The late Winter rain has done wonders for the estuary fishing both locally and down into Gippsland. The local Port Phillip rivers have been fishing well for bream, particularly with bait. Customer George was fishing the Werribee river just last week where he found a few reasonable size bream, but was also pleasantly surprized when a nice 90cm mulloway decided to eat one of his bass yabbies. George managed to wrangle the fish in using very light main line and leader which was a good effort.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the Melbourne metro rivers in search of bream over the weekend with mixed results. With only a few members able to fish over the weekend there weren't a huge number of fish weighed in, but the fish that were came from the Patterson River. The Patto has been running dirty in the main river with fresh coming down from the top, but the bream have been feeding actively. Customers Paul and Dave managed a few fish around 350g from the river using mainly prawn for bait. Fishing eddies and small drop offs in the river will see you come across a few fish as they cruise out of the main current and feed at their leisure. 


Down in the Gippsland lakes there have been some solid bream on the chew as the freshwater pushes down the rivers and gets them schooling and into pre-spawn mode. The fish in the 3 main rivers have been biting well, once they have been found. Looking for downstream areas of higher salinity has been where a few fish have been hanging out lately.  Customers Brendan and Phil have been doing well on nice fish into the 40cm mark fishing the Mitchell river in Bairnsdale. The best baits for targeting these bigger fish have been cut crab and freshwater yabbies. Fishing these hardier baits generally flushes out the smaller 'pickers' and leaves a solid bait intact for a bigger fish to eat. Just make sure to match your hook style and size to the bait correctly.

 

 


Winter time is known as time to chase mulloway by many local anglers around Victoria. The fact that is these fish are chased by 'crazy' keen diehards during the coldest of winter nights all along the coast of NSW right up to the Gold Coast or so. Customer Hendrik gets up to the South West rocks region of northern NSW regularly enough to have had a good taste of what these fish are like up here. Fishing the area this week while on holiday he landed a ripper fish of 1.23m. The fish weighed 30+ lb and took a small 'mullet' sized soft plastic. The soft plastic style was a split tail minnow, which can be worked very erratically to perfectly imitate a panicked mullet.


On the subject of panicked mullet, customer Edly caught a nice bag of dusky flathead while on holiday recently. Edly was holidaying in Brisbane and caught some nice table sized fish in the Brisbane river and in the port. Edly trolled some small mullet profile hardbodies in the 80mm size range along the mudflat edges to find where the fish were sitting, and once a few were found it was a matter of honing in and fishing slower with plastics. Shad shaped plastics in the same size as the mullet were the most effective and snapped up as soon as they touched down on the bottom. While this action happened interstate not enough make the most of similar bread and butter fishing locally.

 

 


Some of the school holiday crowd head out towards the east coast of Gippsland and into NSW over the school break. With beautiful scenery and even better fishing, there's no wonder so many Victorians head out that way. Down around Bemm river in east Gippsland customer Mark got into some lovely bream fishing the lake. The lake here will continue to heat up over the next month or so, and perfect timing with many anglers heading out this way around Cup Weekend. Mark caught most of his fish between fresh prawn and sandworm on light running sink rigs.

Around the southern NSW coastline, customer Lilong camped out and fished with some mates from the rocks and wharves of the area. With a large offshore algae bloom the fishing was slower than usual, but the guys caught plenty of couta, pike and salmon using a variety of lures. Casting slow jigs and smaller plastics accounted for most fish between Tathra, Merimbula and Eden. The squid fishing in the area has also been good, with the same wharves producing both calamari and arrow squid around last light on size 3.0 jigs.


Staff member Dylan was also situated around the south coast for a few days with a couple of rods packed. With cold water temperatures, there were plenty of silver trevally, tailor and salmon around in the estuaries. Dylan spent a bit of time studying the habits of some nice luderick in the area and tried a few methods of catching them on the fly rod. After a few days of different methods, he managed to work out their feeding habits a bit and got into some. Fishing home tied 'weed' flies to fish around 1kg on the sand flats was the best method, with a handful making their way home to the table. Among the luderick, he also caught flathead, tailor, silver trevally and salmon on fly in the local estuaries around Merimbula and Eden.


