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Features Catching and keeping livebait • Trolling shallow for flathead • Estuary perch, the story so far



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V&TFM Fishing Monthly? We’ve started archiving digital copies of the magazine at www. Unlike the website (www. which archives articles and releases them three months after the publication date, the Issuu platform lets you read the full magazine in the format that it was printed. For free. Just search for ‘Fishing Monthly’ on the Issuu website ( So a lot is happening and it’s really exciting times in head office. I am super excited to get my teeth into V&TFM and I’d love to hear any suggestions from our readers on what they’d like to see in the mag. If we can get you into a new area, get you onto more fish or help you have more fun on the waterways of Victoria and Tasmania, then we’ve done our job well. Email me at sbooth@fishingmonthly. and let’s get into the fishing in 2014.




are as editors. The writers have the info, the contacts and their fingers on the pulse. They are the meat of the mag and they all want to help you become a better angler. A great team that I will be very happy to work with. RESOLUTIONS At Fishing Monthly we have resolved to make it easier for you to subscribe on-line in 2014. And, we’ve already got the platform in place. Previously, you’ve had to tear out, photocopy, print out or download a Subscription Form and send it in with a cheque/money order. Now you can do it on-line by clicking the SUBSCRIBE link on www. and use your credit card. Saves you trundling off to the newsagent each month or makes a great gift for the angler in the family. It’s a great way to last minute a sub for an important date or moment for the angler in the house. MISSED AN ISSUE? Missed a recent issue of


to be late. Bring it on mate. Seriously though, to Neil I can’t express enough thanks and I truly wish him all the best in the next few years. He has been a magical support for me and I hope I can help support him as best as I can in the next few years. Thanks NG, our walk into the Tassie Highlands is still on the cards. On the positive side I have a real passion for the fishing in our southern states. I grew up in Vic, travelled to Tas a bit and I really miss the fishing down that way. As a further incentive I’ll make more regular trips south in my new role and I am looking forward to spending more than one of my annual leave weeks on the Murray fishing for cod and goldens. With Neil’s departure came a number of changes to the writing team and to all those who helped Neil and I out over the last 10 years I say thanks. Without the brilliant writers, it doesn’t matter how good we

Robe 10 Warrnambool 10 Cobden 14 Portland 14 Apollo Bay 15



It’s with mixed emotions that I write this first of many editorials. Taking care of V&TFM has been a part time gig for me for the last 10 years when editors have changed or when they’ve earned a well deserved rest, but now the mag has become mine to manage. It’s exciting but at the same time I am really sad to see Neil step away from the editorial position. Luckily Neil has had the grace to stick around with the mag as one of our Field Editors. He will be doing the Tasmanian section of the mag, he’ll run around doing boat and tackle tests and he’ll have a chance to fish with some of the best anglers and relay their stories to you. I am hoping Neil will find this as exciting as it sounds to me. He’ll no longer have to deal with pushing print deadlines and he’ll be able to use all those excuses he’s heard over the last four and half years on me when his copy is going










Catching Live Bait Shallow flathead trolling Estuary perch

6 38 78 JANUARY 2014


Catching live bait WARRNAMBOOL

Mark Gercovich

For all that is written about our major angling target species there is precious little about the finer points

of catching the bait that you need to catch them. Sometimes the effort to catch, keep and transport live bait is the hardest part of the equation. This pictorial gives you a few hints for targeting live mullet and salmon, which are prime baits for two of summers most popular target species, mulloway and kingfish.

Catching mullet takes on a few different forms. Using a paternoster rig with tiny hooks (8-10) and minuscule baits, combined with a light berley trail, works well when the water is slightly deeper or there is some current. Any form of saltwater worm is the most deadly bait guaranteed to tempt the fussiest mullet.

Live salmon are usually just pinned through the lip to keep them alive and swimming properly. They are usually swallowed headfirst and hook up well. This photo is a rare occurrence of when a big king hit the bait but didn’t hook up.

Keep your mullet healthy in a large bucket combined with a battery aerator before you transfer them to a larger boat live well or holding tank. Carefully remove the mullet from the hooks as bleeding or injured ones can taint the water killing all your baits. A large saltwater tank is great for keeping live baits ready for an upcoming trip. Make sure you use sea water not river water as it stays cleaner for longer. The more aeration/bubbling your filter makes, the better.

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Above Left: Salmon are a little more temperamental to keep than mullet. But I have kept them for over a week and feed them live food like shrimps. The salmon, which annoy you when bream luring, can simply be put in the live-well taken home to the tank ready for when the sea flattens off in a day or two. Remember they need to be over the legal length of 21cm. Above Right: Mullet keep well in a large saltwater aquarium. They can be fed on a variety of foods, including aquarium fish food, and I’ve kept them for over a month. They are then ready for that time when you hear the mulloway are on and you can go straight away without having to spend time locating and catching your supply.


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In shallow areas or areas with little run/wind a floating bread berley is a good way of finding where the mullet are. They are soon attracted to the floating bait, giving away their presence with swirls and splashes. Once again small baits on small hooks, but this time under a float that can be cast into the feeding melee. 6


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Specifically targeting small salmon using a small/tiny metal slice retrieved quickly through the water is not only effective for getting your bait, but can be a lot of fun. Having small salmon shouldering each other out of the way to eat the slice prepares you for finding the kings doing the same to a bigger lure or bait in a day or two.

Downriggers are an effective tool for presenting your live baits at depths or in an area they don’t want to naturally swim to.

I like to rig my live mullet with a single through the nose and a treble in the rear of the bait. I rarely miss a run with this hook placement, unlike when I used to run two single hooks.

Top Left: Your electric motor is an important tool for presenting your live baits quietly and precisely. It is also important for being able to give chase once hooked up. Bottom Right: A good recirculating live well like this Flow-rite system is essential for keeping your salmon in healthy condition. Bottom Far Right: If the salmon are hard to find on the surface troll a spread of shallow diving bibbed hardbodies around on electric power until you find the fish.


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Mulloway arrive on beaches ROBE

Daniel Peart

The start to the mulloway run at Salt Creek was slow compared to last season. While I’ve heard of a couple fish around the 20kg mark caught closer to Kingston, the usual areas around 42

Mile and Ti Tree have been inconsistent, yielding only a couple fish around the 10kg mark. This area is still holding a few salmon providing keen anglers the best quality fresh bait available for targeting mulloway and sharks. It should only be a matter of days before we start to here of some real hot mulloway and variety of shark action from these waters.

A couple of large 10kg snapper were caught and released through November near 42 Mile, the next month or so is a fairly consistent time to run into these while targeting other species. ROBE Robe, being famous for its tasty crayfish, has had a fairly good start to the season for both professionals and amateurs. Little Dip Conservation Park has some unique reef systems allowing divers to get amongst the action while staying close to shore. Of course these areas can only be reached when weather permits and diving with a friend is a much safer option than solo. Both boat users and divers should all be aware of the current rules and regulations regarding crayfish captures. Fisheries patrol the south east frequently during the crayfish season and are more often than not very strict with the regulations. If you’re at all unsure about anything make sure to contact fisheries before collecting your Christmas lunch. The beaches around Robe have been producing some mulloway between 8-15kg. Wrights Bay, Rivoli Bay and right the way through Canunda

National Park are all seeing school mulloway hit the beaches. Concentrating your time a couple hours either side of the high tide will be your best bet. King George whiting in kidney slapping size will be on offer in shallow water especially as the water slowly warms up. Red Rock Bay is a consistent XL whiting hot spot on a high tide using fresh cockles or filleted pilchards. Don’t be surprised to pick up a few pan sized snapper while targeting whiting in less than 1 metre of water. While the south east doesn’t produce big numbers of whiting it sure makes up for it in size of fish. PORT MACDONELL The state wide snapper ban ends midday December 15. Once the ban has lifted there should be a fair number of snapper to be caught, keeping in mind the action will only pick up through January. Early season spots worth a try include Bungalo Bay, Green Point and Danger Point. All these are reliable spots and fishing the run in tides on dusk or dawn should see you get amongst the action. Inside the breakwater

Quality gummy sharks will be on offer for surf and boat anglers through summer. tinny anglers have seen some nice catches of KG whiting and tommies for those that are running a slow burley trail. The jetty itself is always worth putting a live bait under a float after dark for school sized mulloway. Offshore anglers have been getting amongst a few early season gummy and school sharks between the 70-100m line. Again these species will become more consistent to offshore boaters as the summer warms up as well as other species such as morwong, flathead and Tasmanian trumpeter. GLENELG RIVER The Glenelg has been providing light tackle anglers with mixed success on both bream and estuary perch.

The perch have been entertaining anglers using small diving minnows as well as some nice fish taken off the surface especially in the late afternoons. They seem to be wide spread through the river so it’s just a matter of covering ground to find them. Try targeting steep drop offs consisting of snags and covered by shade. Bream on the other hand have been a little slower although some really good specimens caught above the Caves have been pulled by persistent anglers. Mulloway have also been relatively quiet for this time of year with only a few small legal fish heard off. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a run of better fish very soon.

Start the year on a fishing high WARRNAMBOOL

Mark Gercovich


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Although January holds plenty of options for the keen angler, it is the opportunity to do some surface fishing which I find as a significant draw card. Having fish take a cast lure off the surface is an exciting angling pursuit and there are a few ways to get this fix locally at this time of year. Chasing down kingfish schools and casting lures at them is my favourite at this time of year. The frustration of long days of waiting for

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the right conditions is soon forgotten and it all comes together when a big long yellow-tailed behemoth slams your lure. Last season the Killarney/ Basin areas produced only the odd kingfish, north shore was as quiet as it’s ever been for them, however several areas off Port Fairy produced the goods last season. What will happen this January is anyone’s guess. Although usually thought of as a cooler month species, schools of good-sized salmon can also be sighted on the surface at this time of year and produce some good sport on cast lures. If conditions don’t allow for sea surface fun then plenty of top water action can be found in the local estuaries. Although most still resemble a winter scenario, due to the wet and cold spring, hopefully some warmer weather and clear water will see both bream and perch smashing surface presentations on clam mornings and evenings. Even if the wind is up a bit there is usually a calm bend where a surface plastic or hardbody can be blooped along. For holiday anglers not into lure casting, there are usually plenty of opportunities to catch bream, mullet and salmon near the mouths of any of the local estuaries on bait. Using a little berley, keeping the line and sinker weights

January is kingfish time, let’s hope the weather gods cooperate! down and using fresh bait can produce almost non-stop action for families trying to keep youngsters entertained over the holiday period. For those with the capability, apply the same principles just slightly offshore as there are usually plenty of pinky snapper around to keep rods bending frequently. With the aforementioned wet spring, trout should still be taken over the summer.

Bait fishing the deeper holes with shrimp or mudeyes or flicking naturally toned soft plastic stick baits is the best option. Redfin are also a popular summer target. Lakes Gillear, Aringa and Ellingamite would be the best local options to try and secure some sweet tasting redfin if those sea breezes make it too hard to get offshore.

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Curdies comes up trumps COBDEN

Rod Shepherd

The bream fishing in the Curdies River has been going great guns but the sheer size of past fish captures has somewhat been replaced with overwhelming numbers of fish averaging in the low 30cm range. In saying that, I urge anglers to please stick to daily bag limits and release any unwanted fish carefully so that they can provide future angling opportunities. Plenty of size and just-under bream are currently being caught with the bigger specimens averaging between 31-35cm. Local shrimp, packet river whitebait or ‘glassies’ and the ever-reliable (mostly) frozen prawn are keeping the bait soakers relatively happy with their resulting captures. Those

who concentrate their efforts using artificials, such as plastics and deep diving minnow lures, have had some exciting bream takes, both big and small. Cast right up against the river bank and either strip or allow to sink down the water column right in front of the bank side weed growth. The Curdies is considered a deep waterway in which to target bream with depths exceeding 8m in some stretches. If you were to take that one big step from the bank straight into the water you would find yourself well and truly submerged in 2m+ depth. It’s in this narrow stretch of water where bream prefer to hunt, especially in low light conditions. Weed growth would barely extend more than a metre out from the bank as the river bottom acutely drops off and becomes too deep

and dark for weed growth to take hold. I smile to myself when I see anglers in boats moored to the bank then casting out into the middle of the river. This water is extremely deep and low in dissolved oxygen and, by and large, a waste of time. As a general rule of thumb anglers need to cast out fore and aft of their craft and land baits no more than 3m from the bank. This goes for those deep fishing plastics and blades as well. The run of bigger snapper is slowly tapering off with reds that were averaging 4kg being steadily replaced by smaller pinkie snapper to 1.5kg. The good news is that boaters don’t need to travel out to depths of 40m in search of fish as reefs sitting in depths from 8-12m are holding schools. The same goes for those targeting gummy shark,

morwong and sweep. King George whiting have schooled up in large numbers and you don’t necessarily need to launch and head out to nearby weed/sand patches to catch a feed. Many anglers are catching plenty of whiting averaging around 40cm from the shore. It’s just a matter of using an appropriate surf rod that’s sensitive to whiting bites, plenty of berley and use the nearby sand dunes for height to look for sandy patches that are encompassed by weed beds. Some locally popular spots do not require a massive cast to reach fertile grounds. In fact a 15-20m cast is all that’s required to reach potentially schooling whiting. These same whiting spots can also provide some serious action regarding gummy shark once the sun goes down – keep that in mind.

Avid whiting angler, Wal Wynd, reeling in yet another whiting from the shore.

Portland, the place to be PORTLAND

Nigel Fisher

December has seen some great fishing. The Lee Breakwater has been at its best in the last couple off months with some big snapper up to 10kg and some great gummies, schoolies and sevengillers in big sizes. The squid have also moved in and the whiting are getting better. When the weather has been kind, the boat fishing has been in good form. There have been plenty of flathead and whiting caught on the drift around the bay, and some great action around in the deeper water with good catches

of shark, snapper, flathead, queenfish, and gurnards. So there are lots available on the dinner list. Surf fishing has been okay in the area with gummies, bronzies, schoolies and the odd mulloway. January should certainly see the mighty kingfish in around our coastlines. Last year was a little slow for them, but let’s hope this month will be better. The squid have moved into the bay with good catches in the boats and

around the breakwater and jetties. The pinky snapper have made the breakwater home and around the North Shore as well. These fish are in good numbers and fun to catch. There are some good whiting around the corner from the golf course to Point Danger, and along the North Shore areas and the breakwall. January also produces great catches of flathead, sharks and a range of other great eating fish in the deeper waters from the rock

THE AUTHOR My name is Nigel Fisher and I have been working with the Compleat Angler team for nearly three years now in Portland. I work with a great team consisting of Bruce, Tony and Neil. We all enjoy nothing better than fishing and helping people do the same.




to Bridge Water Bay. The Fitzroy and Surrey rivers are also a great place to visit in January with good catches off bream, mullet and the odd estuary perch. Some of the best baits for the breakwater are squid, pilchards, salmon and couta fillets for the bigger fish; and pipis, prawns and worms and blue and white baits for the whiting and the other fish lurking in the rocks. Soft plastics and salmon lures are also a good option for the breakwater. For the rivers, the bream like pipis, prawns, worms and whitebaits. Again soft plastics and hardbody lures work very well for these great fish. We can certainly help you with the options of bait and lures at Portland Compleat Angler.

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Expect joyous jaunt after New Year celebrations PORT PHILLIP WEST

Brenton Hodges

At this stage, January is shaping up as a month to remember right across the western shores of Port Phillip. While the snapper bite generally starts to slow in the lead up to Christmas, the New Year is sure to bring many more memorable moments for those fishing out wide from Altona, Point Cook and Werribee South. Early mornings coupled with a change in tide are your best bet with silver whiting and pilchard still the go-to baits in amongst a steady stream of berley. For those casting soft plastics on the inner reefs, smaller pinkie snapper should start to make more of an appearance, particularly of an evening just prior to sunset, which can on occasion produce fish-a-cast action. Anglers pitching lures and soft plastics ahead of a drifting boat can also reasonably expect to encounter flathead, snook, Australian salmon, and even the odd King George whiting in the shallows, sometimes all in one day! Corio Bay’s outer harbour region is a prime target area for each of these species with the

Smaller pinkie snapper should start to make more of an appearance across the inner reefs this month. first two hours of the run-off tide generally bringing about the hottest bite. WILLIAMSTOWN TO ALTONA The snapper fired in a big way during the early to middle stages of the season and although the hot bite has slowed somewhat of late, there are still some solid reds to be had. Fishing at anchor in 16m of water off Altona, Jonathon Balfour secured a personal best snapper in amongst a hot early morning bite. Jonno says reds ranging from 3-5.1kg came on the chew just prior to sunrise and the action continued for a few hours. Although a bag limit of just three snapper in excess of 40cm could have achieved within just a few

minutes, Jonno opted to keep just two and released more than a dozen others. All fish were taken on silver whiting and pilchard either side of a high tide change. Mark Moseley emailed through a few photographs of his bag limit catch while fishing with his six year old son. Launching from Altona in the early hours of the morning, Mark headed out towards Fawkner Beacon, which has been a productive patch for him in the past. Apparently conditions were quite choppy so it took quite a while to get out. Once settled in position the action commenced at first light and within just 90 minutes the boys had secured their bag. Mark says they used pilchards rigged on a single

6/0 hook combined with a small running sinker. Cubed pilchards were also used as berley, with a handful or two introduced every 15 minutes or thereabouts. Fishing from his pedal powered kayak, Dave Agius picked up quite a few Australian salmon while flicking soft plastics relatively close to Altona Boat Ramp. Dave says Gulp! Camo Sandworms and various paddle-tails did the trick on the salmon, which were spotted herding baitfish and put up a great fight on light gear. POINT COOK TO POINT WILSON Down at Corio Bay, Nick Whelan managed four ripping reds, the smallest of which went a healthy 5kg. Fishing with fresh squid, taken earlier in the afternoon, Nick also managed a personal best snapper with his first knobbynose drawing the scales down to 7.51kg. Andrew Dellaca and Corey Gallagher managed to get out for a good session on the Corio Bay snapper. Casting soft plastics on the drift, the boys finished with 6 reds between them, each weighing in at 3-5kg. According to

Andrew, they were both well and truly smoked by some larger specimens, which proved far too powerful for their relatively light lure casting outfits. METROPOLITAN RIVERS At this time of year, Melbourne’s river systems are often overlooked by anglers searching for Port Phillip snapper and whiting. Nevertheless, plenty of bream will be on offer this month and those planning to compete in Round 1 of the 2013 Vic Bream Classic Series are no doubt finalising preparations before the two week pre-fish ban commences in mid-January. A more comprehensive round up of the metro rivers bream

scene will be made available next month. BEEN FISHING? If you would like to see your name and/or photograph published, please forward reports and images to You’re certainly not obliged to give away your secret spot, but a please include a general description of when, where, the technique and bait used, and who caught the fish. I’d also like to wish V&TFM readers all the best for the new year. Thanks to those who have taken the time to email over the past 12 months. It is always very much appreciated and I look forward to hearing more about your success stories in 2014.

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Plenty of prime species APOLLO BAY

Daniel Kent

It may be the start to another new year but we are currently right in the middle of Apollo Bay’s prime fishing season. The ocean species are all in full

swing with King George whiting, flathead, squid, gummy sharks, snapper and many other species all on offer from boat and shore. The key to consistent catches has been to target a specific species and once you are happy with your captures of that species, it’s time to

King George whiting are a great option in January for boat and land-based fishers in the Apollo Bay area.

target something different. Here’s a quick guide on where to concentrate your efforts this January. If you are after an easy feed where the whole family can get in on the action then head offshore for 30-40m of water. Assuming that you are fishing (drifting) over a sandy bottom then the flathead shouldn’t be too hard to catch. If snapper fishing is more your style you will need to look for patches of reef in the same depth ranges that the flathead are found. Offshore reefs are few and far between off Apollo Bay with the best options being the Henty Reef, Cape Otway, Point Franklin or Cape Patton. Again drifting is the preferred method but make sure your GPS is ready to add a mark once you catch a fish. This way the same area can be revisited, which often produces more captures of a similar size fish. Gummy sharks can be found in the sandy channels and holes that break up the reef systems at both Cape Otway and Cape Patton. A 40-60m range is my preferred depth and, if possible, I like to anchor up with some berley attached to the anchor chain. The key to successful gummy and school shark




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Continued page 17



Bank on the Barwon for fun GEELONG

Neil Slater

The water has remained dirty for a long time in the Barwon due to healthy rains late October. Big carp and eels have been caught by anglers bank fishing the Barwon River. The carp are all over most baits but the eels have bitten best on worms after dark. Despite the dirty water, redfin to 600g have been caught on lures around Queens Park close to dusk. Brightly coloured minnow lures have been best as well as soft plastics in 2” grubs and minnow profiles. CORIO BAY The snapper have been absolutely stunning again and I keep thinking it will stop one season but it hasn’t. Corio Bay has coughed up yet another stellar season with plenty of anglers getting amongst some great fish. Ross Winstanley had three dry outings where he’s struggled to rake up a feed of flatties, until he decided on a different strategy. Using 5/0 and 1/0 hooks, Ross

headed around to the outer edge of the spoil grounds east of Point Henry and caught 10 pinkie snapper all in the 29-35cm range. Ross said he had that whole bay (and all of its banjos) to himself in perfect conditions last week. Ross spoke to a bloke at the ramp who caught 12 good King George whiting off Alcoa at the end of Point Henry recently, which is encouraging news for whiting fishos.

CLIFTON SPRINGS AND PORTARLINGTON Brendan Jones had a cracking session out off Clifton Springs with his cousin Alan recently. The lads were feeding the anchor out at 4.30am and had their first fish before the last rod had been cast out! Brendan said they had their best bite around 5am and things tapered off after that. Fishing near channel markers 13 and 14 with silver whiting as bait, they

Brendan lifts nearly 9kg of Corio Bay red for the camera.

caught their bag limit of snapper from 4-9kg in three hours. Alan caught the first fish of the day, which weighed in at a very respectable 5.5kg. But the best fish was to go to Brendan who boated a 90cm+ fish that weighed in at a hefty 8.74kg. Brendan noted that a mate of his fished the same spot within a few days and did not lose a bait. It just goes to show you, sometimes you land right on top of hungry fish! Brendan said his method to locate fish was to motor along at about 5 knots and watch for arches on his sounder, which really hit the jackpot this time around! Point Wilson has been the place to be for big snapper as well with quality fish coming over the side in excess of 5kg by anglers fishing in around 5m of water off Mountain View Quarries. ST LEONARDS TO QUEENSCLIFF Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says the wait for the wind to ease is worth it if you like calamari, as they are fairly thick off the Bellarine Peninsula at the moment.

The author’s bro-in-law Ash soaking a pillie at Moggs Creek – they had a cracker of a day! Rod says he had several boats return with bag limit captures of calamari fishing Grassy Point through to Indented Head producing best numbers. Rod noted that there are a few good whiting reports coming in. St Leonards is producing some larger fish while Portarlington and Grassy Point have been producing bag limit captures, which is early for whiting. Rod says that Steels Rocks has been producing snapper after dark and there seems to be a lot of mackerel and barracouta kicking about as well. BARWON HEADS AND SURF COAST Mick Allardyce from Allyweld Group fished

Painkalac Creek at Aireys Inlet with his daughter Maddy and says that the river was very dirty due to recent rains. Maddy landed some undersize bream using scrub worms, which she thought was great fun. They came back to fish the Anglesea River where they persisted for a while but did not even lose a bait. We had a weekend at Moggs Creek for my brother-in-law’s 50th recently. With cracking weather on the Saturday, we all hit the beach to run those kids like kelpies and flick a line in the water. There were plenty of people fishing in ideal conditions with offshore breeze and low to moderate surf but we did not get any bites at

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all. There were close to 10 anglers in around 100m and I did not see any of them catch anything either, which was unusual. Quality snapper, gummy and school sharks have also been reported along the Surf Coast from Barwon Heads to Anglesea with first and last light being best for snapper in the shallower water. During the day it is best to fish deep and drift in 40m for snapper and flake. Fish hard – die happy! From page 15

fishing in these depths is making sure you fish the tide changes. The tide runs very hard around these points and it is really only possible to hold a bait on the bottom once the flow slows in the last and first hour of the tide cycle. I have found that fresh fish fillets of salmon or barracouta cut into strips or fresh squid heads are the prime baits when targeting these bottom dwelling sharks. The inshore reefs closer to the boat ramp are great options for anglers targeting King George whiting. The Waterfall Reefs, Point Bumbry and Marengo are all good options and, just like for gummy sharks, you are looking to anchor in a sandy channel or hole amongst these reef systems. A light running

Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to slaterbunch@ with “VFM” in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997348. Please include where (without giving away your secret spot!), when, what on and who caught the fish. Pictures are always great, but please make sure they are at least 1mb (file size). sinker rig with pipis for bait is all that is needed to catch these hard fighting whiting. If you haven’t caught a whiting in the first 15 minutes then try moving to the next sand patch, sometimes it is only a matter of moving a few metres to find the schooling fish. King George whiting are also an excellent land-based option, with the rocks at the breakwall, Marengo, Grey River and Blanket Bay all offering excellent platforms to fish from. A light surf rod is best for casting long distances and for lifting fish up onto the rocks. Again make sure you are casting onto a sandy bottom near the reef edges and not straight onto hard reef. The beaches further south, such as Glen Aire, Castle Cove and Johanna, are great afterdark options for gummy sharks

Maddy Allardyce had fun with Painkalac’s bream.

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and snapper. You will need to wait for very flat conditions but the fishing can be excellent for those that put in the hours. Fresh baits of squid, octopus or salmon fillet will go a long way to seeing you put a bend in your rod. The river estuaries at Aire and Barham rivers shouldn’t be over-looked and are great options for those who are camping on the river bank. Large schools of mullet can be brought around by the use of berley. It’s great fun for the kids as they can usually be seen swirling on the surface and taking your bait just metres from the shore. While the kids are ‘messing around’ it is a good option to put out a prawn or scrubworm in search of a big black bream, which are also a reliable option at this time of year.

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Serious fishing fun for January PORT PHILLIP EAST

Lee Rayner

Christmas has been and gone once again and now it’s time to get serious on the fishing front. The warm summer weather is here and a big variety of species are on offer in the bay, so I think it’s fair to say that you would have to be scrooge not to love this month. MORDIALLOC TO BLACK ROCK With warmer weather now on the menu the shallow waters around the Mordialloc Pier have been producing the odd whiting on the calm evenings for land-based anglers. However the coming weeks should hopefully see a bigger run of fish move into the sand holes that are between the reef on the north side of the pier. Out in the boats there are plenty of options available throughout Beaumaris Bay this month. There is now a lot of focus on the whiting, which are being found along the Horse Paddock Reef to Parkdale Pinnacles and then up on the small lump of reef known as Brickies. A lot of anglers really focus their efforts using pipis

on the whiting but, while they are a great bait, it’s also well worth mixing it up with baits of mussel and squid. For whatever reason, the whiting in this part of the world will often focus on one bait source, and if you don’t have it you can go home with donuts, while the guy next to you gets a bag of fish. On the reef areas I have also started to hear of garfish turning up in decent numbers, which is making it perfect for anglers to put a few whiting baits out then add to it with a gar rig on the surface. Fingers crossed this month will also see a good burst of warm weather, which should in turn help to bring on a few kingfish into this part of the bay. While you can go and chase them, the best way to get yourself into some kingy action is to berley up a whole load of garfish and the kings will find you as they come in to smash apart the bait. From Ricketts Point to Black Rock reports are coming through of a few whiting but it seems that you can’t berley too hard or you will be invaded by pinkies, which then also make it hard to get a whiting. On the surface action, now is also a cracking time of

year to get stuck into a bunch of high flying Aussie salmon. To get into these guys, all you need to do is watch for the birds as they give away the position of the feeding fish, then head up wind of the school, cut the motor then drift towards them, while casting small lures and plastics into the feeding fish. If you are also keen on trying to find something a bit bigger then try fishing a popper or a big plastic around the edge of the school of salmon as any kingfish in the area will also be following them. Out wider on locations, such as the Gasso and other deeper water marks, there are still good numbers of snapper to be found with some of the best fishing to be had late in the afternoon and into the evening. SANDRINGHAM TO ST KILDA Now is a fantastic time of the year to be a landbased angler at end of the Sandringham breakwall and the Rock Groynes. You’ll have a very good chance for producing whiting of an evening and into the night. In fact in many cases the later it gets the better the fishing can be for quality whiting and

some decent-sized calamari. Further along at Green Point is a top place to be if you are chasing garfish – big ones! This shallow reef area seems to be the perfect location for them and it’s a simple matter of anchoring up on the up tide or up wind end of the reef then allowing your berley to carry over the reef it shouldn’t be too long before the gars find you. Moving out a bit deeper is also the time to start looking for whiting around the Anonyma Shoal, as this area will often hold numbers of better-sized fish. As a bonus there is plenty of other good by-catch around the reef in the form of trevally, leatherjackets and at times good pinkies. Further along at Brighton the breakwall can produce good land-based options for flathead and pinkies of an evening. The last few years have also seen a few gummy sharks in the 3-8kg size being taken at night during January and February. Up towards St Kilda now is the time to get in the water and wade the shallows while casting small soft plastics on any likely looking weed edges, drop-offs or in between the reef patches.

