Now is the time to be out targeting the super sized flathead that terrorize the Gippsland estuaries. The warmth in the water lures the big fish to the shallows where they will soak up some warmth and pounce on anything that swims past them. With numbers of small prawns and mullet in the shallows these 'crocs' are well and truly in feeding mode.

Captain Bill and friends have been catching some solid fish out towards Mallacoota in the estuaries, and all on lures. Bait fishing can be an option for these fish, but you are almost out of the game unless you are fishing live mullet or prawn. Lure fishing using large lightly weighted soft plastics, hardbodies or swimbaits will put you in the right zone to land some rippers like Bill has. many of the fish have been around the 80cm mark which are very respectable on light tackle.

 


With some warm weather coming through the freshwater reports haven't been as thick - as many stream trout anglers stay away from some of the snake infested rivers. But there has still been on offer if you are out and about! Down at Blue Rock Lake the redfin and bass have been getting caught by angler casting lures. Most of the redfin have been in the 25cm size range with big numbers moving about in the bays and coves. Many of the bass have also been on the small size but there are some big fish in there for those persistent enough. Customer Jordan has been catching a few on deep diving crankbaits along the edges of the timber with lures like the Daiwa Spike and Yakamito Devil Edge both working well.


Staff member Dylan has also been catching some fish to around 30cm size range in the lake, with small swimbaits and crankbaits working the best. The new Megabass Vibration-X Vattalion has been a very good addition to the box for this area, as the fish have really been hitting it.


The yellowbelly have been fishing well in most of the dams and impoundments around the state, with Lake Eildon producing some nice sized fish. The fish can be tricky to locate in such a big waterway but once they are found normally you can catch a couple. Fishing the vertical timber with plastics has been a good method on sounded schools, along with casting and trolling crankbaits on the rocky edges. Customer Jason has been catching some solid fish to 55cm on hardbodies from the shores of the lake over the week.


Among the yellowbelly some good sized redfin have been getting in the act. Fishing a bit larger lure has been one method of catching slightly bigger fish than normal, with small lures simply getting pestered by fry sized fish. The larger fish are happy to eat a bigger lure and you may catch a yellowbelly or two by upsizing lure.


Around the pondage there have still been some quality trout being caught, especially early during the day. The low light bite has been good for both lure and bait fishers here. Customer Frank has been landing some nice trout of both species on both methods, with coarse feeder fishing one method, and casting 13g Tassie Devils in colour 55 his other successful method.


Young angler Flynn fished down at Karkarook after coming into the store with his dad, and caught his first trout. Using the suggested dough and feeder cage rig suggested by the guys in store was the successful method. The locally stocked lakes can be quite productive at this time of year if you pay attention to the small details in rigging and fishing methods.


 


Snapper reports from Port Phillip have been good over the last week, and with some heavy rain entering the bay and strong winds forecast things should fire again over the weekend. There have been fish spread out over the mud and in most corners of the bay now, so no real 'hot spots' to concentrate on. Customer Jacques hasn't done a heap of snapper fishing this season but he did get out over the weekend to land fish to 6.5kg out from Carrum. The 16m line was where Jacques found his fish.


Fishing the same depth out from Frankston, customers Jason and Damien scored fish to a similar size. After one of their fish didn't release well, Jason decided to jump in and swim it properly, which is dedication! The boys found smaller hooks and baits were the trick, with most of the fish hooking themselves properly.


Fish to 6kg aren't anything to complain about!


Around the Black Rock area there have been plenty of fish caught. The main sections of reef have been holding pinkies and larger fish along the perimeter. Customer Lev fished around the reef in 7m to land reds to 4kg. The fish bit well around 7pm as the light faded, and the most effective baits were live squid. Over near Mordialloc customer Ben caught a couple of nice 4kg fish on pillies as well.


Down around Mornington there have been reports of snapper also, from the shallow reef right out beyond the mussel farm. Customers Robbi and Matej fished out towards 12m and landed some good school fish to 2.5kg. The fish went well over a mid morning tide change and silver whiting chunks on snapper snatchers performed the best.


