This Weeks Fishing Report

Brought to you by the team at Compleat Angler Dandenong

Rain firing up the trout

The bit of rain that some of the state has received over the past fortnight has really given a breath of life for the freshwater streams and lakes, and fired the trout up some more. With a rise in water levels and an increase in water turbidity the trout have been actively feeding up and responding well to anglers fishing lures.

Customer Matt has been fishing the pondage at Eildon over the past few weeks and has been landing some quality trout on lures. With overcast conditions and passing rain the trout have been patrolling the riverbed edge and flats looking for some easy prey. Matt’s spoon style lures throw a lot of light and have an erratic action when slowly retrieved so they have been an excellent searching style of lure to find which areas the fish have been patrolling.

Customer Vince has also been doing some trout fishing in the streams between Eildon and Noojee and he is also finding some decent size trout. Some of the larger tributaries have been producing brown trout to over 50cm. Most of the fish in these type of waterway are generally in the 20 – 25cm size range, so fish this size are exceptional. Vince has been fishing one of his favoured light spin rods with small hardbodies for all the action. The more tannin in the water the brighter the lure colour for extra contrast, with orange and black being favourites for him.

Any rain event during Summer and Autumn can provide an extra boost in trout activity in the local rivers. If you’re going to bait fish these rivers baits like cut worm are excellent after rain also.


WPB Gummies and Snapper

Now is a great time of year to be fishing locally, especially in Western Port. The large gummies on offer around the Western entrance and inside the port are excellent with some seriously-sized females moving in to pup. Fishing fresh baits along the bottom curve of a channel or gutter will generally lead to tangling with one of these fish, it just comes down to timing the stage of the tide.

There have been some nice school snapper caught in the port by anglers fishing the cunjie ground and rubble through areas like the north arm out from Hastings, and across towards the corals in similar bottom terrain. Fresh squid, pilchard and yakka have been the best-chance baits.

Customer Trent landed a ripper gummy fishing along the edge of the main western channel near Vetnor. Fishing chunks of freshly caught yakka and trevally provided Trent with the opportunity to release this 25kg fish.

Customer Dan also landed a ripper gummy fishing with mate Seb. The guys were fishing around the Western entrance where they found some nice patches of reef and fresh bait in the form of wrasse and parrotfish. Fishing nearby to the reef resulted in a lovely shark of around 20kgs. Large chunk baits tend to ward most small pickers away in this environment, and leave plenty for the larger gummies to hone in on.

Customer Nigel has been fishing the North arm in Western port where he has consistently been landing snapper up to 70cm. Nigel has been fishing small patches of cunjie in 10 – 13m of water. Most of the school fish have been sized from 55 – 65cm and have been taken on pilchard


Tuna time

Even though conditions haven’t been ideal for many during the week, there have been some keen anglers making the most of the decreased boat traffic offshore and tangling with some good size bluefin tuna. With some better weather forecast for the weekend and early into the week there should be more tuna reports coming from outside both bays. The water offshore from Port Phillip heads has been teaming with life, including bluefin tuna to 30kgs. While these fish can be aggressive and hit with speed and anger, they will also shy away from lots of different lure offerings if they aren’t interested. Most anglers having regular success on them have been incorporating some form of teaser, be it a flasher style rig or soft surface squid ‘flippy floppy’.

Customer Johnny fished with mate Will during the week where they shot outside from Sorrento. The boys found success in slow trolling 150mm poppers around the edge of the schools giving them the occasional bloop to entice an enquiry.

Customer Zak also boated a couple of lovely tuna during the week, and offshore from Port Phillip also. Zak found that small skirts in the 4 – 5” range were the most effective when run in conjunction with a flippy floppy teaser. Small bullet style heads running off the teaser also provide straight predictable tracking to help the fish line the lure up.

Customer Billy fished with mates out from the heads and landed some nice fish in the 20kg mark on skirts up to 6 inches in length. Running polished bullet heads behind flasher rigs was the most effective method, and in water around 50m deep.


