The trout fishing in many of the lakes and pondages has been good over the cooler weather, with plenty of nice fish coming from Eildon pondage. With the pondage level low the fish have been a bit more confined and hunting the receding flats and edges, and they have been ideal lure targets. Customer Matt fished the pondage over the weekend and found some quality trout moving about, with fish to 60cm hunting down slow sinking spoons.


Back around the metro Melbourne suburbs there have been plenty of trout to contend with. The local family lakes have been topped up with some yearling rainbow trout that are ideal for kids or experienced anglers alike. You can target these with either bait or lure, but picking one technique and sticking to it is normally the best. Coarse methods with pellet style bait and berley are super effective if you want to sit back or have new anglers trying their luck. 

Lure anglers like customer Alif have been catching fish in lakes such as Karkarook park using a variety of lures. Ali has been landing some of the rainbows on long-casting spoons fitted with assist style hooks. The assist hook upgrade is the very best way to stay connected to these fish on this style of lure. Staff member George has also been putting some trout on the bank at Karkarook on lures. George has been fishing small minnow profiled hardbodies in a variety of colours from aggressive through to natural trout parr patterns, with all of them working. Fitting the lures with ultra fine gauge hooks has been the difference between feeling taps and bites and converting these to hook ups. 

 


The salmon fishing continues to provide entertainment along all of the beaches in the state, from local peninsula beaches through to south and east gippsland. While the gippsland beaches have been producing good quality fish, beaches like Gunnamatta have also had some sold fish running. For the Melbourne local beaches Gunnamatta and St Andrews have been good, with the east gutters along Gunnamatta producing better numbers of fish during the week. 


Some of the sections of the 90 mile in Gippsland have been fishing better than others, with Loch Sport being one of the more productive. Staff member Don fished the area recently and found plenty of salmon to about 3lb. Don predominately fished twin paternoster rigs with a mixture of bait and artificial offerings, and also spun metal lures as well. The bait that was most productive was bluebait, with surf poppers and 'bungy' baits on the top hook taking a lot of fish also. Berleying up the area you're fishing is critical when on a busy beach also, as confining the fish to your area will see a lot more landed.

Customer Reg fished the same area with some mates recently also and found good numbers of fish taking pilchard and surf poppers. Just be sure to rig your surf popper on the 'top' hook, as it will float up and away from your second hook and away from the crabs. 

 


For the anglers who have been down along the state's west over the past week or so the tuna fishing has continued to be good. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been fishing around Port Fairy over the past few weeks and has found no shortage of bluefin. James has been catching plenty of school fish from as close as 35m of water out to beyond Lady Julia island. James has been finding lots of small bait at present and smaller lures have been the best job of getting the bites. When the conditions have allowed James and son Tristan have been enjoying some stickbait action on the surface, with a few different styles from the store all getting bites. 


Customers Aaron and Kosta and mate fished out from Portland over the weekend and secured a bag of school fish that will give them some quality eating while confined to metro Melbourne. The guys fished both east towards the island and west into Nelson bay and found good amounts of school fish from 45m out. The prominent bait that the fish have been on has been small pilchards and anchovies, with some of the bait measuring no more than 2 inches long. Small skirts and hardbodies have getting the lion's share of the fish, with larger lures in close to the boat doing a good job at attracting the fish into the spread. 

 


These tasty little fish have been about serious numbers for a little bit, with the last few weeks being awesome. After the last bit of rain and wind the gars have come on again and have been making their way into angler's buckets along most of the bayside piers and rockwalls.

Customer Ryan has been catching a few around the piers along the peninsula, with Mornington being one of the 'hotspots'. While the pier here has been busy, there are plenty of other locations suitable for catching these fish without breaking social distancing rules.


Between Mornington and Frankston the gars have been on fire. The small jetties in the area and hidden coves and bays have been holding gars without the crowds. Customer Jason got into a bag of fish in the boat, fishing water less than 2m deep. Berley as always has been the key, with a fine grain mix the standout. Customer Izzy also got into the gars fishing from the shore at Frankston. Maggots were the key bait, with heavily weighted floats showing the subtle bites. If you're unsure of how to rig for gars, come in and talk to us as the correct rigging can be the difference between a fishes or successful session. 


Further north in the bay customer Angelo has been also catching gars. Angelo has been fishing Beaumaris and Mordialloc with gars at both locations. Angelo has been fishing cut silverfish and maggots amongst the berley trail and keeping a keen eye on the float as many bites have simply been sideways dips or slides of it. Knowing how to correctly ballast your float and tell when it is acting unnatural will catch you a lot more fish. 

