Westernport's gummy action has been consistent most of winter with school sized fish. All of the normal areas have been fishing well, with most channel edge 'highways' producing fish at the right stage of the tide. There has been plenty of salmon and trevally along the banks so using these as fresh baits are the best.

Customer Jacques fished with friend Herve last week in search of a gummy. The guys fished along the western channel edge just south of Sandy Point, and using fresh salmon they managed a nice 5kg fish. Further north around Hastings customer Justin has been catching a few similar sized gummies as well.

 

While the metro rivers might not be much to look at when they are flowing dirty and brown, the bream fishing can be excellent. A lot of the rain that falls around the suburbs ends up in the main rivers and then into the bay, and with the rain comes the food. Lots of small invertebrates end up washed in from the banks and the bream use this to their advantage - a free feed. Knowing that these fish will be actively pursuing food, they can be tempted into eating both baits and lures at the time of year. The Yarra itself has been producing some quality fish, along with both the Werribee and Patterson Rivers.

Customer Ryan has been fishing the docks area of the Yarra with lures and has caught some nice fish. Many of Ryan's fish have been in the high 30cm size range which are nice fish. Ryan has also found that various styles of lures have been working, such as small 'creature' style soft plastics, along with crab patterns and small vibes.


In the 'Patto' the fish have been feeding fairly actively, and customer David has been doing well on them. Fishing the structure and also some of the open sand flats, David has caught fish to just under 40cm. Shallow running hardbodies have been good, along with the ever faithful 'Zman' style single tale grubs.

Many of the local stocked lakes have been producing trout over the past few weeks with Karkarook, Pakenham, Emerald and Rowville all worth a shot. Fishing coarse methods (maggots and berley in short) has been the most effective way to catch one of these yearling rainbows. If you do want to learn more about ways in which you can make the most of these fisheries then pop into the store, like customer Joszef did. Joszef picked up a few coarse fishing essentials and took off, and came back to the shop about an hour later - he had already landed a couple of nice rainbows and a crucian carp from Emerald lake. 

 

Customer Jordan has also been making the most of the feisty urban lake rainbows recently. Being a 'trout-nut' and not having any rivers to fish, Jordan has been catching the rainbows on fly to keep his casting arm nice and loose. Jordan has found that small damsel or dragonfly nymph patterns have been the most effective lately. These fish will also take small lures such as bullet minnows or micro soft plastics for the spin fisherman.


 

There have been some nice squid of offer if you're able to find a break in the average winter weather we've had recently. Both bays have been fishing well for the calamari, the only real factors worth keeping an eye on are the wind and rain. Once the banks and shallows become stirred up and slightly cloudy the squid can be a bit of a struggle, but as soon as these areas clean up they will be back on the chew. Customer Justin got a few nice ones out in Westernport just recently, with the 'nemo' coloured jigs working the best up on the shallow banks. The area around Hastings produced the goods for him. 


Port Phillip has seen it's share of nice squid as well, from the top end around Brighton right the way down to Portsea. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been getting some large squid around Sorrento and Portsea with many over 1kg. Small but fast sinking jigs have been doing well when fished during the faster stages of the tide. Staff member Dylan fished out from Mornington during the last calm spell in search on some squid using fly gear. Armed with just one fly outfit and a handful of flies that he tied up, he found small patches of squid along the rocky drop offs just out from the shoreline. While there were no monsters caught or bag limit quantities, catching them on fly tackle proved to be a fair bit of fun in itself.


Melbourne's local freshwater fishing has been good over the past month, as we've finally gotten some rain! Many of the creeks have been running low, and the water storage dams have also been down on capacity. We have however started t o get some of our winter rain which has breathed a bit of life back into the system, and in the annual timeline of a trout - prompted them to start their spawn run. Many of the larger rivers around the region have seen congregations of fish pushing their way up to their spawning grounds. While these fish at times can be annoyingly frustrating to try and catch, they will swat a precisely placed lure on their way up river.


Many of the trout rivers within 2 hours drive from the CBD have been producing fish of late as well. The Goulburn river has been running at a low environmental level which if anything has concentrated the fish a bit more. Rainbows to around 800g have been the norm for bait, lure and fly anglers lately. The smaller streams such as Rubicon, Acheron and also the Yarra have been producing fish for all methods too. Straight after a solid downpour a small bunch of scrubbies or troutworms drifted down river is a pretty good way to go. For the lure angler, hardbodies in the 60mm size range are perfect, with high flash golds and aggressive colour schemes working well. Just a reminder that the 2016 trout season closes at midnight on Monday 13th June, up until midnight Friday 2nd September. Trout can still be taken in designated 'sea run' streams and lakes, with all details being found through the following link:

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-guide/catch-limits-and-closed-seasons/freshwater-scale-fish/rainbow-trout/trout-and-salmon-regulations




 

Even though trout streams are off-limits until September, the local family fishing lakes around Melbourne have been worth fishing if you need a trout fix. Karkarook, Emerald, Casey Fields and Rowville have all been fishing well lately with some recently stocked rainbow trout on the hit list. There has definitely been a proper technique to catching these fish consistently with anglers just 'taking a punt' most often going home fishless. Preparation of trout-specific berley and the correct rigging technique, along with a bit of patience will see you tackling with some feisty little rainbows. 

Staff member Don took his twin boys down to a couple of the family lakes recently and had no trouble catching a heap of trout using the proper methods. He did notice a few anglers struggling with incorrect presentation or bait but after a good explanation in the store these anglers were out catching the week after.

