The freshwater reports have been overshadowed a bit by snapper but there has been a bit on offer in the sweet water. Murray cod season has just opened up and is looking good for the Summer ahead, there have been yellowbelly and redfin caught locally and the trout fishing has been excellent still.

Eildon pondage has again been the standout if you're chasing a couple of nice trout and not fussed on either lure or bait fishing. Customer Zoran has been fishing the pondage and has been catching fish to around 2kg on a mixture of dough and powerbait. Long rods fished with mono have been the go in setting the hook on subtle bites and pickups where shorter rods simply can't.


Eildon pondage received a top up of ex brood fish averaging 4kg last Thursday, with plans for another top up before Christmas, so it is well worth a trip up. Customer Jozef helped release some of the fish into the pondage which has baited him to get back up and try to catch them. Jozef did witness some large fish caught on small hardbodies as they cruised through the shallows as they hunted for small minnows and insects. Having a spin rod rigged with a small hardbody or plastic is a good idea while you're bait fishing.


A bit further north many anglers tried their luck fishing for cod over the opening weekend. Mulwala had a large field of anglers for the Cod Classic, with some lovely fish to over a metre caught. Customers Shane and Sue Brown fished the busy lake over the weekend with tough fishing but did manage a couple of small cod casting spinnerbaits at the timber.


Customer Steve also tried his luck for the first time on the cod, fishing the Murray up around Cobram. Steve and mate Ev camped in the area and tried a few techniques on the cod, with Ev landing a 57cm fish on a large yabby. Steve tried out some lures he purchased in store and nailed a nice 60cm fish on a spinnerbait. Steve has since purchased a baitcasting outfit to get into them even more.


Reports from Sugarloaf reservoir around Mebourne's outskirts is that it has been fishing well for yellowbelly. The dam is normally reasonably quiet for anglers but can be a good spot for a walk around the shoreline casting lures. Of late the yellowbelly have been active, with warm water bringing the fish on to the edges to look for food. Customer Ryan has been catching fish to around 40cm on a mixture of vibes and soft plastics. The vibes have been a fast way to 'search' the banks for a school of fish, while the weedless rigged soft plastics can be fished back slowly and thoroughly to make the most of the patch of fish.

 


Blue Rock Lake has started to warm up for fishing, especially if you're chasing the bass. The water level of the dam is around 2m lower than normal and reveals lots of partially submerged structure - so be mindful when navigating the lake. The bass and redfin have been biting fairly well along the shorelines and through the standing timber, with both bait and lures working well.

Customer George landed a few fish to around 30cm last week in the boat. George was fishing close to the vertical timber and using freshwater yabbies for bait.


Staff member Dylan has been fishing the lake over the last few weeks and while no monsters have been encountered there have been a few fish about. With  water clarity down on normal visibility darker coloured lures and strong silhouettes have been more effective than natural patterns. Small swimbaits and wakebaits have been catching the lion's share, with odd fish taking a crankbait fished deep through the timber. Some of the Megabass range has been the standout, with the Shading-X and Vibe-X Vattalion both working well.

 


With some warm weather coming through the freshwater reports haven't been as thick - as many stream trout anglers stay away from some of the snake infested rivers. But there has still been on offer if you are out and about! Down at Blue Rock Lake the redfin and bass have been getting caught by angler casting lures. Most of the redfin have been in the 25cm size range with big numbers moving about in the bays and coves. Many of the bass have also been on the small size but there are some big fish in there for those persistent enough. Customer Jordan has been catching a few on deep diving crankbaits along the edges of the timber with lures like the Daiwa Spike and Yakamito Devil Edge both working well.


Staff member Dylan has also been catching some fish to around 30cm size range in the lake, with small swimbaits and crankbaits working the best. The new Megabass Vibration-X Vattalion has been a very good addition to the box for this area, as the fish have really been hitting it.


