Some choice conditions over the past week or so have allowed for offshore stints for local anglers in search of kingfish, both offshore from the bays and also down the coast. The weekends weather condition were good enough to turn many anglers to offshore and the rewards were there to be had.

Customer Frank made a big run from the top end of Westernport out through the western entrance in search of kingfish. With numbers of boats in close Frank decided to look out a bit wider where he found some small schooling kingfish on the surface. Small stickbaits cast at the school resulted in hook ups, and so the technique went on. After finding a patch of nervous water out in 30m the stickbaits were on again but this time with some school sized bluefin tuna. Frank said that there were good numbers of fish about, but that they were full of very small baitfish. His 90mm stickbaits were perfect size for these fish to hunt.


The rip has been producing kingies for anglers doing the hard work but has also been somewhat patchy this season. During the week Reel Time Fishing Charters had a blinder of a session in the rip with around 20 good size kingfish landed by customers. Customer Damien has been working aboard the boat and reports that the fish have been taking live slimies and squid and also jigs between 150 - 200g. Jig colour hasn't mattered, more of correct rigging and technique to get the fish to bite.


Around the rocky shorelines and islands of Bass Strait the kingfish have been solid. The smaller fish have been prolific in numbers but moving until bigger fish are found has been the go. Customer Jason has been out chasing these fish around Welshpool and finding fish to around 15kg. Jason has been catching fish predominately on subsurface stickbaits, with some impossible to tempt falling to live slimy mackerel around the submerged reef points and swell zones.

 


While the weather this week hasn't been conducive to fishing the bay let alone offshore, there still has been some action outside. If bluewater is your thing, kingfish, tuna and sharks have been the reward. Outside the bays the kingies have been hanging around the main promontories and points - with Cape Schank, Seal Rock and Pyramid rock all good starting points to name a few. Out wider from these areas there have been makos to 100kg or so. Customers Anthony and Mark fished out from Cape Schank last week where they scored a nice little mako of around 30kg. The amount of bait offshore at present is half the reason these predators are about.


Other bluewater predators that have been lurking both locally and out of town have been good sized bluefin tuna. There have been patches of tuna out from the bays but they have been flighty and fussy in what they will eat. Along the west coast they have been in a similar mood, but in better numbers. Customer Edly got down to Portland recently to try and catch one of these large school fish. Edly caught fish to around 30kg trolling small skirts, and that has been the main key - SMALL lures. These fish have been gorging themselves on small whitebait and anchovies, and quickly show shy away from large offerings, unless you find a patch of fish on the prowl.

 


The fishing for both trout and redfin has been popular over the past week or so, with anglers taking to the local lakes and streams in search of both. Customer Luke has been fishing the small creeks in the Noojee region and finding plenty of small aggressive brown trout. Luke tried out some new Yamakito 'Raven' hardbodies in a few colours and found the fish lining up to eat them - whether it was on a slow wind or aggressive twitches around the undercut banks.


To the north of the city, customer Eray has been catching plenty of good sized redfin out of lake Eppalock. Eray has been fishing landbased and casting small bass style jigs around the timber and rocky shorelines. He has been fishing a lighter baitcast outfit to accurately place and control the small jigs as they fall around the structure, with a lot of the hits coming on 'the drop'. Finesse style bass jigs are becoming more popular on local fish species, with a lot of versatility in rigging to suit different species. If you're not sure what they are or are interested in trying them on your local fish pop by and check them out.


The local stocked lakes have been producing rainbow trout for anglers fishing with coarse methods and pellet berley. Karkarook has been the main standout lately, with a slight dip in temperature firing up the trout along the edges. Customer Liam fished the lake recently for the first time to try his luck on the trout, and after some guidance in-store with correct tackle and rigging he caught his first few rainbow trout. Liam caught the fish on both specialist trout dough and pink powerbait, while berleying around his bait and rig with crushed trout pellets. This method really is the most effective in our stocked lakes, and worth giving a go if you haven't already!

 


Squid fishing around both bays has been pretty good recently, as we've had no rain until just the last 24hrs. Some of the northern regions of both bays will be discoloured and will need a good few days to clean up - but these areas have been a tad too warm for numbers of squid recently anyway. While you will catch squid right up in the warmer water of the bays, the larger squid tend to prefer the cooler oceanic water coming in from the bottom of the bays.


