The freshwater reports have been overshadowed a bit by snapper but there has been a bit on offer in the sweet water. Murray cod season has just opened up and is looking good for the Summer ahead, there have been yellowbelly and redfin caught locally and the trout fishing has been excellent still.

Eildon pondage has again been the standout if you're chasing a couple of nice trout and not fussed on either lure or bait fishing. Customer Zoran has been fishing the pondage and has been catching fish to around 2kg on a mixture of dough and powerbait. Long rods fished with mono have been the go in setting the hook on subtle bites and pickups where shorter rods simply can't.


Eildon pondage received a top up of ex brood fish averaging 4kg last Thursday, with plans for another top up before Christmas, so it is well worth a trip up. Customer Jozef helped release some of the fish into the pondage which has baited him to get back up and try to catch them. Jozef did witness some large fish caught on small hardbodies as they cruised through the shallows as they hunted for small minnows and insects. Having a spin rod rigged with a small hardbody or plastic is a good idea while you're bait fishing.


A bit further north many anglers tried their luck fishing for cod over the opening weekend. Mulwala had a large field of anglers for the Cod Classic, with some lovely fish to over a metre caught. Customers Shane and Sue Brown fished the busy lake over the weekend with tough fishing but did manage a couple of small cod casting spinnerbaits at the timber.


Customer Steve also tried his luck for the first time on the cod, fishing the Murray up around Cobram. Steve and mate Ev camped in the area and tried a few techniques on the cod, with Ev landing a 57cm fish on a large yabby. Steve tried out some lures he purchased in store and nailed a nice 60cm fish on a spinnerbait. Steve has since purchased a baitcasting outfit to get into them even more.


Reports from Sugarloaf reservoir around Mebourne's outskirts is that it has been fishing well for yellowbelly. The dam is normally reasonably quiet for anglers but can be a good spot for a walk around the shoreline casting lures. Of late the yellowbelly have been active, with warm water bringing the fish on to the edges to look for food. Customer Ryan has been catching fish to around 40cm on a mixture of vibes and soft plastics. The vibes have been a fast way to 'search' the banks for a school of fish, while the weedless rigged soft plastics can be fished back slowly and thoroughly to make the most of the patch of fish.

 


Blue Rock Lake has started to warm up for fishing, especially if you're chasing the bass. The water level of the dam is around 2m lower than normal and reveals lots of partially submerged structure - so be mindful when navigating the lake. The bass and redfin have been biting fairly well along the shorelines and through the standing timber, with both bait and lures working well.

Customer George landed a few fish to around 30cm last week in the boat. George was fishing close to the vertical timber and using freshwater yabbies for bait.


Staff member Dylan has been fishing the lake over the last few weeks and while no monsters have been encountered there have been a few fish about. With  water clarity down on normal visibility darker coloured lures and strong silhouettes have been more effective than natural patterns. Small swimbaits and wakebaits have been catching the lion's share, with odd fish taking a crankbait fished deep through the timber. Some of the Megabass range has been the standout, with the Shading-X and Vibe-X Vattalion both working well.

 

Now is the time to be out targeting the super sized flathead that terrorize the Gippsland estuaries. The warmth in the water lures the big fish to the shallows where they will soak up some warmth and pounce on anything that swims past them. With numbers of small prawns and mullet in the shallows these 'crocs' are well and truly in feeding mode.

Captain Bill and friends have been catching some solid fish out towards Mallacoota in the estuaries, and all on lures. Bait fishing can be an option for these fish, but you are almost out of the game unless you are fishing live mullet or prawn. Lure fishing using large lightly weighted soft plastics, hardbodies or swimbaits will put you in the right zone to land some rippers like Bill has. many of the fish have been around the 80cm mark which are very respectable on light tackle.

 


With some warm weather coming through the freshwater reports haven't been as thick - as many stream trout anglers stay away from some of the snake infested rivers. But there has still been on offer if you are out and about! Down at Blue Rock Lake the redfin and bass have been getting caught by angler casting lures. Most of the redfin have been in the 25cm size range with big numbers moving about in the bays and coves. Many of the bass have also been on the small size but there are some big fish in there for those persistent enough. Customer Jordan has been catching a few on deep diving crankbaits along the edges of the timber with lures like the Daiwa Spike and Yakamito Devil Edge both working well.


Staff member Dylan has also been catching some fish to around 30cm size range in the lake, with small swimbaits and crankbaits working the best. The new Megabass Vibration-X Vattalion has been a very good addition to the box for this area, as the fish have really been hitting it.


The yellowbelly have been fishing well in most of the dams and impoundments around the state, with Lake Eildon producing some nice sized fish. The fish can be tricky to locate in such a big waterway but once they are found normally you can catch a couple. Fishing the vertical timber with plastics has been a good method on sounded schools, along with casting and trolling crankbaits on the rocky edges. Customer Jason has been catching some solid fish to 55cm on hardbodies from the shores of the lake over the week.


