Things are good in the fresh! There are plenty of options for all manner of fishing and heading in all different directions. Up around the Eildon region the pondage has been producing fish from pre-holidays stockings when conditions allow. With plenty of water still being sent down the Goulburn river the pondage has experienced increased flow which has made the bite a bit inconsistent. Fishing during the next spell of low pondage flow will see the fish come back on. Dough style baits and light line have been the key to catching these fish. Staff members Don and George fished the pondage during the week and found a few smaller fish amongst tough conditions. Persistence and the correct berley have been key.


While the Goulburn itself hasn't been super exciting in terms of trout reports there have been some nice fish caught in the rivers above Eildon itself. Customer Chris had a good weekend fishing with his two boys recently on both the Delatite and Howqua rivers. While Chris had good success fishing small bladed spinners and hardbodies, his sons Atticus and Flynn caught both brown and rainbow trout on unweighted worms free drifted into some of the pools.


In the south Gippsland region the rivers have been running as low and clear as ever but still producing fish. While the fish may be small they are not pushovers and still require an element of stealth in approach unless you want to see the tail end of the trout heading in the opposite direction. Customer Brendan fished the Noojee region over the weekend and landed a few typical brown trout from the Latrobe river. Brendan found that the most effective lures were small slender jerkbaits in natural galaxia patterns.


On the cod scene things are starting to heat up for the bigger fish. Early Autumn is an excellent time to target the bigger fish in the lakes and dams, while the smaller fish will still keep you busy. Customer Shane fished Lake Mulwala just recently with his wife in some lovely conditions.  The lake produced a few fish for them, with 3 nice cod around the 60cm mark taking spinnerbaits worked along the channel edges.


Continuing on with the cod, the locally stocked lake of Karkarook Park has produced a couple of fish for persistent anglers. While they aren't monsters they have been caught on lures and can be caught. Customer Cip fished the lake last week and connected to one of the small cod on a small spoon. Cip was fishing the spoon over a shallow clay bank drop off in search of trout when the cod pounced.

 


The squid fishing ash been consistent, and will only get better especially for the larger models as the weather gets colder. Both bays have been fishing well as they have had clear water conditions, even with the recent rain. This weekend's weather should really give some good squid fishing with no rainfall and clear sunny conditions. Customer Thao has been catching some quality calamari for the table and for fresh baits out in Westernport. Thao has been concentrating around the grassbeds near Tortoise Head and Tankerton with some good size squid finding the net. Size 3.0 jigs in natural yakka and also UV white and orange have been the best.


Out from Stoney Point customer Jamie and mates caught good numbers of squid fishing size 3.5 jigs along the bank drop offs. Fishing during the faster stage of the tide the 3.5's were crucial when in only 3m of water, as they stayed in the kill zone for long enough. UV white jigs worked when the cloud cover came through and during sunshine the red foil did better.


Mornington pier and rocks have still been producing good numbers squid for patient and persistent anglers. Fishing size 1.8 jigs has been fine when fishing the inside of the harbour or small pier, while the outside edge of the main pier and rocks are better approached with 2.5 size jigs. Red foils have been good around first or last light, with UV whites and aggressive colours like pinks and oranges have been excellent during sunlight hours.

Further north in the bay the region between Brighton and Black Rock has started producing more squid as the water cools off. Customer Peter fished from the rocks near Brighton recently to land a bag of nice sized squid. The aggressive viper red foil did the damage when their was a small amount of sunlight. UV pinks and also natural grass whiting patterns are very consistent around this region also. 

 


Now is the time to be out looking for Mr Murray cod if that's your thing. The dropping water temperature is a real trigger for cod to 'stock up' on food - hopefully in the form of your lure! While the numbers of fish normally caught is never through the roof, if you're a persistent caster the odds are greatly in your favour. Customer Will and mate have been back at it again fishing around the Murray/Mulwala region and catching a few fish. The boys have been looking around some of the 'flats' and seperating drains and have come up trumps. Casting the Megabass Vatalion swimbaits has been the go, along with some fast floating crankbaits.


Customer Dave has also been fishing the same region and with success. Dave has been working the bankside structure and ledges with floating wakebaits and surface crawlers with fish in the mid 50cm mark having a crack. Fishing larger surface offerings at this time of year is a good way to draw out some bigger fish, and the smaller cod will still come out and attack the lure also.   

