If you wanted to go and catch some salmon then the time is now, the beaches are going nuts. Most of the beaches have been producing as good as each other, and you'd pretty hard pressed to find a beach that isn't holding good numbers of fish at one stage or the other. If the fishing is a bit slow then a good berley mix will really help bring them out. Days with northerly winds have helped in flattening the swell off a bit and creating calm 'pockets' for the fish to hold in, and they also help aid your casts and hold the line straight.

Customer Mark and his boys Samuel and Harrison fished Venus bay over the weekend to land some ripper salmon. Mark recently came in to the store to retro fit all of his metal lures with flash-assist hooks to help in keeping the big fish on, and grab a top up of surf poppers and 'bungee grubs'. Mark reports that excellent numbers of fish are holding on all of the beaches at Venus bay, with both of his boys catching their 'PB' fish. The most productive method for the guys was keeping a good berley trail unbroken and fishing pilchard and surf popper mixes. The hot colour popper on the day was the red.


Customer Shaun came in and reported that Gunnamatta has been fishing well for him. Shaun's last session saw him land a couple of nice fish on the incoming tide. Shaun was fishing with paternoster rigs baited with bluebait, and a yellow surf popper. While red and blue are the norm with surf poppers, sometimes the yellow can be dynamite.


Thea beaches around Kilcunda and Williamsons have been fishing well also for bait and lure anglers. Customer Luke fished Kilcunda during an afternoon session with the lures and spin rod and he ended up bagging 7 nice fish. Luke was spinning small metal lures in a pilchard profile, which the salmon were nailing. If you don't spin for the salmon on the beach you really should! The advantage of packing just a lighter weight spin rod from 8ft - 11ft and some lures is that you will cover more water with the possibility of crossing paths with a school of fish.

 


The northern coastline of NSW is a popular destination for anglers as it is fairly quiet and holds a good mix of both southern and northern fish species. Popular fishing locations along this part of the coast include Brunswick Heads, Ballina, Yamba and Coffs Harbour. Customer Gary lives around Ballina and fishes the region a fair bit, and his latest beach session has seen him yield some massive tailor to 80cm. Gary has been fishing pilchard on ganged hook rigs early during the morning, with most of the fish coming while it's still dark.


Staff member Chris has just returned from a trip to Yamba, a tad south from Ballina. Chris did some fishing with his father but found the weather to hold them back a fair bit - with only 1 decent trip offshore. A good mixed bag of species were caught offshore with spotted mackerel, snapper, tuskfish, pearl perch, flathead and small whaler sharks making it to the boat. The humble pilchard did most of the damage with nearly all fish finding it heard to refuse.

 


If you're the traveling type of angler it can be very easy to pack up and give Melbourne a break over the winter months, with the potential of warm sunshine and good fishing too much to resist. Barramundi fishing is popular for Victorians during winter, whether it be the top of the NT or to northern QLD.


Speaking of the NT, customer Bob flew to Darwin with a mate to try and get into some barra and whatever else was on offer. The guys fished with Peter at NT Fishing who put them onto some nice fish. Being a barra novice, Bob stopped by for lure and tackle advice and packed some essentials with him. We are pleased to see that Bob and mate got into some fish and had fun using the gear they purchased. Among the different forms of fishing they did they got to catch saratoga and barra from freshwater billabongs, and some nice barra and threadies from the salt.


Big threadfin salmon were a common capture in the larger rivers, with some real honkers up to 10kg landed. A couple were kept for a feed seeing they are excellent eating. The threadies are suckers for 'soft vibes' fished deep in the river channels and holes.


Customer Billy has also been escaping the cold Melbourne weather for a warmer climate. Billy regularly travels to Cairns and does a fair bit of fishing while he's there. Billy came into the store just before he left and stocked up on some different lures to try on the local barra. Even though only land based Billy has managed to land some respectable barra around 70cm using the lures he purchased. The main trick has been to scroll through different lure styles to find the one that's best suitable for the conditions, with shallow and deep running hardbodies working well, along with sinking soft vibes.

