With the Murray cod season opening in less than 2 weeks, now is the time to stock up and get yourself prepared! Make sure to check over all of your lures, hooks, leader and terminal gear along with your rod guides and main lines. You don't want to lose that trophy fish through something that could have been prevented!

Murray cod season looks to be a good season this year with river levels slightly down and clearer at the moment. Most of the main lakes such as Eildon, Mulwala and Nillahcootie are looking good also. Customer Kevin fished a mate's dam just recently where there were rumored to be a couple of decent cod, and he found out exactly what sort of cod were in there! Kevin's fish ate a small Jitterbug surface paddler.

 

 

The late run of southern bluefin tuna along the Vic west coast has been good, the only real issue has been getting a break in the weather. For many trailerboat fisherman who have managed to sneak a good weather day in here and there, the fishing has been good. Good numbers of bluefin have been found from Portland back to Warnambool, with fish spread out right out to the shelf. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting customers on to fish from depths as shallow as 30m out from Port Fairy. James has said that while there has been a bit of work locating the fish they have been in big schools once they have been found, and James has been getting hook ups of up to 8 fish at a shot off these schools.


Smaller lures have been the way to go on these fish lately, with skirts in the 4 - 6" size being the most effective, especially in brighter colours such a pinks and greens. Further afield there have still been a few bluefin pushing along the southern NSW coast. Customer Aaron fished wide out from Bermagui just recently to land this nice fish of 55kg.

 


While some sections of the Murray river have been affected by blue green algae, this hasn't stopped the fish from biting. The section down stream from Yarrawonga is the worst affected at present, with a small amount still affecting upstream from Yarrawonga towards Corrowa. To prove that the algae hasn't made fishing pointless, customer Mario fished the section of river from Corrowa down towards Bundalong - where he caught around 60 cod in 5 days. A lot of the fish were in the 40 - 60cm size range, with a few like this 80cm fish taking lures also. Trolled stumpjumpers and cast spinnerbaits did most of the damage.


Staff member Dylan has also been caught a few cod recently. Dylan has been fishing the section of water around Bundalong and has caught fish to around 75cm on surface lures during the afternoon. Customer Travis also fished for the cod recently and managed his first one which he was rapt with.


Not to be outdone, the golden perch have been quite active in the Murray around Mulwala recently. Dropping water temperatures have kicked them into gear and had them feeding actively, with staff member Dylan and mates catching a few nice ones over the Anzac weekend. The goldens have been hitting 3/8th and 1/2oz spinnerbaits along large bankside snags, with purples, whites and red skirt colours being the standout colours recently. These fish should be reasonably active over the next month and then slow off as the water gets substantially cooler towards June.

 

For the holiday makers heading to any of the states' northern impoundments, the native fish are about as active as they will get over the summer months. Water temperatures in all but the coldest regions have warmed dramatically and this has sent species like Murray cod, yellowbelly and bass into overdrive.

Customers Jordan and Jinsu have done some work on the yellowbelly in recent weeks, and have caught fish to around 45cm in length. While yellas can take a bit of searching to find where they are holed up, normally once one is caught there is a good chance that a few more will be close by. Jordan and Jinsu found small profile vibes like the Daiwa 47S to be effective when hopped around likely rock ledges and fallen timber.

Customer Zoran also chased the yellas up towards Eildon with a mate and found some nice fish. Using modern sounder technology, the yellowbelly were able to be pinpointed and targeted using small plastics around fallen timber. Most of the fish were in the 45 - 55cm range which are chunky little fish.

The next couple of months should see the yellowbelly plateau off somewhat, with themselves and Murray cod still a good option for summer freshwater fisherman.  

 

 

The tuna season down along the west coast has wound to a close for most anglers and many have turned their attention to the run of larger bluefin tuna off the southern coast of NSW. While the 30 - 70kg average size of these fish is much larger, the fish are also a lot further out. Some anglers are venturing up to 80km offshore to tangle with these fish. Trolling skirts and hardbodies has been an effective method of locating a patch of fish - then starting a pilchard cube berley trail has been the best way to keep them hanging around.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has still been giving the west coat a run and he has been catching plenty of tuna with customers, without too much of the crowds. James has found lots of school fish to 15kg fish moving around the 40 - 50m line out from Portland, Port Fairy and Warnambool. Hardbodied lures have been working better for James recently, with Rapala XRAP 20's doing well and the new Samaki Pacemakers also doing a very good job. Natural colours like pilchard, saury and redbait patterns have been much more effective than brighter colours in the shallower water also.

 

 

The high country and snowy mountains region has been producing some nice trout for anglers persisting the cold and bitter weather. The surrounding areas of Jindabyne and Eucumbene have been producing spawn runs of brown trout making their way up the rivers. Staff member Ian fished with mates Claude and Nick recently in search of a few quality brown trout. Ian fished a tandem fly rig on spin gear, working it through likely runs and pools to land some nice brown trout.

Customers Zoran and Johnny also fished the same technique in the same sorts of areas to land some cracking brown trout, with some of the larger fish weighing nearly 7lb. 

