With the weather allowing many anglers offshore access recently the main focus for many have either been tuna or kingfish - and why not, they've both been about in good numbers and are tackle testing speedsters ready to hit baits and lures.

The rip has been producing a few fish here and there for persistent anglers but overall has been lacking the numbers that offshore has seen. In saying that there have been fish about and ready for combat on the right tides. Customers Jason, Steve and Ashie fished the rip over the weekend and managed a few fish on live and dead baits. 


The best fish went to young gun Ashie who spotted the rod moving before the fish was on. A small live squid did the damage when fished on a 'western port' style rig on the drift. The fish were all caught during the ebb tide and were holding in one small area. 


Offshore around the Point Lonsdale and Barwon Bluff region there have been plenty of small kings to tackle. EJ Todd representative Mitch and mate Paul ventured out over the weekend and found numbers of small kingfish to around 70cm that were happy to hit small slim profiled stickbaits and slow pitch style jigs.


Amongst the kingfish action there were good numbers of tuna cruising but most fish were very finicky and not interested in any lures. The boys landed a couple of tuna to around the 15kg mark on surface poppers. Many of the fish were holding out wide in the 55-60m line, with very few in close. 


Customer Jade fished with a few mates out from the Western entrance over the weekend and had some fish on the tuna. A bit of water was covered and the fish were found around the Cape Schank area in 25m of water. Small Pakula skirts were the best when run behind a soft squid teaser. 


Customer Jamie ventured out from the Western entrance in search of bluefin over the weekend after a quick lure top up in the store. Jamie picked up a soft teaser setup and even though the conditions and boat traffic made things hard he boated 3 tuna all on lumo skirts run behind the teaser setup. Fishing lighter spin gear really got the best out of the fish and was even capable when the smaller teaser setup was attached. 


Down along the West Coast the kingfish action was nothing short of insane over the weekend. Customers Izzy and Bruno spent the weekend down at Portland and had no issues catching plenty of kingfish up to 95cm or so. Most of the fish were holding up over the broken reef along the north shore, with a few found deeper out from Julia reef. 


The successful tactics were many, with live and dead squid accounting for a lot of fish, but fish also caught on surface stickbaits and poppers and slim profiled soft plastics like large jerk shads and sluggos. Amongst the kingfish in the shallower water there were schools of tuna to around 15kg which were very flighty but occasionally catchable with small lures run behind a teaser setup. 

 

 


The rivers running into Port Phillip have been producing good winter bream and some large mullet. If you're planning on fishing your local river, the Werribee, Yarra and Patterson rivers have all been good. The odd mulloway has been caught especially in the Yarra and Patto. On the bream front, the Patto has been producing fish over a kilo along with mullet similar size.

Young gun Mike caught this nice fish and others fishing in his backyard on the Patto. Mike has been using yabbies to land the better size fish, with some bigger fish busting him off on light line around the pylons. Live freshwater yabbies or frozen shrimp have been the best baits.


Lure fishing the Patto has been effective for quality bream also if you're putting in the time. Customer Jordan has been fishing small shrimp imitation plastics and sinking hardbodies with slow 'flicks' of the rod tip, making them move as natural as possible. Using these styles of lures coated in gel scent he has been landing some nice fish up around the 40cm mark, fishing to small ledges and mud bank drop offs in the main river. 


While you've got a bait in the water you've got a shot! Customer Aujin was fishing the river near the first floodgate in search of bream when he landed a nice pinkie snapper of 57cm. Fishing small baits of prawn he got the shock of his life when his 'bream' appeared red in colour. While these fish aren't generally expected in the river, after a big clean spell of clear salty water they push into the rivers and coves in search of food. The rockwall section of the river produces smaller fish during these times, and further up the road the Yarra river is a real chance of fish like this or even larger at present.

Winter 'snapper' up to 4kg or so venture up the Yarra from Hobsons Bay and can be caught almost up to Church Street when the river is salty. Fishing from around the Bolte down to the warmies gives you a real shot at a quality fish, and even mulloway - especially when using fresh bait.  

 


Wether you're boat or shore based, there's been no hiding from the plague numbers of garfish all along the eastern side of the bay. If you're fishing anywhere from Brighton down to Mt Martha the gars have been thick and giving anglers plenty of action. Brighton rock walls have been producing the fish if you're located in the top end of the bay, as are Mordialloc and Beaumaris piers. South of Frankston customer Josh and mates had a crack at the fish and smashed them. Fishing from the boat around Mt Eliza in 4m of water Josh had the gars going nuts for about 2 hours. Fine 'pollard' mix berley and maggots did the job. 


