Well it's been a fairly slow start to the snapper season in Port Phillip Bay, as most would agree. The fish have been scattered and the bulk of the catches have been coming from the northern end of the bay between Altona deep and Brighton. Over the last week or so the fish have pushed a bit further south and the mud out off Carrum is starting to see a few more reports. As we reach the peak of the warm weather over the next week the reports should get better and better.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been following the fish around a bit and while the top of the bay around P is still producing fish, there are more and more fish between Carrum - Black Rock every day. Most of James' captures over the last few days have been in the Aspendale 14 - 18m area through to 16m off Black Rock. Pilchards are proving ever reliable.


Customer Mark has also been finding the fish out from Carrum. Mark has had fish to 5kg over the past week, with depths of 12 - 18m all holding fish. Some of these groups haven't been feeding but once you find the right patch of fish pretty soon you'll know that they're feeding. Pillies again have been the go-to.

 

 

 

 


Westernport's gummy action has been consistent most of winter with school sized fish. All of the normal areas have been fishing well, with most channel edge 'highways' producing fish at the right stage of the tide. There has been plenty of salmon and trevally along the banks so using these as fresh baits are the best.

Customer Jacques fished with friend Herve last week in search of a gummy. The guys fished along the western channel edge just south of Sandy Point, and using fresh salmon they managed a nice 5kg fish. Further north around Hastings customer Justin has been catching a few similar sized gummies as well.

 

 

The late run of southern bluefin tuna along the Vic west coast has been good, the only real issue has been getting a break in the weather. For many trailerboat fisherman who have managed to sneak a good weather day in here and there, the fishing has been good. Good numbers of bluefin have been found from Portland back to Warnambool, with fish spread out right out to the shelf. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting customers on to fish from depths as shallow as 30m out from Port Fairy. James has said that while there has been a bit of work locating the fish they have been in big schools once they have been found, and James has been getting hook ups of up to 8 fish at a shot off these schools.


Smaller lures have been the way to go on these fish lately, with skirts in the 4 - 6" size being the most effective, especially in brighter colours such a pinks and greens. Further afield there have still been a few bluefin pushing along the southern NSW coast. Customer Aaron fished wide out from Bermagui just recently to land this nice fish of 55kg.

 

 

There have been some nice squid of offer if you're able to find a break in the average winter weather we've had recently. Both bays have been fishing well for the calamari, the only real factors worth keeping an eye on are the wind and rain. Once the banks and shallows become stirred up and slightly cloudy the squid can be a bit of a struggle, but as soon as these areas clean up they will be back on the chew. Customer Justin got a few nice ones out in Westernport just recently, with the 'nemo' coloured jigs working the best up on the shallow banks. The area around Hastings produced the goods for him. 


Port Phillip has seen it's share of nice squid as well, from the top end around Brighton right the way down to Portsea. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been getting some large squid around Sorrento and Portsea with many over 1kg. Small but fast sinking jigs have been doing well when fished during the faster stages of the tide. Staff member Dylan fished out from Mornington during the last calm spell in search on some squid using fly gear. Armed with just one fly outfit and a handful of flies that he tied up, he found small patches of squid along the rocky drop offs just out from the shoreline. While there were no monsters caught or bag limit quantities, catching them on fly tackle proved to be a fair bit of fun in itself.

 

Even though this time of year isn't really known as being the most productive time of year to target Murray cod, they can still be caught if you're willing to brave the cold and put in the time. During the cooler months of the year Murray cod cod generally slow their metabolism down and don't actively hunt as much, but they can still be caught. Between the lure vs bait debate, lures come into their own for triggering a strike from a cod during cooler weather. Even though they might not actually want to hunt for food, by repeatedly casting or running a lure over a likely looking snag you can tap into the cod's 'territorial' nature - whereas they are virtually annoyed into striking the lure.

Staff member Ian took his kayak up to Eildon just recently in search of a big winter cod. Ian spent a bit of time looking for likely cod water and then strategically worked these areas over to be sure he maximized his chances. After a long day on the water, Ian managed to land a 93cm 'barrel' cod from around the Frasers area. Ian landed the fish on a size 1 Stumpjumper in a redfin pattern.


Customer Ivan also had a taste of Eildon native fishing recently. Ivan caught this nice little cod from the timber in the background on a purple Yakamito lure. Fish of this size are very common to catch in the lake this days, and will only get bigger with plenty of prey items available for them. 

