This Weeks Fishing Report

Brought to you by the team at Compleat Angler Dandenong

Garfish galore

Garfish have been keeping many anglers busy during times of travel limited to 25km. Many anglers have found that fishing for garfish has kept them local to their home or work, and perfect – as the gars have been going really well. The heavy rain last week has still been washing around many of the creeks and coves and has kept the water discoloured in comparison to normal clarity.

While the fish have been on and off in the murkier water, the clarity has been on the improve every day and the bite will only get better. The hot spots have very much been around Mordialloc through to Frankston, with a few getting caught further north around Brighton and Black Rock.

Customer Steven topped up on bait and berley last week and made a trip to Mordialloc Pier in search of gars. Steven got to the pier well before daylight and found that the fish really started to bite once the sun came up. Both maggots and silverfish were successful for him.

Customer Angelo has been making the most of his local fishing spots and has done well on the gars down at Mordialloc over the past week. Angelo has been mainly fishing the mornings as the fish have been biting well until about 10am. With a few anglers also doing the same, keeping a small but steady berley trail has helped in keeping the fish in your area.

Small pieces of silverfish and maggots have both worked well for Angelo under a finely tuned float.


Winter bream back on the bite

There have been anglers making the most of their local 25km fishing options over the past week – but now that these boundaries have been dropped Gippsland is a worthy trip in search of the big winter bream. While the deluge of freshwater that is still filtering through many estuaries can make the fishing tough, the bream have still been on the chew lower down in the saltier parts of the systems. The dirty looking metro rivers like Patto, the Yarra and Maribyrnong have all been producing some nice bream for those persisting.

Lake Tyers has just opened to the ocean in the last few days and some clean salty water will rejuvenate the system and bring in some food also. Once the water settles and levels off the lake will be worth a look in search of feeding bream.

Customer Nick has been getting a few nice bream out of the Patto. While the river’s water clarity has resembled that of a 711 latte it hasn’t worried the fish one bit. The river often fishes very well at this time of year under similar discoloured conditions.

Nick has been fishing small creature bait style soft plastics on lightly weighted jigheads. The lighter weight enables a natural and unobtrusive sink around the banks and man made structure, and alarms the fish a lot less.

Customer Ryan has caught some solid fish from his local waterways around the Maribyrnong area. Ryan has been finding soft plastics have been fishing the best at present, which dirty water conditions.

Heavily scented plastics have helped the fish find them in the decreased visibility, and slower retrieves have been the play also. Making sure the plastic spends a lot of time on or near the bottom with small and subtle twitches rather than hops has been the best way to collect a bite. Some of the fish he has been catching locally have been close to 40cm which are nice solid fish.

Customer Teddy has been fishing lake Tyers over the past few days and has found some nice bream just prior to the entrance opening. Teddy has been bait fishing some of the flooded edges around the Fisherman’s Landing arm and has been using local worm and shrimp. While the recent lake opening will re-shuffle the fish around the lake, over the next week the fishing should settle again.

Customer Peter is hanging to get back to the lake also after landing a lovely big bream on his most recent trip. Pete was fishing a UV reactive soft plastic along a lake drop off and pulled this old looking 43cm fish. Using a soft plastic of lure with some added UV can certainly help draw attention to the fish in overcast or dull conditions, as the lure will be the brightest thing in the water even with decreased sunlight.


Local lake trout and redfin

If you need to get out of the house and want to make sure you’re sticking to your metro boundaries, look no further than the closest housing estate – as most of these have lakes stocked with trout, and naturally occurring redfin. The beauty of these is that there will generally be a lake close by to your suburb that you can de-stress or get the family outside to over the weekends.

If you’re going to head to one of your local lakes, there’s a few things to look at when targeting the local fish. The redfin can be hit and miss depending on how big a population reside in the waterway – but a great way to find them is by lure fishing.

Setting up a rod with a small 2.5 inch soft plastic is a great searching method for reddies – and even better if you have any ‘weedless’ jig heads. Fishing a small minnow or creature bait will replicate the natural food source the best, as in most of these waterways the most common food is mosquito fish, galaxia, yabbies and warious aquatic insects.

On the trout front majority of them have been artificially stocked into these types of lakes by the Victorian Fisheries Authority. Due to the fact that they have been reared at hatcheries they respond a bit differently to certain methods at times. The very best method of finding them is to employ a coarse style pellet technique – which has all the ingredients that these fish are used to.

This berley method that we use is the main ingredient is the hatchery style pellets, that can be mashed down with hot water to form a loose mix, or crushed and hand fed around the area that you’re fishing. The best rig for this is our feeder cage rig, which can be viewed in the following link if you’re unsure as how to best set it up.
Click here > Stocked lake trout rig

Click here for a full list of stocked waterways close by to you>Victorian stocked lakes


Local garfish

Garfish fishing, for those close enough to their local rockwall or area to fish for them – they’re a great option to keep you going at the moment. Tasty, around in good numbers and great visual fishing, what more could you want! The Eastern seaboard of Port Phillip has been great for them, from Brighton right down to Rye and Safety Beach.

