Although the water is down to a low 10C or so locally and the air temperature isn't much higher, there's been plenty on offer around the local Melbourne S'Eastern suburbs. The freshwater catchments and urban lakes are worth fishing during this time of year, as most of the fish you will catch will be holding good condition. Customer Manny has been killing time out in the local wetlands and urban lakes having a blast on the redfin. Manny has been having good sessions on the fish with most falling to small soft plastics. The good thing about redfin is that they are in virtually all of the locally accessible suburban lakes and will respond well to many lure styles.


The most effective soft plastics for Manny of late have been small 'creature' bait style plastics - with the Bait Breath Myosa being the best. Tiny appendages flutter and quiver at the smallest movement with these and attract attention without having to do much. They are also deadly on trout when fished around clay banks in the lakes.


Speaking of trout, some of the large fish released into Ferntree Gully's Quarry lake have been getting caught. While some of the larger fish have taken baits like trout dough and powerbait - these fish are also adept hunters. Trout at this size are happy to hunt smaller trout and redfin, along with yabbies, tadpoles and bugs. Customer Matt fished the lake just recently and caught of these quality trout. Matt caught the fish on a small Berkley black grub - which would've been an excellent imitation of a tadpole.

 


With school holidays finished up and some average weather hanging around the local suburban lakes will be quiet with anglers, but they had been producing plenty of trout! The main couple of lakes fishing best have been Rowville Lakes and Karkarook Park, and can be fished in almost all weather.

The main couple of tricks for success in this style of fishing has been to use longer rods - anything upwards of 7'6'' or 8ft, and to rig up with the correct weight berley cage and berley. In windier conditions your berley cage may drag along the lake bed, dragged the fish away from your berley spot and snagging up. If you pay attention to the smaller details for this style of fishing you will be more successful. Down at Karkarook youngster James has been hooking some nice rainbow trout fishing powerbait. James was stoked to land this trout and is well and truly hooked on fishing now.


Customer Zoran has been down to one of his local lakes in Rowville and has found that they have been fishing well for rainbow trout using coarse methods. Zoran has found that the 2 most productive baits have been maggots and specialist trout dough, with a fine mix berley an absolute must. Without the berley a single bite can be a good session but after the berley kicks in the fish are 'trained' to keep returning to where you've been catching them. The main lake at Rowville has been the better producer, and has also seen some redfin caught around the edge on small soft plastics - especially after some heavier rain.

 

There's been some fishing news for the freshwater anglers recently, with some big fish stockings done by the Victorian Fisheries Authority. On the fishing front the western lakes have been producing quality trout for those keen enough to brave the cold, with Lake Wendouree the standout. Fishing surface lures or hardbodies just under the film is a good way to illicit a savage strike from an angry trout as they chase smelt around. Customer Grant fished Lake Tullaroop last week in search of some of the lakes large redfin and he wasn't disappointed. Grant landed some very nice fish on small 'bream' style jerkbaits and plastics fished around isolated pockets of weed. These western lakes have been producing some nice redfin for the lure anglers and now is the time to be chasing them.


Just recently Victorian Fisheries opened a new fishery close to Melbourne. Ferntree Gully quarry was never a secret, but only even had unofficial species in it. Just recently it had a dozen murray cod and golden perch stocked into it, along with over 300 trout! There have been some decent sized put in as well, with staff members Chris and George going up to the lake for a look. While they were there they saw some large trout in the 5 - 6lb size cruising, along with 2 of the cod. Just prior to school holidays it was topped up with yearling rainbows for the kids to catch. Powerbait and dough methods have been working on these fish, with quite a few hitting small spoons, hardbodies and soft plastics also. The natives should respond to bladed jigs and lipless crankbaits fished deep, and the lake will also lend itself perfectly for swimbaiting for the cod. 


Back in the states' west, Victorian Fisheries have been busy in the crater lakes, with a recent trout stocking. Lake Purrumbete received 1600 'cheetah' trout for the first time ever just this week. The cheetah trout is a sterile hybrid between both rainbow trout and brook trout and just another addition to the already booming trout fishery in the west of the state. While these recently stocked were only in the advanced yearling size they should respond to coarse and dough style fishing similar to that of other stocked lakes like Eildon pondage.

