The Murray River is a popular family holiday location, with nice serene bushland flanking a lot of it's banks and a large amount of famliy friendly camping areas. The fishing on the Murray itself can vary but over the warmer months the cod and yellowbelly can be caught on bait and lures. While on family holiday, 16 year old Jaxson caught his first Murray cod out of the river near Barooga, on his second day fishing. Jaxson got some great advice from the Compleat Angler guys and was wrapt with his fish. Great work Jaxson!


Further down the river, young Levi caught this nice 38cm yellowbelly around Piangil. The yellowbelly in the area should stay active until around May, so there's plenty of time to catch yourself some like this one!

 

While most people assume that shore based fishing isn't any good around the bays, there's been a lot of variety caught at the moment. There are many piers, rockwalls and beaches around both bays where you can catch some fish - the trick is to try and target a particular species. While this can sometimes be fruitless (that's why it's called fishing and not catching) you will generally do better if you set yourself up in search of a particular fish, instead of setting up for everything and most likely not catching much.


Around most of the piers in southern Port Phillip and Westernport there have been good numbers of yakkas. While they turn up and disappear pretty quickly, they should hang around for a while now as the reports have only recently hotted up. Portsea, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Flinders are all worth a shot. Customer Angelo fished from Flinders pier during the week and while the squid were quiet for him, the mackerel made up for it. Small pieces of prawn fished on light gauge hooks off a paternoster rig were the go for him. Many anglers have also been catching good numbers of mackerel fishing under a float, as they tend to move about mid-water a lot. A fine grit, coarse-like berley mix is deadly when these fish are around, as it will keep the school actively feeding in your area. They can also be caught using small soft plastics fished on light weight and fine gauge jigheads.


While not normally known for whiting, fished from the shores of Port Phillip can produce some nice fish. Staff member Dylan has seen some good sized fish around Brighton and Black Rock during the week while swimming - with no one fishing for them. Fishing after dark around the top of the tide can be the most productive time, especially after a warm day. Customer Ange fished from the shore around Sandringham during the week where he caught some nice fish. Ange also found a patch of smaller pinkies, which came from a nearby reef to hammer his baits.

If you are chasing the whiting, try and target areas of sand with small patches of eelgrass or light reef nearby, and cast your baits around the edge of this structure, as the whiting will frequently patrol the edges looking for food. If it's pinkies your after, areas of heavier reef with broken sand patches are more productive, especially around last light. There are plenty of areas like around Brighton, Black Rock, Frankston and Mornington.


On the squid scene, things have been good. The warm afternoons have been good for squidding from the beaches and rocks, with Blairgowrie, Mornington and Mt Martha all producing. Customer Harry got out and fished from the beaches around Mt Martha and Mt Eliza, where he caught 8 nice squid using the Yakamito 'fluoro lemon' jig.


Around the same sort of ground off Mt Martha, customer Daniels and Jake fished in close to the shore in their kayak. A nice calm 5:30am start meant they caught prospect around the shallows without much chop and boat wake. The guys ended up with 9 squid in a few hours, on a variety of jigs in both size 2.5 and 3.0. Orange, green and purple colours worked on the day. Staff member Dylan fished in a similar area during the week to land 9 squid on size 2.5 Yamashita and Shimano jigs, with UV based blacks and pinks the standouts.

 


While most trout fisheries go a bit quieter during the heat of Summer, Eildon stays pretty steady. The trout can still be caught in the weir if you're fishing down a bit deeper targeting thermoclines and focusing your efforts around low light conditions, but with other natives to catch like cod and yellowbelly the lake trout get overlooked a little during Summer.

Eildon pondage on the other hand is a more consistent fish producer year round - especially if you're using the correct methods. The pondage has been RED HOT lately, so if there were ever a time to go for a casual drive by yourself or wit the kids, now would be it. Customer Zoran fished the pondage with mates last week where some nice solid browns were caught. Using pellet berley, long light rods and a mixture of dough and powerbait, the boys cleaned up.