Customers George and Kristina fished Emerald lake during the school holidays where they caught some trout. Using a light paternoster rig and Gulp trout nuggets they caught 5 rainbows in a couple of hours.

Close by some of the local wetlands and suburban lakes have been keeping people busy with catches of redfin. Customers Kozi and Yuta have been casting lures in some of the local dams and wetlands for redfin up to about 400g. Yuta made up his own lure using a vodka cruiser bottletop and it tricked a couple of fish, but now has to live down the fact that everyone knows he drinks cruisers...

 

While a lot of people don't seem to think there's much happening on the fishing front over the winter months - it can be the best time of the year to target fish like bream. There an still be some very tough days when chasing them, and a bit of ground work to locate the fish - but once they are found they are generally found in good numbers. Most often than not the fish are located in the deeper sections of the waterway during the colder months, so that is a good place to start looking. Customers Thao and Nick fished around the estuary of Mallacoota during the week with a few mates with bream being the main target. 

Both of the boys caught some nice fish to just over the 40cm mark using various different lures. Most of the bream were found in small schools and responded to lures being fished deep and slow. The most productive styles of lures were plastic and metal vibes along with Cranka crabs.

Thao and Nick also kept a feed of flatties in the 45cm size range while out targeting the bream. Dusky flathead this size are a very common by-catch while targeting bream in the eastern estuaries, and are perfect size for a couple of fillets.

 

Snapper reports have been pretty good considering it's late June. The snapper in the bay have fired up somewhat since Melbourne copped some ugly weather a little while back, so if you're a snapper freak then now's just as good a time as any to go out and try pin a good sized fish. The best part is that the snapper action hasn't been too confined to any certain areas of the bay; there have been fish caught from Geelong to Port Melbourne and Brighton to Mount Martha. Customer Vic made use of some ugly weather earlier in the week and perched himself along the rocks down towards Mornington. Vic was targeting snapper and lost a couple of fish, but the fish that he did land was a beast. Fishing with a whole pillie on 60lb leader Vic managed to land a thumping fish of 10.2kg - not bad for landbased in June hey...meanwhile across near Williamstown in only 8m of water customer Reece caught this nice 7kg fish on pilchard while drifting along a small dropoff with flatties in mind. That's the shoreline and city in the background.

Along pretty much every reef patch in the bay the pinkies have been in plague proportions. While there have been heaps of fish to attack a bait, a lot of them have been on the small side. A lot of the fish have been around the 30cm size, with a few bigger models mixed in. Larger baits and bigger hooks are a good idea if you're after a few bigger fish for the table. Soft plastics are a good option when chasing pinkies, and brands like Zman are excellent when the smaller fish are chewing other plastics to bits. If you're lucky you might even get some by-catch like customer Shane did. Shane was fishing out around Mordi with a 4" plastic when he landed a rare catch. This strange fish is an Australian Angel shark, which can reach around 1.5m in length.

For the squidding enthusiasts, the calmer weather we have had has been perfect for hitting some of the piers and rock ledges in search of a few. The southern end of the bay has been the best recently, especially along Mornington, Blairgowrie and Portsea. Staff member Don headed down to Portsea pier during the week and found some nice squid and cuttlefish. Don found that size 3.5 Yakamito's in gold foil were the best on this occasion, with all squid and cuttlefish caught on similar jigs. Customer Ryan has also been catching a few squid from the rocks around Mornington recently. Ryan has had to work hard and hop around in search of a few but he has been getting good numbers in the end. Size 3.0 and 3.5 Gancraft and Yamashita jigs have been the best, with green/gold tones/grass whiting patterns working the best. Most of Ryan's squid have been in the 300g size lately. 

 

The high country and snowy mountains region has been producing some nice trout for anglers persisting the cold and bitter weather. The surrounding areas of Jindabyne and Eucumbene have been producing spawn runs of brown trout making their way up the rivers. Staff member Ian fished with mates Claude and Nick recently in search of a few quality brown trout. Ian fished a tandem fly rig on spin gear, working it through likely runs and pools to land some nice brown trout.

Customers Zoran and Johnny also fished the same technique in the same sorts of areas to land some cracking brown trout, with some of the larger fish weighing nearly 7lb. 

Staff member Dylan also took the trek up to the snowies with mates in search of a few quality trout on lure and fly. Fishing various larger hardbodies like Rapala F series, Dylan caught trout to around 5lb working lures aggressively around deep runs and ledges. Casting tandem fly rigs with added weight off a 5 weight fly rod was tricky in the stiff breeze but Dylan also caught fish around the 5lb mark using this method.



Dylan and mates also fished some smaller water away from the crazy crowds in search of some fun on the 3 weight creek outfits. After a bit of walking and a lot of fish spooking the guys caught some nicely coloured small creek trout and also missed some much larger fish in the 4 - 5lb size. Small tungsten bead headed nymphs fished under a NZ yarn Strike Indicator were effective on the smaller creek fish.

 

This time of the year coming into winter can be the best time to specifically target large Murray cod. Many of the larger fish feed up heavily before going into a spawning aggregation in late winter. Smaller fish can also be caught during this time, but the largest fish seem to be as active as ever. Fishing deeper sections of the rivers and lakes can also be a very good way of connecting with a big fish, as this deeper water remains at a more stable temperature and the fish move about happily. Places like Eildon are worth a shot at the moment, along with deeper river channel sections of Mulwala and the Murray.

Customer recently fished the Murray river up near Tocumwal in search of a big cod. He was persistent with casting lures from a drifting boat and managed to nail this awesome fish on a black and red skirted spinnerbait below the bridge section near town. A cracking fish around the metre mark, not a bad way to spend a winter's day.