Snapper like this one caught by Pete Ward of Fishing Fever are still well and truly on the bite this month. With the warmer weather some quality flathead in the 50-70cm size move into these areas, and they make for a load of fun to catch and are exceptionally good feed. ST KILDA TO PORT MELBOURNE Shallow warm water offers anglers some good fishing options this month with generally good flathead to be found by a variety of methods from land-based lure casting to drifting in the boats. With the warmer water it generally attracts plenty of baitfish into the area, which will often find good numbers of salmon

to be found, especially up around the Station and Princess Piers. If all goes well and we don’t get rain to dirty the water up, the reef areas out off St Kilda and around the Port Melbourne Yacht Club should hopefully see some whiting start to turn up over the coming weeks. Out deeper it’s still worth a shot on the snapper along the edge of the shipping channel running out towards the Fawkner Beacon. With the colder water over the past month, the snapper should still be well and truly on the bite up in this area.

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It’s all about snapper PORT PHILLIP NE

Wayne Friebe

After a slow and cool start to the season, summer is now definitely upon us in a big way. While some of the usual expected fish activity has


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been a little slower and later than usual, this should mean a more prolonged season for many of the bay’s target species, particularly the mighty snapper. And if you listen to weather predictions from the ‘Old Salts’ around the place, many believe we are in for a long, scorching summer in the New Year. I guess the best thing to do is see what happens. January is the peak month for many of the bay’s anglers and, just like the months before and after, it’s all about snapper. The best thing about those fishing our part of the bay along the eastern seaboard is that the bite has really only started to fire up over the last few weeks or so. Normally, late October and early November can be manic times, but this season saw the lion’s share of the snapper action taking place in the northern bay. As the water temperatures along our shores continue to rise, the snapper fishing will continue to go from strength to strength. The snapper will move into our areas to put on condition before they spawn later in the season. Specifically, the shallower marks from 13-15m have been very productive of late, and many anglers have been reporting good success using larger baits and targeting more solitary fish. Time spent studying your sounder can be very valuable, as these fish will tend to graze over wide expanses of water, making them a little tricky to find at times. In particular, baits of scads, yakkas, red rockets and fresh salmon have all been doing the damage of late. Many anglers have also reported that the bites on these larger baits have been very timid, and sometimes there has been a need to feed a fair chunk of line

Peak bite periods have been heavily centred on the change of tide and the change of light at the start and end of the day. to the fish before they will take the bait properly. Also the common trend has been that peak bite periods have been heavily centred on the change of tide, and also the change of light at the start and end of the day. Also interesting has been that the snapper have been consistently firing in shallower water, and then deeper marks on different tide changes. Nobody said it was supposed to be easy, my advice is to stay flexible and keep abreast of current reports via your local tackle store, and other anglers on the water. Other areas that have recently turned over some good snapper are the deeper marks straight out from Mornington around the yachting course, wide out from the Hospital and Canadian Bay at Mount Eliza, and several other areas further south around Mount Martha. The great thing about these areas is they are in very close proximity to some productive reef areas where you can easily obtain fresh baits (or a feed) of squid and other desirables, like salmon and flathead.

Shallower marks from 13-15m have been very productive of late, and many anglers have been reporting good success. While we are talking about squid too, don’t be afraid to try smaller, single strip baits rigged on a single hook, especially if the bite is a little timid during quieter times of the tide. Sometimes these humble offerings can account for the best fish of the day, and will also take care of flathead and other fish you may want to target too. Hectic bite times have meant that many anglers have been catching their limit quickly, and during these times is a great time to experiment with different techniques. Trolling can be a deadly (and fun) way to

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The snapper will move into Port Phillip Bay to put on condition before they spawn later in the season.

catch snapper, and it’s also a great way to sound for fish, and have a line in the water as well. Aided with the use of a downrigger is best, but there are definitely lures that will run at 8-10m on a flat line straight out of the box. Other techniques, like plastics and the very popular micro-jigging have their followers as well, and can be devastating at times. Keep in mind that snapper spend a lot of their time traveling near mid water off the bottom, which is why your baits are often taken a long time before they reach the bottom. Any technique that covers the entire water column can be deadly for snapper, and also the gear that is used for these specific techniques makes landing snapper even more fun. Once again the landbased boys have got amongst the action in the past month with some great snapper being landed off Mornington Pier in particular, and also some of the nearby rock platforms. Fresh squid has been a gun bait, as well as salmon fillets and the good old pilchard. If you’re fishing pillies, it pays to salt them up before you fish so they hang on a little better, especially when you’re punching out long cast on the surf gear that is necessary in these areas. My apologies to our readers that this column has been entirely devoted to snapper, but that’s easily done at this time of year.



Summer shines on catches ROSEBUD

Dan Lee

The last four weeks have been an exciting time down in the southern part of Port Phillip Bay. With the increasing water temps it felt like the bay came alive with a good variety of species being caught in a range of different locations. With the crowds descending for another fantastic summer, there is no doubt in my mind that we are in for a hot fishing season! MORNINGTON TO MT MARTHA The bay temps are taking some time to warm up this year. The best fishing on the snapper grounds deep off Mornington and Mt Martha, has only happened in the last four weeks. The 22m line off the Fairway fired up and plenty of the school fish that were being caught further north finally moved south to keep peninsula anglers happy. Snapper were also taken in 17m around the turning bell at Mt Martha, as well as in the deeper water out behind Hovell Pile. My thoughts are that it could be a ripper late season

this year. There are acres of bait holding off Mt Martha and this should keep this fish in the area for a long while. While it’s only in its infancy here in Victoria, it has been interesting to watch the trend in snapper fishing toward ultra-light or slow jigging, as another form of lure fishing for snapper. For those who may not have seen or heard of the style it is basically using very small knife jigs in the 30-60g range, some of which have feathered or skirted assist hooks. For those dedicating a bit of time to the practice they are already coming up trumps! My guess – we are going to see a lot more of this over the next few years.

ROSEBUD TO RYE A big talking point this month has been the gummy sharks. From early in the month regular captures of fish to 20kg have been reported with the periods around the full moon an absolute hot focal point. North and south of the South Channel have been producing fantastic fish through this area and on our calmer nights have provided for some classic fishing. There have been plenty of smaller sharks taken as by-catch while snapper fishing off the other side of the Great Sands as well. As always, fresh baits are best, however, salmon fillets have no doubt proved effective this last month.

Sam Sierakowski with a huge gummy shark caught while fishing the south channel at Rye.

BLAIRGOWRIE TO SORRENTO The shallow grounds off this area are always good for squid and whiting. And although whiting have taken a while to heat up, we are now seeing some good numbers come from the Sorrento Channel and on the edge of the Rye Channel. Fishing dusk has been effective. Fresh squid has been the best bait closely followed by cocktail baits of pipi and mussel or pipi and squid. Squid have been fantastic this year, with only a few periods where they slowed down. Most of the time this could be put down to the heavy spring rains, which often forced the squid into deep water and would slow them down for a week or two. Most of the calamari have been in the 10-20cm hood range, which should continue for the next couple of months. The new Gancraft jig in King George whiting colour has been hugely popular and accounted for some really good calamari. So have some of their other new colours they released in November this year. Land-based squid fishing has been good too with Blairgowrie Marina and Portsea Pier the best spots.

More whiting than you can poke a stick at! They certainly should provide good entertainment for the summer crowds over the next month. PORTSEA TO THE RIP Good whiting and squid have also been found at Point King, and those who have been looking for big gummies have been doing okay around Channel Marker 2. The real excitement in this area however, is prospect of yellowtail kings. We have heard a few rumours so it would certainly be worth having a look around the heads and offshore if a big Vic king tickles your fancy. Land-based, there have been plenty of tommy rough and slimy mackerel being caught from Portsea Pier and

other piers at this end of the peninsula. They have been fishing best at dusk and into the night. Finally, to all the readers and those who support us with fishing reports and pics throughout the year I want to say a big thank you. It’s crazy time down here on the peninsula and I look forward to meeting a few of you in my shop. Be sure to drop in and say g’day! For more information feel free to drop in and see the boys at Peninsula Total Tackle, 11 Boneo Road in Rosebud or phone: 03 5981 1994.


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Snapper underway PHILLIP ISLAND

John Dalla-Rosa

Snapper season is now well and truly underway and so far it’s been a good one with a lot of good fish being caught. All the fish that I have caught so far have been in excellent condition with most being in the 3-6kg range. Last season most of the fish seemed to be around 2-4kg, so this year we have had a much better run of quality fish. Like always they like playing their finicky games and you can sit there for 3 or 4 hours and not get a run or you can be there for 10 minutes and the fish go nuts and you bag out in half an hour and go home. Fishing early morning has been hot, and fishing evenings has been a waste of time, but as snapper go they can switch to evenings so it pays to be persistent. SURF BEACHES The surf beaches are all fishing well with salmon

about to 1.5kg in good numbers. There are also some decent flathead around 1kg fish being caught. Now with the warmer weather the gummies will be moving in on the beaches after dark so now is a good time to target them. SAN REMO AREA Below the Bridge Outside the entrance off the Glasshouse there are good numbers of flathead but you have to persist with the small ones to catch the bigger fish. There are also lots of small couta (which are great snapper bait) but you lose a lot of tackle. It’s also a good time of year to start chasing a few makos. Above the Bridge There are good reports of snapper coming in from all areas of Western Port Bay, with some big gummies being caught in the Corinella area. Whiting are showing up in good numbers but as most fishos are still chasing snapper not a lot of reports have been coming in. I have

had no trouble catching a feed though. Calamari are still being caught in good numbers. The best spots are Cleelands Bight, Tankerton and the Tyabb Bank. FLINDERS SHOREHAM AREA A few big whiting are starting to show up in these areas but they usually fire up just after Christmas. For all you lucky people on holidays wanting to catch a feed of fish, go fishing early morning or late afternoon with fresh bait. Fish a slack tide for snapper or gummies and a run-off tide for whiting, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a feed.

A good average bag of snapper caught by the author.

Fun in the sun begins now PORT PHILLIP

Chris Vasilevski

Let’s hope the tumultuous weather is behind us, and we have plenty of sun-filled days on the water with plenty of rod bending action ahead. Let the fun in the sun begin! SHARK We will definitely be on the hunt for sharks this year to improve on the record we achieved last year. January is known to be the peak time for shark activity in Bass Strait, particularly if it’s a scorcher of a summer. We have seen plenty of baitfish activity so far, which is a good indication that the sharks will be making their way in. The mako shark is the prized shark capture for the season. As our weather can limit the amount of opportunities you have to head out in search of these mighty beasts, take the chance when it presents itself. To find them make sure you berley up in

between 30-70m of water and if they are around you will be sure to feel their presence. Shark fishing can certainly provide some adrenalin pumping action, however make sure you head out with someone who is experienced in both shark fishing and, above all, boating. To hit the shark grounds you need to go through the heads, which can be a challenging at times. Don’t forget the gummy shark. They have been coming in good size this season, around the 5-15kg mark, and have been particularly active around the full moon. FLATTIES Flathead are a great catch for the experienced and inexperienced angler. They have so far presented themselves in good size and number, and as they are known to be the best table fish around it is certainly hard to pass up. They are also a great time filler when waiting for a shark to appear. SALMON Salmon have been

popping up in the bay and rip, and they can provide tonnes of entertainment for families and young anglers. They are not large in numbers at this stage but keep some white occies and light gear handy in case you see a patch busting up around these areas. When fishing for the salmon, do not drive through the school as this will disperse them. Instead drive around the side of the school and fish away. SNAPPER Snapper have remained consistent offshore, coming in at 2-5kg, and providing a challenge for many anglers. The offshore snapper fishing experience can prove different to what the average punter may have experienced before. At depths of 50m+, the fight can be longer and tougher than what most anticipate, which has proven to test many anglers. KINGFISH Kingfish had disappeared from our region for some time, however they have

made a comeback in the last few years. Just like last year, the rip is the place to be to land one of these fine species; just be careful as the rip can prove to be a challenge. SQUID Squid fishing has proved to be a challenge this year with so many boats trying to fish the same spots. Despite some difficulty in reaching the squid they have been in good size and numbers. STRIPED TUNA We had a great season on the striped tuna last year and this is the time to be heading out the front with some light gear in search of them, as they are a great entertainer. We will be in the peak of the fishing season in Bass Strait and anglers can now experience the best of offshore fishing, from the acrobatic displays of makos or the satisfaction of reeling in a red beauty. They are all out there and waiting for you to take on the challenge.


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Offshore fishing to explode WESTERN PORT STH

Jarrod Day

Hold onto your hats, the offshore fishing scene is about to explode. January is certainly the time of year to be heading offshore in search of mako sharks and already a few have been caught. The next few weeks will see plenty of anglers dust off the game gear, load the bait and berley and head

out. If it is anything like last season, this year will be a cracker. January is also the time to go in search of yellowtail kingfish and, while Port Phillip Bay may be the location most talked about, offshore from Western Port is often more productive and easier to fish than the Rip. Some of the more productive locations to find kings are at the Glasshouse, Pyramid Rock and Seal Rocks. These three locations all share

similar characteristics; rough water, current and bait. If you are going on the kingfish hunt, live baiting is the more productive technique. If you can find a patch of yakkas to catch, make sure you don’t head offshore without at least 20. Barracouta, pike and snook will be your worst enemy and you will go through a lot of livies during a kingy mission. When rigging up, a size 8 barrel sinker will hold your bait down at the desired depth




but ensure you’re running an 80lb leader. You will need a leader with high abrasive resistance due to the rocky terrain you’ll be working over. In saying that, you can always troll a spread of lures along the edge of the coastline, which is quite effective. For this, Halco Laser Pro, Strada HM Tracka and 140mm Yo-Zuri Hydro Magnum in a blue or green colour work exceptionally well. The Port itself has been nothing but sensational this season. It is interesting to see quite a number of anglers making the switch from snapper to whiting already. Speaking of snapper, although the past month of torrential rain did keep the water temperature below average and the snapper actively feeding, they have certainly picked up a notch lately. The North Arm,

Always remember the one percenters when fishing: quality terminal tackle, reliable outfits and of course the humble pilchard. do this effectively, Snapper Snatcher or Instinct Lumo paternoster rigs have been the most effective rigs used when laced with calamari strips. Aside from snapper, some good sharks have been hooked and lost near Elizabeth Island. This area is well known for big bronze whaler sharks, school sharks and seven-gill sharks at this time of year. Last year few

fish in the area with pipi and squid strips working well. Of course, what would a fishing report column be without the mention of calamari, and haven’t they been thick. Anglers fishing from the Stony Point, Cowes and San Remo jetties have been doing exceptionally well when fishing during the night. A baited jig under a float has been the most effective



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Steve displays a nice gummy shark while fishing during the night. Corinella and Rhyll have been the pick of locations to consistently find and catch snapper. These locations will continue to produce solid fish right up until late February by which time we should see the first of run of elephants arrive. The corals are one of the main areas that are continuing to produce quality snapper. One angler by the name of Tom Peters fished the corals. He fished from the low tide change to the high tide change and managed to catch and release 18 snapper to 6kg. Funnily enough, Tom said that he had more hook ups on fish using the Black Magic KL 6/0 circle hook than he did on his other rods using snelled octopus hooks. The most recent report that I have received has been of a large patch of snapper that have schooled up between Buoy 11 and 13 near Phillip Island. Most of these fish have been up to 3kg and have been caught by means of drifting with the tide. The best time has been the last two hours of the run-out when the tide is slowing down. To

fish were landed to over 50kg and lots were lost; it seems that the same fate as last season is starting again. This is also a good location for mulloway, but if you’re after a toothy your best bet is to use a wire trace. Attempting to fish for both mulloway and sharks with just 80lb leader will see a lot of sharks lost. Choose your target and use the right gear for the job. Whiting are also in abundance at present with some very impressive fish plucked from the shallows. Tackle World staff member Liz and her husband fished the North Arm to catch 6 whiting using pipi baits. The fish all measured 45cm that made a magnificent meal at the end of the day. Plenty of other anglers have also been reporting about the size of some of the whiting, with the most consistent location being the Tortoise Head Bank. The fish have been firing best on the last two hours of the run-in tide in the sand holes. Berley has been a must to hold the

technique during the first hour either side of the high tide changes. Artificial jigs have caught some nice calamari but it is the bait jigs that have been working best. THINGS TO TRY If you’re looking for something to try a little left field, flicking soft plastics around Reef Island can lead to some very impressive catches. Rarely targeted is the rock flathead and Reef Island is one location where they can be regularly caught. Due to the thick weed and rocky terrain, rock flathead use this as cover and Reef Island is a well known rock flathead location. If you’re looking to try something different, grab yourself a packet of 100mm Wriggler style soft plastics or Gulp 4” minnows and get casting, you’ll be quite surprised with what you catch. Don’t forget though, there are also some very big calamari about so make sure that while you’re flicking about, you have a squid jig floating out the back of your boat about 2m down.

Just a little bit of everything WST PORT NTH

Adam Ring

Happy New Year everybody and let’s get ready to start afresh for 2014! The snapper are still going bonkers and the average size is ridiculous. The whiting have also hit their straps and are blowing anglers away with a very healthy average size. The

gummy sharks have also turned it on with fish to 30kg starting to get very hungry! THE TOP END The top end of Western Port continues to blow anglers’ minds and it’s been a very long time since this area has consistently produced fish to the size that we have been seeing. Joes Island has been as good as ever and the variety of species here is starting to

really shine as well. Some really nice whiting have shown up around the island and have schooled up in some pretty big numbers. Shaun Threlfull sat just off the back of Joes and cleaned up with a lovely bag of whiting; mixed in were a handful of salmon that had come up on the berley. After a bit of a weed problem put an end to Shaun’s whiting session, he moved around

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the corner closer to Tooradin and turned one of those fresh salmon into a ridiculously big gummy that would have easily weighed over 30kg. The interesting thing with this gummy is that it was caught in only 4.5m of water! The snapper have also continued to fire around Joes with a massive 11.4kg fish taken by Tom Back, but there have still been plenty of fish around the 4-5kg mark calling Joes home as well. Tooradin has been a fishing Mecca over the course of the month and with the reports coming through it would have to be up there if you weren’t quite sure where you wanted to fish. A truck load of whiting have been coming in from the Tooradin channel and, although there are plenty of school fish about, I have seen quite a few photos of some long, and really fat whiting coming in. I would put money on the average weight being a little bit up on previous years so let’s hope this continues well into the season. It’s not just the whiting going off at Tooradin, there are some rather large snapper still swimming around. A Tooradin local caught a ridiculously large 11kg snapper caught on board a local charter boat. He also caught a 7.3kg fish in the same area, so the abundance of big fish around Tooradin has been phenomenal in recent times. Warneet refuses to be out done and won’t let Toordin

There are some thumping whiting like these all along the spit at the moment. out shine it. The whiting have not been as thick but it has still been well worth soaking a pipi at the end of the channel. Snapper have also been taken just out of Warneet Channel to a whopping 7kg so the big fish have really spread themselves out! THE NORTH ARM The North Arm has seen a little bit of everything in recent times with some exceptional snapper, gummy sharks and really healthy

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The quality of the snapper has been outstanding of late.

bags of whiting being caught. This would have to be one of the best times of the year for us Victorian anglers because the options are endless. Some of the bags of whiting that I have seen taken from the Tyabb Bank have been incredible with fish of 45cm or larger becoming quite common! Mixed in with the whiting have been some sensational flathead to 45cm. They are taking whiting baits, so not bad for by-catch! The whiting have also fired up on the Middle Spit, which would easily be one of the most whiting rich areas in the port. Smaller fish tend to congregate right up on the spit in as little as 1.5m of water but the bigger whiting have been sitting in the 4m drop just off the banks of the spit. All of the usual baits have been getting the job done, it’s just a matter of putting the time in and moving around until you locate the schools. Hastings has been the place to be if you are chasing something a little bigger with snapper and gummies being caught in the same areas. Cooper Millsom witnessed one of these sessions where he caught snapper to 4kg and gummies to 5kg on the same mark. Not a bad feed to take home to the family, if you ask me! As I mentioned earlier, fishing doesn’t really get much better than this! So after a long start to the season with some horrid weather it’s time to take advantage of a little bit of warmth, feed the family with the freshest and tastiest fish in the world! Good luck and keep the reports coming!

Your fishing licence fees at work Werribee River access Parks Victoria has used recreational fishing licence fees to improve angler access to the Werribee River, near the K Road Cliffs. A 1 km track has been created along the river adjacent to the Werribee River Golf Club, enabling anglers to fish previously inaccessible stretches of river safely from the shore. Four ‘Seal the Loop’ bins have been installed to encourage responsible disposal of fishing line and tackle. The project also planted 60 extra trees and shrubs along the river to stabilise banks and provide shade in the future.

Gunbower Creek fishing platform The Cohuna Neighbourhood House has built an all-abilities fishing platform on Gunbower Creek. Fisheries Victoria stocks Gunbower Creek annually with Murray cod fingerlings using fishing licence fees and the State Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative. The Creek is also central to the ‘Building Northern Native Fisheries’ project

Port Albert webcam The Port Albert Light Game and Sport Fishing Club has installed a weather cam at the Wildfish Restaurant, overlooking the water. The images from the webcam images are updated every minute and weather data every five minutes, including ambient temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure and wind chill. The Club hopes anglers will use the information to make more informed decisions about safe boating. Visit

Make the most of the breaks this season WELSHPOOL

Alan McFayden

At times we would be excused for thinking that the winter season is still with us, such are the temperatures. Every so often there is a brief break where things start to look up for a short period of time – this is when everything bad is forgotten. The fish take advantage of the situation and decide that it is mealtime. The jetty has been well worth a visit in these conditions and there have been very good numbers of salmon to the 600g mark being taken on a variety of natural baits and artificial lures. The best results have been on the run-in tide, where there have also been good numbers of flathead, silvers and mullet. It would be fair to say that whiting are a bit on the scarce side. There have been reasonable reports of them being caught at low water on both sides of the tide in the Lewis Channel near the long jetty. There have been positive reports in the Franklin Channel where gummies and snapper have been caught on a variety of baits. George Hineson and a mate decided to try their luck on the last half of the run-out tide. Earlier they had caught some salmon and silvers, which were used as bait for some bigger fish. They were presented in fillet form and in a fairly short time the pair had a good bag of snapper to 6kg, as well as four gummies, which made the effort well worthwhile.

The entrance has also been worth a try. The best time, as usual, is when the tide is not running too fast. The water in this area goes down to the 40m mark where good size flathead, snapper and gummy sharks are being taken. This area however can quickly turn nasty; in no time the wind can come out of nowhere and a dangerous situation can develop. The idea is to keep an eye on the weather and if in doubt head for shelter as quickly as possible. Beyond the entrance out wide there have been good numbers of flathead being caught on a variety of natural baits and as the water temperature continues to rise it seems that the capture rate also improves. There have also been quite good numbers of gummies making an appearance and salmon are being taken mainly on surface lures. The other port nearby is Port Albert where there have been very encouraging reports. The jetties have been going along very well with a good variety of fish being taken mainly on the run-in tide. Rob Killury who runs the local General Store says that the fishing has been going along very well with the ‘Petrel’ Fishing Club, from far away as Geelong, paying the annual visit to the area. This was to be yet another successful trip where they bagged an impressive mixture of fish made up mainly of flathead, pinkies and snapper. Although the reds were not huge there was one that



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dragged the scales way down to the 7kg mark, which is impressive in anyone’s language. There have been other clubs that have already visited the area with similar success stories and Rob feels that even though summer has been a long time coming there will be plenty of fish to be caught if present indications are any guide. He is so confident that he is carrying out renovations

to the store so that he can accommodate the extra business and he is extending his already impressive range of fishing gear. He is also expecting the gantry for the bigger fish as well as scales for the smaller ones to get a fair bit of a workout. Of course he has up-to-date info on the fishing situation and what baits they are taking. Outside the entrance in around the 20m mark there

have been very good numbers of flathead and gummies making an appearance. I received a call from visiting angler Tom Jennings who says that he and a crew decided to try their luck at a tried and tested spot outside the entrance and managed a very impressive bag of flathead that were around the 1kg mark taken on strips of pilchards. They also caught two gummies that were

around 1.5m and were happy, as they would be. Wonthaggi angler Wally Leijen and his son went out on their annual fishing trip in the area and managed some very decent flathead and bream. The fish were all very good quality with one bream just nudging the 50cm mark, which is impressive. After photographs the big fellow was returned to the water to swim and fight another day.

Calm times ahead INVERLOCH

Alan McFayden

So far it’s been one step forward and two steps backwards as far as the weather was concerned. Just when things began to look good, along came a huge cold front and took us back to winter again. However, there have been more frequent patches and things did come good with decent bags of fish becoming more frequent. Anderson Inlet has been the exception; it’s been great all through winter when conditions have allowed. Amanda Kellar has been doing very well at Inverloch and on a recent trip had a impressive mixed bag of fish that included flathead, silvers, salmon and a 3kg ripper yank. She is very keen on her fishing and wonders how those little sand crabs would go when they appear on the beaches at low tide. They are quite all right but the black spider crabs seem to be much more productive. The sand bars have moved around quite a bit at Anderson Inlet and as a result the markers have all but been removed. The best bet would be to find some high ground and look down at low tide to see where the channels are now. The areas known as the Bathing Boxes and Pensioners Corner have been going along

very well, which is further good news. Quite a good mixture of fish have been taken when the tide is not too fast at low water on both sides of the tides. The jetty is now completed at Inverloch after repairs and open for fishing. Locals and visitors have been visiting the area in good numbers where there have been large schools of fish to the 35cm mark. The best time has been on the run-in tide up to its peak and things seem to go a bit quiet after the turn. The fish are taking virtually any small bait that is thrown in the water. They are also great on the table but must be fresh as they are not much value after being frozen. The mullet seem to be everywhere right through the inlet and give a great fight. Meagen Smith is a visitor from Queensland and decided to try her luck around Mahers Landing. She was with her boyfriend in a tinny and headed up towards the Double Islands on a reasonable day, but the wind was a bit on the choppy side coming from the southeast. That didn’t matter though as they managed a mixed bag consisting of flathead, mullet and a very nice pinkie that were caught on the run-off tide. Land-based anglers have also been going well off Mahers Landing where salmon are to the 1kg mark, along with

Amanda Keilar with a very impressive 3kg flathead she caught at Inverloch, along with a variety of other fish at Anderson Inlet. good size silvers, flathead and the occasional gummy. There have been a few perch being caught in the Tarwin River but it would be fair to say that they have been a bit on the scarce side. The reason being is that with all the fresh muddy water coming down from the hills most of the fish are being pushed down into the inlet. The news is positive as far as land-based anglers are concerned at Venus Bay. Salmon are still being caught in good numbers on most of the five beaches. As usual the run-in tide seems to be the best time to try your luck.

When I last made contact with Karen Starret, who runs the local caravan park, the area had just gone through a horrific patch of weather. We were back to the depths of winter but Karen says that prior to this there had been very good numbers of whiting making up impressive bags. There have also been quite good numbers of snapper, gummy sharks as well as flathead to name a few. Karen says that with the season just starting there is plenty of time, and there will certainly be a big improvement.

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A flat out cracking season MCLOUGHLINS

Will Thompson

The past month has seen McLaughlins Beach turn on in a big way and, with summer here, we are in for a cracker season. INSIDE Blue spot flathead have been the main species to come on the bite inside McLaughlins Beach and this has been mainly due to the increased water temperature. The inlet has hit temperatures above 20ºC, which has brought out all summer species especially the flathead. There are fish around St Margarets Island and also up at Manns Beach around Pelican Point where there have already been flathead caught over 65cm. This will continue for the next 3 months until the water temperature drops. The soft plastic anglers are doing the best with a 3” minnow or shad pattern using jigheads between 1/8oz and 1/4oz. All the best flathead fishing has been during the run-off tide and in the channels at dead low tide.

At Port Albert, there are plenty of flathead in the Drum Channel and Midge Channel and most have been caught by anglers chasing snapper and gummy sharks using pilchards and fresh cut baits. Paternoster rigs, such as Snapper Snatchers are fishing very well here. The whiting have been really slow, only a few anglers are catching decent numbers,

but most of my customers have been complaining that it is a very tough whiting season. Hopefully the New Year will change things and the whiting will come on strong mid-season. Inside Port Albert has been dynamite on the snapper and gummy sharks and they are spread throughout the inlet. The snapper are being caught anywhere from the

What a photo! Adrian Gruendler caught this massive snapper measuring 87cm.

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basket beacon to the entrance and the gummy sharks have been caught in good numbers in the entrance and Snake Channel. This snapper season has been truly amazing already. We have already had one of the best snapper runs I can remember and all this happened in cold water temperatures! I can’t wait to see what the New Year brings as the water gets even warmer. The snapper have been caught in Port Albert to 7.5kg and there are even bigger fish at Corner Inlet as well. Snapper Snatchers have been really good; however some decent fish are getting caught on running sinker rigs as well. The important tip has been to fish the tide changes early in the morning. Most of the snapper have been biting early and if this coincides with a tide change, even better. It’s worth doing after work trips as well, as the late afternoon tide change is producing some good specimens, especially from 6-7.30pm. Pilchards have been the gun bait so far, as usual, but they will probably start taking squid in the New Year.

