Well it's been a fairly slow start to the snapper season in Port Phillip Bay, as most would agree. The fish have been scattered and the bulk of the catches have been coming from the northern end of the bay between Altona deep and Brighton. Over the last week or so the fish have pushed a bit further south and the mud out off Carrum is starting to see a few more reports. As we reach the peak of the warm weather over the next week the reports should get better and better.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been following the fish around a bit and while the top of the bay around P is still producing fish, there are more and more fish between Carrum - Black Rock every day. Most of James' captures over the last few days have been in the Aspendale 14 - 18m area through to 16m off Black Rock. Pilchards are proving ever reliable.


Customer Mark has also been finding the fish out from Carrum. Mark has had fish to 5kg over the past week, with depths of 12 - 18m all holding fish. Some of these groups haven't been feeding but once you find the right patch of fish pretty soon you'll know that they're feeding. Pillies again have been the go-to.

 

 

 

 

How are these for rainbow trout! For anyone wondering about the size of the trout that roam Eildon pondage, this is what you can expect! The pondage has been producing trout like this at a fairly consistent rate recently, however customer Jozeph and his wife Margaret have just about perfected the art of catching these tricky fish. Patience, the correct berley method and lots of options amongst your powerbait colours are some of the inside tips.


 

A good fish to help tune your lure or even bait fishing abilities up while being close to home are redfin. The good thing about the 'reddies' is they're just about found in any wetland or lake around the suburbs of Melbourne, and at the moment most of the lakes are firing. The slight warmer weather has the reddies going nuts, whether you're fishing Rowville Lakes or Devilbend Reservoir. Lure choices will vary on the water you're fishing, like this slim hardbodied minnow for amongst the shallow weed through to deep sinking plastics and vibes.


James Rogers has been fishing with his son around some of his local lakes, and has found that the reddies have been taking a liking to small vibe styles lures. This Yakamito Lancet is a very good juvenile redfin imitation and most of the larger school redfin are cannibalistic so they will happily eat their own. James said small hops of this lure while close to the lake bottom got the bite just about every cast.

 


Westernport's gummy action has been consistent most of winter with school sized fish. All of the normal areas have been fishing well, with most channel edge 'highways' producing fish at the right stage of the tide. There has been plenty of salmon and trevally along the banks so using these as fresh baits are the best.

Customer Jacques fished with friend Herve last week in search of a gummy. The guys fished along the western channel edge just south of Sandy Point, and using fresh salmon they managed a nice 5kg fish. Further north around Hastings customer Justin has been catching a few similar sized gummies as well.

 

 

While the metro rivers might not be much to look at when they are flowing dirty and brown, the bream fishing can be excellent. A lot of the rain that falls around the suburbs ends up in the main rivers and then into the bay, and with the rain comes the food. Lots of small invertebrates end up washed in from the banks and the bream use this to their advantage - a free feed. Knowing that these fish will be actively pursuing food, they can be tempted into eating both baits and lures at the time of year. The Yarra itself has been producing some quality fish, along with both the Werribee and Patterson Rivers.

Customer Ryan has been fishing the docks area of the Yarra with lures and has caught some nice fish. Many of Ryan's fish have been in the high 30cm size range which are nice fish. Ryan has also found that various styles of lures have been working, such as small 'creature' style soft plastics, along with crab patterns and small vibes.


In the 'Patto' the fish have been feeding fairly actively, and customer David has been doing well on them. Fishing the structure and also some of the open sand flats, David has caught fish to just under 40cm. Shallow running hardbodies have been good, along with the ever faithful 'Zman' style single tale grubs.

 

Many of the local stocked lakes have been producing trout over the past few weeks with Karkarook, Pakenham, Emerald and Rowville all worth a shot. Fishing coarse methods (maggots and berley in short) has been the most effective way to catch one of these yearling rainbows. If you do want to learn more about ways in which you can make the most of these fisheries then pop into the store, like customer Joszef did. Joszef picked up a few coarse fishing essentials and took off, and came back to the shop about an hour later - he had already landed a couple of nice rainbows and a crucian carp from Emerald lake. 

