While not everyone's game, there has been some excellent offshore fishing when a break in the weather opens up. There are numbers of snapper starting to move just offshore from the entrance to both bays, some excellent gummies on offer and still decent numbers of tuna along the West coast. James from Unreel Fishing Charters had a purple patch on the tuna along the West coast earlier this week, with 2 massive fish over the 100kg mark. James and his son both managed a 'barrel' each - with the monsters weighing 110kg and 140kg. There are still some serious inshore tuna out there to had when the wind and swell decide to calm down...


A little bit closer to home around the offshore reef the gummies have still been quality. Customers Johnny and Thao have been outside when conditions allow and have seen some serious gummies punching well above 15kg. There haven't been any 'hotspots' as the boys tried a new area recently and had results. Finding and plotting isolated patches of reef has been the key, with locally sourced baits also a key step. Catching wrasse and parrotfish from the reef is an excellent step in catching a solid sea-going gummy. Baits of squid are excellent for catching fresh bait, as are artificial offerings.


Small flutter-style jigs and soft plastics get eaten within metres of the reef by the wrasse species, but keeping them as  close to the bottom is key. Multi-coloured depth marked braid is excellent for doing this. Generally speaking, the most successful reef zones are outside the main entrance shelves, in the 25 - 30m depth or wider around 40 - 45m. At this depth there is plenty of bait and food for cruising gummies.

 


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!

 


Although the water is down to a low 10C or so locally and the air temperature isn't much higher, there's been plenty on offer around the local Melbourne S'Eastern suburbs. The freshwater catchments and urban lakes are worth fishing during this time of year, as most of the fish you will catch will be holding good condition. Customer Manny has been killing time out in the local wetlands and urban lakes having a blast on the redfin. Manny has been having good sessions on the fish with most falling to small soft plastics. The good thing about redfin is that they are in virtually all of the locally accessible suburban lakes and will respond well to many lure styles.


The most effective soft plastics for Manny of late have been small 'creature' bait style plastics - with the Bait Breath Myosa being the best. Tiny appendages flutter and quiver at the smallest movement with these and attract attention without having to do much. They are also deadly on trout when fished around clay banks in the lakes.


Speaking of trout, some of the large fish released into Ferntree Gully's Quarry lake have been getting caught. While some of the larger fish have taken baits like trout dough and powerbait - these fish are also adept hunters. Trout at this size are happy to hunt smaller trout and redfin, along with yabbies, tadpoles and bugs. Customer Matt fished the lake just recently and caught of these quality trout. Matt caught the fish on a small Berkley black grub - which would've been an excellent imitation of a tadpole.

 


Some clean weather has let anglers out for a break to catch some squid. The squid fishing hasn't been red hot but has been fairly consistent in both bays but the standout has been Port Phillip bay. Southern Port Phillip has been the go-to around Rye and Sorrento, but there have been good reports coming from Frankston and further south around Mornington. Customer Thao fished the Rye region recently with a mate and they found some nice squid for their efforts. Fishing the banks in 4m of water was the go, with multiple squid taken from single drifts. The killer jigs were the Hayabusa 'Aussie' specials in red whiting and black oil in size 3.0.


Customer Justin has also been making the most of the good quality squid about in southern Port Phillip. Justin has landed some nice squid to over 2kg from the Portsea - Rosebud region, with the bigger ones holding deeper in the fast tidal water. Justin has been fishing baited jigs in the shallows and 'tip run' deep jigs in the depths. Size 3.5 jigs in dark greens and purples have been good towards Portsea and UV white a standout back in the shallows off Rosebud.


Across Bass Strait customer Zach has been going hard on the squid. Zach has been fishing King Island from the rocks and piers and has been landing squid to around a kilo. Zach has been liking the white red head Shimano Sephia along with the Yakamito 'lemon' colour in size 3.0 and 3.5. The best time for Zach has been an hour or so around sunrise, with the light level change a real hot bite time.

 


Many anglers assume murray cod fishing is reserved for the warmer months of the year, which may be the case for some rivers when chasing numbers of smaller fish - but the depths of winter as the time to be targeting the larger fish in the dams and impoundments. Lake Eildon just 2 hours from the front door of the store has been producing some lovely murray cod for persistent anglers casting lures. Customer Thomas managed to land an awesome fish from the lake just recently, being a chunky 1.04m. Thomas has spent many hours on the lake in search of fish like this.


Thomas has been casting large swimbaits in both hard and soft plastic, and the big bait big fish theory is definitely paying off. Large swimbaits in the 7 - 10 inch mark haven't been too big for these big predators to fully swallow. The trick has been to fish them very slow and deep along the banks and ledges where the big fish are cruising.


