While not everyone's game, there has been some excellent offshore fishing when a break in the weather opens up. There are numbers of snapper starting to move just offshore from the entrance to both bays, some excellent gummies on offer and still decent numbers of tuna along the West coast. James from Unreel Fishing Charters had a purple patch on the tuna along the West coast earlier this week, with 2 massive fish over the 100kg mark. James and his son both managed a 'barrel' each - with the monsters weighing 110kg and 140kg. There are still some serious inshore tuna out there to had when the wind and swell decide to calm down...


A little bit closer to home around the offshore reef the gummies have still been quality. Customers Johnny and Thao have been outside when conditions allow and have seen some serious gummies punching well above 15kg. There haven't been any 'hotspots' as the boys tried a new area recently and had results. Finding and plotting isolated patches of reef has been the key, with locally sourced baits also a key step. Catching wrasse and parrotfish from the reef is an excellent step in catching a solid sea-going gummy. Baits of squid are excellent for catching fresh bait, as are artificial offerings.


Small flutter-style jigs and soft plastics get eaten within metres of the reef by the wrasse species, but keeping them as  close to the bottom is key. Multi-coloured depth marked braid is excellent for doing this. Generally speaking, the most successful reef zones are outside the main entrance shelves, in the 25 - 30m depth or wider around 40 - 45m. At this depth there is plenty of bait and food for cruising gummies.

 


The run of big winter cod has continued with many anglers really spending the time to crack these fish on lure. While they certainly do not come easy, time on the water and the use of quality gear makes the difference when you get that bite. Lake Mulwala has been producing some solid fish over the past few weeks for persistent anglers like customer Clark. Clark has been fishing the lake in his kayak of late and has caught enough smaller fish to keep him happy, but that big fish has eluded him - until now! Clark managed a ripper that cracked the magic metre mark just recently, which will keep him smiling for a while yet. Clark has been fishing a mixture of lures including sinking lipless vibes, mid running crankbaits and swimbaits. While Mulwala has been worth the drive, there have also been some rippers caught from Lake Eildon over the past week or so.


The great thing about Lake Eildon's cod fishery is that it can be fished all year long. While Mulwala and all other areas are off limit as of September 1st, Lake Eildon is still on the table. This really gives keen cod 'nuts' a fix until December when the regular haunts open up again. Speaking of cod nut, customer Thomas has been up on the lake again giving the cod a touch up. Thomas snared a nice fish last week on the Megabass Magdraft, with a much larger fish earning it's freedom. Thomas has been putting in the hours on the lake and is a believer of using the best gear possible and checking over the 1%ers, which lets the results speak for themselves. We have good stock of suitable gear for the impoundment cod fishing in store, and enough lures to fill your tackle boxes - so stock up and get into them!

 


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.

 


The peninsula has been the more consistent region for squid fishing recently with mixed clear and wet weather. The hot areas lately have been Rye, Blairgowrie and Flinders piers. Customer Jameel fished from Blairgowrie yacht squadron with his family and took home some ripper squid. The best performing jigs for Jameel were Yamashita Live and 490 search in UV and glow whites. The same bright whites have been very effective around Rye recently also.


On the other side of the peninsula customer Angelo has been catching squid and grass whiting from Flinders pier. Angelo took his father out to the pier and between them they manage some nice squid on size 3.0 Clicks and Yamashita jigs, with black and UV white, along with bright green being the standouts. Small pieces of prawn and trout worm fished on paternoster rigs around the pier pylons and kelp beds was the best method of catching the grass whiting.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been producing some fat condition winter whiting, with not many anglers making the most of them. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching awesome numbers of fish with customers from Rye to Portsea and across towards Queenscliff. Freshly caught squid cut into small strips has been dynamite, along with fresh mussel. A mixture of pellet berley with small amounts of crushed mussel has really helped keep the fish going also.

Customer Josh also fished the same areas last week for the whiting and did very well. Josh and mates found that the Sorrento area was best in around 8m of water, with some very nice fish caught. Josh found pipi and fresh squid to be the most effective baits, with squid strips 'wiggling' in the current on fine straight shank hooks dynamite.

