Melbourne's local freshwater fishing has been good over the past month, as we've finally gotten some rain! Many of the creeks have been running low, and the water storage dams have also been down on capacity. We have however started t o get some of our winter rain which has breathed a bit of life back into the system, and in the annual timeline of a trout - prompted them to start their spawn run. Many of the larger rivers around the region have seen congregations of fish pushing their way up to their spawning grounds. While these fish at times can be annoyingly frustrating to try and catch, they will swat a precisely placed lure on their way up river.


Many of the trout rivers within 2 hours drive from the CBD have been producing fish of late as well. The Goulburn river has been running at a low environmental level which if anything has concentrated the fish a bit more. Rainbows to around 800g have been the norm for bait, lure and fly anglers lately. The smaller streams such as Rubicon, Acheron and also the Yarra have been producing fish for all methods too. Straight after a solid downpour a small bunch of scrubbies or troutworms drifted down river is a pretty good way to go. For the lure angler, hardbodies in the 60mm size range are perfect, with high flash golds and aggressive colour schemes working well. Just a reminder that the 2016 trout season closes at midnight on Monday 13th June, up until midnight Friday 2nd September. Trout can still be taken in designated 'sea run' streams and lakes, with all details being found through the following link:

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-guide/catch-limits-and-closed-seasons/freshwater-scale-fish/rainbow-trout/trout-and-salmon-regulations




For the holiday makers heading to any of the states' northern impoundments, the native fish are about as active as they will get over the summer months. Water temperatures in all but the coldest regions have warmed dramatically and this has sent species like Murray cod, yellowbelly and bass into overdrive.

Customers Jordan and Jinsu have done some work on the yellowbelly in recent weeks, and have caught fish to around 45cm in length. While yellas can take a bit of searching to find where they are holed up, normally once one is caught there is a good chance that a few more will be close by. Jordan and Jinsu found small profile vibes like the Daiwa 47S to be effective when hopped around likely rock ledges and fallen timber.

Customer Zoran also chased the yellas up towards Eildon with a mate and found some nice fish. Using modern sounder technology, the yellowbelly were able to be pinpointed and targeted using small plastics around fallen timber. Most of the fish were in the 45 - 55cm range which are chunky little fish.

The next couple of months should see the yellowbelly plateau off somewhat, with themselves and Murray cod still a good option for summer freshwater fisherman.  


With the school holidays coming up next week, DEPI Victoria have stocked a number of local suburban lakes with yearling rainbow trout so that kids of all ages can access some decent fun fishing that is close to home. For a complete list of lakes that have been stocked please follow the link below.

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/fish-stocking/school-holiday-trout-stocking

While these trout may be small and feisty and can be caught lure, fly and bait-fishing; they aren't complete knockovers, especially if you are using the wrong gear or methods. The single most effective method for catching these fish is 'simplified coarse fishing'. The use of specific berley mixtures, rigs and baits will just about ensure success at any location. If you're unsure about any of the methods used we can show you in store as without proper explanation it can sound confusing. 

Staff member George and his mate Pero used this 'simplified' method of coarse fishing down at Karkarook Park Lake just recently to land their 10 trout in a short time. George said that the fish would bite very timidly and any resistance against them would force them to drop the bait and move off. In this scenario very light tipped 'feeder' style rods and the most effective tool for hooking these type of subtle biting fish. 


Staff member Don also took his young twins down to Karkarook Park Lake for a bit of fun on the trout this week, and using the same light line method of fishing the twins were unstoppable. Even a 2lb carp came along and took one of the baits, which became soup for one of Don's European friends.