Customers Luke and Jason both did well on the gars recently from their local piers. If you can get to a gar location without too much in the way of crowds, get out and get into them! The real tricks to pay attention to are as follows:

Bait choice and size – maggots some days, silverfish others. Check and change your baits often. Maggots that aren’t ‘wriggling’ are often no good. Silverfish in too big a chunk is also no-go.

Hook gape – what we mean here is the ‘narrowness’ of the section between hook shank and point. The narrower the better, more solid hookups.

Float buoyancy – VERY critical and one area that many anglers overlook and miss out on fish. Make sure you know the buoyancy offset that your float needs – ie if your float is a 10g float (written on float body) then make sure your have 10g correctly pegged on your line. This is the weight that your float will work best at. Pay attention to how your float moves also, some will dip and bob others will tilt and slide when you get a bite.

Berley consistency – another area that is overlooked. Bread is a NO-NO. Bread particles absorb water and swell up – feeding the fish that you’re trying to catch! Super fine particle berley is best, with a small amount of oil or scent. Pre mixed berley like the Stimulate fine grit is ideal, especially when mixed with a small amount of Slicks pure fish oil. A small amount of water mixed in to get a ‘wet sand’ consistency is ideal, heavy enough to throw yet fine enough for the fish to smell but not eat.

These are just a few tips on helping you obtain gar success!


Quality calamari numbers

The squid fishing has been great for anglers spending the time out on both bays in search of them. While both bays have been fishing well for squid, Southern Port Phillip has been more productive for the anglers fishing from Mornington south to Rye and Blairgowrie. Across in Western Port the top end’s banks such as Tyabb and Quail have been good when the water has been clear, while there have been a few big squid coming from further south towards Vetnor and beyond, and Flinders.

Southern Port Phillip has been good for Kosta from Hooked Up magazine. Kosta can catch squid at the worst times but has been enjoying the Autumn eging from Mornington/Mt Eliza through to Rye and Sorrento. Fishing size 3.5 jigs off a crips actioned rod has enable him to get premium action out of the jigs and keep the squid fired up for more.

Again from Southern Port Phillip and customer Tony has been having some good results. Tony recently purchased himself a new eging outfit in store and christened it days later at Blairgowrie. Tony is adept at catching calamari in the area, but had an excellent session with good sized squid coming from the pier. Size 2.5 and 3.0 jigs have been the most effective here, as 3.5’s mostly seem a touch too big. Fishing them out over the sand during low light is a great way to hook actively hunting squid here also.

Customer Ryan is an eging enthusiast, and has been catching a few fishing from his small tinny down around the Safety Beach/Rye part of the bay. Again these southern areas are generally more consistent and hold good numbers of squid in the colder clear water. Ryan has been mixing things up jig wise, but has found size 2.5 in the shallows around slack water and 3.5 when deeper and wind or tide affected. Dark silhouettes and silver/gold foils have been the best colour wise for him.

Across in Western Port, customer Sam went out and made the most in some glorious conditions. Fishing along Quail Bank Sam found some serious-sized-squid in the deeper water. Fishing 5m and deeper away from the boat traffic Sam put together a bag of nice squid with a couple of big models in the mix. Size 3.5 jigs were the go in staying deep and the Owner ‘trick UV’ colours were the killers.


Great gars!

The garfish action has been great around the Eastern side of the bay over the past week. Many have been fishing from the piers but the small rock groynes and points have also been exceptional. The reports have been coming from Brighton through to Rye or so, with the hot spots being from Mordialloc through to Mt Eliza.

While great numbers of them can be caught when they’re firing – paying attention to small pieces of your rigging and berley game will make the difference between zero fish and a fun outing. Paying attention to float buoyancy and shot weight, hook gape and berley consistency are very important as well as constant depth adjustments to keep the bites coming in.

Customers Angelo and Mario gave the gars a good hiding earlier during the week. The boys fished Mordialloc pier and managed a good bag of fish. While the pier has been busy, constant float depth adjustments and berley application made sure the boys managed a feed of lovely crispy gars. Maggots were the stand out bait for the guys while they wriggled about – but make sure you bait them up the correct way or your catch rate will suffer!

Customers Johnny and Will also managed a nice feed of tasty garfish. Will and Johnny fished Seaford and Frankston piers where they found big numbers of fish. Fishing maggots and fine cubes of silverfish was the most effective for them – with the constant fine trail of ‘Stimulate’ pre mix berley helping to keep the fish around, and actively hungry.


Trout time!

With some fairly torrid weather hitting Melbourne and the surrounds the best form of fishing to be enjoying is definitely the stream trout fishing. As we are getting towards the pointy end of the season the extra rain and cold conditions will give the fish a good bump as they prepare to spawn. The entire high country of Vic and into southern NSW will also experience a solid increase in trout activity with the deluge dropping some serious water into the rivers. Fishing flashy ‘aggressive’ lures with dark contrasting silhouettes is the best way to get the attention of the otherwise distracted fish. Expect to start seeing some sizeable fish as they instinctually move up river.

