While a lot of anglers wouldn't think it, many 'swamps' in and around the outer metro suburbs can produce an array of fish, if you know how to look for them. In any given system you can catch redfin, rainbow trout, brown trout, carp, roach, tench, eels, blackfish, silver perch, yellowbelly and murray cod. Not all locations hold these fish, but some most certainly do. The main culprits you'll come across are of course carp, redfin and eels - especially if you're bait fishing.

In a local wetland customer Daniel has been throwing the newest Aussie colour 'bent minnows' to attract the attention of some XL redfin. Daniel has been catching some chunky fish, with 40cm+ the norm in some systems. Because of the reeds and shallow weed Daniel has been fishing the shallow surface lures and spending less time fouled up and more time hooked up!


A typical series of 'wetland' or swamp lakes is somewhere like Berwick Springs. Now anyone can simply open up their default mapping app on phone, or a melways if you're old school and find these sort of locations. Many are overlooked because of their proximity to housing estates or 'un-glamorous' look, but virtually all of them will hold freshwater fish of some sort. With many interconnected lakes and drains, Berwick Springs is a large habitat for these fish to move around in, and plenty of vegetation to support food for these fish. With carp to over 10kg in here, some of these systems can hold some serious fish!


Speaking of carp, customer Jordan has been catching school sized fish on the fly rod in these sorts of lakes. Jordan knows that there carp in almost all of them, and they are a very good fish to hone your lure and fly fishing skills on. Jordan has found plenty of carp sunning themselves and cruising just under the surface in search of food, and a well executed cast and presentation of fly has gotten the interest of a few. If you're more a bait fisherman then these fish will still test your skills - but you certainly need to rig and gear up for them accordingly. No 4/0 snapper hooks and heavy lines here, most of the time fishing without any finesse will see you go home without a bite. If you're interested in fine tuning your fishing on these readily available species talk to the guys in the shop to make sure you're gearing up correctly, and giving yourself a good chance at catching something.

 

We're really heading into trout time! The cooler weather and water means that the streams and lakes have been a bit more active over the last few weeks, even if water levels are lower and clearer than normal. If we get some decent rain draining into the rivers over the next month things will be even better as the larger fish move to spawn.

Customer Luke from Ace Adventures donned the waders and fished some of the small water above Noojee with a mate recently. Luke found there were plenty of fish willing to take a swipe at a well presented lure, with around 25cm being about the norm.


Customer Brendan also enjoys his trout fishing and more so stream trout fishing. Brendan has also been fishing the Noojee area, with the Latrobe, Toorongo and Loch rivers all getting a look at. Brendan found that small shallow running 'jerkbait' style hardbodies were the most effective, especially in foil sided flashy gold and natural colours. For most of these smaller rivers this style of lure is an ideal starting point as it won't dive too deep and snag up, and will also hold quite well in faster water. Using an 'aggressive-natural-neutral' colour range you will normally be able to find a lure that will get you the results on the day.


Brendan found the fishing really hotted up just before dark as there was a hatch of small caddis which really got the trout aggressive. The period just pre-dusk can see fish become active is holes and pools that you may have already fished with no result, so it pays to hang around sometimes and see just how many fish are in the deeper sections. If you're a keen fly caster, this period is when you will enjoy some success using larger dry flies up to size 10 or 8, especially in a 'stimulator' or 'elk hair caddis' pattern.


Just over the range, Eildon has still been producing fish from the pondage using coarse style methods, with the odd fish taking a long-cast spoon or hardbody from the banks. The weir itself is sitting at around 55% at the moment and has been rather slow on the trout front, with the normal response from anglers searching for trout being "Yeah a few small ones". Most of the fish being caught at the moment are coming from the main arm, from Eildon boat harbour through to just inside Big River inlet. Flat-lined tassie devils are definitely a good option to carry, with a larger 'spawning trout' pattern hardbody set a few metres down also giving you the chance at annoying a larger fish on it's way to spawn.

Customer Sam entered the Eildon Fishing Competition last week and didn't do too bad. Sam was fishing the main lake casually chasing the trout and he ended up with a couple of nice fish. Trolling lures around the timbered edge found browns to around 40cm for Sam, with assist hook rigged flatlined spoons and tassies doing the damage.  

 

The local stocked lakes have been fishing well for trout over the last week of the school holidays. While the weather was reasonable anglers were out making the most of the feisty trout. The standouts have been Karkarook Park Lake and also Eildon pondage for some bigger fish.

Customer Gordon has been catching some really nice specimens from the pondage, with fish over 2.5kg not uncommon. Gordon has been fishing a coarse method with both 'trout dough' and powerbait in a variety of colours. Gordon has found many anglers giving up easily on his last few sessions, with many people only staying for half an hour or so with no berley - which is one of the keys to getting these fish going.


