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.

 


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.

 

 


Winter time is known as time to chase mulloway by many local anglers around Victoria. The fact that is these fish are chased by 'crazy' keen diehards during the coldest of winter nights all along the coast of NSW right up to the Gold Coast or so. Customer Hendrik gets up to the South West rocks region of northern NSW regularly enough to have had a good taste of what these fish are like up here. Fishing the area this week while on holiday he landed a ripper fish of 1.23m. The fish weighed 30+ lb and took a small 'mullet' sized soft plastic. The soft plastic style was a split tail minnow, which can be worked very erratically to perfectly imitate a panicked mullet.


On the subject of panicked mullet, customer Edly caught a nice bag of dusky flathead while on holiday recently. Edly was holidaying in Brisbane and caught some nice table sized fish in the Brisbane river and in the port. Edly trolled some small mullet profile hardbodies in the 80mm size range along the mudflat edges to find where the fish were sitting, and once a few were found it was a matter of honing in and fishing slower with plastics. Shad shaped plastics in the same size as the mullet were the most effective and snapped up as soon as they touched down on the bottom. While this action happened interstate not enough make the most of similar bread and butter fishing locally.

 

 


The estuary action has been pretty hot locally and further out into Gippsland. For anglers targeting bream and flathead, the fishing is pretty good at present - with some effort required to locate the fish but warm water and abundant food keeping the bite going.


Staff member Dylan fished with some mates out at Mallacoota over the weekend, and although the weather was abhorrent the fishing was worth it. With warmer water feeding from the creeks and into the shallow bays the flathead were eagerly waiting for a meal on the flats, where they were caught on fly and shallow running lures, and a handful on surface lures.


While the flathead were active, the bream fishing was also good - with around 50 fish encountered for the trip, up to 40cm. Schools of yellowfin bream were found on the shallow gravel bars and snags pushing upstream and were caught on various lures. The standout lures for the trip were the 76mm bent minnows in varied colours while bream and flathead were caught on small shrimp pattern flies as well. There were good numbers of small garfish and shrimp in the shallows so as usual matching to the profile of the bait worked very well.


Closer to home in the local Patterson river the fishing has been good. Over the past week we have had patchy rain which has given the river a flush and brought some easy food to the fish. With semi clear water conditions the bream have been easier to trick compared to during last week's clear tides. Customer Ronnie fished the river land based around the first gate to land some nice bream on scrubworms straight after the rain filtered into the system. The rain that has pushed in to the river has also attracted schools of mullet, which has in turn created some interest from the larger predators. Customer Goran caught a solid school mulloway after dark from the banks of the river during the week, so now is the time to be out there casting if you're chasing one!

 


Some of the school holiday crowd head out towards the east coast of Gippsland and into NSW over the school break. With beautiful scenery and even better fishing, there's no wonder so many Victorians head out that way. Down around Bemm river in east Gippsland customer Mark got into some lovely bream fishing the lake. The lake here will continue to heat up over the next month or so, and perfect timing with many anglers heading out this way around Cup Weekend. Mark caught most of his fish between fresh prawn and sandworm on light running sink rigs.

Around the southern NSW coastline, customer Lilong camped out and fished with some mates from the rocks and wharves of the area. With a large offshore algae bloom the fishing was slower than usual, but the guys caught plenty of couta, pike and salmon using a variety of lures. Casting slow jigs and smaller plastics accounted for most fish between Tathra, Merimbula and Eden. The squid fishing in the area has also been good, with the same wharves producing both calamari and arrow squid around last light on size 3.0 jigs.


Staff member Dylan was also situated around the south coast for a few days with a couple of rods packed. With cold water temperatures, there were plenty of silver trevally, tailor and salmon around in the estuaries. Dylan spent a bit of time studying the habits of some nice luderick in the area and tried a few methods of catching them on the fly rod. After a few days of different methods, he managed to work out their feeding habits a bit and got into some. Fishing home tied 'weed' flies to fish around 1kg on the sand flats was the best method, with a handful making their way home to the table. Among the luderick, he also caught flathead, tailor, silver trevally and salmon on fly in the local estuaries around Merimbula and Eden.


Further up the coast, customer Hendrik has been putting slabs of chrome on the rocks. Hendrik has been fishing around Southwest Rocks, and has been getting cleaned up by some mulloway. Along this part of the coast the mulloway range in size from big to huge! Using a few techniques, Hendrik has landed fish to around 1.1m. Fishing live baits of mullet and pike has been getting the attention of the fish, with scary big fish earning their freedom back in the reef also. Another popular method along this part of the coast is casting big hardbodied lures and swimbaits to likely areas where these predators hunt.

 


The recent rain has really kicked the local estuaries into gear around Melbourne. The freshwater influx has dirtied up a lot of the rivers and creeks and washed food to kick the food chain along. 

