While there are still some crowds around the Gippsland lakes region, the fishing has been very good - especially if you can find a bit of quieter water. The whole region from Sale through Lakes Entrance and out towards Mallacoota near the NSW border has plenty on offer. Flathead, King George and sand whiting, luderick, bream, silver trevally, tailor, pinkies, salmon and prawns are all on offer at present if you're still out towards Lakes Entrance or thinking of heading down that way.

The beaches have been producing salmon and tailor around first and last light, with Eastern beach getting runs of fish to just over a kilo. The prawns have also been around in good numbers if you can find a quiet cove or bay to work, and we're currently just around the new moon so they should be easier to find. Cunninghame arm, North arm, Tambo bay and around Metung have all been good.


Customer Jordan has found lots of variety in his catch lately out towards Mallacoota. Jordan has been lure fishing with mostly 'crankbait' style hardbodies and surface pencils working the best, due to the large number of small 'school' sized king prawns in the estuaries. The sand whiting in particular have been really fixating on the surface lures when worked correctly, and most hits have turned into solid hookups after a few small modifications to terminal hardware. Big tailor to 60cm have also been blasting the surface offerings, along with deeper crankbaits worked through blue pockets and holes.

 


It feels like at least half of Melbourne is away somewhere along the east gippsland or NSW south coast over the Christmas break, and rightly so - with this part of the country some of the best we've got (opinions may vary...). While the increase of angling pressure over this time does shut some of the fishing down there are still plenty of options for everyone, and generally always some fish to catch somewhere, no matter your skill level. Speaking of skill level, staff member Don is away along the south coast of NSW currently but as we expect, still getting a fish in. While not entirely a fishing holiday, Don has managed some time out to walk the local estuaries casting lures. Don has found bream, flathead, tailor, trevally and flounder taking a liking to his small hardbodies and plastics. Don said that he has been targeting the quieter sections of the estuaries away from boat and foot traffic and working slowly through an area, making sure the water is covered effectively.


Customer Jinsu has also been fishing along the east gippsland coastline in search of some decent flathead. Jinsu has well and truly got decent flathead covered with some smaller 35-50cm fish making it to the frypan, and this mega 90cm fish making its way back to the depths. Jinsu has found that 'squidgy' wriggler and paddle prawns along with 'bungee baits' paddletails doing all of the damage when slowly whipped along the estuary drop offs.

 

 

 


The lovely town of Noosa is quite popular for tourists and traveling fisherman alike, and with good reason. The Noosa river and surrounding offshore waters are host to a large array of species, with many southern and northern species mixing. Customer Vince travels here regularly and in his most recent visit found a good mix of species in the river. Vince was fishing the river from the shore using soft plastics to nail a couple of fish. A nice 52cm dusky flathead made it to the keeper bag, and a nice little diamond trevally went back to fight another day. Both fish were caught on Squidgy 90mm 'wriggler prawns' which are a very good representation of the local prawns that are common over the summer months.

 

The holiday crowds are starting to build along the eastern coast of the state in places like Lakes Entrance. Staff member Dylan fished with some mates down around lake on Monday. The plan was to catch a feed of prawns during the night then work the flats chasing flathead and maybe the odd bream during the day.

With the amount of people around the shallow flats were fickle, with fish still about but a lot of people weren't catching due to sitting in one spot for too long. Remembering that these areas are a dynamic environment and always changing and using a mobile approach can mean the difference between no fish or a bag of fish. Many of the smaller channels and gutters held schools of silver trevally along with dusky flathead to 57cm, with larger fish up to 80cm sighted. Soft plastics accounted for a couple, but with slightly milky coloured water hardbodied minnows really did the job when crashed into the mud and sand bottom. Lure like Jackall squirrels, Daiwa double clutches and Zerek tango shads all worked well, with high UV colours the absolute standouts.

While not a red hot session, the guys managed a decent catch of prawns around Lakes Entrance at night. The prawns weren't really running as such, but they were around in large enough numbers to be caught. A good quality headlamp and prawn light were essential in picking up on the prawns as they sat around patches of weed and rock, and a decent length net handle also helped heaps in collecting the prawns from the slightly deeper water.


Jinsu Park also caught a chunky sea mullet from Lake Tyers on a Zman soft plastic which gave a good account for itself.

 


Most of the Gippsland estuaries have started slowing down over the past month or so as the water starts to cool down. Bream, flathead and most other species are still being caught but not in the numbers compared to the warmer months of the year. This time of year however can be good for quality size bream, with some of the larger fish feeding up before the winter pre-spawn.


Staff member Dylan has been paddling around some of the eastern estuaries recently, where some nice flathead and bream have been caught. Most of the larger flathead have been sitting on the flats late in the afternoons with some sun to warm the water, while a lot of bream have been caught fishing shallow drop offs and ledges with small hardbodies.


Customer Brett fished out in the Gippsland lakes recently in search of some bream, with a few nice school fish around and eating the lures. Most of the fish were hovering either side of 30cm, and were hitting small hardbodies like Daiwa Double Clutch 60's with gusto. Slightly warmer water temperatures have had these fish feeding right up along bankside structure still.

 

 

While the local kingfish have pretty much just about finished, there have been scattered reports of a few here and there moving about. Customer Darren was out from Westernport before Easter where he had a crack for the kingies amongst some bottom bouncing. Darren fished cocktail baits of squid and pipi to land some nice whiting and trevally, and then worked some bommies and ledges for a kingie. Darren ended up trolling a pink Williamson squid skirt around and found a nice looking patch in 25m of water when bang off it went. Darren ended up with a good sized kingfish in the boat, a good way to top off the day.