Among the yellowbelly some good sized redfin have been getting in the act. Fishing a bit larger lure has been one method of catching slightly bigger fish than normal, with small lures simply getting pestered by fry sized fish. The larger fish are happy to eat a bigger lure and you may catch a yellowbelly or two by upsizing lure.


Around the pondage there have still been some quality trout being caught, especially early during the day. The low light bite has been good for both lure and bait fishers here. Customer Frank has been landing some nice trout of both species on both methods, with coarse feeder fishing one method, and casting 13g Tassie Devils in colour 55 his other successful method.


Young angler Flynn fished down at Karkarook after coming into the store with his dad, and caught his first trout. Using the suggested dough and feeder cage rig suggested by the guys in store was the successful method. The locally stocked lakes can be quite productive at this time of year if you pay attention to the small details in rigging and fishing methods.


 


The run of snapper continues to fire for anglers with reports coming from both bays and Welshpool too. The hot fishing should continue for the next month or so before the fish slow up a bit. Customer Donna landed a lovely fish of 7.1kg out from Sandringham over the weekend. Donna was fishing in 14m of water and using fresh squid for bait.


Staff member Chris got out during the week and had a fish around Mt Eliza in 16m of water. Chris marked good numbers of fish on the mud and set baits out. Silver whiting was the go, with multiple hook ups and nothing going on pilchard. Chris landed fish to 4.8kg on the whiting.

Young gun Frankie landed a lovely conditioned 4kg out from Chelsea in 10m of water while on the drift. Freshly filleted flathead was the bait of choice, and a good option as this area holds lots of smaller prey sized flathead.  


Out from Black Rock the snapper have been pretty good. Customer Jason fished out in 15m looking for a early morning bite. The most productive bite time was daybreak with 8 fish coming aboard and taking a mixture of pilchard and silver whiting. In the same area customer Paul threw a few plastics about and scored a good bag of fish from 1.4kg to 5.5kg. The most effective soft plastic size were 4 inch, which matches most of the snappers' forage food.


Out in Westernport customer Bill has been catching fish to around the 5kg mark over the weekend. Bill has been fishing the North Arm around Lysaughts and has been using a variety of baits. Bill has found that the smaller fish have been picking pillies, while the better fish have taken a liking to strips of fresh couta.


Further up the port past Joe's Island customer Chris and mate Ben have been landing snapper to 7kg. Fishing the start of the run in tide has been the most productive for them, with the snapper biting early in the tide. Nearing the top of the tide was a bit slow for them, but some smaller table size gummies made up for it and were a welcome addition to the bag.


Down at Welshpool the snapper have slowly started firing. Customer Justin caught some nice fish to 8kg. Justing was fishing the Singapore Deep area and found that pilchard and squid were the two most effective baits.

 


Squid reports have been good over the past week even with the rain that has washed into the bays. Westernport has seemed to be consistent with the squid fishing and there have been some big squid caught. Customer Justin caught some nice models around the 1kg size up along the shallower banks of the top end.


Customer Chau and his brother fished out from Hastings recently to land some thumping squid on the banks. The guys managed squid to 2kg on a mixture of jigs, with blacks and greens working - along with jigs baited with silver whiting. 


Customers Stan and Stephan fished the Sorrento and Blairgowrie area of Port Phillip recently with some big squid landed. Covering ground from 4m to 10m in depth they found some good patches of squid. Size 3.0 jigs were most effective when fished with small chin weights to get down faster, with red, UV clear and UV black the best performers.


The rocky sections of the bay's shoreline have been producing average sized squid as per normal. Ledges such as Mornington and Mt Martha have had squid in the 20cm size range caught on size 2.5 and 3.0 jigs. Some anglers fishing slow sinking 3.5 jigs have also been luring in larger squid with the extra distance on the cast, so if you haven't used a jig like this it may just land you that big one from your favourite land based location.


The run of large squid has lasted around Mornington of late, with local angler Mario landing a good bag of big squid from the area. Again size 3.0 and 3.5 jigs have been the go, covering the water more effectively and catching the attention of the bigger squid. Customer Jo also caught some nice ones at Mornington and also Beaumaris. The Beaumaris region is very shallow and rocky so size 2.5 or 3.0 shallow jigs are the go.

 


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.

 


For anglers thinking about trout fishing over the long weekend, reports are still good! Whether you're going to stay local or head up into the high country the trout have been active enough to get into a few. Around the local stocked lakes there have been enough fish to catch both on lures and bait. Customer Scott came in to the store with daughter Pheonix to set themselves up for some local trout fishing, and after their first session young Pheonix managed to land her first fish, a nice little rainbow trout.


Customer Manny fished locally in the upper reaches of the Yarra to land nice brown trout to around 400g. Manny was fishing small shallow running hardbodies in a good black and gold contrasting colour. Being that the Yarra is silted and darker coloured water the flash of the gold gets attention while the dark silhouette gives a solid profile for fish to attack.