While it's not mayhem yet - it won't be far away. Mornington pier has been starting to produce a few more squid, and in a month or so there should be large numbers of small squid in the harbour. Stock up on small jigs in the 1.75 & 1.8 size while they're in stock! Customer Connor fished the pier recently and caught a few squid to 25cm hood length. Connor found 2 different were effective over 2 days - bright orange and pilchard patterns in size 2.2.


The southern end of the bay has had lots of squid in the 200g size especially around Rye and Rosebud. Customer Jason was out stocking up for a kingfish session recently and found no shortage of squid in around 5m of water off Rye - with darker coloured jigs working the best. Blacks, dark reds and dark greens were the most effective.


Across in Westernport bay the squid fishing has been good further south also. While not known for producing huge numbers, the Flinders area has seen some bigger size as per usual. Customer Ryan caught a couple of nice specimens from the pier in between all the mackerel floats. With all the mackerel around Ryan found the natural mackerel pattern Yamashita worked the best. Just out from the pier customer Justin caught some really solid squid. Fishing the area out from the pier in the boat can be effective with size 3.5 fast sink jigs, as there is some undercurrent that will keep lighter jigs from reaching the 'kill zone'.


Customer Brendan also found some nice squid out in Westernport over the weekend. Brendan found a UV orange belly/brown back Yamashita jig did the damage. Brendan was targeting the edge of the grass beds in 6m of water to catch his squid.

 


While there have plenty of active fish to be caught, many of the estuaries both local and into Gippsland are in need of a decent rain and flush - with quite a few landlocked at present. With no real rain to open up these estuaries they are closed, with warmer water than normal and not affected by tides and salinity which has turned the fish off somewhat. Clearer than normal water has also made the fish flighty, perfect if you're up for a challenge!


Staff member Dylan fished with mate Adrian down in the estuaries from Lakes onward where the fishing was tougher than normal. Fishing around Lakes and Marlo, Dylan and Adrian caught around 20 bream up to 41cm - with surface lures performing the best. OSP bent minnows and Bassday sugapens were the 2 best lures, perfect imitations of the available bait. Fishing these lures around pockets in the thick weed and over silt beds were where the fish had been holding more consistently. Many other anglers were seen but without turning a reel, but they also weren't paying attention to what bait was around and where the fish were holding.


Speaking of bait, these estuaries all had good numbers of prawns about. While they weren't huge there were plenty about to use for bait or for a snack. Most of the prawns have been from 6 - 12cm long and these are what a lot of the fish have been feeding on. Dylan and Adrian kept a bag of dusky flathead from 38 - 50cm working lightly weighted prawn pattern soft plastics around the silt beds.

 


The kingfish have been the flavour of the month for anglers fishing all around the state over the past few weeks, with fish being caught from one end of the state to the other. While searching for the kingfish isn't for everyone, picking the weather and heading out offshore will see you in with a good chance of a hoodlum. Customer Jason loves chasing kingfish and recently headed out from Port Welshpool to tackle with some heavy hitters around the island and rocky promontories. Jason fished with live baits and lures and found fish to around 13kg. Live slimey mackerel and squid were effective along with poppers and stickbaits in the 140mm size range.


EJ Todd Victorian Representative Mitch also got out amongst the kingies in a similar area over the weekend, with a heap of smaller fish around but some around 6kg making their way to the boat. Mitch found a variety of lures worked but the poppers like the Maria 'pop queen' were effective in drawing fish from larger packs.


Around the rip the kingies have been going well, although the area can be trickier for many to fish. Customer Steve fished brother Michael and mate Jason over the weekend to hook up to some good fish on a variety of methods. Live squid, squid strips and jigs all accounted for fish. Steve landed fish to around 9kg on smaller jigs which gave him a workout - with the other boys getting stitched up in the reef by some bigger fish.