Ben Black and Jade Christie caught these beautiful snapper using pilchards during the last hour of the run-out tide. OFFSHORE McLaughlins Reefs have just started producing some good snapper in 18m of water. There have been some good fish of around 80cm caught but most of the fish are biting early here as well. There have been some pinkies caught during the day to 45cm and some of the pinkies are in closer in 12-15m. The gummy sharks are going beautifully out wide and 18-21m is fishing well, but there are plenty of gummies in close outside McLaughlins entrance and Manns Entrance as well.


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Fresh salmon is fishing well, but so are pilchards and squid. The gummies have been really good-sized of late and there have been plenty of 1.2-1.5m fish caught. Drifting for flatties has been very successful and will only get better next month as will the offshore snapper and gummies. For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get expert advice and some great deals on fishing bait and tackle. Don’t forget to tune in to Will’s Gippsland report on Rex Hunt and Lee Rayners’ Off the Hook on 1242.



Massive sharks caught on Ninety-Mile Beach NINETY MILE BEACH

Will Thompson

What a great season it has been so far. We have had one of the best land-based gummy shark seasons in a long time and now the big toothy sharks have arrived as well. Over the past few weeks, the weather has changed and we have been getting stronger winds, more easterlies and warmer days. This has warmed up the water temperature considerably and brought our typical summer surf species around in greater numbers. It has also brought that dreaded slimy weed back on certain days. It’s not there every day; however after a few consecutive days of easterlies, you can almost guarantee it’s there. The tip to combating this is finding the right beach. This slimy weed gets trapped in the gutters, so if you go to a beach with a prominent gutter in close that your line penetrates through, the line will probably get covered with weed. In situations like this, you need to find a beach with straight open water and no gutters. A beach with no gutters will

normally have the weed right in close at the shore break but not out wide, so with the aid of long 15ft+ rods and long rod holders, you should be able to keep the line out of the weed. Aside from this, the change in weather has brought a wide array of new species around, including bronze whaler sharks, school sharks, snapper and flathead. These have all been caught in good numbers recently. Casting baits off the surf

has resulted in good numbers of gummy sharks averaging 1m in length and up to 1.2m in length. Squid legs have been the prime bait, however fresh cut salmon baits, pilchards and blue bait have been good too. The snapper have eased off a little, but they will be a sporadic catch throughout summer and mainly prominent at McGaurans Beach and Loch Sport. The toothy sharks, such as school sharks and bronze

whalers, have mainly been caught by land-based anglers paddling out their baits. For this, there are a few options, such as long 9ft 24kg game rods with drum reels spooled with a minimum of 50lb line in either braid or mono. You can use a standard short stroker game rod as well and it will pay to put your rod in the sand dunes to keep the line above the waves. A few anglers are opting to use heavy spin gear for land-based game

James Hearn caught this massive bronze whaler shark at Seaspray Beach, estimated to be about 150kg, while land-based game fishing.

these days and now that there are plenty of large threadline reels on the market that can hold 500-700m of braid, you can easily do this. These reels are best suited to long popping style rods rated to 37kg and 7-8’ in length. Some massive 150kg bronze whaler sharks have already been landed and there are plenty of even bigger sharks out there as well. Big baits fished on wire traces are the go and whole bonito, salmon, mackerel and squid fished on hooks sized 8/0 to 12/0 are perfect. The bronzes have been caught anywhere from the back breakers to further out wide, and obviously you are limited to your line capacity on your reel. There have been plenty of school sharks caught via this method as well and there have been some nice fish up to 1.5m caught. I always get asked what beach is best, but there is no answer to this. The beach structure changes with the weather and tides and the fish don’t stay in the same place, they patrol the beach, so the best beach is the one that suits your fishing style at the time, and that is going to be dictated by the weather and beach structure. The fish are all along

the Ninety-Mile! The flathead are always a favourite amongst anglers fishing the Ninety-Mile, and we are so lucky to have some truly awesome blue spot flathead fishing here in December and January. They have turned up a little early and we already have some great flathead fishing, but the best is yet to come. To catch the big blue spots, you need a few things: Woodside Beach, Reeves Beach and McLoughlins are your first thing, then blue bait, whitebait, surf poppers and white grubs, and finally, slowly move your bait, especially in December when the numbers are great. If you do these things, you will catch big blue spot flathead. The fishing is only going to get better and next month we will get an array of different shark species. After the New Year, we may be lucky enough to get a few kingfish as well. Good luck. For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get expert advice and some great deals on fishing bait and tackle. Don’t forget to tune in to Will’s Gippsland report on Rex Hunt and Lee Rayners’ Off the Hook on 1242.

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Patchy weather delivers rewards to anglers LAKES ENTRANCE

Lucas Smith

Those anglers braving the extreme conditions we have experienced lately have been rewarded with some amazing fishing. The waters have warmed and the shallow sand flats have come alive with a healthy mix of bream, flathead, whiting, yellow-eye mullet and garfish, especially along Cunningham Arm and around Barrier Landing along the shallow weed banks. Anchoring along the deeper drop-offs and using live shrimp or fresh mussel should get you some whiting and trevally. Live prawn or bluebait have accounted for flathead to 80cm and some nice yellowfin bream and the odd pinky snapper to around 1kg. Fish the last 2 and first 2 hours of either tide change and don’t forget a little berley if things are quiet. The local town jetties have been fishing well for trevally and tailor on soft plastics and metal lures. Fishing with larger soft plastics on the drop-offs and weed edges has seen some huge flatties caught and released (remember the maximum size limit has been changed to 55cm to protect the breeding stock). Plenty of flathead well within the 30-55cm size range have been

caught and are excellent table fare. Natural colours are always a winner, but when things are quiet it often pays to throw some oddball colours like bright pink or chartreuse to entice a reaction bite. The local rock walls are fishing well for some thumping big luderick on green weed fished traditionally under a float. Fishing just out from the rock walls, expect to catch numbers of small salmon,

dusk have been best times to target most species, while the luderick can be targeted right throughout the day. Offshore has been nothing short of brilliant with some thumping snapper over 11kg being taken by anglers fishing the 6 Mile Reef and down to the west at marks like the pipeline and the tower. Fresh bait is best and slimy mackerel and squid are hard to beat, especially if caught where you’re fishing.

Tyler and Olivia with a beautiful bream taken from the flats at Lake Tyers on a hardbodied minnow. trevally, pan size pinky snapper and some good size whiting, and even the chance of a few big yank flathead. The best baits here are prawns and pilchards simply cast out and allowed to bounce along the bottom with the tide. Daylight and

There have been plenty of smaller pinky snapper to 2kg making up anglers’ bags and are perfect eating size. Along with the snapper have been awesome numbers of gummy sharks with most boats bagging out with ease. While majority have been 3-4ft there have been multiple reports of thumpers up to 7ft long caught on bigger baits like whole mackerel and eel. Some nice morwong and leatherjackets are hanging around the reef too and are a welcome by-catch. Out wide early reports of mako sharks have filtered through with sharks around 40-50kg following schools of striped tuna, so

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keep an eye out for birds working patches of bait and the predators won’t be far away. A good berley trail is essential for success on bigger sharks and any fish scraps, tuna oil and old bait are perfect for the job. Back in the estuary and on the calm evenings some have been making the most of the prawns that have been in solid numbers on all the sand banks throughout the lower system. Simply walking the shallows with a light and dip net should see a few kilograms of these tasty little guys and enough for a few sessions’ worth of bait fishing. Added to this, there are plenty of big flounder that are easily caught with either a 2-prong spear or in the dip net. Make sure you wear footwear though as the last thing you want to encounter is a sting from those spiky little cobblers. They are an absolute nightmare and if spiked make sure you immerse the stung area in hot water (as hot as you can handle) as this will break down the poison. Lake Tyers has been fishing well with bream and flathead on basically every shallow sand bank and rock bar in the lower system. Drifting with baits of live prawns or salmon strips is a deadly way of catching both species. So is walking or drifting the flats throwing lightly weighted soft plastic prawn patterns and shallow diving hardbodies. This is a fun way of targeting

Richard Wickham hooked up solid at Lake Tyers Beach. those fish you can see in extremely shallow water and the sight of a big lit up bream smashing a lure is hard to beat! On those overcast days head for the shallowest banks and throw some surface poppers around and expect to catch some great flathead. Popping for flathead is far from new and is very exciting. Anything in the 45-70mm bracket are perfect for the job, just remember to use slightly heavier leader as there are still some huge tailor that will sneak up and smash a tiny popper. The prawns have been a little slow but as we get further into summer this should improve. Sand crabs have been thick around the number 2 boat ramp.

The surf beaches have been fishing well with big salmon caught on bluebait and pilchard on the run-in tide all the way along the 90 Mile Beach. Lake Tyers Beach and Lake Bunga Beach have been the most productive areas and will put you in with the chance of a few pinky snapper, which have been hanging around the shallow surf bommies. A few of the local crews have been putting in the time chasing big sharks from the beach and it’s looking like it’s going to be a good season with some decent bronzies up to 8ft long already caught. Whole striped tuna, salmon and eel have been the most successful baits.

Marlo comes alive MARLO

Jim McClymont

Summer is here and the weather is warming up, making the whole river system come alive. Big schools of fish have entered the estuary system making the Snowy River and Brodribb River system the best in Victoria for estuary fishing. Along with the estuary fishing, we have several great surf beaches for anglers to ply their fishing ability on the massive schools of salmon and tailor that run along the shoreline at this time of year. Along with the salmon and tailor the gummy shark are moving in close to shore and are being taken in good numbers. Offshore the fishing is great with plenty of flathead, gurnard, pinkie snapper, morwong,

barracouta, leather jacket, squid and gummy sharks. While the estuary fishing is at a premium it will get even better as small prawns have started to appear along the sand flats on the Marlo foreshore. Not only do they get bigger every moon but they appear in bigger numbers as they gather at maturity for their run out to the open ocean. When prawns are that abundant fish seem to appear from everywhere. Schools of flathead create lies in the sand and wait to ambush the prawns and small fish as they move across the sand flats. But it’s not only the flathead at the party, the prawns start their journey up in the lakes among the reeds and travel all the way down to the estuary mouth. So on the way all the fish species are in for their share. Bream are being taken

from the entrance up the rivers to both Lake Corringle and Lake Curlip and are accompanied by big schools of mullet. Luderick are in good numbers around the rock groins that surround the islands and along the riverbanks. The surf beaches are throwing up some surprises, not only are anglers catching plenty of salmon and tailor they are also getting some very good size snapper and an occasional elephant fish as well as gummy sharks and several of the toothy type. Anglers fishing offshore are getting plenty of fish to fill their bins, and it is going to get much better. The water is warming up and the baitfish are starting to appear, and when they do so will all the pelagic fish that feed on them.

A New Year, a new challenge GIPPSLAND LAKES

Brett Geddes

The New Year brings much anticipation and excitement to our fishing in the Gippy Lakes. The last few months have certainly provided challenges and it confirms what most anglers now agree on – late spring and early summer can be very tough times for those chasing bream, whiting and flathead. That scenario is behind us now, and just as well as we have a bad memory about fishless days. Just check the results of the last few bream comps if you have any doubts on how hard the hookin’ has been. BREAM Finally the black bream are coming back on the chew and it has been so frustrating to see big schools of fish with every one of them having an extreme case of lock jaw. The good news however, is that some bigger bream are starting to feed out in the lakes over the shallow sand banks. The Mitchell flats will continue to produce

bream over 40cm and that area is always at its best with a good chop on the water with 15-20km winds nearly perfect. Slow rolled hardbodies are one way to find skinny water bream but I also try fast worked blades and cover vast areas to locate the fish. Often the bream will respond better to a vigorous retrieve and chase down a ripped blade. I will slow the lure right down if I detect plucks and short takes. The best thing about searching like this is the possible by-catch of flathead and whiting. Other bream haunts to visit over the next month include the lake around the mouth of the Tambo River, Point Turner and Wattle Point. METUNG As usual a summer hot spot for the holidays is always around Metung. You can base yourself here and head east to the entrance or in the other direction towards the Tambo or Nicho river mouths. Better still, search the area right at the Metung jetties or the shallow sand flats opposite. I spent three days there recently with the better half

and we parked in one of the impressive holiday units overlooking the water. With just an hour or so each day flicking soft plastics and blades around the jetties we lifted in a few salmon, trevally and a single bream. I will return shortly with my kayak and explore the deeper waters for a few pinky snapper, whiting or luderick and then stalk the shallows for big dusky flathead. The best thing about Metung is you can always find a spot to get out of the wind without having to travel far at all. Another species sometimes overlooked here, especially for bait fishing, is mullet and you can find any number of them in shallow water using sandworms. RAYMOND ISLAND Another holiday favourite is via the ferry at Paynesville and then over to Raymond Island. You can fish on foot or launch a boat or kayak from the island. There’s plenty of accommodation options there too and the fishing can really hot up about now. Surface lures can be slowly worked across the shallows that surround the

island for bream and small sand whiting. This topwater action is yet to really take off in the Gippy Lakes but a few clever anglers are always thinking outside the square and getting impressive results. It won’t be long before the word gets out about how flathead also come up and crunch surface lures, especially in the halflight of early morning. Tailor and salmon will hardly ever swim by a fast surface lure so mix up your retrieve speeds if the bream refuse to bite. Again mullet are often forgotten about here and you should have no trouble seeing them in the shallows. Small bits of prawn or squid can catch yellow eye mullet but sandworm is by far the standout bait. It always pays to have a few baits soaking out a little deeper as well because King George whiting are well known in this area over summer. THE RIVERS As usual the banks of the Mitchell River right up into the town of Bairnsdale will play host to plenty of families trying their luck with bait. It pays to see

Chris Burbidge with two big Gippy Lakes bream. You can expect to find these sorts of fish feeding in the shallows over the next month. where the bigger crowds assemble and use that as a guide for where to fish. Not many kids will stay as they get bored in the one spot for too long! The Silt Jetties near Eagle Point will be your best starting point. This area always produces well over the hot months. You can drive the car right to the end of this land spit and spend a whole day trying many different spots along its length. More often than not schools of fish are stacked in just a few locations so it pays to move around.

Right up towards the other end of the Mitchell from the highway bridge up to the barrier, expect big numbers of estuary perch to attack your lures in the snags. They might be small fish but they are big on fun! The lower sections of the Nicho and Tambo will both hold bream and possibly flathead for those willing to search. Happy New Year, especially to all of those anglers who have sent me reports and pictures over the last 12 months.




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Salmon and summer in full swing MERIMBULA

Chris Wright

There isn’t a month of the year where all of the coastal towns are pumping like they are at the moment. The towns are crowded, the ramps are full and there’s a swag of summer species to satisfy the fishing itch from estuary to offshore. MALLACOOTA ESTUARY Some of the best family fun at this time of the year are the big Australian salmon that have been frequenting Harrisons Channel between Mallacoota Bottom Lake and the ocean. These fish have been receptive to lures and baits, but trolling metals or minnows along the inside edge of the island is a sure fire way to get the kids into the action. As usual the sand whiting are prolific in the Bottom Lake, Harrisons Channel and Goodwin Sands. Bait, blades and poppers are doing the damage and these will continue to be a popular summer target.

There are plenty of small dusky flathead around Goodwin, Doran Bight and the John Bull marker for anyone who wants to drift around with some small, live poddy mullet or cast any sort of soft plastic bait – these fish aren’t too fussy.

Remember the size limits for these fish when you’re taking home a feed – five fish per person between 30cm and 55cm is all you’re allowed to take. This protects the valuable breeding females and will ensure

Summer means kingies. Just where and when is still open to debate, but they will come!

that Mallacoota has a finned carpet of flathead for years to come. Although the lake has been dirty, there’ll be plenty of sight fishing opportunities for these fish through January. And don’t discount catching them on topwater baits, too. There’s been the occasional mulloway around. A recent flathead competition in Mallacoota saw one lucky angler catch a big mulloway each day. That’s some quality by-catch. MALLACOOTA OFFSHORE Over summer expect a mixed bag of gummy sharks and tiger flathead from the offshore grounds. If you’re unfamiliar with the popular flathead drifts, start up near Gabo Island and drift back towards Mallacoota with the nor’easter. Kingies should be showing up, but exactly when is anyone’s guess. The kingie fishing seems to get better each year in this neck of the woods, so I’m expecting a great season for them. Start looking for kingies on the grounds off the Aerodrome aerials just south of Mallacoota.

Mark Taylor and Dave McLean with the type of bream that are available in January on the south coast. WONBOYN Also very busy in January, Wonboyn will fish well early in the morning, and again when the sea breeze picks up. The clear water fish in the lake love a bit of ripple on the water to get them feeding. There should be plenty of flathead, mulloway and bream to go around and there’ll always be a little quiet corner to settle into and catch a feed. EDEN Night prawning in the local lakes is another great family activity over summer. A prawning light and scoop net are all you need to put a feed in the bucket without the need for gallons of sunscreen. The beach fishing for Australian salmon

should continue to be good – especially at Quandolla and Haycock beaches. Currently both of these places had good, deep gutters that these predators like. Offshore from Eden can be a real bounty in January. Marlin, striped tuna through to kingfish and flathead are all on the radar. Mowarry through to Green Cape is prime kingfish area and the kingies are still a little show, however, by time this magazine hits the shelves this may have changed. It can change overnight at this time of year! I think that Captain Kev may be back at the helm next month, so thanks for reading these reports.

Party time on the water BERMAGUI

Darren Redman

Water temperatures have increased dramatically offshore, in the estuaries and the freshwater sections. Now, with the heat being on, combined with school holidays, it’s party time and fish are at the top of the guest list. No matter what type of fishing you enjoy or what species you wish to pursue it’s all good. It should stay this way and even improve over the upcoming months. Offshore, marlin numbers are increasing as they follow the many bait schools now prolific along our parts of the coastline. As this season has already shown, fish are where you find them, with yellowfin tuna being captured in 12 R E V A L LY . S N A P P E R . E S G.T TU A PE R RY





fathoms of water within 200m off Bermagui main headland. Look for the signs, as one particular day most of the game boats went straight past the obvious signs of gannets circling and diving on a bait school, which indicated to seasoned skippers that fish were in the area resulting in multiple hook ups. Although this instance occurred very close to shore the same scenario can happen out and beyond the Continental Shelf with the 12 Mile Reef being most prolific for striped marlin at present. Trolling lures in the early part of the season will account for many hook ups and, more importantly, indicate to anglers where the fish are concentrated. This will allow different methods in which to pursue this species like live or switch baiting. Blue marlin are also a

regular visitor to our waters in January where they are often found wide in the deeper canyons. Lures are by far the best way to locate this species and by doing so other fish, such as albacore, yellowfin, striped tuna, mahi mahi or even a short billed spearfish, can be a welcome by-catch. The bait schools that make the fishing so prolific in this area may consist of slimy mackerel, pilchards, yellowtail, whitebait through to your smaller tuna species, like striped or mac tuna and frigate mackerel. This bait will also attract smaller predators in the form of kingfish and bonito, which are at present up at Montague Island or along the coastline where they are joined by schools of salmon, with some nice tailor thrown in. Baitfish don’t always













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No matter what type of fishing you enjoy or what species you wish to pursue, it’s all good this month! stay on the surface and when they go deep other reef or bottom dwelling species have their chance to feed. Tiger flathead will often have yellowtail or mackerel inside them and it is quite surprising just how big a baitfish they can swallow. So find the bait where you can to be sure the flathead are not far behind. Most other forms of reef fishing are also on the cards at present with good snapper, plenty of morwong, some gummy sharks and the odd kingfish combined with an assortment of less desirable species making up the bag. On shore activity is

fairly hectic too, with the beaches and estuaries primed and fishing well. Along the coast, schools of salmon are providing plenty of entertainment for kids on holidays with these hard fighting fish frequenting most beaches. The simple old paternoster rig with the humble pilchard will account for most, while lures may provide faster and more energetic action. Not to be outdon,e schools of bream, whiting and mullet are also around providing fun and dinner on a lighter scale. The place the kids can really have some fun is in

the estuaries. The waters are warm, which have the fish fired up, and with the abundant food supplies available anglers are finding it pretty easy going. Most of your common species are available with most lakes and rivers producing. The estuaries are so good this season as a result of the amount of prawns around at present. Nearly all the systems have their share, so if you are visiting the area this season get geared up to take the kids prawning as you won’t be disappointed, and they taste just great.




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25/10/13 7:31 AM


Shallow flathead trolling FMG

Stephen Booth

I’ve been getting right into trolling for flathead in shallow water lately and it’s something that is really appealing. Punting along nice and quiet just waiting for the rod to buckle over and a cranky flathead to start stripping line from the reel. It’s pretty addictive. I’ve spoken to lots of anglers and lure makers about how they go about trolling for flathead in shallow water and there are many and varied techniques, so here’s how I do it. Keep in mind a lot of these techniques are borrowed, learnt from or changed slightly to suit my fishing. I didn’t invent it, not claiming to have re-invented it, but I really enjoy it. WHAT’S SHALLOW? Shallow, in terms of flathead trolling, is water less than 1.5m, or 5’ in the old scale. This is skinny water and flathead love it. Captain Kevin Gleed once said of the flathead in Mallacoota in Vic that they push up onto the shallows to warm themselves up, just like a massive solar panel and I reckon there is some merit in these observations. It also happens that a lot of whiting, prawns, shrimp, mullet and

crustaceans are found right up in the shallow water and flathead eat all of these. Weed is also abundant in the shallows, commonly in the intertidal zone and it extends to just below the low tide mark. Weed is an important ingredient. Rocks, hard and black mud banks, and draining channels are all found in the shallow water too. All of these features attract flatties. Thanks to the cagey Shane Gartner from Pig Lures and his amazing success rate in shallow water, we have learnt that 1.5m is not necessarily shallow enough. He commonly trolls in water that sees the motor trimmed up and the skeg still brushing the

bottom every now and then. That’s having you in water that is around 60cm deep! Think about that the next time you reckon you’re trolling too shallow. Of course shallow trolling is nothing new. Gold Coast legend David Green knew about the shallow trolling thing years and years ago. He even helped with the development of the universally popular Lively Lures Micro Mullet to fish these shallow waters. This lure was specifically designed to target flathead in water shallower than 1.8m and it works every bit as well in 60cm of water as it does in 1.8m of water. Other lure makers like

a dozen flatties up to about 50cm. We could see the lures swimming behind the boat and then they’d simply disappear in a brown and white hole. It was amazing. So trolling in very close works. A standard trolling set up will see the lures somewhere around 10m behind the boat. This is about the distance of a good-ish cast and seems to be

Mako recommends a copper base with a blue mirror and high definition filter. Copper has been a favourite of anglers for many years as it highlights colours well. When visibility is poor due to cloudy or murky water, overcast skies or flat light (dawn or dusk) these coloured lenses will really come into their own: They will highlight dull colours making fish more visible. The high definition filter is added to the lens to filter out yellow and orange wavelengths, increasing contrast and clarity.

Big fish are best let go. In some states it’s illegal to keep big fish, plus they are the big female breeders we need to protect.












Trolling has become a very important part of my fishing arsenal for flatties.


A big flatty cuts it up as it feels the net. Most times the fight is not over at this stage as many a good flatty has leapt from the net!


Reidy’s and Warlocks have trimmed down their traditional offerings and designed lures to take advantage of this shallow water too. And they work really well with different actions and different colours and features from the old time favourites. And let’s face it, designers such as Jeff Reid and Rob Gaden have been at it for years and know just what’s needed. And of course the plastic chucking brigade help you gain confidence that fish are found in this shallow water. Who can forget the amazing Flathead Fred chucking homemade jighead-rigged plastics for the stonkers of Mallacoota, Bemm River and the Snowy/Brodribb system? He knew these fish loved it shallow and it’s a lesson we all need to remember. TACTICS Trolling shallow is like any other fishing style, there are several ways to skin a cat. Some anglers feel the need to troll their lures a long way back in the shallow stuff believing the boat has spooked the fish. Other anglers troll ridiculously close to the boat


believing the boat attracts the fish! I’m an each way bet on most occasions although I have trolled lures really, really close to the boat and I have trolled way out the back. Let’s look at some of the benefits of various distances from the boat. Keeping the lures in tight to the boat was first brought to my attention when Shane Gartner smashed the fish in a recent Flathead Classic on the Gold Coast’s heavily fished waters. Shane trolls literally less than 3m behind the boat on most occasions and in really shallow water. When I had the chance to speak to Shane about this he told me that he keeps it in short to avoid the constant fouling of the lure with weed. In the Gold Coast’s waters, strap or ribbon weed is abundant and makes a mess of your lures when you’re trolling them. It limits your actual fishing time and Shane’s tactic dramatically reduces the amount of time spent out of the water de-weeding your lure without impacting on the catch rate. His Pig Lures were made just for this purpose and they do it very well. We tried this method, as like most anglers we found it hard to fathom, and on the first try we landed half

about what most do – chuck the lure out the back, flick the bail arm over and go trolling. This distance from the boat allows you to ease your mind that the boat is not spooking all the fish while still allowing you to steer the lures in and around floating weed and underwater obstructions pretty easily. I like this type of distance best and on our last trip out we landed half a dozen flatties in 60-75cm of water up to an impressive 70cm. With the right lures you

can rip the rod and de-weed them while they are still in the water and not lose time reeling them in to clear the weed off. This is important and lures that are hard to clear don’t last long on anglers’ rods. This distance back also allows a bit more stretch and give to be in the whole system. An important factor when big fish are skin hooked and going too hard on them will rip the hooks out of the skin. Going for distance is a popular tactic as well. It seems logical that a boat travelling in shallow water will spook fish and by the time a lure that is 20m behind the boat eventually comes past the spooked fish, it may have settled down and be back on the job in terms of feeding. That sounds all good to me and in practise, trolling a long way back works really well. Distance gives you an ability to run a lure a little deeper and also gives you more stretch room when a fish hits. However the more line you have in the water, the more weed you pick up. It’s also harder to rip the lure and clear the weed and it takes longer to reel it in to clear it manually. In clear water, I like the distance approach, but when the strap weed is thick it simply gets too hard. One solution that Alan Dolan gave me, he’s the

The Lively Lure Micro Mullet is one of the all time greats!

guy who makes the Lively Lure Micro Mullet, was to place a weed stopper a couple of feet in front of the lure. He uses a small surface walker with the hooks removed and this lure stops the weed as it slides down the line to the lure, essentially leaving your lure clean to continue its search for fish. It’s a great idea that really does work! LURE CHAT Trolling shallow necessitates the use of smaller lures that dive to around 1.8m. Why 1.8m? Simple. You need the lures to be hitting the bottom to push up those enticing puffs of silt, sand and

mud and also to allow you to still do that when you’re trolling really short. Lures in the 4-7cm range are ideal. Most can loosely imitate a small whiting (a flatty favourite) or a herring or similar baitfish. What a fish really thinks a lure is, is well beyond me and all the fish I have caught refuse to tell me, so let’s just say we are imitating baitfish. Action is an interesting one, as one day the fish will respond to a tight shimmy, while the next a wider sway will work. This may have something to do with the most abundant baitfish in the

The RMG Warlock has gained a strong following amongst lure trollers in recent years.

area but I haven’t really come to any great conclusion on that yet. Just means I’ll have to fish more! Colour is always, always contentious. Pink is a go-to favourite for flathead anglers whatever they are doing and there is no denying its ability to attract flathead. In weedy areas though a muted gold or brown works well to imitate forage fish that live in weed, and bright green and metallic work really well in dirtier water. My favourite colours start with pink and include a metallic pink, green and black, gold and black and rainbow trout patterns. I am yet to come across a colour that doesn’t work and strangely the colour you have the most faith in gets trolled the most and therefore catches the most fish. Amazing! Grab a variety of colours and try them all. WHERE TO TROLL This is a difficult subject as flathead live absolutely everywhere. It’s no use trolling in thick, luxurious weed as it’s just too difficult to manage weed on your lures. The fish are there, it’s just hard to keep a lure in the water long enough to attract their attention. My favourite situation is a clear sandy or muddy bank that borders a low tide weed edge and has plenty of drains coming off a flat (see

The Reidy’s Little Lucifer has performed very well for us on the troll. diagram). This type of area has potential with a capital P. If you fish this area during the last of the run-out and the first of the run-in, the flatties will be stacked up along the weed edge, and doubly so where a drain enters the channel. This same area can be trolled at high tide except

you move on top of the flat and target the drains and undulations. This high tide trolling is an ideal situation to troll short as you’re usually in fairly shallow water. If this type of area is difficult to find, look to the sand bar edges and low water gutters. Sand bars congregate

bait and this makes them ideal for ambush predators to wait for unsuspecting prey. Low tide gutters have to have fish in them as there is no water anywhere else. It all seems so simple. The problem is it’s not and the fish always teach you something. GET ON THE TROLL Trolling at its core is not difficult but to be a good flathead troller you do need to understand, adapt and learn. After some early lessons from people like Gary Prerost, Flathead Fred and some old friends from uni days, it’s really only been in the last five years where trolling for flathead has become a way more serious option for me. Inspiration from David Green, Shane Juttner and Shayne McKee, lessons from Shane Gartner and Alan Dolan and plenty of kilometres of trial and error have all combined to make trolling for flatties a very worthwhile tactic when I am on the water. Tough days, dirty water, wrong tides, harsh winds and sometimes sheer laziness are all reasons to go and have a troll. Look for the signs, choose some of the great lures available and give it a crack. It’s a fun way to get amongst a bunch of fish and have yourself some really exciting times in shallow water.



