The estuaries out along the east Gippsland coastline are fishing well at present. The holiday crowds have quietened off and water traffic is back to a minimum and the fish are eating. The Gippsland lakes themselves have been quiet however, with some rumoured blue-green algae present. Lake Tyers has been producing fish for anglers keen enough to be on the water early and late, and move about to find the fish. Customer Shane was down at Tyers just recently where he landed this ripper flathead that measured 92cm. The monster flattie took a 5'' prawn imitation, which needless to say Shane has stocked up on again.


The bream have been actively feeding around the margins of the lakes and creeks in the area, with shallow diving minnows and surface presentations getting the most consistent results. A common theme recently has been the use of brightly coloured lures to 'shock' the bream in to giving a 'reaction' bite. Where natural or ghost colour patterns may go unnoticed the brighter contrasting colours key in to the fishes inquisitive nature and the only way for them to test is by using their mouth!


Customer Ryan with some average Gippsland bream caught using small brightly coloured surface and subsurface lures, with overcast and slightly choppy conditions favoured as being the most productive.

 


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.

 

 


The Murray River is a popular family holiday location, with nice serene bushland flanking a lot of it's banks and a large amount of famliy friendly camping areas. The fishing on the Murray itself can vary but over the warmer months the cod and yellowbelly can be caught on bait and lures. While on family holiday, 16 year old Jaxson caught his first Murray cod out of the river near Barooga, on his second day fishing. Jaxson got some great advice from the Compleat Angler guys and was wrapt with his fish. Great work Jaxson!


Further down the river, young Levi caught this nice 38cm yellowbelly around Piangil. The yellowbelly in the area should stay active until around May, so there's plenty of time to catch yourself some like this one!

 

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.

 

If you are out towards Lakes Entrance or anywhere in East Gippsland and are thinking of chasing the bream then right now the fishing is excellent. Most of the estuaries are running warm and full of food items such as prawn, shrimp, garfish and other small baitfish - and this abundant food has got the bream biting. You can certainly catch a few fish by bait fishing from either the shore or in a small craft, but the lure fishing is simply too good at the moment to pass up. Many anglers have been reporting crazy sessions where 50 fish on lures isn't uncommon - but there are certainly some tricks to help boost the bite for you. Firstly, you MUST use a light and responsive graphite rod. This sort of fishing is all about control and feel and simply, with a fibreglass rod you have none. Light braided line will help you with the feel factor, as it will indicate any subtle bites or taps on the lure, and it will also get the lures to swim better - which results in more bites! 

Customer Russ tried his hand at lure fishing for bream for the first time down at Bemm River. Russ did well landing some chunky black bream in the lake, with Luckycraft 'flash minnows' and 'bevy shads' getting the job done for him. Russ looks stoked and will probably continue on board the lure fishing train now.


Victorian Tackle Representatives Gez and Mitch were also down at the Bemm doing the same thing on the bream, and they report that the bream are really going well. Using 'bent minnows' and other surface pencils along with shallow running 'jerkbaits' like luckycraft flash minnows, Gez and Mitch report that in some areas they were going a fish a cast, with many double hookups on nice size fish. Again finesse tackle certainly helps, as these fish are cruising along shallow clear flats and can be spooked easily.


Staff member Dylan also fish out in Gippsland over the weekend, with a bit of variety of fish landed while targeting the bream. Fish like this 37cm yellowfin bream were crunching surface poppers and stickbaits, with every fish for the trip taken on a surface lure. Big amounts of small prawns in the estuary really got the fish hitting the surface aggressively.


Customer Jordan with a nice 39cm yellowfin bream caught on a surface pencil from the weekend. Small lures that fit the profile and natural colours of a school prawn got belted when they were cast into the right areas. 

 


While most trout fisheries go a bit quieter during the heat of Summer, Eildon stays pretty steady. The trout can still be caught in the weir if you're fishing down a bit deeper targeting thermoclines and focusing your efforts around low light conditions, but with other natives to catch like cod and yellowbelly the lake trout get overlooked a little during Summer.

Eildon pondage on the other hand is a more consistent fish producer year round - especially if you're using the correct methods. The pondage has been RED HOT lately, so if there were ever a time to go for a casual drive by yourself or wit the kids, now would be it. Customer Zoran fished the pondage with mates last week where some nice solid browns were caught. Using pellet berley, long light rods and a mixture of dough and powerbait, the boys cleaned up.