In a suburban wetland not too far away, fishing nut Jordan has been honing his skills and tactics on some redfin while the weather has been average. Jordan has been using a variety of methods including weedless soft plastic rigs to entice the reddies from out of the reeds and grass. The good thing about this form of fishing is that virtually every wetland or suburban lake around Melbourne will have these fish in them. A good way to practice your skills close to home  

 

Even though trout streams are off-limits until September, the local family fishing lakes around Melbourne have been worth fishing if you need a trout fix. Karkarook, Emerald, Casey Fields and Rowville have all been fishing well lately with some recently stocked rainbow trout on the hit list. There has definitely been a proper technique to catching these fish consistently with anglers just 'taking a punt' most often going home fishless. Preparation of trout-specific berley and the correct rigging technique, along with a bit of patience will see you tackling with some feisty little rainbows. 

Staff member Don took his twin boys down to a couple of the family lakes recently and had no trouble catching a heap of trout using the proper methods. He did notice a few anglers struggling with incorrect presentation or bait but after a good explanation in the store these anglers were out catching the week after.

Customers George and Kristina fished Emerald lake during the school holidays where they caught some trout. Using a light paternoster rig and Gulp trout nuggets they caught 5 rainbows in a couple of hours.

Close by some of the local wetlands and suburban lakes have been keeping people busy with catches of redfin. Customers Kozi and Yuta have been casting lures in some of the local dams and wetlands for redfin up to about 400g. Yuta made up his own lure using a vodka cruiser bottletop and it tricked a couple of fish, but now has to live down the fact that everyone knows he drinks cruisers...

 

There has still been some good freshwater fishing despite the hot weather around Melbourne, with some of the cooler trout streams and lakes producing along with local urban lakes. Customer Peter took his daughter Kristina down to Emerald Lake to fish for the rainbow trout and she was rapt in catching one of her own. The nice rainbow took a Powerbait nugget in Rainbow colour fished on the bottom. Staff member Kozi has been fishing some of the locally stocked lakes for redfin recently, and while most of the fish have been fairly small there has been no shortage of them to catch. Kozi has found Karkarook to be one of the better ones recently, with soft plastics working well. 2.5 inch Zman grubs in the bloodworm colour have caught most of his fish when fished on a 1/20th jighead.

 

Up around Eildon the Goulburn River has been fishing ok for trout but water levels are fairly high and the are well spread out. Jason from bullet lures has been catching a few nice browns in the river up around Alexandra on the redfin coloured bullet lure. Customer Daniel spent a few days on Lake Eildon in search of yellowbelly, but with lots of boat activity that plan was soon out the window. A backup plan of his was to search for feeding carp and present flies to them. Around some of the calmer bays and points the carp were active enough to cast wets like wooly buggers and matukas in front of them with good success. Using a #7 outfit to combat the wind, carp to around 6kg were caught and dispatched.

The Gippsland Lakes systems are very popular holiday locations at this time of year, both for fishing and other watersports and even just to unwind. The fishing is really top notch at this time of the year, with the only negative impact being the sheer amount of people on the water. At some stages the fish get a little bit spooky, but they can normally be found not far away with a bit of searching around.

Customers Ryan and Luke got away to the Eastern estuaries just last week in search of some bream luring. The guys threw their kayaks on the roof and headed out to the Gippsland lakes where they started looking around. The guys ended up having a solid weekend session with plenty of quality fish caught, on all manner of lures. Small soft plastics up to 4'' in size were effective, along with lipless crankbaits and hardbodies. Black and yellowfin bream were caught, along with a few reasonable size tarwhine as well. 

 

There are plenty of light line options for family anglers fishing from the shoreline and piers over the Christmas break, not all fishing needs to be done out of an expensive boat. For anglers wanting to head out somewhere close to home, most of the piers along the Eastern side of Port Phillip have been producing a few different species. Provided you take some light outfits and berley along, you can have a bit of fun.

The main species on offer using these methods will be; squid, bream, trevally, salmon, yakkas, garfish and couta. The bream fishing in the Patterson and Maribyrnong Rivers has been good over the last week with some nice fish being caught. Customer Peter fished the Patto using yabbies and scrubworms to catch a few bream to 32cm. Small 'shiner' style hooks fished on 4lb fluorocarbon and a split shot have been a very effective way to catch these fish.

