The Murray River is a popular family holiday location, with nice serene bushland flanking a lot of it's banks and a large amount of famliy friendly camping areas. The fishing on the Murray itself can vary but over the warmer months the cod and yellowbelly can be caught on bait and lures. While on family holiday, 16 year old Jaxson caught his first Murray cod out of the river near Barooga, on his second day fishing. Jaxson got some great advice from the Compleat Angler guys and was wrapt with his fish. Great work Jaxson!


Further down the river, young Levi caught this nice 38cm yellowbelly around Piangil. The yellowbelly in the area should stay active until around May, so there's plenty of time to catch yourself some like this one!

 

While most people assume that shore based fishing isn't any good around the bays, there's been a lot of variety caught at the moment. There are many piers, rockwalls and beaches around both bays where you can catch some fish - the trick is to try and target a particular species. While this can sometimes be fruitless (that's why it's called fishing and not catching) you will generally do better if you set yourself up in search of a particular fish, instead of setting up for everything and most likely not catching much.


Around most of the piers in southern Port Phillip and Westernport there have been good numbers of yakkas. While they turn up and disappear pretty quickly, they should hang around for a while now as the reports have only recently hotted up. Portsea, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Flinders are all worth a shot. Customer Angelo fished from Flinders pier during the week and while the squid were quiet for him, the mackerel made up for it. Small pieces of prawn fished on light gauge hooks off a paternoster rig were the go for him. Many anglers have also been catching good numbers of mackerel fishing under a float, as they tend to move about mid-water a lot. A fine grit, coarse-like berley mix is deadly when these fish are around, as it will keep the school actively feeding in your area. They can also be caught using small soft plastics fished on light weight and fine gauge jigheads.


While not normally known for whiting, fished from the shores of Port Phillip can produce some nice fish. Staff member Dylan has seen some good sized fish around Brighton and Black Rock during the week while swimming - with no one fishing for them. Fishing after dark around the top of the tide can be the most productive time, especially after a warm day. Customer Ange fished from the shore around Sandringham during the week where he caught some nice fish. Ange also found a patch of smaller pinkies, which came from a nearby reef to hammer his baits.

If you are chasing the whiting, try and target areas of sand with small patches of eelgrass or light reef nearby, and cast your baits around the edge of this structure, as the whiting will frequently patrol the edges looking for food. If it's pinkies your after, areas of heavier reef with broken sand patches are more productive, especially around last light. There are plenty of areas like around Brighton, Black Rock, Frankston and Mornington.


On the squid scene, things have been good. The warm afternoons have been good for squidding from the beaches and rocks, with Blairgowrie, Mornington and Mt Martha all producing. Customer Harry got out and fished from the beaches around Mt Martha and Mt Eliza, where he caught 8 nice squid using the Yakamito 'fluoro lemon' jig.


Around the same sort of ground off Mt Martha, customer Daniels and Jake fished in close to the shore in their kayak. A nice calm 5:30am start meant they caught prospect around the shallows without much chop and boat wake. The guys ended up with 9 squid in a few hours, on a variety of jigs in both size 2.5 and 3.0. Orange, green and purple colours worked on the day. Staff member Dylan fished in a similar area during the week to land 9 squid on size 2.5 Yamashita and Shimano jigs, with UV based blacks and pinks the standouts.

 

If you are out towards Lakes Entrance or anywhere in East Gippsland and are thinking of chasing the bream then right now the fishing is excellent. Most of the estuaries are running warm and full of food items such as prawn, shrimp, garfish and other small baitfish - and this abundant food has got the bream biting. You can certainly catch a few fish by bait fishing from either the shore or in a small craft, but the lure fishing is simply too good at the moment to pass up. Many anglers have been reporting crazy sessions where 50 fish on lures isn't uncommon - but there are certainly some tricks to help boost the bite for you. Firstly, you MUST use a light and responsive graphite rod. This sort of fishing is all about control and feel and simply, with a fibreglass rod you have none. Light braided line will help you with the feel factor, as it will indicate any subtle bites or taps on the lure, and it will also get the lures to swim better - which results in more bites! 

Customer Russ tried his hand at lure fishing for bream for the first time down at Bemm River. Russ did well landing some chunky black bream in the lake, with Luckycraft 'flash minnows' and 'bevy shads' getting the job done for him. Russ looks stoked and will probably continue on board the lure fishing train now.