Staff member Don took his nephews Zac and Aaron out to Karkarook Park for a spot of trout fishing and they weren't disappointed. Don showed the boys how to set up their lines correctly for this style of fishing, and after a little while they started getting into some fish. Fine mix berley got the fish going after about 20 minutes and the small fine gauge hooks did their job in pinning the trout in the jaw. The trout dough caught more on this occasion, but 'lime twist' coloured powerbait also caught a couple of fish.


Another young angler catching trout at Karkarook Park is Breanna. Breanna was fishing with her dad Darren at the lake where she hooked and landed 3 rainbow trout by herself. The feeder cage rig worked wonders is keeping the fish active in the area that they were fishing, and gave a burst of scent around the bait when it hit the water.

 

The many trout lakes around the state and outer suburbs have been getting some attention over the Easter school holidays, and for anglers fishing the correct methods most have been producing. Many of the lakes get stocked before every school holidays so that the kids can have some fun.

The lure fishing been good for many anglers but the coarse method involving powerbait and formulated trout dough has been almost guaranteed success when fished correctly. 


Staff member Don has been away with family over the week along the banks of the Goulburn river, where he has been catching fish with his kids. Don and his boys have been catching most of their trout on a variety of lures to suit the conditions, with tassie devils and Yakamito spoons producing a lot of fish and the most foolproof lures were rigged with assist or single hooks.


The stocked trout spoon bite has been excellent a bit closer to home among the suburb systems at Lakeside Pakenham and also Karkarook Park in Moorabbin. With an abundance of recently stocked fish in these lakes, now is the perfect time to trial any lures you want some fish catching confidence in. Customer Morgan had a blast catching over a dozen rainbows just this morning on a variety of small spoons including the Yakamito 'Pink Mudeye' and Strike Tiger 'Perch' patterns. Single hooks ensured all but one came unhooked.


A bit further afield, customer Steve has had some success up at Lake Jindabyne. Steve has found the lake to be fishing as well as it has in recent times, with a nice bag of 5 trout to 5lb caught in one evening among some mates. All fish were caught in a 2 hour session and all on spider mudeyes.

 

Eildon pondage has been fishing well for trout again, with plenty of fish to keep anglers of all skill levels happy. With some nice weather forecast it is a good option to take the kids and get them hooked on fishing over the Easter break. Bank fishing is easy at the pondage with many spots an easy few metres from the car, which helps everyone. The hot baits at the moment are the 'trout dough and various coloured powerbait formulas. Don't forget the trout pellet berley though or else your pretty much serving up a pie without sauce!


Customer/semi local fishing identity Zoran with just a few of his recent fish from Eildon pondage. Zoran has been fishing both trout dough and powerbait, with bites swining towards the dough one day and then powerbait the next. Zoran has also been fishing longer, super soft tipped rods and light mono to detect any of the subtle bites that the bigger fish are generally known for.


Customer Greg also fished the pondage recently with mate Mark, where they had some success on powerbait. This nice brown was 1 of 20 fish caught on the day, with the most success had on pink coloured powerbait.

 

 


The hot trout fishing has continued this week with Eildon pondage still producing plenty of fish for dedicated anglers. The coarse-method bait fishing using a fine grit berley and dough style baits has accounted for most of the catch at the moment, with the odd fish caught on a lure in between bait hook ups. Customer Zoran has again been catching good numbers of trout using these techniques, and says that there is no 'hot spot' - rather that a correct berley mixture and persistence will create your own 'hot spot'.

Customer Jenice fished the pondage a few weeks ago and her father came in store to stock up and try his luck. After the correct berley and bait tactics were discussed he went back and caught trout like this lovely brown using the same methods.


A bit closer to home, customer Jim sent us a report from Devilbend Reservoir where he caught this thumping brown trout recently. Jim fishes the area fairly regularly and after seeing his dad Mark's fish in last week's report it prompted him to send this report in. Jim does a bit of lure fishing at Devilbend and this fish was caught on the humble 'tassie devil' in you guessed it...pink!

 

Plenty of trout getting caught around the place! If you're chasing some better sized fish and don't mind some relaxing bait fishing, then get out there! The coarse style baitfishing is very productive at present, with locations like Eildon pondage firing. Customer John fished with his sister and some other family members up on the pondage to land a nice bag of fish using the coarse methods.


Customer Zoran and mates have been up at the pondage again this week, where they have again been getting in to some ripper trout. Both browns and rainbows were caught recently, with plenty of fish hooked and landed and a couple kept for the family. The coarse 'pellet' berley method and 'trout' dough bait style has again been the key, with bright coloured powerbait mixed in claiming plenty of fish also.


Now it's not just any old dough that will catch you a brace of big trout - doughs ain't doughs! THIS here is the stuff you need if you WANT RESULTS. This specialist trout dough is just one part of the bigger picture, if you're unsure about the rigging method for this style of fishing talk to the guys in the shop - as plenty of customers have been catching good fish as a result of trying this particular method of fishing.