 Atomic



The all new Atomic Shiner is a range of lures designed with a tight wobble and roll action that is ideal for trolling the shallow water for flathead, whiting, bream and a host of other estuary species. The 65mm lure is perfect as a trolled lure for flathead and dives to 2.5m, putting it right in the zone where flathead like it. Weighing 7.3g, it can also be cast and slow rolled back to the boat over the shallows and weed banks to entice fish. The 45mm and 60mm models are suspending, so pauses and subtle twitches near structure will work as well as a steady retrieve and it is often these pauses and twitches that force a flathead to strike. They are available is a variety of flathead enticing natural colours, the range of Atomic Shiner lures will be an important part of your flathead fishing arsenal. Price: SRP $15.95

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3D Prey


The Savage Gear 3D Prey series has models aimed at bream, bass, flathead, barramundi, mangrove jack, trevally, mulloway, tailor and Australian salmon. This suspending hardbody is designed to be fished effectively using a number of techniques. Running to depths between 2ft and 6ft, the 3D Prey is at its best when a twitch and pause retrieve is employed, allowing the lure to suspend slowly into structure which holds predatory species. With Savage’s integrated long cast system and tournament trebles and components, the 3D Prey comes in a number of colours and sizes, making it an extremely versatile hard lure for all conditions. Sizes currently available are 50mm, 65mm, 71mm and 95mm, and you can check them out at your nearest BCF store. Price: RRP $14.99

 TiCA

Cetus GV800

TiCA has released this fantastic mini spin reel that is sure to be a hit with the ultra light sports fishing brigade. The Cetus GV800 is a little reel crammed full of features. It features an aluminium spool, computer balanced rotor, one way clutch, instant anti reverse, solid aluminium bail wire and 4 (RRB) Rust Resistant Bearings. This smooth little reel also features a micronic clicking drag for precise adjustment. The Cetus GV800 will be ideal for estuary anglers who want a small reel to balance up on an ultra light rod. Price: RRP $79.99

Lively sign of the times


Long established Australian lure manufacturer Lively Lures has made the difficult decision to reduce the number of retailers it supplies with its popular range of lures. Instead the company will now sell directly to the public through their brand new online store. In 1987 owner of Lively Lures Alan Dolan saw a need for a quality, tough and durable hardbodied fishing lure that would withstand the harsh treatment Australian fish can dish out. 40 JANUARY 2014

Rather than work with a two part plastic lure, Alan decided to travel a different path and use polyurethane which provides a stronger end product that is solid bodied with all components built in. This gives the angler a lure that will stay together and swim even if it has been punctured by sharp teeth. This makes them unique. It has been very gratifying for Alan over this long period to receive positive feedback from the general public stating that he did in fact go down the correct path. Alan hopes that you too will enjoy catching your favourite species on one of his many models in your home waters. Alan said that going online was the only way his company could move forward in light of the cheap imports flooding the Australian market at the moment. The positive side of this move is that Lively Lures will be competitively priced to customers purchasing online and the best way Lively Lures can even up the playing field in the current economic climate, especially for those keen to get their hands on the number one flathead trolling lure, the Micro Mullet. Price: from $11

 Okuma





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Sizzling hot surface action MERIMBULA

Stuart Hindson

It’s been a busy time of year but those anglers putting in the time are reaping rewards with some exceptional fishing on offer. The local beaches have been excellent, especially for bream and whiting, with most beaches holding fish. After the recent heavy seas, deeper

gutters have formed in close making it easy for anglers to reach the deeper water. This has helped, with lighter outfits used on the bread and butter species. Bream to 1kg and whiting to 46cm have been captured; good sport on the light tackle and not too bad on the plate either. The better baits to use include pipi, fresh prawns and live beachworms with North Tura, Tura Main, and Haycock beaches the pick. There are plenty of salmon

around also. At times they are thick and play havoc when you’re using light gear, and if you target them on paternoster rigs you’re in for some fun. I’d expect a few mulloway and gummy sharks to be caught too. Fishing the evening flooding tides into the night leading up to the full moon should pay rewards. North Tura would certainly be the pick of beaches for a jewie. ESTUARIES In the estuaries it’s

Legendary luring NAROOMA

Stuart Hindson

With the water temperature around 22-24°C it’s a great time of year to wet a line. REEF AND OFFSHORE Offshore anglers are in for a good time. Bottom bashers and gamefishers are going to have a great month, with all species playing the game. On the reefs snapper are continuing to chew, with 2kg fish common. There’s been the odd better fish to 4kg but most are school fish and they are in great numbers. The southwest corner of Montague Island has been excellent, especially when the current has slowed. With the reds you can expect ample morwong, and solid tiger flathead. For those after a feed of sand flathead, concentrate your efforts in 35-40m of water straight off Kianga and Dalmeny headlands. Kingfish are responding to jigs, live bait and squid on flasher rigs. Where they turn up on any given day is a lottery, as a lot depends on current and temperature, but the Fowlhouse Reef and the northeast corner of the Island in 70m of water have been the picks. Further offshore the game brigade are getting excited, as marlin – both black and striped plus the odd blue – are there for the taking. There have already been a few to 110kg caught. Trolling skirted pushers, skip baiting and switch baiting will all work, so having a solid understanding of all techniques should put you in the firing line. As always there will be a smattering of yellowfin tuna to 50kg captured, plus the chance at a short-billed spearfish or wahoo if the water is warm enough. We seem to get a few northern species every season so I can’t see why this year will be any different. Start fishing around the 70 fathom line if the water looks good enough.

The shelf and second drop will be where most anglers will start their fishing. There’s ample bait out wide with striped tuna schools and slimy mackerel plentiful, though the slimies seem to be deeper so having a quality sounder is paramount. ESTUARIES In the estuaries it’s firing, but you’ll need to get on the water early to beat the increased boat traffic. It’s not uncommon to have 40 boats on the water by mid-morning, so the earlier you start, the better. Most of the estuaries will fish well, with Mummaga and Corunna excellent for flathead. These two systems are shallow, with 5m of water the maximum depth. The water warms up quicker than the bigger systems, which is why the flattie fishing is so good. Smaller 70-80mm soft plastics work a treat, with the average size of fish around 40cm. You do get the odd bigger fish, but predominately school-sized fish. This style of fishing is ideal for families or if you’re new to the sport. In Wagonga it’s still loaded with tailor, and l mean loaded. They are feeding on the surface around the tide changes. There are a few cracking tailor to over 2kg being caught by fishos trolling bigger deep divers around the perimeter of schools. You would expect the mulloway to be following them and I’m sure there are, but with so much feed around, trying to entice a mulloway has been a challenge. If a jew is for you, your best option is an evening session with live bait or fresh strip bait. Further up the Lake

around the oyster racks has been good for bream and whiting on surface lures. Bait anglers fishing live prawns or nippers have been getting bream and whiting as well. Up at Tuross the fishing has been OK but you do have to work for them. I’ve found the bigger flatties (fish over 80cm) a little harder to find but there are plenty of fish to 50cm. The flats are holding good schools of whiting and bream, and the snags in the river section are good for estuary perch. THE ROCKS On the rocks anglers are catching plenty of salmon and bonito which are both great sport on the right tackle. Spinning with metal shiners to 50g has been popular, though the go-to method is to cast a pilchard on ganged 5/0 hooks with a size 1 ball sinker straight onto the top hook. This month should see a few kings, with Mystery Bay or the Golf Course Rocks the places to fish. Anglers fishing the beaches shouldn’t have too many worries getting a feed with bream, whiting, salmon and tailor all there for the taking. After the recent heavy seas there’s some cracking gutters on many beaches with Tilba, Narooma main, Brou and Blackfellows all worth a look. Live beachworms and pipi are the pick of the baits for bream and whiting, with pilchards, blue bait and tuna strips excellent for the pelagics. Those after the mighty mulloway, could do worse than target them this month. I would be concentrating around the flooding tide deep into the evening with big bunches of live beachworms the best bait.

fishing great guns and this will continue. Merimbula and Pambula are firing with flathead, whiting, bream and luderick plentiful. It really depends on how you want to target them with different techniques. Bait fishers are having a ball in the channels while anchored. It really doesn’t matter which tide you have as long it is running. Use a decent-sized sinker on a running sinker rig with fresh prawns or striped tuna strips and you’ll have action. If lures are your go-to method, you won’t be disappointed. Fishing the channels on a draining tide using stickbait-style plastics will see plenty of fish caught. If you’re in the main basins of either lake, concentrate along the ribbon weed edges in 4-5m of water for best results. The most productive lures are blades and soft plastic paddletails in various colours. January always sees some monster flatties active so if a croc is your target you will have a great chance at an 80cmplus fish. I recommend fishing bigger plastics around 100mm, especially in Merimbula Lake. This system is a little deeper along the drop-offs and the bigger lures are more effective. Now that the water has

Dan with a brace of quality black bream. These fish have been responding well to surface lures. warmed to around 22°C, surface presentations will also work on bream and whiting. This technique is great fun, and poppers and walk-the-dog lures are both effective. Most flats will hold fish but look for ones that have a mixture of sand and weed, not just sand. You will get better results with a mixture. REEF AND BLUEWATER Outside anglers are licking their chops, with good catches coming from the reefs. The snapper fishing has been excellent and l can’t see any reason why this won’t continue. The fish are widespread, with most reefs holding fish. The average size of the reds is around 1kg. Most crews are getting a dozen or more reds in a session, which is pretty good fishing in my book. Lennards Island to the south has been a


hotspot, as has White-cliffs to the north. A little further offshore, the pelagics are in full swing. Marlin, yellowfin tuna, albacore and a host of shark species have all been on the chew at times. With the water around 22-24°C, this action will only get better as the weeks pass by. Trolling has been the best method, as it allows you to cover a lot more ground, giving you a good chance of crossing paths with a marlin. Both black and striped will be the prominent species, and you also have a big chance at a solid blue marlin. Every year a few huge models get hooked, but most win their freedom as the tackle used is usually under-gunned for such a big fish. Hopefully some crews get lucky and the hook sticks, but only time will tell.


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Redfin revel in the warm lakes HORSHAM

Trevor Holmes

Over the last few weeks, Lonsdale near Stawell has given up some of the best redfin seen for years. There have been great trophy fish to 1.9kg, and I have even heard of a 2.8kg monster! This lake is very low with a maximum depth of 2m, and as the water warms the fish will be found in the deepest parts. Trolling Hogbacks in bronze, Blue Fox Spinners, Ondex Lures and StumpJumpers has been the preferred method but the everreliable live yabby has also accounted for its fair share. So far the yabbies have been very quiet but I expect they will start to crawl at night from

now on, so don’t forget the drop nets. LAKE WARTOOK Wartook continues to both delight and frustrate even the experienced angler. It is a lake with such a great population of fish but runs hot and cold. Brown trout and redfin are prevalent in here and persistence and patience should see some rewards. The odd rainbow shows up but they seem hard to tempt. I find trolling is better in the early morning and late afternoon around Bear Island and the wall area. Mix it up with Tassie Devils and maybe a StumpJumper or minnow style hardbody. Bait fishing mudeyes under bubble or quill floats or unweighted yabby tail, prawn or a scrub worm should produce the goods.

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The trout, especially in this lake, are easily spooked and a stealth approach is needed to fool these well-conditioned fish. Set your mudeyes deep under floats for best results. LAKE FYANS Fyans for the last few years has been the most reliable lake in the Halls Gap area, but it has suffered with lower water levels and massive fishing pressure. Now there are more options, it’s slowly making a comeback and starting to produce the great fish it has in the past. A few good redfin and trout are starting to emerge by trolling the trees and along the wall area. The best times are early morning and late afternoon. Once again a mudeye under a bubble float for the trout and live minnow or gudgeon for the redfin are preferred methods. Plastics will also see you hooked up. Flicking the edges and weed beds should produce in the first light/last light scenario.

rate of these feisty little fellas is amazing and some are up around the 800g mark already. Worms under a float, hardbodies and mudeyes should produce the goods especially early morning and late afternoon. Power boating is not permitted here being a water supply catchment. TAYLORS LAKE Great Lake with so much potential and prime native habitat that is starting to surrender a few nice yellowbelly now the warmer, longer days have kicked in. Small yabbies and worms as well as gudgeon have been the best baits here and the bank anglers as well as boaters have hooked up. A few silver perch and some very nice redfin have been caught in the lake. The ever prevalent and pesky carp have provided some entertainment while waiting for the quality fish to arrive. Best zones are the treelines and up towards the inlet as there is still some water

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Darryl Oshannessy with a pair of Rocklands redfin. Despite a very slow start this year, the reservoir is now coming to the fore.

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Flyfishers also love this lake lately, due to its ease of casting from the bank or boat with great success. Average trout are around 1.2-1.5kg and the redfin around the 800g to 1kg. Bigger redfin have been taken lately but their numbers have dwindled with the fishing pressure. Bloody Ripper, plain white and the yellow wings in Tassies also do well, along with hardbodies, but the weed makes it hard to run deeper divers in most areas. LAKE BELLFIELD This picture-postcard setting a few minutes from the Halls Gap Township is a great producer. You get the odd big trout and redfin, but mainly sthe smaller variety. This is a great family fishing spot off the edges and lake surrounds. Bellfield is also producing some great sporting chinook salmon, which were released a few months ago. The growth

flowing in. With the water being still dirty I would lean towards scrub worms as preferred bait. ROCKLANDS RESERVOIR After a very slow start this year Rocklands is now coming to the fore with some redfin playing the game for anglers who persist. Trolling the treelines and shallows has been a rewarding method but you have to sift through the smaller fish to get some keepers. StumpJumpers in pink, brown/orange, natural colours are working the best, but be prepared to lose a few lures as well. As is the case with most redfin they are never too far from snags and logs so you have to put the lure in their zone for a strike. Don’t rule out a good trout here either as flat lining a Tassie or similar will often produce that surprise capture.

Jet Waters with his 1.87kg brown trout from Toolondo. Bait fishing with yabbies will come on soon and worms will be scooped up by the massive population of carp but will snag you the odd redfin too. Yabbies are just starting to come on so once again, don’t forget the drop nets. LAKE BOLAC Bolac is the sleeping giant as far as the trophy rainbows are concerned this year. To date, there has not been a lot of action due to our weather patterns and abundance of windy days. Turbid water has made for difficult conditions and I feel when we see some settled weather the fishing will improve. Local whitebait and Powerbait have seen a few fish taken and when water clarity is restored, mudeyes under bubble floats and trolling lures will see some good results. I don’t expect this to last as evaporation will take its toll and without significant rain this lake will suffer. TROLLING TIPS Often I’m asked the right trolling speed and I know it’s hard to reach a compromise when running Tassies and hardbody lures together. My advice is set your throttle

at what you think is a good speed then run your lures beside the boat, and then observe what speed give the most appealing action. Tassies have to have their ‘swagger’ to full effect and hardbodies that shimmy will attract and seduce the fish. Note the speed and try to maintain it for best results. Often I run a sea anchor off the rear to slow the troll if going downwind. Don’t be afraid to run on your outboard as I’m finding most of the trout are coming into the wake of boats looking for stunned and dazed baitfish. I have had larger trout follow almost to the back of my boat lately with the motor running. They see and hear boat traffic and have pretty much become immune to it. This may not always be the case with the XL sized smarter fish, they don’t get big by being dumb! Vary your direction of travel too, clockwise and anti-clockwise, and note what produces best. Troll the wind tunnels on lakes (smooth patches) and always try the foam lines on the windy days as trout love to ambush from these areas of cover.

Joe Koros and his PB 1.85kg redfin from Lonsdale.

Murray cod for Mildura MILDURA

John Menhennett

River levels have dropped and continue to fall back into the banks. Flows have subsided and water clarity is good enough to catch some decent fish. This year is gearing up to be a fantastic summer of fishing around Mildura, particularly for targeting the iconic Murray cod in the mighty Murray River. Some very nice yellowbelly have been caught all around Mildura during the warm conditions lately, especially around Merbein. The fish have been caught on lures mostly, but bait fishos are having a great time bobbing shrimps

and small yabbies. Downsized lures intended for yellas have been working well around snags and clay banks, but recently the fish have been caught on larger lures, as by-catch to their much larger and more aggressive cousins, the Murray cod. Others have been coming in at the usual 40-48cm range, typical of summer yellowbelly. Large sized catfish are also being caught on bait around Fort Courage. Reports from local anglers indicate that this iconic species is still around in good numbers. The best smaller lure, which has been working great to specifically target yellas, has been Koolabung 90mm Cod Bait and the range of LED Balista Dyno 75mm

hardbodies. Larger lures have done most of the damage to the large Murray cod. One lure that has dominated the cod season so far is the Koolabung 120mm Codzilla in the holographic range. Murray cod have been on the chew also, with numerous larger models being caught on trolled lures in multiple locations around Mildura. This season should be a ripper for catching big Murray cod due to the appropriate water levels and clarity, amongst other factors. Try trolling big lures like the Koolabung Codzilla in various sizes for a decent chance of landing a metre cod. Running a combination of 50lb braid and 50-60lb leader seems to be optimum for targeting big fish. Lighter gear

The author holding up a smaller model Murray cod caught on a Koolabung Cod Bait Holographic. will also see you land the big one, but with so much cover in the river, like snags and rocks, to contend with, the chances of line breakage,

Productivity at popular spots BENDIGO

Roger Miles

The trend of unstable weather has continued in the Bendigo region over recent weeks. We unfortunately have not been able to get a good run, which has led to fishing productivity being lower than expected. We are now coming into the warmest months of the year and we should start to see increased numbers of fish being caught at most of the popular fishing destinations in the region. LAKE EPPALOCK We continue to see steady increases in anglers’ catch rates at Lake Eppalock. There continues to be small numbers of Murray cod being caught with the majority in the 40-60cm range. They have been caught by trolling the edges of the lake. The occasional one has also been caught by anglers casting to fallen timber and around the edges of the lake. The numbers of golden perch being caught haves also increased in recent weeks, and this should continue. The majority have been caught by anglers bait fishing off the banks. Late afternoon or early evenings continue to be the most productive time to target them. For anglers chasing golden perch with lures, casting lipless crankbaits and hardbody lures is producing reasonable results. Trolling the edges in the depth range between 2.5-4m is also catching good numbers. During January we usually receive minimal rainfall, so water levels in the lake can start to recede. If this occurs, the fish will start to move deeper and anglers will

need to change their tactics. The redfin fishing at Lake Eppalock has been disappointing so far this season as their overall productivity is significantly lower than the previous few seasons. At this stage the majority of anglers are only landing small redfin with the occasional quality one weighing up to 1kg being caught. It has been difficult for the majority of anglers trying to locate a quality school of redfin. Hopefully the warmer weather will produce an

options when fishing the Campaspe River. CAIRN CURRAN The fishing in Cairn Curran reservoir has been average lately. There continues to be reasonable numbers of redfin being caught but locating a school has been difficult. Redfin are being caught by anglers trolling deep diving hardbody lures around the edges of the lake. The majority of quality redfin have been caught by those bait fishing around the standing timber.

This 43cm golden perch was caught by the author while casting a Jackall Aragon lure at Lake Eppalock. increase in the amount being caught at this location. CAMPASPE RIVER The fishing in the Campaspe River has been slow, but water clarity has now started to improve in some of the areas like Elmore and Rochester. If this trend of clearing water continues we should see an increase in the productivity in the near future. Redfin have been making up the majority of catch rates. With the clearing water we should start to see an increase in the amount of anglers fishing the Campaspe River targeting Murray cod and golden perch. Casting spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and medium-sized hardbody lures are all productive

Small numbers of golden perch are also being caught by this method. There have also been small numbers of large golden perch, measuring up to 60cm, being landed by trolling hardbody lures. On a positive note there have been small numbers of Murray cod also at this location. If we see the trend of falling water levels continue this will not help the productivity of the fishing. LODDON RIVER This destination’s fishing productivity has been average lately with golden perch and redfin making up the majority of catch rates. Casting medium-sized hardbody lures and lipless crankbaits have been productive methods. The

majority of the fish caught in this section have been caught early or late in the day. The area below Laanecoorie has been productive with catches of golden perch and the occasional Murray cod. The area’s productivity is very dependant on water flows; during periods of high flows it can fish well when bait fishing. During these periods of higher flows water clarity will deteriorate but afterwards, when the clarity improves, it is the best time to target this area with lures. Spinnerbaits and hardbody lures have been the most productive options in this section. One positive note is the gradual improvement in water clarity further downstream. We should start to see significant increases in anglers’ catch rates over the next few weeks as long as water clarity continues to improve. This summer will see good numbers of golden perch and Murray cod caught by anglers walking the banks and fishing areas like Newbridge. Hopefully we should see some improvement in boat fishing in the Loddon River at Bridgewater and Serpentine. Unfortunately these boatable sections do receive a large amount of fishing pressure, which is detrimental to their productivity. The trend of the last couple of seasons will continue if you are planning to fish the Loddon River. Those anglers who are prepared to walk the banks and fish the shallower section of the river are often rewarded with increased catch rates and increased sizes in the fish being caught. Anglers should always tread carefully as snakes can be a real threat at this time of the year. And do the right thing and ask for permission when accessing the river if required.

probably with a nice fish on the end of it, are high, and no angler wants that. Upsizing your treble hooks is also a good idea, because you don’t want to be left wondering what could have been. Releasing Murray cod is also a good practice, so it is important you have all the right landing gear to make the release smooth and trouble free. A large net, lip grips, pliers for hook removal and gloves are just some of the

important equipment anglers should possess. Safety should also be on the minds of weary anglers when out on the water, where anything could happen, fast. Summer is a great time to fish for our special native species, but it is vitally important if you are heading out to carry the appropriate safety and medical gear for your crew and size boat. Maritime are also going to be out in force over the summer break, so do everyone a favour and do the right thing.



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Trout are still on the chew BALLARAT

Shane Stevens

The rainbow and brown trout are still on the chew around the Ballarat and district, mainly due to the mild end of spring and start of summer. Anglers around the area are enjoying the fruits of this and hopefully these conditions will continue over the coming months. The Ballarat and district waters suffer when the weather really gets hot due to the shallowness of our lakes, such as Lake Wendouree, Hepburn

best fly patterns are Craig’s Night Time, Mrs Simpson, Tiapi Tickler and Cubits Mud Eye imitation. For the bait anglers, mudeyes fished suspended under bubble floats with the wind at your back and lines greased are the go. After dark and early in the morning are the best times or if we get a overcast sultry day anglers should reap the rewards. I went up the lake with my children recently on one of those overcast days around lunchtime and fished off a jetty. We caught 4 trout up to 5lb in a couple of hours on

running sinker rigs. However, the most successful method seems to be casting lures or soft plastics from the shore. The fish range in size from small school redfin to fish over 2lb, very good table fish. HEPBURN LAGOON The fishing reports have been patchy but the water levels are holding well. We were experiencing some excellent catches of mainly brown trout caught flyfishing on or after dark when the mudeyes were hatching using floating mudeye patterns and sinking imitations fished very slow. The darker the night the better the results should be. I can remember heading out to Hepburn last year and

seeing flyfishers shoulder to shoulder - that’s how the good the fishing was, and also the added lure of catching some very large trout as well. NEWLYN RESERVOIR Newlyn Reservoir seems to fly under the radar due to the bigger sized fish that get caught close by at Hepburn Lagoon. But the fishing here can be excellent in the evenings and early morning with superb catches of trout and redfin casting lures or soft plastics. Flyfishing or fishing baits worms, mudeyes or yabbies will result in excellent catches. TULLAROOP RESERVOIR Tullaroop Reservoir, about

Lake Wendouree brown trout caught flyfishing by Scott Xanthoulakis. (Photo courtesy Scott Xanthoulakis) 40 minutes from Ballarat, provides some excellent redfin fishing. As we move into the warmer weather the redfin should be targeted on the steeper banks with live yabbies or a bunch of worms fished on a running sinker rig. The key to my success is

to be up very early and have baits in the water just on or before daylight. About 1 hour after, the redfin seem to bite for short periods but the action can be very thick and fast. The redfin range in size up to 4lb – great table fish. Remember to be up early.

Ripper cod season ahead ROBINVALE

Rod Mackenzie

The author’s brown trout from Lake Wendouree caught on mudeye. Lagoon and Newlyn Reservoir, just to name a few. The water temperature rises and the trout mainly go off the bite. However there is a positive to all this. Other waters that fish well for redfin come into their own. Lake Burrumbeet, Tullaroop and Cairn Curran all hold healthy populations of redfin and in the warmer months the redfin should come on the bite. Lake Wendouree is the talk of the angling fraternity and angler numbers support this. On any given morning, noon and night we have anglers fishing from the shore, boats, float tubes, kayaks, and they are being rewarded with excellent catches of brown and rainbow trout and redfin. The flyfishers have been targeting around the shoreline on and after dark for the trout that are feeding on mudeyes crawling out of the lake. The

mudeyes – it proves if you get the weather conditions right, the fish should be on the bite. LAKE BURRUMBEET Redfin catches have been patchy with some anglers catching them and others going home disappointed. The redfin that have been caught are around 1lb mainly on local whitebait from the lake and the ever-reliable household garden worm all fished on a running sinker rig. There have also been some very large European carp captures taken by anglers fishing for the redfin. If you don’t catch a redfin you will certainly have some fun winding in a few carp. COSGROVES RESERVOIR The reservoir normally starts to fire up with the redfin starting to bite. As our weather warms up they can be caught on a variety of baits, worms or yabbies fished on floats or

It’s cod season, and anglers are revelling in the fact that they can once more try their luck at landing a few monster greens. In the lead-up to the opening the Murray River fished very well, with good numbers of golden perch caught on bait. Amongst the perch there were several pre-season cod, all over the metre mark – a good sign of things to come. Water clarity is still a little poor but it will not deter those keen to cast or troll a lure. I have caught some thumping cod on lures in water that rated coffee colour at best, and it’s just a matter of getting in close enough for them to take a swipe. Robinvale has fished well for some very large golden perch on bait this past month, and the rumoured capture of several pre-season cod to 90cm should have anglers excited. According to the local lock master, the fish ladder at the Euston Weir has been operational. This will have

provided rite of passage to any cod that might have had the urge to migrate upstream into the Robinvale pool water. Good numbers of perch and a few smaller cod have also been landed in the current rich stretches of the Murray near Wemen. Bait has been working very well, and with good numbers of shrimp in the Murray you can easily get some with a baited trap. Scrub worms, yabbies and bardi grubs have also worked well, and will readily catch both golden perch and Murray cod. There is no doubt the number one bait for Murray cod is bardi grubs, and it’s hard to truly appreciate their worth unless you have actually collected them first hand. I remember all too well my first grub digging expedition after getting some sketchy information at the local pub by a couple of ill-informed ‘experts’. “Just dig away the topsoil under the trees,” they said, “and you will find their holes easily. Once you find them just insert the cable, grab the grub and pull it out.” I was shearing fit at the time and took to the mallee scrub with shiny shovel, removing enough topsoil to sow a wheat field. My reward

Anglers are excited to be able to target cod once again. This one was landed near Wemen on a Koolabung lure. at session’s end, other than blistered hands, comprised of several large spiders, hordes of irritated ants and one very ticked off centipede. I could see a little more information was required. An elderly fisho steered my shovel in the right direction when he suggested I try digging under river gums that stood above the high water mark. He also suggested that sandy ground held the biggest grubs, and was also much easier to dig. He was spot on. On my next trip I dug a few dozen fat grubs that turned into several very nice cod later that afternoon. Nowadays I keep a ready supply of grubs in the freezer after blanching them in milk to toughen them up so they stay on

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A nice-sized grub is extracted from its hole using a fingered grub wire. This style of wire allows you to remove the grubs without damage.

the hook longer. While you can buy frozen grubs from most tackle stores, digging them yourself provides a rewarding challenge. It is a common perception that anglers use angling as an excuse to sit back under a shady tree in order to scull down a few cold beers. While there may be an inkling of truth in this, I prefer to believe the consumption of a few cold beverages is generally a direct result of the bait gathering that went on a few short hours before. Either way, a good supply of bardi grubs is sure to tempt a few cod. December is generally an excellent month for cod along the Murray River for several reasons. Firstly, they haven’t seen many lures for at least the 3-month closed period. It’s all new again and the cod are more inclined to take a swipe at any lure that gets close enough. This will change as the season rolls on and they become ‘lure aware’ as they are bombarded with numerous lures over time. The water temperature is another factor that puts the cod on the chew. This, too, will change as it climbs high during the heat of summer, slowing the bite to a stop. For now, however, it’s a prime time to be on the water chasing cod. If last season is anything to go by, we should have a ripper season ahead.

