CORIO BAY OUTER HARBOUR
The Snapper season has been off to bit of a slow start but after a few days of warm weather the water temperature has increased just enough to get those fish to start chewing. The outer harbour of Corio has been a prime spot to go for a look for a snapper, in particular out towards Portarlington in the old steam boat channel. Fishing in 11 metres of water with pilchards and squid has been a lethal tactic in landing a few fish to 6kg. Fishing on dark or either side of the tide change is the prime time to be soaking some baits. The Trellys Snapper comp is in full swing with still plenty of available spots and time to enter.
The Bellarine Peninsula has been fishing very well over the past week in particular St Leonards through to the Queenscliff Bight being the standout locations. Casting size 3.5 jigs has been very effective but if you’re chasing the extra edge over your mates try using one with a rattle chamber inside, it has been a killer over the past weeks. King George Whiting copped a hammering over the long weekend with hundreds of boats peppering the whiting ground making it challenging for anglers to get onto them in big numbers. Some anglers that managed to escape the large numbers of boats and find their own fish managed to do quite well with fish getting up to 38cm.
Offshore Barwon Heads is still having an incredible Barrel Tuna bite with plenty of boats bringing in fish well over the 100kg mark. Trolling skirted lures has been the stand out tactic with some boats picking up fish whilst drifting down pilchards into the schools of fish. Fishing in 65 metres of water anywhere from Torquay to Cape Schanck has been holding tonnes of fish and not showing any sign of slowing down anytime soon. As well as the hot barrel bite there has been some fantastic bottom fishing with boat snapper and gummy sharks chewing well. Gone fishing charters has been getting their clients onto some perfect table size snapper along with plenty of fish over that 3kg mark. Matt Magri was fishing offshore during the week for some gummies and managed to score himself a cracking Thresher Shark on the light tackle. After a crazy 45 minute fight the fish was his and the smile could not be wiped off his face.
Cup weekend is always crazy at Eildon add in the re opening of Melbourne to regional and it was the perfect storm for boat traffic.There were a lot more reports of Smaller Redfin. Being caught on bait with either scrub worms or bobbing yabbies working best. For those lure fishing there were some big fish caught once the main boat traffic got off the water. We have had reports of a hand full of meter plus cod being caught in the past week and these catches don’t seem to be slowing up. One of these reports come from keen fisho Kate Norman who is one of the best on the water at the moment has been having huge success of late with reports of 3 cod over a meter in recent trips. It’s no fluke that Kate is having all this success she puts a mountain of effort and time into her fishing and it’s paying off.
Kate has been using the following set ups for her big cod trips and there’s nothing left to chance with the gear she uses.
- Venom baitcaster 8kg rod/ 13 Fishing Concept A3 reel/ Sufix 832 50lb braid with 50lb Shimano OCEA leader and a Rapala X-Rap Peto
- Venom Swimbait rod/ 13 Fishing Concept A3 reel/ Sufix 832 50lb braid with 50lb Shimano OCEA leader and a Megabass Vatalion 190
The lake has continued to improve with more Yellowbelly and Redfin reported over the last week. As the weather warms up the fish will move deeper into the weed or become more active in the late afternoon or early mornings prior to the sun baking the water. There is still fish being caught after sunset with small soft plastics and hardbodies around the weed edges still the best method for this.
The channels around Shepparton have been a little quiet this week with many locals reporting low numbers of fish. We have even had some reports of some locals Bait fishing for carp struggling to get a bite using both Corn & Worms. There seems to be an abundance of bait fish in the channels at the moment and possibly the reason why catch rates are down. Fish may just have so much bait that a plastic hardbody or lipless crank bait is just not doing it for them. Local fisho Nick Brown managed to scoop up some of these bait fish and found the only lure we could match the hatch with in the kit was a Rapala BX Brat. This lure has worked well around the bridge pylons and drop bars in recent trips but he has been finding the bites very tentative. If your finding your getting hits and not getting a hook set especially on smaller trebled lures it might be worth using a softer rod. Nick has been using a Miller Bass Freak M but will now switch to a Finesse Freak just so there is a little more give when the fish takes the lure.
