While the focus hasn't been on the gummies or snapper in particular in both bays - there have been a few caught, especially pinkies and snapper. The small pinkies from 20cm to 1.5kg or so are thick especially in Port Phillip, no matter which area you're fishing. While they can be frustrating - there have been plenty of better size fish amongst them. Staff member Dylan got out for a quick arvo fish recently and was kept busy on fish from 20cm to around 45cm on lures. 4'' jerkbait style plastics caught their share but 100 - 120mm hardbodies were the most effective once the wind got up. Trolling these lures around the isolated reef patches around Brighton resulted in more than 50 fish landed, and a handful of 500g kept for the pan.


The larger fish have also been found in the same areas in the top of the bay - but the real hot spot for the next little while is the Mt Eliza - Mt Martha region. Fish like these held by customer Sam from around Mt Eliza will be worth targeting the deeper we get into Autumn. Early morning bites from dawn to around 9am are the norm, with KGW heads deadly when fished on 'dangle' rigs over the boat's side.


Out in Western port there have been some nice snapper caught amongst the smaller pinkies. While the pinkies have been thick through the whiting grounds and grass beds, fishing the 'barren' mud and rubble beds has seen red to over 4kg landed. The main region producing the quality fish has been between Rhyll and Corinella. Customers Tony and Allan have caught fish in the area to nearly 6kg. There have also been quality fish on the reef just outside both entrances, with some super solid gummies providing some quality bycatch at the same time.


While most of the larger gummies have been coming from outside the port, there have been some big fish caught throughout the Western Entrance along the deeper ledges and channel scours. Fishing these areas during the latter part of the ebb tide or start of the flood is generally the more productive time. Customer Izzy has been landing gummies to around 15kg once the sun goes down, with baits of freshly caught yakka, slimey or trevally among the best.

For the land based anglers the weekend's calmer weather should make shore-bashing a bit more enjoyable. Customer Pete has just started chasing gummies from the shore and landed his first fish during the week. Pete was fishing from the shore at Grantville and after missing and losing a few fish he changed rigs and tactics and landed this one on a circle hook baited with fresh mackerel. Fishing water no more than 1m deep in this area is very effective - but it's all very tide dependent!

 


The Murray cod fishing has been good on both bait and lures around the region - with some good fishing happening not far from Melbourne at all. If you're looking to tangle with a cod, you could try the Yarra river over the weekend. The river should still be quite high and dirty from the heavy rain Melbourne has received but it will still fishable around the back eddies and slower water. A bunch of large scrubworms rolled in gel scent or XL yabby would be the best bet after the increased flow. Customer Ryan snagged a nice little fish from before the heavy rain started on a pink and purple spinnerbait. Bright pink/chartruese/orange and black works well in the Yarra due to the tannin in the water.


Heading for a drive up to lake Eildon will see your big cod chances increased. The large fish have been active over the past month or so, and happy to take a bait or lure. Customer Vito fished the lake landbased recently and landed a chunky model on a lure. Vito has been fishing soft and hard swimbaits during daylight hours and surface lures around low light and into the night. The large fish will only continue on a feeding rampage right through Autumn as the roach and redfin schools move into the arms and bays.

Customer Steve also landed a ripper cod out of the lake during the week. Steve was fished with mate Ryan from the shoreline of the lake and the boys managed 2 nice fish, with Steve's cracking the magical meter mark. Baits of yabby and cheese were both used. Steve safely returned the big cod to the water ready to be caught by another lucky angler.

 


Land based options around the bay have been good over the past week or so, with garfish and whiting providing some good fun and better eating. Rye through to Brighton has been excellent for the gars, with the hot spots Mornington, Frankston and Seaford. There have been some larger gars about but most have been from 15 - 30cm. Staff member Dylan has been catching them from Seaford and also Sandringham, with maggots being the best bait. Constant depth adjustment and fresh baits was the key to landing a few. As usual fine grit berley is needed to get he fish going and keep them firing while you're catching them.


Staff member Don has been catching some gars from Frankston pier during the week. Don has found small pieces of prawn have been working well, with the main tip being constant adjustment of float and bait depth. The gars have been hanging around Frankston pier during slight winds - with any wind over 15 or so knots bringing the salmon in and scaring the gars off.