Climate combination gives consistent fishing CRATER LAKES

Rod Shepherd

Due to spring and early summer’s above average rainfall, combined with lower than average temperatures for this time of year, our lake’s levels have remained more or less constant. This is great news for those chasing salmonoids and redfin and the current catch rate has not been disappointing. At Lake Bullen Merri the target fish at present are rainbow trout, weighing in at around 1kg. Fishing depths from 4-10m has taken the majority of captures. These depths are easily reached by bank anglers who are using Powerbait, mudeye and local gudgeon fished under a float or unweighted and allowed to slowly waft down towards the bottom. The rainbows continue to be caught throughout the daylight hours however early morning and evening should provide better results. Lake Purrumbete has been a tad quiet of late. Even though at this time of year many boaters downrig and troll lures to 20m+ depth, the fish are still hard to come by. Anglers showing some success are fishing the shallows close

to or in amongst the weed beds and taking solid browns to 4kg on mudeye suspended under a float. Unfortunately a lot of bait is lost to pesky redfin who have a habit of homing in on mudeye meant for a trout. This could be forgiven except that

the chinooks were stocked primarily to grow (hopefully) to trophy sized fish as they have done so in the past. I, as well as many others, would prefer to tangle with a trophy sized ‘chook’ in a year or three rather than take them now for

fish and love to clean up new release fish. Some anglers were upset with this plan of action. To compensate for the lack of new release browns, an excess amount of rainbows were released to help sate appetites. Lake Elingamite has been consistent for browns and rainbows with two release sizes of both species being caught. Last year’s fish are weighing in at over 1kg and

fish released two years prior are coming in atover 2kg. Trolling or static casting a wide variety of lures is very successful here. In saying that, many anglers still prefer to static fish with baits, especially at first light in the shallows adjacent to the weed beds. This age old method is still very successful on a given day and by fishing in close these boaters can stay clear of those who wish to move around

trolling or casting lures. A small amount of triploid (sterile) chinook salmon were also released here late last year as an experiment and are now legal size. Again, please consider catch and release until these fish mature. The growth rate of triploid fish is meant to be faster than standard stock so hopefully in the future comparisons can be made with fish from Bullen Merri and Purrumbete.

The author with a 2kg Elingamite brown taken on a Pontoon 21 Greedy Guts. the overwhelming majority of reddies are tiny. Both these lakes, plus Elingamite, all have ‘pan size’ chinook salmon taking bait and lures; they are a perfect size for a meal. Most fish are over the legal limit and it is an angler’s legal right to keep their bag limit, however

consumption. There are plenty of rainbow trout about to take for a feed and I implore all anglers to do so. To also encourage chinook to achieve this size, the stocking of brown trout in Bullen Merri and Purrumbete has been put on hold for two years. Browns are predatory

Costa Georgiou landed this spectacular brown trout of 11lb at Lake Arapuni in the North Island of New Zealand. He said it was on the last cast of the day while fishing a stream mouth using a ‘Tokoroa Chicken’, a locally made lure/jig consisting of cock neck hackles tied around a lead head.


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Fishing Fill-its

VRFISH board welcomes new EO The Board of VRFish is pleased to announce the appointment Mr Dallas D’Silva to the role of Executive Officer. Mr D’Silva has held senior Department positions in fisheries management and policy for over 15 years in Queensland, Torres Strait, New South Wales and Victoria. Prior to taking on the role, Dallas was the Industry Liaison Manager with NSW Fisheries. Mr D’Silva was also the Executive Officer of the Australian Fisheries Managers Forum from 2010-2012. Mr Russell Conway, Chair of VRFish said, “I would

like to take this opportunity to welcome Dallas to this crucial role as we continue to represent the diverse needs and values of Victoria’s recreational fishers.” Mr D’Silva added, “... I will be working hard to deliver positive outcomes for the Victorian recreational fishing community. “It is great to see continued Government support for recreational fishing in Victoria and their commitment to fund a peak body consultative structure. “It is vital we make best use of the current model that empowers VRFish to be a single, unified voice. “We need to ensure we

continue to consult widely and effectively represent inland, estuarine and marine fishers, whether they are young or old, regardless of their cultural background or whether they are regional or metropolitan based. VRFish’s immediate priorities include: improving communication within the sector; maintaining robust governance and reporting; improving angler access in coastal and inland waters, with a current focus on Port Phillip Bay; actively engaging in the State government marine parks review; advocating for the protection and restoration of fish habitats; and developing future leaders in the sector. – VRFish

Boat ramp upgrades The Victorian Coalition Government has upgraded three boat ramps in northern Victoria to improve angler access. Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh was joined by Member for Rodney Paul Weller to officially open the upgraded Spences Bridge boat ramp on the Gunbower Creek. Boat ramps on the Gunbower Creek at Koondrook and on the Loddon River at Serpentine have also been upgraded. Mr Walsh said the boat ramp upgrades were the latest projects funded by the Coalition Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative. “The Coalition’s Recreational Fishing Initiative has delivered more than 60 local infrastructure projects like floating jetties, upgraded boat ramps, fishing platforms, stiles and

fish cleaning tables,” Mr Walsh said. “The Recreational Fishing Initiative also contributes to fish production work at Fisheries Victoria’s Snobs Creek hatchery, fish stocking, improved fish passage in rivers, extra patrols by Fisheries Officers and the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre’s education programs”. “Fisheries Victoria will stock more than 560,000 juvenile Murray cod into rivers, lakes and impoundments over the coming months as part of its annual fish stocking program, including 80,000 into Gunbower Creek,” Mr Weller said. “There will also be stockings at Lake Nagambie, the lower Goulburn River, Lake Eppalock, Lake Nillahcootie, Cairn Curran and Lake Eildon. “The Coalition Government recognised that recreational fishing delivers

significant social and economic value to local communities throughout Victoria, including here in Cohuna.” Bag and size limits apply to many popular recreational species including Murray cod. Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing can contact the 24-hour offence reporting line 13FISH (133 474). For more information go to fisheries, download the free Victorian Recreational Fishing App or pick up the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide from any DEPI office or recreational fishing licence outlet. – DEPI Fisheries

Anglers: obey bag limits Fisheries Officers have seized three boats on Port Phillip bay this season as a result of anglers exceeding the bag limit for snapper. Recently, officers seized a boat at Altona boat ramp on Sunday morning following an inspection of the vessel that revealed fish in excess of the daily bag limit allegedly hidden under the floor. Fisheries Victoria Acting Education and Enforcement Director Ian Parks said that

when officers inspected the boat, the two men on board presented them with six snapper longer than 40cm, the maximum legal catch. “However, a search of the boat allegedly uncovered a further five snapper, also longer than 40cm, concealed in the stern, under the floor of the boat,” Mr Parks said. Two males, a father and son aged 69 and 44 from Lalor and Epping respectively, were interviewed on the scene

and their boat and fishing equipment, along with all the fish, were seized. The pair will be charged on summons with exceeding the bag limit for snapper. Mr Parks said bag and size limits were in place to ensure the sustainability of Victoria’s fisheries. “Fisheries Officers are authorised to inspect boats and ensure daily bag limits are enforced. The message to anglers is that if you do the wrong thing, you will be caught” Mr Parks said. This latest seizure follows the seizure of two boats just three weeks into snapper season. Mr Parks said Fisheries Officers would be maintaining a strong presence in areas popular with snapper anglers over the remainder of the season. – DEPI Fisheries JANUARY 2014


Cooking with jamo

Derwent River abalone rice paper wraps COOKING

Jamison Godfrey

We’re pretty lucky here in Tasmania when you can finish work in the morning in the city and not long after you’re in the water plucking abalone off the rocks to take back home and cook for lunch. I took advantage of this a few days ago with


3 48

a stretch of good warm weather on the charts. This particular spot holds plenty of these gems; I only took what was needed, as they’ll be there for the next dish and spree of warm calm weather. This recipe is only a fraction of what can be used with these rice paper wraps. You could add cooked rice vermicelli if you prefer less vegetable content or fresh chilli for a bit of extra kick!

METHOD 1. To prepare the abalone place the shell on its back and with a knife carefully prize the meat from the shell making sure you don’t leave any meat behind. Remove the gut from the meat and cut the beak from the flesh, you will see a small mouth at this point. Place into a plastic bag and beat with a mallet 15 or so times. Put into salted boiling



a small amount of peanut oil and quickly stir-fry with garlic and ginger, then remove and place into a bowl. Add a little sweet soy and hot chilli sauce while still warm and combine well. 3. In another bowl add the spring onions, carrot, bean shoots, coriander

INGREDIENTS 1 fresh abalone 1tsp fresh ginger chopped 1tsp fresh garlic chopped 1tsp peanut oil for frying 10 rice paper sheets Boiling water 1/2 bunch spring onions chopped 1 medium carrot peeled and chopped 150g fresh bean shoots 1 small bunch coriander washed and chopped 50g chopped peanuts 1tsp sesame oil Sweet soy sauce Hot chilli sauce


Freshly caught abalone.

After blanching the abalone for 30 seconds, thinly slice ready for the wrap.

water and blanche for 30 seconds, and then cool under running water for 1 minute. I don’t remove the skirt from the abalone (the black frilly part), if you don’t like it then take it off. Slice the abalone into thin slices. 2. In a hot wok add

Ready to serve.

and chopped peanuts and drizzle with the sesame oil and a little sweet soy, combine together well. 4. Now boil the kettle, you need about 1.5L and pour into a large mixing bowl. 5. Grab a rice paper sheet and place into the boiling water, make sure it is covered completely all at the same time, don’t leave in too long otherwise it will become impossible to use, still needs to be slightly firm. 6. Put some bean shoot mix into the middle of the rice sheet, then place some abalone slices on top. Roll in the same manner as a spring roll, make sure it’s rolled tightly and has no tears. Repeat until mixture is finished. Serve with extra sweet soy or chilli sauce.

The abalone removed from its shell and ready to cook.

Bigger, better bounty SHEPPARTON

Nick Brown

It’s time to welcome in a new year. 2014 brings some exciting times for me with my wife being pregnant, a new football coaching position at Congupna and most importantly a bigger area report for the Shepparton region! This year will see me doing more expansive reports to include the Shepparton Lake, Kialla Lake and also Waranga Basin each month. I will also include the regular hot spots in the Broken and Goulburn rivers and our local channel systems. With this there is a great chance to see your name and photo in the area reports. I love reading locals’ reports via email and love seeing photos of local catches so please don’t hesitate to send me your photos or reports. Now all the nitty gritty is done it’s back to the important stuff and that’s the fishing. Over late November and early December there were some annoying flows in the Goulburn River. This saw the river rise 3-5m, which made bank fishing near impossible once the water dropped. It also affected the boaters, fast flowing waters are very dangerous to fish and it beats me why the flows were let down prior to the busiest weekend on our water’s cod opening. The frustration was felt closer to home for me as the fishing club I am president of

had planned the Shepparton Fishing Championships for early December. Our club had targeted some of Victoria’s best fishos to fish the event and really wanted to showcase our local fishery. But the decision was made weeks out to shift to Lake Eildon. There will be a few photos and quick report in next month’s article. Now the warmer weather is here we should start to see larger catch rates in the Goulburn and Broken rivers. There will be plenty of shrimp and yabbies out and about and I would be using fresh bait if angling in January. Even if you’re lure fishing in January, throw a shrimp net in and try to mirror what you catch – I am no expert but everyone says

‘match the hatch’. Sometimes I have found shrimp and yabbies either really dark or a clear natural colour. Doing something as small as putting a net in can help increase your chances. The Gowangardie Weir always fishes well this time of year. This spot seems to get fished very hard but it still produces plenty of quality fish; hopefully most people are practising catch and release to enhance the enjoyment for all us fishos. The Goulburn River out Rafterys Road fished well this time last year and I would expect a similar pattern to form this January. There is plenty of access to the riverbank and sometimes you need to move from spot to

Jay Cleary with a cod caught in the Broken River.


Too many snapper costs $3500 Two men have appeared in Geelong Magistrate’s Court for exceeding the catch limit for snapper from Swan Bay near Queenscliff. A 51-year-old from Winchelsea and 55-year-old from Deans Marsh pleaded guilty to taking in excess of 60 snapper in March this year. Both men were convicted and fined $1,000 and $1,500 respectively. In addition, both

Tait Collins with a yellowbelly from the Goulburn River.

men were ordered to pay $1,000 compensation for the illegally taken fish and were prohibited from fishing until March 2014. Regional Fisheries Officer Paul Millar said the men had been fishing at Swan Bay in March when intercepted by Fisheries Officers. “The men caught 62 snapper that night, which is a large quantity and demonstrated a blatant disregard for the law.

“This is a great result for Victoria’s snapper stocks, particularly the compensation order. “This result reminds people that taking too many fish is a serious matter and significant penalties apply to those who are willing to take the risk.” Anyone who suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to contact the 24 hour fisheries offence reporting hotline 13FISH (133474). – DEPI

spot until you land a fish. The sandbars always produce fish but I tend to target the larger timber either side of the sandbars. I have found they hold the larger fish. KIALLA LAKES The lakes had a big stir

up in late November with 1,500 people jumping in for the big triathlon; this didn’t seemto worry the yellowbelly in December. The lakes are making a fight back but it’s a tad more difficult than in the past. I have had plenty of reports of good-sized fish caught on live shrimp or the trusty old shrimp worm combo. I have started to try slow rolling small spinnerbaits, the new Bassman Yellaman range seems to work well on a slow roll. Sometimes you may feel like you’re going too slow but as long as you can feel the blade working you’re alright. SHEPPARTON LAKES Fishing has been tough lately due to the large amounts of weed in the lake, but some who found the patches without weed have caught some nice fish. Still surprisingly anglers are landing Murray cod. From my memory, cod have not been stocked in the lake but they are a good by-catch when using light gear for trout or redfin.

WARANGA BASIN Boaters have not had to travel too far in recent months with good-sized schools of redfin bunching up just out from Harrimans Ramp. There is a great little trolling run adjacent to Harrimans Road, there is not much structure in the run but it seems to be a sure bet for a good sized redfin. The best thing about fishing close to the ramp is the basin always seems to chop up, and the last thing you need is to be stranded over the other side. Troll lures in different depth ranges, as sometimes the fish are holding at different levels. Keep an eye on your sounder as soon as you get a hit or a fish to see what depth they are feeding in. Sometimes the smallest thing can turn a 1 or 2 fish session into double figures in minutes. Yet again I welcome all your reports and photos so please don’t be shy. I am looking forward to 2014 and hope I can bring you some handy tips and locations to improve your fishing in our local area.

DAM LEVELS Lake/Dam % Full

Dam % Full

LAKE/DAM Oct Nov Dec Cairn Curran 85 79 82 Dartmouth 98 98 98 Eildon 93 89 90 Eppalock 92 85 87 Fyans 80 82 73 Greens 67 42 62 Hepburn 99 73 96 Hume 98 97 78 Lauriston 97 97 99 Malmsbury 106 96 88 Mulwala (Yarrawonga) 100 96 96

Newlyn 93 74 97 Nillahcootie 100 101 97 Rocklands 45 43 43 Taylors 57 40 63 Tullaroop 65 63 66 Upper Coliban 100 101 99 Waranga 91 88 69 Wartook 86 79 82 William Hovell 102 102 100 All levels correct at time of going to press. Damlevels can change at any time, so please check with local authorities to ensure safe boating and fishing. JANUARY 2014


Shaky start but now settling YARRA VALLEY

Ian Loft

The river is relatively stable at present, which is allowing a lot of people to take their pick of the fishing opportunities that this river presents. Looking back at it now it was a pretty shaky start to the season overall with on/off rain and the water temp doing some funny things! Luckily things have calmed down a little (maybe) and we can put this good water to some successful use. At this time of the year the whole river, from the top to the bottom, is fishing at its best. So starting at the top, let’s look at some access points and work our way downstream. East Warburton is just north of the old gold settlement, you’ll find Cement Creek Road from where you can walk upstream for some of the river’s greatest trout angling. Not big fish but plenty of them! Coming back down to Warburton township, you will find the fishing right in the middle of town (no kidding) to be excellent. If this is a little disturbing for you to fish with on-lookers then the last bridge out of town where the caravan park is can be quite good, but I would wait to fish this stretch until after the holidays are over. Downstream of the town you can access the river in

a couple of places as it runs close enough to the road to select a spot and park the car. This area is strewn with rock and reef and is incredibly slippery but worth a shot. Milgrove is the next on the list travelling downstream, and is a little more unforgiving. However, the river here opens a little and deepens considerably so the fish on average are a little larger. This is a good spot for flyfishing, spinning and bait fishing. Down the line a little is Launching Place and this is where you’ll see the transition from closed river to open river. The country slips into grazing land and the willows become more prevalent. This is such beautiful water for all types of trout fishing, but it’s also where you can flyfish for a year and never see the same thing twice. Totally the spot to stop if you cast the long wand! After Woori Yallock (which is just as good as Launch) you’ll find a large inaccessible section of river, which is where the river gains much of its coloration from as it runs through cattle country and muddy paddocks. The next connection is the bridge just before you arrive into Healsville from Melbourne and at this junction, you’ll find the river to hold all the freshwater fish species the river has to offer. Trout to carp to golden perch can be caught at this place but the river plays the weather game very well and

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if there has been any rain at all, it will slow down the fishing. So keep an eye out! This is quality bait fishing territory and the sort of place you would take the kids to drown a worm or three. Another big gap divides this and the next access point at Yarra Glenn. The old river starts to really slow up at this point and native fish start to become the dominant fish. Carp are also on the cards and with a great breading season over the last three years, they are very prevalent and must be dispatched once caught. A good bunch of scrub worms is a winner in these parts, as is a yabby or a piece of cheese...yes I said cheese!

Nothing special, just a chunk of tasty will do it. Past Warrandyte the river is much the same all the way to Dights Falls and the fishing follows suit. Bait fishing and lure casting will produce the best results with native fish plus you can also catch the odd large trout that make their way down this part of the river to feed onsmall roach and carp fry and can be quite big (up to 2kg). This is the time to go forth and catch them all... if you can! For more info on how best to fish this wonderful river, drop into the Compleat Angler Ringwood for all the local info.

There are plenty of fishing options this month. Trout like this should be abundant in the rivers.

Yarra River delivers the goods MELBOURNE METRO

Ian Debar

The Yarra River is a good spot for catching a Murray cod close to Melbourne in January. Water temperature in the river is just about at its peak and this will entice the cod to feed a bit more actively, although the better bite times are around first and last light. The region around Eltham is worth a shot as there are some decent rock bars and snags for the cod to hold up near. If you are going to try bait fishing here, some medium-sized freshwater yabbies fished lightly weighted are a good option, as normally eels will leave the yabbies alone. Scrubworms are also effective but can be more attractive to the prevalent eels in the river. Casting

3/8oz spinnerbaits in around the timber and rock can also be an exciting way to hook up to a cod. Sugarloaf Reservoir has been fishing well for yellowbelly this summer. Most of the fish being caught from the reservoir have been around the 3lb mark, which are nice chunky little fish. At this size, smaller bream and trout lures work better than the normal larger offerings. A good technique has been to add a gold coloured Colorado TT jig spinner to your favourite soft plastic and slowly work the lure back to the shoreline. The subtle flash and vibration of the blade will attract the interest of most yellowbelly; and while they can be suckers for short striking a lure, the natural appeal of the soft plastic will convince them to hang on long enough for a hook set.

Another good option is to retrofit an Atomic Semi Hardz vibe with weedless double hooks and work it slowly with a lift and drop retrieve around timber and drop-offs. Devilbend Reservoir has still been producing the odd large trout this summer. The most productive times to fish the reservoir are around low light. There is also less concern about snakes during the cooler period of the day. A few local anglers have been catching brown trout to 4kg out of the reservoir during the early hours of the morning, with large hardbodied lures taking most of the bigger fish. If the passive form of bait fishing is more your thing, consider rigging up with a good quality sliding float with baits of mudeye (if you can get any) or even frozen glassies. By using a sliding float rig you can easily cast your rig out

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Decent redfin like this just love small hardbodied lures. Photo courtesy Jordan Cervenjak.

without it tangling, and your bait will sit at your chosen depth every time. Lakeside Pakenham is another option for anglers out in the district’s southeastern suburbs this month. The lake is situated within the Lakeside estate, just off the Princes Highway. While the lake is only small, it does hold some quality redfin, and has been stocked with rainbow trout in the past. The lake has plenty of aquatic weed, which can be difficult to fish around, but the weed also holds lots of food for the redfin. Small minnows and aquatic insects are very common during the warmer months, and this is where lure fishing works well. Small soft plastics like Squidgy Critters and Berkley Nymphs fished on weedless style hooks are effective at drawing out some of the larger reddies, along with small hardbodied lures. Small lures such as Bullet Minnows are very effective on the redfin in this lake, especially in the Christmas beetle and mozzie minnow colours. If you have had some success in these areas lately send me a photo and go into the draw for your chance to win a store voucher valued at $100. Email it to: admin@fishingcamping. Include angler’s name, species, and the area you were fishing. For up to date fishing information, contact the guys at Compleat Angler in Dandenong on 9794 9397 or drop in and see us at 241 – 243 Princes Hwy, Dandenong, we are open 7 days a week. For our other latest fishing reports and to download information sheets, go to www


















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It keeps getting better EILDON

Andy McCarthy

Welcome to 2014! I hope everyone had a Merry Xmas and a safe

new year. At this time of year at Lake Eildon loads of people come out to play on this fabulous waterway, so safety and patience is essential over the holiday period.

What an amazing spring we had with loads of quality fish right through November and December. The yellowbelly were a standout this season with massive numbers of fish being caught all over the lake. On many occasions I was able to land 5-10 fish in a session, which was so much fun! The standout lure for me was the TN range of Jackalls in 50, 60 and 70. They all performed ridiculously well

The yellowbelly have been a standout this season with massive numbers of fish being caught all over the lake.


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The shear size of Lake Eildon means different areas of the lake have different attributes and they can all be fishing very differently. The Bonnie Doon end of the lake warms up first in spring bringing the goldens on the bite approximately two weeks before the top end. It is also the first end to cool down. Now in the height of summer, the water temperatures are 20ºC+ and the fish have moved from the shallow grassy flats into the deeper water to reside in a more comfortable water temperature. There are a multitude of options to catch fish. I find one of the best methods in summer is to focus on fishing upright







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and a couple of undersized cod. Scotty had a good session later in the evening landing 5 or so nice goldens just before dark. So let’s hope we get some good weather in January and hope the fishing continues to be as good as it has been through spring. On the redfin side of things the reports are starting to flow in with more quality fish coming on the chew. The last couple of months have been quite slow, so January will be better I’m sure. Look out for those big guys and enjoy a feed. PONDAGE The ponds have been up and down a lot lately but are still producing good trout on rainbows and browns to 2.5kg.

Bonnie bag out James Dainton

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on the drop is so important when it comes to natives, especially in deep water. Thankfully when cod season opened it was go, go, go with some terrific specimens

coming out (and back in) of the lake. I pulled a cracker of a fish on a TN70 blue gill that went 91cm and around the 15-17kg range, and the condition of it was sublime – I thoroughly enjoyed watching it swim away. The same week produced 9 yellas in a session, the smallest a 48cm, 5 in the mid 50cm, a 59cm, 62cm and a big female that went 64cm. It has been on fire! Recently Marc Ainsworth, Tony Hiam and Scotty Gray put in some time on the lake and weren’t disappointed. The guys toiled very hard, as you would expect from these completely obsessed fishos, and they did quite well. Ainsy landed 2 good yellas in 2 casts, his best a 58cm model

timber in 20-30ft of water to target redfin and golden perch, and if you’re lucky the occasional Murray cod. Use your sounder around structure; half the battle is finding a school, so if you can do that chances are you’ll be into a few fish. To catch these tree huggers drop down a bait, soft plastic or lipless crankbait and allow it to hit the bottom and work it a foot off the floor. Worms and yabbies are hard to go past in the bait department, but on a hot summer’s day the toughest part about bait is keeping it alive. It is essential to make a conscious effort to keep the bait cool and fresh; 10 minutes in the sun and those worms are now a lovely worm casserole. Small soft plastics with the fluttery tail are dynamite for catching numbers of fish. A simple jigging motion up and down is all that is required, redfin jump are all over this. Lipless crankbaits in the 50-70mm range are ideal for targeting larger fish. Use a bit of weight to get down reasonably quickly, and again it is a simple method of ripping the lure up and down in the strike zone. There are plenty of lipless crankbaits to choose from; if you want a lure with plenty of noise you can’t go past a Jackall, if you want a lure with some flash then the Balista

This chunky Bonnie Doon cod was taken on the troll in 4m of water. Overcast days like this are perfect conditions for the flashing LED. Juggernauts are a goer as well. If you want to chase something a little larger, say in the cod department, there are plenty of trolling options. There are a couple of rock banks around Bonnie Doon and, while these are perfect places to troll, they do get a fair bit of traffic. The key to fishing Bonnie Doon is to think outside the square and look for areas that other people aren’t fishing, which can take time. Look for drop-offs, points, and any unique structure – you may inadvertently bump into a large snag while trolling, if so pull out your casting rod and throw a couple of casts into that structure and you may be pleasantly surprised to find a good native. Early mornings/ late evenings troll the 3-4m mark, during the day push out a little wider into the 5-8m mark. The natives in Eildon are

huge so don’t be shy to use decent sized lures. If you’re chasing cod the lure size should be starting at 70mm at an absolute minimum and can go well above 100mm to chase the big boys. What an amazing fishery Lake Eildon is, whether you’re chasing Murray cod, goldens, redfin or trout, Bonnie Doon has all of it on offer, and it’s not out of the question to catch all in the one day! If you have any photos or reports from Bonnie Doon I’d be delighted to hear from you: James Dainton Our Balista range of lures feature LED technology and are designed specifically for natives. View the range at or join us at balistalures.

High temps, low water levels WANGARATTA

Robbie Alexander

Spring took a fair while to warm up in this area with regular cold fronts and snow across the Alps right into November. People were complaining about the constantly cold weather, and anglers were complaining about the unsettled weather leading to poor fishing. By January the weather is usually very settled, and very hot, and so should be the fishing.

TROUT January and February are the two toughest months of the year to catch trout in the Ovens and King River catchments; water temperatures are usually at their highest, and the water levels are often at their lowest. The smaller, rural flowing streams are usually best avoided as the water is so warm that the trout will often lay low in the deep pools and barely move as they sit still conserving energy. Wait for a flush of cooler, fresher water such as that found after a decent thunderstorm.

While the average size of Ovens River Murray cod is not great, the sporting potential is enormous. This little fella took a Z-Man Pop FrogZ surface soft plastic just on sunset.

Fishing for trout in such conditions can be red hot if you know the stream has a good number of trout, however the trout are usually in poor condition and not worth catching as they have not eaten for some time. A bit like myself, in poor condition through lack of food! The higher altitude streams such as the Dandongadale River, upper Buckland, upper Buffalo and such will all be worth fishing. The water will still be warmer than the trout prefer, it always is at this time of the year, however provided the water flow is okay, the fast flowing water will remain well oxygenated and the trout will come out to feed, particularly of an evening when the hot sun is off the water and insects are hatching out. REDFIN January is usually a great time to catch big numbers of small redfin, when the water is warm and there is plenty of food around. Lakes William Hovell, Buffalo and Sambell will all be worth fishing for redfin at this time; Lake William Hovell is the best of the three. Lake

Put a bend in it YARRAWONGA

Tony Bennett

Hope Santa looked after you all this year and came bearing gifts that more than likely consist of fishing gear! It’s post-festive season and hopefully you’ll be keen to get out, get it wet or put a bend in it! Fishing in and around Lake Mulwala and the Murray River at this time of year generally proves more productive in the early morning and late afternoon. Those that seek quieter water away from the hordes of ‘doof doof’ boats and ‘water lice’ (jet skis) will produce better results. The areas of Lake Mulwala that generally give you solace from the urban cowboys tend to be along the northern side of the lake, up to about 1km in from the shoreline. The northern side of the lake is heavily timbered. It has less safe boating channels but allows those who poke slowly along some great timber to fish. These areas range from 2-4m in depth and are perfect for casting any style of cod specific lure, whether hardbody, spinnerbait, crankbait or chatterbait. Trolling is also very productive and should not be discounted.

Fishing below the weir early in the season generally produces plenty of undersize Murray cod, protected trout cod and the fun to catch silver perch. Throw in bucketfuls of carp and good numbers of yellas, and the Murray is more often than not a better option for the family if they are looking to put the kids onto a fish for a bit of fun. There is not much more to report at present because as I put pen to paper, it’s the calm before the storm. With only a few sleeps until

cod season, the majority of anglers have re-armed themselves and are waiting to pounce! I welcome all anglers visiting Yarrawonga/ Mulwala over the holiday period to pop in and say G’Day at Lake Mulwala Fish Camp & Ski (opposite Mulwala Post Office). I’m sure we can put you onto a fish or two and make your visit to the region a rewarding and memorable one. Finally I wish all a happy New Year.

