Many anglers have been aware of the tuna activity along the west of the coast, and have been making the most of these fish again this week. There have been fish stretched from Portland and further west right across to offshore from Westernport and Inverloch. There have been fish inside both bays but they have been flighty and hard to come across, but they have been there to be caught.


Customer Billy has been catching some nice bluefin just offshore from the heads on small skirts. He has also landed a couple of fish in the 20kg range from inside the bay, with both skirts and deep diving hardbodies working well. The fish inside the bay have been moving about a lot, but the 'rip' section has been where the fish have been pushing through mowing down schools of pilchards. Customer Jason has also been landing fish offshore from the heads and further down towards Phillip Island. Jason has been landing fish on small 5'' skirts, and a few fish on surface poppers cast around the schools.

Customers Izzy and Bruno have been getting into the tuna also. Izzy fished out from Torquay during the week and found fish to 25kg. Skirts in the 5'' size range were the most effective on the fish, with the fish being attracted up to the surface from the commotion of deep running hardbodied lures. While the fish around Torquay and Barwon have been good there have also been some nice fish coming from Portland and Port Fairy. The fish have been cruising inshore in water depths of 15 - 50m and have been responding to the same methods - with stickbaiting and popping also very productive.


Among the tuna out west there have been schools of rat kingfish hanging about. The inshore reef around Portland has been the best holding ground for the numbers of these fish, with Izzy and Bruno catching some while down at Portland. Stickbaits and small surface poppers have been effective when the fish are on, but baits of slimey and calamari have also been deadly when the lures haven't gotten the interest of the fish. The fish have ranged in size from just legal to around 18kg, with some much larger fish harassing the smaller rats.


While not normally known for it's kingfish, the Gippsland lakes has been experiencing a run of school sized fish moving about the system. The fish have been moving from as far up as Paynesville right the way down to Lakes Entrance itself. Customer Kevin has found himself holding a knife while in a gunfight while fishing out of his canoe. Kevin has been fishing the north arm around Lakes Entrance and has been landing kingies to around 80cm. Small plastics that imitate the abundant prawns have been easy for the fish to eat and getting most of the bites.

 


There have been some solid flathead caught during the warm weather we've had, along with some nice black bream. This report features three different flathead species in it! Customer Jason was fishing down at Port Welshpool last week and he caught some nice yank flathead with a couple of rippers around 70cm in the mix. Most of the solid flathead were caught along a 6m channel drop inside the estuary. They took baits intended for whiting but were then caught on strip baits.


Customer Simon was fishing out in Port Phillip recently where he landed a few nice sand flathead up to 56cm. Simon was fishing deep of Mornington and casting soft plastics. The larger soft plastics around 5'' got the attention of the larger flathead, and sized out the common small fish. Meanwhile Trevor from Compleat Angler's head office has been catching some super solid flatties down in gippsland. Trevor has caught fish to 85cm recently at Lake Tyers using the large Yakamito SXY shads. These plastics are a perfect representation of a finger mullet that these big prey on.


On the bream front, there have been some nice fish in the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers. Customer Ryan fished with mate Nick in the Maribyrnong last week and landed some nice bream to just under a kilo. Small baitfish imitation soft plastics in the 3'' size range were effective when slowly rolled out from the banks on light jigheads. Any overhanging vegetation and shaded rockpiles have been holding the fish in the warm weather. Small hardbodies are also worth fishing amongst this ground also.


Customer Jinsu has been having a ball on some solid bream while on a roadtrip in Tassie. Jinsu has been fishing in his kayak and touring around the state. He has found bream to 45cm happy to eat a few different lure styles and in different systems. He has been enjoying some surface fishing with poppers and stickbaits claiming nice fish early in the mornings.


Many of the bream Jinsu has been catching during the middle of the day have aggressively hit crab style lures twitched out from the edges, with both soft and hard options getting eaten. The edges have been fishing well with surface and hardbodies, while the overhead sun and calm water has called for deeper presentations like crabs and plastics. Just remember to fish a visible main line to pick up on any ticks and subtle bites in the deep water.

