Although the water is down to a low 10C or so locally and the air temperature isn't much higher, there's been plenty on offer around the local Melbourne S'Eastern suburbs. The freshwater catchments and urban lakes are worth fishing during this time of year, as most of the fish you will catch will be holding good condition. Customer Manny has been killing time out in the local wetlands and urban lakes having a blast on the redfin. Manny has been having good sessions on the fish with most falling to small soft plastics. The good thing about redfin is that they are in virtually all of the locally accessible suburban lakes and will respond well to many lure styles.


The most effective soft plastics for Manny of late have been small 'creature' bait style plastics - with the Bait Breath Myosa being the best. Tiny appendages flutter and quiver at the smallest movement with these and attract attention without having to do much. They are also deadly on trout when fished around clay banks in the lakes.


Speaking of trout, some of the large fish released into Ferntree Gully's Quarry lake have been getting caught. While some of the larger fish have taken baits like trout dough and powerbait - these fish are also adept hunters. Trout at this size are happy to hunt smaller trout and redfin, along with yabbies, tadpoles and bugs. Customer Matt fished the lake just recently and caught of these quality trout. Matt caught the fish on a small Berkley black grub - which would've been an excellent imitation of a tadpole.

 


With school holidays finished up and some average weather hanging around the local suburban lakes will be quiet with anglers, but they had been producing plenty of trout! The main couple of lakes fishing best have been Rowville Lakes and Karkarook Park, and can be fished in almost all weather.

The main couple of tricks for success in this style of fishing has been to use longer rods - anything upwards of 7'6'' or 8ft, and to rig up with the correct weight berley cage and berley. In windier conditions your berley cage may drag along the lake bed, dragged the fish away from your berley spot and snagging up. If you pay attention to the smaller details for this style of fishing you will be more successful. Down at Karkarook youngster James has been hooking some nice rainbow trout fishing powerbait. James was stoked to land this trout and is well and truly hooked on fishing now.


Customer Zoran has been down to one of his local lakes in Rowville and has found that they have been fishing well for rainbow trout using coarse methods. Zoran has found that the 2 most productive baits have been maggots and specialist trout dough, with a fine mix berley an absolute must. Without the berley a single bite can be a good session but after the berley kicks in the fish are 'trained' to keep returning to where you've been catching them. The main lake at Rowville has been the better producer, and has also seen some redfin caught around the edge on small soft plastics - especially after some heavier rain.

 

There's been some fishing news for the freshwater anglers recently, with some big fish stockings done by the Victorian Fisheries Authority. On the fishing front the western lakes have been producing quality trout for those keen enough to brave the cold, with Lake Wendouree the standout. Fishing surface lures or hardbodies just under the film is a good way to illicit a savage strike from an angry trout as they chase smelt around. Customer Grant fished Lake Tullaroop last week in search of some of the lakes large redfin and he wasn't disappointed. Grant landed some very nice fish on small 'bream' style jerkbaits and plastics fished around isolated pockets of weed. These western lakes have been producing some nice redfin for the lure anglers and now is the time to be chasing them.


Just recently Victorian Fisheries opened a new fishery close to Melbourne. Ferntree Gully quarry was never a secret, but only even had unofficial species in it. Just recently it had a dozen murray cod and golden perch stocked into it, along with over 300 trout! There have been some decent sized put in as well, with staff members Chris and George going up to the lake for a look. While they were there they saw some large trout in the 5 - 6lb size cruising, along with 2 of the cod. Just prior to school holidays it was topped up with yearling rainbows for the kids to catch. Powerbait and dough methods have been working on these fish, with quite a few hitting small spoons, hardbodies and soft plastics also. The natives should respond to bladed jigs and lipless crankbaits fished deep, and the lake will also lend itself perfectly for swimbaiting for the cod. 


Back in the states' west, Victorian Fisheries have been busy in the crater lakes, with a recent trout stocking. Lake Purrumbete received 1600 'cheetah' trout for the first time ever just this week. The cheetah trout is a sterile hybrid between both rainbow trout and brook trout and just another addition to the already booming trout fishery in the west of the state. While these recently stocked were only in the advanced yearling size they should respond to coarse and dough style fishing similar to that of other stocked lakes like Eildon pondage.

 


Customer Paul had a leisurely fish up at Mulwala in his kayak for some exploring and in search of a cod or two. Conditions were good and made for enjoyable kayak fishing. Paul did some good recon work for future trips and managed a nice little cod on a spinnerbait. Paul ran the spinnerbait along side a fallen laydown up on a shallow flat and the fish came out and clobbered it. Paul found the channels and flats around the Kiffins area the best.