Mornington and surrounds has been a real hot spot for many trying their luck on the gars, with both staff Don and George getting their bag of fish from around the pier after work this week. As usual constant depth changes and keeping a keen eye on subtle float movements are half the battle, but keeping ahead of the fish will make sure you're constantly catching them. Baits on silverfish, frozen shrimp and maggots have all been excellent, when fed through a very fine 'wet sand' berley.

Ensure you don't berley with bread!! 

If it's garfish you're after, we have everything you need in store from hook choices, bulk berley and 1000's of floats! 

 


The salmon fishing continues to provide entertainment along all of the beaches in the state, from local peninsula beaches through to south and east gippsland. While the gippsland beaches have been producing good quality fish, beaches like Gunnamatta have also had some sold fish running. For the Melbourne local beaches Gunnamatta and St Andrews have been good, with the east gutters along Gunnamatta producing better numbers of fish during the week. 


Some of the sections of the 90 mile in Gippsland have been fishing better than others, with Loch Sport being one of the more productive. Staff member Don fished the area recently and found plenty of salmon to about 3lb. Don predominately fished twin paternoster rigs with a mixture of bait and artificial offerings, and also spun metal lures as well. The bait that was most productive was bluebait, with surf poppers and 'bungy' baits on the top hook taking a lot of fish also. Berleying up the area you're fishing is critical when on a busy beach also, as confining the fish to your area will see a lot more landed.

Customer Reg fished the same area with some mates recently also and found good numbers of fish taking pilchard and surf poppers. Just be sure to rig your surf popper on the 'top' hook, as it will float up and away from your second hook and away from the crabs. 

 


For the anglers who have been down along the state's west over the past week or so the tuna fishing has continued to be good. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been fishing around Port Fairy over the past few weeks and has found no shortage of bluefin. James has been catching plenty of school fish from as close as 35m of water out to beyond Lady Julia island. James has been finding lots of small bait at present and smaller lures have been the best job of getting the bites. When the conditions have allowed James and son Tristan have been enjoying some stickbait action on the surface, with a few different styles from the store all getting bites. 


Customers Aaron and Kosta and mate fished out from Portland over the weekend and secured a bag of school fish that will give them some quality eating while confined to metro Melbourne. The guys fished both east towards the island and west into Nelson bay and found good amounts of school fish from 45m out. The prominent bait that the fish have been on has been small pilchards and anchovies, with some of the bait measuring no more than 2 inches long. Small skirts and hardbodies have getting the lion's share of the fish, with larger lures in close to the boat doing a good job at attracting the fish into the spread. 

 


These tasty little fish have been about serious numbers for a little bit, with the last few weeks being awesome. After the last bit of rain and wind the gars have come on again and have been making their way into angler's buckets along most of the bayside piers and rockwalls.

Customer Ryan has been catching a few around the piers along the peninsula, with Mornington being one of the 'hotspots'. While the pier here has been busy, there are plenty of other locations suitable for catching these fish without breaking social distancing rules.


Between Mornington and Frankston the gars have been on fire. The small jetties in the area and hidden coves and bays have been holding gars without the crowds. Customer Jason got into a bag of fish in the boat, fishing water less than 2m deep. Berley as always has been the key, with a fine grain mix the standout. Customer Izzy also got into the gars fishing from the shore at Frankston. Maggots were the key bait, with heavily weighted floats showing the subtle bites. If you're unsure of how to rig for gars, come in and talk to us as the correct rigging can be the difference between a fishes or successful session. 


Further north in the bay customer Angelo has been also catching gars. Angelo has been fishing Beaumaris and Mordialloc with gars at both locations. Angelo has been fishing cut silverfish and maggots amongst the berley trail and keeping a keen eye on the float as many bites have simply been sideways dips or slides of it. Knowing how to correctly ballast your float and tell when it is acting unnatural will catch you a lot more fish. 

 


Bass Strait has been the hit with anglers recently as the run of Winter weather we've had has been excellent, with conditions too good to not make the most if them. The variety and quality of fish caught offshore during Winter can be excellent with the real mainstay being the large gummy sharks. Anglers fishing right out wide from areas such as Lakes Entrance have been tangling with fish like swordfish, trumpeter and pink ling. Customer Filip fished out wide chasing swordfish last week and landed some nice ling as tasty by-catch.

A bit closer to home the offshore gummy fishing has been nothing short of excellent. Young gun Fisherman Mike went out on an offshore tuition chasing big gummies and nailed a ripper gummy at 22kg, fishing out from Flinders. Chunk baits of wrasse and pike are super effective on the offshore gummies, and are readily available on the reefy areas. 


Mike's gummy was bigger than him! Customer Andrew also got in to the offshore gummies during the recent spell of quality weather. Andrew managed a couple of nice fish around the 20kg mark fishing fresh baits alongside the reefy points and and sand drops just outside of the western entrance.  