The yellowbelly have been fishing well in most of the dams and impoundments around the state, with Lake Eildon producing some nice sized fish. The fish can be tricky to locate in such a big waterway but once they are found normally you can catch a couple. Fishing the vertical timber with plastics has been a good method on sounded schools, along with casting and trolling crankbaits on the rocky edges. Customer Jason has been catching some solid fish to 55cm on hardbodies from the shores of the lake over the week.


Among the yellowbelly some good sized redfin have been getting in the act. Fishing a bit larger lure has been one method of catching slightly bigger fish than normal, with small lures simply getting pestered by fry sized fish. The larger fish are happy to eat a bigger lure and you may catch a yellowbelly or two by upsizing lure.


Around the pondage there have still been some quality trout being caught, especially early during the day. The low light bite has been good for both lure and bait fishers here. Customer Frank has been landing some nice trout of both species on both methods, with coarse feeder fishing one method, and casting 13g Tassie Devils in colour 55 his other successful method.


Young angler Flynn fished down at Karkarook after coming into the store with his dad, and caught his first trout. Using the suggested dough and feeder cage rig suggested by the guys in store was the successful method. The locally stocked lakes can be quite productive at this time of year if you pay attention to the small details in rigging and fishing methods.


 


Eildon pondage has been a good area to escape the winter weather providing you're dressed to suit the conditions! Some large trout have been caught in the pondage, with most on dough style baits. Customer Jozef and his wife Margaret fish the pondage regularly and caught some very nice rainbow trout last week. Jozef caught a lovely rainbow using trout dough Margaret caught a larger one on powerbait! Both of the fish were exceptional but Margaret takes the cake this time around!


Lakes such as Rowville and Karkarook have been fishing reasonably well considering the weather. Keen angler Tommy has been catching redfin around the reed stand edges on small shallow running hardbodies such as the Hawk 'sniper'. Small minnow imitating lures do well over the cooler months as the baitfish school up and provide an easy meal for the redfin and trout. Karkarook and Rowville have both been fishing well with trout dough and powerbait techniques as this will generally see you catch more trout than redfin. 

 


While the stream ans river trout season has closed up for 2018 there have been some nice fish caught, and the lakes both local and out of town are producing trout. During his last session on the Goulburn before close customer Dennis had some excellent fishing. Dennis managed a few smaller trout while spinning bladed lures in the river but the cherry on top was a lovely big rainbow on fly that weighed 1.5kg. Dennis managed the rainbow on a small dry fly on the edge of a fast run just behind Thornton.

The Eildon pondage has been worth a fish for many anglers, with some large brood stock fish just recently released. Store owner Glenys was up along the pondage over the weekend with friend Greg where a few fish were caught. Greg and Glenys caught trout from the Bourke Street end of the pondage on both bait and lure. The smaller rainbows took a liking to only the 'chunky cheese' powerbait amongst all other flavours, and the Yakamito trout spoons also worked well when cast and worked back on a slow retrieve.


A bit closer to the suburbs the local stocked lakes have been fishing well for many. Customer Nathan was fishing Devilbend just recently where he caught a mixture of both brown and rainbow trout using Yakamito trout spoons. Nathan has been casting them long and wide from the first jetty, and letting them sink down a bit before starting a medium paced wind.


Customer Tommy has just recently gotten back into freshwater fishing, and has been super keen to get out there after purchasing a new light lure casting outfit. Tommy has been honing his lure skills at local lakes Devilbend and Karkarook with good results. From Devilbend Tommy has been catching some nice trout and redfin on soft plastics, with small paddletails like the Zman slim swim the most effective, while the redfin are in very good numbers at Karkarook. The same soft plastics along with small blades and vibes have been doing the job when very slowly moved along the bottom.