 

Tuna reports from the West coast have started to filter through, and should only get better over the next month. Good numbers of fish have been spread out from around the 40m area right out to the shelf. Most anglers have been working the areas close to the Horseshoe and bagging out fairly easily. Average size at the moment is good, with plenty of 15 - 25kg fish, and a few larger thrown in. Hardbodied lures and skirts have been about equal in effectiveness at the moment. Customer Shane fished out near the shelf just recently to land a couple of nice 20kg fish on Pakula skirts, while customer Miraz also got into a few nice tuna. Miraz fished over the Easter break and caught fish to 18kg out wide from Portland. A mixture of Billmark UV enhanced skirts and also the Zerek Pelagic hardbody in Bonito did the trick.

 

 

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.

 

 

As usual, Westernport has turned on it's normal mixed bag fishing leading into Autumn. Customer John took youngsters Frankie and Lara out on the port recently and had a hot session on the King George whiting fishing around Tortoise Head and Tankerton. Fishing in 4m of water with Whiting Snatcher type rigs and pieces of pipi/squid combo the guys had a ball on school sized whiting.

 

Staff member Don got into the whiting during the week out from the Middle Spit using pipi and fresh squid. Fishing slightly deeper off the banks, Don managed some nice size fish. Pre-mixed frozen scallop mix berley also did the job of keeping the feeding fish around the boat. Customer Robin fished from the shore of the port during the week. Robin did well on some nice chunky whiting and also trevally around first light, with pipi and californian squid cocktail baits doing the damage. Robin fished KL 1/0 circle hooks on his droppers to ensure the hooked fish stayed hooked.

Out in the shallows of the port, customer Zach has been doing well on nice size garfish. Some of the larger models have been trickier to catch, but a fine grit 'Pier and Jetty' berley mix has ensured that they hang around for a bit longer.

Customer Andrew has been doing well on the pinkies and school sized snapper over near Corinella recently. Andrew has been fishing small potholes and drop offs using fresh baits of trevally and squid heads, where he has landed fish to 2.5kg.

 

The typical Westernport size gummies have been on the bite recently, as James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding out. James has been getting good numbers of table sized fish for customers, with lots in the 6 - 8kg size. Small baits of squid, trevally and salmon have been the best when presented along the bottom of the banks out from Stony Point and Hastings.

 

 

Port Phillip Bay can provide a bit of variety in terms of fish species but generally you have to target a specific species to have the best results on it. Lately there has been a bit to offer boat based anglers with whiting, squid, cuttlefish, snapper, flathead, salmon and trevally to name a few.  Customer Ryan fished with his mum and dad out in the boat targeting a few different fish with soft plastics. Pinkies, trevally, red mullet, salmon and pike all attacked the plastics in around the shallow reefy areas. Ryan's mum Marianne got stuck into some nice sized pinkie snapper on small soft plastics which soon found the esky. Customer Carlo also had some mixed bag fishing across near Queenscliff with whiting, flathead and squid all coming to the party. Carlo had a bit of moving about to get decent numbers of the whiting, but after a few drops they started coming aboard. Size 6 Shogun Wide Gap or Mutsu Light + SA pippies = a deadly whiting combo!

Customers Dan and Cam had a leisurely session out around Sorrento over the weekend with some nice sized squid caught. Cam and Dan landed squid to around 1.5kg on a mixture of fast sinking jigs around 'The Sisters' with a couple more further back towards Rye. Customer Steve also fished in the area over the weekend, with some nice squid around 1kg taking the Albino coloured Harimitsu near Rye. Steve also landed some nice flathead to 50cm in the same area using Zman 4" Paddlerz and Squidgy Fish rigged on 1/2oz jigheads. Customer Ryan went out in search of silver trevally recently over towards queenscliff. Ryan had some good success on 1/8oz rigged stickbaits on the run in tide, hopping the plastics around small sand holes and weedbeds.

 

There have been plenty of fish on offer for the light tackle fisherman in Port Phillip bay recently. Fishing with light outfits and 6 - 10lb line there have been plenty of pinkies, salmon, pike, flathead and reef species around in the bay to have some fun with a take a couple home for a feed. Most of the piers are producing fish like salmon and pinkies in the right conditions as well, so it's not just for the boat anglers. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting clients onto big schools of pinkies around Black Rock, Frankston and Mornington. While there are a lot of small fish in the 25cm size range, if you have enough bait and patience you will come across fish in the 35 - 40cm size. A good bait at the moment is squid or cuttlefish, along with salted pilchards. These are best fished on 1/0 - 2/0 circle hooks. 

For anglers in the Black Rock - Frankston region, there have been good numbers of salmon working the shoreline on a rough day. Calmer conditions have kept the fish out a bit deeper and out of reach for most shore based anglers, but days with onshore winds above 10 knots have brought the bait (and the salmon) in to casting proximity for anglers with two feet firmly on the ground. Small, single hook rigged metal lures and soft plastics are the weapons of choice, along with salted whitebait and pilchards. 

Customer Be fished from the shore in Beaumaris Bay over the weekend to land a heap of smaller salmon to around 500g on metal slugs. Be said that single hooks kept 95% of the fish hooked and landed, where as anglers fishing with trebles were losing 50% of their hooked fish.

Further south in the bay has been a good spot for some light tackle bait and lure fishing also. Customer Ryan and a few of his family members went out for some fun around Queenscliff and Sorrento using light tackle and soft plastics. Small baitfish and worm imitation plastics caught them their fair share of silver trevally, leatherjacket, salmon, pike and pinky snapper. The bonus for this style of fishing is that no bait is needed!