It's mid August and again trout season for the rivers and streams is fast approaching here in Victoria. While the rivers are still closed for a few weeks yet there's still plenty happening on the trout scene for anglers to get amongst! Emma from the Women In Recreational Fishing group recently went up to Eildon to fish the lake, and although it was foggy, overcast and freezing cold she did manage to get into some lovely brown trout. Many of the browns from the lake here spend their time in the open water and take on a very pale brown/silver appearance, with not as many spotted markings as their river cousins. For those fishing the lake, the ever reliable tassie devils have still been producing, especially when upgraded with ultra-sharp assist hooks.


Customer Paul also got into some open water brown trout, although down at Blue Rock Lake. Paul was fishing from his hobie kayak where he slow trolled tassies around the drop-offs and timbered edges of the lake to land some trout to around 45cm. Paul found all of the fish to be actively feeding in the open water, and have the same pale silvery appearance. The best tassie on the day was the no55 pink, fished on 'Dancing Jack' assist hooks.


On the bait fishing scene, there have still been some nice stockies coming from the pondage. Customer Simon came into the store to stock up on the essential ingredients for successful fishing around the Eildon area. Simon found a bag of nice rainbows from the lower pondage using the coarse method and specialist trout dough for bait.

Down at Karkarook Park there have been trout on offer for those fishing the same methods. Customer Sarah and her son Harry fished the lake recently where Harry managed some lovely rainbow trout. The best method was again the berley/feeder cage method and a powerbait/trout dough bait concoction.


A fair bit further south in Tasmania, Matt Sheriff reports that the Tassie trout season has started off well. Matt has been using his Hawk 'sniper' hardbodied lures with great effect on some solid lake trout. Many of the colours were working well but the standout have been the gold 'spawn belly' models, with some of the fish really hammering the lures on a 'stop-start' jerking retrieve.

 


While the windy weather of late hasn't been great for the boat based fisherman wanting to get out in the bays, the local estuaries around the bay and further afield have been producing some good bream. The mixed freshwater in the local systems has stirred them up enough to get the fish fired up and give anglers a bit of cover. The Patto has been running hot with the bream of late, even though it hasn't been getting fished that much.

Customer Tony got down to the river recently and caught some nice sized fish among the canals. Tony was fishing small live freshwater yabbies on fine gauge hooks on light leader to fool fish up to 39cm. 


More anglers having success in the Patto have been using mixed techniques. Customer Tony fished the main river near the end boat ramps during the week to land bream to around 35cm. Tony was using shrimp and freshwater yabbies on a basic running sinker rig. The main river has been seeing a lot of attention for mullet fisherman of late, and a lot of the berley and commotion also brings the bream around for a feed.

Customer Jake has been landing some chunky fish on lures in the canals. Jake has been using a mixture of hardbodies and plastics to land the cunning fish, but his persistence and belief that the fish will eventually eat a lure is also a vital skill to employ on such tricky fish. If you're into your plastics and lure fishing, make sure you pop into the store and check out some of the new lures available.


Down the road the Gippsland lakes have been fishing hot-and-cold for the bream. Being such a large system, the fish can be at the complete opposite of where you're fishing - especially if you only fish a few locations. Generally at present most of the bream and lower in the systems, where they school up in preparation for spawning. They can be frustrating to tempt when in such a mood, but cycling through different lure and bait options will see you eventually gain success. Customer Paul was down in the lakes system recently and found the the fish were keyed onto his plastics, with the newest model UV loaded 'Squidgies' being the most effective.


In the same part of the world angler Pat got into some nice bream. Pat was fishing the 3 rivers out in the Gippsland lakes and caught his brace of fish on fresh sandworm.

 


If there was ever a season to be making the most of the salmon around the beaches and inshore land based spots then this year has been it. The salmon have been unstoppable this winter and by normal accounts should stay strong until the water temperature starts warming up - so around the start of October or so. While there are still days when conditions aren't favourable and the fishing is hard work, the fish have been cooperating more often than not.


Speaking of unfavourable conditions the wind recently has been typical of late winter winds, constantly strong but also with a fair bit of north to it. Northerly winds make beach fishing somewhat easier, generally better than anything with south in it, so although the forecast might be strong there's still enough fishing to be had.

Customer Mark has been down at Venus Bay making the most of the salmon run, with more fish to around 2kg caught on lures over the weekend. While strong winds have meant constant gutter and bar movement, the fish are still around and hungry. Customer Dimitri got down to Gunnamatta beach and got into some nice fish on bluebait and surf poppers over the weekend also.


Speaking of Gunnamatta, it has been the best performing local beach with most anglers getting into good numbers of salmon. Staff member Don spent an afternoon on the beach last week armed with a light and long spin rod and some Yakamito 'Angry bait' metals to land some nice salmon to around 900g. Constantly moving along the beach in search of holding gutters and small pockets of fish was the key, as when one was caught there were generally a lot more around.

Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished Gunnamatta last weekend for their surf competition with 9 anglers fishing the beach. Overall 25 salmon were caught, which was good considering the rough conditions and strong winds present. The largest fish caught was just over 1.5kg which is excellent fun on any gear - so even if the conditions are less than ideal there are still plenty of salmon to be caught.


For the bayside angler, the rough conditions have meant that there have been plenty of salmon about along the shore of the bay. Areas to try of late have been around Sandringham, Mordialloc, Patterson rivermouth, Frankston and Mornington. Further south Mt Martha, Blairgowrie and Sorrento have all been worth fishing depending on how far you want to drive. The fish have been somewhat larger further south, with some well over 2kg coming from piers like Sorrento. Lure fishing for these landbased salmon is the go as the schools are constantly on the move in search of baitfish. If you're unsure of which lures to try on light gear for long landbased-casting come in and talk to the team, as there are quite a few options.

 

 

 


Many land based anglers have been making the most of the pinkies lately with no shortage of excellent eating size fish about. Just about any pier, beach or rockwall along the eastern side of the bay with some reef nearby is worth having a look at, especially after a few days of strong westerly winds. Customer Steve has been getting a few around the traps with fish to 45cm pretty common place, and ideal for the plate!


Customer Kien has been making the most of the large numbers of pinkies that have been about over the winter. Kien has been fishing Victoria Harbour or the 'Docklands' for his fish, with many fish around 40cm landed and some larger up to 2.5kg. The most effective bait has been the humble pilchard, fished on a running rig. Heavier leader has been useful when fishing the harbour as there are many barnacle encrusted posts and objects for the fish to break off against.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been having some fun on the school sized pinkies out in the bay. James has found the numbers of nice table fish to be very good, with plenty of happy customers taking home a feed of fish. Most of the larger fish have been found out from the reef a bit further, as the big schools normally hold tight to the reef for cover. Having a quality sounder to locate the small patches of fish is vital, and once found smaller baits of pilchard and squid on 2/0 sized hooks have been deadly.

While it may not seem it yet, snapper season is just around the corner. There have already been some scattered reports of solid fish around towards the southern end of the bay. Most of the southern land based spots - Mornington Pier, Mt Martha Rocks will be worth fishing from now on - especially for a 'trophy' fish. Regardless the fish aren't far away, so it's the time to get your gear organized for the season.

 


Eildon pondage has been a good area to escape the winter weather providing you're dressed to suit the conditions! Some large trout have been caught in the pondage, with most on dough style baits. Customer Jozef and his wife Margaret fish the pondage regularly and caught some very nice rainbow trout last week. Jozef caught a lovely rainbow using trout dough Margaret caught a larger one on powerbait! Both of the fish were exceptional but Margaret takes the cake this time around!


Lakes such as Rowville and Karkarook have been fishing reasonably well considering the weather. Keen angler Tommy has been catching redfin around the reed stand edges on small shallow running hardbodies such as the Hawk 'sniper'. Small minnow imitating lures do well over the cooler months as the baitfish school up and provide an easy meal for the redfin and trout. Karkarook and Rowville have both been fishing well with trout dough and powerbait techniques as this will generally see you catch more trout than redfin. 

 


The bread and butter species like gars and squid have been good in spells of clearer weather over the last week or so. The usual pattern seems to be salmon and pinkies during rough weather with dirty water, and then once the water clears up and wind drops out the squid and garfishing is much better. Picking the conditions to suit will better odds on your chosen species. If it's gars you're after, then the main hot spots have been Beauy, Frankston and Mornington piers. Fishing in a bit shallower at these locations is normally the preferred area for the garfish as they become easy prey once out of the shallow's safety.

Fishing small pieces of silverfish and prawn has been good, so long as your float setup is correctly balanced and your berley is fine particle rather than chunks. You want the fish to swim through the 'mist' and become hungry rather than eat the big pieces. Staff member Dylan fished for gars earlier during the week where some real chunky fish were caught on small pieces of peeled prawn. Dylan didn't have the correct gear on him so where he caught one others would catch two. Being prepared for small changes in conditions will see you stay on top of the fish.


On the squid front things have been good for customers getting out and making the most of the breaks in the weather. Customer Long caught his bag of squid from the boat down the bottom end of the bay with smaller 2.5 jigs working the best. Long found that the shallower water was holding the small baitfish and numbers of squid after a recent rough front that passed through.


The piers around the southern end of the bay have been the most consistent performers recently as well. The only real weather that seems to affect these piers are days of rough onshore northerly winds, but even then the strong tides shift the clean water back into place quicker than the top end of the bay. Customer Cipto has been catching some nice squid from Sorrento pier and has even found a trevally or two hanging around. Cipto has been finding natural shrimpy greens and blacks have been the best performing jigs colours.