Up at Eildon the pondage has been fishing well again with some freshly released fish really getting in on the action. With a long weekend coming Eildon is the ideal location to try your luck on these freshly stocked fish, but ensure that you have the correct specialized tackle and bait. If you are unsure swing past the shop and talk to the guys who can get you set up.


While the smaller trout have been getting amongst it, there are still some thumpers to be caught. Customers Jozef and Margaret fished the pondage during the week where they landed some ripper trout on both bait and lure. Powerbait and dough fished well in the coarse berleying method while a couple of fish also took 7g tassies. Brighter coloured tassies and spoons are effective on the pondage and can trigger a reaction bite from the fish, so make sure you have bright as well as natural colours in your box.


Customer Zoran has also been getting amongst the solid trout on the pondage, with his last trip being early this week. Zoran mentioned that there is no shortage of smaller aggressive fish and good numbers could easily be caught if you are using the correct methods. Zoran did manage a few big fish on top of the smaller fish, with his best rainbow going 12lb and taking the specialzed trout dough fished on a feeder cage rig.

 

 


 


There has been a fair bit of action happening on the land based fishing front. All along the shoreline of the bay there has been activity from a few different options. Squid and salmon have been plentiful and the landbased pinkies and snapper have been good.

Customer Brett took his young fisher mate Walter down to the local piers on the peninsula where some big salmon had been spotted. Casting small metal lures around the current lines and drop offs resulted in some super fat salmon hitting the deck of the pier. Some of the locals were even getting belted on large squid jigs, so the competition between fish is fierce. Keep an eye out for the bait schools if you are fishing the piers, as large numbers of pilchards and small anchovies are in the bay at the moment, as these fish are gorging themselves on them.


The peninsula around Mornington and Frankston has been producing some super-sized squid over the past few weeks, which have been much bigger than usual. Size 2.5 jigs and small squid are the norm in the area, but at the minute there are plenty about that area a kilogram or bigger, and size 3.5 jigs have been the go. Staff member Don fished Mornington pier during the week to land some of the bigger squid, using bigger jigs. Staff member Dylan also caught some similar sized squid in the area over the weekend, with size 3.5 jigs in UV lemon and pilchard patterns getting the job done.


On the land based snapper front, there hasn't really been a standout spot - moreso if you have a location that has produced for you it is worth fishing at the moment, especially with some strong wind forecast over the weekend. Customer and APL local ninja Cipto fished from a couple of the piers around Black Rock during the week to land a ripper school fish just before dark on bluebait. 


While normally an early season location, customer Frank has been catching snapper from the rocks on Phillip Island. Frank has been catching fish to over 70cm on pilchard on the surf gear, with some solid fish getting back in to the reef. If you are fishing the local rocks just be mindful of the swell and tide conditions, and fish heavy mono instead of braid if you can. Mono will give you a bit more resilience around the rocks and a some more shock absorption during those final headshakes and lunges.


From the local Port Phillip piers there have been some varied size snapper caught. There have been some large fish caught, with customer Peter reporting fish to 5kg from Mordi pier. These fish are not uncommon and it is just a matter of persistence and picking the conditions for them. Customer Connor also caught some nice pan sized fish from Mornington pier. Connor has been out early braving the wind and rain to catch his fish, which have taken bluebait. One thing's for sure, you won't catch fish like these sitting at home!


The school snapper have even been hanging around some of the piers in the southern end of the bay. While not normally a common catch from the piers around the Rye and Rosebud area, customer Eisa reports of some nice table sized fish from Dromana pier. Fishing with pilchard and slimey mackerel Eisa caught 5 nice fish to 46cm and a good flathead. The first few hours of night were the most productive during the incoming tide.

 


Local lakes Karkarook and Devilbend have been producing quite a few rainbow trout for lure fishing anglers over thw past week. Rowville lakes has also reported some trout coming from the main lake but Karkarook and Devilbend have been doing the best. Young gun Ariiff has been catching plenty of trout down at Karkarook using some of his new lures, with the 'tailbenders' his go-to lure for here now.


Staff member George has been down to the lake and has also been catching the trout. George has been trialing new lures and testing some on the fish to see how they respond. George has had a few successful lures including the 'Nano Vibration' from Megabass. This tiny lure has been representing a small yabby very well along the clay and sandy shorelnes and the trout have been racing in to nail it.


Staff member Don has been catching rainbow trout from Devilbend during the week, with the fish active right into the early evening. Don has been seeing a lot of rising fish around the open water and these fish are generally trout eating 'midge' or small emerging insects. These fish can be tricky to catch but quick accurate castiing with a small 'buggy' style soft plastic or small gudgeon patterned hardbody will normally see a hook up. Don has been casting lightly weighted soft plastics at the cruising trout, with slim swims going well among other small mudeye patterns. While these fish can be frustrating to follow around and cast to, catching them can be rewarding.