Victorian Tackle Representatives Gez and Mitch were also down at the Bemm doing the same thing on the bream, and they report that the bream are really going well. Using 'bent minnows' and other surface pencils along with shallow running 'jerkbaits' like luckycraft flash minnows, Gez and Mitch report that in some areas they were going a fish a cast, with many double hookups on nice size fish. Again finesse tackle certainly helps, as these fish are cruising along shallow clear flats and can be spooked easily.


Staff member Dylan also fish out in Gippsland over the weekend, with a bit of variety of fish landed while targeting the bream. Fish like this 37cm yellowfin bream were crunching surface poppers and stickbaits, with every fish for the trip taken on a surface lure. Big amounts of small prawns in the estuary really got the fish hitting the surface aggressively.


Customer Jordan with a nice 39cm yellowfin bream caught on a surface pencil from the weekend. Small lures that fit the profile and natural colours of a school prawn got belted when they were cast into the right areas. 

 


While most trout fisheries go a bit quieter during the heat of Summer, Eildon stays pretty steady. The trout can still be caught in the weir if you're fishing down a bit deeper targeting thermoclines and focusing your efforts around low light conditions, but with other natives to catch like cod and yellowbelly the lake trout get overlooked a little during Summer.

Eildon pondage on the other hand is a more consistent fish producer year round - especially if you're using the correct methods. The pondage has been RED HOT lately, so if there were ever a time to go for a casual drive by yourself or wit the kids, now would be it. Customer Zoran fished the pondage with mates last week where some nice solid browns were caught. Using pellet berley, long light rods and a mixture of dough and powerbait, the boys cleaned up.


On the subject of getting to Eildon - Fisheries Victoria have only just pumped the Eildon pondage full with another stocking of solid trout, stocked on Monday just gone. 300 solid ex brood fish with rainbows to 4kg and browns to 3.5kg were stocked into the pondage, so make sure you stock up and get up there ASAP for your chance at these trophy trout.


Staff member George snuck up to the pondage earlier this week where he found that the trout were going nuts! George coarse fished the upper pondage and caught and released nearly 70 fish, with a few methods working the best for him. Open ended feeder cages let the correct amount of scent out to fire the fish up, while loose feeding sinking trout berley pellets also kept the fish active. George found that powerbait in pink and rainbow colours were dynamite when fished on a size 8 'mosquito' hook, along with a new specialist trout dough that is in the trial stages, and hopefully in store soon.

 

 


While there are still some crowds around the Gippsland lakes region, the fishing has been very good - especially if you can find a bit of quieter water. The whole region from Sale through Lakes Entrance and out towards Mallacoota near the NSW border has plenty on offer. Flathead, King George and sand whiting, luderick, bream, silver trevally, tailor, pinkies, salmon and prawns are all on offer at present if you're still out towards Lakes Entrance or thinking of heading down that way.

The beaches have been producing salmon and tailor around first and last light, with Eastern beach getting runs of fish to just over a kilo. The prawns have also been around in good numbers if you can find a quiet cove or bay to work, and we're currently just around the new moon so they should be easier to find. Cunninghame arm, North arm, Tambo bay and around Metung have all been good.


Customer Jordan has found lots of variety in his catch lately out towards Mallacoota. Jordan has been lure fishing with mostly 'crankbait' style hardbodies and surface pencils working the best, due to the large number of small 'school' sized king prawns in the estuaries. The sand whiting in particular have been really fixating on the surface lures when worked correctly, and most hits have turned into solid hookups after a few small modifications to terminal hardware. Big tailor to 60cm have also been blasting the surface offerings, along with deeper crankbaits worked through blue pockets and holes.

 


Many anglers enjoy their time camping and fishing around the Murray somewhere, and if you're into your cod fishing then it's pretty good at the moment. Most popular sections of the Murry have been fishing well and producing cod on bait and lure, whether you're a novice or seasoned cod fisherman. Customer Petar has not long taken up cod fishing after purchasing a bit more 'cod specialized' gear and while he has been putting in the hard yards he has been getting some results. Petar has been fishing mainly around Lake Mulwala and the adjacent sections of the Murray, where he has caught cod using spinnerbaits, and cheese once the casting arm needs a rest.