On the subject of getting to Eildon - Fisheries Victoria have only just pumped the Eildon pondage full with another stocking of solid trout, stocked on Monday just gone. 300 solid ex brood fish with rainbows to 4kg and browns to 3.5kg were stocked into the pondage, so make sure you stock up and get up there ASAP for your chance at these trophy trout.


Staff member George snuck up to the pondage earlier this week where he found that the trout were going nuts! George coarse fished the upper pondage and caught and released nearly 70 fish, with a few methods working the best for him. Open ended feeder cages let the correct amount of scent out to fire the fish up, while loose feeding sinking trout berley pellets also kept the fish active. George found that powerbait in pink and rainbow colours were dynamite when fished on a size 8 'mosquito' hook, along with a new specialist trout dough that is in the trial stages, and hopefully in store soon.

 

 


While there are still some crowds around the Gippsland lakes region, the fishing has been very good - especially if you can find a bit of quieter water. The whole region from Sale through Lakes Entrance and out towards Mallacoota near the NSW border has plenty on offer. Flathead, King George and sand whiting, luderick, bream, silver trevally, tailor, pinkies, salmon and prawns are all on offer at present if you're still out towards Lakes Entrance or thinking of heading down that way.

The beaches have been producing salmon and tailor around first and last light, with Eastern beach getting runs of fish to just over a kilo. The prawns have also been around in good numbers if you can find a quiet cove or bay to work, and we're currently just around the new moon so they should be easier to find. Cunninghame arm, North arm, Tambo bay and around Metung have all been good.


Customer Jordan has found lots of variety in his catch lately out towards Mallacoota. Jordan has been lure fishing with mostly 'crankbait' style hardbodies and surface pencils working the best, due to the large number of small 'school' sized king prawns in the estuaries. The sand whiting in particular have been really fixating on the surface lures when worked correctly, and most hits have turned into solid hookups after a few small modifications to terminal hardware. Big tailor to 60cm have also been blasting the surface offerings, along with deeper crankbaits worked through blue pockets and holes.

 


If you're not out chasing kingfish or they haven't been kind to you, the southern part of the bay has been producing some nice flathead, whiting and gummies.The good thing is that all of these species can be caught in fairly close proximity, with the flathead and whiting along the shallow banks and weed patches, and the gummies along the channel edges. Customer Yianni Damanakis landed this thuper flathead out from Portsea on pilly, and lost a similar size one at the boat also. There are some serious flathead in the southern parts of the bay!


The whiting have been patchy through southern PPB, but there are plenty around if you really target them and move about to find the active schools. Dromana through to Blairgowrie has been best in 3 - 7m of water out from the ledges and moorings. If you move too deep you will find yourself pestered by undersized pinkies, which will quickly decimate your bait supply. Fresh squid, pipi and mussle has been the go for the whiting. 


If all else fails or you want to get away from the jetskis which are prevalent throughout the shallows at this time of year, move out towards south channel or one of the adjacent smaller channels or gutters and you could find yourself tangling with some serious gummies. Fish to 20kg aren't uncommon throughout this area, and fresh fish baits such as salmon, trevally or mackerel will normally see you lure one in. Customer Chris has caught some nice eating size fish recently fishing the south channel with salmon out as bait.

 

If there were ever a time to be up at Eildon, now would be it. Apart from fishing the weir itself for Murray cod, yellowbelly, redfin and trout - the pondage is producing some lovely trout. While the banks of the pondage have been lined more than usual with anglers this hasn't deterred the fish. Some quality trout have been caught on most methods including persistence, but coarse style baitfishing has been the silver bullet for these chunky trout.


Customers Zoran and Adam fished the pondage just earlier this week to land some nice fish, both browns and rainbows. A mixture of various coloured 'powerbait', trout dough and correct berley mixture brought these fish undone. Last week customer Zoran (different Zoran this time!) fished the upper pondage with his son to land trout to around 6lb using powerbait in the 'sherbert' colour and a fine mix berley. The guys also caught a couple of fish casting spoons around as well, with brown trout and gold colours both working.


Customer Gordon has also been giving the pondage trout a good nudge recently with very similar methods to those mentioned above coming up trumps. Along with 'spoons' Gordon has caught his share on soft plastics and also the deadly powerbait/trout pellet berley method.


The coarse fishing/pellet berley method is very effective on all manner of stocked trout, from Eildon pondage to local stocked lakes, so if you're unsure of exactly what is used talk to the guys in store as the results really do speak for themselves!