 


Things are good in the fresh! There are plenty of options for all manner of fishing and heading in all different directions. Up around the Eildon region the pondage has been producing fish from pre-holidays stockings when conditions allow. With plenty of water still being sent down the Goulburn river the pondage has experienced increased flow which has made the bite a bit inconsistent. Fishing during the next spell of low pondage flow will see the fish come back on. Dough style baits and light line have been the key to catching these fish. Staff members Don and George fished the pondage during the week and found a few smaller fish amongst tough conditions. Persistence and the correct berley have been key.


While the Goulburn itself hasn't been super exciting in terms of trout reports there have been some nice fish caught in the rivers above Eildon itself. Customer Chris had a good weekend fishing with his two boys recently on both the Delatite and Howqua rivers. While Chris had good success fishing small bladed spinners and hardbodies, his sons Atticus and Flynn caught both brown and rainbow trout on unweighted worms free drifted into some of the pools.


In the south Gippsland region the rivers have been running as low and clear as ever but still producing fish. While the fish may be small they are not pushovers and still require an element of stealth in approach unless you want to see the tail end of the trout heading in the opposite direction. Customer Brendan fished the Noojee region over the weekend and landed a few typical brown trout from the Latrobe river. Brendan found that the most effective lures were small slender jerkbaits in natural galaxia patterns.


On the cod scene things are starting to heat up for the bigger fish. Early Autumn is an excellent time to target the bigger fish in the lakes and dams, while the smaller fish will still keep you busy. Customer Shane fished Lake Mulwala just recently with his wife in some lovely conditions.  The lake produced a few fish for them, with 3 nice cod around the 60cm mark taking spinnerbaits worked along the channel edges.


Continuing on with the cod, the locally stocked lake of Karkarook Park has produced a couple of fish for persistent anglers. While they aren't monsters they have been caught on lures and can be caught. Customer Cip fished the lake last week and connected to one of the small cod on a small spoon. Cip was fishing the spoon over a shallow clay bank drop off in search of trout when the cod pounced.

 


Autumn's chill in the air and water temperature is proving to be excellent for the Murray cod and yellowbelly. Whether you're fishing Eildon or the Murray, autumn is a good time for targeting these natives as they make the most of the food before the colder months. Big news over the last few weeks has been the stocking of both cod and yellowbelly into some local suburban lakes. Karkarook Park in Moorabbin is one such lake, with Murray cod around 40cm stocked into the waterway. Customer Jon went and did some hard yards fishing the lake and managed to land one of these cod on a small surface lure.


Up along the Goulburn the cod and yellowbelly have been on the go. Customer Will and mate Clancy fished the river last week where they landed some nice fish casting lures. The most successful lures this trip were high buoyancy bibbed hardbodies, cast deep into the timber and slowly crawled back out.  


The guys found that most of the cod were in the 50 - 60cm size range and prolific in the heavy timber and corner pockets which is where the hardbodies came in handy. The buoyancy of these cod lures enables them to be crawled through heavy timber and stopped if hit amongst the logs, where they will float back up and minimized snagging. Using lures with long deep bibs will also help get down to the fish fast and hang there enticing a strike.

 


We are nearing the prime time of the year for fishing the fresh, with trout and cod the main targets. The trout will fire up as conditions cool off and send them looking to feed up prior to spawning, and the big cod start coming out to play in search of some big meals like trout, redfin or carp. The only species not super high up on the list especially locally are golden perch, but someone didn't tell that to customer Aliff.

Aliff was fishing with his dad out along the Goulburn and Acheron rivers in search of a trout, when they came across a surprize. Aliff fished a small sinking hardbody alongside a snag and was smashed by a nice yellowbelly! At just under 50cm and from 'trout' water is was a massive surprize and something that has to be seen to be believed!


Meanwhile on the banks of the pondage there have still been quite a few nice trout getting caught. As usual the dough bait and coarse berley method has been the most successful. A few fish have fallen to lures in between, with the most productive lure styles being small spoons and soft plastics. Blue Fox 'Moresilda' spoons have proved to be an excellent new option and ideal size, with small paddle tails and craws being the dominating soft plastic styles in the corner of the trout's jaw.

Customer Zoran fished the pondage over the weekend where he landed a brace of nice trout to around 3lb. Zoran caught a mix of browns and rainbows on 'specialist trout dough' and powerbait. Zoran found a nice back eddy along the Eildon township side of the pondage and proceeded to catch all of his fish in the area.