 


There are skeptics out there, but Port Phillip is still producing some good snapper fishing. Some could say it is as good as during October or November, but without the boat traffic. Fish to 5kg aren't a scare occurrence if you're out doing the first light sessions in the south of the bay. Mornington/Mt Martha has still been the better area to concentrate on, but school sized fish and decent pinkies are prolific all throughout the bay around the reef structure. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching some ripper fish during recent charters with clients, with some very nice fish coming over the sides. Pilchard and Whiting have been the best baits. 


The pinkies have been red hot around the shallower reef areas of the bay, and probably as good as they'll be all year with some nice fish to 2kg floating about the mix. Fishing soft plastics and lures and covering ground is the most effective method at finding the better fish, as static bait fishing really relies on waiting until the fish come to you. Customer Ryan has been catching heaps of fish around the 30cm mark on plastics, with a few up around 40cm in the mix also. Ryan has been fishing a few different rig methods with the plastics, with 'sled' heads and snagproof hooks being able to really break down the structure and pick out any likely pockets while not getting hung up.


Staff member Dylan got out on the bay on Saturday afternoon for a quick 2hr session and found plenty of pinkies, with fish to around 1.5kg taking the plastics. Locating isolated bait schools was the most productive method for finding the better sized fish, as the heavy reef held the smaller fish. The larger active fish were hunting the dense patches of anchovies out from the reef, and were more than happy to eat a slow falling plastic. TPR 'tearproof' plastics were the most effective in UV colours fished on around 3g jigheads.

 


The summer bluefin tuna fishing locally has been good for anglers fishing offshore, and now the autumn run has started up in numbers in the west of the state. While there have been patches of fish locally and just offshore from the bays, the fishing around Portland and Port Fairy has really started to heat up. With autumn conditions normally better than winter now is an excellent time to be out in search of the bluefin. The numbers of school fish have been excellent fishing out from Port Fairy and also Warnambool, and perfect to cast smaller stickbaits and popper at. Victorian EJ Todds Representive Mitch has been out catching fish to about 30kg on stickbaits in close from Port Fairy over the past few weeks.


There has also been an outstanding number of 'barrels' caught out from the same area. Fish have been found in water from 80 - 12m out to the west of Portland. Most of the fish have been in the 90 - 120kg range and have been taken on both skirts and also hardbodies. Customer Phil and mates landed a barrel from the area last week and also heard of a few more. Skirts in the lumo and black colour have been good, and hardbodies representing sauries and red bait have been good.

Customers Vince and Carlo fished out from Portland last week and managed their bag of bluefin and also a couple of dolphinfish. These fish came from the horseshoe region.

 

 


Autumn's chill in the air and water temperature is proving to be excellent for the Murray cod and yellowbelly. Whether you're fishing Eildon or the Murray, autumn is a good time for targeting these natives as they make the most of the food before the colder months. Big news over the last few weeks has been the stocking of both cod and yellowbelly into some local suburban lakes. Karkarook Park in Moorabbin is one such lake, with Murray cod around 40cm stocked into the waterway. Customer Jon went and did some hard yards fishing the lake and managed to land one of these cod on a small surface lure.


Up along the Goulburn the cod and yellowbelly have been on the go. Customer Will and mate Clancy fished the river last week where they landed some nice fish casting lures. The most successful lures this trip were high buoyancy bibbed hardbodies, cast deep into the timber and slowly crawled back out.  


The guys found that most of the cod were in the 50 - 60cm size range and prolific in the heavy timber and corner pockets which is where the hardbodies came in handy. The buoyancy of these cod lures enables them to be crawled through heavy timber and stopped if hit amongst the logs, where they will float back up and minimized snagging. Using lures with long deep bibs will also help get down to the fish fast and hang there enticing a strike.

 


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.

 


We are nearing the prime time of the year for fishing the fresh, with trout and cod the main targets. The trout will fire up as conditions cool off and send them looking to feed up prior to spawning, and the big cod start coming out to play in search of some big meals like trout, redfin or carp. The only species not super high up on the list especially locally are golden perch, but someone didn't tell that to customer Aliff.

Aliff was fishing with his dad out along the Goulburn and Acheron rivers in search of a trout, when they came across a surprize. Aliff fished a small sinking hardbody alongside a snag and was smashed by a nice yellowbelly! At just under 50cm and from 'trout' water is was a massive surprize and something that has to be seen to be believed!


Meanwhile on the banks of the pondage there have still been quite a few nice trout getting caught. As usual the dough bait and coarse berley method has been the most successful. A few fish have fallen to lures in between, with the most productive lure styles being small spoons and soft plastics. Blue Fox 'Moresilda' spoons have proved to be an excellent new option and ideal size, with small paddle tails and craws being the dominating soft plastic styles in the corner of the trout's jaw.