 

 

 


Dirty water earlier during the week hampered the squid activity for the start of the week, but as it has rolled on the water conditions have cleaned up and the squid have come back on. The northern end of Port Phillip has been patchy but will hit it's peak before Friday's forecast rain. Along the peninsula Mornington pier has been a bit murky but the squid have been there to be caught. A few anglers have reported squid to around 300g coming from both the main pier and inside on the small pier.

Staff member Don fished the small pier during the week where he caught a few decent sized squid on size 2.5 jigs. Rainbow foil was the go during late afternoon light, with a few others catching on orange jigs also.


Down south the piers have been the most consistent, with again Sorrento and Portsea the pick if conditions deteriorate. Across at Flinders the water clarity has been a bit murkier but clearing up, and the squid are active.  Customer Take fished the pier for the first time targeting squid and he managed a nice one at around 600g.

Customer Lilong fished over at Sorrento for an afternoon session to land squid up to 35cm hood length. Water clarity at the pier was good and while there weren't many squid caught, the ones caught were quality. Yamashita Pyon-Pyon search jigs were the most effective, attracting squid in with their rattle and subtle kick and they drop.

 

 


Well we're right in the thick of the beach fishing season here and many anglers are experiencing the best salmon fishing that they've seen for at least the last 2 or 3 years. Numbers of fish have been good and average size has also been good - with good sized schools of bigger fish hanging about as well. As for the hot beaches, close to home the best have been Gunnamatta and Kilcunda, with Venus Bay/Walkerville excellent and the 90 mile has been very good also.

A hot tip if you're heading out to the beach - check the conditions of your chosen location from aerial maps or satellites first if possible.


When you're looking at a satellite view of your location the giveaway of deep water 'gutters' and 'holes' is easily picked up in the above photo. Gunnamatta beach has a few nice gutters which are easily distinguished by the red stars marking them. The darker water usually means deeper water or weed and rock - but in this case you can see that it is deep clear water. From the satellite view you can see the breaking water and the direction which the gutters move along the beach - just bear in mind the satellites aren't updated every day so they are a 'guide' for you, when you get to the beach a 10 minute scout from the dunes or high vantage point will confirm deeper water for you.


Customer Mark has been putting his beach knowledge to good use down at Venus Bay this week with some great salmon landed. During his last few sessions Mark has been spinning the fish up using metal stickbaits in 40g and 60g weights. Mark has caught more than his share of fish, with some models topping 3kg on the lures. Leaving them biting and having some much bigger fish shake the trebles out, Mark will be back with a vengeance after upgrading to assist hook set ups on his lures.


Customers from the store and members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the section of the 90 mile beach in Gippsland at Woodside beach and had some excellent results. With all members landing salmon it was an excellent trip, and the largest salmon weighed in at 1.5kg which was caught by Mark Watson. Over all just over 150 salmon were weighed in over the two days, which shows excellent numbers of fish.


Happy anglers with their salmon! The salmon along the 90 mile have really been hitting bluebait, with blue and red surf poppers also claiming lost of fish. Some anglers fishing small 'bungee grubs' on the back of their poppers have been catching just as many fish as anglers who are fishing bait. The best part about these plastics is that they're crab-proof!

 

 

 


The calm weather we've been receiving bayside has been great for doing a spot of gar fishing. The normal trend around the eastern shoreline piers is garfish during calmer weather, and salmon disrupting all this when rougher conditions push their food withing herding proximity of the shoreline. The gar hot spots of late have been anywhere from Brighton to Frankston, with Seaford and Frankston the two more popular options. Silverfish and small pieces of prawn have been good baits, and as usual fine mist berley is key - if you're not packing a good berley you may as well stay home!


Customer Stephen has been down at Frankston trying his luck on the gars and has found some quality fish. The fish were feeding right up high in the water and unless you adjusted your rig to suit you wouldn't get a bite. Stephen used silverfish on a size 12 hook with a finely weighted small 'aaa' float equipped with chemical light to see the subtle bites.

