Trout activity in the lakes and rivers around the state is starting to heat up, as many of the larger resident fish prepare for their winter spawn. What does this mean for anglers? Well, the chance at some larger than average fish and from some pretty small water at times. These big fish can either be spooky, super aggressive or completely not interested depending on which day you get them on, but the main thing that they all seem to be driving by is the rain.

The next couple of big rain bands we're due for around the region will get the fish fired up and pushing up river. If the water in your local river rises and discolours slightly then these fish are worth a shot to catch. If you normal trout offerings aren't doing the job, try either a larger more aggressive style of lure - either soft plastic or hardbody, or drifting some egg pattern flies and nymphs past them. If you're not quite sure how to set up for this speak to the guys in store and they will explain the technique to you and show you what you'll need.


Up around the Eildon region customer Zoran has had some good trout fishing in mild Autumn conditions. Zoran has well and truly adopted the 'pre-spawn' techniques for catching solid trout - both on lures and flies. Recently Zoran has seen some nice brook trout from the Rubicon River along with some nice browns from the Goulburn. With the Goulburn running at around 2000Mgl at present, it will only get easier for anglers to fish from now until the season close. Larger, bright coloured hardbodies work in the river when the spawning fish are moving and can trigger a real 'crunching' response from some super solid fish.


Customer Anel has been for a trip up into the NSW Snowy Mountains with some of his trout fishing mates, where the brown trout have just started to trickle through on their upstream spawning movements. Anel and the boys have had some good fishing with fish to around 5lb hitting the lures. With water levels still relatively low in the rivers in the region the fish have been spooky and sporadic in numbers, but some heavy wet weather due over the next few days should get them fired up. Anel has been trying out some specialist trout lures new to the shop, and so far they have been working excellent!

 


The natives such as Murray cod and yellowbelly have really been fishing well of late. The cooler weather has started some activity from the larger fish also. Many of the main lakes have been fishing well including Mulwala and Eildon. Customer Mario fishes for cod and yellowbelly regularly up around Cohuna on the Murray, however he fished lake Mulwala just recently for some nice fish. Mario did a bit of bait fishing and caught yellowbelly to 51cm using fresh shrimp fished around the willows.


Trolling stumpjumpers Mario also caught Murray cod to 57cm. Most anglers know of the popularity of stumpjumpers, with their tight sway and highly buoyant nature ideal for slowly knocking through timber to wake up the fish.


Customer Hendrik also fished around Mulwala just last week where he had some great cod fishing. Hendrik spent his time casting surface and subsurface lures around the timber in search of that big cod, with one he thinks may have been the 'metery' coming up for a look. Amongst this inquiry Hendrik caught and released a heap of smaller fish to around 60cm, with wakebait style lures proving to be the most effective and enjoyable. The Jackall 'chanwake' was his favourite, with prop tail and loud knocking internal ball calling the fish in.

Customer Clark fished Mulwala also just recently to land some quality fish. Clark fished with mates and found both cod and yellowbelly of excellent size. Clark is a proficient lure caster and found that constant lure changes were needed to get some activity happening.

Good size yellowbelly have been active in Mulwala as the water temperature has started dropping, with slightly smaller lures such as 3/8oz spinnerbaits and Jackall 'TN' style lures working very well.


Back at Eildon, there have been some quality cod caught but it's still a persistent man's game. Water levels in the lake are around 55% and there are some good fishable banks and the moment, with plenty of excellent structure exposed and waiting for a slight increase in water level. Staff members Dylan and George fished the lake during the week for a very quiet session, but did have a few inquiries from lethargic fish. 

Customer Michael also fished the lake recently but had better success. Michael fished the Big River area of the lake and landed 2 lovely Murray cod to 76cm using spinnerbaits. Michael was slow trolling these spinnerbaits along the timbered edges when he caught these fish. If you're going to troll lures such as spinnerbaits, be sure to troll them as SLOW as possible, as trolling them too fast will see them roll and blow out, and twist your line.