The whiting fishing around the bay has been good for the land based angler - all be it that most of the fish are caught around or after dark. There have been fish caught all over the bay from Brighton all the way down to Portsea. Any area of scattered reef around sand has is worth a look, with some satellite maps your best friend. Customer Adam has been catching whiting to 44cm from the shore around Black Rock, with the isolated reef patches producing fish after dark. Staff member Dylan has also been catching fish to 40cm from the shore from Sandringham and Frankston. Baits of pipi, mussel, banana prawn and squid have all been good when fished on the sand around the reef. Most of the fish seem to be more active well after dusk, especially around the top of the tide.

 


The freshwater regions have been fishing well, for those that are unaffected by recent fires. Those that are need some time to clear up, as ash and debris in streams and rivers and flooding rains will knock smaller systems about for a little while yet. The south Gippsland and northern inland regions though are fishing well and remain unaffected. On the trout front the rivers from the back of the Yarra ranges through to around Moe are fishing well and are throwing up some decent sized fish for anglers picking their way through them.


Customers Jordan and Josh have been fishing a few different rivers in the region and without dialing in to a 'spot x' they have all been producing fish. The Yarra and it's tributaries have been excellent along with the Latrobe and the smaller streams that flow into it. Fly fishing has been effective for the guys, with both nymphs and dries taking some nice browns to around 700g. Fishing small lightly weighted plastics like nymphs and worms has been effective along with very small hardbodies and bladed spinners. Any of the rivers in the region generally run reasonably tannin so lures with UV colours and golds in them, along with dark silhouettes such as blacks and browns have been the most effective.


Just down the road at Blue Rock Lake the bass fishing has been good. The fish have been ravenous with recently stocked micro bass nailing most lures that hit the water. Fishing early morning and late afternoon has seen some larger fish come out to play, especially when bigger lures are put in to the equation. Staff member Dylan fished the lake last week and landed 15 or so fish with a few high 30cm specimens the best for the day. Mid depth crankbaits and spinnerbaits were effective mid afternoon slow rolled through bankside timber, and small surface crawlers and wakebaits came into their own once the light faded from the sky - with the best banks being the ones with slightly clearer water.


Just up the Hume fwy towards Shepparton customer Ryan has been catching some small yellowbelly in the creeks. Fishing brightly coloured spinnerbaits was the deal as the muddy water of the smaller creeks made visibility less than ideal. Rolling the spinnerbaits with a high rod tip allowed for detection of the lure bumping the logs and weed before it snagged up. Fishing similar water in the same region last week was customer Manny. Manny tried his luck on cod but found no joy on them, but he did land some nice yellowbelly. Manny found flash rigged plastics and aggressive coloured spinnerbaits were the most effective for him.

 


Despite the warm weather there has been some good trout fishing around if you're fishing the shade of the rivers or concentrating on the cooler parts of the day. The Eildon area is fishing well, with both the Goulburn and pondage producing fish. Customer Anel fished the Goulburn during the week and landed a couple of nice rainbow trout to 6lb. Anel has been fishing lures with the most successful being Daiwa double clutches and Megabass x70, in natural colours. With the river's summer height, the shaded pockets along the edges have been where to cast.


In the pondage the fish have been on the go but mainly in the mornings, especially with cooler weather. Customer Zoran fished the pondage during the week and landed 20 plus fish in a short session. Zoran had a mixture of trout dough and powerbait out, with a bucket of finely mixed trout berley pellets. Most of the bites were gentle, and this is where longer, softer rods will help hook most of the fish.


Down in South Gippsland the rivers have been producing some fish down deep. The Latrobe river has been producing many fish in the Noojee section. Customer Leilani fished this section of river earlier in the week and caught a few small stream browns using plastics. Berkley minnow patterns were effective when fished along the edge of deep runs and pools with shade. Soft plastics are very effective on trout, but they must be rigged correctly. If you're unsure about which plastics are best for where you're fishing we can help you out.

 


The summertime gummy fishing has been excellent in Westernport Bay. Many anglers have been making the most of the good fishing, with large gummies on offer around most parts of the port. Customer Zoran has caught a couple of nice sharks in the 12kg mark fishing the western entrance of the port. Chunk baits of freshly caught slimey mackerel and salmon have been the most productive.


Customer Justin has also been catching some solid gummies while out on the port. Justin had a session on the whiting lately and managed to collect some fresh bait in the form of trevally, so he sat for a gummy in the western channel. He landed a nice fish around the 13kg mark on fresh trevally. The last hour of the run out tide was the productive time for the gummy, with the fish coming from a secondary channel ledge.


