With the onset of Autumn weather the squid and pinkies have well and truly come into action. The larger squid should come into their own around the southern end of the bays with the cooler water temperatures. Customer Angelo fished from Flinders pier during the week to land a couple of solid squid and a cuttlefish on size 3.5 Clicks jigs in colour 17.


The Mornington region has been fishing well for hordes of smaller schooling squid. While the pier itself has been producing lots of squid, the adjacent rocks and points have also been holding large numbers of slightly larger squid. If you're going to fish the pier here small jigs are the go. Size 1.8 has been the most consistent performer here, especially if you rig them up without a sinker. These jigs are designed to sink at a slow rate and precise angle, and usually adding them to a paternoster rig decreases catch rates.

Staff members Don and Dylan have been catching numbers of squid from around the pier and rocks, with 2.5 size jigs working well in the windier conditions, in all variety of colours. Customer Jordan also fished the rocks nearby to land hs 10 squid in short succession on 2.5 size jigs in brighter colours.


The massive schools of pinkies have been biting well around most reefy sections of the bay. The Black Rock area has been holding big numbers of fish to around 40cm. Customer Stephan and mates fished the area during the week and managed a nice mixed bag of pinkies, whiting and squid. The guys fished in about 10m of water, with pilchard and squid the two best baits.


The Autumn run of pinkies are perfect for targeting on soft plastics. With large groups of fish hanging around the structure it normally takes no time to get a bit from them. Smaller plastics in around 2.5 - 3.5 inches are the best starting point, whether curl or paddle tail type. Fishing these plastics on jigheads of 1/8 to 1/4oz will get you down to the fish even in the windiest conditions in the shallows. A big tip if new to this style of fishing is to make sure you are using a hi-vis braided line to pick up on subtle bites as the lure is sinking.


Customer Ryan has been having good sessions on the pinkies on plastics out from Williamstown and Black Rock recently. Ryan has been targeting the schools in around 8m of water along scattered reef and has been fishing a mixture of plastics. Some days the fish have been holding very tight to the reef so he has been using a weedless hook setup to get the lure to them. He has been finding a slow wind a slight 'shake' the best way to entice a bite from the fish .

 


The offshore action continues around the state, with many anglers concentrating on bluefin tuna and kingfish. While the kingfish would be the harder of the two to keep on top, the numbers of tuna round have been very exciting for the next few months ahead. The West coast has been holding good numbers of tuna out from Portland all the way back to virtually Melbourne's doorstep.


Customer Tony fished out from Portland over the weekend in search of the tuna and found fish in the 20kg range. The fish were encountered from 20m depth out to around 60m of water, across to Julia Island. The most effective lures for the guys were small skirted lures in 'lumo' colour. Tony was fishing these smaller lures on lighter spin gear and lighter hooks, and he didn't lose any fish. Just remember to chose your hook correctly when changing between light and heavy tackle, or mono and braid.

Customer Jason also got into some bluefin action over the weekend, but with fish just outside of Port Phillip.heads. There have been schools of fish pushing their way up into the bay all the way north of Mud Island. With plenty of food available, there's no reason for them to not be there! Jason found casting stickbaits and poppers into the schools was most effective, with the schools giving themselves away only by the appearance of a 'shimmer' on the surface. Casting to these fish is more effective than trolling through them in many instances.


While the kingies are still about and playing hard ball customer Joel had just about had his arms removed from his body after a trip across the ditch to New Zealand. Joel fished hard for the monster kingfish that NZ in known for, and in 4 days stacked up nearly 60 fish - and all jigging! Needless to say Joel won't be performing many tasks with his arms for the next 6 months or so, but who'd be complaining!

 


The Goulburn river has been a popular spot of late, and has been providing some fishing variety. From it's clear headwaters and alpine trout right down to the wide and turbid shape it takes on further towards the Murray river, the river has been producing fish. Customer Chris fished around the Nagambie region with his son Atticus just recently. Chris purchased a rod and reel outfit for Atticus and he managed to land his first Murray cod from the river here.Good work Atticus!


Customer Le also fished the lower region of the river and caught a couple of nice Murray cod from the bank. Le was fishing live freshwater yabbies on 'shine' style hooks weighted with a small ball sinker. Le said the bigger yabbies were only getting bites if they had one or two claws missing.

On the trout front, the river is back to a lower 'environmental' flow and more fishable for the average person. Customer Brett fished the upper reaches of the river just last week with the fly rod where he caught some very solid fish. Dry flies like hopper patterns and stimulators were getting looks from the fish. Brett found other anglers nearby fishing without success, but he also noticed that they were wearing hi-vis clothing and walking up the middle of the river. Stealth is the game when targeting river trout!


Customer Chris and Stewie fished the river around Thornton when the flows were still right up were they landed a few fish on lures. The guys were fishing soft plastics and found that natural coloured plastics were getting more interest than brighter patterns. As the river is low again now bright, aggressive patterns are worth a throw as they will illicit more of a 'reaction' bite from the fish rather than a food response, especially when they are forced into deeper runs and pools.