 

We're really heading into trout time! The cooler weather and water means that the streams and lakes have been a bit more active over the last few weeks, even if water levels are lower and clearer than normal. If we get some decent rain draining into the rivers over the next month things will be even better as the larger fish move to spawn.

Customer Luke from Ace Adventures donned the waders and fished some of the small water above Noojee with a mate recently. Luke found there were plenty of fish willing to take a swipe at a well presented lure, with around 25cm being about the norm.


Customer Brendan also enjoys his trout fishing and more so stream trout fishing. Brendan has also been fishing the Noojee area, with the Latrobe, Toorongo and Loch rivers all getting a look at. Brendan found that small shallow running 'jerkbait' style hardbodies were the most effective, especially in foil sided flashy gold and natural colours. For most of these smaller rivers this style of lure is an ideal starting point as it won't dive too deep and snag up, and will also hold quite well in faster water. Using an 'aggressive-natural-neutral' colour range you will normally be able to find a lure that will get you the results on the day.


Brendan found the fishing really hotted up just before dark as there was a hatch of small caddis which really got the trout aggressive. The period just pre-dusk can see fish become active is holes and pools that you may have already fished with no result, so it pays to hang around sometimes and see just how many fish are in the deeper sections. If you're a keen fly caster, this period is when you will enjoy some success using larger dry flies up to size 10 or 8, especially in a 'stimulator' or 'elk hair caddis' pattern.


Just over the range, Eildon has still been producing fish from the pondage using coarse style methods, with the odd fish taking a long-cast spoon or hardbody from the banks. The weir itself is sitting at around 55% at the moment and has been rather slow on the trout front, with the normal response from anglers searching for trout being "Yeah a few small ones". Most of the fish being caught at the moment are coming from the main arm, from Eildon boat harbour through to just inside Big River inlet. Flat-lined tassie devils are definitely a good option to carry, with a larger 'spawning trout' pattern hardbody set a few metres down also giving you the chance at annoying a larger fish on it's way to spawn.

Customer Sam entered the Eildon Fishing Competition last week and didn't do too bad. Sam was fishing the main lake casually chasing the trout and he ended up with a couple of nice fish. Trolling lures around the timbered edge found browns to around 40cm for Sam, with assist hook rigged flatlined spoons and tassies doing the damage.  

 

There have been a few customers out fishing the estuaries of East Gippsland over the last few weeks, with the common theme being bream and tailor. The bream fishing will start to slow down as the weather cools off, but instead of numbers of fish we can expect better average size, whether you're bait fishing or casting lures.

For the tailor numbers Lake Tyers, Bemm River and Tamboon Inlet have been the hot spots with some fish reported upward of 90cm. An average fish at the moment is around 45-50cm with fish to 2kg not uncommon. Most lures are attracting their attention, which is not good if you're casting a $35+ hardbody around for bream. Baits of fresh mullet or bluebait are also doing well.


Customer Brendan fished Bemm river just recently where he scored some solid fish in the lake. Brendan found local sandworm to be the most productive on fish to 40cm.


Customer Louis returned from a quick trip to Marlo where he was lure fishing. Louis was trying out some finesse soft plastics and small vibes while fishing land based in both the Snowy and Brodribb Rivers. While the bream were on the small side, he did find that the luderick were interested in both the vibes and plastics. Fishing both these lures slowly on the bottom with small movements he caught some nice luderick. The most effective soft plastic types were very small straight tail worms designed for catching yakkas in Japan, and these were deadly when fished on small lightweight jigheads right down to size 10.


Back around Lakes Entrance customer Bashir has been catching bream. Bashir has been fishing the Tambo river where the fish had been slow, but excellent size when they came through. He found that live shrimp and peeled prawn were the best baits with both black and yellowfin bream to 40cm taking a liking to them.

 

The many trout lakes around the state and outer suburbs have been getting some attention over the Easter school holidays, and for anglers fishing the correct methods most have been producing. Many of the lakes get stocked before every school holidays so that the kids can have some fun.

