While the weather here in Melbourne has been nothing short of atrocious of late, don't let it deter you as there as some SERIOUS Murray cod to be caught into the depths of winter - with the real focus coming from the large impoundments like Eildon.


Customer George came in to the store last week before heading up to Lake Eildon with one thing on his mind, big cod. George fished with a mate where they put in cast after cast, and their efforts were rewarded. Lake Eildon cod don't come easy generally and the boys had a ripper session where they boated 3 fish from 50cm through to a monster at 1.03m. The boys battled the cold conditions and relentlessly threw around big lures, and really came up trumps. Another 3 bites were had but not kept on the hook, with a mixture of lures working, at various times throughout the day and at different locations on the lake.  


The Zerek Stalker wakebait was a successful lure, landing 2 of the 3 fish when slowly knocked along the surface. The other fish and bites came on slow rolled soft plastic swimbaits like the daiwa live trout.


Another angler fishing the lake was customer Thomas. Thomas knows the lake well and knows that to catch cod here you simply have to spend the time out there casting, and have various lure setups to change up when the location changes. Thomas had a couple of bites from the lake over the weekend and manged to pin a healthy fish somewhere in the 80cm on a soft plastic swimbait. The successful lure being the Megabass magdraft with a few hook and weight modifications.


A bit further afield but using the same theory and fishing similar water angler Terry has been nailing some lunker cod. Terry has been fishing Lake Burrinjuck out near Canberra. Targeting the same sort of structure in these lakes has been a sure fire way to head in the right direction, targeting the large cod that are cruising out for food. Terry has also been fishing low light and slowly working a big swimbait along these areas has caught some ripper fish of late.

 


Customer Paul had a leisurely fish up at Mulwala in his kayak for some exploring and in search of a cod or two. Conditions were good and made for enjoyable kayak fishing. Paul did some good recon work for future trips and managed a nice little cod on a spinnerbait. Paul ran the spinnerbait along side a fallen laydown up on a shallow flat and the fish came out and clobbered it. Paul found the channels and flats around the Kiffins area the best.


Young gun Aliff has been fishing both locally and also up around the Eildon region and has been catching some nice redfin of late. Aliff has been using his new lightweight LT RG spin set up with both soft plastics and slow sinking hard bodies to land the fish, with about equal results coming from each. Natural minnow colours in the hardbodies have been the most effective, while small 'creature' soft plastics have been excellent as well.


Customer Angelo and mate Tony normally fish the salt but decided to venture into the fresh recently and explore. The guys hit up the Eildon region and scoped a few areas, and ended up fishing the Goulburn near Thornton. While it was a learning curve for the boys, Tony walked away the victor, landing a nice little rainbow trout from the river on a 7g tassie devil. The river was reasonably high when Angelo and Tony visited which makes it hard, but is at ideal fishing level at present.


A bit further field in the high country customer Anel has been chasing spawn run brown trout up in the Kosciusko high plains. Anel has been fishing with mate Sam and between them they have been catching around 30 fish a day. While no real big fish have been moving up, most of the fish have been a respectable 2 - 3lb.


The most productive lures for the boys have been mostly high end Japanese trout lures including Bassday, Duo and Daiwa. The Daiwa double clutches have been a firm favourite when unsure of a starting lure, with the new trout patterns proving deadly. The next big onslaught of rain in the high country should see more fish moving up the rivers.

 


The south coast of NSW is normally transformed into a bustling hype of activity around this time of year, with the tail end of school holidays and also fishing crowds alike. The bluewater scene is very popular and at present is producing some nice marlin from the NSW/VIC border up past Bermagui. Customer Filip fished the south coast just last week to land a lovely striped marlin of 120kg. 

Customer Sean also fished up along the NSW south coast with some mates in search of a marlin. Over a 3 day period the guys landed 3 striped marlin to around 120kg, with a mixture of techniques working well. Trolled skirted lures and live slimey mackerel were the best performers for the guys.

For the anglers heading up to the region there have also been good numbers of dolphinfish caught out from Tathra and Bermagui. Most of these fish have been caught either trolling small skirts or casting mini tuna stickbaits and plastics.

 


 


 


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.

 


Trout activity in the lakes and rivers around the state is starting to heat up, as many of the larger resident fish prepare for their winter spawn. What does this mean for anglers? Well, the chance at some larger than average fish and from some pretty small water at times. These big fish can either be spooky, super aggressive or completely not interested depending on which day you get them on, but the main thing that they all seem to be driving by is the rain.