 


Customer Travis came by the store in preparation for a trip to Darwin in search of a barra or two. Travis was searching for a multi-piece spin rod to take in suitcase form up and use casting lures for barramundi in the rivers and also for some light harbour and beach fishing. Travis ended up using the rod the entirety or the trip and it proved ideal for slinging lures about for all manner of fish. Among the fish caught were barra, threadfin salmon and blue salmon.


Some of the threadfin salmon were around a metre long and were happy to eat hard bodies and soft vibes. The 'guns n roses' colour was a stand out hardbody colour along the creek edges for barra and blue salmon, while smaller soft vibes were deadly on the threadfin in the deeper gutters and holes. These same soft vibes are also very effective on fish like black jewfish and muloway and snapper around Melbourne.


Up along the mid-northern NSW coast customer Terry has been landing some big hairtail. Terry has been fishing offshore and landing these chromed and fanged fish on bait and lure. Pilchards fished on ganged hook rigs have been the standout, but flutter style jigs have also accounted for hookups - but work out more costly when the hairtail's razor sharp fangs touch the line above. 

 


The gummy shark fishing has been good in both bays and offshore recently, with fish ranging from just size and perfect table sized fish through to large fish in the 20kg range. In southern Port Phillip there have been some quality fish to 20kg roaming the channels and pushing up the bay. Fishing around the channel out from Rye customer Peter landed a solid gummy of around 11kg on freshly caught squid. The latter stage of the run was when Peter caught his fish.


Out wide from Mt Martha and Mornington there have been a few nice sized fish caught while chasing the snapper also. Customer Bashir scored a nice fish of around 5kg on pilchard doing exactly this.


The shores of Westernport have been producing fish for customer Anel. Anel fished with his brother and a few mates over the weekend to land a brace of nice eating sized fish. Anel has been fishing with pillies and squid down at Stockyard Point and Lang Lang around the bottom of the tide to score his fish. Fishing after dark has been the most successful time especially when the tides coincide.


Customer Bill has also been landing some ripper gummies while fishing the southern end of Westernport. Bill has been fishing for the larger fish that enter the port and use the southern channels, with most of the fish coming from buoy 6 towards Flinders bank. Bill has been finding fresh slimey mackerel the most effective bait but fresh squid has also accounted for one of the fish during the run out tide.


Out from Port Albert customer John landed some nice gummies using a variety of baits, with pillies the most effective and getting the most bites. John landed a couple of nice eating sized male gummies around the 9kg mark while fishing over the shallow inshore sand and rubble out from the entrance.

 

With some calm weather during the week and over the weekend, there has been more offshore action for customers. Kingfish are still on the cards both in the rip and also around the main promontories and headlands. Bluefin tuna have been moving past with the odd fish caught from just offshore from the bays. Over in the west of the state the tuna and kingfish are still active from Portland back to Warnambool. Customer Jason fished out from Port Fairy over the weekend in search of tuna and kings, and while the kingfish were slow tuna to 20kg were landed. Casting poppers and stickbaits to small patches of rippled water was the method in catching the tuna as they weren't easy to see any other way.

Locally the kingfish have still been active, but not red hot. A bit of work is required when searching for these fish but when they are on they will have a crack at just about everything. Customer Patrick got into kingfish to 11kg out from Cape Schank over the weekend trolling livebaits. While may have been finding fish in tight to the reef structure, there have also been fish out wider on the contours and small patches of hard ground off the point.

The rip has produced some kingies during the week, with the average fish around 7kg. Customer Rhass fished aboard Reel Time Fishing Charters and landed fish around this size. Live squid have been the most effective way to tempt these fish, with jigs also landing some fish once the schools is aggravated. Religiously monitoring the baits and keeping them right amongst the fish is a constant jobs, but it will mean the difference between fish and no fish. Colour-marked braided lines make this task easier, as they will help in giving you a visual reference for when the bait nears the bottom or strike zone.


 


While there have been some inconsistent estuary reports, anglers spending the time on the water are ultimately reaping the rewards - whether it's locally in the Yarra and Maribyrnong or out in Gippsland.


Customer Shane proved that the real only way to catch fish in make sure you're out there doing it! Shane caught and released a monster flathead of 92cm from the shallows in Lake Tyers just over the weekend. The monster fish swum back to the depths and shows the quality of the fish on offer. Shane was fishing the Nowa arm of the lake, which seems to be a bit more productive than the main basin at present. Warmer water mixed with a more brackish salinity is keeping both flathead and bream happily eating.