 

Customer Jordan has also been making the most of the feisty urban lake rainbows recently. Being a 'trout-nut' and not having any rivers to fish, Jordan has been catching the rainbows on fly to keep his casting arm nice and loose. Jordan has found that small damsel or dragonfly nymph patterns have been the most effective lately. These fish will also take small lures such as bullet minnows or micro soft plastics for the spin fisherman.


 

 

There have been some nice squid of offer if you're able to find a break in the average winter weather we've had recently. Both bays have been fishing well for the calamari, the only real factors worth keeping an eye on are the wind and rain. Once the banks and shallows become stirred up and slightly cloudy the squid can be a bit of a struggle, but as soon as these areas clean up they will be back on the chew. Customer Justin got a few nice ones out in Westernport just recently, with the 'nemo' coloured jigs working the best up on the shallow banks. The area around Hastings produced the goods for him. 


Port Phillip has seen it's share of nice squid as well, from the top end around Brighton right the way down to Portsea. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been getting some large squid around Sorrento and Portsea with many over 1kg. Small but fast sinking jigs have been doing well when fished during the faster stages of the tide. Staff member Dylan fished out from Mornington during the last calm spell in search on some squid using fly gear. Armed with just one fly outfit and a handful of flies that he tied up, he found small patches of squid along the rocky drop offs just out from the shoreline. While there were no monsters caught or bag limit quantities, catching them on fly tackle proved to be a fair bit of fun in itself.

 

Even though this time of year isn't really known as being the most productive time of year to target Murray cod, they can still be caught if you're willing to brave the cold and put in the time. During the cooler months of the year Murray cod cod generally slow their metabolism down and don't actively hunt as much, but they can still be caught. Between the lure vs bait debate, lures come into their own for triggering a strike from a cod during cooler weather. Even though they might not actually want to hunt for food, by repeatedly casting or running a lure over a likely looking snag you can tap into the cod's 'territorial' nature - whereas they are virtually annoyed into striking the lure.

Staff member Ian took his kayak up to Eildon just recently in search of a big winter cod. Ian spent a bit of time looking for likely cod water and then strategically worked these areas over to be sure he maximized his chances. After a long day on the water, Ian managed to land a 93cm 'barrel' cod from around the Frasers area. Ian landed the fish on a size 1 Stumpjumper in a redfin pattern.


Customer Ivan also had a taste of Eildon native fishing recently. Ivan caught this nice little cod from the timber in the background on a purple Yakamito lure. Fish of this size are very common to catch in the lake this days, and will only get bigger with plenty of prey items available for them. 

 


Melbourne's local freshwater fishing has been good over the past month, as we've finally gotten some rain! Many of the creeks have been running low, and the water storage dams have also been down on capacity. We have however started t o get some of our winter rain which has breathed a bit of life back into the system, and in the annual timeline of a trout - prompted them to start their spawn run. Many of the larger rivers around the region have seen congregations of fish pushing their way up to their spawning grounds. While these fish at times can be annoyingly frustrating to try and catch, they will swat a precisely placed lure on their way up river.


Many of the trout rivers within 2 hours drive from the CBD have been producing fish of late as well. The Goulburn river has been running at a low environmental level which if anything has concentrated the fish a bit more. Rainbows to around 800g have been the norm for bait, lure and fly anglers lately. The smaller streams such as Rubicon, Acheron and also the Yarra have been producing fish for all methods too. Straight after a solid downpour a small bunch of scrubbies or troutworms drifted down river is a pretty good way to go. For the lure angler, hardbodies in the 60mm size range are perfect, with high flash golds and aggressive colour schemes working well. Just a reminder that the 2016 trout season closes at midnight on Monday 13th June, up until midnight Friday 2nd September. Trout can still be taken in designated 'sea run' streams and lakes, with all details being found through the following link:

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-guide/catch-limits-and-closed-seasons/freshwater-scale-fish/rainbow-trout/trout-and-salmon-regulations




 


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.