Being able to see the smallest movement in your float can mean the difference between landing now fish and getting a few on the pier. Adding or removing shot to your rig to get it to sit perfect is paramount, and one of the reason we go on about certain float setups so much!

 


Bluefin Tuna season has well and truly hit the states' west with good numbers of fish hitting the cleaning tables from from Apollo Bay right through to Portland. Rumors of fish a lot closer to home have surfaced as well, with reports sketchy and evidence even sketchier - but worth a look locally by the sounds of things.


Down along the west coast, James from Unreel Fishing Charters has seen good numbers of school fish to around the 15kg mark around both Portland and Port Fairy. James has been finding plenty of fish between 40m and 120m, with fish right out towards the shelf in 400m+. Hot lures at the moment have been smaller skirts from 4 inches through to 6 inches, with weighted and jet head styles holding a very consistent catch rate. Skirt colours in pink/yellow/brown and also lumo/mackerel have been real standouts with natural blues and blacks not far behind.


Out in the same area customer Mark has been catching school tuna to around 10kg on a few different methods. Trolling small skirts in squid patterns has been an easy method of hooking up but Mark has also been catching fish casting and trolling stickbaits. Mark has found the Megabass stickbaits dynamite on the fish, with their awesome castability really getting out to the fish without getting too close to them.

 

 

 


Dirty water normally means no squid action, and with the freshwater in both bays at the moment the squid reports are certainly slower than normal. However knowing where to fish during these conditions will see you increase your chances. The northern end of both bays has seen more discolouration and worth a wide berth for the next 5 days or so. Southern Port Phillip around Sorrento and Portsea is your best bet, with an almost constant water clarity.


Along the bottom end of westernport at Flinders, customer Angleo has been making the most of the conditions and still getting into the squid. While the water clarity has still been murkier than normal, there have been squid happy to eat both baited jigs and artificials. Fishing gel type scents on your jigs when conditions are against you is a good way to increase your odds. Angelo has been doing very well with baited jigs from the pier along with size 3.5 jigs from the 'Clicks' range, with colour 17 being one of his favourites.

 

 


Melbourne's rivers have been turned to coffee after the recent heavy rain. While not looking ideal for fishing, the local bream have been biting their heads off since the heavy rain started coming down.The Yarra and Patto have been producing fish for land based bait anglers. Both rivers have slightly cleaner water down under the dirtier fresh layer so that's where you need to be fishing. Lightly weighted rigs with a simple running sinker will produce fish, and it is worth stepping up your flurocarbon leader to around 8lb to prevent break offs on structure. The most productive baits have been scrubworms, freshwater yabbies and sometimes the humble prawn. Just be sure to pick your hook style and size accordingly, as in this example three different hook styles would be needed!


Customer Andrew has not long gotten back into his fishing and has been doing well on the bream down in the Patto. Andrew has been throwing a few lures around but has found while the water has been dirty that bait has been the go. Andrew has been fishing live freshwater yabbies on small 'C10U' hooks with very little weight to catch plenty of fish up to 35cm. This is one of the most successful methods for the Patto, so if you haven't tried this method give it a go!

 

 

 

While the weather hasn't really been all that flash around Melbourne and the West coast, the tuna fishing has been fairly consistent when anglers are able to find a break in the weather. With some better patches of weather coming through over the next week conditions look like they might let anglers get out and into the fish again!


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been down along the West coast over the week and has been catching tuna up to around 15kg with customers. James has been reporting numbers of fish from as shallow as 50m with the 60-100m contour holding good sized schools. Out wider just inside of the shelf numbers of fish are patchy but there. James has found small skirts in either bullet or jet head styles have been the most productive lures, with lumo/mackerel colours along with brown/pink squid and also white. Running a mixture of these along with natural blacks and purples will cover most bite scenarios should you encounter them.