VIC Fishing Report

Latest fishing report from Compleat Angler Dandenong January 18th 2019

Whiting a main WPB target

Jan 17 2019

Many anglers have been in search of the whiting in the port, and there have been plenty of fish to go around. There haven’t been any real ‘hot spots’ for these fish as they come and go with the tides, but the region around the middle spit has been one of the more consistent. There have been some nice fish along the banks up past Warneet through Tooradin as well as customer Mark found out. Mark fished with his son Sam and mate Darren to work a nice bag of fish up to 43cm. The guys fished the Tooradin channel and found cocktail baits pipi and squid to be the most effective.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been finding some good numbers of fish along the middle spit and around Tortoise head recently, with the average fish around the 37cm mark. Baits of choice have been mussel, pipi, squid and pilchard fillet for the larger fish in the deeper water. James has had plenty of happy customers and has even managed a few thumpers while on charter, with two large fish at 49cm each up against a 34cm fish for reference.

Customer Jason also fished the top end around Warneet to land a nice bag of fish. Jason found the incoming tide got the fish biting and they responded best to mussel and pipi. Some of the larger fish came on the bite towards last light, as the pushed up along the bank to the shallower water. These larger fish really come into their own after dark, throwing caution into the wind and fully buckling the light rods as they hit the baits.

Customer Mario had a whiting fishing again during the week, and caught some nice fish. Mario again tried one of his deep water areas – with productive fishing in 16m of water. Switching between pipi and squid was the go, with a bag of 33 fish coming from the depths. Table sized flathead and pinkies have been common in the deeper water, with some big schools of yakkas and slimey mackerel turning up if you berley hard.

Bluewater action

Jan 17 2019

The bluewater and offshore action has been good around Bass Strait locally and a bit further afield, with tuna and kingfish the main targets. The water temperature has risen over the past few weeks, and also the water hasn’t been the ‘cobalt blue’ that many anglers prefer there have still been fish around in it. The West coast down around Portland has been been producing loads of ‘rat’ kingfish along the north shore reef and also out to the island, with some nice bluefin tuna mixed in as well. Customer Edly was down at Portland recently and managed a nice chunky tuna of around 25kg.

While there have been plenty of fish about, the warmer months bring lots of baitfish so they aren’t a shoe-in. Small bluebait-like imitations have been the best, as this best represents the current food. Poppers and stickbaits up to 140mm have been the go on the kingfish, with the tuna responding even better to smaller offerings. There are a few small but heavy zinc stickbaits in store that have been deadly when cast to cruising fish.

Back around the bays the kingfish have made their presence felt lately, with most of the main rocky promontories and points holding fish, along with areas such as the rip. Around the entrance to Westernport some of the smaller fish have been so thick that they have been hitting smaller flasher rigs sent down for catching slimies and yakkas. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught a few smaller fish on the ‘sabiki’ rigs of late, with some larger fish to 85cm taking the live slimies. Customer Jason fished the rip during the week in search of a kingfish and managed fish to around 6kg. Tandem hook rigs with small live squid were the most effective when fished on a modified ‘Westernport’ rig.

While there has been kingfish caught offshore around areas like Cape Schank, out a bit wider some anglers have reports of bluefin tuna. Customers Justin and Mick ventured out on Monday to see what was happening, with some rat kingies caught in close on squid. Out a bit further the boys managed a solid tuna of around 20kg. Small lures have been the go at present, with clear water and small food making the fish harder to trick than winter models.

Beaches providing variety

Jan 17 2019

While the keen salmon anglers don’t fish the beaches over the warmer months normally, there has been been some nice salmon about. The numbers of fish haven’t been huge but the size has been good with fish over a kilo. The beaches have been sporadic with where the salmon will turn up, but if you’re fishing a good deep gutter or hole near a bay or inlet entrance your chances are increased. Customer Robin has been fishing the beaches around Phillip Island over the past few weeks, where he has caught some nice salmon. Robin’s most effective bait lately has been salted mullet gut, which he has caught from the beaches himself.

The beaches along the 90 mile have been holding big numbers of mullet, and by fishing finesse surf gear in the shorebreak and shore gutters you can catch plenty of them. With loads of mullet about the bigger predators like flathead and toothy sharks have hanging by too. Flathead to 60cm haven’t been uncommon from Golden beach and Woodside beach, with bluebait a good bait choice. Even better have been ‘TPR’ style plastics like the ‘Bungy Baits’ – which are crab proof and attract the attention of the fish.

A bit closer to home around Phillip Island there have been some bigger predators taking advantage of the available food also. Customer Seb had a night fish from one of the ocean beaches and snagged a ripper school shark of around 20kg on a salmon head. During the session him and a mate also got bitten off another 4 times, potentially by other ‘schoolies’.

Freshwater options

Jan 17 2019

There is plenty going on in the freshwater if you want to try your luck. Pretty much every specie is on offer at present, from local suburban lakes right up to the Murray river way up near Swan Hill. Local lakes such as Devilbend and Karkarook have been producing fish and customer Morgan has been getting amongst them. Morgan has been catching some sizeable redfin from a few different lakes around the area, with fish well over 40cm smashing small surface lures and plastics. Morgan has found lures that imitate the local mosquito fish have been the most effective on the redfin.

The native fish up along the Murray have been fishing well, with golden perch and Murray cod both active at the moment. Customer Phil fished the Murray up towards Mildura and caught some chunky golden perch from the boat. Fishing baits back in around undercut banks and fallen timber was the most effective method, with shrimp and frozen bass yabbies the two most effective baits at present. Customer Andy also fished the Murray around Yarrawonga for the cod and he has been catching a few smaller fish to around 65cm. Andy has been casting a few different styles of lure, with high-buoyancy hardbodies doing well for him over the timber and weed at present.

There has been plenty on offer closer to home around Eildon. Fisheries Victoria have been very busy stocking 150 solid trout to over 2kg in the pondage during the week – with a mixture of both browns and rainbows. These fish will be worth targeting now that they have been in the lake for a few days – so make sure you check all your coarse tackle and specialist baits and berley out before the kids go back to school.

In the main lake at Eildon, Fisheries have also topped up Murray cod numbers, with another 25,000 cod stocked in during the week. At around 3 months old, these cod fingerlings will find shelter among the broken rock and timber and turn into mean, lure-crunching machines soon enough!

Speaking of Eildon cod, there have been some nice fish caught – but the high amount of water traffic over the busy period has kept things a bit quieter. If you’re a die-hard cod angler you’re probably not fishing ‘gentlemens hours’ anyway so you will be aware of the boat traffic. Despite this, there have been fish caught. Customer Travis went and fished the lake recently after purchasing a handful of different cod lures.

Trav persisted away with a large redfin pattern swimbait which got nailed by a chunky little cod of around 50cm, right within sight of one of the main boat ramps! Just goes to show that there are fish all through the lake, and the only way to catch them is to keep on casting! Trav also had some fun on the carp during down time, with some sight caught using surface lures. Catching the carp in the lake can be good fun and a good way to break the monotony on the light gear.

Good luck this week from the team at Compleat Angler Dandenong – George, Dylan, Don, Chris and Glenys.