The tuna action hasn't stopped along the west coast, with the main hotspots being Portland and Port Fairy. There have been fish caught from Apollo Bay right through to the SA border, but most anglers have been fishing from or Portland or Port Fairy. The fish have been moving about but holding in small pockets for days providing the haven't been fished too hard or moved on by predators or drastic weather changes, and they have been taking most lure types. You'd be mad to head out without a mixture of skirts, hardbodies and stickbaits in various profiles and colours. 

Customers Cam and Mark fished out from Portland recently and found the fish in fairly close and willing to eat cast stickbaits. The real trick was matching the lures to the profile of the bait that the fish were hunting, and with most of the fish in the area this has been micro pilchards and anchovies. 


Customer Daniel came in to the store and topped up on tuna essentials and to get some new lures rigged up. Daniel spent a couple of days around Portland familiarising himself with the area, and eventually found the fish. A mixture of small skirts were the most effective, with a clear yellow pattern proving the best of the lot on fish to around 11kg. While not all of the tuna in the area have been school fish - they have generally been 8 -15kg or 90kg+. Customers Tyler and Aaron proved that theory correct with a 128kg barrel caught out of Portland a few weekends ago. 

 


Again this week the beaches have been firing for Australian salmon. With some less than ideal weather for boat based fishing, coupled with northerly winds beach fishing has been ideal. All beaches have been worth a look from Lakes Entrance in the far east to Port Fairy in the west. More locally, Venus Bay has been excellent along with Williamson's, Kilcunda and Gunnamatta. 


Customer Mark fished Venus Bay last week with sons Sam and Harry, and mate Darren. The fishing has been excellent for them, with fish to 2kg taking surf poppers, plastics and also pilchard and bluebait. The guys have had some awesome sessions with 4 way hookups and double headers, with the best fishing coming as the flood tide strengthened. Picking a section of beach at Venus is a good way of locating the fish as the gutters here differ compared to beaches like Gunnamatta and Kilcunda. 


Customer Perry has been fishing the west coast beaches as he loves doing throughout the winter months. Perry has been fishing the beaches around Angelsea and Aireys Inlet and has been catching salmon to 1.5kg or so. Perry has been casting metal lures with single hooks as well as small soft plastics around 3 inches in size. Perry has been finding the fish around low tide, as they have been working a gutter behind a small sandbar that can only be reached on low water. 

 


The local land based fishing around the bays has been good considering the nice weather we've had of late. Wether you'd enjoy a feed of flathead, garfish, whiting or squid they are all readily available. One of the more popular species on offer at present are the tasty garfish - which have been active at most of the piers around Port Phillip. Some of the hot spots worth a look have been Mordialloc, Black Rock, Seaford, Frankston and down the peninsula at Dromana and Mornington. Baits of chopped silverfish, banana prawn and maggots have all been good. Getting your float setup correctly ballasted and having a steady trail of fine berley are also some of the finer points to successful gar fishing. 

Staff member Don fished Frankston pier during the week and bagged a nice feed of gars. Tiny pieces of banana prawn fished on narrow gape fly hooks were the most effective when lightly weighted around the edge of the berley trail. 


The northern end of the bay has been fishing well for good table sized flathead and whiting. The shallows have been producing sand flathead to 50cm around any rockfall, gutter or reef ledge. Fishing soft plastics has been the most effective way to snag a flathead, but ensure that you're using a plastic that gives off natural vibration to help the fish hone in on the lure. St Kilda through to Mentone has been the are to try. 


The same areas of the bay down to around Olivers Hill have been producing whiting after dark. Customer Jordan has landed some nice flathead and whiting over the last week around Brighton. The flathead have been caught on 3 inch mullet patterned plastics and the whiting have been liking banana prawn and pipi. Customer Serge also got a nice bag of whiting from the shore around Sandringham on a mixture of squid, banana prawn and pipi. 

The same inshore reef and sand patches have been producing some nice squid after dark. Staff member Dylan fished from the shore from Brighton through to Black Rock last week and landed squid every session, with the quickest 10 squid bag taking about 40 minutes. Size 2.5 jigs are the most consistent in this area, with virtually every colour tried eventually producing a squid or two. 

Down along the bottom of the peninsula over in Westernport, customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting like they're going out of fashion. Angelo has been fishing Flinders pier and has found the squid around 25cm hood length on average. Size 3.5 jigs in natural grass whiting patterns along with blacks and UV whites have been the best for him. The grass whiting have also been active around the pier pylons and grass beds and have been taking a liking to small paternoster rigs baited with either trout worms or small pieces of banana prawn.  

