The fishing for cod has been good over the year's start. Many cod rivers are running clear and low at present, which can make for some good fishing. Staff member Dylan and mates did a day trip on the cod just before the turn of the year, fishing some of the smaller rivers landbased. Fishing around the Wangaratta region the average size of the fish was just that - with clear water proving challenging to really pinpoint holding territory and fish it thoroughly and accurately.


All up everyone managed a few fish each, with both trout cod and murray cod in the mix. The most effective lures for the trip were smaller surface lures and wakebaits arond 100mm and compact boom spinnerbaits both in 3/8 and 1/2oz. Spinnerbait colours with contrasting skirts were best, with black/chart, white/purple and brown/orange all working well. Pinpoint casting was the key however, with not much deeper water the fish were really holed strategically around deeper scours and runs with shade or overhanging willow and timber.


A bit closer to Melbourne there have been a few nice cod caught in the Yarra. A couple of fish have been in the 80cm mark on large yabbies. Customer Manny fished the river casting lures recently and nailed a couple of smaller fish. The most effective lure to work the thick timber and steep edges has been 'flashy swimmers' in 6/0 and 8/0. The subtle flash emitted by the blades is enough to call the cod out from the structure and entice them to follow. The river has been running quite clean at present and usually fishes better with good clarity.


Right around the suburbs some of the stocked lakes have seen a few cod captures. Karkarook Park down in Moorabbin is one such lake, with a dozen or so fish seen to be caught over the past few weeks. Customer Cip has been fishing the lake a bit, and has caught 4 or 5 fish in recent trips. Cip has caught fish on a few different offerings with small surface crawlers, large spoons and soft plastics all proving effective.

 

 


Some anglers are wasting no time with the 2019/2020 Murray cod season! While some are only just getting started anglers like Steve and Ryan have upped the bar already. Steve and Ryan fished the Delatite arm up on Lake Eildon over the weekend and landed a couple of cod up to 97cm. The successful bait were large yabbies fished unweighted on 6/0 hooks and 50lb leader. a couple of snagged fish and missed hookups were had also but to land a couple of crackers is the icing on the cake.


Up on lake Mulwala the crowds were quite busy with the Cod Classic attracting around 3000 keen anglers, but customer Vito managed to get away from the crowds and get a few fish. Vito fished both the river and the lake and landed fish to 70cm on a mixture of lures, with heavy spinnerbaits getting most of the fish around the timber.


Customers Andy and Zoe were also on the lake during the classic and managed a short session away from the traffic. During their quick fish only one fish was landed, with Zoe taking the cake on a nice 70cm caught casting a deep diving crankbait around the timber, on her second cast.

 


Eildon has been fishing well over the long weekend for anglers in search of a few different species. The main lake has been fishing well for yellowbelly from around the Frasers region north. Most anglers have been catching the yellas on live yabbies and lures. Small vibe style lures and plastics have been worth packing. The cod fishing in the lake has also still been excellent in all parts of the lake. A few larger cod have been caught up in the northern end of the lake around the entrance to the Deletite arm. Customer John fished the lake further south around the Jews creek arm and inlets and landed a nice cod on lure. John's cod measured 66cm and fought hard.


The pondage and tailrace of the Goulburn river has also been fishing well for trout. The pondage has been fishing well for large trout to 4kg on specialist trout dough and 'captain america' powerbait. The Goulburn river around Taggerty has been excellent for trout with lower levels. Customers Dennis and Fredi have both fished the river in this region and have caught some solid trout. Both of these guys have been catching their fish on hardbodied lures, with mid-range divers being the most effective. Flashy gold, red and smelt patterns have been the colours that have worked best when worked very erratically with quick pauses.

 

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.

 


Estuary species have been fishing well over the past few weeks, with late winter rain really helping the fishing along. The main species being bream and mulloway throughout the Gippsland lakes and around the metro estuaries. The Gippsland rivers have been producing the bream throughout mainly the lower reaches as the salinity levels are more comfortable for the fish. Customer Peter was recently fishing from the shore of the lower Tambo with his wife where they landed some nice fish. Multiple bream up to 42cm were caught on sandworm and prawn.


Around the Melbourne metro rivers the bream have been found down a bit lower in the systems and semi schooled up in more open water. The lower Werribee river has seen a lot of the fish down in the lower river just up from the boat ramp, with crab and freshwater yabbies being the baits of choice. In the Patterson river the bream have been found towards the lower river and out into the mouth of the bay, and open waters of the river. Staff member Dylan has been fishing the river recently and finding good numbers of fish to around 41cm. The fish have been moving about and timid, but have been taking small crab and yabby pattern soft plastics on the open water mudflats and silt beds. There has also been the odd mulloways cruising the main river as well for anglers using heavier gear.