Buffalo has lesser numbers of redfin than William Hovell, however it has a few better than average-sized reddies if you’re willing to persevere. There are redfin in many of the region’s smaller creeks and tributaries, but they have been very quiet all spring. It is hard to imagine them fishing well during the heat of summer if they are quiet in November.

Small redfin should be easy to catch during January. While these fish are small, they are great fun for the kids.

In the heat of January, many fishing trips are mixed with swimming sessions. Swimming to get your lure off a snag becomes a viable option during the heat. YELLOWBELLY Very much to my surprise I saw a photo of a magnificent yellowbelly that had been caught right in the middle of Wangaratta back in November. Yellowbelly are not common in the Ovens River catchment anymore, and to see one show up in Wangaratta is just wonderful. There was a new fish ladder put into the Ovens River behind the Sydney Hotel last year, maybe this has something to do with it? This was the first yellowbelly I have seen caught in the Ovens River in Wangaratta for about 4 or 5 years. In January, try fishing the Ovens River anywhere downstream from Peechelba if you are targeting yellowbelly. The large deeper holes with

slower dirtier water seem to provide better habitat for the yellowbelly and each year there are quite a few caught down there on bait and lures. As a rule of thumb, the closer you get to Lake Mulwala the more likely you will be to encounter a yellowbelly. MURRAY COD These are the fish that the Ovens River is famous for. The river is one of, if not the, best Murray cod fisheries in Victoria. It has a healthy population of Murray cod from Myrtleford, all the way downstream right through to its junction with the Murray River at Lake Mulwala. While the numbers are great, the average size of the Murray cod isn’t so good, with legal sized Murray cod being something of a rarity

in recent years. When the size limit was 50cm we caught heaps of 48cm Murray cod, because as soon as they hit 50cm they got hit on the head. Now that the size limit is 60cm, we catch heaps of cod around the 58cm mark. Therefore the Ovens River is not a trophy hunting Murray cod destination; those big fish are in the Murray. There are a few in the Ovens, but not many. I would like to see a review of size and bag limits on Murray cod to help them grow to a bigger size. In January, walking the banks of an evening flicking surface lures or spinnerbaits will put you in the hot seat to land a Murray cod or two, and if you are lucky, possibly even a protected trout cod which must be returned to the water. During the day, kayaking is the way to go and is everincreasing in popularity as the Ovens and King rivers are both heavily blocked up with fallen trees in many areas making boating extremely difficult, if not impossible. Casting hardbody lures and spinnerbaits is the best technique. If you fish the Ovens River during January, just be very wary of the bushfire potential, especially downstream along the river flats where the native grasses are currently close to 4ft high and will be tinder dry in January.



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Cooper Bennett with a small silver bream from the Murray River. Not big but a lot of fun for the kids over the school holidays.

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Trout still possible in cool Kiewa KEIWA VALLEY

Robbie Alexander

Throughout spring the Kiewa River remained the most consistent trout fishery in this corner of the state. Hopefully this pattern continues throughout January. During January, the hottest time of the year, the trout fishing generally slows down right across North East Victoria. The Kiewa River usually fishes the best out of the lowland streams. Although the water still gets reasonably warm, it is usually cooler

than those found in other nearby waterways. This is because the water upstream of Mt Beauty spends a lot of time underground as it gets diverted through several power stations before emerging from the hills just upstream of the Mt Beauty pondage. TROUT As mentioned the Kiewa River will be well worth a look during January if you are targeting trout, especially upstream of Tawonga where the water is likely to be that little bit cooler. The Mitta Mitta River between Eskdale and Dartmouth could be another

A small rainbow trout caught recently on a 40mm Metalhead soft plastic in the West Kiewa River.

spot worth trying as the water flowing out of Lake Dartmouth should be quite cold. The level of the Mitta Mitta River will be subject to irrigation demands and could fluctuate a bit. The higher it is, the cooler and more productive it will be for trout. Upstream of Mitta Mitta township, the Snowy Creek may be worth a look. I fished the Snowy Creek in November and the going was a little bit slow, however I did see a few fish. Not a lot, but enough to warrant a return visit. The Snowy Creek drains the back of Victoria’s highest mountain, Mt Bogong and the water stays quite cool through summer, especially high up in the headwaters. One area not to be overlooked is the alpine resort of Falls Creek. There are two lakes at Falls Creek, Rocky Valley Dam and Pretty Valley Dam. Both lakes have pretty good numbers of brown trout in them and in November Victorian Fisheries released 600 yearling chinook salmon into Rocky Valley dam, which will offer something different for anybody heading up there. Both of these alpine dams sit at over 1500m above sea level, with Pretty Valley Dam being the highest and

is almost above the treeline. The air temperature is rarely over the mid 20ºCs at this altitude, and rarely, if ever reaches 30ºC, which makes both of these mountain lakes an attractive option during the heat of January. Pretty Valley Dam is a lot smaller than Rocky Valley Dam, however it seems to house the bigger fish out of the two lakes. NATIVE FISH January is a great month to target the Murray cod in the lower reaches of the Kiewa River around Kiewa township and Kergunyah. The biggest problem with fishing for Murray cod in the Kiewa River is that the water level is constantly fluctuating because of the water released in the mountains when they generate electricity. As a result cod fishing in the Kiewa River can be very hit and miss. In saying that, there are some great cod in the Kiewa River, and they must eat at some stage, so if at first you don’t succeed… come back another day! The law of averages dictates that eventually you will land there on a great day and Murray cod will be smashing your lures left right and centre!

Rocky Valley dam at Falls Creek offers relief from the scorching summer heat in January, and has recently been stocked with yearling chinook salmon. The Kiewa River is stocked annually with Murray cod, so too is the lower reaches of the Mitta Mitta River around Pigs Point. I have heard of the odd cod being caught in the Mitta Mitta, but I don’t hear a lot of reports from up that way apart from trout reports. I did read somewhere recently though of some electro fishing results, including Murray cod over 10kg being found in the lower reaches of the Mitta Mitta River. Yellowbelly will be on offer in January in Lake Hume, and also in Allans Flat waterhole. The schools of yellowbelly that form in spring in Lake Hume would have well and truly dispersed by January, so expect to catch yellowbelly more frequently, but not in big numbers!

REDFIN Lake Hume and Allans Flat waterhole are the two main places to head if you are after redfin during January. Lake Hume is the better bet as it has some bigger redfin if you are willing to put in the hours searching for them. During January I would be fishing in around 20-25ft of water. Redfin are very much a schooling fish, so make sure you keep moving around if you are not catching any. Most people like to tie to the standing trees in the lake, but I like to fish over grassy flat bottoms and anchor up in the middle of nowhere. I find redfin fishing to be better over open flat ground than I do around timber, provided the water is deep.

Stream and lake fish are getting a good feed WST/STH GIPPSLAND

Steve Haughton

It has been an interesting end to spring bringing plenty of rain and sunshine. One minute the paddocks were sodden and the next they were dry and cracking. I wish I could say the fishing action is cracking too but unfortunately I must have read my crystal ball wrong. I was assuming that come the end of spring into summer the rivers would be flowing clean and beautiful but instead they’re still flowing hard and dirty. When I say dirty, the water is not yellow, red or

discoloured from clay wash-off but more silty-alluvial with a dark tannin making sightfishing quite hard. The positives out of all this though are that there have been a number of hatchings already in the last few months of flying ants and other insects so the stream and lake trout of the region are getting a good feed. The Toorongo River has probably been the most successful of the rivers over the season so far with plenty of stream trout caught and released. This river is certainly one of the most picturesque in the region. Upstream the river meanders against a tall forest backdrop on the far bank and as it flows closer towards the Latrobe River in the direction

of the township of Noojee it opens up into lush green open farmland. It is the most fishable of all the rivers when the water is still flowing hard as it has long runs and deep sharp pools that are able to control the flow better, allowing anglers of all methods to still have some luck when the other local rivers aren’t cooperating. A number of landholders are happy for day anglers to stroll the banks or wade the river but it is always polite to ask permission first. The Toorongo has a natural stock of brown and rainbow trout,

Gippsland freshwater spiny crayfish, blackfish and eel. Snakes are also plentiful so always keep this in the back of your mind when walking along the bank sneaking up to a nice fishing hole. Techniques vary like they do for all rivers in the West and South Gippsland region. Fish however you like, but it is always exciting to step out of the comfort zone and try a new technique. Whether it’s drifting a garden worm, bobbing a scrub worm, casting a lure (soft plastic, spinner blade, hardbody minnow) or

flicking a beaded nymph with dry fly indicator, they’re all great fun techniques when targeting stream trout to catch and release. Sight-fishing and stalking a trout on the Toorongo adds extra adrenalin to the adventure. Blue Rock reports have been very quiet over the last few months but something tells me that has something to do with the strong winds and wet weather we’ve been experiencing in spring. No doubt the bass fishing will intensify as the water temperature heats up. For

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This little reddie at Blue Rock bit off more than he could chew. The yabby survived for another day, despite there being a large amount of redfin in the lake.

those looking for a fun fishing day out, sight fish for carp in coves and cast small soft plastic Wriggler tails at them until they strike. Hold on and tighten the drag to avoid bust ups in the snags as these fish have a lot of power and it’s a whole lot of fun on a calm summer’s day. The river blackfish season opens on 1 January 2014 and if you don’t intend on taking it home, make sure you release it back immediately unharmed to ensure its survival in our streams as they are an important species in our ecosystem. Just recently I went for a night hike and I was amazed when I shone my headlight into the water to see quite a few small blackfish and eel out at night feeding amongst rocks in a slow running pool. They weren’t big fish but it was exciting to see them in their element feeding. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, stream trout fishing is certainly feeling the pressure in our streams and the size of the fish are not what they used to be. Please practice catch and release. Feel free to send me a report or photo ,particularly if you have any success stories fishing the streams or Blue Rock. Happy fishing!

Rivers clear and fishing fires Will Thompson

Summer is here and the rivers have cleared up. The Macalister River has been the place to go catch a trout in Central Gippsland. The Macalister River has been fishing very well above Glenmaggie and Paradise Valley on the way to Licola.

There have been brown and rainbow trout caught, which is great to see. The brown trout are in good condition and have been caught to 35cm, with the odd fish over 40cm. The rainbow trout are in good numbers but are small at around 25cm. The rainbows are holding in the fast water as usual, and are being caught by fly anglers using wet flies such as beadhead nymphs and small

streamer patterns like Tom Jones’ and Mrs Simpsons. The spin anglers are doing very well on Celtas and Tassie Devils. The browns are in the runs as well but are holding up in the deep water and are responding very well to Tassie Devils. BLUE ROCK Blue Rock Lake has been getting more attention lately, especially with the bass stock. The bass have started this season responding more

Lorraine Lovatt with an excellent 20lb brown trout caught at Tekapo B tailrace South Island, NZ. Lorraine was on a hunting expedition and took a break for a day to wet a line. Using a 4kg spinning outfit and a hook baited with a local delicacy Huhu grub (witchety grub in Australia) she was casting and drifting the bait similar to a wet fly and was nailed on the second cast.

to worms than anything else. There are a few anglers catching bass from 20-25cm off the bank edges around Willow Grove. The best times have been just after first light or in the late afternoon with not too many fish being caught in the middle of the day. As summer progresses and the water warms, it will be worth trolling the drop-offs with bibbed minnows and chucking small stickbaits and surface lures into the snags in the upper reaches. The best time to do this is in the afternoons, however the bass do become a lot more active in the warm weather and can be caught all day. Trout have been caught but they are tough work. There have been more trout caught in the mornings but it is also worth fishing the afternoon hatch, especially in summer when the fish are rising. You don’t have to be flyfishing to catch the trout when they are rising, you can use 1-2” soft plastics on small jigheads as well. As long as you are quiet and don’t spook the trout, you can still catch them. STRZELECKI STREAMS Our local creeks, such as Traralgon Creek and Morwell River, have been SA005


Andrew Kettaler caught this brown trout trolling in Blue Rock Lake. disappointing. There are fish in the Morwell River in the main branch and little branch but the numbers are low. Traralgon Creek is even worse. There have been some trout caught since the opening, however all the fish are coming from the lower section closer to Traralgon South. Hopefully the fish move up, and the numbers increase but it’s evident something extremely detrimental has occurred in the KoornallaLeroy region of Traralgon

Creek. Hopefully a full fisheries survey is conducted soon so we can get an accurate estimate of the numbers of trout in the creek and also their distribution. • For more information, Contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get expert advice and get great deals on fishing bait and tackle. Tune in to Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner’s Off the Hook on 1242 to listen to Will’s report on Gippsland.

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Top up makes tip top fishing JINDABYNE

Steve Williamson

January is holiday time for most people but unfortunately for us in the tourism industry we are in full swing with my daily fishing tours and flyfishing instruction. A busy time, but without it I would be a very poor fishing guide. The lake is once again looking spectacular, with a high water level and recent rain topping up the streams. The weather has been a bit mixed up in the mountains with rain and even snow over recent months. Nevertheless, with January here we can finally enjoy a little bit of warmer weather and a huge improvement to our flyfishing season, which certainly was the latest start that I can remember. With good water in the rivers and streams it looks like we will have some great river fishing from now well into autumn, at least. January is ‘hopper season’ for fly anglers. There are various grasshopper patterns available but just have a look around and see what size and colour the real ones are and find a fly to match. In the early stages of hopper development we like to use smaller patterns and even flies, like a Yellow Humpy, can imitate the local hoppers. As the hopper develops wings

then the Snowy Mountains Hopper pattern or a larger yellow Stimulator are more suitable. Likewise, keep your eyes open for evening hatches of other insects, such as the mayfly. I love the dry flyfishing at this time of year. If you are a lake fly angler, nights are the best time to fish and bigger dark or black flies, like a Woolly Bugger, or other dark streamer patterns are ideal. Craig’s Nighttime is also another Snowy Mountains favourite; not to forget my own Snowy Mountains Gold Fish where fishing the bays and the inlets will be the best places to get results. When trolling in January, we start the day off by surface trolling lures like Rapala Minnows, which are very good for the bigger brown trout. You can also troll these off lead core lines to get them a little deeper. Surface trolling Tasmanian Devils in green colours like the number 111 Willy’s Special are well worth trying and my special Red-Nosed Yellowing is great when the sun starts to get higher in the sky. On the overcast days the Holographic and number 48 Brown Bomber or other darker lures will be best. Other lures I would recommend over the coming month for trolling would be Rapala Scatter Rap, Dorado Minnows in goldfish-like colours, Balista LED for deep trolling and StumpJumpers

in greens and golds. Gillies Natural Vibes will always attract a trout when they are lazy and you can even try trolling a soft plastic like a Strike Tiger Nymph behind flashers. Best areas to fish have been Hayshed, Hatchery and Rushes Bay and the South Arm, but if you are smart you should look for the wind lanes early in the day. You will often locate these by looking for the ducks and gulls (lake gulls, not sea gulls) because these birds are often also feeding on the surface insects that the trout love to eat. Later in the morning, the best fishing will be deep using either lead core lines, paravanes, trolling sinkers etc. but the best way to achieve results is to use a downrigger, so you know exactly what level you are fishing. At the moment the depth continues to vary from 35ft early in the day to 45ft later in the morning. Lake spin anglers will also do well in the first hour or so of light. Again, I like to spin with lures the same as the trollers but in smaller versions. Blades work on trout as well and gold colours are best; I rather like the Jaz Lure blades in gold like the little goldfish we have in the lake. Other lures that have been proving themselves very effective on the trout are the Bullet Lures with some excellent colours in the range, which also look a lot like the goldfish as well as the little trout fingerlings that

have recently been released from the Gaden trout hatchery. By mid-morning you will have to be lucky to catch a fish on the lake in summer. It may be best heading to the alpine rivers for a spin in the creeks where the trout may be a little more active. River spinning is much better than last year because the water levels are a little higher. There have been some good trout caught, if you are prepared to walk a little further away from the holiday crowds. Find some deep pools or some deeper running water where the fish may lay under cover. Small minnow style lures like CD Rapalas and the old favourite green and gold Celtas or Gillies Spinners, like the feathertails, work very well. I also love the Vibrax spinners and there are some glow in the dark colours in this range that are great for fishing in the late evening. Change lures often and never work one area of water over any more than a half a dozen casts. Bait fishing in summer is mudeye time. The mudeye is the nymph of the dragonfly, and anglers use them as live bait, hooking them through the wing case to allow them to swim around beneath a float. Early and late in the day are the best times and, again, fish the bays and move to deeper water as the day brightens up. The cooler weather this year has made it hard to find mudeyes. So if that is the case, try a local scrub worm fished

Despite mixed weather conditions up in the mountains with rain and even snow over recent months, January will finally see a little bit of warmer weather and a huge improvement to the flyfishing season. off the bottom. Scrub worms are going to catch a big brown trout that you have always wanted to catch, but they are best fished unweighted; yes a big worm cast out without a sinker. The shallow bays are the best night fishing locations, however look out for the snags. If you want to use bait in the middle of the day, then you are best to look at bottom fishing using either a scrub worm, bardi grub or one of the artificial baits. The secret at the moment to catching trout on bait is to grease up the line to stop the drag on the water and to stop it floating to the bottom into the weed and getting caught up. You need a trout to run with the bait without feeling any resistance and greasing the line will help catch more fish. Always fish with the reel bail arm open so the fish can run with the line. The best line grease is silicon mucilin as it will not harm the line.

Happy New Year from all of us at Steve Williamson’s Tackle Shop and Fishing Adventures. If down in the mountains this month, drop in and say hi at my shop, at Snowline Service Centre, where you will find me next to the Shell Servo. I will have the latest fishing information available and you can also book a tour with me while you are there. For those looking at learning to fly fish we still have vacancies for the 25 and 26 January Gillies Beginner Fly Fishing schools. Check out my web site or give my shop a call for information. I will also have a weekend Explore the Snowy Mountains Fly Fishing weekend very soon so if interested please give my shop a call on 02 64561551 or e-mail me swtrout@airlan. and don’t forget to have a look at my web site au and my new site www.


Lake Eildon natives switch on CRANBOURNE

Mitch Chapman

An easy day trip from the heart of Melbourne, Lake Eildon is one of the best native fish impoundments and, of course, trout lakes that the country has to offer. Chock-a-block full of trout, it’s the natives such as the iconic Murray cod and golden perch that really draw anglers from all around the state to this pristine waterway. The fishing here is already good, I can’t imagine how

it’s going to be in 5 years time – unbelievable! PRIME TIME For natives, the warmer months are defiantly the go, if it’s consistency you are after. October though to December is prime. Trout prefer the cooler water and, just before they spawn and close season, you can see some very large fish upwards of 12lb+. THE GEAR Light to medium spin gear is ideal, as you can still cast light plastics and lures. When casting spinnerbaits and heavier lures, a 4-8kg rod is best. 2000-4000 sized

reels with 10-20lb braid will be more than enough for most things encountered in the lake. THE RIG When bobbing for redfin, natives and trout, then a simple bait holder hook and a ball sinker running straight down to your hook is best when vertical jigging the timber with baits. Lure fishers use a fluorocarbon leader of about a rod length. The species you are targeting will determine the breaking strain you will use. BAIT AND LURES Bait fishers like

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scrubworms and yabbies, and these baits will catch just about anything that swims past one. For the native lure casters, lipless crankbaits, such as Jackall TN50 and 60, spinnerbaits and 3-4” plastics are a good place to start, and all take their fair share of quality fish. Trolling for trout, Tassie Devils and Rapala F7 are like jellybeans to both browns and rainbows and are a must-have lure in the box. BEST METHOD For anglers who are looking to catch their first native and have never visited Eildon, it can be a very daunting place to start as it is such a large waterway. Point fishing is a good method. This involves fishing any rocky point along the shoreline that goes out into the water. Fish like to hang around points, and as mentioned before, a very good place to start and catch fish if you are just learning the lake.

Gez with a cracker yella caught just on dusk. MOTHER NATURE Just be careful when navigating the lake as there are a lot of submerged trees that can be more than 300m out from the banks. Some can be seen, but it’s the ones that can’t be seen that can really do damage to boats and motors and cause harm. So just remember, take your time and get to really know the lake first before getting in the boat and going flat knacker around the margins of the banks.

HOT TIP Try to find warmer pockets of water. The natives seem to be more active and feed where warmer pockets of water can be found. Generally where you can see carp milling around on top they are a good indication that the water is a good temperature to find cod and yellas. So keep an eye out for carp, they can be useful for one thing.

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As good as it gets CENTRAL HIGHLANDS

Neil Grose

Trout fishing is supreme – endless opportunities for dry fly and sight fishing and the surface lure fishing is fantastic, especially at night. In the salt, the first run of game fish should be well underway and the light line species such as bream, trevally, whiting and Australian salmon are reliable and numerous. SALTWATER NORTH In the north of the state, the Tamar River should finally be clear of the persistent late spring and early summer deluges. The persistent rain did nothing for the sea trout run in the upper reaches in spring, but did keep phenomenal amounts of bait at the mouth and down to about Long Reach, resulting in consistent fishing for above average Australian salmon. Atlantic salmon were a key part of the spring

fishing, and if you strike an Atlantic in January it will probably be a good one. The feature fishing in the Tamar in January hinges on the arrival of the yellowtail kingfish and the increasing numbers of King George whiting. Whiting have been caught in small numbers leading up to Christmas, but the expected warm water of the summer should see them increase. Look around places like the edges of weed and sand, such as Lagoon Beach and the flats off Kelso. There were consistent catches of them off the beach at East Beach last summer as well, so keep that in the back of your mind. Best baits are usually pipi rigged on specialist whiting rigs, however a light paternoster rig with small circle hooks from the Mustad range should see you pretty right. Snapper are always at the forefront of anglers’ plans in summer, and they seem to be spreading out further as the years

progress. It is a black art finding snapper, and not many have ‘cracked the code’ yet, but suffice to say slack water seems to be the go. But I’ll be spending a lot of time trolling big hardbodied lures on a downrigger while sounding up likely spots – this works well in Port Phillip, so why not the Tamar? The estuaries and bays along the north coast provide some consistent fishing for the bread and butter species such as flathead and Australian salmon in January. Bridport is a great starting point, as when the weather is right boat fishers can access offshore hot spots such as Waterhouse Island, Southern Cross Reef and myriad nooks and crannies where plenty of yellowtail kingfish and big salmon are seen, if not caught. Snapper a great option out of Bridport, and some of the best spots are just out

Brown trout are always the focus for January. (Photo courtesy of Phil Ellerton)

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Spinning the surf beaches, especially the gutters, is fantastic in January. (Photo courtesy of Phil Ellerton)

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of the bar way on the river. Be careful if launching out of Bridport, the access to the sea at anything less than half tide can be unreliable to say the least. SALTWATER NORTH WEST While the attention is often drawn away from the northwest coast in summer, there is some fantastic fishing to be had. Top of the list for the blue water angler is the mako shark fishing. Calm (ish) seas and heaps of berley are the key, and every year there are some thumping makos caught up the coast. Closer to shore the flathead and salmon fishing in the east and west inlets

either side of the Nut at Stanley are prime – in fact many locals would go as far as to say that they are better than anywhere in the state. The channels and gutters are the first places to look for fish activity and keep a few squid jigs handy as the calamari are always plentiful and of good size. SALTWATER EAST COAST The east coast is the springboard to the offshore action, but is also home to some of the best estuary action anywhere south of Cape York! St Helens is the northeast Mecca for the game anglers keen to hook up with moderate

sized albacore and those fast action speedsters, the striped tuna. Where there are striped tuna there should also be some striped marlin on the charge too, as they feed on these fellas. For those with smaller boats and weaker stomachs (like me for instance), Merricks Reek is a good place to start when chasing some gamefish. This reef is marked on most charts and GPS charts and is pretty much always home to striped tuna and albacore. It is also worth noting that some very large marlin have been sighted and caught here in recent seasons. In close to shore, Elephant Rock just out of the bar way and to the north is always home to good numbers of big salmon. There is also a healthy population of yellowtail kingfish here in summer, and this year should be no different. There are two ways to snare a kingfish from all reports (I’m yet to catch one) – trolling with big bibbed lures at a reasonably fast pace (10km/h) or berleying them up to the boat and then tossing in large soft plastic lures rigged on strong jigheads. Make the lures worth eating, nothing less than 100mm and hooks to match. Georges Bay is at its busiest in January as the crowds move to the east coast for the holiday period. Having said that, if you are keen then the early morning is the best time to get plenty of space. The flats fishing for bream is starting to hit its peak in January – pretty much any decent flat in the Bay will have bream on it.

Big Australian salmon also make their presence felt, but don’t be fooled by the birds being active, as for the most part this is prompted by smaller, more boisterous salmon. The big salmon tend to be in smaller groups rather than big schools and in shallow water. Look for them in Moulting Lagoon, where they give away their presence with swirls rather than more showy signs. Surface lures are the best bet – bring the salmon to your lure rather than the other way around. Further down the coast at Swansea and Coles

Bay many anglers will be drifting Great Oyster Bay and down the side of Freycinet looking for a good feed of flathead, which shouldn’t be too hard to find. Try a variety of depths, but 5m is a good place to start. Calamari are well worth chasing too, as are schools of yellowtail kingfish in the sheltered bays and rocky points along the sheltered side of Freycinet. SALTWATER SOUTH For the most part, anglers down south will be focussed on the Derwent for the bream fishing. Fair enough too, as the Derwent

Well-conditioned bream are a common target in the Derwent in January – soft plastics fished deep around the bridge pylons do well.

has the biggest stock of big bream anywhere in Australia. Add to that, it is right on the doorstep of Tasmania’s capital city and easy access to good fishing is assured. Barring major floods, bream will have spread throughout the system and be feeding well. Best spots tend to be the same year in year out, and anglers searching with hardbodied lures would do well to concentrate around the flats in Berridale and around to Cadburys Point, Prince of Wales Bay and the points and shores either side of this expansive spot, in front of the Derwent Entertainment Centre and the shores all along the eastern shore. As the tide drops use vibe style lures on the secondary drop-offs or soft plastics. Further towards the sea, January is a good time to expect some bigger Australian salmon and of course flathead. In recent summers there have been some yellowtail kingfish out around Betsy Island as well – surely a sign of steadily warming waters. FRESHWATER CENTRAL HIGHLANDS If you are a trout lover, then January is the prime time to strut your stuff. Plenty of winter and spring rain has left streams in the

Evening midge hatches are a great way to get some action on Arthurs Lake. best flow conditions for some years. Even though the cormorants had a severe impact on trout numbers last year, anglers can expect some great fishing for larger than average fish. Northern rivers like the St Patricks and North Esk definitely have fewer fish in them this year, but I’d suggest that they are certainly bigger! As the month progresses and the summer heat dries out the bankside grass, grasshoppers will

start to hit the water. This is my favourite stream fishing of all – flicking a grasshopper fly upstream and seeing these wonderful stream brown trout spurt over and smash it down. Down south the situation is similar, but cormorants massively impacted many of the smaller streams last season. I’ve heard great reports from the Tyenna all season, but other streams, not so much. In the highlands there is water everywhere. In the western lakes this will

recede quickly if there are no decent falls, as these waters really rely on continued rainfall to maintain their current high levels. As soon as it dries out they will fall quickly. The summer of sight fishing is well and truly underway, especially on the mayfly waters of Woods, Penstock and Little Pine. The Pine had a very good flush out early in the season, which is usually a precursor to good mayfly hatches. Continued page 60

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From page 59

Mayflies started to hatch in late November on Woods Lake, so by January trout will be well and truly focussed on duns and spinners. My favourite weather at Woods is a very bright east to southeast wind (which most would hate) as this wind draws the spinners off the eastern shore to the hungry jaws of waiting trout. Great Lake is more often than not the focus of boat-based flyfishers in January. My diary tells me that January is the most

productive time of year to find plenty of trout on the surface looking for a feed. Bright blue skies and a stiff northerly wind are the best conditions, as the wind creates the food source of beetles and ants, as well as opening up the water to the sun, making it super easy to see trout cruising high in the waves. Arthurs Lake has more water in it than ever, and it hit its spill level in late November for the first time ever. What effect this has on the fishing long term can only be guessed, but

I’d suggest that beginners and those looking for a confidence boost make all haste to Arthurs Lake, as it is here that anglers stand the best chance at catching plenty of trout, albeit quite small. Mayfly numbers are steadily building since the horrors of 2008-10, and my tip is to look at the deep water off the Lily Pads, especially in a westerly. Further south the waters of the Bronte/Bradys chain are always good in January. It is this time of year that anglers look forward to the

long days of dry flyfishing around Bronte, especially when the beetles fall. My favourite water down this way is Lake St Clair. While the boat ramp is a pain in anything apart from a southerly, once on the water the fishing is superb. The polaroiding in St Clair Basin is awesome, and the trout here love a black spinner or parachute dun. I’ve spent a lot of time on this lake, and some of the mayfly hatches blowing out of the Basin in a cloudy northerly are phenomenal.

The trout in Arthurs are pretty small, but there are masses of them.