 

With some lovely late Autumn and early Winter weather, many anglers have flocked to their local beaches with a rod. And why not, something as simple as walking the beach on a nice afternoon can be a great de-stress for many. Lucky for them also the salmon fishing has been good so far, with many beaches providing fish to around 6lb for lure and bait fishers. Gunnamatta has been fishing well for salmon, with the first light bite the prime time, but the changing of the light during late afternoon has also been kind to mobile lure anglers fishing their way up the beach. 

For anglers looking to go for a drive, the beaches at Venus Bay and around Kilcunda have also been fishing well. Again early mornings coupled with a slight northerly and flood tide are the pick of the conditions. Baits of bluebait, whitebait, small squid and pipi have been best.


Customer Jim came in to stock up for a fish with some mates down at Venus Bay over the long weekend, and the boys had fun and caught a few fish for their efforts also. The last 90min of the flood tide and hour or so of the ebb was the best time, with the fish moving right up on the berley. Paternoster rigs baited with bottle squid and 'bungy bait' rigged poppers worked the best. Most of the fish were around a kilo or so, with some decent mullet finding their way to the bait in the shore break also.

Staff member Don fished Gunnamatta during the week, with a late afternoon spin session in the gutters along from the surf lifesaving club. Don took one light spin outfit and worked metal slices and stickbaits up to 40g around the edge of the gutters to rack up 20 or so salmon. Fishing the lures under the whitewater with a 'burn and kill' retrieve was the way to get the fish fired up. Flash-assist hooks on the lures helped in keeping the jumping fish hooked well. 

 

 

 


The bluefin tuna have been fishing well across in the Portland district, and with some quality offshore conditions many anglers have been making hay while the sun has been shining. While there have been fish coming from Port Mac in SA through to around Apollo Bay, the main concentrations of fish have been from Cape Bridgewater back to Port Fairy and off Warnambool. Customer Tony and mates fished Portland earlier last week and had a bit of a tough time getting on to the fish but they did manage one schoolie for their efforts.


Customers Aaron and Kosta got out on the fish from Portland over the long weekend, and with some reasonable conditions they found no shortage of tuna. Most of the school fish they found had been hanging between the 60 - 130m area and were responding to most trolled lures. Skirts up to 6 inch and deep diving hardbodies were the best, with a mixture of colours from bright UV's like pink and lumo, through to natural saury and couta imitations. Customer Izzy and fished out from Portland over the weekend after purchasing a new 50w outfit. Trolling in close in the 45m area Izzy hooked a barrel on her lighter spin rod and unfortunately had the hooks pull. The consolation prizes were the 10kg school fish that were abundant, that are store-rigged daisy chain skirt rigs and deep running hardbodies. 

 

 

 

 

 


The local bluewater scene around the bay and just offshore has been producing both kingfish and bluefin tuna for anglers lucky enough to get out when a weather window allows. The past week or so has seen schools of kingfish turn up in the bays and in particular in the rip, but word has gotten out and there can be a few boats on the fish! Customers Steve, Mick and Jase fished the rip on Sunday and found kingies to around 70cm amongst the boat traffic. Small profile jigs up to 150g got the job done for the boys.

Staff member Dylan also fished the rip on the same day and also got into some decent kings but none of them found the boat. Mechanical and slow pitch jigging got the bites, with leaf style jigs from 100g through to 165g performing best.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been putting customers on to both kings and tuna over the past week or so, with the fish being caught no further than Barwon Heads. James has been landing some solid kingfish from both the rip and offshore, with fish to 15kg hitting the deck. Jigs and baits of squid and slimey mackerel have been the best. Just offshore James has been landing tuna to around 20kg on a mixture of skirts and hardbodied lures, with small teaser and daisychain rigs helping to focus the fishes' attention. Most of the tuna have been caught between the 50 - 70m depth line, from Port Phillip heads across to Breamlea and back to Gunnamatta.

 

 

 


The Murray cod fishing has been good on both bait and lures around the region - with some good fishing happening not far from Melbourne at all. If you're looking to tangle with a cod, you could try the Yarra river over the weekend. The river should still be quite high and dirty from the heavy rain Melbourne has received but it will still fishable around the back eddies and slower water. A bunch of large scrubworms rolled in gel scent or XL yabby would be the best bet after the increased flow. Customer Ryan snagged a nice little fish from before the heavy rain started on a pink and purple spinnerbait. Bright pink/chartruese/orange and black works well in the Yarra due to the tannin in the water.


Heading for a drive up to lake Eildon will see your big cod chances increased. The large fish have been active over the past month or so, and happy to take a bait or lure. Customer Vito fished the lake landbased recently and landed a chunky model on a lure. Vito has been fishing soft and hard swimbaits during daylight hours and surface lures around low light and into the night. The large fish will only continue on a feeding rampage right through Autumn as the roach and redfin schools move into the arms and bays.