While fishing for snapper customer Ryan got a nice table sized gummy out from Mornington also. Ryan was fishing out in 18m with snapper on the mind, but that didn't stop the gummy from taking a piece of fresh red mullet fishing on the bottom. Gummies around the metre size aren't super common for Port Phillip, but if you're fishing fresh chunk baits you've always got a shot.

 


The run of snapper continues to fire for anglers with reports coming from both bays and Welshpool too. The hot fishing should continue for the next month or so before the fish slow up a bit. Customer Donna landed a lovely fish of 7.1kg out from Sandringham over the weekend. Donna was fishing in 14m of water and using fresh squid for bait.


Staff member Chris got out during the week and had a fish around Mt Eliza in 16m of water. Chris marked good numbers of fish on the mud and set baits out. Silver whiting was the go, with multiple hook ups and nothing going on pilchard. Chris landed fish to 4.8kg on the whiting.

Young gun Frankie landed a lovely conditioned 4kg out from Chelsea in 10m of water while on the drift. Freshly filleted flathead was the bait of choice, and a good option as this area holds lots of smaller prey sized flathead.  


Out from Black Rock the snapper have been pretty good. Customer Jason fished out in 15m looking for a early morning bite. The most productive bite time was daybreak with 8 fish coming aboard and taking a mixture of pilchard and silver whiting. In the same area customer Paul threw a few plastics about and scored a good bag of fish from 1.4kg to 5.5kg. The most effective soft plastic size were 4 inch, which matches most of the snappers' forage food.


Out in Westernport customer Bill has been catching fish to around the 5kg mark over the weekend. Bill has been fishing the North Arm around Lysaughts and has been using a variety of baits. Bill has found that the smaller fish have been picking pillies, while the better fish have taken a liking to strips of fresh couta.


Further up the port past Joe's Island customer Chris and mate Ben have been landing snapper to 7kg. Fishing the start of the run in tide has been the most productive for them, with the snapper biting early in the tide. Nearing the top of the tide was a bit slow for them, but some smaller table size gummies made up for it and were a welcome addition to the bag.


Down at Welshpool the snapper have slowly started firing. Customer Justin caught some nice fish to 8kg. Justing was fishing the Singapore Deep area and found that pilchard and squid were the two most effective baits.

 


The land based fishing for snapper has been exceptional over the past few weeks. The normal run of land based reds occurs from late July onward but the shore based fishing has really heated up the past fortnight, both locally and out of town. Customer Taki has been chasing the reds from the rocks around the bay and his last session down towards Mt Martha yielded 2 nice fish up to 4kg. Pillies fished on 4/0 circle hooks did the job.


Customer Shibu has also been catching some nice school snapper from the shore. Shibu and friends have been from the beach along the Mordialloc - Black Rock region where fish to 2.5kg are not uncommon. Running sinker style rigs have been letting the bait move about naturally and have been attracting more bites. Pilchard has been the most effective bait along the area.


While there have been plenty of fish caught along the shoreline of the bay, there have been plenty from along the rocky ocean platforms out of town. Ocean ledges like Punchbowl have been producing snapper for the anglers out there in search of them. A bit further down the road around Wilson's Prom Customer Abdul has caught some nice fish to around 80cm. Abdul came in to store to prepare for a snapper session from the rocks and his organization led to success.


Abdul took a light rod and heavier shore rod for snapper, and caught some salmon using pilchards as bait - which were used for the snapper. The fresh fillets of salmon accounted for all of the snapper and a nice gummy which broke off at the rocks. Carrying minimal gear and catching fresh bait can be the huge advantage to catching quality fish.

 


Squid reports have been good over the past week even with the rain that has washed into the bays. Westernport has seemed to be consistent with the squid fishing and there have been some big squid caught. Customer Justin caught some nice models around the 1kg size up along the shallower banks of the top end.


Customer Chau and his brother fished out from Hastings recently to land some thumping squid on the banks. The guys managed squid to 2kg on a mixture of jigs, with blacks and greens working - along with jigs baited with silver whiting. 


Customers Stan and Stephan fished the Sorrento and Blairgowrie area of Port Phillip recently with some big squid landed. Covering ground from 4m to 10m in depth they found some good patches of squid. Size 3.0 jigs were most effective when fished with small chin weights to get down faster, with red, UV clear and UV black the best performers.