 


During bouts of calm weather the offshore gummy fishing has been excellent. The bays have been producing good numbers of gummies for anglers but the offshore fish have been of better quality. Customer Dave and mate Gawaine fished out from Phillip Island recently in slick conditions to land some nice gummy and school sharks. The average fish ofshore at the moment has been around 15kg, with much larger fish to 25kg or so frequently encountered. Dave and Gawaine plotted a small section of reef and after working out the layout they anchored up and started collecting bait. Fresh chunks and fillets of parrotfish and wrasse along with pike did the job on both the gummies and school sharks, so make sure you are adept at catching fish like these fish fresh bait if you venture offshore.


If landbased fishing is easier for you, then gummy fishing can be good. There have been plenty of land based options for these sharks around Westernport in particular. Customer Brendan has been landing gummies table sized gummies to around 7kg from the shore along the eastern side of the port at locations such as Corinella, Tenby Point, Lang Lang and Grantville. The region from Lang Lang through to Reef Island is good for targeting gummies as there are plenty of mudflats for the fish to patrol during the night, and they can be routinely caught if you pay attention to your tides. Brendan has been landing gummies on a variety of baits, with pilchard, pike, trevally and mantis shrimp all working well after dark.

 


Some clean weather has let anglers out for a break to catch some squid. The squid fishing hasn't been red hot but has been fairly consistent in both bays but the standout has been Port Phillip bay. Southern Port Phillip has been the go-to around Rye and Sorrento, but there have been good reports coming from Frankston and further south around Mornington. Customer Thao fished the Rye region recently with a mate and they found some nice squid for their efforts. Fishing the banks in 4m of water was the go, with multiple squid taken from single drifts. The killer jigs were the Hayabusa 'Aussie' specials in red whiting and black oil in size 3.0.


Customer Justin has also been making the most of the good quality squid about in southern Port Phillip. Justin has landed some nice squid to over 2kg from the Portsea - Rosebud region, with the bigger ones holding deeper in the fast tidal water. Justin has been fishing baited jigs in the shallows and 'tip run' deep jigs in the depths. Size 3.5 jigs in dark greens and purples have been good towards Portsea and UV white a standout back in the shallows off Rosebud.


Across Bass Strait customer Zach has been going hard on the squid. Zach has been fishing King Island from the rocks and piers and has been landing squid to around a kilo. Zach has been liking the white red head Shimano Sephia along with the Yakamito 'lemon' colour in size 3.0 and 3.5. The best time for Zach has been an hour or so around sunrise, with the light level change a real hot bite time.

 


Many anglers assume murray cod fishing is reserved for the warmer months of the year, which may be the case for some rivers when chasing numbers of smaller fish - but the depths of winter as the time to be targeting the larger fish in the dams and impoundments. Lake Eildon just 2 hours from the front door of the store has been producing some lovely murray cod for persistent anglers casting lures. Customer Thomas managed to land an awesome fish from the lake just recently, being a chunky 1.04m. Thomas has spent many hours on the lake in search of fish like this.


Thomas has been casting large swimbaits in both hard and soft plastic, and the big bait big fish theory is definitely paying off. Large swimbaits in the 7 - 10 inch mark haven't been too big for these big predators to fully swallow. The trick has been to fish them very slow and deep along the banks and ledges where the big fish are cruising.


Staff member also fished Eildon just recently to land a nice healthy fish from the Jews creek arm of the lake. Dylan persisted away with weighted swimbaits and while only 1 bite was had, it turned out to be a solid fish. Finding suitable depth edges with bait schools nearby on the sounder has been a good starting approach. 


Fishing swimbaits can be a good way of tricking some of the large cunning cod in the lake. With the natural profile of many of the swimbaits, both soft and hard - and their enticing action these fish can be tempted to engulf the lure during the first retrieve. Dylan, along with other anglers has found that although these large fish can be aggressive many swimbait 'bites' can be quite subtle - so the use of high quality gear that transmits as much feel as possible is a must. The best part of this style of fishing is that Eildon can be fished this way for murray cod all year, and the next few months should be as good as the last.

 


Although the weather over the last week hasn't been very inviting for much fishing, let alone squid fishing, there have still been a fair few caught. The top end of Port Phillip was exceptionally clear before the rain and is now murkier than usual but a spell of good weather will have it cleared up and fishing better. From about Mornington south the bay has been better for squid, with some smaller ones still found around the pier and harbour. Staff member Don has caught some around the pier during breaks in the weather, with red foil jigs working well among cloudy and gloomy conditions.