Staff member also fished Eildon just recently to land a nice healthy fish from the Jews creek arm of the lake. Dylan persisted away with weighted swimbaits and while only 1 bite was had, it turned out to be a solid fish. Finding suitable depth edges with bait schools nearby on the sounder has been a good starting approach. 


Fishing swimbaits can be a good way of tricking some of the large cunning cod in the lake. With the natural profile of many of the swimbaits, both soft and hard - and their enticing action these fish can be tempted to engulf the lure during the first retrieve. Dylan, along with other anglers has found that although these large fish can be aggressive many swimbait 'bites' can be quite subtle - so the use of high quality gear that transmits as much feel as possible is a must. The best part of this style of fishing is that Eildon can be fished this way for murray cod all year, and the next few months should be as good as the last.

 


Although the weather over the last week hasn't been very inviting for much fishing, let alone squid fishing, there have still been a fair few caught. The top end of Port Phillip was exceptionally clear before the rain and is now murkier than usual but a spell of good weather will have it cleared up and fishing better. From about Mornington south the bay has been better for squid, with some smaller ones still found around the pier and harbour. Staff member Don has caught some around the pier during breaks in the weather, with red foil jigs working well among cloudy and gloomy conditions.


As usual the southern end of Port Phillip bay has held the most consistent squid fishing. The area between Rye and Sorrento has been the best producing area, with a mixture of sizes from 15cm through to 40cm hoods. Customer Mark has been having some ripper sessions out from Rye recently, with most trips resulting in full bags of squid in an hour or so. Mark has been finding UV white and UV blue jigs the best performers recently.


Over in Westernport the squid action has been good, once you find some cleaner water and squid happy to hunt. Customer Jamie fished with a couple of mates during the week along the Eastern side of the port and found some solid squid. Jamie had been fishing the area between San Remo and Reef Island to land this bag of squid. Red foil jigs worked the best with the small amount of moonlight helping to reflect them to the squid.


Not far away customer Steve has still been catching some nice squid, even with the inclement weather. Steve found a pocket out of the average weather during the week and plucked a few decent squid, with his favourite gold/brown base jigs doing the damage. Customer Brendan also nailed a couple of monster squid while gummy fishing earlier in the week. Brendan was fishing around some scattered reef ledges and while waiting for a gummy to cruise by he caught a handful of good squid using the 'tip run' method. Tip run is especially suited to places like Westernport, as tip run jigs are designed to sink fast at the correct angle in deep water or current. If you haven't tried these style of jig then it's definitely something you're missing out on!

 


While the average weather hasn't been super motivating for many forms of fishing, it's probably the best time of year to focus on simple bread and butter species around the bay. The many species on offer for angler at the moment are bream, garfish, salmon, pinkies and flathead. The best part of fishing for these species is that most of it can be done from the shore, kayak or in close in the boat. The current amount of freshwater washed into the bay has dirtied the water up and although this makes the water look very uninviting, the fish can normally bite better.


The bayside rivers and creeks have had a real good flush out and this has fired the bream up a lot over the last few weeks. The Patterson and Maribyrnong rivers have been producing some nice bream as more food is flushed around for them, and they have decreased sensitivity due to murky water. Customer Robin fished the Patto just recently and found a few nice bream near the mouth. Robin landed fish to 38cm on scrubworms fished on small whiting 'flasher' style rigs in 90 minutes of fishing.


The same area around the mouth of the Patto has also been producing salmon as they move up and back along the Eastern side of the bay. While they sometimes don't hang about for long, if the conditions are good the fish shouldn't be far away. Onshore winds and dirty water lines are good signs, especially if there are any baitfish schools about. Mordialloc through to Frankston is the region to look around through, with bluebait and whitebait the best baits. For the lure anglers, slim profile stickbaits and metal 'angry baits' have been effective in long casts into the wind, while small minnow soft plastics have also been catching fish once a bit of scent is added. Youngster James has been enjoying the salmon on soft plastics and lures with dad Chris when they can find a break in the weather.

Once the weather backs off a bit the garfish will come back on the chew. The same areas mentioned for the salmon have also been producing some good size gars when the wind hasn't been too strong. Onshore winds of 10 knots or less are generally what to look for when chasing the gars, and make sure you have heavily weighted and buoyant floats like the strada sliding floats. These floats are able to carry lots of lead for casting weight but will stay upright and alert you of any small gar bites very well.


The top end of the bay has also been producing some nice flathead in the shallows. The region from Port Melbourne through to around Sandringham has been the most productive stretch, will Atona bay another good spot to try. Staff member Dylan caught a bucket load during the calm weather trolling hardbodied lures from 90 - 130mm in size, with the best depths being around 2.5 - 3.5m of water. The rougher weather has seen many caught in even closer with the breakwalls and piers producing fish to around 42cm most days. If you're going to target a feed of flatties, make sure you lure or bait has got plenty of natural attraction and scent. Baits of small squid or squid heads have lots of movement in the rough water and might even score you some pinkies also. Small 'flutter jigs' are excellent for casting good distance as are soft hybrid vibes. The best lure choices are ones that the fish can find the easiest in the murky water, and gel or aerosol scents will increase their effectiveness 5:1.