EJ Todd Victorian Rep Mitch has also been fishing similar areas in search of cod. Mitch has caught fish casting surface crawlers and subsurface wakebaits, with the Tiemco 'slug fest' really appealing to the fish around undercut and heavily timbered banks. The cod fishing should continue to fire well through the summer and into autumn, so if you're looking to connect to a green backed freshwater tractor then now is a good time to replenish your Murray cod gear. 

 


While the local bream fishing isn't going too bad at all, the Gippsland lakes is on fire for bream fishing. The fishing has been great, whether you're bait or lure fishing - but it is the lure fishing that has been very hard to beat. The warm waters of the gippsland estuaries have really geared up with lots of prey items for the hungry to chomp through, with shrimp, prawns and small gars all getting smashed. Lots of lure choices are working very well at the moment but the hardbody and surface luring has been 5 star. Anglers are reporting multiple hookups and not uncommonly landing 30 or 40 fish in a session. 


Customers Jordan and Josh fished from their kayaks recently and found that the bream were more than happy to hit their surface lures. Both the guys were fishing small surface stickbaits in the 60mm size range and they landed over a dozen fish each, with this session Josh's introducing to bream lure fishing! Surface lure fishing is very visual but there is certainly a knack to triggering the big bream to eat, and having refined tackle makes this a whole lot easier.


Now, if you've always thought bream on lures is a conspiracy, check out how much these fish wanted these 'bent minnows'. Customer John was out in the gippsland estuaries during the week where many bream like this were caught using these surface stickbaits. These premium quality lures certainly get the interest of many a bream, and now is the best time to be out using them.

 


While normally slipping under the radar amongst all the other fishing to be done over the summer months, there have been some ripper gars about. While a lot of anglers overlook them as a target, the beauty of them is they can be caught land based or boat. Most of the shallow inshore areas of both bays and all of our other estuaries will hold gars, it's just a matter of getting numbers of them to hang around. A bit of berley normally gets them going and they are a brilliant eating fish to add to the day's bag.

Pier fishing for gars in the bay has been good around Brighton, Sandringham, Beaumaris, Frankston and Dromana, along with Stony point pier in Westernport. Gawaine Blake has been catching some real gars around Stony Point while out near the whiting grounds.


Don't be fooled, gars CAN be very tricky to catch consistently and the correct tackle and technique will soon separate the full buckets from the empty ones. Delicately balanced and weighted floats with mid length shank hooks are some of the tackle 'must-haves' but matching hook to bait selection and the correct consistency berley mixture is also vital. 


Customer Tim has been getting some good gars from Frankston pier recently. Tim used both maggots and silverfish in conjunction with his berley mix to secure a bag.


 

Amongst the holiday crowds, the piers dotted along the Mornington Peninsula have been producing squid for anglers fishing the correct methods. Depending on which pier you are fishing, this could be a size 3.0 fast sinking jig or a tiny slow sinking 1.8 in a natural baitfish pattern. Customer Dario has been catching some good numbers of squid from Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, with sunset being the prime time. The most effective jigs for Dario lately have been size 2.5 Yamashita Live in natural pilchard and mackerel patterns (colours NAJK and NUMG).


Customer Rolly fished from Mornington pier during the week to land a few 'Mornington' sized squid. While the squid here and generally on the smaller side, there are good numbers that hang around the piers all night, to get your bag it's just a matter of changing jig colour and fall speed to see what pricks their interest. Adding specialized squid scents like 'Egimax' and 'Glowmax' can also change a timid look into much more interest.

 


Flinders has been producing some very good squid if you're in the area - both boat and pier based. If the weather permits you can launch a small boat or kayak from the beach here and fish out just beyond the pier, as the kelp beds here stretch far and wide and hold good numbers of big squid. Customer Vito has been catching some big squid in the boat just out from the pier when the conditions are right, with bigger size 3.5 and 4.0 jigs attracting the larger squid. Black, purple, green, and white based colours seem to be producing the best around here of late.


Customer Thua fished with his friends from the pier during the week where they caught some ripper squid. The most effective method was a dropshot/paternoster rigged Yamashita Live Search jig in size 3.0, kept above the kelp beds.