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.

 


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 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.

 


Now that many of the holiday crowds have come back home the estuaries have started fishing a little better out towards Lakes Entrance. The sheer amount of people on the water had kept the fishing a bit quiet and the fish a bit skittish, but now things are starting to heat back up. Around Lakes itself there has been a good amount of variety caught, from kingfish and King George whiting through to bream and flathead. Customer Josh fished around Lakes in search of nice flathead and he wasn't disappointed when a nice 72cm fish jumped on a hardbody in the shallows. The successful lure imitated a small garfish perfectly, and he caught many other flatties around 40cm on the same lure.


While many people might not expect to catch fish right amongst the crowds in the heart of town, and customer Anne proved that theory wrong. Anne fished the 'main' Cunninghame arm in front of town at Lakes Entrance and landed a ripper dusky flathead of 52cm. Anne was fishing with plastics and this was her first fish on a soft plastic, which is awesome. Customer Daniel was also fishing the shallow lagoons around the estuary mouth at Marlo where he caught some nice flatties to a similar size. The fish in this region have been gorging themselves on small prawns too, so if you can imitate them or use them you're in with a good shot!


Customers Jordan and Morgan both fished some of the estuaries around Lakes Entrance and Marlo recently, where the boys managed some nice bream. Fishing out of their kayaks, the boys had some good surface fishing with bream to 35cm taking 'deruzze' dead sticked amongst the weed, but the real winner was the Jackall 'spytail' fished with short darts and jerks along the riverbank edges. The fish would hammer the lure after a small twitch as it slowly 'died' and drifted along the drop offs.


Customer Ange fished the Gippsland estuaries in his kayak recently where he had a ball on the bream using mainly surface lures. Ange stocked up on a few different style of lure before heading away, with plenty of fish taking small prawn and baitfish imitations. The best lures were the new colour and size 'sugapens' along with small Tiemco 'deruzze' - which are both very natural in appearance and action. Ange landed some nice bream to 40cm using these lures, working them through the shallows. This surface action has not long heated up and will be on the table for a while yet, so get out there and make the most of it!


Young gun Ashie Damelio has been having a ball catching some nice black bream out in the estuaries also. Ash has been bait and lure fishing with his dad Steve and is well and truly hooked on fishing, as he's normally picking up more lures in store than dad!

 


Freshwater fishing has still had plenty going on over the past week even though we've had some warm weather. The trout fishing around the area has been good if you've been able to find a section of river with some shade and depth to it. The rivers in the Noojee region and up above Eildon are fishing well due to their altitude and cool water temperatures.

Customer Brett had a fish just out of Noojee and caught some very nice fish for the area, with both fly and lure methods working. Brett mentioned that his fellow angling friend hardly managed a fish even though fishing similar methods, mainly due to his line being far too heavy and his hi-vis work wear spooking every fish he came near to. Just remember if you can see the trout they'll be able to see you!

Customer David recently purchased some new model bladed spinners for a trout trip above Eildon and he was rapt when he got into some nice little rainbows. David fished the Howqua and found that the smallest size Mapso spinners were the go, especially in gold and black blades.


Around Eildon pondage the large fish from last week's stocking are starting to be caught. Customer Zoran fished the pondage over the weekend and caught a nice swag of both brown and rainbow trout using coarse methods. Zoran had a mixture of baits out but found the absolute standout was the specialist trout dough. Fishing small nuggets of dough on a size 12 'chinu' hook in conjunction with crushed trout pellets as berley was the go, with no bites at all on normal regulars like powerbait.


Customer Paul has just returned from a trip north where he has been tangling with some nice freshwater species. Paul has been kayak fishing up in far northern NSW and southeastern QLD in some of the impoundments, where he has been catching bass, catfish and saratoga.


Paul has found that small unweighted plastics have been the most effective in the areas he has been fishing. With lots of small frogs, yabbies and tadpoles around the weed and vegetation Paul has needed to get the lure into the structure to get a bite. The successful lures Paul has been using has been Chasebaits 'wiggle bombs' and Berkley 'bubble spears' which have both been fished on offset worm hooks and light weights.

 


For the anglers heading away out towards East Gippsland the estuaries are fishing well at present. While you may still have to move about to find some fish, the estuaries are producing some nice bream and flathead for both bait and lure fishing techniques. Customer Keith was fishing out near Bemm River recently and caught some nice bream, with some very big yellowfin bream amongst the catch. Keith caught most of his fish using ultra stealth tactics, just 1kg mono line and bass yabbies for bait.


Customer Cameron came into the store recently to gear up for targeting large flathead down at Lake Tyers. Cameron left with some lure suggestions and technique advice and went in to catch some solid fish straight away. Cameron caught some thick flathead to just shy of 70cm throughout the shallows over near the 'Glasshouse'.Small mullet imitating plastics did the trick on the flatties with the Zman plastics the main producer.


Back around Melbourne in the local Patterson River, customer Robin has been catching some bream. Robin has found that the bream in the Patto respond well after a bout of rain, which we are due for. Fishing juicy scrubworms on small circle hooks in the discoloured water has earned some nice fish to around 1kg for Robin. The next few days should be perfect for this style of fishing locally, whether it be in the Patto, Yarra or other local river.

 


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.

 

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.

 


The land based fishing for snapper has been exceptional over the past few weeks. The normal run of land based reds occurs from late July onward but the shore based fishing has really heated up the past fortnight, both locally and out of town. Customer Taki has been chasing the reds from the rocks around the bay and his last session down towards Mt Martha yielded 2 nice fish up to 4kg. Pillies fished on 4/0 circle hooks did the job.


Customer Shibu has also been catching some nice school snapper from the shore. Shibu and friends have been from the beach along the Mordialloc - Black Rock region where fish to 2.5kg are not uncommon. Running sinker style rigs have been letting the bait move about naturally and have been attracting more bites. Pilchard has been the most effective bait along the area.


While there have been plenty of fish caught along the shoreline of the bay, there have been plenty from along the rocky ocean platforms out of town. Ocean ledges like Punchbowl have been producing snapper for the anglers out there in search of them. A bit further down the road around Wilson's Prom Customer Abdul has caught some nice fish to around 80cm. Abdul came in to store to prepare for a snapper session from the rocks and his organization led to success.


Abdul took a light rod and heavier shore rod for snapper, and caught some salmon using pilchards as bait - which were used for the snapper. The fresh fillets of salmon accounted for all of the snapper and a nice gummy which broke off at the rocks. Carrying minimal gear and catching fresh bait can be the huge advantage to catching quality fish.