The lure fishing been good for many anglers but the coarse method involving powerbait and formulated trout dough has been almost guaranteed success when fished correctly. 


Staff member Don has been away with family over the week along the banks of the Goulburn river, where he has been catching fish with his kids. Don and his boys have been catching most of their trout on a variety of lures to suit the conditions, with tassie devils and Yakamito spoons producing a lot of fish and the most foolproof lures were rigged with assist or single hooks.


The stocked trout spoon bite has been excellent a bit closer to home among the suburb systems at Lakeside Pakenham and also Karkarook Park in Moorabbin. With an abundance of recently stocked fish in these lakes, now is the perfect time to trial any lures you want some fish catching confidence in. Customer Morgan had a blast catching over a dozen rainbows just this morning on a variety of small spoons including the Yakamito 'Pink Mudeye' and Strike Tiger 'Perch' patterns. Single hooks ensured all but one came unhooked.


A bit further afield, customer Steve has had some success up at Lake Jindabyne. Steve has found the lake to be fishing as well as it has in recent times, with a nice bag of 5 trout to 5lb caught in one evening among some mates. All fish were caught in a 2 hour session and all on spider mudeyes.

 


The bream and flathead fishing around the local and out of town estuaries has been excellent, even with heavy holiday crowds. The cooler water temperatures have got the bream at a comfortable level where they can feed in the shallows without the water being too hot, and the flathead can also ambush these shallow areas too.

Customer Morgan was down in Gippsland with mate Jinsu where they caught some nice bream on lures. Overcast and slightly breezy conditions made for some good fishing, with the fish eager to eat the lures. The most effective lures on the day were the Jackall 'spytail' jointed stickbaits. When these lures were fished with sharp twitches and a pause the fish would hit them ferociously.


Customer Shane has been out near Lakes Entrance over the break chasing the big flathead about. Shane ordered in some 'live prawn' soft plastics to give a good run on the big flatties and he has put them straight to good use. Shane has been catching good numbers of table flathead on these lures but also fish to nearly 70cm.


Working these live prawns with a sharp-hop-and-fall retrieve has been the best way to get the attention of the larger flathead, and being tear-resistant they seem to last well against the sharp teeth.


Customer Tony has been back to his old tricks, catching some nice bream in the Patto.Tony fished after some light rain using freshwater yabbies and landed 6 nice fish up to 42cm. Among these, 3 fish busted Tony off against the pylons and mussel encrusted poles, and that was on 10lb leader. The Patto will continue to fish well as we get some more rain during Autumn.

 

It seems that many people have been fishing the inland rivers and lakes over the Easter break, with a few reports from various locations around the state coming through. The Autumn months can fish very well for both Murray cod and yellowbelly, though many people only associate these fish with the warm Summer months. Customer Jacques was up along the Goulburn River just recently where he did a spot of casual bait fishing. Jacques normally fishes the salt out in the bays and offshore, but managed to catch a few small Murray cod and trout cod in the river. Jacques released all of his fish safely back into the river for someone else to catch.


Customer Emilio has also been catching a few cod. Emilio has been fishing the Murray itself, around Cohuna. Emilio has been getting out on the water early, and suggests to start your fishing around 6am as these cod are most active around then. Emilio has been switching between bardi grubs and also freshwater yabbies to catch his fish, with a small amount of berley helping to get the activity started.


Not too far down the river, customer Long and mates have been catching Murray cod also. Long has been fishing the river around Echuca in a small tinny to land cod up to 65cm. Long has been fishing the dense snag piles using bardi grubs as bait for most of his fish.


Back towards Mulwala the lake has been fishing well. While the Easter ski and wake crowds have been tough to get around during the heat of the day, the fishing around low light has been good. There have been numerous cod over 1m caught by anglers casting swimbaits and surface lures around, although this fishing isn't for the easily bored. It can take 500 casts in a session to strike gold on these fish, and sometimes after all this casting you may not land a fish.