2013 TASMAP Highland lakes map and notes IFS

Tim Farrell

The Central Highlands of Tasmania are a rugged area with impressive scenery and world class trout fishing in the thousands of lakes and tarns. The TASMAP Highland Lakes Map covers most of the plateau, it shows all of the lakes, how to get there along with launching facilities, accommodation, camping and caravan areas, fuel supplies and services. The reverse side features updated, detailed notes and maps covering the prime fishing lakes. The notes are packed with valuable information on regulations, fish types and the best fishing locations and methods. The 2013 edition is available for purchase from the TASMAP e-shop - for $9.95, or at your local Service Tasmania outlet.

LITTLE PINE LAGOON LAKESIDE RESERVE UPGRADE Inland Fisheries Service has assisted Parks and Wildlife Service to install new reserve signage at Little Pine Lagoon. The signs are in the new Park’s blue and white colour palette and replace the old brown timber signs that had reached the end of their lifespan. The new signs advise visitors of reserve use regulations including fuel stove only* and dogs permitted if under effective control. The signs also identify facilities and areas for specific activities including boat launching, day use only areas, tent camping area and caravan and camper trailer area. To protect the lagoon environment an area on the road shore (Off the B11 Marlborough Road) has been reclassified from a camping area to a day use only area with all camping, caravans and camper trailer areas consolidated adjacent to the public toilets within the reserve.

Above: New reserve signage at Little Pine Lagoon. Right: Highland Lakes map and angling notes has now been released. The signs reflect a significant investment and ongoing cooperation between the two agencies in managing the reserve areas surrounding this world class fishery that is the most popular fly fishing water in Tasmania.

* fuel stove means a device for cooking that does not – (a) affect, or interact with, in any way, soil or vegetation; or (b) use or burn coal, wood, plant material or any other solid fuel;

MORASS BOAT RAMP MAINTENANCE Due to the record high water levels in Arthurs Lake residents and visitors to Morass Bay have found it impossible to launch boats at the public ramp. In response to concerns from local shack owners and anglers the IFS and Hydro Tasmania responded to improve the situation. The only option available was to create a small turning and launching area at the end of Larner Parade and to install no parking signs to ensure the area is kept clear unless launching or retrieving boats. Parking is available in Nielsen Crescent, a short 50m walk from the launching area. The IFS will monitor water levels and remove the no parking signs when water levels allow. At the same time parking areas were improved at the Dam Wall boat ramp to compensate for the areas now inundated by the lake. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR RUBBISH BEHIND WHEN YOU’RE FISHING Every angler has the

responsibility to leave the place they fish in the condition they found it. Whether you’re in a boat, fishing from the shore or camping out at a lake or river you should not leave litter or garbage behind. The IFS participates in Clean Up Australia Day each year and always retrieves ute and trailer loads of rubbish from the small areas covered. The waste that is removed from lakeside sites includes all manner of objects from food and beverage containers to car seats and building materials. Angling clubs, groups and conscientious individuals all do their bit to look after the environment that supports the recreation we all share and love by removing waste left behind by others. Don’t let it be your garbage that is cleaned up by others; take it away from the sites and dispose of it thoughtfully and responsibly.

HYDRO TASMANIA WATER STORAGE INFORMATION Water Storage Information as at 6th December 2013 Lake/Lagoon

Metres from full


Lake Augusta ...................................2.52 ..................................................Steady Arthurs Lake ....................................0.06 ..................................................Steady Great Lake .......................................13.07 ................................................Steady Trevallyn Pond .................................0.01 ..................................................Falling Shannon Lagoon ..............................0.17 ..................................................Steady Penstock Lagoon ............................. –.......................................................Spilling Lake Echo ........................................4.56 ..................................................Steady Dee Lagoon .....................................0.24 ..................................................Steady Bradys/Binneys/Tungatinah .............3.14 ..................................................Falling Bronte Lagoon .................................0.27 ..................................................Rising Pine Tier Lagoon ..............................2.01 ..................................................Steady Little Pine Lagoon ............................0.21 ..................................................Steady Laughing Jack Lagoon ....................0.37 ..................................................Falling Lake St Clair ....................................1.39 ..................................................Steady Lake King William ............................0.41 ..................................................Steady Lake Liapootah ................................0.22 ..................................................Steady Wayatinah Lagoon ...........................0.27 ..................................................Steady Lake Catagunya ...............................1.21 ..................................................Rising

Lake Repulse ...................................0.53 ..................................................Falling Cluny Lagoon ...................................0.20...................................................Rising Meadowbank Lake ..........................0.10...................................................Falling Lake Pedder ....................................0.85 ..................................................Steady Lake Gordon ....................................19.03 ................................................Steady Lake Burbury ...................................4.16 ..................................................Steady Lake Plimsoll ...................................3.79 ..................................................Steady Lake Murchison ...............................14.88 ................................................Falling Lake Mackintosh .............................3.88 ..................................................Steady Lake Rosebery .................................0.51 ..................................................Rising Lake Pieman ....................................1.38 ..................................................Steady Lake Mackenzie ...............................3.05 ..................................................Steady Lake Rowallan .................................4.12 ..................................................Steady Lake Parangana ...............................1.33 ..................................................Steady Lake Cethana ...................................1.36 ..................................................Rising Lake Barrington ...............................0.44 ..................................................Steady Lake Gairdner ..................................4.20...................................................Steady Lake Paloona ................................... –.......................................................Spilling Woods Lake ..................................... –.......................................................Spilling Whitespur Pond ...............................7.92 ..................................................Steady Lake Newton ...................................4.03 ..................................................Steady Lake Margaret .................................2.27 ..................................................Steady

These levels are provided for an indication of lake level only and can vary from day to day. For more up-to-date lake level information please visit




All things Coral




Name Address

P/Code Phone (day):

The first correct entry at the end of each month will win a Hawk Fishing cap, Hawk Fishing line, Hawk HB Lure, assorted Panther Martin lures and 3 packets of Youvella chemically sharpened hooks. SEND ENTRIES TO: VFM Hawk Tournament Competition

PO box 3172, Loganholme Qld 4129 VFM JANUARY 2014


SUBSCRIBER PRIZE The subscriber prize winners for November were G Metherell of Narre Warren South, R Peter of Mount Burnett, A Blainey of Craigieburn, R Sloan of Inglewood, D Coulton of Pakenham, L Coombs of East Warburton, R Terrill of Marong, D Southgate of Lakes Entrance, G Gabriel of Kew, A Lucas of Kalimna, who each won an Island Tribe sunscreen pack valued at $35. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – V&TFM

BARRA COUNTRY by Brett Currie

BITE ME by Trisha Mason

G & N by Michael Hardy

FIND THE BLACK MAGIC C-POINT WINNERS The Find the Black Magic C-Point Hook prize winners for November were W Henley of Heathmont, P cornish of Paynesville , J Williams of Neerim South, T Sowter of Rosebud, G Doidge of tatura, M Patterson of Tyabb, H Stuchbree of Yapeen, E Hopkinson of Drouin, C Owins of Invermay, K King of Wyndham Vale, D Steel of Sunbury, I Lovel of Bealiba, S Davies of Craigieburn, D Dunn of Warrnambool, D Hams of Lyndoch, N Byrne of Wongaratta, J Methven of Healesville, G Bonner of Coragulac, D Fitzgerald of Coldstream, J Randall of Torquay, B Meaney of Tungamah, R Beech of Wonthaggi, L Murray of Sale, B Shelton of Romsey, R Terry of Riverside, J Branch of Dromana, T Sweeney of Emerald, B Pontt of Loxton, H Skeer of Millicent, R White of Bannockburn, F Oleszko of Braybrook, R Moore of Greenvale , P Pezos of Clarinda, B Whyte of Myers Flat, A Bennett of Queenstown, R Batty of Brighton, D Robinson of Carisbrook, M Loebert of Boronia, P Robertson of Keysborough, K Voros of Korumburra, C Hill of Mt Gambier, S Tichborne of Mirboo North, K Tripp of Glenroy, K Bradley of Sale, A Rudkovsky of Sunshine West, P Lintzos of Scoresby, D Bannister of Tragowel, S Grima of St Leonards, R Crossman of Torrumbarry, T Tatlow of Morwell, who each won a packet of Black Magic C-Point Hooks valued at $5.95! Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – V&TFM

FIND-A-WORD WINNER Congratulations to Stephen Dale of Sunbury, who was last month’s winner of the Hawk Tournament Find-a-Word Competition! Monthly winners receive Hawk Tournament Tested Bayer Perlon IGFA line, assorted Panther Martin lures, Youvella hooks and a keyring. Prize delivery can take 8 weeks. – V&TFM 74




Minn Kota prove they are team of the year The last weekend in November saw 46 teams of the best bream anglers that Australia has to offer head to Nelson on the Glenelg River for the 2013 Humminbird Bream Classic Invitational. The pre-fish for most teams was not a success so a call was made to make the minimum legal length for the tournament 29cm tip length to enable more fish to the weigh in. This proved very helpful for some teams but for team Minn Kota’s Cam Whittam and Warren Carter it was never going to be needed

with some quality fish coming to their boat as they charged towards victory and the 2013 Hummnbird Bream Classic Champions crown. Day one saw anglers wake to picture-perfect conditions; maybe a little too good for the bream to bite. For Team Minn Kota a trip straight to the front was on the cards. Their arsenal of gear to wage war on the Glenelg River bream population was: for Cameron, a 10lb pound Sunline Castaway braid, 3lb and 4lb Sunline FC Rock Bream

Special Fluoro leaders, Daiwa Certate 2506 reels on Loomis TSR 862 rods; and for Warren, a 14.5lb Varivas Avani Eging braid with Varivas 4lb Absolute Fluoro leaders, Shimano Stella 1000 and 2500 reels on Loomis SR 842 and Shimano T-Curve Flight series rods. “We fished the estuary both days and concentrated on areas less than 1m in depth the whole time. All areas were broken bottom that consisted of sand/ mud with weed or rocks. We didn’t fish open sand with any success,” said Cameron.

Left: Adam Arbuthnot with the 1.55kg Ecogear Big Bream that helped move his team right up the leader board. Right: Brad Hodges and Mick Hodges from Team Berkley display the fish that gave them the 3.71kg Maria Lures Best Bag. RESULTS Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Team Minn Kota The Old Boys Team Berkley Major Craft Colac Tackle Megabass/Club Marine Plonkers Rod Battlers Richardson Marine Warrnambool Nelson Boat & Canoe Hire


Anglers Cam Whittam Warren Carter Brian Pelle James Blazewski Brad Hodges Mike Hodges Dan Mackrell Darryl Hislop Steve Parker Declan Betts Tom Deer Darryl Kelcey Ben Shuey Richard Patterson Corey McLaren Lewis Holland Luke Smith Jon Clisby Chris Carson Brett Carson

“Saturday saw a 35cm, 33.5cm and a 30.5cm forkers in the well by 7.40am. Only one more fish was boated, a 34cm at around 1pm. Both of us fished slightly different retrieves as the fish were very tentative and non-committal for most of the day. Longer pauses than we would normally use seemed to be the key combined with twitches and different speeds of lure retrieval. “Unfortunately we couldn’t find another legal fish to round out our bag but had a lot of short takes in the last two hours,” said Whittam. Even with only 4 fish in the well it was enough to hand them the lead over Team The Old Boys as they weighed in 4/5 bream for 3.23kg. Day two produced even clearer warmer conditions for the anglers the wind was starting to pick up. This gave anglers high hopes of a good bite and potentially bring the bream on. “To start day two we had two small legals by 8am and then things really slowed down and became a grind. Using a combination of Cranka Cranks Fish 9/10 8/10 10/10 9/10 10/10 9/10 7/10 8/10 10/10 8/10

Weight 6.12 5.93 5.86 5.15 5.13 5.08 4.54 4.40 4.26 4.16

The 2013 Club Marine Team of the Year Team Minn Kota’s Cameron Whittam and Warren Carter display their trophy. and new Crabs, shallow Smith Camions and Panish 55s we continued to drift different areas to try and find fish. This resulted in another two legals by around 12pm. “We decided to fish the windward side of the estuary from 12pm, which paid off in the end. Four solid fish found their freedom by pulling the hooks in a 15 minute window and we thought we may have squandered our opportunity to win. Fortunately Warren boated our fifth fish, which had us both relieved,” said Cameron. The 2013 Club Marine Team of the Year’s Team MinnKota’s Cameron Whittam and Warren Carter weighed 9/10 bream for 6.12kg handing them the 2013 Humminbird Bream Classic Championship. On accepting the 2013 Humminbird Bream Classic

Champions Trophy Cam and Warren thanked the following sponsors that made their win possible. Minn Kota/ Humminbird (BLA), Sunline (EJ Todd), Tonic Sunglasses, Smith Lures, Varivus, Shimano Australia and Aussie Angler in Greensborough. Team Chemically Sharp C weighed in a cracking bag of 5/5 bream for 3.54kg moving M them 18 places up the leader board handing them the Aus Y Tackle Monster Movers Prize including the Ecogear Big CM Bream Prize for a cracking 1.55kg bream they had in MY their bag. If you’d like to be a part CYof the 2014 Humminbird Bream Classic Series log onto www. CMY for all the info and entry forms K or call Bill Hartshorne on mobile: 0409 823 070. – Bill Hartshorne

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HUMMINBIRD BREAM GRAND FINAL Parker claims wire-to-wire win Victorian tackle store owner Steve Parker (10/15, 8.49kg) claimed the ultimate prize in tournament bream fishing in Australia with a comprehensive win in the Humminbird BREAM Grand Final, 8-10 November. Grabbing the lead in the Gippsland Lakes hosted event on day one, Parker held his calm on the final day to secure the win and in the end achieve a very comfortable victory. Fishing in amongst the trees out the mouth of the Tambo River on day one, Parker didn’t have to wait long to find out if he was on the fish. His second cast of the session delivered him his first fish. The action wasn’t a one off with Parker quickly catching his second, and then continuing on to fill his bag within the first hour and a half.

Surrounded by a host of other boats that weren’t experiencing Parker’s level of action it was his choice of lure and how he worked it that made all the difference. “The fish were there you just needed to get their attention, otherwise they wouldn’t eat your lure,” said Parker. Fishing an OSP Dunk crankbait in 1.5m of water, Parker’s technique involved ripping the lure aggressively 2-3 times then pause it. It was on the pause that the bream would eat it. The approach not only delivered a rapid-fire limit for the day but also an additional four upgrades. Weighing in the only 5kg+ bag for the day, Parker headed into day two with a comfortable lead, and high

hopes that the Tambo would fire once again. His hopes were thwarted though with gale force winds and dangerous conditions resulting in the cancellation of day two. “I didn’t get any sleep the night I was leading, so to get a chance to catch up on some sleep and make sure I was completely ready for day three wasn’t such a bad thing,” said Parker. With improved conditions on day three and the anglers permitted to start, Parker headed straight back to Tambo in the hope that things would have remained the same as day one. An hour into the session and still with no bites Parker was begging to think about plan B and C. “I left and hit the Mitchell Flats for half an hour for no


fish, then went to Duck Arm, also for no fish, then cut my loses and went back to the Mitchell,” said Parker. At 10.30am he had no fish, but his dry spell wasn’t to last much longer with his first fish soon to follow. An hour later and he had four in the well. Fish number five proved the toughest though. “I dropped my fifth fish two times, and it took another hour and a half to catch it,” said Parker. Two upgrades followed, delivering Parker a positive end to a day that started frugally. While day one’s lure and technique was an aggressively ripped OSP Dunk, day two’s was the opposite end of the spectrum with Parker catching his fish on a slowly retrieved deep Jackall Chubby bumped across the bottom.

Steve Parker dominated at the Humminbird BREAM Grand Final, winning breaming fishing’s biggest event. The last angler to hit the stage Parker needed 1.23kg to secure the win. Hefting a solid 3.06kg limit onto the scales in the end he did it easily. Parker’s win delivered him a bounty of prizes, including a Yamaha SHO outboard motor,

OSP Dunk, retrofitted with size 12 Decoy YS25 trebles

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Rip Ri p

Deep Jackall Chubby (brown suji shrimp), retrofitted with size 10 Owner ST11 UL trebles



AFC outdoors spot, perpetual BREAM Grand Final shield, and a highly coveted bream on a stick. The win also secured Parker the Mercury Cup for 2014, and added his name to a highly regarded list of former Grand Final winners.

BREAM Grand Final Video Playlist

Healey Hauls for Second Victorian angler and Humminbird supported tournament pro Jarrod Healy was Mr Consistency at the Grand Final, to secure his best result to date in a Grand Final. Fishing the Nicholson River flats and Duck Arm

early on day one it wasn’t until a late session change to the mouth of the Mitchell River flats that Healey found his fish for the tournament. “It was a late run, I caught my limit in a 400m stretch in the last hour and a half of the session,” said Healey. Healey slow rolled a

Jarrod Healey performed well in the final finishing second.

Jackall Chubby deep across the bottom and giving the lure the occasional twitch. The bite came as the lure was paused. With a day’s rest under his belt due to the day 2 being called off, Healey headed off on day 3 rested, and keen to improve his fourth place. “I headed straight back to the Mitchell hoping that they’d still be there,” said Healey. His wishes went unfulfilled, and with no fish he moved to Duck Arm, a move that paid off. With nothing else to show for an hour he moved back to the Mitchell. This time it produced giving up two fish. Eager to continue his momentum he moved to the Nicholson River flats, and with 30 minutes left he picked up fish number four. Only weighing-in four fish for the day, it was a a result that Healey was more than happy with. “It was hard to find fish on the final day, and getting them to bite was really hard. To finish second in a Grand Final full of very good anglers is very satisfying,” said Healey.

Cribbes Gets Cranky to Win Bairnsdale Glazier Mark Cribbes (5/10, 5.43kg) secured victory in the non-boater division with the local using an Austackle crankbait approach to catch his tournament winning fish. Restricted to a single day on the water due to strong winds Cribbes caught his fish on day 1 fishing the mouth of the Tambo River with day 1 leading boater Steve Parker. Fishing 1.2-1.5m deep snags Cribbes threw an estuary prawn coloured Austackle DD40F Project B Crankbait and worked it with a slow rolling retrieve interspersed with three to four twitches followed by a pause. Cribbes didn’t have to wait long to get a response

to his approach with his first fish coming in the first 10 minutes of arriving at his spot. A string of fish followed with Cribbes and Parker filling their limit by 8.30am. The second fish in the limit was the standout, a 40cm fish that anchored Cribbes win. Cribbes’ winning tackle included an Austackle Featherlight, 2-5kg, rod, Austackle Cruz PBi reel, 8lb Austackle PE mainline, and 4lb fluorocarbon leader. Cribbes upgraded the rear hook of his crankbait, replacing it with a size 12 Owner ST11 treble. With a BREAM Grand Final trophy safely on his mantle, Cribbes joins an exclusive list of Grand Final winners. – ABT

Place Angler


Weight (kg)


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Stephen PARKER



Yamaha SHO motor (RRP $30,000)


9/10 10/10 4/10 9/10 8/10 5/10 6/10

6.46 5.6 4.1 4.03 3.91 3.4 3.36

TT Lures/Zman Pack Tonic Sunglasses Pack Ecogear Pack Imakatsu/Toray Pack Duffdollar Vouchers Strike Pro Pack Starlo Stick

Jarrod HEALEY 9/10 6.66 Duffrod TOP 10 NON-BOATERS Daniel KENT 10/10 6.62 Shimano Starlo Stick/Saros Reel

For full result listings, see

TOP 10 NON-BOATERS Fish Weight (kg)

Place Angler 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 3/5 4/5 5/5 4/5

5.43 4.44 4.27 4.02 3.4 3.32 3.29 2.93 2.79 2.01


Evinrude E-Tec motor (RRP $10,000) Rapala Pack TT Lures/Zman Pack Spotters Pack Tonic Sunglasses Pack Shimano Tackle Bag Imakatsu/Toray Pack Duffdollar Vouchers Starlo Stick Starlo Stick


For full result listings, see


Winning Tackle Day 1 Rod: G.Loomis TSR 862 Reel: Daiwa Steez 2508 Line: 10lb Sunline Castaway PE Leader: 5lb V Hard flurocarbon Lure: OSP Dunk, retrofitted with size 12 Decoy YS25 trebles


Bairnsdale local Mark Cribbes secured the non-boater title to claim his maiden Grand Final win.



Day 2 Rod: G.Loomis SJR 842 Reel: Daiwa Steez 2508 Line: 14 Varivas Max Power PE Leader: 4b V Hard flurocarbon Lure: Deep Jackall Chubby (brown suji shrimp), retrofitted with size 10 Owner ST11 UL trebles Winning Ways Parker matched his lure, tackle and technique perfectly to the location and mood of the fish. Going aggressive and heavy on day one and downsizing to finesse on a tough day two.


ABT, PO Box 7196, LOGANHOLME, QLD 4129 Alternatively you can download an entry form from At any time you can call ABT on (07) 3387 0888 for help with your entry during business hours. JANUARY 2014


2013 Daiwa-Hobie Kayak Bream Series HEAD HAULS FOR GRAND FINAL WIN Darryl Head, a 46yo Basin View Hobie Fishing Guide, claimed the ultimate prize in kayak tournament fishing with victory in the 2013 Daiwa-Hobie Kayak BREAM Grand Final. Claiming a wire-to-wire victory, Head grabbed the lead on day one on the back of a 3kg+ bag then never let it go as he stormed to victory.

Fishing just inside the first lake heading upstream, Head fished shallow (50cm of water) and threw an assortment of different lures and used a host of different techniques to catch his fish. Day one in particular was the day when he threw his whole tackle box. “The fish didn’t turn on until the middle of morning when the tide turn and there was no real pattern or lure

that stood out. As a result I just rotated through my lures and mixed up how I worked them,” said Hedge. Throwing blades, deep diving crankbaits and soft plastics and using retrieves that ranged from slow rolls to twitches and pauses, it was a multi approach that delivered him 15 fish for the session. Weighing in a 3.46kg limit for the session it was

Kayak Grand Final Video Playlist

Darryl Head’s winning bag was anchored by the event’s Hogs Breath Boss Hog, a 1.74kg fish that fuelled his maiden Grand Final win.

The entire field fished from Hobie factory-supplied Power Pole, Lowrance and Ram Mount fitted out Hobie Pro Angler 14 kayaks. a 1.74kg kicker fish in his bag that anchored his leading margin heading into day two. Heading off on day two with a 690g lead, Head had a feeling that the fishing would be tough, especially with the deteriorating weather, and had suspicions that one fish would be enough to keep him in front of his challengers.

“I was happy when I caught my first fish in the first hour, then I was over the moon when I got my second fish in the last hour,” said Head. The last angler to hit the stage, Head’s two 2/2, 1.14kg in the end proved enough to relegate a strong finishing Scott Baker to second place and claim his

maiden Kayak BREAM win. “To claim the win in such strong company is truly amazing,” said a jubilant Head. Head now becomes only the forth angler to call themselves a Daiwa-Hobie Kayak Grand Final winner and joins Scott Lovig, Daniel Brown and Shane Taylor on the honour roll.

Jackall Squirrel - suji shrimp






For more information visit or phone ABT on ( 07 ) 3387 0888 66


2013 Daiwa-Hobie Kayak Bream Series BAKER CRANKS INTO SECOND Inaugural Hobie Fishing Worlds Champion Scott Baker produced another solid tournament result to finish second and claim his best result to date in a Kayak Grand Final. Compiling a 6/6, 3.8kg limit to secure his podium finish, Baker fished to his strength and threw a deep Jackall Chubby for the entire tournament. “The Chubby has been my go-to lure for a long time now, so when the weather was bad and the fishing tough I tied one, knowing that if any lure would get me fish it would be that one,” said Baker. Fishing a 1.7m deep

flat near the first island upriver of the start line, Baker religiously used his Power Pole to hold his Hobie in position and allow him to fish the area thoroughly. “Without the Power Pole I wouldn’t have been able to fish the area as I did, and I wouldn’t have caught the fish that I did,” said Baker. With his Power Pole deployed and his Hobie facing into the current Baker would make long casts then retrieve his Jackall with a dead-slow slow roll, bumping the lure across the bottom. “You couldn’t work the lure too slow, you just wanted it to touch its way across the bottom as you


cranked it back in,” said Baker. While the technique was crucial for success so was the choice of lure colour. “I could only get fish on the pink eyed, brown suji shrimp colour. While other colours looked great, I just couldn’t get fish to eat them,” said Baker. His choice of technique and lure colour produced seven fish on day one and four fish on day two. One of only two anglers to catch their full limit for the tournament Baker’s consistency and result once again confirmed his status as an angler to look out for in a big event.


TOP 10 NON-BOATERS It was action stations each morning with over 100 kayaks hitting the startline.

TOP 10 KAYAKERS Place Angler 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Darryl HEAD Scott BAKER Stephen MAAS Craig COUGHLAN Daniel BROWN Richard SOMERTON Chris BURBIDGE Chesney FUNG Nick MACE Grayson FONG

5/6 6/6 4/6 4/6 5/6 4/6 4/6 4/6 5/6 5/6

4.60 3.80 3.54 3.45 3.25 3.17 3.12 3.04 3.03 3.01

2013 Prize Pack, Duffrods Prize Rod Prize Pack Prize Pack Prize Pack


For full result listings, see Scott Baker once again produced the goods in a big event, finishing second, his best result to date in a Grand Final.



Winning Tackle Rod: 7’6” Millerod Control Freak Reel: 1000 Shimano Stella Line: 8lb OH Dragon PE Leader: 4lb flurocarbon Lure: Jackall Squirrel, Ecogear VX30, Jackall Chubby, Berkley Gulp Shrimp, Berkley 3B Sub Dog Winning Ways With a clear bite pattern undefined Head rotated through varying lures and techniques to maximise his chances of giving the fish something that they would eat. “There was no one lure that dominated (especially on day one) so I threw a heap of different lures in the hope of increasing my chances of giving them something they wanted.” TERS TOP 10 NON-BOA


HOG’S BREATH BOSS HOG Event winner Darryl Head claimed the Hogs Breath Boss Hog, with the champion’s day one 1.74kg kicker fish falling to a twitched and long paused suji shrimp coloured Jackall Squirrel.







Hogs Breath Boss Hog


One Hundred Dollars

$ 10 0

ents Fishing Tournam • barra bass • bream


For more information visit or phone ABT on ( 07 ) 3387 0888 JANUARY 2014



ABT BREAM CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP Mallacoota delivers for Team Gamakatsu/Atomic Father/son team Paul Malov and Alex Franchuk (Team Gamakatsu/ Atomic) have taken out the 2013 ABT BREAM Classic Championship at Mallacoota, VIC. Malov and Franchuck come out of the blocks quickly on day 1, posting an imposing 5/5, 4.58kg tournament limit. They then backed it up with a 5/5, 4.51kg limit on day 2 to take the victory by a margin of 1.29kg from their nearest competitors. On the pre-fish day the team checked out 6 possible locations for fish. The goal was to just observe and monitor activity as opposed to actually catching fish. “We actually had 4 key areas that we just left alone,” Malov explained. “We found fish, but it was all about just observing if they were in any number and how they were behaving. With 68 teams on the water we knew the key would be to manage our locations to maximise our chances.” On day 1 the team headed to Bottom Lake. They targeted bream around rock clumps and tea tree snags in depths up to 2.5m. By 8.30am the team had boated 3 bream. “We used 2” Atomic fat grubs in green gord/avocado colour rigged on a Gamakatsu 1/22oz round ball head,” Malov explained. “The technique was to cast tight to the edges and let the lure sink on a slack line. If there were no takes on the drop we gave the lure two little hops and then a pause before retrieving it using a slow roll/hopping/ pause retrieve.” The team alternated the presentations with a hardbody presentation. “We used the Atomic Crank 38 in ghost green shad,” Malov said. “It was especially

effective around shallow rock points.” Gamakatsu/Atomic then made the move to Top Lake, targeting a rock wall. Using the Atomic Crank they secured 1 fish slow rolling the lure down the side of the rock face. The team then moved to a bay where they found fish muddying in 10ft of water. “The water was quite green and we could see fish digging on the bottom,” Malov said. “In all, we caught 5-6 legal fish from the location and filled out our tournament limit.” On day 2 Gamakatsu/ Atomic decided to follow the game plan that had provided them with fish on the first day. The initial signs were good, with 2 fish in the livewell by 8.30. The rock wall proved fruitless, but a move to bay saw the team begin to gain momentum. “At the bay we caught 2

Classic Championship Video Playlist

First place winners Paul Malov and Alex Franchuk from Team Gamakatsu-Atomic.