 

While a lot of anglers wouldn't think it, many 'swamps' in and around the outer metro suburbs can produce an array of fish, if you know how to look for them. In any given system you can catch redfin, rainbow trout, brown trout, carp, roach, tench, eels, blackfish, silver perch, yellowbelly and murray cod. Not all locations hold these fish, but some most certainly do. The main culprits you'll come across are of course carp, redfin and eels - especially if you're bait fishing.

In a local wetland customer Daniel has been throwing the newest Aussie colour 'bent minnows' to attract the attention of some XL redfin. Daniel has been catching some chunky fish, with 40cm+ the norm in some systems. Because of the reeds and shallow weed Daniel has been fishing the shallow surface lures and spending less time fouled up and more time hooked up!


A typical series of 'wetland' or swamp lakes is somewhere like Berwick Springs. Now anyone can simply open up their default mapping app on phone, or a melways if you're old school and find these sort of locations. Many are overlooked because of their proximity to housing estates or 'un-glamorous' look, but virtually all of them will hold freshwater fish of some sort. With many interconnected lakes and drains, Berwick Springs is a large habitat for these fish to move around in, and plenty of vegetation to support food for these fish. With carp to over 10kg in here, some of these systems can hold some serious fish!


Speaking of carp, customer Jordan has been catching school sized fish on the fly rod in these sorts of lakes. Jordan knows that there carp in almost all of them, and they are a very good fish to hone your lure and fly fishing skills on. Jordan has found plenty of carp sunning themselves and cruising just under the surface in search of food, and a well executed cast and presentation of fly has gotten the interest of a few. If you're more a bait fisherman then these fish will still test your skills - but you certainly need to rig and gear up for them accordingly. No 4/0 snapper hooks and heavy lines here, most of the time fishing without any finesse will see you go home without a bite. If you're interested in fine tuning your fishing on these readily available species talk to the guys in the shop to make sure you're gearing up correctly, and giving yourself a good chance at catching something.

 

We're really heading into trout time! The cooler weather and water means that the streams and lakes have been a bit more active over the last few weeks, even if water levels are lower and clearer than normal. If we get some decent rain draining into the rivers over the next month things will be even better as the larger fish move to spawn.

Customer Luke from Ace Adventures donned the waders and fished some of the small water above Noojee with a mate recently. Luke found there were plenty of fish willing to take a swipe at a well presented lure, with around 25cm being about the norm.


Customer Brendan also enjoys his trout fishing and more so stream trout fishing. Brendan has also been fishing the Noojee area, with the Latrobe, Toorongo and Loch rivers all getting a look at. Brendan found that small shallow running 'jerkbait' style hardbodies were the most effective, especially in foil sided flashy gold and natural colours. For most of these smaller rivers this style of lure is an ideal starting point as it won't dive too deep and snag up, and will also hold quite well in faster water. Using an 'aggressive-natural-neutral' colour range you will normally be able to find a lure that will get you the results on the day.


Brendan found the fishing really hotted up just before dark as there was a hatch of small caddis which really got the trout aggressive. The period just pre-dusk can see fish become active is holes and pools that you may have already fished with no result, so it pays to hang around sometimes and see just how many fish are in the deeper sections. If you're a keen fly caster, this period is when you will enjoy some success using larger dry flies up to size 10 or 8, especially in a 'stimulator' or 'elk hair caddis' pattern.


Just over the range, Eildon has still been producing fish from the pondage using coarse style methods, with the odd fish taking a long-cast spoon or hardbody from the banks. The weir itself is sitting at around 55% at the moment and has been rather slow on the trout front, with the normal response from anglers searching for trout being "Yeah a few small ones". Most of the fish being caught at the moment are coming from the main arm, from Eildon boat harbour through to just inside Big River inlet. Flat-lined tassie devils are definitely a good option to carry, with a larger 'spawning trout' pattern hardbody set a few metres down also giving you the chance at annoying a larger fish on it's way to spawn.

