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 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.

 


Winter time is known as time to chase mulloway by many local anglers around Victoria. The fact that is these fish are chased by 'crazy' keen diehards during the coldest of winter nights all along the coast of NSW right up to the Gold Coast or so. Customer Hendrik gets up to the South West rocks region of northern NSW regularly enough to have had a good taste of what these fish are like up here. Fishing the area this week while on holiday he landed a ripper fish of 1.23m. The fish weighed 30+ lb and took a small 'mullet' sized soft plastic. The soft plastic style was a split tail minnow, which can be worked very erratically to perfectly imitate a panicked mullet.


On the subject of panicked mullet, customer Edly caught a nice bag of dusky flathead while on holiday recently. Edly was holidaying in Brisbane and caught some nice table sized fish in the Brisbane river and in the port. Edly trolled some small mullet profile hardbodies in the 80mm size range along the mudflat edges to find where the fish were sitting, and once a few were found it was a matter of honing in and fishing slower with plastics. Shad shaped plastics in the same size as the mullet were the most effective and snapped up as soon as they touched down on the bottom. While this action happened interstate not enough make the most of similar bread and butter fishing locally.

 

 


With milder weather than Melbourne during winter the northern NSW coastline from Coffs Harbour to the border can be an excellent place to holiday - and for the keen angler it is also where a lot of northern and southern species cross over. Southern species like snapper are met with northern species like cobia and various trevally and tuna species so it's a real lucky dip of fish variety. Customer Gary has moved up to this part of the coast and has been enjoying the variety of fish about. His latest catch from a small tidal lagoon was this massive giant trevally or 'GT' of around 30kg taken on a live bait. The huge fish took a live whiting and fought for over 90 minutes, and took over 400m of line from the outfit. Gary managed to land it on only 20lb line, which is a huge feat for a GT - let alone one of these size!


Staff member Chris has also been fishing the northern NSW coastline while on holiday recently. Chris has been fishing the Yamba region and while conditions weren't ideal for offshore runs he still managed a few fish. Chris caught multiple frigate tuna out wide over some reefy ground offshore - with live yakkas being the most productive baits when dropped down deep.


Amongst some of the other offshore species Chris landed were fish like snapper and tuskfish. Chris fished multiple wrecks and patches of reef and found these species hanging around the structure. The venus tuskfish were happy to eat full pilchards while small Yakamito slow jigs were productive on snapper up to 3.5kg. The slow, fluttering action of these jigs works well on reef dwelling species like snapper and is also productive in tidal water here in Victoria.

 


The trout fishing has ramped up, right down to the wire with the looming season close. While there are only a few days left for the stream trout fishing around the state, there are still plenty of options to provide your fishing fix. The Eildon pondage has been fishing well for mostly brown trout over the past week with cooler conditions and some less rampant water flow. Customer Graziano fished the pondage recently to land a nice solid brown of around 3lb on lure. Graziano was fishing a spoon style lure fitted with rear assist hooks and it did the job.


While not really representative of our local trout fishing, customer Jason has just returned from an NZ trip chasing the super-sized trout in the hydro canals. Jason managed some lovely fish with both browns and rainbows in the mix to well over the 10lb mark. There are a few methods that successfully fool these large fish, but on this occasion the lure of larger soft plastic swimbaits was deadly. Jason found the Megabass magdraft in 5 and 6 inch sizes very effective on these large aggressive trout. Working the lures back slwoly along the canal edges resulted in the bites, with most natural trout parr or minnow colour patterns working well.


Speaking of NZ, it seems there are more and more anglers venturing over to chase the mega trout every year. Customers John, Niroj and Goran have all been over before and caught these fish but are currently over in the land of the long white cloud again chasing that 'mega' trout.


The guys have been fishing the hydro canals around the Twizel region and so far have caught fish to just under 19lb. While most of the fish this trip have been large rainbows there have been some smaller browns in the mix also, with fish of 6 - 7lb average 'small' fish.


A mixture of techniques have been working on these fish, with soft plastics and hardbodies very effective when working close to the bottom. The bulk of the fish however have been caught using a 'spawn run' egg technique that uses a variety of trout egg or 'globug' pattern flies, fished tight to the bottom. These flies are fished with splitshot and a trailing nymph pattern to entice a strike from the bigger 'lazy' fish. This technique also works well in our local rivers, especially at present as the fish start to ramp up their spawning movements.

 


While the weather here in Melbourne has been nothing short of atrocious of late, don't let it deter you as there as some SERIOUS Murray cod to be caught into the depths of winter - with the real focus coming from the large impoundments like Eildon.