 


The run of big winter cod has continued with many anglers really spending the time to crack these fish on lure. While they certainly do not come easy, time on the water and the use of quality gear makes the difference when you get that bite. Lake Mulwala has been producing some solid fish over the past few weeks for persistent anglers like customer Clark. Clark has been fishing the lake in his kayak of late and has caught enough smaller fish to keep him happy, but that big fish has eluded him - until now! Clark managed a ripper that cracked the magic metre mark just recently, which will keep him smiling for a while yet. Clark has been fishing a mixture of lures including sinking lipless vibes, mid running crankbaits and swimbaits. While Mulwala has been worth the drive, there have also been some rippers caught from Lake Eildon over the past week or so.


The great thing about Lake Eildon's cod fishery is that it can be fished all year long. While Mulwala and all other areas are off limit as of September 1st, Lake Eildon is still on the table. This really gives keen cod 'nuts' a fix until December when the regular haunts open up again. Speaking of cod nut, customer Thomas has been up on the lake again giving the cod a touch up. Thomas snared a nice fish last week on the Megabass Magdraft, with a much larger fish earning it's freedom. Thomas has been putting in the hours on the lake and is a believer of using the best gear possible and checking over the 1%ers, which lets the results speak for themselves. We have good stock of suitable gear for the impoundment cod fishing in store, and enough lures to fill your tackle boxes - so stock up and get into them!

 


Customer Paul had a leisurely fish up at Mulwala in his kayak for some exploring and in search of a cod or two. Conditions were good and made for enjoyable kayak fishing. Paul did some good recon work for future trips and managed a nice little cod on a spinnerbait. Paul ran the spinnerbait along side a fallen laydown up on a shallow flat and the fish came out and clobbered it. Paul found the channels and flats around the Kiffins area the best.


Young gun Aliff has been fishing both locally and also up around the Eildon region and has been catching some nice redfin of late. Aliff has been using his new lightweight LT RG spin set up with both soft plastics and slow sinking hard bodies to land the fish, with about equal results coming from each. Natural minnow colours in the hardbodies have been the most effective, while small 'creature' soft plastics have been excellent as well.


Customer Angelo and mate Tony normally fish the salt but decided to venture into the fresh recently and explore. The guys hit up the Eildon region and scoped a few areas, and ended up fishing the Goulburn near Thornton. While it was a learning curve for the boys, Tony walked away the victor, landing a nice little rainbow trout from the river on a 7g tassie devil. The river was reasonably high when Angelo and Tony visited which makes it hard, but is at ideal fishing level at present.


A bit further field in the high country customer Anel has been chasing spawn run brown trout up in the Kosciusko high plains. Anel has been fishing with mate Sam and between them they have been catching around 30 fish a day. While no real big fish have been moving up, most of the fish have been a respectable 2 - 3lb.


The most productive lures for the boys have been mostly high end Japanese trout lures including Bassday, Duo and Daiwa. The Daiwa double clutches have been a firm favourite when unsure of a starting lure, with the new trout patterns proving deadly. The next big onslaught of rain in the high country should see more fish moving up the rivers.

 


Most of the estuaries out in Gippsland are set to fire up if more rain falls between now and Easter. While up until last week all major estuaries from Lakes Entrance and east were closed to the ocean. With water levels high and no clean salty water pushing in the fish can slow off the bite and be harder work to catch. They are still however there to be caught, and that's what will normally separate good anglers from those set in their ways.

Staff member Dylan and mates fished out in some of the estuaries recently and while conditions weren't ideal with wind and heavy rain the fish were certainly there to be caught. Fishing shallow mud and sand flats and finding the main holding areas for the fish was the first key, then working out the more successful lures was the next step. With an abundance of small school prawns and shrimp the surface bite was excellent. Over a day and a half around 60 bream were caught, with another estimated 25 whiting and around 60 flathead. A very small bag of fish was taken home, with some whiting, flathead and luderick keep for a feed.


Among the desirable fish were plenty of big tailor and silver trevally all equally happy to eat the expensive lures. The most successful lures were the Sammy 55, Gunfish, Sugarpen and overreal wake, which all represent small prawns and baitfish panicked on the surface. Retro-fitting these lures with small and sharp stinger hooks increased hookup rates by at least 50%, especially on the bream and whiting. Customer Daniel also fished in a nearby estuary where he landed some nice yellowfin bream from similar shallow sand flats.