 


Westernport has been fishing well for all bread and butter species with plenty on offer. The squid fishing around the southern end of the port has been good for numbers and size of late. Customer Igor fished around Cat bay and Vetnor in search of some bigger squid recently and found some quality models fishing Egi Oh K Yamashita jigs around the reef and heavy weed. The 'K' series jigs have a different body buoyancy and will 'hoer' on the bottom a bit more than a regular jig, and will soft hands they can be walked through heavy structure without hanging up.

Customer Trent also did well on the squid in a similar area of the port down close to Phillip Island. Trent fished with a few mates and caught squid to 1kg on a variety of jigs, with size 3.0 and 3.5 getting down to the bottom easier in the current. Red foil and black jigs were the most productive on the day.


Some of the piers in the port have fishing well for squid, with Flinders the standout.  Customers Angelo and Ryan have fished the pier recently and found the daytime fishing better than after dark. The nights here have seen the pier packed with anglers chasing the yakkas, so the days have been much quieter. Angelo has been finding the colour 17 and 'White cow' clicks jigs have been go-tos in size 3.0 recently. Ryan has been finding red foil jigs in size 3.5 and also dark greens have been the best for him, especially late in the afternoon.


The large summer garfish have pricked many anglers attention recently, with some exceptional size fish about in decent numbers also. Many of the shallow banks have been holding the fish but the middle spit has also been an excellent place to start a berley trail. Customer Edly stopped at the spit recently after looking for the kingfish and got a great feed of gars. Edly found good numbers of gars in 2.5m of water and boated them on small sabiki rigs under a float.


On the kingfish front, there have been fish caught from West head and the 'Knobbies' around to Cape Woolamai and back to Cape Schank. A good sounder is your best friend is locating these fish, as their position will change depending on tides and current. Customer Andrew came past the store for some terminal tackle to hit up the kingfish and he managed a lovely fish out in the Western entrance. Andrew found live yakkas trolled slowly were the gun bait.

 


The west coast of the state is fishing well for a multitude of species at present, with the offshore scene really on fire. The Port Fairy and Portland region has been red hot for kingfish and tuna with loads of bait around. There have also been some big sharks lurking out wider for the anglers chasing them. Customer Tony popped in to the store to pick up some supplies and lure variety before hitting the North shore, and Tony and mate had a ball on the kingfish. While most of the fish have been 'rats' the guys did hook up to larger fish in the 10kg range that blitzed them on the shallow reef. Tony found squid strips and white 'Bungy Baits' in the 5 inch model the most productive of the lot.


The bluefin tuna have been found by anglers fishing for the kingfish in as shallow as 10m of water. While the tuna have been caught amongst the kingfish there have been better numbers of fish out to around 50m of water. These fish can be very fussy however and many are seen simply 'cruising' or sunning themselves. With the abundance of small baitfish, small lures are the go. The odd fish will take a normal 5 - 6 inch lure, but a lot of the summer food are small whitebait so lures as small as 2 inches have been catching fish. Customer Aaron fished out from Portland over the weekend to land some thumper bluefin to around 30kg. Aaron found trolling smaller skirts was the best method of hooking these fish.


Customer Bruno was down at Portland recently and found himself a nice little mako shark. With the amount of food about, the sharks have been active - with bronzies, schoolies, threshers and makos all making an appearance. There has been plenty of larger bait out wider with slimies and salmon providing good fresh shark baits. A bit further back towards Melbourne customer Anel spent the weekend catching heaps of salmon from the beaches and rocks. Anel found some lovely salmon to 1.5kg hanging around the deeper gutters back towards the Great Ocean Road.

 


The south coast of NSW is normally transformed into a bustling hype of activity around this time of year, with the tail end of school holidays and also fishing crowds alike. The bluewater scene is very popular and at present is producing some nice marlin from the NSW/VIC border up past Bermagui. Customer Filip fished the south coast just last week to land a lovely striped marlin of 120kg. 

Customer Sean also fished up along the NSW south coast with some mates in search of a marlin. Over a 3 day period the guys landed 3 striped marlin to around 120kg, with a mixture of techniques working well. Trolled skirted lures and live slimey mackerel were the best performers for the guys.

For the anglers heading up to the region there have also been good numbers of dolphinfish caught out from Tathra and Bermagui. Most of these fish have been caught either trolling small skirts or casting mini tuna stickbaits and plastics.

 


 


 


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.