Not that many people realize, but the snapper in the bay have been worth fishing for whether you're landbased or from the boat. Winter sees some snapper hang around, but many angler associate Spring with snapper fishing. At the moment there aren't as many fish about as in Spring, but they are generally good size and there to be caught in you're willing to target them. Many of the piers along the Eastern side of the bay have been worth a shot, with customer Kong claiming a nice 4kg fish for himself just a few nights ago from Mordi.


The piers with heavy reef nearby have been the go, as the fish will graze over the reef and onto the sand and mud nearby during rougher weather, especially during the night or low light periods. Piers worth a look at the moment have been; Mordialloc, Beaumaris, Black Rock, Brighton, Kerford Road and the multiple structures at Williamstown and right up into the Yarra itself. If boat fishing is more your thing, the extensive reef from Ricketts through to Brighton has been good, along with Victoria Harbour, or better known as 'Docklands'.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has recently been having a ball on school sized snapper and pinkies from Black Rock all the way north to the docks. James has gotten stuck into the schools of fish that have been hanging about in the harbour, with fish to 4kg coming out. Baits of fresh squid or small pilchards have been excellent when fished on smaller 2/0 suicide style hooks and very little weight.

 


Tuna reports have been a been quiet, but mainly due to the fact that there haven't been many anglers out in search of them yet, even though there have been fishing hanging around parts of the west coast for a few months now. Most reports have been coming from the west of Portland, just beyond Cape Bridgewater. Fish size has been varied from under 10kg right through to 30kg+ school fish, and a few 'barrels' about also. Many anglers have been reporting large numbers of squid and small redbait, so lures in the 6 inch size have been perfect. Colours with a mixture of pink/red/brown through them seem to be getting the attention of the fish.

Customers Thao and Damien fished west of Portland on Tuesday where they managed a nice fish just shy of 20kg on the troll. The successful lure was a small 'jet head' style skirt in a redbait/pilchard pattern.


Customer Warren fished with some other clients aboard 'Red Hot Fishing Charters' with Simon Rinaldi recently where there were no shortage of fish caught. Plenty of school fish to 10kg were active from just beyond Lawrence Rock, with multiple hook ups a common occurrence once a school was found.

 


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!

 


While the reports haven't been coming in thick and fast, the land based action at this time of year can be excellent. Depending what you want to catch and how far you wish to travel, there are normally plenty of options.

Down along the shores of Westernport customers Matt and Brendan have been having fun with some nice table sized gummies. The areas such as Stockyard point and Tenby point have been good as has the Somers region. Freshly caught salmon, pike, yakka or squid has been excellent, otherwise pillies and frozen squid or cuttlefish have also been doing well with fish averaging around 4kg. Tides will depend on location you choose, as you won't be able to access some areas on high tides, others you will want to fish as the tide reaches it's peak.


The surf beaches have started producing some numbers of salmon, with no huge schools present at the moment but as always the larger fish seem to come through before the smaller school fish do. Peninsula beaches such as Gunnamatta and St Andrews have had some solid fish to just shy of 2kg, with early morning or late afternoon high tides the hot times. Bluebait and squid have been the best baits, but there have been a good number of fish caught on unbaited 'flasher' style rigs and surf poppers. Remember whenever you fish the beaches these types of rigs will stand out to the fish much easier than a normal rig, and increase your chances of a bite.

Customers Mark and Darren fished the beach down towards Venus bay, which has been producing better numbers of smaller school fish. The guys fished beach no.5 where they caught salmon to just under a kilo, and a couple of flatties to around 35cm. The guys found that bluebait and pipi were the best baits, with a number of fish taking the red surf popper also.


The pinkies have been fishing very well from most of the shore based locations around Port Phillip bay recently. The many rock groynes and points, along with the piers have had schools of fish anywhere from 25cm through to around 3kg. Fishing first or last light is the prime time to catch a few, but right through the night they have also been fairly active. First light has seen some better sized fish come through, with customer Sergio catching some lovely fish to nearly 2kg during the morning.


Sergio has been fishing a few different locations around the top end of the bay, with nearly all of them producing fish. He has been finding pilchard or salted mackerel fillets to be the best baits lately, with pinkies, flathead and small gummies all taking the same baits.

 

 

 

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.  

 


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