was fishing the spoon over a shallow clay bank drop off in search of trout when the cod pounced.

 


Now is the time to be out looking for Mr Murray cod if that's your thing. The dropping water temperature is a real trigger for cod to 'stock up' on food - hopefully in the form of your lure! While the numbers of fish normally caught is never through the roof, if you're a persistent caster the odds are greatly in your favour. Customer Will and mate have been back at it again fishing around the Murray/Mulwala region and catching a few fish. The boys have been looking around some of the 'flats' and seperating drains and have come up trumps. Casting the Megabass Vatalion swimbaits has been the go, along with some fast floating crankbaits.


Customer Dave has also been fishing the same region and with success. Dave has been working the bankside structure and ledges with floating wakebaits and surface crawlers with fish in the mid 50cm mark having a crack. Fishing larger surface offerings at this time of year is a good way to draw out some bigger fish, and the smaller cod will still come out and attack the lure also.   

 


Autumn's chill in the air and water temperature is proving to be excellent for the Murray cod and yellowbelly. Whether you're fishing Eildon or the Murray, autumn is a good time for targeting these natives as they make the most of the food before the colder months. Big news over the last few weeks has been the stocking of both cod and yellowbelly into some local suburban lakes. Karkarook Park in Moorabbin is one such lake, with Murray cod around 40cm stocked into the waterway. Customer Jon went and did some hard yards fishing the lake and managed to land one of these cod on a small surface lure.


Up along the Goulburn the cod and yellowbelly have been on the go. Customer Will and mate Clancy fished the river last week where they landed some nice fish casting lures. The most successful lures this trip were high buoyancy bibbed hardbodies, cast deep into the timber and slowly crawled back out.  


The guys found that most of the cod were in the 50 - 60cm size range and prolific in the heavy timber and corner pockets which is where the hardbodies came in handy. The buoyancy of these cod lures enables them to be crawled through heavy timber and stopped if hit amongst the logs, where they will float back up and minimized snagging. Using lures with long deep bibs will also help get down to the fish fast and hang there enticing a strike.

 


We are nearing the prime time of the year for fishing the fresh, with trout and cod the main targets. The trout will fire up as conditions cool off and send them looking to feed up prior to spawning, and the big cod start coming out to play in search of some big meals like trout, redfin or carp. The only species not super high up on the list especially locally are golden perch, but someone didn't tell that to customer Aliff.

Aliff was fishing with his dad out along the Goulburn and Acheron rivers in search of a trout, when they came across a surprize. Aliff fished a small sinking hardbody alongside a snag and was smashed by a nice yellowbelly! At just under 50cm and from 'trout' water is was a massive surprize and something that has to be seen to be believed!


Meanwhile on the banks of the pondage there have still been quite a few nice trout getting caught. As usual the dough bait and coarse berley method has been the most successful. A few fish have fallen to lures in between, with the most productive lure styles being small spoons and soft plastics. Blue Fox 'Moresilda' spoons have proved to be an excellent new option and ideal size, with small paddle tails and craws being the dominating soft plastic styles in the corner of the trout's jaw.

Customer Zoran fished the pondage over the weekend where he landed a brace of nice trout to around 3lb. Zoran caught a mix of browns and rainbows on 'specialist trout dough' and powerbait. Zoran found a nice back eddy along the Eildon township side of the pondage and proceeded to catch all of his fish in the area.


Up on the lake there have been a few Murray cod caught on bait and lures. While there haven't been any monsters reported yet, we are now coming into the prime time to start looking for the larger fish. Customer Laci fished the lake last week and had a bunch of scrubbies on the side while kicking back, which were taken by a nice 50cm cod. Fishing amongst the vertical timber right inside the inlet was where the action was.

Along for recent some Murray cod action was customer Peter, who caught a few cod to 70cm from Mulwala. Peter was slow rolling spinnerbaits around the timber on the Mulwala side of the lake to catch his fish. Mixing up blade colours and shapes is a good thing here, as sometimes you will find one particular colour and vibration that the fish are well and truely keyed in on.

 


The Goulburn river has been a popular spot of late, and has been providing some fishing variety. From it's clear headwaters and alpine trout right down to the wide and turbid shape it takes on further towards the Murray river, the river has been producing fish. Customer Chris fished around the Nagambie region with his son Atticus just recently. Chris purchased a rod and reel outfit for Atticus and he managed to land his first Murray cod from the river here.Good work Atticus!


Customer Le also fished the lower region of the river and caught a couple of nice Murray cod from the bank. Le was fishing live freshwater yabbies on 'shine' style hooks weighted with a small ball sinker. Le said the bigger yabbies were only getting bites if they had one or two claws missing.

On the trout front, the river is back to a lower 'environmental' flow and more fishable for the average person. Customer Brett fished the upper reaches of the river just last week with the fly rod where he caught some very solid fish. Dry flies like hopper patterns and stimulators were getting looks from the fish. Brett found other anglers nearby fishing without success, but he also noticed that they were wearing hi-vis clothing and walking up the middle of the river. Stealth is the game when targeting river trout!


Customer Chris and Stewie fished the river around Thornton when the flows were still right up were they landed a few fish on lures. The guys were fishing soft plastics and found that natural coloured plastics were getting more interest than brighter patterns. As the river is low again now bright, aggressive patterns are worth a throw as they will illicit more of a 'reaction' bite from the fish rather than a food response, especially when they are forced into deeper runs and pools.

 


The fishing for both trout and redfin has been popular over the past week or so, with anglers taking to the local lakes and streams in search of both. Customer Luke has been fishing the small creeks in the Noojee region and finding plenty of small aggressive brown trout. Luke tried out some new Yamakito 'Raven' hardbodies in a few colours and found the fish lining up to eat them - whether it was on a slow wind or aggressive twitches around the undercut banks.


To the north of the city, customer Eray has been catching plenty of good sized redfin out of lake Eppalock. Eray has been fishing landbased and casting small bass style jigs around the timber and rocky shorelines. He has been fishing a lighter baitcast outfit to accurately place and control the small jigs as they fall around the structure, with a lot of the hits coming on 'the drop'. Finesse style bass jigs are becoming more popular on local fish species, with a lot of versatility in rigging to suit different species. If you're not sure what they are or are interested in trying them on your local fish pop by and check them out.


The local stocked lakes have been producing rainbow trout for anglers fishing with coarse methods and pellet berley. Karkarook has been the main standout lately, with a slight dip in temperature firing up the trout along the edges. Customer Liam fished the lake recently for the first time to try his luck on the trout, and after some guidance in-store with correct tackle and rigging he caught his first few rainbow trout. Liam caught the fish on both specialist trout dough and pink powerbait, while berleying around his bait and rig with crushed trout pellets. This method really is the most effective in our stocked lakes, and worth giving a go if you haven't already!