There has also been a few quality snapper caught offshore while targeting gummies. Customer Zac fished with his dad outside the western entrance recently and they also landed a few nice gummies around the 14kg mark, along with a nice 4kg snapper. Fishing fresh baits of mackerel, pike and squid give you an excellent chance of the snapper as well as gummies. Young Jacob and dad Gavin fished around the western entrance recently and also came across a nice snapper. Jacob was lucky enough to land the fish that weighed 6.6kg and took a strip of freshly caught couta. 

 


The tuna action hasn't stopped along the west coast, with the main hotspots being Portland and Port Fairy. There have been fish caught from Apollo Bay right through to the SA border, but most anglers have been fishing from or Portland or Port Fairy. The fish have been moving about but holding in small pockets for days providing the haven't been fished too hard or moved on by predators or drastic weather changes, and they have been taking most lure types. You'd be mad to head out without a mixture of skirts, hardbodies and stickbaits in various profiles and colours. 

Customers Cam and Mark fished out from Portland recently and found the fish in fairly close and willing to eat cast stickbaits. The real trick was matching the lures to the profile of the bait that the fish were hunting, and with most of the fish in the area this has been micro pilchards and anchovies. 


Customer Daniel came in to the store and topped up on tuna essentials and to get some new lures rigged up. Daniel spent a couple of days around Portland familiarising himself with the area, and eventually found the fish. A mixture of small skirts were the most effective, with a clear yellow pattern proving the best of the lot on fish to around 11kg. While not all of the tuna in the area have been school fish - they have generally been 8 -15kg or 90kg+. Customers Tyler and Aaron proved that theory correct with a 128kg barrel caught out of Portland a few weekends ago. 

 


Again this week the beaches have been firing for Australian salmon. With some less than ideal weather for boat based fishing, coupled with northerly winds beach fishing has been ideal. All beaches have been worth a look from Lakes Entrance in the far east to Port Fairy in the west. More locally, Venus Bay has been excellent along with Williamson's, Kilcunda and Gunnamatta. 


Customer Mark fished Venus Bay last week with sons Sam and Harry, and mate Darren. The fishing has been excellent for them, with fish to 2kg taking surf poppers, plastics and also pilchard and bluebait. The guys have had some awesome sessions with 4 way hookups and double headers, with the best fishing coming as the flood tide strengthened. Picking a section of beach at Venus is a good way of locating the fish as the gutters here differ compared to beaches like Gunnamatta and Kilcunda. 


Customer Perry has been fishing the west coast beaches as he loves doing throughout the winter months. Perry has been fishing the beaches around Angelsea and Aireys Inlet and has been catching salmon to 1.5kg or so. Perry has been casting metal lures with single hooks as well as small soft plastics around 3 inches in size. Perry has been finding the fish around low tide, as they have been working a gutter behind a small sandbar that can only be reached on low water. 

 


The bluewater fishing has been good for many species either east or west. Bluefin tuna have still been going well from Portland back to Apollo Bay. Most of the fish caught from Portland have been west of Lawrence Rock, around through Bridgewater and Nelson Bays. Customer Aaron fished out from Portland last week and landed school fish to around 9kg on a mixture of lures, with small skirts such as the Fluzi working well. Natural colours have been good since a lot of the fish have been on small redbait and pilchards. 

Customer Steve came in store last week and told us of a 92kg fish caught fishing with mates out from Portland also. Steve and mates landed plenty of small school fish and the 92kg barrel from 65m of water off Cape Bridgewater. Smaller skirted and deep hardbodied both worked well. 

Be mindful if you're looking at fishing out from Apollo Bay over the weekend, the service station in town will be closed for major upgrades as of Wednesday 17th of June. Other fuel options are in Lorne, Port Campbell or Colac.  


Out wide from Lakes Entrance along the shelf drops there has been some good fishing - when anglers have been able to make the long run out. Last week during a bit of a weather window there were boats out in search of some deepwater species. There have been a few reports of swordfish from around the canyons, with customer Thomas and brother Gary landing a nice fish of around 130kg last week.

In a touch closer there have been some other edible species coming up also. Customer Simon fished out in the region with some mates where they landed a nice bag of tasty trumpeter. Simon was fishing around some sloping shelves between 150 - 250m deep. Fishing electric reels with multiple circle hook paternoster rigs is the best way to connect with these trumpeter or other species such as ling. Lumo sleeve/tubing and lumo squid added to the rigs helps attract the fish in the dark water and tough baits of squid are the best choice, as no one wants to be constantly re-baiting rigs in 200m of water!