There is plenty going on in the freshwater if you want to try your luck. Pretty much every specie is on offer at present, from local suburban lakes right up to the Murray river way up near Swan Hill. Local lakes such as Devilbend and Karkarook have been producing fish and customer Morgan has been getting amongst them. Morgan has been catching some sizeable redfin from a few different lakes around the area, with fish well over 40cm smashing small surface lures and plastics. Morgan has found lures that imitate the local mosquito fish have been the most effective on the redfin.


The native fish up along the Murray have been fishing well, with golden perch and Murray cod both active at the moment. Customer Phil fished the Murray up towards Mildura and caught some chunky golden perch from the boat. Fishing baits back in around undercut banks and fallen timber was the most effective method, with shrimp and frozen bass yabbies the two most effective baits at present. Customer Andy also fished the Murray around Yarrawonga for the cod and he has been catching a few smaller fish to around 65cm. Andy has been casting a few different styles of lure, with high-buoyancy hardbodies doing well for him over the timber and weed at present.


There has been plenty on offer closer to home around Eildon. Fisheries Victoria have been very busy stocking 150 solid trout to over 2kg in the pondage during the week - with a mixture of both browns and rainbows. These fish will be worth targeting now that they have been in the lake for a few days - so make sure you check all your coarse tackle and specialist baits and berley out before the kids go back to school. 

In the main lake at Eildon, Fisheries have also topped up Murray cod numbers, with another 25,000 cod stocked in during the week. At around 3 months old, these cod fingerlings will find shelter among the broken rock and timber and turn into mean, lure-crunching machines soon enough!


Speaking of Eildon cod, there have been some nice fish caught - but the high amount of water traffic over the busy period has kept things a bit quieter. If you're a die-hard cod angler you're probably not fishing 'gentlemens hours' anyway so you will be aware of the boat traffic. Despite this, there have been fish caught. Customer Travis went and fished the lake recently after purchasing a handful of different cod lures.

Trav persisted away with a large redfin pattern swimbait which got nailed by a chunky little cod of around 50cm, right within sight of one of the main boat ramps! Just goes to show that there are fish all through the lake, and the only way to catch them is to keep on casting! Trav also had some fun on the carp during down time, with some sight caught using surface lures. Catching the carp in the lake can be good fun and a good way to break the monotony on the light gear.

 


Many anglers have been in search of the whiting in the port, and there have been plenty of fish to go around. There haven't been any real 'hot spots' for these fish as they come and go with the tides, but the region around the middle spit has been one of the more consistent. There have been some nice fish along the banks up past Warneet through Tooradin as well as customer Mark found out. Mark fished with his son Sam and mate Darren to work a nice bag of fish up to 43cm. The guys fished the Tooradin channel and found cocktail baits pipi and squid to be the most effective.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding some good numbers of fish along the middle spit and around Tortoise head recently, with the average fish around the 37cm mark. Baits of choice have been mussel, pipi, squid and pilchard fillet for the larger fish in the deeper water. James has had plenty of happy customers and has even managed a few thumpers while on charter, with two large fish at 49cm each up against a 34cm fish for reference.


Customer Jason also fished the top end around Warneet to land a nice bag of fish. Jason found the incoming tide got the fish biting and they responded best to mussel and pipi. Some of the larger fish came on the bite towards last light, as the pushed up along the bank to the shallower water. These larger fish really come into their own after dark, throwing caution into the wind and fully buckling the light rods as they hit the baits.


Customer Mario had a whiting fishing again during the week, and caught some nice fish. Mario again tried one of his deep water areas - with productive fishing in 16m of water. Switching between pipi and squid was the go, with a bag of 33 fish coming from the depths. Table sized flathead and pinkies have been common in the deeper water, with some big schools of yakkas and slimey mackerel turning up if you berley hard. 

 


While reports have thinned off a little from Port Phillip, there is still plenty going on! The snapper have slowed off a little with their usual pre-xmas spawning movements, but there are still plenty of patches of fish to catch. The southern end of the bay seems to be the go at the moment, as the water temp is slightly lower and more conducive to a snapper bite.


