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.


 

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.

 


With the school holidays coming up next week, DEPI Victoria have stocked a number of local suburban lakes with yearling rainbow trout so that kids of all ages can access some decent fun fishing that is close to home. For a complete list of lakes that have been stocked please follow the link below.

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/fish-stocking/school-holiday-trout-stocking

While these trout may be small and feisty and can be caught lure, fly and bait-fishing; they aren't complete knockovers, especially if you are using the wrong gear or methods. The single most effective method for catching these fish is 'simplified coarse fishing'. The use of specific berley mixtures, rigs and baits will just about ensure success at any location. If you're unsure about any of the methods used we can show you in store as without proper explanation it can sound confusing. 

Staff member George and his mate Pero used this 'simplified' method of coarse fishing down at Karkarook Park Lake just recently to land their 10 trout in a short time. George said that the fish would bite very timidly and any resistance against them would force them to drop the bait and move off. In this scenario very light tipped 'feeder' style rods and the most effective tool for hooking these type of subtle biting fish. 


Staff member Don also took his young twins down to Karkarook Park Lake for a bit of fun on the trout this week, and using the same light line method of fishing the twins were unstoppable. Even a 2lb carp came along and took one of the baits, which became soup for one of Don's European friends.

In a suburban wetland not too far away, fishing nut Jordan has been honing his skills and tactics on some redfin while the weather has been average. Jordan has been using a variety of methods including weedless soft plastic rigs to entice the reddies from out of the reeds and grass. The good thing about this form of fishing is that virtually every wetland or suburban lake around Melbourne will have these fish in them. A good way to practice your skills close to home  

 

 

Even though trout streams are off-limits until September, the local family fishing lakes around Melbourne have been worth fishing if you need a trout fix. Karkarook, Emerald, Casey Fields and Rowville have all been fishing well lately with some recently stocked rainbow trout on the hit list. There has definitely been a proper technique to catching these fish consistently with anglers just 'taking a punt' most often going home fishless. Preparation of trout-specific berley and the correct rigging technique, along with a bit of patience will see you tackling with some feisty little rainbows. 

Staff member Don took his twin boys down to a couple of the family lakes recently and had no trouble catching a heap of trout using the proper methods. He did notice a few anglers struggling with incorrect presentation or bait but after a good explanation in the store these anglers were out catching the week after.

Customers George and Kristina fished Emerald lake during the school holidays where they caught some trout. Using a light paternoster rig and Gulp trout nuggets they caught 5 rainbows in a couple of hours.

Close by some of the local wetlands and suburban lakes have been keeping people busy with catches of redfin. Customers Kozi and Yuta have been casting lures in some of the local dams and wetlands for redfin up to about 400g. Yuta made up his own lure using a vodka cruiser bottletop and it tricked a couple of fish, but now has to live down the fact that everyone knows he drinks cruisers...

 

 

West gippsland is a fairly large area with lots of freshwater fishing options. At the moment there have still been some nice trout to be in the local rivers, while some of the dams in the area can produce some good results on carp, redfin, trout and Australian bass. Customer Jordan has been flyfishing some of the rivers in the region during the week to land some nice brown trout to about 500g. Jordan has mainly been fishing nymphs on the local trout, with a couple also taking wet flies.

Customers Rene and Brad fished down at Blue Rock dam recently using their Old Town canoe. The guys had a bit of fun with redfin and bass in the dam using a variety of lures like Gillies wide body jigs. Customer Mick took a few of his mates down to Lake Wellington near Sale recently in search of some carp. Fishing the lake and also the Avon river the guys caught some chunky carp which they took home to use for a European fish soup. The best rig for the carp was a small ball sinker fished right down to a number 6 baitholder hook loaded with a bunch of juicy troutworms. 

 

 

Lake Eildon has still been fishing well for most species, and will continue almost into the depths of winter. At present the lake level is sitting at around 55% and has been steadily dropping since summer as water is diverted down the Goulburn for irrigation. What this means is that there is more structure exposed and the fish are continuously moving to new structure, so a bit of searching around is always necessary. Never the less, fish like redfin, trout and golden perch have still been caught on a variety of methods. Customer Trevor came into the store after fishing with a group of anglers up towards the Bonnie Doon end of the lake, where there were a few nice goldens caught. A few were caught almost in front of the Peppin Point caravan park trolling deep running hardbodies. Customer George also caught nice goldens like this 61cm model on scrubworms recently in the lake.