The rocky sections of the bay's shoreline have been producing average sized squid as per normal. Ledges such as Mornington and Mt Martha have had squid in the 20cm size range caught on size 2.5 and 3.0 jigs. Some anglers fishing slow sinking 3.5 jigs have also been luring in larger squid with the extra distance on the cast, so if you haven't used a jig like this it may just land you that big one from your favourite land based location.


The run of large squid has lasted around Mornington of late, with local angler Mario landing a good bag of big squid from the area. Again size 3.0 and 3.5 jigs have been the go, covering the water more effectively and catching the attention of the bigger squid. Customer Jo also caught some nice ones at Mornington and also Beaumaris. The Beaumaris region is very shallow and rocky so size 2.5 or 3.0 shallow jigs are the go.

 


There have been plenty of good bream caught over the past week from anglers fishing the local creeks of the bay and also into gippslands' estuaries. The estuary water is warming and the fish are becoming more and more active, with plenty of food available. Customer Jordan has been catching some really solid fish on plastics during the week, with some thumpers to 44cm nailing small grub plastics that imitate marine worms.


Customer Paul fished the Gippsland lakes over the weekend in his kayak and found the fishing a touch slow but he still managed to catch bream to 32cm on soft plastics. Paul found feeding fish sitting along silty drop offs where they were happy to pick up a 'TPR' plastic grub off the bottom. If you're unsure of how this style of grub entices fish - simply check them out in the test tank in store!


The bream fishing around the gippsland lakes has been a touch patchy, with numbers of fish still schooled up and holding from late spawning movements. There can be a bit of time in between finding fish but when found some decent numbers can be had. Staff members Dylan, George and Chris fished regions of the lakes over the long weekend with customer Daniel and while finding the fish was patchy, around 40 fish were caught on lures. A couple of fish were taken on small hard bodies but the real winners were soft plastics.


Staff member Chris took out the title with more than a dozen bream landed on small TPR grubs in motor oil colour. The most effective method that the fish were really keyed into was a bright motor oil grub fished on 1/12th jighead to help it stay right in the strike zone, which was at the base of steep rock walls.


Back around the local estuaries customer Tony has been catching some quality bream also. Tony has been fishing the Patto and landing bream to 38cm. Tony has found that fishing the river a day or so after heavy rain has been the most effective, and when the fish are biting the most aggressively. Tony has found small freshwater yabbies fished on 'C10U' or 'wacky' style hooks provide the best hook up and snag proof rate. Just remember to use as lighter weight as possible, and the larger fish are picky and will rarely eat baits with huge big sinkers attached.

 


Port Phillip's snapper bite has picked up over the last few weeks, and even moreso this week. The fish have been more active and bites have been occurring around first light and also in the afternoon. The northern section of the bay has been more productive with Patto - north the real better section. Customer Harry and mate Stephen fished around the reef off Black Rock in 7m during the week to land a couple of nice table fish on silver whiting. Silver whiting has picked up dramatically over the last week as a bait also.


Customer Sam got out on Thursday morning and scored a nice fish in 15m off Frankston in flat conditions. The Frankston - Seaford area has been holding smaller patches of fish but certainly not as much boat traffic as further north around Black Rock. Customer Danny has been bagging fish to 3.7kg off Black Rock himself with both pilchard and garfish working well.


Staff members George and Chris fished out from Black Rock on Sunday afternoon. With sloppy southwest conditions and a late tide change the fish were going to bite. The guys found some small reef ledges in 13m that were holding fish nearby so started berleying. After about 15 minutes a few rods went off and the guys had a decent bite for about 2 hours, with 8 fish to around 4kg coming aboard. The smaller fish were around 40cm but still happy to nail a whole silver whiting on tandem 5/0 and 6/0's.


Out from Carrum on the mud there have been fish to be caught. With a lot more moving about to find active fish and a bit of intuition as to which direction to head in, there hasn't been as many boats. The areas that seem to be holding numbers of fish seem to be around the 15m line from Carrum, 13m off Seaford and again 15m out from Mordialloc. Customer Zoran got out with his Dad a couple of times over the weekend and scored some nice fish to 4kg out in 15m from Carrum. Silver whiting and pilchard worked equally on these fish.