Around the Gippsland lakes the bream fishing has been good if you're looking in the right areas. The main 3 rivers are producing some nice fish at present and should start fishing well for the larger fish the deeper we get into autumn. Customer Bashir and mate fished the lower tambo river to land a nice bag of fish on a mixture of baits. The most successful baits for the day were live shrimp and freshwater yabbies fished on number 8 'C10U' fly hooks.


Customer Ian also fished the region recently and found some nice bream floating about in the Nicholson river. Ian found that the best baits by a mile were live freshwater yabbies. If you're using slightly larger than normal yabbies it doesn't hurt to pull the claws off them to give the fish a good chance at hitting them and hooking up.

 


The kingfish have definitely turned a few heads out at Portland. While a normal summer theme down along the West coast, there are very good numbers of fish around the inshore reef and structure all along the North shore, all the way to Port Fairy.

Customer Abdul got down to Portland and fished in close in his kayak chasing kingfish. Abdul noticed lots of bait and smaller kingfish out to about 20m of water. Abdul caught smaller fish on strips of squid, with a few larger fish around 10kg taken on live slimies. There have been a lot of boats in the area, so locating isolated patches of bait or structure has been a good way to get away from the crowds. Smaller poppers, stickbaits and fizzers have been good to get the attention of the fish and lure a school up to baits or other lures also.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been down along the West coast, fishing with his sons. James and the boys have been experiencing some red hot kingfish sessions, with live and dead baits, poppers, stickbaits and soft plastics all working. Lures in the 80 - 150mm size have been the best suited to the fish, with lures as small as 5cm getting eating, or as big as 25cm.


Many of the kingfish have been smaller school sized fish around 3kg or so, with fish to just under 10kg not uncommon. There have been some proper 15kg + models around, which normally earn their freedom back amongst the reef in a short blistering run. Having decent terminal tackle has still been important even on the smaller fish, as heavy drag presure can bend or break thinner gauge hooks and split rings.

 


There have been plenty of good bream caught over the past week from anglers fishing the local creeks of the bay and also into gippslands' estuaries. The estuary water is warming and the fish are becoming more and more active, with plenty of food available. Customer Jordan has been catching some really solid fish on plastics during the week, with some thumpers to 44cm nailing small grub plastics that imitate marine worms.


Customer Paul fished the Gippsland lakes over the weekend in his kayak and found the fishing a touch slow but he still managed to catch bream to 32cm on soft plastics. Paul found feeding fish sitting along silty drop offs where they were happy to pick up a 'TPR' plastic grub off the bottom. If you're unsure of how this style of grub entices fish - simply check them out in the test tank in store!


The bream fishing around the gippsland lakes has been a touch patchy, with numbers of fish still schooled up and holding from late spawning movements. There can be a bit of time in between finding fish but when found some decent numbers can be had. Staff members Dylan, George and Chris fished regions of the lakes over the long weekend with customer Daniel and while finding the fish was patchy, around 40 fish were caught on lures. A couple of fish were taken on small hard bodies but the real winners were soft plastics.


Staff member Chris took out the title with more than a dozen bream landed on small TPR grubs in motor oil colour. The most effective method that the fish were really keyed into was a bright motor oil grub fished on 1/12th jighead to help it stay right in the strike zone, which was at the base of steep rock walls.


Back around the local estuaries customer Tony has been catching some quality bream also. Tony has been fishing the Patto and landing bream to 38cm. Tony has found that fishing the river a day or so after heavy rain has been the most effective, and when the fish are biting the most aggressively. Tony has found small freshwater yabbies fished on 'C10U' or 'wacky' style hooks provide the best hook up and snag proof rate. Just remember to use as lighter weight as possible, and the larger fish are picky and will rarely eat baits with huge big sinkers attached.

 


The estuary action has been pretty hot locally and further out into Gippsland. For anglers targeting bream and flathead, the fishing is pretty good at present - with some effort required to locate the fish but warm water and abundant food keeping the bite going.


Staff member Dylan fished with some mates out at Mallacoota over the weekend, and although the weather was abhorrent the fishing was worth it. With warmer water feeding from the creeks and into the shallow bays the flathead were eagerly waiting for a meal on the flats, where they were caught on fly and shallow running lures, and a handful on surface lures.