On the subject of getting to Eildon - Fisheries Victoria have only just pumped the Eildon pondage full with another stocking of solid trout, stocked on Monday just gone. 300 solid ex brood fish with rainbows to 4kg and browns to 3.5kg were stocked into the pondage, so make sure you stock up and get up there ASAP for your chance at these trophy trout.


Staff member George snuck up to the pondage earlier this week where he found that the trout were going nuts! George coarse fished the upper pondage and caught and released nearly 70 fish, with a few methods working the best for him. Open ended feeder cages let the correct amount of scent out to fire the fish up, while loose feeding sinking trout berley pellets also kept the fish active. George found that powerbait in pink and rainbow colours were dynamite when fished on a size 8 'mosquito' hook, along with a new specialist trout dough that is in the trial stages, and hopefully in store soon.

 

 


While there are still some crowds around the Gippsland lakes region, the fishing has been very good - especially if you can find a bit of quieter water. The whole region from Sale through Lakes Entrance and out towards Mallacoota near the NSW border has plenty on offer. Flathead, King George and sand whiting, luderick, bream, silver trevally, tailor, pinkies, salmon and prawns are all on offer at present if you're still out towards Lakes Entrance or thinking of heading down that way.

The beaches have been producing salmon and tailor around first and last light, with Eastern beach getting runs of fish to just over a kilo. The prawns have also been around in good numbers if you can find a quiet cove or bay to work, and we're currently just around the new moon so they should be easier to find. Cunninghame arm, North arm, Tambo bay and around Metung have all been good.


Customer Jordan has found lots of variety in his catch lately out towards Mallacoota. Jordan has been lure fishing with mostly 'crankbait' style hardbodies and surface pencils working the best, due to the large number of small 'school' sized king prawns in the estuaries. The sand whiting in particular have been really fixating on the surface lures when worked correctly, and most hits have turned into solid hookups after a few small modifications to terminal hardware. Big tailor to 60cm have also been blasting the surface offerings, along with deeper crankbaits worked through blue pockets and holes.

 


While normally slipping under the radar amongst all the other fishing to be done over the summer months, there have been some ripper gars about. While a lot of anglers overlook them as a target, the beauty of them is they can be caught land based or boat. Most of the shallow inshore areas of both bays and all of our other estuaries will hold gars, it's just a matter of getting numbers of them to hang around. A bit of berley normally gets them going and they are a brilliant eating fish to add to the day's bag.

Pier fishing for gars in the bay has been good around Brighton, Sandringham, Beaumaris, Frankston and Dromana, along with Stony point pier in Westernport. Gawaine Blake has been catching some real gars around Stony Point while out near the whiting grounds.


Don't be fooled, gars CAN be very tricky to catch consistently and the correct tackle and technique will soon separate the full buckets from the empty ones. Delicately balanced and weighted floats with mid length shank hooks are some of the tackle 'must-haves' but matching hook to bait selection and the correct consistency berley mixture is also vital. 


Customer Tim has been getting some good gars from Frankston pier recently. Tim used both maggots and silverfish in conjunction with his berley mix to secure a bag.


 


Flinders has been producing some very good squid if you're in the area - both boat and pier based. If the weather permits you can launch a small boat or kayak from the beach here and fish out just beyond the pier, as the kelp beds here stretch far and wide and hold good numbers of big squid. Customer Vito has been catching some big squid in the boat just out from the pier when the conditions are right, with bigger size 3.5 and 4.0 jigs attracting the larger squid. Black, purple, green, and white based colours seem to be producing the best around here of late.


Customer Thua fished with his friends from the pier during the week where they caught some ripper squid. The most effective method was a dropshot/paternoster rigged Yamashita Live Search jig in size 3.0, kept above the kelp beds.