Now it's not just places like Eildon where the coarse method and dough baits have been working - they work in any stocked trout location. If  you're not fussed on driving to Eildon, there are plenty of more 'local' locations to catch trout the same way, with lakes as close as Moorabbin! At Devilbend down on the peninsula the coarse method works also, and some of the trout in there are pushing 8lb! Customer Mark caught this ripper 3lb brown just recently from the reservoir, so it shows the quality of the trout in there!

 


Eildon pondage is still ON FIRE for anyone thinking of heading up there. The trout fishing has been excellent, provided you are using the correct methods. Staff member George fished with mate Jim earlier during the week and they cleaned up again. With bright, sunny conditions the fish were holding a bit deeper but also biting more tentatively, with small size 14 hooks and corn kernel sized baits getting the bites. Using finely balanced coarse floats and 4lb mono gave every bit of bite detection from these fish.


Customer Zoran fished the pondage over the weekend and found some nice fish again. Powerbait and 'hatchery trout dough' was the most effective for him.


Staff member Don fished with mate Sam up on the pondage on Monday where they caught around 40 fish. Don and Sam caught a lot of school sized rainbows, with some bigger fish to around 6lb coming ashore also. The same methods have been working for all, with trout dough/powerbait the gun baits when fished on the correct hook, and a combination of sinking trout berley pellets and Stimulate fine grit berley mixture keeping the fish around.


If you are unsure of the gear being used currently at the pondage, come in and talk to the guys in store - as between them they've caught over 100 fish from the pondage in the last week alone, and these methods work excellent on all stocked lakes.

 


The last few weeks have seen some good garfish activity locally, with the piers producing a few for the anglers chasing them. There have been numbers to catch if you're fishing inshore in a boat or kayak, but most of the reports have been coming from the piers and rock groynes around the eastern side of the bay. Berley is a must when targeting these fish as without it you may only get 1 or 2, whereas the use of a fine mix berley trail can result in good bags of these tasty fish.

Customer Dragon fished Frankston pier earlier this week where he got a great bag of fish. Both silverfish and maggots worked equally well when fished on size 14 hooks.


Staff member Don has also been out on the gars as well with his family. Fishing from Frankston pier over the weekend, Don managed a nice feed of gars, with silverfish being the more productive bait. A fine grit berley mixture keep going helped keep the fish biting while there were people jumping off the pier and swimming around it.

 

 

While most people assume that shore based fishing isn't any good around the bays, there's been a lot of variety caught at the moment. There are many piers, rockwalls and beaches around both bays where you can catch some fish - the trick is to try and target a particular species. While this can sometimes be fruitless (that's why it's called fishing and not catching) you will generally do better if you set yourself up in search of a particular fish, instead of setting up for everything and most likely not catching much.


Around most of the piers in southern Port Phillip and Westernport there have been good numbers of yakkas. While they turn up and disappear pretty quickly, they should hang around for a while now as the reports have only recently hotted up. Portsea, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Flinders are all worth a shot. Customer Angelo fished from Flinders pier during the week and while the squid were quiet for him, the mackerel made up for it. Small pieces of prawn fished on light gauge hooks off a paternoster rig were the go for him. Many anglers have also been catching good numbers of mackerel fishing under a float, as they tend to move about mid-water a lot. A fine grit, coarse-like berley mix is deadly when these fish are around, as it will keep the school actively feeding in your area. They can also be caught using small soft plastics fished on light weight and fine gauge jigheads.


While not normally known for whiting, fished from the shores of Port Phillip can produce some nice fish. Staff member Dylan has seen some good sized fish around Brighton and Black Rock during the week while swimming - with no one fishing for them. Fishing after dark around the top of the tide can be the most productive time, especially after a warm day. Customer Ange fished from the shore around Sandringham during the week where he caught some nice fish. Ange also found a patch of smaller pinkies, which came from a nearby reef to hammer his baits.

If you are chasing the whiting, try and target areas of sand with small patches of eelgrass or light reef nearby, and cast your baits around the edge of this structure, as the whiting will frequently patrol the edges looking for food. If it's pinkies your after, areas of heavier reef with broken sand patches are more productive, especially around last light. There are plenty of areas like around Brighton, Black Rock, Frankston and Mornington.


On the squid scene, things have been good. The warm afternoons have been good for squidding from the beaches and rocks, with Blairgowrie, Mornington and Mt Martha all producing. Customer Harry got out and fished from the beaches around Mt Martha and Mt Eliza, where he caught 8 nice squid using the Yakamito 'fluoro lemon' jig.


Around the same sort of ground off Mt Martha, customer Daniels and Jake fished in close to the shore in their kayak. A nice calm 5:30am start meant they caught prospect around the shallows without much chop and boat wake. The guys ended up with 9 squid in a few hours, on a variety of jigs in both size 2.5 and 3.0. Orange, green and purple colours worked on the day. Staff member Dylan fished in a similar area during the week to land 9 squid on size 2.5 Yamashita and Shimano jigs, with UV based blacks and pinks the standouts.