Customer Steve also landed a ripper cod out of the lake during the week. Steve was fished with mate Ryan from the shoreline of the lake and the boys managed 2 nice fish, with Steve's cracking the magical meter mark. Baits of yabby and cheese were both used. Steve safely returned the big cod to the water ready to be caught by another lucky angler.

 


The run of tuna local to Melbourne has continued and is gaining more and more momentum each day. With huge schools of fish to 40kg just offshore from the bays and along the coast many are taking advantage and getting amongst them when conditions allow. The schools have been isolated and as widespread as Cape Woolamai across to Portland and further west, with good numbers of fish hanging about between Cape Schank and Torquay. Vic EJ Todds Representative Mitch has been landed some sizable fish out from Barwon on stickbaits and poppers. While many anglers have been trolling lures, with increased boat traffic and pressure the fish are liable to spook - and this is where cast lures can have their advantages. Don't forget to pack popppers, stickbaits and various soft plastics!


Customer Josh came into the store after an outfit to tackle the tuna with and let us set something up for him. After gearing up Josh and some mates headed out and gave the fish a crack. The boys found the tuna just outside of the heads in quite shallow water heading towards Barwon bluff and landed a few on different hardbodies and also small skirts. Needless to say Josh is hooked will probably be doing more of it asap.


There have been plenty of anglers scoring catches of nice bluefin. The Melbourne Tuna Crumbs have been amongst the fish over the past weeks, with to just shy of 40kg coming aboard. Some of the original crumbs Michael and Pino have had fun on the fish from just outside the heads across to Angelsea. Various tactics have been working with deep running hardbodies and bibless minnows in short doing a good job at bringing the fish in. When the fish have been shy small skirts as minute as 3'' have been getting the bites, especially when fished a long way back.


The boys from Bucci Cabinets have been serving up fresh tuna with good numbers of fish in the 15 - 20kg size range being caught. The fish have again been caught along the surf coast, with the Barwon - Torquay area holding good schools. Working the 20 - 35m depth areas have been where most of the boys have been finding the numbers. Skirted lures have been the favoured method, with 5'' being about the most productive size. Some skirts as large as 10'' have been catching fish - and a good option to put in the spread as a teaser to entice the school to come up. Even if you have any huge marlin sized skirts, running them or a large popper or daisy chain of large soft plastics as an attractor has been well worth the effort.

 


The freshwater regions have been fishing well, for those that are unaffected by recent fires. Those that are need some time to clear up, as ash and debris in streams and rivers and flooding rains will knock smaller systems about for a little while yet. The south Gippsland and northern inland regions though are fishing well and remain unaffected. On the trout front the rivers from the back of the Yarra ranges through to around Moe are fishing well and are throwing up some decent sized fish for anglers picking their way through them.


Customers Jordan and Josh have been fishing a few different rivers in the region and without dialing in to a 'spot x' they have all been producing fish. The Yarra and it's tributaries have been excellent along with the Latrobe and the smaller streams that flow into it. Fly fishing has been effective for the guys, with both nymphs and dries taking some nice browns to around 700g. Fishing small lightly weighted plastics like nymphs and worms has been effective along with very small hardbodies and bladed spinners. Any of the rivers in the region generally run reasonably tannin so lures with UV colours and golds in them, along with dark silhouettes such as blacks and browns have been the most effective.


Just down the road at Blue Rock Lake the bass fishing has been good. The fish have been ravenous with recently stocked micro bass nailing most lures that hit the water. Fishing early morning and late afternoon has seen some larger fish come out to play, especially when bigger lures are put in to the equation. Staff member Dylan fished the lake last week and landed 15 or so fish with a few high 30cm specimens the best for the day. Mid depth crankbaits and spinnerbaits were effective mid afternoon slow rolled through bankside timber, and small surface crawlers and wakebaits came into their own once the light faded from the sky - with the best banks being the ones with slightly clearer water.


Just up the Hume fwy towards Shepparton customer Ryan has been catching some small yellowbelly in the creeks. Fishing brightly coloured spinnerbaits was the deal as the muddy water of the smaller creeks made visibility less than ideal. Rolling the spinnerbaits with a high rod tip allowed for detection of the lure bumping the logs and weed before it snagged up. Fishing similar water in the same region last week was customer Manny. Manny tried his luck on cod but found no joy on them, but he did land some nice yellowbelly. Manny found flash rigged plastics and aggressive coloured spinnerbaits were the most effective for him.

 


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.