Customer Sam entered the Eildon Fishing Competition last week and didn't do too bad. Sam was fishing the main lake casually chasing the trout and he ended up with a couple of nice fish. Trolling lures around the timbered edge found browns to around 40cm for Sam, with assist hook rigged flatlined spoons and tassies doing the damage.  

 

The western crater lakes and surrounding waterways have been fishing well of late with a good number of people interested in Bullen Merri in particular, which has been fishing well for the chinook salmon and trout. Many anglers catch both fish on various trolling methods, generally with the use of a downrigger as the lake is very deep. Fishing around the thermocline can produce good results along with actively searching for bait schools.


Friend of the shop John 'Mr Jinkai' has been out in the crater lakes recently where trout and salmon have been caught. John's most recent trip was last week where some big salmon were caught deep bait fishing. The bait of choice were pilchard strips, fished on a simple running sinker rig around the bait schools. Cubing with pilchards also helps tremendously to keep the schools of salmon around. Small metal 'flutter' jigs fished around the schools have been working well also.


Customer Ryan and mate Nick have been fishing some of the western lakes in search of some bigger redfin. The larger redfin seem to proliferate the western lakes, so if big redfin are your target - west is best! The guys have been fishing slightly bigger lures to weed out the smaller fish, with 4'' plastics and also yellowbelly sized vibes getting the interest of the larger fish. Some of the larger fish have been belting the lures as they are burnt back through the water as fast as possible, so it always pays to mix up your lure style and retrieve speed also.

 

If there were ever a time to be up at Eildon, now would be it. Apart from fishing the weir itself for Murray cod, yellowbelly, redfin and trout - the pondage is producing some lovely trout. While the banks of the pondage have been lined more than usual with anglers this hasn't deterred the fish. Some quality trout have been caught on most methods including persistence, but coarse style baitfishing has been the silver bullet for these chunky trout.


Customers Zoran and Adam fished the pondage just earlier this week to land some nice fish, both browns and rainbows. A mixture of various coloured 'powerbait', trout dough and correct berley mixture brought these fish undone. Last week customer Zoran (different Zoran this time!) fished the upper pondage with his son to land trout to around 6lb using powerbait in the 'sherbert' colour and a fine mix berley. The guys also caught a couple of fish casting spoons around as well, with brown trout and gold colours both working.


Customer Gordon has also been giving the pondage trout a good nudge recently with very similar methods to those mentioned above coming up trumps. Along with 'spoons' Gordon has caught his share on soft plastics and also the deadly powerbait/trout pellet berley method.


The coarse fishing/pellet berley method is very effective on all manner of stocked trout, from Eildon pondage to local stocked lakes, so if you're unsure of exactly what is used talk to the guys in store as the results really do speak for themselves!

 


There have been plenty of local freshwater options lately for anglers to catch on lures or bait without driving too far. Carp, trout, redfin and yellowbelly can all be caught fairly locally to the suburbs if you're will to put the time and effort in. Customer Ryan and mate Nick have been doing well on the redfin of late, with some chunky fish landed on lures. Ryan and Nick have been fishing various locations around the suburbs with all of them holding fish. Ryan has found that when the smaller redfin start to bite it is then time to fish a bigger lure. The larger lures have been getting the attention of the larger fish, with loud 'full tungsten' style lipless vibes really getting the fish going when worked back aggressively. 


Customer Mohd visiting from Malaysia enjoys his fly fishing and has been doing well lately. Mohd has been fishing lots of stocked urban lakes and catching trout on midge patterns just under the surface and also some big carp on wet style flies. Some of the carp Mohd has been catching have been around 10lb in weight, and they can be good sport on light fly or spin gear - and there's plenty of them to test your skills.

Customer Niroj has been fishing some of the local waterways lately too in search of yellowbelly and redfin. Niroj has found plenty of smaller redfin as bycatch while looking for yellas, and some of the yellowbelly he has caught have been very solid. Small gape spinnerbaits in 1/4oz fished with assist stingers have gotten the better of most of the short striking fish.