Gippsland going well for bream and flatties

While many anglers are back from a long weekend getaway, those who regularly get out and target both bream and flathead in the eastern gippsland estuaries will be pleased to know that they are fishing exceptionally well at present. With intermittent rain falling into all of the catchments the systems are receiving much appreciated top ups of fresh water which bring food with it. The estuaries of Lake Tyers, Bemm River and Tamboon Inlet have been producing fish for mobile anglers, and especially those who are trialing a mixture of lure types.

Customers Nick and Tony have been fishing both Bemm River and Tamboon and have had some good sessions over the past few weeks on bream and flathead. The bream have been active around a lot of the shallow weedbeds in both systems and have responded best to shallow running jerkbaits and slim prawn profiled soft plastics, especially when slowly ‘popped’ above the weed. For targeting the larger flathead a larger lure approach has been much more effective. Soft plastics and swimbaits in the 5 – 7 inch size range have been the best bet in triggering a solid strike from a larger fish while fishing around the same weed beds and drop offs.

Customer Jordan has also been fishing the same waterways mainly chasing the bream on lures. Jordan has been finding good numbers of fish holding in flooded backwaters and ti-tree swamps and they have been best targeted with surface lures. Jordan has been finding that the average fish have been around the high 30cm mark with a handful over 40cm in the last couple of trips. While places like Lake Tyers are closed and high these techniques are perfect.


West coast angling options

While there have only been small breaks in the weather the past week, there have been some anglers able to get amongst some nice pelagics down along the west coast. Portland bay has been holding good numbers of school bluefin and kingfish from water as shallow as 10m. These fish have been fairly finicky but there are always patches of feeding fish to catch.

Customers Benny and Damien stayed down at Portland for a few days and had some relaxed fishing, with kings and tuna on the list. While the kingfish were either playing fussy or slamming lures in super shallow water and breaking them off, the tuna were a bit more cooperative. Some patches of fish weren’t interested while others would belt the teaser lines and any lure in the spread. Amongst that, the most productive lures were small 4 inch skirts run behind floppy floppy teasers.

When the weather turns a bit average or chasing flighty tuna and kings about gets old, there are plenty of other options in close to Portland harbour. During a recent trip there customer Mick nailed some thumper whiting like this solid fish. Fishing in close to the harbour and along the scattered North shore reef can see some supersized whiting caught, with fish pushing 50cm not uncommon. Strips of squid are one of the gun baits here too, and while fishing these whiting grounds there are excellent chances that kingfish and even tuna could turn up.


Natives still happily chewing

With some decreased traffic on the freshwater lakes and rivers many anglers have been doing their best to get some serious freshwater fishing in for cod and yellowbelly. Lake Eildon has seen a few more serious anglers putting in the time for both species, with customer John being one of them. John has been fishing the lake over the past fortnight and has some pretty much all spots to himself, where he has landed a few metre plus fish. John has been bait fishing some deeper holes, beaching the boat and accessing the shoreline. Using heavy bait cast gear he has been landing the fish quickly for a photo and off to swim again.

Speaking of big cod, customer Ned came in and purchased some lures to try for cod while fishing around the Seymour section of river. Ned bought a few different styles but stuck it out with a medium sized surface crawler which he landed 2 ripper cod on. One fish measured 85cm and the other just nudging the metre mark, both caught using a dead slow retrieve with the surface offering. Ned caught both fish casting parallel to the bank and working the shoreline drop off instead of straight out in the deeper water.

Back up at Eildon customer Trevor has been catching a few golden perch. Trev has been fishing up around the Delatite arm of the lake and has been fishing the fish in close to the edges. Trolling medium running hardbodies has been the most effective of picking a few fish up, but holding the rod is also key. Fishing a trolled rod in hand helps transmit small bumps and nudges better and also helps 90% more in minimising snagging up or fouling the lure on weed or timber.


Wonderful Whiting

The whiting reports from both Westernport and Port Phillip have continued to be excellent. While the height of Summer can provide numbers of smaller fish, there have still been some excellent fish caught if you can weed through the smaller school fish.

 

Customer Dale took his young fella out and had some fun on the whiting recently. The boys have done best when fishing around the middle spit in 8m during the start of the start of the run in tide. Pipi and squid have been the best with more numbers going to pipi.