 


It feels like at least half of Melbourne is away somewhere along the east gippsland or NSW south coast over the Christmas break, and rightly so - with this part of the country some of the best we've got (opinions may vary...). While the increase of angling pressure over this time does shut some of the fishing down there are still plenty of options for everyone, and generally always some fish to catch somewhere, no matter your skill level. Speaking of skill level, staff member Don is away along the south coast of NSW currently but as we expect, still getting a fish in. While not entirely a fishing holiday, Don has managed some time out to walk the local estuaries casting lures. Don has found bream, flathead, tailor, trevally and flounder taking a liking to his small hardbodies and plastics. Don said that he has been targeting the quieter sections of the estuaries away from boat and foot traffic and working slowly through an area, making sure the water is covered effectively.


Customer Jinsu has also been fishing along the east gippsland coastline in search of some decent flathead. Jinsu has well and truly got decent flathead covered with some smaller 35-50cm fish making it to the frypan, and this mega 90cm fish making its way back to the depths. Jinsu has found that 'squidgy' wriggler and paddle prawns along with 'bungee baits' paddletails doing all of the damage when slowly whipped along the estuary drop offs.

 

 

 

If there were ever a time to be up at Eildon, now would be it. Apart from fishing the weir itself for Murray cod, yellowbelly, redfin and trout - the pondage is producing some lovely trout. While the banks of the pondage have been lined more than usual with anglers this hasn't deterred the fish. Some quality trout have been caught on most methods including persistence, but coarse style baitfishing has been the silver bullet for these chunky trout.


Customers Zoran and Adam fished the pondage just earlier this week to land some nice fish, both browns and rainbows. A mixture of various coloured 'powerbait', trout dough and correct berley mixture brought these fish undone. Last week customer Zoran (different Zoran this time!) fished the upper pondage with his son to land trout to around 6lb using powerbait in the 'sherbert' colour and a fine mix berley. The guys also caught a couple of fish casting spoons around as well, with brown trout and gold colours both working.


Customer Gordon has also been giving the pondage trout a good nudge recently with very similar methods to those mentioned above coming up trumps. Along with 'spoons' Gordon has caught his share on soft plastics and also the deadly powerbait/trout pellet berley method.


The coarse fishing/pellet berley method is very effective on all manner of stocked trout, from Eildon pondage to local stocked lakes, so if you're unsure of exactly what is used talk to the guys in store as the results really do speak for themselves!

 


For many of the famliy-based fishing over the holiday period, piers can provide some fun for the kids and adults alike. At almost every local pier you can find fish like salmon, pike, trevally and mullet. Bait fishing on the piers can be effective but lure fishing can also get you into some fish. At the moment the salmon schools are fairly good along the eastern seaboard with fish popping up from Black Rock all the way down to Dromana and Blairgowrie. 

Customer Ryan was in the boat out from Mordialloc recently where he caught some ripper salmon within casting distance of the pier. Ryan found the fish to be moving about a bit so trolling covered the ground needed to locate them. Deep trolled hardbodied lures got most of the fish when the schools went down, with lures in a pilchard blue or purple/silver colour getting the most bites. Customer Ange was fishing the pier landbased earlier this week where he was catching a few fish on bait, with this big snook coming aboard the pier on 6lb leader. Snook like this are always a shot when on the pier, especially when fishing small paddle tail soft plastics.

 


The lovely town of Noosa is quite popular for tourists and traveling fisherman alike, and with good reason. The Noosa river and surrounding offshore waters are host to a large array of species, with many southern and northern species mixing. Customer Vince travels here regularly and in his most recent visit found a good mix of species in the river. Vince was fishing the river from the shore using soft plastics to nail a couple of fish. A nice 52cm dusky flathead made it to the keeper bag, and a nice little diamond trevally went back to fight another day. Both fish were caught on Squidgy 90mm 'wriggler prawns' which are a very good representation of the local prawns that are common over the summer months.