The next couple of big rain bands we're due for around the region will get the fish fired up and pushing up river. If the water in your local river rises and discolours slightly then these fish are worth a shot to catch. If you normal trout offerings aren't doing the job, try either a larger more aggressive style of lure - either soft plastic or hardbody, or drifting some egg pattern flies and nymphs past them. If you're not quite sure how to set up for this speak to the guys in store and they will explain the technique to you and show you what you'll need.


Up around the Eildon region customer Zoran has had some good trout fishing in mild Autumn conditions. Zoran has well and truly adopted the 'pre-spawn' techniques for catching solid trout - both on lures and flies. Recently Zoran has seen some nice brook trout from the Rubicon River along with some nice browns from the Goulburn. With the Goulburn running at around 2000Mgl at present, it will only get easier for anglers to fish from now until the season close. Larger, bright coloured hardbodies work in the river when the spawning fish are moving and can trigger a real 'crunching' response from some super solid fish.


Customer Anel has been for a trip up into the NSW Snowy Mountains with some of his trout fishing mates, where the brown trout have just started to trickle through on their upstream spawning movements. Anel and the boys have had some good fishing with fish to around 5lb hitting the lures. With water levels still relatively low in the rivers in the region the fish have been spooky and sporadic in numbers, but some heavy wet weather due over the next few days should get them fired up. Anel has been trying out some specialist trout lures new to the shop, and so far they have been working excellent!

 


The natives such as Murray cod and yellowbelly have really been fishing well of late. The cooler weather has started some activity from the larger fish also. Many of the main lakes have been fishing well including Mulwala and Eildon. Customer Mario fishes for cod and yellowbelly regularly up around Cohuna on the Murray, however he fished lake Mulwala just recently for some nice fish. Mario did a bit of bait fishing and caught yellowbelly to 51cm using fresh shrimp fished around the willows.


Trolling stumpjumpers Mario also caught Murray cod to 57cm. Most anglers know of the popularity of stumpjumpers, with their tight sway and highly buoyant nature ideal for slowly knocking through timber to wake up the fish.


Customer Hendrik also fished around Mulwala just last week where he had some great cod fishing. Hendrik spent his time casting surface and subsurface lures around the timber in search of that big cod, with one he thinks may have been the 'metery' coming up for a look. Amongst this inquiry Hendrik caught and released a heap of smaller fish to around 60cm, with wakebait style lures proving to be the most effective and enjoyable. The Jackall 'chanwake' was his favourite, with prop tail and loud knocking internal ball calling the fish in.

Customer Clark fished Mulwala also just recently to land some quality fish. Clark fished with mates and found both cod and yellowbelly of excellent size. Clark is a proficient lure caster and found that constant lure changes were needed to get some activity happening.

Good size yellowbelly have been active in Mulwala as the water temperature has started dropping, with slightly smaller lures such as 3/8oz spinnerbaits and Jackall 'TN' style lures working very well.


Back at Eildon, there have been some quality cod caught but it's still a persistent man's game. Water levels in the lake are around 55% and there are some good fishable banks and the moment, with plenty of excellent structure exposed and waiting for a slight increase in water level. Staff members Dylan and George fished the lake during the week for a very quiet session, but did have a few inquiries from lethargic fish. 

Customer Michael also fished the lake recently but had better success. Michael fished the Big River area of the lake and landed 2 lovely Murray cod to 76cm using spinnerbaits. Michael was slow trolling these spinnerbaits along the timbered edges when he caught these fish. If you're going to troll lures such as spinnerbaits, be sure to troll them as SLOW as possible, as trolling them too fast will see them roll and blow out, and twist your line.

 

While there haven't been too many reports posted on the kingfish front, there are still some numbers of good fish around. The rip is still holding fish, with some larger fish making their presence felt to anglers still out chasing them. The offshore fishing around Eden has been very good for the kingfish, and if conditions are similar to last year the fish could still hang around for another 6 weeks or so.


Gawaine Blake took a trip up to Eden over the Easter break in search of a few kingies, and he wasn't disappointed. Gawaine purchased a new Shimano Tranx 301 reel to try on these fish, and knocked them over with it easily. The Tranx is a 'low profile' style baitcaster but with serious grunt! Gawaine found most of the fish out along Mowarry Point and jigging was by far the most effective method on these fish, with some nice fish also caught on 2oz weighted soft plastics fished around the reef. Most of the fish that were caught were in the 10 - 13kg mark, which are excellent sized fish.