While the flathead were active, the bream fishing was also good - with around 50 fish encountered for the trip, up to 40cm. Schools of yellowfin bream were found on the shallow gravel bars and snags pushing upstream and were caught on various lures. The standout lures for the trip were the 76mm bent minnows in varied colours while bream and flathead were caught on small shrimp pattern flies as well. There were good numbers of small garfish and shrimp in the shallows so as usual matching to the profile of the bait worked very well.


Closer to home in the local Patterson river the fishing has been good. Over the past week we have had patchy rain which has given the river a flush and brought some easy food to the fish. With semi clear water conditions the bream have been easier to trick compared to during last week's clear tides. Customer Ronnie fished the river land based around the first gate to land some nice bream on scrubworms straight after the rain filtered into the system. The rain that has pushed in to the river has also attracted schools of mullet, which has in turn created some interest from the larger predators. Customer Goran caught a solid school mulloway after dark from the banks of the river during the week, so now is the time to be out there casting if you're chasing one!

 


The local bream population had gone a bit quiet with the clear green water in most of the estuaries and lakes, and bream reports were quite low. The fish get cagey in the clean water and go off the bite a little bit, or regulate their feeding to low light times or when there is strong winds. With the recent small bit of rain we have received the fish lower their guard and bit a bit easy-'er' to tempt. Not that the weather mattered much to customer John. John and mate Bashir fished the Tambo river in Gippsland to land some nice clean bream. The guys found that live shrimp and fresh prawn were the most effective when fished along the river bank drop offs.


Back in the Patto, customer Tony has been catching a few nice fish. Tony has been fishing early morning around first light and this is when he has been catching most of his fish. Small live freshwater yabbies have been effective, but they must be fished on ultra-fine gauge hooks and light leader, with little or no sinker. The fish will sense if the yabby is impeded by a heavy hook, thick line and 'anchor' of a sinker stopping it from acting natural.


Customer Ange has also been catching a few bream in the Patto with some mates. The guys have been lurecasting from their kayaks, which off the ultimate stealth approach to these flighty fish. The most effective lures of late have been 'ned-rigged' soft plastics, and small slow sinking hardbodies. These lures are best fished with very small 'pops' of the rod tip to create a kick but not scare the fish. Most bites will come as the lure or plastic has stopped or settled on the bottom.

HOT SPOT: The Patto will continue to fish well after more rain this week, especially around the first flood gate. Just remember to scent up your lures and baits as the water turns murky.

 


It's mid August and again trout season for the rivers and streams is fast approaching here in Victoria. While the rivers are still closed for a few weeks yet there's still plenty happening on the trout scene for anglers to get amongst! Emma from the Women In Recreational Fishing group recently went up to Eildon to fish the lake, and although it was foggy, overcast and freezing cold she did manage to get into some lovely brown trout. Many of the browns from the lake here spend their time in the open water and take on a very pale brown/silver appearance, with not as many spotted markings as their river cousins. For those fishing the lake, the ever reliable tassie devils have still been producing, especially when upgraded with ultra-sharp assist hooks.


Customer Paul also got into some open water brown trout, although down at Blue Rock Lake. Paul was fishing from his hobie kayak where he slow trolled tassies around the drop-offs and timbered edges of the lake to land some trout to around 45cm. Paul found all of the fish to be actively feeding in the open water, and have the same pale silvery appearance. The best tassie on the day was the no55 pink, fished on 'Dancing Jack' assist hooks.


On the bait fishing scene, there have still been some nice stockies coming from the pondage. Customer Simon came into the store to stock up on the essential ingredients for successful fishing around the Eildon area. Simon found a bag of nice rainbows from the lower pondage using the coarse method and specialist trout dough for bait.

Down at Karkarook Park there have been trout on offer for those fishing the same methods. Customer Sarah and her son Harry fished the lake recently where Harry managed some lovely rainbow trout. The best method was again the berley/feeder cage method and a powerbait/trout dough bait concoction.


A fair bit further south in Tasmania, Matt Sheriff reports that the Tassie trout season has started off well. Matt has been using his Hawk 'sniper' hardbodied lures with great effect on some solid lake trout. Many of the colours were working well but the standout have been the gold 'spawn belly' models, with some of the fish really hammering the lures on a 'stop-start' jerking retrieve.