As usual the southern end of Port Phillip bay has held the most consistent squid fishing. The area between Rye and Sorrento has been the best producing area, with a mixture of sizes from 15cm through to 40cm hoods. Customer Mark has been having some ripper sessions out from Rye recently, with most trips resulting in full bags of squid in an hour or so. Mark has been finding UV white and UV blue jigs the best performers recently.


Over in Westernport the squid action has been good, once you find some cleaner water and squid happy to hunt. Customer Jamie fished with a couple of mates during the week along the Eastern side of the port and found some solid squid. Jamie had been fishing the area between San Remo and Reef Island to land this bag of squid. Red foil jigs worked the best with the small amount of moonlight helping to reflect them to the squid.


Not far away customer Steve has still been catching some nice squid, even with the inclement weather. Steve found a pocket out of the average weather during the week and plucked a few decent squid, with his favourite gold/brown base jigs doing the damage. Customer Brendan also nailed a couple of monster squid while gummy fishing earlier in the week. Brendan was fishing around some scattered reef ledges and while waiting for a gummy to cruise by he caught a handful of good squid using the 'tip run' method. Tip run is especially suited to places like Westernport, as tip run jigs are designed to sink fast at the correct angle in deep water or current. If you haven't tried these style of jig then it's definitely something you're missing out on!

 


While the average weather hasn't been super motivating for many forms of fishing, it's probably the best time of year to focus on simple bread and butter species around the bay. The many species on offer for angler at the moment are bream, garfish, salmon, pinkies and flathead. The best part of fishing for these species is that most of it can be done from the shore, kayak or in close in the boat. The current amount of freshwater washed into the bay has dirtied the water up and although this makes the water look very uninviting, the fish can normally bite better.


The bayside rivers and creeks have had a real good flush out and this has fired the bream up a lot over the last few weeks. The Patterson and Maribyrnong rivers have been producing some nice bream as more food is flushed around for them, and they have decreased sensitivity due to murky water. Customer Robin fished the Patto just recently and found a few nice bream near the mouth. Robin landed fish to 38cm on scrubworms fished on small whiting 'flasher' style rigs in 90 minutes of fishing.


The same area around the mouth of the Patto has also been producing salmon as they move up and back along the Eastern side of the bay. While they sometimes don't hang about for long, if the conditions are good the fish shouldn't be far away. Onshore winds and dirty water lines are good signs, especially if there are any baitfish schools about. Mordialloc through to Frankston is the region to look around through, with bluebait and whitebait the best baits. For the lure anglers, slim profile stickbaits and metal 'angry baits' have been effective in long casts into the wind, while small minnow soft plastics have also been catching fish once a bit of scent is added. Youngster James has been enjoying the salmon on soft plastics and lures with dad Chris when they can find a break in the weather.

Once the weather backs off a bit the garfish will come back on the chew. The same areas mentioned for the salmon have also been producing some good size gars when the wind hasn't been too strong. Onshore winds of 10 knots or less are generally what to look for when chasing the gars, and make sure you have heavily weighted and buoyant floats like the strada sliding floats. These floats are able to carry lots of lead for casting weight but will stay upright and alert you of any small gar bites very well.


The top end of the bay has also been producing some nice flathead in the shallows. The region from Port Melbourne through to around Sandringham has been the most productive stretch, will Atona bay another good spot to try. Staff member Dylan caught a bucket load during the calm weather trolling hardbodied lures from 90 - 130mm in size, with the best depths being around 2.5 - 3.5m of water. The rougher weather has seen many caught in even closer with the breakwalls and piers producing fish to around 42cm most days. If you're going to target a feed of flatties, make sure you lure or bait has got plenty of natural attraction and scent. Baits of small squid or squid heads have lots of movement in the rough water and might even score you some pinkies also. Small 'flutter jigs' are excellent for casting good distance as are soft hybrid vibes. The best lure choices are ones that the fish can find the easiest in the murky water, and gel or aerosol scents will increase their effectiveness 5:1.

 


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.