Customer George came in to the store last week before heading up to Lake Eildon with one thing on his mind, big cod. George fished with a mate where they put in cast after cast, and their efforts were rewarded. Lake Eildon cod don't come easy generally and the boys had a ripper session where they boated 3 fish from 50cm through to a monster at 1.03m. The boys battled the cold conditions and relentlessly threw around big lures, and really came up trumps. Another 3 bites were had but not kept on the hook, with a mixture of lures working, at various times throughout the day and at different locations on the lake.  


The Zerek Stalker wakebait was a successful lure, landing 2 of the 3 fish when slowly knocked along the surface. The other fish and bites came on slow rolled soft plastic swimbaits like the daiwa live trout.


Another angler fishing the lake was customer Thomas. Thomas knows the lake well and knows that to catch cod here you simply have to spend the time out there casting, and have various lure setups to change up when the location changes. Thomas had a couple of bites from the lake over the weekend and manged to pin a healthy fish somewhere in the 80cm on a soft plastic swimbait. The successful lure being the Megabass magdraft with a few hook and weight modifications.


A bit further afield but using the same theory and fishing similar water angler Terry has been nailing some lunker cod. Terry has been fishing Lake Burrinjuck out near Canberra. Targeting the same sort of structure in these lakes has been a sure fire way to head in the right direction, targeting the large cod that are cruising out for food. Terry has also been fishing low light and slowly working a big swimbait along these areas has caught some ripper fish of late.

 


The good thing about fishing is that you can catch something no matter where you go that has water! A few customers have been out and about lately and catching while on holiday which is good to see. Young gun Harry was on holiday with the family in Tasmania and just had to have a fish. Fishing from one of the jetties in Hobart Harry caught a chunky bluethroat wrasse. Harry landed the solid fish on squid, which gave him a good workout on light gear.


In the states' East customer Manny has been tangling with things with teeth. Manny has been out around Mallacooota with family and has done some fishing offshore. Among the tiger flathead and snapper caught bottom bashing a hook up was had short lived, bitten off. Manny saw the culprit near the surface and cast a bait rigged on wire out and  soon enough the fish was back on. A feisty mako shark of around 30kg was brought up to the boat and the culprit was caught.


Over the other side of the globe customer Jordan has been on honeymoon in Japan. While not a fishing trip, Jordan still managed to sneak in some fishing with a guide on famous Lake Biwa. Lake Biwa is known as the 'testing ground' for many successful lures that eventually make their way to us and is full of largemouth bass. Jordan fished for the bass on a quiet day with estimated at more than 500 boats fishing one area! Finesse soft plastic techniques will now have here were the go on the day, with wacky and texas rigged plastics proving successful on a slow day. Catching fish is the name of the name in Japan, and their hard work results in some techniques that make our fishing easier!


 


Most of the estuaries out in Gippsland are set to fire up if more rain falls between now and Easter. While up until last week all major estuaries from Lakes Entrance and east were closed to the ocean. With water levels high and no clean salty water pushing in the fish can slow off the bite and be harder work to catch. They are still however there to be caught, and that's what will normally separate good anglers from those set in their ways.

Staff member Dylan and mates fished out in some of the estuaries recently and while conditions weren't ideal with wind and heavy rain the fish were certainly there to be caught. Fishing shallow mud and sand flats and finding the main holding areas for the fish was the first key, then working out the more successful lures was the next step. With an abundance of small school prawns and shrimp the surface bite was excellent. Over a day and a half around 60 bream were caught, with another estimated 25 whiting and around 60 flathead. A very small bag of fish was taken home, with some whiting, flathead and luderick keep for a feed.


Among the desirable fish were plenty of big tailor and silver trevally all equally happy to eat the expensive lures. The most successful lures were the Sammy 55, Gunfish, Sugarpen and overreal wake, which all represent small prawns and baitfish panicked on the surface. Retro-fitting these lures with small and sharp stinger hooks increased hookup rates by at least 50%, especially on the bream and whiting. Customer Daniel also fished in a nearby estuary where he landed some nice yellowfin bream from similar shallow sand flats.


Around the Gippsland lakes the bream fishing has been good if you're looking in the right areas. The main 3 rivers are producing some nice fish at present and should start fishing well for the larger fish the deeper we get into autumn. Customer Bashir and mate fished the lower tambo river to land a nice bag of fish on a mixture of baits. The most successful baits for the day were live shrimp and freshwater yabbies fished on number 8 'C10U' fly hooks.


Customer Ian also fished the region recently and found some nice bream floating about in the Nicholson river. Ian found that the best baits by a mile were live freshwater yabbies. If you're using slightly larger than normal yabbies it doesn't hurt to pull the claws off them to give the fish a good chance at hitting them and hooking up.

 


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!

 


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.