The action in the estuaries out in gippsland is starting to warm up as the weather does. The warmth in the water has increased the activity level of the larger flathead and bream, and with this they have been on the prowl. The estuaries of lake tyers, marlo and bemm river have been fishing well for both, as has mallacoota inlet. Some of these estuaries will see a scattering of prawns in the backwaters and the fish will hunt these.


Staff member Dylan fished lake tyers on monday and landed a handful of bream on small shallow running hardbodies around the super shallow mudflats in the lake, in between searching for large flathead. Dylan fished 6 and 8 inch swimbaits around the likely haunts and had a few enquiries with one mid 70cm flathead staying connected to a Megabass magdraft swimbait.


Friend of the shop Trevor has also been getting in to some nice flathead from the lake. Trevor has been fishing the new SXC shads from Yakamito to land the bigger fish. The heavy tail kick and body roll of these plastics really gets the attention from the big flathead and gets them to pounce.

 


Flinders pier is still producing serious squid for persistent anglers. The squid fishing around the southern end of Westernport and Port Phillip bays has been good, with many anglers landing some big squid. This week customer Angelo has been catching some solid specimens but on some different jigs and colour schemes. Angelo has been experimenting with UV whites and also bright UV 'aggressive' colours with all of them working.


Sometimes these aggressive attention-seeking colours can work when nothing else does as they scream 'over here, eat me!' Especially in the clear oceanic water in the south of the bays, these colours really stand out. Angelo is normally a fan of passive and natural colours from Flinders pier but his gamble on some other colour patterns has paid off, so it's worth a shot!

 


Customers Izzy and Bruno are holidaying up along the northern coastline of NSW, and getting some fishing in while they're up there. The have been fishing the region from Byron Bay back down to around Lake Macquarie and have fun with various fish on their journey. Fishing just offshore from Brunswick heads Izzy landed some lovely snapper up to 4kg on Reedy's rigs with pilchard on them.

The offshore fishing in the same region has also had it's mix of bigger fish too, with some big sharks around. After some bite offs, Izzy and Bruno set up an overhead rod with some bigger hooks and trace, and Izzy managed to beat a big bronze whaler after an hour long fight. The bronzie was attacked and bleeding from the gills so it was kept and shared around to some of the locals. When the wind has been up the guys have been fishing inside the rivers and estuaries, and have been having some fun catching perfect eating size flathead on soft plastics. The soft plastic fishing for flathead will only get better along the coast and locally over the next few months.

 


While the snapper action hasn't been red hot, there are more fish caught every week - with the really good fishing coming over the next week or so. That said, keen anglers out there fishing for the reds are catching them, just not with red hot sessions. Customer Mario has been catching a few decent fish from the piers and rocks in Port Phillip, and hasn't been seeing too many others doing it. Preparation in collecting fresh bait and long hours of persistence have been the fruits of the labor and red rewards have been coming his way.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding the snapper fishing a bit tough at the moment, but time on the water has been getting him results for his customers. When James has been fishing Port Phillip he has been looking around the northern end of the bay from Williamstown to Brighton and Altona. James and clients have landed fish to around the 5kg mark on fresh squid and local pilchards either early morning or late into the evening.


Across in Westernport the snapper fishing has still been holding more consistent. There have been reports of fish coming from most of the port but the top of the north arm has been the best area (and potentially the busiest) to target these fish. Customers Christian and Damien fished deep around Crawfish rock to land a couple of fish to around 3kg. Fresh squid was the best bait to have, along with sinkers up around 20oz for this deep tidal scour.


Not far away in the same region of the port customer Dorian has been landing a few nice snapper. Dorian has been fishing from Tyabb through to Joes for fish like this one up around 7kg. Fresh local baits of squid, yakka and couta have been excellent up the top end of the port.

 


The squid fishing has been excellent over the past week or so, with some proper quality Spring squid coming in. Both bays have been producing lots of squid, with most but not all of the largest squid being caught from the boat. Customers Michael and Chris have both been catching quality squid from the lower end of Westernport throughout the week. 'Red whiting' Hayabusa jigs in size 3.5 have been the dominant jig for Chris this week.


Customer Callum also got a nice feed of squid from a session during the week. Callum launched at Hastings and fished the banks pushing up towards Tyabb where he managed 7 nice squid. Callum found the 4m area the best around the top of the tide, with a handful of different jigs all working well.


Southern Port Phillip has also been excellent for squid this week. From Mornington south the squid fishing has been very consistent. Customer Danny fished from the rocks around Mt Martha during nice conditions and landed a nice 40cm hood length squid. Danny was fishing a solid pink Yamashita jig in size 3.0, as pink is his favourite colour.


Down around Rye and Rosebud the squid haven't been as big, but big in numbers. Customer Thao and mate both got their bag fishing water from 4 - 8m around both Rye and Rosebud. Drifting over the reef patches from different angles was the key to filtering through the productive areas, and constant jig cloth colour changes also worked well. UV whites and rainbow oranges can work well in this part of the bay.

 

the Eildon area has been fishing well for trout both in the lake, pondage and surrounding rivers. The main lake has had a few trout caught on various trolling methods, and fishing small soft plastics around the heavy timber off the main shorelines. The coarse anglers fishing the pondage are catching the lion's share on the 'trout pellet' powerbait and specialist trout dough.