On the mulloway front, there have been fishing cruising the metro rivers and also in decent numbers in the western coastal estuaries. Staff member Dylan fished some of the western rivers with mates recently in search of the mulloway and after a lot of searching the fish were found. Among all the boats fishing nearby the fish were quite spooky and moving about a lot - but found with the use of side scan on the sounder.


All up 10 mulloway were landed, with the largest measuring around 90cm. The mulloway were hard to tempt and were only willing to eat a small selection of lures, with small heavily weighted vibes being the pick of the bunch - with a few picked up on soft plastic also. Subtle action in the lures was what the fish were after most, with light tail twitches on the plastics and soft lifts on the vibes getting the fishes' attention.

 


This season's trout opener was a a ripper - especially if you were in the Eildon region. As many know, both Eildon pondage and the Goulburn river were stocked with a massive 7 tons of trout prior to the season's open. While it wasn't quite like shooting fish in a barrel many anglers managed to hook themselves a solid trout or two. Staff member Don and Dylan went up to the river to check out conditions and have a couple of casts in some quieter water they were rewarded with a nice rainbow of about 6lb. Heavier spoons were used to get down deep under the fast water where the fish were holding.


Customer Manny got out and hit the river opening weekend and while it was busy, he found some quieter water of his own and managed a smaller wild Goulburn brown on a paddle tailed soft plastic, along with a couple of solid rainbows up around 7lb. The larger rainbows preferred brighter coloured plastics, especially with the river quite coloured and dirty. Manny fished the 'pellet' style jigheads on his plastics and found they did the job.

Keen trout angler Anel also hit the river over the weekend and found that early morning Saturday was the best time. Anel focused more with hardbodied lures in the deeper runs around Thornton, and found that lures that got down a bit deeper were the go, like Double Clutch 90 and Shading-X. In the really deep pools sinking hardbodies were super effective, as they shimmied down to the fish. Colour patterns with a bit of flash to them or contrasting colours were the best at getting the fish to notice them in the dirty water.


Customer Cip also fished the Thornton section of the river, and managed to land rainbows to 8lb on a range of Megabass hardbodies. Among the successful lures were X80 Jr, Shading-X and X-70 lures - in a variety of colours. Cip simply picked the lure style to suit the river depth or current, as one lure is very limiting in a big river like the Goulburn.


Kosta from Hooked Up magazine also got out and scratched the trout itch on the Goulburn. Kosta had a look around the Thornton region and walked away from the crowds, and landed fish to around 7lb for his efforts. Kosta found small paddle tailed plastics were the most effective for him on the big fish.

If you're thinking of heading up to the region in search of a trout or two, check out this map for access points that best suit you, and come past the store to get the up to date info on river levels and what's working best.

 


The late Winter rain has done wonders for the estuary fishing both locally and down into Gippsland. The local Port Phillip rivers have been fishing well for bream, particularly with bait. Customer George was fishing the Werribee river just last week where he found a few reasonable size bream, but was also pleasantly surprized when a nice 90cm mulloway decided to eat one of his bass yabbies. George managed to wrangle the fish in using very light main line and leader which was a good effort.


Members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the Melbourne metro rivers in search of bream over the weekend with mixed results. With only a few members able to fish over the weekend there weren't a huge number of fish weighed in, but the fish that were came from the Patterson River. The Patto has been running dirty in the main river with fresh coming down from the top, but the bream have been feeding actively. Customers Paul and Dave managed a few fish around 350g from the river using mainly prawn for bait. Fishing eddies and small drop offs in the river will see you come across a few fish as they cruise out of the main current and feed at their leisure. 


Down in the Gippsland lakes there have been some solid bream on the chew as the freshwater pushes down the rivers and gets them schooling and into pre-spawn mode. The fish in the 3 main rivers have been biting well, once they have been found. Looking for downstream areas of higher salinity has been where a few fish have been hanging out lately.  Customers Brendan and Phil have been doing well on nice fish into the 40cm mark fishing the Mitchell river in Bairnsdale. The best baits for targeting these bigger fish have been cut crab and freshwater yabbies. Fishing these hardier baits generally flushes out the smaller 'pickers' and leaves a solid bait intact for a bigger fish to eat. Just make sure to match your hook style and size to the bait correctly.

 

 


As of this Sunday 1st of September, Murray cod are off the table for anglers around the state - but there are still a couple of days to go! If you're fishing the early states of the weekend you still have a chance to land a ripper like customer Ivan did. Ivan was fishing over near Gunbower in the state's North-West when he landed this cracker on yabbies. The big fish went well into the metre mark and is true trophy status!

Never fear if you miss your chance this weekend as Lake Eildon is a year-round Murray cod fishery, and open for cod angling 24/7. The best part is that Eildon has been fishing very well for cod this winter, and should continue well into Spring. The key with Eildon cod is persistence and presenting large offering for these fish. Most of the large fish caught from the lake this Winter have been on big lures. If you are keen for an Eildon session come past the store and get your big lure fix and terminal tackle to suit.

 


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.

 


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.