 


Bass Strait has been the hit with anglers recently as the run of Winter weather we've had has been excellent, with conditions too good to not make the most if them. The variety and quality of fish caught offshore during Winter can be excellent with the real mainstay being the large gummy sharks. Anglers fishing right out wide from areas such as Lakes Entrance have been tangling with fish like swordfish, trumpeter and pink ling. Customer Filip fished out wide chasing swordfish last week and landed some nice ling as tasty by-catch.

A bit closer to home the offshore gummy fishing has been nothing short of excellent. Young gun Fisherman Mike went out on an offshore tuition chasing big gummies and nailed a ripper gummy at 22kg, fishing out from Flinders. Chunk baits of wrasse and pike are super effective on the offshore gummies, and are readily available on the reefy areas. 


Mike's gummy was bigger than him! Customer Andrew also got in to the offshore gummies during the recent spell of quality weather. Andrew managed a couple of nice fish around the 20kg mark fishing fresh baits alongside the reefy points and and sand drops just outside of the western entrance.  


There has also been a few quality snapper caught offshore while targeting gummies. Customer Zac fished with his dad outside the western entrance recently and they also landed a few nice gummies around the 14kg mark, along with a nice 4kg snapper. Fishing fresh baits of mackerel, pike and squid give you an excellent chance of the snapper as well as gummies. Young Jacob and dad Gavin fished around the western entrance recently and also came across a nice snapper. Jacob was lucky enough to land the fish that weighed 6.6kg and took a strip of freshly caught couta. 

 


The tuna action hasn't stopped along the west coast, with the main hotspots being Portland and Port Fairy. There have been fish caught from Apollo Bay right through to the SA border, but most anglers have been fishing from or Portland or Port Fairy. The fish have been moving about but holding in small pockets for days providing the haven't been fished too hard or moved on by predators or drastic weather changes, and they have been taking most lure types. You'd be mad to head out without a mixture of skirts, hardbodies and stickbaits in various profiles and colours. 

Customers Cam and Mark fished out from Portland recently and found the fish in fairly close and willing to eat cast stickbaits. The real trick was matching the lures to the profile of the bait that the fish were hunting, and with most of the fish in the area this has been micro pilchards and anchovies. 


Customer Daniel came in to the store and topped up on tuna essentials and to get some new lures rigged up. Daniel spent a couple of days around Portland familiarising himself with the area, and eventually found the fish. A mixture of small skirts were the most effective, with a clear yellow pattern proving the best of the lot on fish to around 11kg. While not all of the tuna in the area have been school fish - they have generally been 8 -15kg or 90kg+. Customers Tyler and Aaron proved that theory correct with a 128kg barrel caught out of Portland a few weekends ago. 

 


Again this week the beaches have been firing for Australian salmon. With some less than ideal weather for boat based fishing, coupled with northerly winds beach fishing has been ideal. All beaches have been worth a look from Lakes Entrance in the far east to Port Fairy in the west. More locally, Venus Bay has been excellent along with Williamson's, Kilcunda and Gunnamatta. 


Customer Mark fished Venus Bay last week with sons Sam and Harry, and mate Darren. The fishing has been excellent for them, with fish to 2kg taking surf poppers, plastics and also pilchard and bluebait. The guys have had some awesome sessions with 4 way hookups and double headers, with the best fishing coming as the flood tide strengthened. Picking a section of beach at Venus is a good way of locating the fish as the gutters here differ compared to beaches like Gunnamatta and Kilcunda. 


Customer Perry has been fishing the west coast beaches as he loves doing throughout the winter months. Perry has been fishing the beaches around Angelsea and Aireys Inlet and has been catching salmon to 1.5kg or so. Perry has been casting metal lures with single hooks as well as small soft plastics around 3 inches in size. Perry has been finding the fish around low tide, as they have been working a gutter behind a small sandbar that can only be reached on low water. 

 


The bluewater fishing has been good for many species either east or west. Bluefin tuna have still been going well from Portland back to Apollo Bay. Most of the fish caught from Portland have been west of Lawrence Rock, around through Bridgewater and Nelson Bays. Customer Aaron fished out from Portland last week and landed school fish to around 9kg on a mixture of lures, with small skirts such as the Fluzi working well. Natural colours have been good since a lot of the fish have been on small redbait and pilchards. 

Customer Steve came in store last week and told us of a 92kg fish caught fishing with mates out from Portland also. Steve and mates landed plenty of small school fish and the 92kg barrel from 65m of water off Cape Bridgewater. Smaller skirted and deep hardbodied both worked well. 

Be mindful if you're looking at fishing out from Apollo Bay over the weekend, the service station in town will be closed for major upgrades as of Wednesday 17th of June. Other fuel options are in Lorne, Port Campbell or Colac.  


