Australian salmon have really been on the go this past week, with heaps of anglers getting amongst them - whether it's been on the surf beaches or from many of the local piers and rocks. With the more recent weather the fish have slowed off a bit locally, but a big blow and rain band will see them return within many angler's shore based reaches soon enough. For the pier fisherman Mornington has been one worth looking at, especially early morning or later in the afternoon.


Customer Patrick has been enjoying the sporting aspect of the salmon from Mornington pier recently, with small metal jigs getting the bites when conditions are quiet. 'Shore jigging' is fairly under utilized here in Victoria, but fish like salmon can be absolute suckers for small falling jigs when a normal fast retrieve doesn't get spark their interest.


The ocean beaches have been producing good bags of fish for anglers persisting. While the lure casting has been a bit hit and miss, there still have been some nice fish landed. The real key for turning the odds in your favour on the beach is to fish a quality berley. Berley will bring the salmon from a good distance away on the beach and hold them in your area for long enough to capitalize.


Staff member Don experienced just this at Gunnamatta over the weekend, with only a few fish seen along the beach. After setting a good berley trail, and knowing at which stage of the tide to deploy it, Don ended up with a bag of fish to around a kilo.


Customer Mark fished Venus bay beach number 4 with his kids over the weekend to land some ripper salmon. Mark landed fish 2kg + on both pilchard and bluebait, and also surf poppers in blue/white combination.


Staff member Dylan lure fished a few of the surf beaches along the west coast over the weekend. While not every beach produced fish, many were only fished for a few hours and not on 'ideal' tides. Most beaches around Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay were holding numbers of smaller fish to 30cm. Further west past Cape Otway the beaches were producing larger fish around 1kg. Dylan and mate Jordan walked the gutters spinning metal lures and stickbaits and caught over 20 fish per session, with assist hooks the trick to keeping fish hooked in the shorebreak. The salmon were coughing up medium sized pilchards so the stickbaits were the ideal imitation. Sub minnows and bungy casts were the most successful.


 


The Australian salmon have turned up this autumn and were quite prevalent throughout the rip and lower end of the bay over early autumn, but are now making their presence felt around the rest of the bay. Good schools of fish have been moving about and can be found around most prominent points and estuary mouths, especially during some rougher onshore winds and rain. The eastern side of the bay has seen good numbers of fish around Frankston and Mornington piers and Mt Martha rocks during westerly winds, with the average fish varying from just under a kilo to about 1.5kg.

Frogleys Offshore representative Gerry has been catching some big fat salmon down around the southern end of the bay, with larger fish to 3kg having no problems inhaling 100mm stickbaits, plastics and hardbodies. The larger fish seem to stay down the bottom end of the bay and if you're lucky they have been turning up around Blairgowrie and Portsea during the flood tide.


The salmon pier along the local piers has seemed to be more consistent around first and last light, so if you're at one of your local piers during these times, it's worth having something rigged up and ready to go. During high winds and rough water metal slugs and slow jigs have been good, but without hardware alterations you stand the chance at losing fish. Calmer conditions call for small subtle soft plastics so it pays to keep both on you.

Staff member Dylan has been catching fish to around a kilo from Morinington and Mordialloc piers, and along the rivermouth at Patterson river. During rougher conditions metal lures like the Yakamito 'angry baits' have been excellent, with small but strong assist hooks fitted to prevent shake offs. So far Dylan has not lost a single fish, so with the assist hook set up hook up rate is the very best it can be at 100%.


The beaches both locally and further afield have been producing good numbers and size salmon also. The producers at the moment have mainly been down the east coast with Gunnamatta, Kilcunda, Venus Bay and further around Lakes Entrance the pick. Customers Mark and Darren fished Venus Bay beach no.1 last week to land a swag of fish with some pushing 2kg. The boys found that once the berley got the school in they went off, with the fish biting like crazy right into the night on whole pillies.

 

 

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. 

 

 

Customer Jordan has been away in the United States for a couple of months and has recently returned. While he was away and staying in Santa Monica in California, he found a small urban lake close by to where he was staying. Jordan got talking to some locals who were fishing it and he quickly found out that the lake contained largemouth bass, one of the most iconic fish in the USA. Being prepared with a travel rod, Jordan returned and started fishing for the bass. One of the locals remarked that the fish were 'bedding' and not normally as aggressive as they usually are, so a finesse tactic was going to be the best approach. 

Jordan adopted an American technique of 'dropshotting' which is effectively fishing a soft plastic suspended on an in-line paternoster rig. Use of the correct shape hook is also critical for this technique, which involves keeping the soft plastic suspended right in front of the fish's strike zone and 'shaking' the plastic to get a bite. Jordan did well with this technique and managed to land around 5 bass in the time he was fishing the lake. The plastic of choice was a 7'' floating worm pattern, with the odd fish also caught by locals on massive 10'' swimbaits as well. Dropshotting is a technique that also works here is Australia for numerous different fish species as it enables the angler to keep the lure right in the fish's face at all times. Give it a go!

 

The next few months are the best time to get out and fish for our freshwater natives like yellowbelly. Once December rolls around the Murray cod season will open up again and these fish should be back on the bite. Staff member Harley fished with a mate at some local dams during the week that has been stocked with yellowbelly, bass, and the odd Murray cod. Harley and his mate worked the series of dams and overflows in search of some yellowbelly. The first dam Harley fished resulted in a nice bass on his lipless vibration bait.

The second dam that the guys fished was loaded with yellowbelly. In a few short hours, the guys caught over 20 yellowbelly and one lone Murray cod which were all released unharmed. The small lipless vibration baits were the most effective when hopped slowly along the bottom. Yabby and juvenile yellowbelly colours worked the best in this water.

 

Now is one of the better times to be out freshwater fishing around Melbourne. We aren't quite in the deathly cold of winter, but most of the freshwater species like trout are still active. Within around 90 minutes from the suburbs there is some great fishing. Staff member Dylan has been walking the rivers up around Eildon recently, where some nice fish are on offer. Last weekend he took his Dad out to see if he could manage a few and the fishing was good. Some lovely trout were caught on small floating hardbodied lures in the streams.

Jason from Bullet Lures has also had a few good trips on the Goulburn recently. Jason has been fishing the section of river further down towards Seymour, where his Bullet Minnows have been doing the job on the trout. Jason has caught both brown and rainbow trout on his last trips, with the brighter colours like pink tiger and fire tiger getting the attention of the local fish. 

Customers Andrew and Rene enjoy their freshwater fishing and recently they ventured down to Blue Rock Lake, about 90 minutes from the suburbs. The guys decided to have a bit of a trout to see what was happening in the area, and they managed to catch, trout, redfin and bass on small deep running hardbodies. Some of the redfin that were caught were good size for the lake, while most of the bass are in the 25cm size. The bass and trout were released, with a few redfin fillets to take home. Just remember there are horsepower restrictions at Blue Rock Lake if you are going to venture down.

 

The local freshwater has been fishing well on the fly gear for a few customers lately. Morgan went out to christen his new outfit on the Yarra River up around Warburton, where he managed a couple of nice patterned brown trout. Morgan was fishing a wet pattern when he caught the trout. Customer Jordan also took his fly gear out to some local lakes in search of redfin. He caught a few reddies with the largest measuring about 42cm. 

Staff member Dylan took his kayak down to gippsland to search some freshwater for redfin, trout and bass. With plenty of nice scenery, the slow fishing was never too much of an issue. Small redfin and bass were keen enough to tackle some reasonably large lures and get a bend in the rod.