 

Customers Mark and Cip have been doing well on the whiting fishing out from Warneet. The guys have been catching good numbers of school fish from 32 to 41cm during the rougher conditions when there haven’t been many others out. These conditions while less pleasant have had the fish biting much harder and good quantities of fish have been coming over the side in a short amount of time. Pipi and mussel have been the best two baits when fished on ‘dropshot’ style hooks.

 

Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice bags of fish out from the southern peninsula. Ryan has been fishing in close around Dromana and Safety Beach in 6m of water. Fishing the same area he has found squid and flathead, with small tenderised strips of squid being his favoured bait, especially once pre-cut and soaked in aniseed oil.

Customer Trent has been fishing a bit deeper for whiting in Western port during his last few sessions and has been racking up bags of very solid fish out from Newhaven. Larger strips of squid fished as hang baits in the current have been the best baits to filter away all but the bigger fish.

Customer Domenic has been doing well on the whiting fishing out from Tootgarook. Domenic has been fishing some of the shallow weed beds and has found smaller patches of nice size fish. Pipi has been the most effective bait for him when in the shallower water.


Bay bream rivers producing

The rivers running into Port Phillip have been producing good winter bream and some large mullet. If you’re planning on fishing your local river, the Werribee, Yarra and Patterson rivers have all been good. The odd mulloway has been caught especially in the Yarra and Patto. On the bream front, the Patto has been producing fish over a kilo along with mullet similar size.

Young gun Mike caught this nice fish and others fishing in his backyard on the Patto. Mike has been using yabbies to land the better size fish, with some bigger fish busting him off on light line around the pylons. Live freshwater yabbies or frozen shrimp have been the best baits.

Lure fishing the Patto has been effective for quality bream also if you’re putting in the time. Customer Jordan has been fishing small shrimp imitation plastics and sinking hardbodies with slow ‘flicks’ of the rod tip, making them move as natural as possible.

Using these styles of lures coated in gel scent he has been landing some nice fish up around the 40cm mark, fishing to small ledges and mud bank drop offs in the main river.

While you’ve got a bait in the water you’ve got a shot! Customer Aujin was fishing the river near the first floodgate in search of bream when he landed a nice pinkie snapper of 57cm. Fishing small baits of prawn he got the shock of his life when his ‘bream’ appeared red in colour. While these fish aren’t generally expected in the river, after a big clean spell of clear salty water they push into the rivers and coves in search of food. The rockwall section of the river produces smaller fish during these times, and further up the road the Yarra river is a real chance of fish like this or even larger at present.

Winter ‘snapper’ up to 4kg or so venture up the Yarra from Hobsons Bay and can be caught almost up to Church Street when the river is salty. Fishing from around the Bolte down to the warmies gives you a real shot at a quality fish, and even mulloway – especially when using fresh bait.


RED hot snapper action

Port Phillip’s autumn snapper bite continues with fish to nearly 8kg being landed by persistent anglers. The fish have been a bit more widespread this autumn, as they were over the spring period but there are enough about to be targeting them. Customer Rohan again fished out from Mornington with mates where they landed some lovely fish to just over 7kg. Fishing the early dawn bite got them their fish – with both pilchard and squid doing the job.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been finding some nice snapper in the bay over the past week or so. James has been concentrating around the Mornington and Mount Martha areas but has also been landing some cracker autumn reds over 6kg from around Black Rock and Brighton. Fishing a bit wider out in 19m or so seems to have been the most consistent ground, although there has been the odd solid fish caught right in close in the 7 – 10m area. Freshly caught squid, pilchard and yakka has all been good but silver whiting cubes and heads fished on ‘Reedy’s Rigs’ have been excellent when left to dangle just above the seabed.


Sharks on offer in the Port

Westernport has been providing plenty of options during some of our nice Winter days, with the cartilaginous fish one of them. If conditions allow, the offshore fishing for gummy and school sharks has been excellent, while the gummy fishing inside the port has been also. On top of that, there have still been quite a few elephants about if you’re fishing between Lang Lang and Rhyll.

Customer Thao got outside during the week and fished an area behind Phillip Island in search of a solid gummy and he wasn’t disappointed, landing a nice fish upward of 15kg. Thao found a small patch of reef and berleyed just off it, and had the gummy take a chunk of silver trevally. Baits of wrasse and parrotfish are also excellent if caught from the area you’re fishing.