Further back up the port customer George had a successful session out for gummies. George fished out from Rhyll and sat along a 10m ledge, and landed a nice gummy around 8kg. The successful bait was fresh squid head, fished on a circle hook paternoster rig. Customer Izzy has also been successfully landing some nice gummies fishing similar style 'reedy's rigs'. 6/0 circle hooks on these rigs have made for easy jaw hookups and easy to remove on smaller fish.


Up along the eastern side of the port there have been plenty of gummies between 65 - 90cm roaming around the feeder channels, and these have been plenty eager enough to scoff baits of banana prawn, squid or flesh baits. These fish are best targeted around the top of the tide, as they race up the channels and feed over the mudflats. As they race back off the flats they can be intersected along these same channel ledges. There have also been reports of some bronze whalers in the same area, with the hot 'zone' between Reef Island, Elizabeth Island and Spit Point. Customer Brendan fished from Tenby Point last week chasing gummies, and landed a small bronzie of a couple kilos.

 


The clear water of both bays has meant that the squid fishing has been good, whether you're shore or boat based. Staff member Dylan has been fishing from the rocks and beaches along the top end of Port Phillip to land squid to around 1kg. In some areas the most productive time has been just after sunset, others have been an hour or so after last light. Jig sizes have varied between locations, with shallow reef flats calling for 2.5's whereas rocky or beach drop offs size 3.0 or 3.5 can be used. It is best to work out your location before selecting jigs as sizes and colours can be very dependent on area.


The southern end of PPB is squid mecca, and while it is also tourist mecca over the January holiday timeframe, there are still excellent to be caught. Customer Izzy fished down the bottom of the peninsula and landed some nice squid, after having a swim to cool off. Staff member Dylan has also fished the same areas and has been finding natural baitfish coloured jigs to be most effective, with near zero results on the standard UV whites, red foils and bright colours. Size 3.5 is generally the go in the area, as even the shallower grounds around the boat moorings are affected by the tidal pull.


Customer Connor has been getting amongst the quality squid down along the southern peninsula also. Connor has been fishing Sorrento and Portsea and has been having sessions with 7 or 8 squid landed on average, up to nearly 40cm hood length. Connor has been finding sunset red/golds have been the most effective for him during times of low light.


Over in Westernport, the squid fishing has been good for those out enjoying it. Flinders pier local Angelo has been catching a few here and there, up to 1kg or so in size. Angelo has been liking 'keimura' UV whites and lumo whites from the Yamashita range, along with shrimp and grass whiting patterns including black/green and red underfoils. Further up the beach customer Adam has caught squid around 35cm hood length on baited jigs during the night. Small silver and grass whiting have been best when under the float, but they must be fished up off the bottom to ensure the thick weed and kelp in the area doesn't snag them up.

 


East Gippsland has been ravaged badly from recent fire activity in the region and still under some threat, but well worth a trip back to to region once it recovers. Just prior to the bushfires the lakes region was fishing excellent for many species. The region needs help from tourism over the warmer months to survive and the fishing is well worth the drive. If you're chasing big flathead Lake Tyers and to a lesser extent the Gippsland Lakes have been producing. The 'swimbait' craze is slowly starting to filter into the estuaries and is very much a technique worth using.


Megabass Australia Representative Nick and staff member Dylan have both fished Tyers over the pre fire warm up, and have found good success. Flathead to 86cm have been landed on both 's' style baits and glidebaits, along with larger soft swimbaits up to 20cm long The larger profile of these lures really trigger the predatory instinct of the larger fish and generate explosive strikes. When the area is all clear this style of fishing is well worth the effort for the weekend.


The bream fishing in the lake and also in the 'big 3' rivers of the lakes has also been good - both on bait and lures. Fishing baits of prawn, shrimp and crab has been the best way to land a few better fish, while sandworm has been accounting for a few more smaller fish. The Mitchell river around the 'cut' has been a good area to target larger fish as they move in and out of the river. Customer Ryan has been catching some nice fish by going simple in his lure choice, a small single tailed soft plastic grub in the 2inch size. Small shrimp and prawn colours having been catching him bream to around 38cm in all 3 rivers recently.