Out wide from Lakes Entrance along the shelf drops there has been some good fishing - when anglers have been able to make the long run out. Last week during a bit of a weather window there were boats out in search of some deepwater species. There have been a few reports of swordfish from around the canyons, with customer Thomas and brother Gary landing a nice fish of around 130kg last week.

In a touch closer there have been some other edible species coming up also. Customer Simon fished out in the region with some mates where they landed a nice bag of tasty trumpeter. Simon was fishing around some sloping shelves between 150 - 250m deep. Fishing electric reels with multiple circle hook paternoster rigs is the best way to connect with these trumpeter or other species such as ling. Lumo sleeve/tubing and lumo squid added to the rigs helps attract the fish in the dark water and tough baits of squid are the best choice, as no one wants to be constantly re-baiting rigs in 200m of water! 

 


The local land based fishing around the bays has been good considering the nice weather we've had of late. Wether you'd enjoy a feed of flathead, garfish, whiting or squid they are all readily available. One of the more popular species on offer at present are the tasty garfish - which have been active at most of the piers around Port Phillip. Some of the hot spots worth a look have been Mordialloc, Black Rock, Seaford, Frankston and down the peninsula at Dromana and Mornington. Baits of chopped silverfish, banana prawn and maggots have all been good. Getting your float setup correctly ballasted and having a steady trail of fine berley are also some of the finer points to successful gar fishing. 

Staff member Don fished Frankston pier during the week and bagged a nice feed of gars. Tiny pieces of banana prawn fished on narrow gape fly hooks were the most effective when lightly weighted around the edge of the berley trail. 


The northern end of the bay has been fishing well for good table sized flathead and whiting. The shallows have been producing sand flathead to 50cm around any rockfall, gutter or reef ledge. Fishing soft plastics has been the most effective way to snag a flathead, but ensure that you're using a plastic that gives off natural vibration to help the fish hone in on the lure. St Kilda through to Mentone has been the are to try. 


The same areas of the bay down to around Olivers Hill have been producing whiting after dark. Customer Jordan has landed some nice flathead and whiting over the last week around Brighton. The flathead have been caught on 3 inch mullet patterned plastics and the whiting have been liking banana prawn and pipi. Customer Serge also got a nice bag of whiting from the shore around Sandringham on a mixture of squid, banana prawn and pipi. 

The same inshore reef and sand patches have been producing some nice squid after dark. Staff member Dylan fished from the shore from Brighton through to Black Rock last week and landed squid every session, with the quickest 10 squid bag taking about 40 minutes. Size 2.5 jigs are the most consistent in this area, with virtually every colour tried eventually producing a squid or two. 

Down along the bottom of the peninsula over in Westernport, customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting like they're going out of fashion. Angelo has been fishing Flinders pier and has found the squid around 25cm hood length on average. Size 3.5 jigs in natural grass whiting patterns along with blacks and UV whites have been the best for him. The grass whiting have also been active around the pier pylons and grass beds and have been taking a liking to small paternoster rigs baited with either trout worms or small pieces of banana prawn.  

 

With some lovely late Autumn and early Winter weather, many anglers have flocked to their local beaches with a rod. And why not, something as simple as walking the beach on a nice afternoon can be a great de-stress for many. Lucky for them also the salmon fishing has been good so far, with many beaches providing fish to around 6lb for lure and bait fishers. Gunnamatta has been fishing well for salmon, with the first light bite the prime time, but the changing of the light during late afternoon has also been kind to mobile lure anglers fishing their way up the beach. 

For anglers looking to go for a drive, the beaches at Venus Bay and around Kilcunda have also been fishing well. Again early mornings coupled with a slight northerly and flood tide are the pick of the conditions. Baits of bluebait, whitebait, small squid and pipi have been best.


Customer Jim came in to stock up for a fish with some mates down at Venus Bay over the long weekend, and the boys had fun and caught a few fish for their efforts also. The last 90min of the flood tide and hour or so of the ebb was the best time, with the fish moving right up on the berley. Paternoster rigs baited with bottle squid and 'bungy bait' rigged poppers worked the best. Most of the fish were around a kilo or so, with some decent mullet finding their way to the bait in the shore break also.

Staff member Don fished Gunnamatta during the week, with a late afternoon spin session in the gutters along from the surf lifesaving club. Don took one light spin outfit and worked metal slices and stickbaits up to 40g around the edge of the gutters to rack up 20 or so salmon. Fishing the lures under the whitewater with a 'burn and kill' retrieve was the way to get the fish fired up. Flash-assist hooks on the lures helped in keeping the jumping fish hooked well.