Young gun Aliff has been fishing both locally and also up around the Eildon region and has been catching some nice redfin of late. Aliff has been using his new lightweight LT RG spin set up with both soft plastics and slow sinking hard bodies to land the fish, with about equal results coming from each. Natural minnow colours in the hardbodies have been the most effective, while small 'creature' soft plastics have been excellent as well.


Customer Angelo and mate Tony normally fish the salt but decided to venture into the fresh recently and explore. The guys hit up the Eildon region and scoped a few areas, and ended up fishing the Goulburn near Thornton. While it was a learning curve for the boys, Tony walked away the victor, landing a nice little rainbow trout from the river on a 7g tassie devil. The river was reasonably high when Angelo and Tony visited which makes it hard, but is at ideal fishing level at present.


A bit further field in the high country customer Anel has been chasing spawn run brown trout up in the Kosciusko high plains. Anel has been fishing with mate Sam and between them they have been catching around 30 fish a day. While no real big fish have been moving up, most of the fish have been a respectable 2 - 3lb.


The most productive lures for the boys have been mostly high end Japanese trout lures including Bassday, Duo and Daiwa. The Daiwa double clutches have been a firm favourite when unsure of a starting lure, with the new trout patterns proving deadly. The next big onslaught of rain in the high country should see more fish moving up the rivers.

 


The fishing for both trout and redfin has been popular over the past week or so, with anglers taking to the local lakes and streams in search of both. Customer Luke has been fishing the small creeks in the Noojee region and finding plenty of small aggressive brown trout. Luke tried out some new Yamakito 'Raven' hardbodies in a few colours and found the fish lining up to eat them - whether it was on a slow wind or aggressive twitches around the undercut banks.


To the north of the city, customer Eray has been catching plenty of good sized redfin out of lake Eppalock. Eray has been fishing landbased and casting small bass style jigs around the timber and rocky shorelines. He has been fishing a lighter baitcast outfit to accurately place and control the small jigs as they fall around the structure, with a lot of the hits coming on 'the drop'. Finesse style bass jigs are becoming more popular on local fish species, with a lot of versatility in rigging to suit different species. If you're not sure what they are or are interested in trying them on your local fish pop by and check them out.


The local stocked lakes have been producing rainbow trout for anglers fishing with coarse methods and pellet berley. Karkarook has been the main standout lately, with a slight dip in temperature firing up the trout along the edges. Customer Liam fished the lake recently for the first time to try his luck on the trout, and after some guidance in-store with correct tackle and rigging he caught his first few rainbow trout. Liam caught the fish on both specialist trout dough and pink powerbait, while berleying around his bait and rig with crushed trout pellets. This method really is the most effective in our stocked lakes, and worth giving a go if you haven't already!

 


There is plenty going on in the freshwater if you want to try your luck. Pretty much every specie is on offer at present, from local suburban lakes right up to the Murray river way up near Swan Hill. Local lakes such as Devilbend and Karkarook have been producing fish and customer Morgan has been getting amongst them. Morgan has been catching some sizeable redfin from a few different lakes around the area, with fish well over 40cm smashing small surface lures and plastics. Morgan has found lures that imitate the local mosquito fish have been the most effective on the redfin.


The native fish up along the Murray have been fishing well, with golden perch and Murray cod both active at the moment. Customer Phil fished the Murray up towards Mildura and caught some chunky golden perch from the boat. Fishing baits back in around undercut banks and fallen timber was the most effective method, with shrimp and frozen bass yabbies the two most effective baits at present. Customer Andy also fished the Murray around Yarrawonga for the cod and he has been catching a few smaller fish to around 65cm. Andy has been casting a few different styles of lure, with high-buoyancy hardbodies doing well for him over the timber and weed at present.


There has been plenty on offer closer to home around Eildon. Fisheries Victoria have been very busy stocking 150 solid trout to over 2kg in the pondage during the week - with a mixture of both browns and rainbows. These fish will be worth targeting now that they have been in the lake for a few days - so make sure you check all your coarse tackle and specialist baits and berley out before the kids go back to school. 

In the main lake at Eildon, Fisheries have also topped up Murray cod numbers, with another 25,000 cod stocked in during the week. At around 3 months old, these cod fingerlings will find shelter among the broken rock and timber and turn into mean, lure-crunching machines soon enough!