Out from Mornington, customers aboard 'Relax, Go Fishing' charters have been getting some solid fish to around the 6kg mark throughout the week. Baits of silver whiting have been very effective along with squid, and a few fish taking the usual pilchard as well. The productive areas have been from Mt Eliza through to Mornington in 16-17-18m of water.


Out from Black Rock customer Adrian has been catching some nice fish to around 4.5kg on pillies. Adrian has been fishing around the reef edge in 9m and fishing pilchards. Using a strong berley trail of pilchard cubes has been the best way to keep the nearby fish interested, with a handful of cubes going in every 40 minutes or so. Customer Michael has been getting a few fish still out from Carrum also. Michael has been fishing nearby to the outer artificial reef in 18m and finding the odd fish around sunrise. Fresh squid has been Michael's preferred bait.


Customer Mick came into the store recently to set up some Port Phillip 'specific' gear. After realizing that some of his stuff was more suited to Western port Mick purchased a lighter outfit to tackle the finicky nature of Port Phillip's snapper. Very next session Mick was out and into fish to about 3.5kg, with long octopus tentacles getting the bites.

Down along the Peninsula there have been some squid caught from some of the piers. Dirtier water and winds have slowed things a bit but persistence and constant jig changes has been the way to piece a bag together. Staff member Don got down to Mornington and although conditions weren't super favourable he still managed a decent haul. Switching between rattle and non rattle 2.5 size jigs was the go, with UV colours and rattles getting bites before the other jigs.


At the bottom of the peninsula there has been some movement from the schooling kingfish. While not 'on fire' yet, there are fish around - and they are worth targeting. Friend of the shop Bruce fished around the heads and offshore towards Barwon over the weekend to get into a few school sized fish. Bruce's best tactic was to run a 'Fanasty squid' hardbody behind the boat and pin a long squid strip on a dropper behind the lure. The lure works to get the king's attention and the squid strip seals the deal.



 


Although the weather at the moment has had similar humidity, the fishing has been different for customer Jacques, who recently returned from a trip to Darwin, and he managed to have a fish while up there. Jacques fished with a local operator in search of Mangrove Jack, Fingermark and even a possible barramundi. Fishing run off mud flats and snake drains Jacques scored some nice school sized barra, with mullet imitation soft plastics the most effective. Tail style can make a big difference in success, with this particular day the huddle or boot tail working the best.


Across in the South Pacific, customer Aaron has been catching some more interesting fish. Aaron has been on honeymoon, and like any desperate angler he has managed to get out and sample some of the local species. Although with limited fishing gear, and dodging the average weather Aaron has managed a few atoll species with the highlight being a nice sailfish caught on a surface popper.

 

 

There has been some mixed freshwater fishing over the week, but should be right on a lot of people's attention over the break. Most species are fishing well, whether you're heading to chase trout or natives. Down at Blue Rock Lake customer George has been catching a few nice bass. George has been fishing in the boat and concentrating around the vertical timber with small freshwater yabbies. Some of the bass that George has been catching have been nearly 40cm, and at this size they will be able to show you where the nearest timber is.


With cod season well underway, there has been a few more anglers getting out and fishing the rivers and lakes. Lake Eildon has been producing some cod for persistent anglers fishing with both bait and lures, while the yellowbelly have also been on the chew. Customer Silvia has been catching the yellowbelly around the Bonnie Doon region of the lake using freshwater yabbies. By fishing the yabbies close the bottom on a fine gauge baitholder hook, Silvia has landed yellowbelly to around 50cm. Customer Steve has also been having success around the area on small murray cod using spinnerbaits.


Around the pondage at Eildon the trout have been biting. Fisheries have released a batch of solid fish into the pondage and another top up is due just about any day now. Customer Jozef has been fishing his wife Margaret who has been the star of late. Margaret has been catching all of the fish on a mixture of powerbaits, with the salmon eggs doing the job of late. Jozef has been trying 7g tassie devils and other small hardbodies but they fish haven't been as favourable towards the lures. Eildon is worth a drive up around the Christmas break as the to up of trout should be right on the chew.