 


There have been some winter pinkies and school snapper about in the bay for anglers to catch. While many don't fish for them in winter, it can be the best time to chase them, especially with calm sunny conditions. If you're landbased there have good numbers of fish hanging around in the northern region of the bay, with Port Melbourne and Williamstown holding some solid fish. Customer Ryan has been fishing the top end of the bay from the piers and has been catching fish to around 1.5kg. Ryan has done a couple of bait sessions at night but has found the afternoons have been fishing well with plastics. Small minnow and worm pattern plastics in 3 - 4inch have been the standouts, and even deadlier smeared in gel scent if the bite is slow.


The pinkies hanging around the inshore reefs have been touch and go, with a bit of sounding required to locate a patch of fish. When found however the fish have been pretty aggressive towards baits and lures especially late in the day. Customer Bashir and his wife Alexandra have been catching some nice table sized pinkies around Black Rock. Late afternoon has been the most productive time to fish for them, with cut pilchard being the best bait.

Further down in the southern end of the bay customer Petar landed a lovely winter fish of around 2.5kg during the week. Petar has been chasing the gummies around the south channel and surrounding channels, but was pleasantly suprised when he landed a nice red. Fishing baits of freshly caught squid and yakka has been the go for him, and with good quality baits you do have a good shot at catching these fish if they are around.


With some calm winter weather mixed in the offshore gummy fishing continues to be productive. While there haven't been any real 'hot spots' the areas around Cape Schank and Pyramid Rock have been good places to start. There have been two main methods to catching these fish, with both drifting and anchoring popular. Anchoring nearby to an isolated patch of reef and berleying to bring the gummies to you has been one method, while drifting 'wider' has also been a good way to intercept a cruising fish. Customer Jon fished recently out towards the Schank and landed some nice fish to around the 15kg mark. Baits of freshly caught wrasse and parrotfish from the accompanying reef are excellent options when targeting these fish.

 


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.

 

 


The local landbased has been producing a few different species for anglers getting out there and having a crack. The squid fishing has been hot and cold but with recent clear water the water clarity is good in most areas. Customer Angelo has been fishing the peninsula after the squid and has been catching some to just under a kilo. Angelo has been favouring early morning sessions when fishing piers like Flinders. Angelo has been preferring size 3.5 Clicks jigs  in squid ink and hot green colours. Some other large squid have been taken from the pier, again with early morning or late afternoon light changes the prime time. Bright colours or dark greens and black have been good.


Fishing the same sort of piers like Flinders, Sorrento and Portsea gives a chance of a few other species also. With cold ocean water pushing in from Bass Strait species like Barracouta and snotty trevally are starting to show up. Customer Angelo has been finding good numbers of couta from the pier at Flinders and they have been attaching small soft plastics. Soft plastics between 1.5 and 3 inches have been the most effective when matching the small baitfish that hang under the pier.

On the peninsula piers, there have scattered garfish reports. The main areas have been Dromana, Mornington and Seaford piers. The calmer weather has brought the fish in and once berleyed up they have been hanging around. The rougher weather sends the garfish off as the larger salmon have moved in and spooked the garfish off. Staff member Don fished Mornington pier during the week and caught a small bag of gars. Don found multiple float changes crucial along with very fine mix berley. The bites from the gars were timid, and lightly balanced floats were only just 'tipping' instead of bobbing under. Tiny pieces of silverfish were also the best bait on number 14 hooks.


The beach fishing has been good lately as well. Local beaches like St Andrews, Gunnamatta and Rye ocean beach have all been producing salmon, along with Kilcunda and Williamsons. The numbers of fish have been good, but without berleying up and holding fish to your area you may only get a couple. Lure anglers spinning 40g slim profile metals and stickbaits have been landing larger fish to 1.5kg or so, as they cover more beach. Staff member Don has been out on the beach at Gunnamatta and has landed salmon to pretty much bang on a kilo. Spinning and bait fishing has been productive for him,with the last 2 hours of lead up to the high tide the most productive time. Bluebait has been his most productive bait, but a few smaller fish have taken pipi as well.


Fishing the beaches with bait and paternoster style rigs has been effective as always, but even more effective when you rig a popper or soft plastic on your bottom hook. White and blue poppers have been good lately, along with 'bungy baits' in natural baitfish colours. If you fish either popper or plastic make sure you to smear some gel style scent on them. Gel type scents stay on much easier and trickle small amounts of smell out to roaming fish - so you are almost berleying at the same time when fishing like this.