Customers Mick and Misho fished the lake recently where they did some trolling. The boys found some nice browns up to 50cm in the main arm of the lake towards the 'powerlines'. The best method was between a flatlined UV pink tassie, and a deeper running hardbody in clear yabby pattern.


In the Goulburn there have still been some sold rainbows finding their way to the banks. Customer Fredi fished the river over the weekend and found the trout a bit spooky and hard to tempt with the clear water. Rainbows to around 7lb were landed on double clutch 60's cranking them deeper into the pools and along the deep edge of current seams.


Among the bigger rainbows Fredi also found some 'standard' river fish - browns to 600g or so. The smaller fish seemed to be holding out of the deeper water and sitting in shallower eddies and at the tailout sections of the larger pools, away from the larger fish.

 


If you're after a snapper Westernport has still been the better of the options at the moment. Port Phillip's snapper are a touch less consistent at the moment - but Westernport's top end has a much better chance currently. The region from Corinella through to Hastings is all worth a look especially if you have been previously been sounding or catching fish in the area. The real 'zone' at the moment is the Lysaughts region, from Esso through to crawfish rock. Customer Damien fished the area earlier in the week and scored a nice fish of around 6.5kg on freshly caught squid.


Customer Rocky also fished the same region just recently and scored a similar sized fish. Rocky was fishing closer to eagle rock and landed a snapper of 6.5kg on a ring of recently caught squid - using a  single circle hook. This method of rigging is far superior in Westernport and handles by-catch like large gummies and rays easily, for easy release.

 

 


While the fishing here in Melbourne is starting to warm up, some lucky anglers have been holidaying in warmer climates with hot fishing action. A popular holidaying location with excellent fishing is the South-East Asian region around Malaysia. Holidaying in Kuala Rompin last week customer Mark managed to sneak in some fishing and get out on a charter in search of sailfish and other pelagics. Mark took his favourite multi piece Nitro snapper rod and managed to catch all his fish on it. 


During the trip Mark caught 4 sailfish to 55kg, some nice cobia and a bull shark estimated around 60kg all on the same rod. A good quality rod is able to be used in a multitude of scenarios and makes your fishing more enjoyable also. Holidaying in the same area was customer Phil. Phil and Mark must've only just missed each other, as Phil also fished out from Rompin. Phil managed a heap of nice sailfish to around 40kg. Phil and crew caught most of their sailfish trolling small tuna sized skirts with stinger hooks.

 


While snapper are mostly on the cards for Westernport's angling community - the whiting fishing has been heating up over the past few weeks. While the whiting fishing isn't crazy hot for numbers of fish, the fish that are around have been excellent quality. The north arm has been fishing well for the whiting, with good bags of fish coming from the middle spit and around tortoise head, with a few more up the top around Warneet. Staff member Don fished on the whiting over the weekend with mate Sam and scored 18 fish. The guys fished the run out tide around Warneet and caught most of their fish on fresh squid.


The big squid have been worth a look for anglers fishing the southern end of the port again this week, with some proper spring monsters getting caught. Customer Justin fished the bottom end of the port around Newhaven and just offshore and caught some solid squid to around 2.5kg in water from 3 - 10m deep. Size 3.5 jigs in red foil and grass whiting green were the most productive. Cloudy light conditions helped the rainbow base in the grass whiting patterns reflect light and attract the squid.


Across the other side of the port customer Angelo has again been catching some nice squid from Flinders pier. Angelo fished the pier earlier during the week and did and afternoon session to land 2 nice squid up to 1kg. Angelo fished a couple of different jigs for his results, with Hayabusa 'red whiting' and Yakamito 'lemon' both being successful. Angelo noticed a few more anglers fishing size 2.5 jigs to no avail - with larger jigs getting the squids attention a lot easier here. Just be sure to select your sink rates correctly as jigs that sink too fast will simply snag up in the kelp with your first couple of casts. Standard or 'slow' sink rates are perfect for Flinders pier.

 


Whiting season is apon us! While not the norm for many at the time of year, the whiting fishing has been excellent for the past 5 weeks or so. At the moment there are plenty of whiting about to be caught, and while they are still a bit of work in the cooler water the quality has been excellent - whether you're fishing in Westernport or southern Port Phillip. If you think big squid grounds - think big whiting also. Customer Thomas has been fishing around the bottom end of the middle spit and Tortoise head for fish up to 41cm. The outgoing tide has been the most productive time for him.


The region around Tortoise head has been excellent for customer John. John has fished the area for the past few weeks and has consistently found good bags of fish, especially when fishing late in the afternoons. Many of John's fish have been either side of 40cm and have been taken on pipi and mussel.


Southern Port Phillip has been excellent for whiting also. The southern end from around Rye through to Portsea and Queenscliff has been the area to target. Fishing water from 2 - 7m has been where most of the bites have been coming from. Customer Josh has been catching some good bags of fish around Rye and again just wide of Portsea pier in about 6m. Pipi and fresh squid have been the baits of choice.

Customer Aaron also fished southern Port Phillip recently around the Sorrento area and further back to Blairgowrie and landed a good haul of fish. Pipi and mussel have been the better baits, with some better size fish coming through just on or after dark. Small amounts of berley have been a good way of turning a couple of fish into a solid bag. Small size whiting nuts have been excellent berley for whiting, mixed in with a small amount of mashed pilchard or fish oil to create a small slick. Just don't over-do the berley down here and schools of salmon and trevally will overrun your whiting school.