 


At present, the snapper bite has been good but has also had some inconsistency over the last week or so. As water temperatures heat up more in about 2 weeks the fish should go off the bite as they spawn. At the moment though they are still being caught. Customer Sylvio has caught fish to 5kg fishing in close from Black Rock. Pilchards have been the best bait for him.


Customers Robbie and Matej have been fishing out from Mornington recently. The guys have been fishing in the 16m area and have been catching snapper to around the 4kg mark. Fishing with multiple baits, the best bite for them has been between 7:30 and 9:00 am. Hard baits have been fishing better, with silver whiting the standout.


Again around the 16m line customer Aaron has landed snapper to 4kg. Aaron has been fishing the Frankston/Mt Eliza region and has been using freshly caught squid to land his fish.


The Frankston area has been fishing quite well over the past week or so, with good numbers of fish holding in water between 15 - 18m. Customer Steve recently caught a few nice fish to 4.5kg out towards 18m. Customer Paul fished 16m off Frankston to land some crackers to around 6.5kg on silver whiting and pilchard, with the morning tide change more productive than dawn.


Friend of the shop Bruce and mates fished the arvo whiting bite at Queenscliff. Some thumping whiting were caught, with the best baits being pipi and squid. The key for these bigger whiting has been to present bigger baits which works best on slightly bigger hooks like Shogun black baitholders in size 2, on a Paternoster style rig.

 


Previous to whiting fishing, Bruce headed just offshore from Queenscliff in search of a kingfish. Large numbers of school snapper have been around and plaguing baits, but there have been some small kingfish caught around the rubble grounds. Fresh squid has been the go if you can get through the snapper. Gawaine Blake also headed out in search of a kingfish around the heads, and he wasn't disappointed with a couple of lovely fish landed. The time has come!


 


Port Phillip has still been seeing most of the snapper action of late, with some afternoon bites during the week along side the normal early morning feeding routine. The best bet is still to be out before light and  mark up some fish before setting anchor and berley, but if you're into fishing gentlemen's hours then you can still score a fish or two.

Captain Jack fished out from Patto recently to score a nice table sized snapper using a 'snapper snatcher'. Jack fished in 18m and baited up the snatcher with chunks of yakka.


Fishing out wider has been more effective the past week, with the bulk of the reports coming from 16m and deeper. Out from Mornington Captain Bill has been picking up fish to 5kg on pilly and silver whiting. Customer Zoran has also been landing fish early morning out wide from Seaford in 19m. Zoran has been finding silver whiting to be effective at the moment, and he has been berleying with 'snapper magnet' pellets to get the bite going.


Customer Damien has been marking a few fish up out in 19m also. Fishing out from Patto, Damien has been looking for active on the sounder just above the bottom, and sitting around these fish. Squid, pilchard and silver whiting have all been effective on fish to about 4kg.


Out from Seaford customer Mark has been finding some quality fish. Mark has landed fish to better than 6.5kg just earlier in the week, with silver whiting being the best bait. Just make sure to upsize your hooks if fishing larger, harder baits as the snapper's jaw power can roll smaller hooks back into the bait which will foul the hookup. 5/0 and 6/0 are minimum for baits like medium sized whiting and other baitfish.


There have been plenty of school sized fish about recently too, with pinky numbers fairly thick around the inshore and channel reefs. Customers Benny and Ryan fished out from Frankston during the week to land some nice table pinkies on pilchard. If smaller fish are present, pilchard halves or cubes on smaller 2/0 hooks are a much better way to hook up than using whole baits. Customer Dennis has also been finding good school sized fish this week. Dennies has been fishing out from Patto where the average fish has been around 3.5 - 4kg.


Dennis has been fishing with a few mates and has landed fish to 6.7kg, with the most productive depths still out from 16 - 18m. Marking fish on the sounder is fairly crucial as it can show you the mood and size of the fish, and whether to stop on them or not.