Up on the lake there have been a few Murray cod caught on bait and lures. While there haven't been any monsters reported yet, we are now coming into the prime time to start looking for the larger fish. Customer Laci fished the lake last week and had a bunch of scrubbies on the side while kicking back, which were taken by a nice 50cm cod. Fishing amongst the vertical timber right inside the inlet was where the action was.

Along for recent some Murray cod action was customer Peter, who caught a few cod to 70cm from Mulwala. Peter was slow rolling spinnerbaits around the timber on the Mulwala side of the lake to catch his fish. Mixing up blade colours and shapes is a good thing here, as sometimes you will find one particular colour and vibration that the fish are well and truely keyed in on.

 


The fishing for both trout and redfin has been popular over the past week or so, with anglers taking to the local lakes and streams in search of both. Customer Luke has been fishing the small creeks in the Noojee region and finding plenty of small aggressive brown trout. Luke tried out some new Yamakito 'Raven' hardbodies in a few colours and found the fish lining up to eat them - whether it was on a slow wind or aggressive twitches around the undercut banks.


To the north of the city, customer Eray has been catching plenty of good sized redfin out of lake Eppalock. Eray has been fishing landbased and casting small bass style jigs around the timber and rocky shorelines. He has been fishing a lighter baitcast outfit to accurately place and control the small jigs as they fall around the structure, with a lot of the hits coming on 'the drop'. Finesse style bass jigs are becoming more popular on local fish species, with a lot of versatility in rigging to suit different species. If you're not sure what they are or are interested in trying them on your local fish pop by and check them out.


The local stocked lakes have been producing rainbow trout for anglers fishing with coarse methods and pellet berley. Karkarook has been the main standout lately, with a slight dip in temperature firing up the trout along the edges. Customer Liam fished the lake recently for the first time to try his luck on the trout, and after some guidance in-store with correct tackle and rigging he caught his first few rainbow trout. Liam caught the fish on both specialist trout dough and pink powerbait, while berleying around his bait and rig with crushed trout pellets. This method really is the most effective in our stocked lakes, and worth giving a go if you haven't already!

 


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.

 


The trout fishing over the break has been quite good, especially up around the Eildon region. Whether you're fishing the pondage, or rivers it's going pretty well.


Customer Anel has been on a trout bender up around Eildon, with the Goulburn his main hunting ground. Anel has been walking the rivers casting a myriad of hardbodied lures and racking up numbers of fish. Anel prefers to release his trout and keep fishing, and over the course of a few days he has landed plenty of fish, with some nice browns to around 1.5kg. Anel has found the 'new' double clutch colours very effective as well as the Megabass X70 jerkbaits. Fishing close by customer Zoran has also landed some solid trout on bait. Zoran has been fishing a coarse method with 'specialist trout dough' and a crushed berley pellet mix to land fish to over 2kg. 


Customer Bojan has fished the Goulburn recently also, to land some nice big rainbow trout. Some of these larger trout are thanks to Victorian fisheries who stocked the pondage just prior to Christmas, with fish to 6kg going in. While many of these fish are still being caught in the pondage, there have been fish coming from the river as far down as Breakaway.

 


The trout fishing has been good for anglers fishing the rivers not too far from the suburbs. The Eildon and Noojee regions are two worth a drive to, as they both have a good number of rivers to try your luck on even if there are a few anglers about. Eildon pondage has also been producing some of the trout from the recent stocking, with customers Jozef and Margaret getting into a few. Fishing fluro coloured powerbait Jozef and Margaret caught rainbow trout to around 3.5kg and a browns to around 1kg. 


Not far from the pondage the Goulburn and it's smaller tributaries have been producing fish. Customer Anel fished the Eildon region covering the pondage, Rubicon and Goulbun rivers to see what was happening. The Breakaway section of the Goulburn was fishing the best with over a dozen fish landed. Anel was fishing a variety of small Japanese hardbodies with sinking and floating models in the mix. Most of the trout Anel caught were browns in the 500g - 1kg mark, with a couple of rainbows also. The largest rainbow weighed 11lb and measured 71cm long and ate the same small lure.


Customer Joel came in to the store recently to set up his first fly outfit and see how it all works. Joel left with a brand new outfit set up and ready to go, and some enthusiasm to head to his closest trout stream. Joel headed off with a mate to fish a couple of streams in the Noojee region with fly only. While it can be a steep learning curve, Joel did well to keep his cool and work away slowly, and he even caught his fish couple of brown trout on dry flies. Joel is hooked on the fly now and keen to take it to the next level.