Speaking of Eildon cod, there have been some nice fish caught - but the high amount of water traffic over the busy period has kept things a bit quieter. If you're a die-hard cod angler you're probably not fishing 'gentlemens hours' anyway so you will be aware of the boat traffic. Despite this, there have been fish caught. Customer Travis went and fished the lake recently after purchasing a handful of different cod lures.

Trav persisted away with a large redfin pattern swimbait which got nailed by a chunky little cod of around 50cm, right within sight of one of the main boat ramps! Just goes to show that there are fish all through the lake, and the only way to catch them is to keep on casting! Trav also had some fun on the carp during down time, with some sight caught using surface lures. Catching the carp in the lake can be good fun and a good way to break the monotony on the light gear.

 


The freshwater reports have been overshadowed a bit by snapper but there has been a bit on offer in the sweet water. Murray cod season has just opened up and is looking good for the Summer ahead, there have been yellowbelly and redfin caught locally and the trout fishing has been excellent still.

Eildon pondage has again been the standout if you're chasing a couple of nice trout and not fussed on either lure or bait fishing. Customer Zoran has been fishing the pondage and has been catching fish to around 2kg on a mixture of dough and powerbait. Long rods fished with mono have been the go in setting the hook on subtle bites and pickups where shorter rods simply can't.


Eildon pondage received a top up of ex brood fish averaging 4kg last Thursday, with plans for another top up before Christmas, so it is well worth a trip up. Customer Jozef helped release some of the fish into the pondage which has baited him to get back up and try to catch them. Jozef did witness some large fish caught on small hardbodies as they cruised through the shallows as they hunted for small minnows and insects. Having a spin rod rigged with a small hardbody or plastic is a good idea while you're bait fishing.


A bit further north many anglers tried their luck fishing for cod over the opening weekend. Mulwala had a large field of anglers for the Cod Classic, with some lovely fish to over a metre caught. Customers Shane and Sue Brown fished the busy lake over the weekend with tough fishing but did manage a couple of small cod casting spinnerbaits at the timber.


Customer Steve also tried his luck for the first time on the cod, fishing the Murray up around Cobram. Steve and mate Ev camped in the area and tried a few techniques on the cod, with Ev landing a 57cm fish on a large yabby. Steve tried out some lures he purchased in store and nailed a nice 60cm fish on a spinnerbait. Steve has since purchased a baitcasting outfit to get into them even more.


Reports from Sugarloaf reservoir around Mebourne's outskirts is that it has been fishing well for yellowbelly. The dam is normally reasonably quiet for anglers but can be a good spot for a walk around the shoreline casting lures. Of late the yellowbelly have been active, with warm water bringing the fish on to the edges to look for food. Customer Ryan has been catching fish to around 40cm on a mixture of vibes and soft plastics. The vibes have been a fast way to 'search' the banks for a school of fish, while the weedless rigged soft plastics can be fished back slowly and thoroughly to make the most of the patch of fish.

 


Blue Rock Lake has started to warm up for fishing, especially if you're chasing the bass. The water level of the dam is around 2m lower than normal and reveals lots of partially submerged structure - so be mindful when navigating the lake. The bass and redfin have been biting fairly well along the shorelines and through the standing timber, with both bait and lures working well.

Customer George landed a few fish to around 30cm last week in the boat. George was fishing close to the vertical timber and using freshwater yabbies for bait.


Staff member Dylan has been fishing the lake over the last few weeks and while no monsters have been encountered there have been a few fish about. With  water clarity down on normal visibility darker coloured lures and strong silhouettes have been more effective than natural patterns. Small swimbaits and wakebaits have been catching the lion's share, with odd fish taking a crankbait fished deep through the timber. Some of the Megabass range has been the standout, with the Shading-X and Vibe-X Vattalion both working well.

 


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.


 


Eildon pondage has been a good area to escape the winter weather providing you're dressed to suit the conditions! Some large trout have been caught in the pondage, with most on dough style baits. Customer Jozef and his wife Margaret fish the pondage regularly and caught some very nice rainbow trout last week. Jozef caught a lovely rainbow using trout dough Margaret caught a larger one on powerbait! Both of the fish were exceptional but Margaret takes the cake this time around!


Lakes such as Rowville and Karkarook have been fishing reasonably well considering the weather. Keen angler Tommy has been catching redfin around the reed stand edges on small shallow running hardbodies such as the Hawk 'sniper'. Small minnow imitating lures do well over the cooler months as the baitfish school up and provide an easy meal for the redfin and trout. Karkarook and Rowville have both been fishing well with trout dough and powerbait techniques as this will generally see you catch more trout than redfin.