 


While Western Port has been fishing well for good variety, it seems a fair bulk of anglers out doing most of their snapper fishing have been out in Port Phillip so reports are less than normal. There have been decent reports of snapper coming from around the port, but the main hotspots are the 'Lysaughts' region, Rhyll and Cowes deep, and through the 'corals' area. The bait preference for the Western Bay has been pilchard, or fresh baits of locally caught species like squid, salmon, couta and yakkas.

Customer Bart had a good session with some mates out from Rhyll. The guys managed 3 table sized gummies and a good bag of snapper to around 3kg fishing in 17.5m of water. Bart said that pilchard was by far the most effective bait, and the fish bit best around the last stage of the run out tide.


On the whiting front, many customers have been remarking "Have the whiting have started already?" The short answer is yes. The Whiting normally start around September in the port but number catches are patchy, with larger fish making up the bags. Currently at present there are good numbers along the banks throughout the top end, with some quality amongst them. As the heat of Summer approaches the school fish will make up the bulk of the catch up along the banks, but right now there are some good ones about.

Staff member Don has been out on the 'tings' again which is no shock to us, with fish to around the 40cm marking up his recent bag. Fishing deep in Bagge Harbour towards 'Crawfish' Don and mate managed 30 fish with lots around the 37cm size. Usual baits of pipi worked well but long thin strips of fresh squid were also very effective on 'worm' style hooks in the current.

 


Blue Rock Lake has started to warm up for fishing, especially if you're chasing the bass. The water level of the dam is around 2m lower than normal and reveals lots of partially submerged structure - so be mindful when navigating the lake. The bass and redfin have been biting fairly well along the shorelines and through the standing timber, with both bait and lures working well.

Customer George landed a few fish to around 30cm last week in the boat. George was fishing close to the vertical timber and using freshwater yabbies for bait.


Staff member Dylan has been fishing the lake over the last few weeks and while no monsters have been encountered there have been a few fish about. With  water clarity down on normal visibility darker coloured lures and strong silhouettes have been more effective than natural patterns. Small swimbaits and wakebaits have been catching the lion's share, with odd fish taking a crankbait fished deep through the timber. Some of the Megabass range has been the standout, with the Shading-X and Vibe-X Vattalion both working well.

 


Port Phillip remains the number 1 choice for many anglers when it comes to catching snapper. It can be less daunting for anglers who haven't done as much snapper fishing as others, but can also get quite rough when strong winds rip up. This week we have had plenty of strong winds and rainfall which has kept all but the keenest anglers off the water, but it has really knocked the snapper bite up another gear.


Early in the week as the Southwesterly blow backed off the fish bit very well, with good numbers moving about and right up into the shallower murky water to feed. Customer Phil made the most of the bite and scored fish around the 6kg mark fishing out from Chelsea. Baits of squid and silver whiting were the most effective for him. Customer Bashir has also been capitalizing on the good bite since the rain with fish to 5kg coming from 13m of water out from Black Rock. Pilchard and gars have been the best baits for him.


Customer Dominic and mate Gary fished out wide from Mt Martha over early during the week to land some nice fish. The largest fish weighed just over 8.5kg and took silver whiting. The hard baits have been a definite preference for the snapper over the last few weeks, with silver whiting deadly. Other hard baits worth fishing have been small salmon or yakkas, with the pickers normally leaving these alone. Customer Sylvio fished out from Black Rock using silver whiting and pilchard over the weekend and reports fish to 5kg biting well around the 12m area.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Port Phillip recently and most anglers reported snapper back at the weigh in. The largest fish weighed around 4.5kg, with plenty more caught between the 1-4kg mark.


While the snapper are the main focus at the moment, there have been some nice King George Whiting caught around the southern end of the bay. Customer Michael fished around Tootgarook with mate Dominic and some nice solid were caught. Fishing around 6m of water was best, as the pinkies would take over in the deeper water. Pipi and fresh squid was also very successful, with the squid giving some substance to the bait when the pinkies were hassling eh whiting off the baits. The whiting should only improve from now on, with the Mt Martha-Rye-Blairgowrie region a good place to focus on.