Staff member Dylan tangled with monster cod over the Easter weekend at Mulwala, only to have it earn it's freedom early as it broke 80lb leader on the snags. The big fish ate a big lure (25cm long) so it pays to go big when looking for a big cod! 

Customer Long also managed a fish in around the Bundalong section of the lake to land some nice yellowbelly to around 2kg on medium sized freshwater yabbies.


Staff member Dylan and mate Daniel took a long drive over the Easter weekend up to northern NSW in search of big cod at Copeton dam. While the Easter crowds were crazy with jetskiis, wakeboats and family cruisers all over the place, the guys worked a lot of the lake in search of a fish. Daniel managed a nice yellowbelly on a swimbait slow rolled around a pile of submerged rocks which at least got them off the board.

 

 


The recent rain has really kicked the local estuaries into gear around Melbourne. The freshwater influx has dirtied up a lot of the rivers and creeks and washed food to kick the food chain along. 

Customer Tinh has found that the bream have been feeding up heavily during rougher weather and rain.Tinh has been fishing some of the piers like Frankston and Mordialloc where the bream have feed foraging around the pylons. He has also found that freshwater yabbies have been the most successful bait for him, especially when fished on a Gamakatsu 'C10U' hook.


Around Patterson river things have started heating up. Customer Tony has found that the bream have been more active since the rain, with the fish less finicky and more inclined to bite on a variety of baits. The best baits have still been small freshwater yabbies, with Tony's last session getting him 4 very nice fish from about 8am onward. Tony also mentioned that the main river was very dirty but a bit cleaner inside the canal system. 

With all the rain that has made it's way into the local estuaries, many keen anglers are thinking one thing; Mulloway. The Autumn rainfall can see these fish pop up from seemingly nowhere and go on the chew, but it is really the concentrations of mullet schools that these fish follow. The increase of freshwater in the estuaries can condense the baitfish and give the mulloway an easy feed.

Customer Peter reports of some activity around the local mulloway haunts, with this 110cm fish caught just a few days ago. Peter has been after a metre mulloway for some time, and was stoked with this fish, which was released. The fish took freshly caught Mornington squid. 

 


The local estuaries are running quite clear at the moment and the bream fishing has been a little bit quiet, but as always the rewards are there for the anglers with a bait or lure in the water. Speaking of lures, customer Ange has really nutted out some of the local creek fish, with chunky bream to 42cm taking small shrimp imitation soft plastics. Ange has found that for these lures to work effectively they must be rigged almost unweighted and left to sink as natural as possible along any likely looking structure. 


Over the next few weeks we should find the bream activity to increase if we get some decent rain, as the influx of freshwater will flush more food into the systems and give the fish some cover from predators. The Patterson and Yarra rivers will fire up if this event occurs, and it may even bring some school mulloway into these systems.

 

Customer Steve had been stocking up slowly over the last few weeks for a trip up north, and now is currently catching up in the Northern Territory. Steve has been doing well on a variety of species fishing out from King Ash bay in both the local creeks and Arafura Sea. Steve said the barra fishing had been tough but fish like this 80cm specimen have been tricked on shallow running hardbodied lures twitched around feeder creeks during the run out tides.

Steve also mentioned the variety of species he has been catching including barramundi, blue salmon, black jewfish, golden trevally, queenfish and also mudcrabs.


Steve found that one of the best fights he has had came from this big queenfish while up north. Steve said that the 'queenie' went crazy and took a live grunter fished in a deeper hole in the river.


Steve has also found out how many sharks are present in northern waters. Steve has been losing a few hooked fish to large whalers, with this nice black jewfish just one of the casualties. The head of this jewie alone was around 3kg, so it wouldv'e been a nice fish. Steve did get some revenge on the sharks however, with this large reef shark kept to feed enough of the locals back at the ramp. The shark took a pilchard rigged on gang hooks in 4m of water and proceeded to flip and jump out of the water during the fight.