While there has been some activity on the snapper front, the real 'hot' action for Port Phillip is still around 2 weeks off. Water temperature and rainfall at this time of year play a crucial part in when the fish 'fire' and looking at the weather we are around 10 days to 2 weeks off. There have been a few solid fish caught by searching anglers but overall the bulk of the fish are yet to enter the bay. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught some small fish over the past week but also landed a cracker fish of around 80cm just a few days ago, so make sure you're prepared!


There have been a few fish scattered throughout the bay however, and the bulk of the fish caught are coming from landbased anglers. Fishing any of the shoreline around Mornington and Mount Martha has been the go, along with the top end of the bay between Mordialloc and St Kilda. Customer John got out during the week and managed a couple of nice fat school fish from the shore after dark on pilchard. John has been fishing a few locations and has found the fish biting late through the night after or during a strong 20 knot onshore wind.


At the moment the top end of Westernport has been producing the lion's share of the snapper reports. While Western Port normally fires up before Port Phillip, there seems to be good numbers of fish spread right through the port. Scattered reports have come from the Corals, Silverleaves, Corinella, Joe's Island and also through Bagge Harbour and the North arm. Customer Johnny got out on to the port during the week and landed 3 fish to around 3kg in the north arm on fresh squid. The region around Lysaughts and Long Reef in 15 - 18m has been producing quite a few school fish on squid, couta and pilchard.

 


The squid fishing again this week has been very good for anglers out there on both bays, especially down the southern end of these bays. This week again customer Angelo has done well from Flinders pier with mates. Angelo and mates have been catching some solid squid on both baited jigs under a float, and also artificial jigs under the same floats. If you fish a simple sliding spring float system you can chop and change between cast and static jigs by a simple pinch of a spring.


Silver whiting were responsible for the large squid from the pier, while the numbers of small squid were all taken on size 3.5 jigs in Haramitsu and Owner Draw 4 brands. In amongst the squid fishing there were good numbers of grass whiting taken on bait among the pier pylons. Fishing small pieces of prawn and scrubworm on a paternoster rig suspended just above the weedbeds is the best method of finding these fish. If they are reasonable size they make exceptional baits on for squid on the spike style jigs.


Not to be outdone customer Travis also fished Flinders with artificial jigs in size 3.5. Travis landed a couple of crackers around 45cm hood length. Not far from Flinders in deep waters of the entrance customer Steve has been landing some quality squid. Steve fishes offshore and regularly catches solid squid on large jigs. These squid grow large in the deep cold water and don't get fished for very much in these areas. Tip run style jigs are also very effective in the deeper water or heavier currents.


Jumping across to Port Phillip Bay and the southern end has been producing both numbers and size of squid. Customer Bashir has been fishing the Dromana area of the bay and has been doing best on size 3.5 Yamashita jigs. The better colours for this region have been the keimura or 'daytime UV'. Customer Josh has also been fishing the same areas between Dromana and Rosebud to land squid to around 1kg. Josh has been fishing the shallower banks and ledges into water around 5m and is finding the better squid in the same water. A multitude of colours from UV white through to natural whiting and wrasse colours have been the best in the region.


On the piers of the southern peninsula customer Kenny has been catching squid to around 1.5kg. Kenny has been fishing both Sorrento and Portsea piers for the best results, but has also caught some smaller squid from Blairgowrie at night. The squid from Blairgowrie have been more prolific but smaller in size, and have been liking aggressive colours and glow colours from Yamashita. Young gun Lewei has been nailing some nice squid from Sorrento pier recently too. Lewei has landed squid to 1.7kg during the day and has been using a few different jigs but his last couple of squid have come on size 3.0 gold foil jigs, especially with mixed cloud cover.

 


Estuary species have been fishing well over the past few weeks, with late winter rain really helping the fishing along. The main species being bream and mulloway throughout the Gippsland lakes and around the metro estuaries. The Gippsland rivers have been producing the bream throughout mainly the lower reaches as the salinity levels are more comfortable for the fish. Customer Peter was recently fishing from the shore of the lower Tambo with his wife where they landed some nice fish. Multiple bream up to 42cm were caught on sandworm and prawn.


Around the Melbourne metro rivers the bream have been found down a bit lower in the systems and semi schooled up in more open water. The lower Werribee river has seen a lot of the fish down in the lower river just up from the boat ramp, with crab and freshwater yabbies being the baits of choice. In the Patterson river the bream have been found towards the lower river and out into the mouth of the bay, and open waters of the river. Staff member Dylan has been fishing the river recently and finding good numbers of fish to around 41cm. The fish have been moving about and timid, but have been taking small crab and yabby pattern soft plastics on the open water mudflats and silt beds. There has also been the odd mulloways cruising the main river as well for anglers using heavier gear.


On the mulloway front, there have been fishing cruising the metro rivers and also in decent numbers in the western coastal estuaries. Staff member Dylan fished some of the western rivers with mates recently in search of the mulloway and after a lot of searching the fish were found. Among all the boats fishing nearby the fish were quite spooky and moving about a lot - but found with the use of side scan on the sounder.