There have still been some quality squid on offer in the bay, especially from Frankston south. Around Mornington there have been some better than average squid about, so upsizing to bigger jigs is a very good idea. Around Sorrento and Portsea the large squid have been about, with slack water producing more for anglers the shallower water. Across at Queenscliff the big squid have still be about, as staff member George found out. George fished with mate of the store Bruce and AFL footballer Bachar Houli. The boys fished just outside Queenscliff harbour over the grass beds in 3m of water to land over 20 big squid. Hayabusa and Shimano jigs were the best performers of the session.


After cleaning up on the squid the guys targeted whiting just north of Queenscliff. Fishing the tide around last light in 3 - 6m of water some nice whiting were caught on pipi and fresh squid. With the bite a bit slower than normal changing to lighter leader and smaller hooks converted a few extra fish.

 


Westernport has continued to produce some quality snapper, with the bite somewhat more consistent than Port Phillip, but most anglers are aware that this is the case. With the increased tidal flow of the port, most of the fish are forced to eat on more of a schedule and once you key into their movements they can be a bit easier to consistently catch. The whole port has been producing snapper at present, from the back corner behind Joe's all the way down to Rhyll and the corals.


Captain Perri has been getting plenty of snapper selfies during the week, with more time spent on the port than at work - but who's blaming him. Customer Thao has also been catching some nice school fish from the same area, with the Hastings area really producing well. Fishing around 15m of water with fresh squid and pilchards has been the go.


The Bagge Harbour area has been holding some nice fish, with a few big patches hanging in the lee of Eagle Rock. Fishing the Bagge Harbour and further down towards Joe's customer Peter has been landing fish to 7kg. As usual, fresh squid has been the go, with other fresh baits of couta, pike and salmon claiming a few also.

Customer Tony went out for his first proper snapper trip during the week, and caught a few nice school fish to 3.8kg from the corals area. Tony was only fishing fairly shallow and using squid freshly caught that session. There have been plenty of school fish over the corals but it is also a good area to pick up the odd bigger fish or even a mulloway.


while the snapper have certainly taken the limelight for most anglers, there have been some nice gummies caught by anglers chasing them and also as bycatch. When fishing the snapper marks in the port the gummies are never far away, with main difference being that the gummies occupy the channel drops and bottom edges with more predictability. Customer Kosta was fishing fishing out from Hastings along the channel drop with fresh squid when he scored a nice fish of around 11kg. Fishing the Corinella area customer Mark has also been catching his share or table sized sharks. Mark has also been fishing fresh squid and has been landing multiple gummies to just over the metre mark.

 


For anglers thinking about trout fishing over the long weekend, reports are still good! Whether you're going to stay local or head up into the high country the trout have been active enough to get into a few. Around the local stocked lakes there have been enough fish to catch both on lures and bait. Customer Scott came in to the store with daughter Pheonix to set themselves up for some local trout fishing, and after their first session young Pheonix managed to land her first fish, a nice little rainbow trout.


Customer Manny fished locally in the upper reaches of the Yarra to land nice brown trout to around 400g. Manny was fishing small shallow running hardbodies in a good black and gold contrasting colour. Being that the Yarra is silted and darker coloured water the flash of the gold gets attention while the dark silhouette gives a solid profile for fish to attack.


Up at Eildon the pondage has been fishing well again with some freshly released fish really getting in on the action. With a long weekend coming Eildon is the ideal location to try your luck on these freshly stocked fish, but ensure that you have the correct specialized tackle and bait. If you are unsure swing past the shop and talk to the guys who can get you set up.


While the smaller trout have been getting amongst it, there are still some thumpers to be caught. Customers Jozef and Margaret fished the pondage during the week where they landed some ripper trout on both bait and lure. Powerbait and dough fished well in the coarse berleying method while a couple of fish also took 7g tassies. Brighter coloured tassies and spoons are effective on the pondage and can trigger a reaction bite from the fish, so make sure you have bright as well as natural colours in your box.


Customer Zoran has also been getting amongst the solid trout on the pondage, with his last trip being early this week. Zoran mentioned that there is no shortage of smaller aggressive fish and good numbers could easily be caught if you are using the correct methods. Zoran did manage a few big fish on top of the smaller fish, with his best rainbow going 12lb and taking the specialzed trout dough fished on a feeder cage rig.