The other species on offer for a return trip to Lakes Entrance are King George whiting and Eastern King prawns. During the months of February and March both of these species are very good options if you're boat or landbased in and around the lakes. The whiting have been red hot from Metung through to lakes itself, with mussel, pipi and whiting worm all very effective on number of school fish. Many fish have been caught throughout the channels and have ranged in size from 30 - 43cm. On the prawn front things should only get better over the next few moon cycles, but there have still been enough around for a feed. Customer Thao had a dip around Metung while down around New Years and managed a dozen or so in an hour before hitting the hay.

 


The fishing for cod has been good over the year's start. Many cod rivers are running clear and low at present, which can make for some good fishing. Staff member Dylan and mates did a day trip on the cod just before the turn of the year, fishing some of the smaller rivers landbased. Fishing around the Wangaratta region the average size of the fish was just that - with clear water proving challenging to really pinpoint holding territory and fish it thoroughly and accurately.


All up everyone managed a few fish each, with both trout cod and murray cod in the mix. The most effective lures for the trip were smaller surface lures and wakebaits arond 100mm and compact boom spinnerbaits both in 3/8 and 1/2oz. Spinnerbait colours with contrasting skirts were best, with black/chart, white/purple and brown/orange all working well. Pinpoint casting was the key however, with not much deeper water the fish were really holed strategically around deeper scours and runs with shade or overhanging willow and timber.


A bit closer to Melbourne there have been a few nice cod caught in the Yarra. A couple of fish have been in the 80cm mark on large yabbies. Customer Manny fished the river casting lures recently and nailed a couple of smaller fish. The most effective lure to work the thick timber and steep edges has been 'flashy swimmers' in 6/0 and 8/0. The subtle flash emitted by the blades is enough to call the cod out from the structure and entice them to follow. The river has been running quite clean at present and usually fishes better with good clarity.


Right around the suburbs some of the stocked lakes have seen a few cod captures. Karkarook Park down in Moorabbin is one such lake, with a dozen or so fish seen to be caught over the past few weeks. Customer Cip has been fishing the lake a bit, and has caught 4 or 5 fish in recent trips. Cip has caught fish on a few different offerings with small surface crawlers, large spoons and soft plastics all proving effective.

 

 


The by catch  while fishing for both whiting and snapper in the port is enough in itself to keep many anglers content, with some being better eating that the main target themselves! Changing tactic slightly to target the fish like garfish or trevally while in the shallows can provide some fun, great bait and good fare on the table.


Customer Sam has been fishing with staff member Don out on the whiting and the silver trevally have been plentiful in between whiting bites. The trevally normally make their presence known during the slackest stage of the tides and respond very well to oily berley that has some sort of pilchard or baitfish in the mix. They are best caught using softer whiting rods and fine gauge hooks, as their soft mouths can have hooks easily torn out. Don and Sam have been finding plenty along the channel edges up the top end of the port.

The same areas have also been holding good sized garfish, and they have been coming up the berley trail and can be caught on small pieces of pipi under finely weighted floats. Some of the gars have been between 40 and 50cm.


The gummy fishing has been keeping anglers happy as many are caught as snapper by catch as much a target species. Fishing the run off channel edges especially over the mudbeds has been the best way of finding one for a feed. Some of the anglers from the Keysborough Angling Club have been catching gummies along the main channel edge out from Hastings, along with whiting salmon and mackerel.

Customers Graeme and Mick have also been catching some nice table sized sharks over on the Corals. The corals area is good foraging ground for both snapper and medium sized gummies, but also gets some solid school shark and bronze whalers over the warmer months of the year. Fresh chunk or strip baits are excellent ways to connect to one.


Some large female gummies have also been making their way into the port in preparation to pup. Customers Izzy and Bruno fished the western entrance and landed 2 big female gummies. Fishing 4/0 Reedy's Rigs with californian squid got the job done, and both were caught in around 30m of water on the tide change.


Not too far away the squid fishing has been good for the land based anglers. The extensive weed and reef from Balnarring to Flinders hold some large calamari and can be fished from the shore - you just need to select your jig sink rates accordingly. Customer Travis fished from the beach at Somers and landed a couple of nice big squid on size 3.5 jigs, with gold foils doing the best. Down at Flinders pier there have been a good number of squid caught during the day, with customer Angelo getting amongst them. Angelo caught 4 nice squid in his recent session, with a mixture of UV white, lumo glow and red foil jigs doing the damage.