 


While the bluefin tuna have been hanging around the West coast for some time now, anglers are starting to get amongst them out from Portland and Port Fairy as we head into traditional tuna season. There have been good numbers of bluefin and also albacore, with the tuna ranging in size from 10 - 25kg, and most of the albacore around 5kg at the moment, with some larger fish scattered throughout. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching good numbers of both, and finding mixed schools a bit closer in than many anglers. 


James has been finding that the smaller lures have been the most productive on both the tuna and albacore lately, with 5 - 6 inch skirts in squid patterns and black/purples the go to. Customers Aaron and Jamie also got out on the big blue from ortland recently where they got into both SBT and albacore, with most of the fish concentrated around the Horseshoe section of the shelf. Both hardbodies and skirts in traditional dark 'Portland' colours along with redbait imitations were the best, and they did notice that closer in around the 70m line there were good number of bluefin willing to eat a lure.

 


While some sections of the Murray river have been affected by blue green algae, this hasn't stopped the fish from biting. The section down stream from Yarrawonga is the worst affected at present, with a small amount still affecting upstream from Yarrawonga towards Corrowa. To prove that the algae hasn't made fishing pointless, customer Mario fished the section of river from Corrowa down towards Bundalong - where he caught around 60 cod in 5 days. A lot of the fish were in the 40 - 60cm size range, with a few like this 80cm fish taking lures also. Trolled stumpjumpers and cast spinnerbaits did most of the damage.


Staff member Dylan has also been caught a few cod recently. Dylan has been fishing the section of water around Bundalong and has caught fish to around 75cm on surface lures during the afternoon. Customer Travis also fished for the cod recently and managed his first one which he was rapt with.


Not to be outdone, the golden perch have been quite active in the Murray around Mulwala recently. Dropping water temperatures have kicked them into gear and had them feeding actively, with staff member Dylan and mates catching a few nice ones over the Anzac weekend. The goldens have been hitting 3/8th and 1/2oz spinnerbaits along large bankside snags, with purples, whites and red skirt colours being the standout colours recently. These fish should be reasonably active over the next month and then slow off as the water gets substantially cooler towards June.

 


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.

 

You'd have to be keeping your head in the sand if you haven't heard any talk of kingfish around Melbourne and the rest of the state at the moment! Summer time equals kingfish, and with water temperatures at about their peak these fish have been active. While they can still be hit and miss like every other form of fishing, there are plenty of these hard fighting blue water brutes about at the moment.


There has been kingfish action all round the state, but reports from around Portland and also the 'rip' have been quite solid. Portland has been the pick if you're able to cover a few kilometres, as fish numbers are good at the moment, with fish being caught as close as the Lee breakwater and most methods are doing well on them. Customer Daniel fished the Portland area last week to land fish to about 8kg on lures. Smaller 130mm hardbodied trolling lures and surface poppers were the standout for him.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching a few kingfish down around Portland also. James has been finding quality kingfish on 'sluggo' or 'slapstix' style plastics in white and also clear, along with smaller stickbaits in the 80 - 130mm size range. These work exceptionally well when the fish are high in the water column. When the fish are sitting down 15 - 20m+ this is the time for jigs or livebaits.


Customers Ben and Aaron fished out from Westernport around some of the offshore marks recently to land some nice kingies. Fish to 14kg were landed on a mixture of stickbaits and live baits. The wash zone and secondary points and drop offs were where the fish were active. Slimey mackerel were the best choice of live baits, and the Shimano Ocea stickbaits were dynamite when cast to midwater holding fish.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whiting reports have slowly started increasing over the last number of weeks as most anglers get their fill of snapper. While the whiting fishing has been good since the end of winter, most of the schools of fish are carrying better numbers at the moment compared to the cooler months. Fish to 40cm are relatively common along the banks, with larger fish to just shy of 50cm hanging about in deeper water.

Customer Sam fishes for the whiting fairly regularly, and he has been finding the fishing quite good overall over the last month or so. Staff member Don has also found the whiting fishing quite good, with the usual small movements around an area necessary to stay on top of the school. Generally speaking, the depth areas between 2 - 5m are the best starting point, with bigger fish normally caught in anything from 10m+ of water. The areas around Redbill and Fairhaven have been good over the last week, along with far southern end of Tyabb bank. Pipi, squid, cuttlefish and red devil worm have been the baits to use, with cocktail mixtures of these baits proving more effective.