 

It seems that many people have been fishing the inland rivers and lakes over the Easter break, with a few reports from various locations around the state coming through. The Autumn months can fish very well for both Murray cod and yellowbelly, though many people only associate these fish with the warm Summer months. Customer Jacques was up along the Goulburn River just recently where he did a spot of casual bait fishing. Jacques normally fishes the salt out in the bays and offshore, but managed to catch a few small Murray cod and trout cod in the river. Jacques released all of his fish safely back into the river for someone else to catch.


Customer Emilio has also been catching a few cod. Emilio has been fishing the Murray itself, around Cohuna. Emilio has been getting out on the water early, and suggests to start your fishing around 6am as these cod are most active around then. Emilio has been switching between bardi grubs and also freshwater yabbies to catch his fish, with a small amount of berley helping to get the activity started.


Not too far down the river, customer Long and mates have been catching Murray cod also. Long has been fishing the river around Echuca in a small tinny to land cod up to 65cm. Long has been fishing the dense snag piles using bardi grubs as bait for most of his fish.


Back towards Mulwala the lake has been fishing well. While the Easter ski and wake crowds have been tough to get around during the heat of the day, the fishing around low light has been good. There have been numerous cod over 1m caught by anglers casting swimbaits and surface lures around, although this fishing isn't for the easily bored. It can take 500 casts in a session to strike gold on these fish, and sometimes after all this casting you may not land a fish.

Staff member Dylan tangled with monster cod over the Easter weekend at Mulwala, only to have it earn it's freedom early as it broke 80lb leader on the snags. The big fish ate a big lure (25cm long) so it pays to go big when looking for a big cod! 

Customer Long also managed a fish in around the Bundalong section of the lake to land some nice yellowbelly to around 2kg on medium sized freshwater yabbies.


Staff member Dylan and mate Daniel took a long drive over the Easter weekend up to northern NSW in search of big cod at Copeton dam. While the Easter crowds were crazy with jetskiis, wakeboats and family cruisers all over the place, the guys worked a lot of the lake in search of a fish. Daniel managed a nice yellowbelly on a swimbait slow rolled around a pile of submerged rocks which at least got them off the board.

 

 

As we enter Autumn the trout fishing around the region will pick up, as many fish will start to feed up and condition themselves for the spawn season ahead in Winter. During this build up the fish can be more aggressive towards other fish, and larger lure offerings can provoke reaction strikes. This applies for all trout water, whether you fish the Latrobe around Noojee or way up the high country.

Customer Anel fished up in the NSW Snowy mountains last week with some of his mates in search of some clear water alpine trout before the crowds start making their way up. Anel and the boys fished a few different rivers after topping up some favourite lures at the shop. The boys didn't get to fish all the waterways that they wouldv'e liked but still got into some nice fish, with plenty of stocky rainbows eager to crunch the lures.


Rod from Compleat Angler Wagga reports that up in the Snowy mountains region the Tumut river is fishing well. The Tumut fishes similar to the Goulburn with higher water levels proving good fishing. The river is producing some lovely rainbow trout at present with the newly released 'trout spoon' from Yakamito proving to be dynamite.


The trout spoons are already proving to be a large river and lake trout killer with their erratic 'injured fish' wobble and flash. Plenty of colour options to keep all happy with natural 'trout' patterns along with bright attractor colours to fire up lethargic fish.

 


The natives have been fishing well over recent weeks, with many holidaying anglers getting amongst the Murray cod and yellowbelly, from Nagambie on the Goulburn right up to the Murray around Barmah. Young guns Jayden and Lester fished with their dad up at Bonnie Doon recently where they landed 5 nice chunky yellowbelly. The most productive method was fishing a small freshwater yabby on a paternoster rig, with 2/0 'shiner' style hook the best choice.


Customer Steve was fishing up around Eildon just recently where he landed this ripper Murray cod on an Icon spinnerbait. The cod measured 84cm and was in excellent condition.


Customer Andy has been up on Lake Mulwala again recently where he loves to target the cod. Andy has found the fishing a bit slower of late, with water traffic probably a bit factor. Andy has still been getting a few smaller cod like this one later during the day and into the evening on surface lures, with this purple 'cod cracker' one of his favourites.


Customer Steve has been fishing further along the Murray near Barmah, where the fishing has been patchy. Steve recently caught a few nice silver perch like this by bobbing live shrimp around the snags. Steve has been catching the shrimp in bait traps along the edges of the river, with gum leaves or aniseed scent attracting the shrimp in.


Customer Chris has recently come back from holidaying along the Goulburn River at Nagambie. Chris sent us these photos of his sons Flynn and Atticus both with their first ever Murray cod caught just downstream of Nagambie. Both the boys are well and truly hooked on fishing and are well aware of catch and 'live to fight another day' fishing.