Further up the coast, customer Hendrik has been putting slabs of chrome on the rocks. Hendrik has been fishing around Southwest Rocks, and has been getting cleaned up by some mulloway. Along this part of the coast the mulloway range in size from big to huge! Using a few techniques, Hendrik has landed fish to around 1.1m. Fishing live baits of mullet and pike has been getting the attention of the fish, with scary big fish earning their freedom back in the reef also. Another popular method along this part of the coast is casting big hardbodied lures and swimbaits to likely areas where these predators hunt.

 


The recent rain has really kicked the local estuaries into gear around Melbourne. The freshwater influx has dirtied up a lot of the rivers and creeks and washed food to kick the food chain along. 

Customer Tinh has found that the bream have been feeding up heavily during rougher weather and rain.Tinh has been fishing some of the piers like Frankston and Mordialloc where the bream have feed foraging around the pylons. He has also found that freshwater yabbies have been the most successful bait for him, especially when fished on a Gamakatsu 'C10U' hook.


Around Patterson river things have started heating up. Customer Tony has found that the bream have been more active since the rain, with the fish less finicky and more inclined to bite on a variety of baits. The best baits have still been small freshwater yabbies, with Tony's last session getting him 4 very nice fish from about 8am onward. Tony also mentioned that the main river was very dirty but a bit cleaner inside the canal system. 

With all the rain that has made it's way into the local estuaries, many keen anglers are thinking one thing; Mulloway. The Autumn rainfall can see these fish pop up from seemingly nowhere and go on the chew, but it is really the concentrations of mullet schools that these fish follow. The increase of freshwater in the estuaries can condense the baitfish and give the mulloway an easy feed.

Customer Peter reports of some activity around the local mulloway haunts, with this 110cm fish caught just a few days ago. Peter has been after a metre mulloway for some time, and was stoked with this fish, which was released. The fish took freshly caught Mornington squid. 

 


The local estuaries are running quite clear at the moment and the bream fishing has been a little bit quiet, but as always the rewards are there for the anglers with a bait or lure in the water. Speaking of lures, customer Ange has really nutted out some of the local creek fish, with chunky bream to 42cm taking small shrimp imitation soft plastics. Ange has found that for these lures to work effectively they must be rigged almost unweighted and left to sink as natural as possible along any likely looking structure. 


Over the next few weeks we should find the bream activity to increase if we get some decent rain, as the influx of freshwater will flush more food into the systems and give the fish some cover from predators. The Patterson and Yarra rivers will fire up if this event occurs, and it may even bring some school mulloway into these systems.

 

Customer Steve had been stocking up slowly over the last few weeks for a trip up north, and now is currently catching up in the Northern Territory. Steve has been doing well on a variety of species fishing out from King Ash bay in both the local creeks and Arafura Sea. Steve said the barra fishing had been tough but fish like this 80cm specimen have been tricked on shallow running hardbodied lures twitched around feeder creeks during the run out tides.

Steve also mentioned the variety of species he has been catching including barramundi, blue salmon, black jewfish, golden trevally, queenfish and also mudcrabs.


Steve found that one of the best fights he has had came from this big queenfish while up north. Steve said that the 'queenie' went crazy and took a live grunter fished in a deeper hole in the river.


Steve has also found out how many sharks are present in northern waters. Steve has been losing a few hooked fish to large whalers, with this nice black jewfish just one of the casualties. The head of this jewie alone was around 3kg, so it wouldv'e been a nice fish. Steve did get some revenge on the sharks however, with this large reef shark kept to feed enough of the locals back at the ramp. The shark took a pilchard rigged on gang hooks in 4m of water and proceeded to flip and jump out of the water during the fight.