Customer Tinh has found that the bream have been feeding up heavily during rougher weather and rain.Tinh has been fishing some of the piers like Frankston and Mordialloc where the bream have feed foraging around the pylons. He has also found that freshwater yabbies have been the most successful bait for him, especially when fished on a Gamakatsu 'C10U' hook.


Around Patterson river things have started heating up. Customer Tony has found that the bream have been more active since the rain, with the fish less finicky and more inclined to bite on a variety of baits. The best baits have still been small freshwater yabbies, with Tony's last session getting him 4 very nice fish from about 8am onward. Tony also mentioned that the main river was very dirty but a bit cleaner inside the canal system. 

With all the rain that has made it's way into the local estuaries, many keen anglers are thinking one thing; Mulloway. The Autumn rainfall can see these fish pop up from seemingly nowhere and go on the chew, but it is really the concentrations of mullet schools that these fish follow. The increase of freshwater in the estuaries can condense the baitfish and give the mulloway an easy feed.

Customer Peter reports of some activity around the local mulloway haunts, with this 110cm fish caught just a few days ago. Peter has been after a metre mulloway for some time, and was stoked with this fish, which was released. The fish took freshly caught Mornington squid. 

 


The local estuaries are running quite clear at the moment and the bream fishing has been a little bit quiet, but as always the rewards are there for the anglers with a bait or lure in the water. Speaking of lures, customer Ange has really nutted out some of the local creek fish, with chunky bream to 42cm taking small shrimp imitation soft plastics. Ange has found that for these lures to work effectively they must be rigged almost unweighted and left to sink as natural as possible along any likely looking structure. 


Over the next few weeks we should find the bream activity to increase if we get some decent rain, as the influx of freshwater will flush more food into the systems and give the fish some cover from predators. The Patterson and Yarra rivers will fire up if this event occurs, and it may even bring some school mulloway into these systems.

 

The heavy rain that Melbourne experienced may have put fishing off the cards for a few days but it has breathed some life into the bay and it's estuaries. Bream, mullet and mulloway have responded well to the flush out the local systems have received. Staff member Dylan took advantage of the clearing water during the week and had an afternoon session chasing the bream on lures. After a slow start, about a dozen bream made their way into the net, with a variety of lures doing the damage. Some new hybrid wakebaits caught their fair share of fish along with soft plastics.


Dylan trialed the new 'biotough' squidgy soft plastic range and it is safe to say that they will be as deadly as the time tested standard range. A handful of nice fish scoffed the new biotough wriggler in UV bloodworm, including this 1.5kg plus model. Pop into the shop to check them out - they are a winner!


Customer Tony Conversano has also experienced some good local bream fishing during the week. Tony has been mixing up his baits to see what the fish are interested in at the time with prawn, mussel and freshwater yabbies all doing their bit. With dirty water conditions a light berley trail of 'snapper magnet' has helped dramatically, which consists of a prawn and mussel shell based scent.


The mulloway population have made their presence known after the rain also, with the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers producing some nice fish. Customer Jovan has caught fish to around 7kg using live mullet (and patience) after dark in the metro rivers.

 


Melbourne's estuaries are fishing well at present for bream and the odd mulloway for anglers using bait as well as lures. The standouts have been the Patto and Maribyrnong rivers, although fish are being caught in the Yarra and Werribee also. As we have just gotten a good bit of rain things should only improve in these estuaries, with baits like scrubworm and prawn working well. Customer Dave has been working the Patto with lures recently and has been doing ok on the bream. Dave has found Zman 2.5" grubs and Cranka Crabs the standouts recently, with the odd fish taking a hardbody also.


Customer Ryan has been fishing the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers lately and has caught some solid bream. Ryan has been fishing landbased along with in the kayak and has been averaging fish to 35cm, with a few bigger fish as well. Ryan has found that soft plastics have been the most consistent producer while small sinking hardbodies and vibes have also been getting a few.

 

 

Reports coming from Port Phillip Bay have been a bit quiet recently. There has been a run of snapper hanging around since the start of the rough 'winter' weather which has gotten a few anglers excited, but action close to home has been a bit quiet. The salmon have been showing up around some of the local piers like Frankston, Seaford and Mordi during a bit of onshore southwesterly chop. Baits of bluebait or whitebait have been good, along with small plastics and metal slugs.

Around the estuaries the bream have been touch and go with the recent rain and average weather. Baits of prawn and scrubworm have been tempting a few fish out of the Patterson River. The 'Patto' has also seen a couple of mulloway caught recently as well. Customer Ben managed 2 in a session recently using plastics, with the bigger fish measuring 80cm.

Over towards Altona customer Tony reports of some reasonable squid fishing in close, with size 3.0 jigs doing the damage. Tony also caught some nice sized flatties on strips of freshly caught squid out deep.