The Goulburn River in Shepparton and surrounds has started to settle down and that has brought about some better water clarity. With the warmer weather and the better water quality the fish have now started to bite. The shrimp are hit and miss but over the coming weeks should start to be more active this should send the fish into a frenzy so make sure if you bait fish you use fresh shrimp as this is what the Yellowbelly will be chewing.Those who have been lure fishing have been having success both trolling and casting hardbodies & Spinnerbaits mostly in bright green or black and purple. Gary Gerada has been having plenty of luck chasing Yellowbelly in the Goulburn recently out of his Kayak mostly on hardbodies. Access can be tricky in spots along the Goulburn so Kayaks and canoes can be perfect for targeting local fishing spots. Don’t worry if you don’t own a Kayak or Canoe as Trelly’s Shepparton now offers Canoe hire service. You can enquire online or check out the Facebook page for more info.
There has been plenty of Redfin caught over the past week as well as some big Yellowbelly in the trees and around points. The go to technique for the Redfin has been trolling until you find the schools and once on them jigging a ice jig or dropping a bunch of worms into the schools. Yellowbelly have been caught numerous ways with hoping zx40 blades or slow rolling tn60s around the points or vertically fishing plastics through the trees.One thing that has been noticed is when the wind has dropped right away the bites have dropped off. I know we all hate wind but a little ripple on the water can make all the difference to the fish so within reason try to target the wind blown areas. Trent Freer had some quality family time on the water over the cup weekend and posted a great video of young Hamish managing to land a nice Yellowbelly all by himself.
BLUE ROCK DAM
The Bass are starting to fire up at Blue Rock with many reports of fish being caught on the cast and troll over the last week. Blue Rock is only growing in popularity and it can product a quality surface bite as the weather warms up. The Bass are yet to consistently reach the size of the northern variety but you can land high numbers of fish off the top from 15/25cms. Cicada walking top water lures work great at blue rock with a slow retrieve or a simple shake of the rod tip to just get the blades vibrating on the surface. Those who have been fishing through the day have been catching bass on both Football jigs around the base of the bigger trees or Spinnerbaits around the smaller standing timber.
HIGH COUNTRY STREAMS
The hills are alive with the sound of screaming reels. So many fishos have been trekking through the hills in search of trout over the long weekend with many reports of plenty of big and small fish being caught. Casting lightly weighted Strike Tiger nymphs or small Rapala hardbodies has been the best method. With rains on the way it maybe hard to access these smaller streams over the next week but if the rain miss us we would expect the same type of lures continue to produce plenty of fish.
After the last 18 months with lock downs and restrictions who would of thought we needed motivation to go fishing.
Well the Victorian Fishing Authority has given us even more motivation and that’s to yet again run the GOLDEN TAG program again with some tagged fish being worth $10,000. Gosh have been tagged From Mallacoota to up near Mildura, Lake Bullen Merri to Lake Tyers, there’s destinations and tagged fish aplenty! Originally introduced in 2020 to help local businesses and communities affected by bushfires in Gippsland and the North East, we expanded the competition last year to include waters right around the state and provide a boost to businesses. More than 950 tagged flatties, bream, yellas, trout and many more species are still swimming in Victorian waters. All you’ve got to do is reel one in, check the tag says VFA WINNER and cue the celebration! You’ll also need to take a photo of the fish with the tag clearly visible, measure it and then remove the tag. Once you’ve finished your victory lap ring the number printed on it and hey presto, you’re in the money to the tune of $2,000. If the tag says VFA $10k WINNER, you’ll score $10,000 just for landing the fish – oh, and dinner’s on you!
For more details of what’s been tagged where and all the Ts and Cs, visit www.vfa.vic.gov.au/goldentag