All up 10 mulloway were landed, with the largest measuring around 90cm. The mulloway were hard to tempt and were only willing to eat a small selection of lures, with small heavily weighted vibes being the pick of the bunch - with a few picked up on soft plastic also. Subtle action in the lures was what the fish were after most, with light tail twitches on the plastics and soft lifts on the vibes getting the fishes' attention.

 


While the phrase "it's still too early" is commonly being uttered among snapper fishing talk - we're now mid September and the fish have been hanging about for a while, and anglers have been catching them. Sure, water temperatures are not quiet at 'optimum' but the fish are still there and they have to eat. Many landbased locations have been producing fish and patches of both bays are also holding fish that are eating on more regular terms. Captain Bill from Mornington took a photo of a local angler fishing the pier and rockwall just a few days ago with a nice fish taken on fresh squid. During heavy onshore weather the pier has been holding some quality fish and is worth fishing straight after said weather.


While Mornington pier has been producing fish, Frankston, Mordialloc and Brighton have also been doing the same. The beaches in these same areas have been producing active fish also - so if the pier is packed head onto the beach nearby instead of casting into the same area as a heap of other anglers, this way you're giving yourself a better chance. Customer Ahmad has been looking around the piers and beaches over the past month and has landed snapper to around 7kg for his efforts, with fresh squid and pilchard still the better baits.


For the boat based anglers in Westernport the fish have come on a bit stronger - which is normal for this time of year. Water temperatures and rainfall play a big part in when the fish switch on and where. At the moment the more consistent areas to concentrate on are between Corinella north and Grantville and about Hastings. There have been numbers of fish moving around the 'finger' channels way up the North-Eastern corner of the port, where the low tide mudflats are warming up the surrounding water. Customer Anthony has been fishing this area with his daughter and together have caught her first snapper. The nice school fish took fresh squid.

Customer Zach has also been amongst the snapper. Zach has been fishing the water of the North arm and has managed a brace of nice fish in his first trip - with fresh squid and pike both doing the job. Searching for small pockets of slightly warmer water and bait nearby is a good way to locate some snapper at the moment.

 


This season's trout opener was a a ripper - especially if you were in the Eildon region. As many know, both Eildon pondage and the Goulburn river were stocked with a massive 7 tons of trout prior to the season's open. While it wasn't quite like shooting fish in a barrel many anglers managed to hook themselves a solid trout or two. Staff member Don and Dylan went up to the river to check out conditions and have a couple of casts in some quieter water they were rewarded with a nice rainbow of about 6lb. Heavier spoons were used to get down deep under the fast water where the fish were holding.


Customer Manny got out and hit the river opening weekend and while it was busy, he found some quieter water of his own and managed a smaller wild Goulburn brown on a paddle tailed soft plastic, along with a couple of solid rainbows up around 7lb. The larger rainbows preferred brighter coloured plastics, especially with the river quite coloured and dirty. Manny fished the 'pellet' style jigheads on his plastics and found they did the job.

Keen trout angler Anel also hit the river over the weekend and found that early morning Saturday was the best time. Anel focused more with hardbodied lures in the deeper runs around Thornton, and found that lures that got down a bit deeper were the go, like Double Clutch 90 and Shading-X. In the really deep pools sinking hardbodies were super effective, as they shimmied down to the fish. Colour patterns with a bit of flash to them or contrasting colours were the best at getting the fish to notice them in the dirty water.


Customer Cip also fished the Thornton section of the river, and managed to land rainbows to 8lb on a range of Megabass hardbodies. Among the successful lures were X80 Jr, Shading-X and X-70 lures - in a variety of colours. Cip simply picked the lure style to suit the river depth or current, as one lure is very limiting in a big river like the Goulburn.


Kosta from Hooked Up magazine also got out and scratched the trout itch on the Goulburn. Kosta had a look around the Thornton region and walked away from the crowds, and landed fish to around 7lb for his efforts. Kosta found small paddle tailed plastics were the most effective for him on the big fish.

If you're thinking of heading up to the region in search of a trout or two, check out this map for access points that best suit you, and come past the store to get the up to date info on river levels and what's working best.

 


Trout season opens up this weekend, with Saturday the first day of the 2019 season on the rivers, and there's going to be plenty of fish about for all! Victorian Fisheries have started stockings along the Goulburn River and Eildon pondage, with over 7 TONS of trout being released for anglers to catch. With this amount of fish going into the river it's an excellent chance for you to snag that trophy trout, which some are over 5kg - or get the kids hooked on fishing.

Some nice fish have already been caught from the pondage with customer John and his dad catching brown trout to around 4lb on a mixture of powerbait and dough.