Customer Steve has also been catching some solid squid from the southern piers. Steve has been catching some proper squid but he has had to work hard for them. Constant jig changing and equal persistence has been the key to coming home trumps.

 


Many of the stocked trout lakes have been fishing very well since the school holidays. Whether you're in for a drive up to Eildon pondage or want to stick local, there are plenty of options worth looking at - with virtually all of the local suburban lakes producing trout at the moment. The pondage at Eildon has been producing some quality trout for anglers in the know, or those persistent with the correct methods.

Customer Jozef has become an Eildon regular, and he makes the trip up to the pondage quite frequently with his wife. Jozef fished the area just last week where he caught some quality trout. Jozef normally mixes up his techniques and always fishes with a rod with powerbait and trout dough on a coarse/berley cage setup. His second rod normally has a lure on it which he will walk around his fishing area and see if there are fish moving through and following the lure. In Jozef's latest trip he caught a number of smaller fish on the powerbait, and a much larger fish of around 3kg on a 7g tassie devil.


Much closer to the shop, customer Brendan took his daughter out to Rowville Lakes recently in search of some rainbow trout. Brendan came in to the store for some tips on setting up the coarse style method when fishing powerbait and as soon as he was out there he scored some nice fish!

 

 

 


The Eildon region has been well worth a feed lately, whether you're casting for cod or trout trolling in the lake, or fishing the pondage in Eildon itself. There have been whispers of some large cod coming from the lake, and these are testament to anglers perseverance. You don't land quality cod in Eildon by staying at home!

While the trout trolling reports have been a bit on the quieter side, there have been some nice fish landed. Customer Brian caught a cracker from the Delatite Arm just recently trolling tassie devils. Brian had been trolling 'mega' tassies with the 'yellow mongrel' catching the fish. Brian had rigged the his tassies with assist hooks which did their job in keeping the big brown securely hooked.


Not to be outdone Eildon pondage has been fishing exceptionally well since it's pre-school holiday stocking. There are plenty of large fish about and enough feisty smaller trout in the 300g size you can be kept busy for long enough if you take the time to set up correctly.The specialized coarse method is king here. If you're unsure of how to go about setting up for the pondage and other stocked trout fisheries come by and talk to the guys.

Customer George and his friend fished the pondage during the week where some really solid fish were caught. The bank alongside the 'footy oval' fished best, with lighter weighted feeder cages advantageous over heavier feeders due to their ability of not snagging up on the rocks. Trout dough accounted for a couple of fish and rainbow coloured powerbait did the rest of the damage.

 

 

 


Dirty water earlier during the week hampered the squid activity for the start of the week, but as it has rolled on the water conditions have cleaned up and the squid have come back on. The northern end of Port Phillip has been patchy but will hit it's peak before Friday's forecast rain. Along the peninsula Mornington pier has been a bit murky but the squid have been there to be caught. A few anglers have reported squid to around 300g coming from both the main pier and inside on the small pier.

Staff member Don fished the small pier during the week where he caught a few decent sized squid on size 2.5 jigs. Rainbow foil was the go during late afternoon light, with a few others catching on orange jigs also.


Down south the piers have been the most consistent, with again Sorrento and Portsea the pick if conditions deteriorate. Across at Flinders the water clarity has been a bit murkier but clearing up, and the squid are active.  Customer Take fished the pier for the first time targeting squid and he managed a nice one at around 600g.

Customer Lilong fished over at Sorrento for an afternoon session to land squid up to 35cm hood length. Water clarity at the pier was good and while there weren't many squid caught, the ones caught were quality. Yamashita Pyon-Pyon search jigs were the most effective, attracting squid in with their rattle and subtle kick and they drop.

 

 


The calm weather we've been receiving bayside has been great for doing a spot of gar fishing. The normal trend around the eastern shoreline piers is garfish during calmer weather, and salmon disrupting all this when rougher conditions push their food withing herding proximity of the shoreline. The gar hot spots of late have been anywhere from Brighton to Frankston, with Seaford and Frankston the two more popular options. Silverfish and small pieces of prawn have been good baits, and as usual fine mist berley is key - if you're not packing a good berley you may as well stay home!


Customer Stephen has been down at Frankston trying his luck on the gars and has found some quality fish. The fish were feeding right up high in the water and unless you adjusted your rig to suit you wouldn't get a bite. Stephen used silverfish on a size 12 hook with a finely weighted small 'aaa' float equipped with chemical light to see the subtle bites.

Being able to see the smallest movement in your float can mean the difference between landing now fish and getting a few on the pier. Adding or removing shot to your rig to get it to sit perfect is paramount, and one of the reason we go on about certain float setups so much!