Jarrod from Compleat Angler head office has just come back from some time up in the southern NSW high country in search of solid trout. While hard work fishing often freezing temperatures and pumping river currents the fish can be worth it. Targeting large brown trout with lure and fly as they continue their up-river push is ideal at this time of year. Jarrod experienced some excellent fishing, with solid browns pushing 3kg coming to the grass. Fishing hardbodied lures larger than normal with plenty of aggressive ‘come here’ colour has been a great way to trigger a bite. Spinning spawn style fly patterns on spin gear is also effective but can be tricky to master – but worthwhile when persisted with.

Customer Reece has been fishing with a mate up around the Eildon region recently. The guys have been fly fishing some of the smaller rivers and are finding the trout fairly active with the colder weather conditions and water temperatures. Aggressive brown trout have been the mainstay with fish around 300g par for the course, but some much larger fish seen. A lone Atlantic salmon also made it’s way to the net after giving a great account for itself in the fast runs.


Barrel tuna on the bite

Mega tuna! The words that can send many hardcore anglers into a spin, with work put on hold and a road trip down the West coast on the cards. The run of solid bluefin that have been moving along the West coast has been nothing short of amazing – with some huge fish well over 100kg being caught. While the weather has made trailer boat fishing uncomfortable the bigger boats have been getting out and into them.

For fishers planning on heading to Portland; Abalone virus restrictions have been updated as of Tuesday 25th May 2021. While the virus controls area has been extended, line fishing without the use of sinkers is now permitted. For updates on restrictions please visit the ‘Agriculture Victoria’ page on Facebook.

Even though he’s been under the weather of recent – chasing barrels can’t keep James Rogers from Unreel Fishing Charters away from the water. James has been ‘taking it easy’ over the past few weeks and has had his son Tristan take the reins on some super sized fish out from Port Fairy, Portland and Apollo Bay. A triple hook up on mega fish has been their best recent effort.

Matt Cini from Reel Time Fishing Charters has experienced some excellent barrel fishing over the past week with leading hand Alex and customer Will. The guys have landed multiple barrel tuna with double hook ups something that all bluewater anglers dream of. Most of these tuna have been found around the inshore 60m area out from Apollo Bay and Portland.

Customer Aaron has also been fortunate enough to get out amongst the tuna action of late. Aaron has been fishing out from Apollo Bay where he landed a lovely ‘mini barrel’ of 76kg. Fishing a bit wider was the key, with plenty of life about but the fish very flighty.


Rain equals quality trout fishing

With the constant rainfall that has started to fall through much of the state and high country, the trout fishing has started to ramp up. The rain really signals the fish to feed up in preparation for arduous upstream spawning aggregations, and they can be more aggressive during this time. While the lakes will continue to fish well right through the Winter, now is the time to spend your energy in search of quality stream and river fishing.

In between the rainfall some of the rivers around the Eildon region have been pleasant to fish, and customer Pat has been been enjoying some Autumn fishing in the region. Flyfishing the Rubicon and Goulburn rivers Pat has had plenty of action on standard stream-sized trout. Fishing these rivers during times of increased flow can be tricky, but focusing your offerings around the current seams and out of the main flow is where you will find the fish.

Customer Steve fished with a couple of mates recently in Lake Jinabyne up in the NSW Snowy Mountains. Steve found the trout fishing good with the drop in temperature and the fish were eating with gusto. Steve and mates landed just under 70 trout in the few days with the largest weighing around 5lb, but plenty of smaller rainbows under 500g were playing ball also. Fishing mudeyes under a finely balanced float and greased mainline was the most effective method.


Autumn Snapper

There have been some lovely snapper caught over the past week, with both bays producing quality fish to 5kg or so. A growing portion of anglers putting in the effort to target them year round are finding that they can be found and caught well outside of ‘season’ – and the boat traffic is generally very quiet at this time of year.

Fishing deep towards the shipping lane and out from Mount Martha or Mornington is a great place to start your search, but also the Northern reefs out from Black Rock through to Port Melbourne can also be very much worth fishing.

If you’re in Westernport, the ‘North ‘Arm from Stony Point through to Warneet is a great searching area, along with the potholes throughout the main channel north of Corinella.

Customers Jim and Dave had some stellar snapper action fishing out in the bay recently. The guys fished out from Mornington and managed their bag of lovely snapper and a table sized gummy. Fishing out in 22m of water around the shipping lane was successful and the best bait was squid.

Customer Mark landed a lovely snapper out in the Port earlier in the week. Mark’s fish weighed in at around 5kg and took a chunk of fresh yakka. Mark was fishing deep at around 22m of water in the North Arm.

Fishing up the top end of the Port, customer Neil has also gotten into some quality snapper with his son Nelson and daughter Stella. Neil and the kids fished out from Warneet and found the fish holding along a small ridge of cunjie reef. Pilchard was the standout bait fished on a long extended paternoster rig.