Customer Zoran fished the pondage over the weekend where he landed a brace of nice trout to around 3lb. Zoran caught a mix of browns and rainbows on 'specialist trout dough' and powerbait. Zoran found a nice back eddy along the Eildon township side of the pondage and proceeded to catch all of his fish in the area.


Up on the lake there have been a few Murray cod caught on bait and lures. While there haven't been any monsters reported yet, we are now coming into the prime time to start looking for the larger fish. Customer Laci fished the lake last week and had a bunch of scrubbies on the side while kicking back, which were taken by a nice 50cm cod. Fishing amongst the vertical timber right inside the inlet was where the action was.

Along for recent some Murray cod action was customer Peter, who caught a few cod to 70cm from Mulwala. Peter was slow rolling spinnerbaits around the timber on the Mulwala side of the lake to catch his fish. Mixing up blade colours and shapes is a good thing here, as sometimes you will find one particular colour and vibration that the fish are well and truely keyed in on.

 


With the onset of Autumn weather the squid and pinkies have well and truly come into action. The larger squid should come into their own around the southern end of the bays with the cooler water temperatures. Customer Angelo fished from Flinders pier during the week to land a couple of solid squid and a cuttlefish on size 3.5 Clicks jigs in colour 17.


The Mornington region has been fishing well for hordes of smaller schooling squid. While the pier itself has been producing lots of squid, the adjacent rocks and points have also been holding large numbers of slightly larger squid. If you're going to fish the pier here small jigs are the go. Size 1.8 has been the most consistent performer here, especially if you rig them up without a sinker. These jigs are designed to sink at a slow rate and precise angle, and usually adding them to a paternoster rig decreases catch rates.

Staff members Don and Dylan have been catching numbers of squid from around the pier and rocks, with 2.5 size jigs working well in the windier conditions, in all variety of colours. Customer Jordan also fished the rocks nearby to land hs 10 squid in short succession on 2.5 size jigs in brighter colours.


The massive schools of pinkies have been biting well around most reefy sections of the bay. The Black Rock area has been holding big numbers of fish to around 40cm. Customer Stephan and mates fished the area during the week and managed a nice mixed bag of pinkies, whiting and squid. The guys fished in about 10m of water, with pilchard and squid the two best baits.


The Autumn run of pinkies are perfect for targeting on soft plastics. With large groups of fish hanging around the structure it normally takes no time to get a bit from them. Smaller plastics in around 2.5 - 3.5 inches are the best starting point, whether curl or paddle tail type. Fishing these plastics on jigheads of 1/8 to 1/4oz will get you down to the fish even in the windiest conditions in the shallows. A big tip if new to this style of fishing is to make sure you are using a hi-vis braided line to pick up on subtle bites as the lure is sinking.


Customer Ryan has been having good sessions on the pinkies on plastics out from Williamstown and Black Rock recently. Ryan has been targeting the schools in around 8m of water along scattered reef and has been fishing a mixture of plastics. Some days the fish have been holding very tight to the reef so he has been using a weedless hook setup to get the lure to them. He has been finding a slow wind a slight 'shake' the best way to entice a bite from the fish .

 


The offshore action continues around the state, with many anglers concentrating on bluefin tuna and kingfish. While the kingfish would be the harder of the two to keep on top, the numbers of tuna round have been very exciting for the next few months ahead. The West coast has been holding good numbers of tuna out from Portland all the way back to virtually Melbourne's doorstep.


Customer Tony fished out from Portland over the weekend in search of the tuna and found fish in the 20kg range. The fish were encountered from 20m depth out to around 60m of water, across to Julia Island. The most effective lures for the guys were small skirted lures in 'lumo' colour. Tony was fishing these smaller lures on lighter spin gear and lighter hooks, and he didn't lose any fish. Just remember to chose your hook correctly when changing between light and heavy tackle, or mono and braid.

Customer Jason also got into some bluefin action over the weekend, but with fish just outside of Port Phillip.heads. There have been schools of fish pushing their way up into the bay all the way north of Mud Island. With plenty of food available, there's no reason for them to not be there! Jason found casting stickbaits and poppers into the schools was most effective, with the schools giving themselves away only by the appearance of a 'shimmer' on the surface. Casting to these fish is more effective than trolling through them in many instances.


While the kingies are still about and playing hard ball customer Joel had just about had his arms removed from his body after a trip across the ditch to New Zealand. Joel fished hard for the monster kingfish that NZ in known for, and in 4 days stacked up nearly 60 fish - and all jigging! Needless to say Joel won't be performing many tasks with his arms for the next 6 months or so, but who'd be complaining!