There have been enough bream hanging about on the edges of the estuaries and rivers of Gippsland but the trick has been offering them what they want to eat. With loads of small shrimp flicking about along the reed and grass edges customer Morgan found a skinny profiled surface lure was most effective. Morgan has been fishing a few estuaries recently and has found the fish wanting different lures most of the time. Small shrimp profiles in the shallows have been very effective, while larger crab and minnow soft plastics in the deeper water have been getting the bites. Changing lures and baits to try and persuade the fish is all part of it.


Customer Ryan has been finding some quality fish in the local metro rivers. Ryan has been fishing both the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers and landing bream to around 39cm on bait and lures. Ryan has been finding soft plastics effective but only when fished right up in cover and shade, as the fish aren't covering out from cover to eat. Watermelon coloured plastics in curl and paddle tails have both been good, while baits of cut crab have also been working. Fishing larger crabs requires hooks in the size 2 range, with wide gapes helping to present the bait and aid in positive hook ups.

 


While not the same rush as the months of October and November, Port Phillip has been producing a wave of snapper as they feed up and move out of the bay. There will continue to be some resident fish in the bay all year, but good sized schools have been found in the Mornington region at present. These fish have been caught in depths of 17 -21m out to the edge of the spoil ground. First light bites are consistent with fish at this time of year, and well worth the effort. Bill from Mornington recently landed fish to around 5.5kg on pilchard and silver whiting.


Among the larger fish there have been plenty of pinkie schools, both out on the mud and around the reef patches. While wading through the smaller fish can be painstaking there have been enough fish to just over a kilo if you are changing up baits and rigs to suit. The reefy areas of Mornington and Black Rock have been holding large numbers of fish but also larger numbers of undersize fish. Moving to the mud just off the reef and berleying lightly has been a good method of luring better fish to your baits. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been landing heaps of plate sized pinkies for customers by fishing just outside the reef areas with fresh squid and pilchard. If the smaller fish are getting the better of you, switching to harder baits such as whiting or yakka can drag out some bigger fish for you.

 


There have been plenty of gummies caught by angler over the past week. Many fish to 9kg or so have been making their way into the catch, with both bays producing the goods. The hot area has been the southern end of Port Phillip, with the channels from Safety Beach across to Swan Bay holding good numbers of moving fish. Many of these smaller channels are all excellent to fish but will produce better on the correct stage of the tides. Sitting a tide out in a particular spot can be the best way of working out when the fish move through the area.


Customer Josh fishes for gummies regularly around the southern end of the bay and over the weekend he got into a couple of quality table fish around 12kg out from Portsea. Josh was fishing some of the feeder channels around Mud Island and found that chunks of freshly caught salmon were the most effective baits.


Customer Andy also fished the southern region of the bay over the weekend, with his 2 gummies coming from the channels around Rye. Freshly caught squid was the gun bait for the gummies, which were all caught on red foil Hayabusa jigs. The couple of fish that Andy caught were perfect eating sized males around 7kg each.


Over in Westernport, gummies of the same size have been a common catch during the week. Customer Bart has been landing fish to 10kg fishing out from Rhyll in 19m of water. Bart has been finding pilchards the most consistent bait but also needing to be replaced as pinkies and other fish constantly pick them off the hook.


In the same area customer Michael and mate landed 3 nice fish to 6kg over the weekend. The guys were fishing the area for some larger toothy sharks with heavier gear, but also had some gummy baits out, and took some flake home for their efforts. Baits of freshly caught mullet, salmon and squid all did the job, with the fish running along the mudflat edge on the run out tide. 

 


Some choice conditions over the past week or so have allowed for offshore stints for local anglers in search of kingfish, both offshore from the bays and also down the coast. The weekends weather condition were good enough to turn many anglers to offshore and the rewards were there to be had.

Customer Frank made a big run from the top end of Westernport out through the western entrance in search of kingfish. With numbers of boats in close Frank decided to look out a bit wider where he found some small schooling kingfish on the surface. Small stickbaits cast at the school resulted in hook ups, and so the technique went on. After finding a patch of nervous water out in 30m the stickbaits were on again but this time with some school sized bluefin tuna. Frank said that there were good numbers of fish about, but that they were full of very small baitfish. His 90mm stickbaits were perfect size for these fish to hunt.


The rip has been producing kingies for anglers doing the hard work but has also been somewhat patchy this season. During the week Reel Time Fishing Charters had a blinder of a session in the rip with around 20 good size kingfish landed by customers. Customer Damien has been working aboard the boat and reports that the fish have been taking live slimies and squid and also jigs between 150 - 200g. Jig colour hasn't mattered, more of correct rigging and technique to get the fish to bite.


Around the rocky shorelines and islands of Bass Strait the kingfish have been solid. The smaller fish have been prolific in numbers but moving until bigger fish are found has been the go. Customer Jason has been out chasing these fish around Welshpool and finding fish to around 15kg. Jason has been catching fish predominately on subsurface stickbaits, with some impossible to tempt falling to live slimy mackerel around the submerged reef points and swell zones.