Staff member Dylan also took the trek up to the snowies with mates in search of a few quality trout on lure and fly. Fishing various larger hardbodies like Rapala F series, Dylan caught trout to around 5lb working lures aggressively around deep runs and ledges. Casting tandem fly rigs with added weight off a 5 weight fly rod was tricky in the stiff breeze but Dylan also caught fish around the 5lb mark using this method.



Dylan and mates also fished some smaller water away from the crazy crowds in search of some fun on the 3 weight creek outfits. After a bit of walking and a lot of fish spooking the guys caught some nicely coloured small creek trout and also missed some much larger fish in the 4 - 5lb size. Small tungsten bead headed nymphs fished under a NZ yarn Strike Indicator were effective on the smaller creek fish.

 

 

This time of the year coming into winter can be the best time to specifically target large Murray cod. Many of the larger fish feed up heavily before going into a spawning aggregation in late winter. Smaller fish can also be caught during this time, but the largest fish seem to be as active as ever. Fishing deeper sections of the rivers and lakes can also be a very good way of connecting with a big fish, as this deeper water remains at a more stable temperature and the fish move about happily. Places like Eildon are worth a shot at the moment, along with deeper river channel sections of Mulwala and the Murray.

Customer recently fished the Murray river up near Tocumwal in search of a big cod. He was persistent with casting lures from a drifting boat and managed to nail this awesome fish on a black and red skirted spinnerbait below the bridge section near town. A cracking fish around the metre mark, not a bad way to spend a winter's day.

 

 

Just prior to Easter, the South coast of NSW experienced a hot marlin bite from Eden all the way through to just South of Sydney. Customers Anton and Justin fished the Alliance tag and release tournament at Bermagui recently - where the boys tagged some solid striped marlin. Justin caught his first marlin on a lumo Topgun skirt and 15kg. Customer Ben also fished out from Bermagui recently to land a nice striped marlin of around 80kg on a live slimey mackerel.

A bit further away customer Peter was fishing offshore from Yamba in far Northern NSW when he landed this nice cobia of around 8kg. Peter caught the fish on an unweighted pilchard on wire trace intended for mackerel, and fought it for 30min before it gave up. Customer Kevin from the Noble Park Angling Club sent in a picture of a nice Golden trevally he caught when was in Broome last. Kevin caught the 16kg fish on squid on a local charter.

A little closer to home, the Eastern estuaries are fishing well at the moment. Customers Terry and Peter recently fished around Merimbula with baits and lures. Tailor to 4lb were chopping at lures of all sorts in Merimbula lake, along with some nice silver trevally. Peter caught this thumping yellowfin bream in the lake also on a small piece of striped tuna fished around the weedbeds. Customer Andrew was down at Lakes Entrance over the Easter break and he took some time to fish the local lakes and also chase prawns as well. Andrew and a mate had a blast catching prawns, and between them they managed about 8kg of quality prawns, along with some sand crabs.

 

 

While there are plenty of kingfish being caught in local waters, reports one end of the state to the other have been of yellow-tailed missiles along inshore headlands and reef systems. Customer Tony did a quick trip down West with a couple of mates in search of a few inshore kingies on baits and artificials. Tony managed to catch a few around some of the shallow bay structure mixed in with couta and pinkies. Out a little bit deeper from Portland there have also been patches of Southern Bluefin Tuna hanging around large bait schools, with most of the fish being quality school fish in the 15 - 22kg mark. These fish have responded to jigs, poppers, stickbaits and also the odd trolled lure.

Customer Romelo spent a few days up along the southern coastline of NSW at Eden with some mates. The guys fished wide where they experienced a marlin bite but didn't manage to land them, then went back in close to target kingies around the headlands and points. Romelo managed to catch a few school sized fish in amongst a thick school of pinkies, with most of the kingies around the 70cm mark. It was Romelo's first tangle with a kingfish and he is now hooked on fishing for them!

 

 

For anglers hot on the game fishing scene, the Summer run of striped marlin along the south coast of NSW has been good again this year. The fish seem to be good from around Eden/Merimbula north to Bateman's Bay. Customers Andrew and Steve fished out from Bermagui just last week in search of these fish and they weren't disappointed. In a short 2 day trip the boys hooked up to 2 marlin, one which was lost after a 45 minute fight and estimated 100kg+ and another one boated at around 50kg. A few more fish were raised on lures but no more strikes, but during their stay they heard of over 20 fish tagged and released. The marlin fishing in the area has been exceptional, with fish seen free swimming and also herding baitballs around as well.

Staff member Dylan spent the weekend just north of Sydney last week, and although not a fishing trip some fishing was still done, surprise surprise.....Dylan took some mates out collecting prawns near the entrance and plenty of small prawns in the 4 inch size were caught. In a short hour session fishing a small entrance channel Dylan caught dusky flathead to 68cm, along with yellowfin bream and also tarwhine. The new Squidgy 'paddle prawn' pattern was dynamite when worked along the channel edges and drop offs.