Make sure you stop by the store on your way up to the region, as we've restocked MASSIVELY all things trout for the weekend! If you are heading up to the region over the weekend, and not sure of where to try your luck, click the following link to check out the map of where the 7 tons of trout have been stocked:  https://vfa.vic.gov.au/recreational-fishing/featured/goulburn-fishing-festival-event-schedule/biggest-ever-trout-opening-on-goulburn?fbclid=IwAR2wdXJr0CnPbsOlu0QoYRrS-uDUSJXOF7RyZcmegQOpnAD2bhUjoMkh3hk

 


There have been dome snapper, and plenty of pinkies coming into the reports around the bay over the past week or so. While the fish are still scattered and not thick in numbers, they are definitely out there and are being caught. Water temperatures around the bay have been hovering around 12C, and once jump above 13-14 and stay there the fish will come on the bite more frequently. While the top end of the bay from Hobsons Bay through to around Black Rock is the area worth looking in, there has been the odd fish further down the bay.

Customer Ngoc got a surprise fishing in the Patto river last week, with a solid 3.5kg snapper taking his bait up towards the last boat ramp. Ngoc managed to land the fish on light tackle and with a minuscule size 8 C10U hook set up for bream.


Around most of the inshore reef through the top end of the bay there has been stacks of pinkies, with plenty of size fish to around 2kg in the mix. Staff member Dylan has caught a few both on bait while chasing other fish and also on plastics from the shore over the past few weeks. Brighton, St Kilda and Mordialloc piers and the adjacent beaches have been providing fish to around 45cm on plastics when fished in the afternoons. Dylan has found 'weedless' jigs and buoyant plastics to be the most successful over the broken reef.

 

 


Murray cod season around the country finished up just this week until later this year, but a few anglers got out and gave it one last crack before giving the fish a bit of a break. While not normally seen as the cod 'time' of year, there have been plenty of fish caught. One nice fish was caught by customer Izzy, on her first cod session. Izzy saved it until the last few days of the season but managed her first Murray cod on a spinnerbait, and even better locally in the Yarra River. Now just bring on December 1!


Up around Mulwala customer Vito fished with mates in search of a few fish before the close. With some good conditions they fished the lake and down into the Bundalong region, doing a bit of casting and trolling. The guys managed a few fish on both techniques, with swimbaits as big as 25cm catching fish - right down to lures under 10cm also. The better fish from the session was caught on the troll, and was a nice solid river fish taken on a hardbody bumping the timber.


It's not all over luckily - as Lake Eildon stays open for Murray cod fishing year round. Some of the big fish have been seen moving into shallow bays and fighting with each other for prime habitat so bigger lures have been working still. Customer Ben fished the lake on the weekend and had a 600g trout almost jump into the boat to escape a big cod lurking nearby, while the roach schools have also been a target for active fish. Customer Thomas fished the lake just recently and nailed another nice fish from the the timber - with the huge Megabass Garuda looking like a snack in comparison to the chunky fish. Thomas has been spending hours on the water casting and has found both the Garuda and Magslowl to be some of the more consistent performers on the lake.

 


The late Winter rain has done wonders for the estuary fishing both locally and down into Gippsland. The local Port Phillip rivers have been fishing well for bream, particularly with bait. Customer George was fishing the Werribee river just last week where he found a few reasonable size bream, but was also pleasantly surprized when a nice 90cm mulloway decided to eat one of his bass yabbies. George managed to wrangle the fish in using very light main line and leader which was a good effort.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the Melbourne metro rivers in search of bream over the weekend with mixed results. With only a few members able to fish over the weekend there weren't a huge number of fish weighed in, but the fish that were came from the Patterson River. The Patto has been running dirty in the main river with fresh coming down from the top, but the bream have been feeding actively. Customers Paul and Dave managed a few fish around 350g from the river using mainly prawn for bait. Fishing eddies and small drop offs in the river will see you come across a few fish as they cruise out of the main current and feed at their leisure. 


Down in the Gippsland lakes there have been some solid bream on the chew as the freshwater pushes down the rivers and gets them schooling and into pre-spawn mode. The fish in the 3 main rivers have been biting well, once they have been found. Looking for downstream areas of higher salinity has been where a few fish have been hanging out lately.  Customers Brendan and Phil have been doing well on nice fish into the 40cm mark fishing the Mitchell river in Bairnsdale. The best baits for targeting these bigger fish have been cut crab and freshwater yabbies. Fishing these hardier baits generally flushes out the smaller 'pickers' and leaves a solid bait intact for a bigger fish to eat. Just make sure to match your hook style and size to the bait correctly.

 

 


As of this Sunday 1st of September, Murray cod are off the table for anglers around the state - but there are still a couple of days to go! If you're fishing the early states of the weekend you still have a chance to land a ripper like customer Ivan did. Ivan was fishing over near Gunbower in the state's North-West when he landed this cracker on yabbies. The big fish went well into the metre mark and is true trophy status!

Never fear if you miss your chance this weekend as Lake Eildon is a year-round Murray cod fishery, and open for cod angling 24/7. The best part is that Eildon has been fishing very well for cod this winter, and should continue well into Spring. The key with Eildon cod is persistence and presenting large offering for these fish. Most of the large fish caught from the lake this Winter have been on big lures. If you are keen for an Eildon session come past the store and get your big lure fix and terminal tackle to suit.