Down at Mornington pier there have been a few light line options for anglers, with mullet, salmon, yakkas and couta all on the go. A slow release berley mix like the pier and jetty mix is vital for targeting these fish, if you want to catch more that just the odd one. Staff member Dylan fished from the pier during the week to collect some baits and caught yakkas, garfish, tommy rough and couta using this berley mixture, along with delicately weighted float set ups.

Melbourne's metropolitan rivers have been fishing well for estuary species such as bream, mullet and mulloway recently - even though there haven't too many people fishing the rivers. Most anglers have been targeting the snapper so the estuaries have been a bit quieter. The Maribyrnong, Yarra and Patterson rivers have been fishing well for these species. Customer Adam Vansneans has been out in his kayak targeting both bream and mulloway recently, and he managed both species in his last session. Adam was fishing light gear and lures when he found himself some school mulloway and black bream to 39cm. All fish took small metal blades in dark, dull colours slowly hopped along the bottom. 

Along the eastern side of the bay, Customer Reece fished one of the rivers on Tuesday night in search of a school mulloway or two. Reece managed a nice soapie while lurefishing after dark. Reece was slow rolling and hopping a soft hybrid/vibe style lure in search of the mulloway. Customer Tony took his son down to the Patto over the weekend in search of some bream, and their mission was accomplished with bream to 38cm caught fishing with maggots and fine berley mix. Tony was fishing after dark and found that the berley helped the fish really hone in on the baits and stay around. 

There is some decent trout fishing close enough to Melbourne for anglers not wanting to drive too far. Many urban lakes have been stocked with trout within the last few weeks, which is perfect timing for school holidays. A few good options are Karkarook Park in Moorabbin, along with Devilsbend Reservoir on the Mornington Peninsula. Both lakes have redfin and trout in them, but most anglers target the trout. Young customer Callen fished with his Dad down at Devilsbend just recently, where the guys threw all sorts of lures out. With fish frustratingly following all the way to the banks, Callen changed to one of his lures that he made himself. Within 2 casts Calen was on, and he ended up landing a nice rainbow of around 700g.

There are some streams within around the same distance from the suburbs that carry small numbers of wild trout for anglers to trick and trick on lure or fly. These streams are only small, and aren't so much suited to bait fishing - but can be fun on lure and fly. Staff member Dylan went out over the weekend for a quick session on some local rivers to try and entice a fish on the fly. With plenty of water pushing down the streams the fishing was fairly tough, but a few small rainbows were caught fishing small nymphs through the runs. Dylan found that black bead head nymphs were the most productive.

Customer Jordan also fished for trout on the fly on the weekend, with the Yarra River his intended destination. Jordan found the river running fairly well but not as discoloured as it's usual self. Jordan fished out above Warburton in search of a trout and in a short time he landed a few smaller fish and had a better size brown jump off. Jordan fished a small nymph under an indicator and found this got their attention. 

For anglers wanting to catch a few trout locally there have been some good options. With school holidays coming up, most of the 'family fishing lakes' have been topped up with rainbow trout. Lakes like Casey Fields, Karkarook Park and Caulfield Lake are fairly close to the suburbs and an easy drive for families to go and enjoy the sun. Staff member George has been fishing some of the local stocked lakes recently, and has found that the fish are biting well. George has caught plenty of rainbow trout on specialist rigs in these lakes, with bait and berley selection being crucial. Powerbait has been super effective when fished on small trebles on the lake floor, in conjunction with a berley mixture. Fine grit berley and trout specialist pellets have been excellent in keeping the fish around the bait, especially when thrown out and also mixed into feeder cages. 

For a short drive out of the suburbs, most of the local rivers and creeks have been producing small trout for lure and fly anglers. Customer Jordan has been hunting around in some fairly local streams in search of trout on the fly and few fish have been about. Jordan has found some nicely marked brown trout in deeper runs and pools of the rivers, with small dark coloured nymphs getting the results.