Atomic 2” Fat Grub

Cast tight to edge

Sink on slack line

Two hops and pause

bream including a 1.56kg fish. By 12pm we had 4 fish and were looking at filling our limit and potential upgrades.” In an effort to find their fifth fish, the team decided to fish deeper in an area of Top Lake. Using their Lowrance HDS-12 Touch sounders, the team found fish holding tight to the muddy bottom. “Using 1/8oz Atomic Metalz in ghost green colour we attempted to get the fish to bite,” Malov said. “We also added Megastrike in craw scent to the lures. The technique was 2 small hops tight to the bottom. Using this technique we filled our tournament limit.” The team then hit the edges in hope of finding further upgrades. When this proved unsuccessful they returned to

their original location. The fish were active, but the team was unable to land 3 successive hook-ups. In a final move they hit a timbered location that had previously fished well. “It sounds cliché but on the last cast we got a fish,” Malov said. “It upgraded a 29.5cm fork bream to a 36 fork bream.” Team Gamakatsu/Atomic headed back to the weigh-in in an apprehensive mood. Even though they had filled their limit and upgraded, they knew the quality of fish available at the tournament location. “We were worried those lost fish would cost us,” Malov explained. “The one thing I wasn’t worried about was the condition of the fish; with the recent addition of livewell vents from V-T2, the fish were livelier at the end of the day than they were when they were caught! “Our limit was comprised of 3 good fish and 2 legal fish. Watching the weigh-in was still nerve wracking. This is a big, prestigious event that all teams dream of winning. “When we realized we had won, we felt this huge mix of excitement, relief and accomplishment all at once. Doing it with Dad as my partner made it all the more special. We have a great partnership and it made the whole event an experience to remember.” Malov and Franchuk took away a Mercury 4-stroke 150hp engine for the victory. The team thanked Frogleys Offshore, Lowrance and Evinrude for their support. They also thanked all the 68 teams who had assembled from around the country for attending.

Atomic Metalz 1/8oz Atomic Crank 38 Deep

Rock bar

Short little hops to keep on the bottom



Lure tight to rock bar edge

Breamski take second Team Breamski (Steve Nedeski/ Jarrod Lye) found their limit each day, but were unable to haul in Team Gamakatsu/ Atomic. Breamski were in contention for the day 1 lead with their 5/5, 4.51kg tournament limit. On day

of water, and the key lures were the Jackall Chubby in suji shrimp and the Berkley 3B in brown/red.” The bream were active straight away, with the team filling their 5 fish limit by 8am. A 100m stretch of bank proved to be the key area, with the bream sitting on the

Runners-up Steve Nedeski (and Jarrod Lye not pictured) from Team Breamski. two, however, the team found conditions tougher and their 5/5, 3.56kg limit saw them fall short of the tournament leaders. “During the prefish we just took the time to look around and revisit places where we had previously caught fish,” Nedeski said. “On day one we headed to Top Lake to fish edges. There was a proliferation of baitfish in the area. We targeted fish on the snaggy edges in up to 3ft

drop-off into deeper water. The team then made a move to Top Lake flats where they targeted fish in 7-11ft of water. “We used a 2” Berkley Shrimp in camo colour rigged on a 1/32oz Nitro jighead,” Nedeski said. “The key was to make long, wind-assisted casts. This allowed us to cover a lot of ground and not spook any potential bites. “If the bites didn’t come on the drop we employed

an aggressive hop, pause and sink retrieve. The big rod lifts brought the fish on and resulted in 3 upgrades.” The team finally relocated to Bottom Lake, specifically Goodwin Sands, where they caught their final upgrade on the Berkley 3B lure. On day 2 team Breamski decided to revisit their day 1 locations. In Top Lake the baitfish that were prolific on day 1 had moved on. The team explored the area but was unable to secure any bites. A move to the Top Lake flats saw the team begin to catch fish using a slightly different technique. “The bream responded to a much slower retrieve,” Nedeski explained. “Also, the bream were the larger yellowfin which bolstered our limit. By 11am we had our 5 fish.” He added that a move to Goodwin Sands proved fruitless. “It was too calm,” he said. “We basically pulled up, looked around and left again,” explained Nedeski. The team finally returned to the Top Lake flats where they continued to catch fish, albeit the same size school fish around 32cm fork length. “Patience was the key in this tournament,” Nedeski said. “This included sorting through smaller fish to find the larger models. From a technique point of view, long, wind-assisted casts allowed us to cover a lot of ground. We got a lot of bites as the lure was on the drop.” Team Breamski’s tackle included G. Loomis 8205 Dropshot rods teamed with 1000 and 2500 size Shimano Stella reels spooled with 3lb Power Pro braid and 3lb/4lb Sunline V Hard leader.

TOP 10 TEAMS Place Team


Fish Weight (kg)


Paul Malov & Alex Franchuk





















2 BREAMSKI: Steve Nedeski & Jarrod Lye 3 MINN KOTA Warren Carter & Cameron Whittam 4 BERKLEY Brad Hodges & Michael Hodges 5 AMAZON OUTDOORS/GLADIATOR TACKLE Jason Grace & Steven Cefai 6 BLACK LABEL

Mark Gercovich & Wayne Friebe TOP 10 NON-BOATERS 7 GLADIATOR TACKLE Anthony Thorpe & Rodney Thorpe 8 COMPLEAT ANGLER BATEMANS BAY/SHIMANO Jason Mayberry & Terry Parmenter 9 COLAC TACKLE Stephen Parker & Declan Betts 10 BRUM Danni Suttil & Antony Suttil

WINNING NOTES Winner’s tackle: plastics outfit Rod: Samurai Reaction 201 Reel: 2508 Daiwa Steez Line: 10lb Unitika Aorika II braid Leader: 6lb Unitika Aiger leader

Winner’s tackle: hardbodies outfit Rod: Samurai Reaction 203 Reel: 2000 Daiwa Sol Line: 10lb Unitika Aorika II braid Leader: 6lb Unitika Aiger leader


Winner’s edge “The keys were persistence and experience gained in other events at the same venue.. We knew the tournament couldn’t be won in the deep because the fish on the edges were much bigger, so we focused 95% of our effort on the edges. The deep water was the fall-back for filling our limit each session.”


Cohen Morante (Team Majorcraft) secured the event Big Bream on day 2 with a cracking 1.62kg specimen. The bream came from Allen Head at 12.30 in 6ft of water. “I was using an Atomic K9 Pup in mud prawn colour,” Morante said. “The technique was to make long casts and work the lure for around 4ft before pausing it. It was a good strike and I knew it was a good fish by the fight it was giving. In all it took around 10 minutes from hook-up to landing.” Morante used a Majorcraft Crostage CRK-T702M rod teamed with 8lb Unitika Aorika braid and 3lb Unitika FC leader. - ABT


Cohen Morante Majorcraft) TOP 10(Team NON-BOATERS with his 1.62kg fish that took out the Big Bream title.



30th Annual Tea Tree Snapper Competition Ushering in the Victorian snapper season, the 30th Annual Tea Tree Snapper Competition was held at Mornington on 1-2 November 2013 in ideal conditions. The Melbourne weather had not been great for fishing during the past few weeks with windy and cold conditions, however

by the start of the comp, it had cleared to provide ideal fishing conditions for Port Phillip and Western Port bays. The fish were a bit hard to come by on Friday. The morning, until about 10am, was the most productive but then there was a shut down in activity with anglers taking only a few fish through the day and into the evening. There

Junior Champion Sofia Howard of Wallan won with a fabulous snapper of 8.25kg.

was a lot of action around the Fawkner Beacon in Port Phillip with many fish coming in from that area. North of Carrum generally fished the best, as did the mid to lower reaches of Western Port. Anglers in the open division weighed a number of fish over the 9kg, and juniors also took some really good specimens. The Victorian Snapper Champion for 2013 is David Steen of Carrum with a 10.26kg fish. The second heaviest went to Vic Way of Bayswater North with a 9.43kg fish and third heaviest was weighed by Rob Zenz of Berwick with 9.28kg. The Junior Champion is Sofia Howard of Wallan with a fabulous snapper of 8.25kg, second is Harry Dettmann of Coldstream who weighed a 7.75kg fish and the third heaviest went to Jay Derbincat of Hoppers Crossing for 6.64kg. A total of 84 prizes were awarded to junior and senior anglers. The major Random Capture Prize from JV Marine World, was a Quintrex 4.81m Fishabout with a Quintrex trailer, fitted with a 60hp fourstroke Suzuki motor with power tilt and trim complete with Ace All Covers bimini,

The Victorian Snapper Champion for 2013 is David Steen of Carrum with a 10.26kg fish. Lowrance depth sounder, registration, safety gear and insurance from Club Marine and went to Justin Seabrook of Coburg. What a happy angler! The second Major Random Capture Prize was a 3.7m Quintrex Dart on a Dunbier trailer fitted with a 15hp Suzuki two-stroke motor, complete with

registration and safety gear from JV Marine World and went to Mile Gorgioski of Endeavour Hills. The third Major Random Capture Prize from JV Marine World was a Quintrex 4m Dart on Dunbier trailer with a 30hp Suzuki two-stroke motor complete with a bimini from Ace All Covers and

went to Lee Lansdown of Croydon North. Total number of competitors was 1971 including 218 Juniors, total number of teams was 871, total fish weighed in was 1856 of which 758 came from Western Port, and average number of fish per competitor was 1.06. – Tea Tree Competiton

1-10 March 2014 Entries: Adult $25 Juniors $5/$25 Small Fry $5/$25 Every $25 entry has a chance to win an Anglapro Chaser 454 boat with a Suzuki Outboard motor and Dunbier trailer

PRIZES GALORE – HEAVIEST FISH, LUCKY DRAWS AND RANDOM SPECIES DRAWS! TWO BOAT, MOTOR AND TRAILER PACKAGES TO BE WON! • Every entrant who weighs an eligible fish goes into the draw for the second boat • Every senior female entrant recieves a $25 voucher from Logans Beach Day Spa • Fishcare kids clinics and fishing education displays • Over $50,000 in prizes • Promoting sustainable fishing for the future ... AND MUCH MUCH MORE!


Enter online at, via this QR Code, on our Facebook page or in person at Richardson Marine (1065 Raglan Parade Warrnambool VIC 3280) 70

JANUARY 2014 shipwreckcoastfishingclassic

TEA TREE 2013 RESULTS Winner Open Section Heaviest . ............................ David Steen of Carrum................................. 10.26kg 2nd Heaviest........................ Vic Way of Bayswater North ........................ 9.43kg 3rd Heaviest........................ Rob Zenz of Berwick..................................... 9.28kg

Top Left: Paul Worsteling was on hand to meet and greet with the kids and the bigger kids. Middle: The kayakers got into some great fish as well. Top Right: The juniors competed every bit as hard as the seniors with some great fish caught.

Winner Juniors Section Heaviest . ............................ Sofia Howard of Wallan................................. 8.25kg 2nd Heaviest........................ Harry Dettmann of Coldstream..................... 7.75kg 3rd Heaviest........................ Jay Derbincat of Hoppers Crossing.............. 6.64kg Random Capture Prize The major prize from JV Marine World is a Quintrex 4.81m Fishabout with a Quintrex trailer, fitted with a 60hp four-stroke motor with power tilt and trim. The boat comes complete with painted hull, anchor well, fold down seats, rear folding lounge, folding drink holders, Ace All Covers Canopy, Lowrance depth sounder, navigation lights, registration and safety gear. Winner: Justin Seabrook of Coburg. 2nd Random Capture Prize A 3.7m Quintrex Dart and Dunbier trailer fitted with a 15hp Suzuki two-stroke motor, complete with registration and safety gear from JV Marine World. Winner: Mile Gorgioski of Endeavour Hills. 3rd Random Capture Prize From JV Marine World is a Quintrex 4m Dart and Dunbier trailer with a 30hp Suzuki two-stroke motor complete with a bimini from Ace all covers. Winner: Lee Lansdown of Croydon North.


9 March 2014 th

Justin Seabrook of Coburg won 1st Random Capture Prize and a brand new Quintrex 4.81m Fishabout.





(Labour Day weekend)




1ST prize BOAT OR CAR winners choice! 2nd prize boat or car - whichever is not chosen by the winner For the heaviest legal: catfish, murray cod, redfin, silverperch or yellow belly

Estuary Trekker


HP Envy 23 TouchSmart Brought to you by Wimmera Office Equipment

Valued at $17,990 Brought to you by WebbCon Marine


Valued at $18,000 DRIVEAWAY Brought to you by Horsham Motor Company Pic for illustration purposes only

SENIORS.......... $40 JUNIORS.......... $15 TIDDLER............ $2








● Tench/Carp cash jackpot ● Senior & Junior sections ● Free Riverbank Camping ● Loads of spot prizes


OFFICE A/H 0439 826 187 WEB EMAIL JANUARY 2014


Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic winners made to fit your fugly head From $39.95 + p&h

...and they float! PO Box 235 Yorkeys Knob Qld 4878 Ph: 07 4055 8472 Fax: 07 4055 8471

Perfect sunny conditions with no wind greeted the 439 keen anglers who entered the 10th Anniversary of the Leigh Martin Marine Mercury Classic on Lake Hume. The fishing on the Saturday proved to be a little tough, but some excellent catches were recorded on Sunday. A total of 152 yellowbelly were registered, with some big fish up around the 8kg plus mark. Also 455 redfin, 25 trout and 89 carp were presented to the weigh

for sale on BassCat Margay (NEW) Rated up to 150 horses this rig pushes over 100 km per hour on the water....................................... $48,990

2012 Polarkraft TX 165 Merc 60 EFI, Lowrance HDS8, 55lb MinnKota................................................................................. $25,500

Stacer 435 Barra Elite 40HP Yamaha, 80LB MinnKota, 120L livewell.................................................................................. $14,800

Limited Edition Ranger 198 VX Merc 200 OptiMax, 80lb MinnKota, 206 hours............................................................................... $38,500

Savage 520 Pro Angler 115 Mercury 4-stroke with one year warranty remaining................................................................. $32,000

Nordic Super Pro 183 Bass Boat 2002 model all restored.................................................................................................................. $11,500


Gippsland Lakes Fishing Club Inc

presents the


FLATHEAD FISHING CLASSIC MARCH 8TH - 10TH 2014 (Long weekend in March)




ENTRY ADULT............... $15 CHILD (U16)..... $5 FAMILY.............. $30 (2 Adults, 2 Children)

OVER 6,000 $


Entry forms available from 72


stations over the course of the weekend. There were 439 registered entrants, and everyone who attended had the usual good time. The committee and helpers would like to thank all the sponsors and entrants for making this year’s event a great success. Next year the event will be on the weekend of October 25-26, and the location will be announced soon. - HC

A total of 152 yellowbelly were registered during the competition.

WINNERS Junior Yellowbelly....................61cm.........................Harrison Small Junior Redfin............................ 42cm.........................Gabrielle Bowran Junior Trout...............................35cm.........................Josh Howlett Junior Carp.............................. 67cm.........................Ned Dodds Senior Yellowbelly.................... 62cm.........................G. Anderson Senior Redfin........................... 44cm.........................D Gray Senior Trout..............................67cm.........................B Moss Senior Carp.............................. 71cm.........................C Barber Male Champion Angler............33 Fish......................Mick Miller Female Champion Angler....... 4 Fish........................Anita Geary Male Champion Angler............17 Fish.......................Josh Howlett Female Champion Angler....... 9 Fish........................Christine Rushent Teams Event.............................50 Fish......................Fishooker Best Represented Club...........32 members..............Kinross Angling Club Early Bird Prize..........................................................Sharon Dubois Lure Wall Winner........................................................Matthew Hawkins Swag Pack Winner.....................................................Ryan O’Keefe Minkota Winner..........................................................Nathan Schmidt Major Prize.................................................................David Carey (Boat Package) FISHING FILL-ITS

Able Australia fish Club pond Recently Lake Pedder Anglers Club invited disabled and disadvantage youth from Able Australia for a fishing experience at the new club pond near Ouse in Tasmania. This was the first event held at the new facility, which has been 12 months in the making. Without the help of the following sponsors Petuna Seafoods, Skretting, Hydro Tasmania, Channel Marine, Rapala vmc, Wigstons Lures, Vicki Jones and the dedicated Lake Pedder Anglers Club committee and members the day would not be possible. On day one the weather was fantastic, no wind and the sun shined brightly. Petuna had recently stocked the pond with more fish, the BBQ tent was set up for lunch and armed with rods we were all ready. Our guests were about 20 or so disabled clients from Abel Australia. They were given rods and with a Lake Pedder member to help out if needed made their way to the pond. In just a few casts there was a hook up, 5-10 minutes later a 10lb rainbow was landed, and that was just the start! It was fulfilling to all involved to see the happiness and elation on hook up and with landing a fish. The fish and the Able guys kept every one busy for the afternoon cooking, netting, tying lures and the odd tangle all in a good day’s fishing. A great day one

went fantastically well, smiles on every face at the event and the best thing was there was day two to follow. Saturday was our second day at the pond and the weather gods were smiling on us once again. A few of the Able guys from the day before managed to coerce their carers into bringing them back for another day’s fishing. It was

running nets from one hook up to the next. As the day progressed, the fish began to slow a little, as did our club members. The same as the day before, all the youths were smiling and had a fantastic time. It was great to see so many people experience the joys of fishing that so many of us take for granted.

The first fish of the day! good to see them come back. Our guests for day 2 were about 80 youths brought to the pond by Able Australia. We witness once again huge smiles and enthusiasm for the fishing. Some of the youths had most likely never fished before but we noticed none of them strayed far from the pond edge. When not fishing they were keenly watching others land a fish. The waterway was busy, fish were being caught constantly and Lake Pedder members were kept flat out

We must thank all of our competitors and sponsors at the clubs Australia day competition held at Lake Pedder each year. The fundraising at this event enables the club to provide fishing opportunities throughout the year to people in Tasmania that wouldn’t normally get to experience the joys of our sport. The club would like to also thank member Steve Foster who has been a driving force in establishing the club pond. – Lake Pedder Anglers Club

Find the C-POINT Hook NEW!

Find this...

Find the

This month there are

hook competition



hidden throughout the pages of Fishing Monthly. and page Find the C-POINT HOOKS m and go in number, fill in the entry for correct the draw to win! The first 50 the month entries drawn at the end of INT HOOKS. will win a Packet of C-PO MAJOR All entries will go into the PRIZE DRAW (Drawn MAY 2014)

Monthly Prize Black Magic C-Point Hooks Sample Selection Made in Japan Value at $5.95


PAGE NO: 1 2

$ 600 ST PLACE

1 3





MAIL ENTRIES TO: VFM Find the C-POINT HOOKS Comp, PO BOX 3172, Loganholme QLD 4129 Entries must be received by JANUARY 31ST 2014 Original entries only. No photocopies. Images for illustration purposes only.


$ 400 ND PLACE

2 8





$ 200 RD PLACE

3 12





NAME........................................................................................... ADDRESS...................................................................................... SUBURB......................................................P/CODE...................... PHONE.......................................................MOB.......................... EMAIL........................................................................................... JANUARY 2014


• • • •


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Built with a balsa core and a durable outer shell, the BX Jointed Shad combines the responsiveness that can be achieved only with a balsa body and the durability and 3D finishing options of plastic. A partially transparent body allows the balsa heart to show through while the internal metallic plating highlights the lateral line and scale patterns, and creates natural flash. Paints with holographic mini-flakes, highly detailed print patterns and 3D eyes complete the lifelike appearance. The BX Jointed Shad has a very strong body-kicking action and it responds to the slowest of retrieves while still tracking straight even at high retrieve and trolling speeds. Near-neutral buoyancy and super slow rise on the pause allow the angler to accent the aggressive action with long pauses. Bite sized at 6cm, this 7g segmented lure is a perfect choice when casting the shoreline for the likes of bass, trout and bream. The BX Jointed Shad dives to 1.8m and is available in 6 colour patterns. To see the lure in action, scan the QR code or visit Price: approx. $25



The Live Target Shrimp is incredibly lifelike, and features a number of lively appendages that produce a natural swimming movement. All of the Live Target Shrimp come pre-rigged with a premium hook, precision weighting system, and a rattle chamber that emits a subtle ‘ticking’ sound. For even more attraction, the Live Target Shrimp is also infused with real shrimp scent to provide a smell and a taste that no fish can resist. Great for salt- or freshwater, the Live Target Shrimp is one crustacean that will have anglers and fish both drooling. There are 2 models, 75mm (1/4oz) and 100mm (1/2oz). Sold in packs of 4, they’re available in a range of proven colours. Price: $19.95



The Daiwa Air Edge Surf series is the perfect light tackle lure and bait fishing technique series. Air Edge Surf introduces high-end blank innovation, design and componentry, delivering ultimate performance yet incredible value for money. The secret to Air Edge Surf is combining X45 design with HVF (high volume fibre), by increasing the fibre quantity and decreasing the resin quantity in these blanks, we have created increased muscle in a slimmer profile blank, thus resulting in an even stronger, leaner, lighter, sharper rod than ever before. Complementing this great design is Fuji’s highest quality stainless Hardloy guides, Fuji DPS reel seats with locking rings, custom manufactured alloy componentry and ultra tough EVA grips. There are 5 models, all 2-piece, ranging from the AES 96L (290cm, light action, 7-35g cast weight, 2-4 kg line rating), through to the AES 110H (335cm, heavy, 30-90g, 5-9 kg). Price: Too New!




The Samaki Choona jig has already had a big impact on the Australian jig scene due to its fish catching capability. A unique round wire shape and small oval centre weight design makes this an incredibly versatile jig. During field testing in Japan, New Zealand and over Australian reefs, the Samaki team found the Choona jig to be the go-to lure in all fishing conditions. “Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro in jigging, make sure you tie on a Choona,” said Australian distributor Josh Lowry, “and be prepared for some serious rod bending action!” Ideally rigged with a single or double assist hook, the Choona Jig is available in sizes 80g, 100g and 150g and comes in 5 colours (pilly, bubble gum, gold sunset, pink silver and Aussie battler). Let the games begin! Price: from RRP $12.95






EvaKool’s new 35L IceKool icebox (#IK 35) features a tough, fully insulated polyethylene cabinet and can hold ice for up to 4 days. It’s lightweight and easy to carry, with comfortable handles and a shoulder strap. Other features include integrated hinges, recessed latch loops, and a seamless design that’s easy to clean. It’s strong enough to use as a seat, and tall enough to stand wine bottles or 2L soft drink bottles. It measures 435mm high (340mm internal height), has a width of 480mm, a depth of 370mm and weighs 5.6kg. It can hold up to 12 wine bottles, 6 x 2lL soft drink bottles or 36 x 375mL cans, plus ice. Price: $149

Mako has established itself at the forefront of lens technology, and now it has designed a purpose-built range of women-specific polarised sunglasses with a fashion focus. The frames are injection moulded TN 90, a warp and heat resistant plastic and offer lightness, strength and durability as well as a classic look. The SeeLife and SeaBreeze sit side by side. The SeeLife has a larger frame with and 8 base lenses (curvature of the lens) while the SeaBreeze is a smaller frame with a 6 base lens (less curve and therefore flatter lens) suited to more petite wearers. Both are available in polycarbonate lenses, keeping them light and durable without compromising vision quality. The Wave is available in glass and polycarbonate lenses and again is a fashionable design created just for women. All frames are capable of fitting Mako’s Freeform Active Prescription lenses. All Mako Polarised eyewear comes with class leading lens technology keeping you outdoors for longer. Decentred lenses ensure that the vision is not warped at the outer edges of the lens, while anti-reflective coatings on the inside of the lens reduce side light affecting your vision. Price: $179.95 (polycarbonate), $269.95 (glass)

Please send contributions to: The Editor, Fishing Monthly Group PO BOX 3172 LOGANHOLME, QLD. 4129 JANUARY 2014

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GME has solved the problem of the torch batteries being flat when you need it most – in an emergency. The solution comes in the form of the ET100 Emergency Torch. Constructed from high visibility yellow polycarbonate, the ET100 is a near indestructible, buoyant, waterproof, multifunction LED torch which boasts a unique ‘Twist to Charge’ functionality. If you’re near a power source, you can also charge your ET100 via USB using the cable included. The ET100 also contains a can opener which doubles as a knife, a compass, a whistle, a signal mirror (heliograph), and a cable for charging other USB devices such as a mobile phone. There’s even a metal bottle opener moulded into the base of the torch. There are 3 brightness settings, and if the going gets tough, there’s a built in SOS flash. As an introductory bonus, the ET100 will be sold including a bonus ET50 ‘bug light’. The ET50 is a handy pocket sized torch, small enough to attach to your keyring, bicycle handlebar, bag or backpack. It’s waterproof, has 3 brightness modes plus S.O.S. and flash modes. Price: RRP $49 visit









The makers of Fishing Downunder DVDs (formerly The Fishing DVD) now give you the option to pick and choose which stories you want. Just go to the Fishing Downunder website to purchase single stories to download instantly. Because they’re in a multi-platform format (AVI) you can: • Watch them on your PC or Mac; • Watch them on your TV by putting them on a USB flash drive and plugging it into your DVD player (nearly all DVD players have a USB slot for playing AVI video files) • Burn them onto a DVD; or • Watch them on your tablet or smartphone. And if you’re not tech-savvy, there are instructions on the website to help you. And if you prefer your fishing on DVD there’s also a huge range to purchase in the online store, along with protective fishing clothing and cutting-edge accessories. Price: $3

The new TiCA Tactica GA reel is a low profile baitcaster that is full of features at an affordable price. The Tactica GA reel has a graphite frame with forged aluminium V-shaped spool which is braid friendly. It also features instant anti-reverse, Magforce brake system, star drag with Micronic Click, soft touch handle grips, and 6 ball bearings including 4 (RRB) rust resistant bearings. The Tactica GA has a high speed ratio of 6.3:1 The TiCA Tactica GA reels are available in right hand or left hand configurations with no cost difference to the angler. The TiCA Tactica GA reels are sure to be a hit with barra, Murray cod and native species anglers across the country. Price: RRP $99.99



Weighing 137g, the MGXtreme pushes the limits of what is possible with design and engineering. Equipped with a 10 bearing system, the MGXtreme starts with 7 stainless steel HPCR bearings + 1 roller bearing. The addition of two CeramiLite hybrid ceramic spool bearings results in ultimate distance. It has an ultralight rigid one-piece X-Mag alloy frame and C6 carbon sideplates that provide significant weight reduction. The Infinitely Variable Centrifugal Brake system can be adjusted externally without removing the side plate. The MGXtreme also offers anglers the smooth and reliable Carbon Matrix drag system and Infini II spool design for extended castability and extreme loads. The compact bent carbon handle provides a more ergonomic design, coupled with round EVA knobs to provide improved grip and cranking power. RRP $799



River2Sea’s Fish Candy Vibe has an enticing swimming action during the retrieve and on the drop. It also has a great tail action, so if you’re new to using vibration lures you can rest assured that the Candy will do the work for you. This soft bait weighs 20g, is fitted with Decoy trebles, and is made from 10X plastic that’s resistant to sharp teeth, cuts and abrasions. What’s particularly interesting though is that it has a hole at the back where you can insert a glow stick. This option provides yet another reason for a fish to strike, and the light can also be handy when night fishing. As well as this, there is also a rattle chamber that you can insert or remove depending on the mood of the fish. And it doesn’t end there – River2Sea also provides scent sticks that you can insert for extra attraction. Alternatively, you can just squirt some of your favourite catch scent into the hole. This versatile soft plastic vibe is available in 10 colours. To see footage of the Candy in action, scan the QR code or visit http://goo. gl/phXOl8. Price: RRP $19.95



Thanks to the use of XGT7 in the body and XT7 in the rotor, these reels are light yet strong, and are no problem to hold whether spinning with lures or waiting for a bite. The Technium FDs feature X-Ship for more efficient power transmission when winding, three SA-RB bearings, Aero Wrap II line lay on the AR-C spool for effortless and accurate distance casting with Power Pro braid or nylon, and Floating Shaft II. These light to medium class spin reels are going to prove extremely popular with anglers fishing freshwater lakes, rivers, estuaries, even offshore, and are all covered by Shimano’s exclusive 10-year reel warranty. Price: from approx. $140

Please send contributions to: The Editor, Fishing Monthly Group PO BOX 3172 LOGANHOLME, QLD. 4129 JANUARY 2014


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The SureCatch Professional sinker clip sets are designed to let you change your sinker without the hassle of cutting and re-tying your main line. The running sinker clip can be stopped in the desired position by using the included stopper. Simply open the arm of the sinker clip to change your sinker. It delivers easy and reliable fishing, saving you time and effort so you can concentrate on catching fish. These new sinker clip sets are available in 2 sizes: #309CLIPADJM Medium (5 sets) and #309CLIPADJL Large (4 sets). Price: from RRP $4.95


ZMAN 2” GRUBZ – NEW COLOURS Tackle Tactics worked closely with ZMan US to design a smaller, more finesse version of the GrubZ, the 2” GrubZ. This compact curl tail has proven deadly when the bite is tough, the fish finicky and the bait tiny. As well as catching bream, whiting and flathead, the 2” GrubZ has also accounted for bass, trout and redfin. Originally released in 10 colours, including motor oil, bloodworm and watermelon red, requests have poured in from anglers chasing more of the 2.5” GrubZ colours in the smaller profile. This has seen the addition of greasy

prawn, hardy head and gudgeon to the 2” GrubZ colour range, with all three sure to be a hit in both the fresh and salt. Features include 10X Tough construction, super-soft realistic feel, buoyant and life-like tail-up action. Price: SRP $8.95 (10 per pack).



Estuary, beach and inshore anglers fishing on a budget will like the new-look Jarvis Walker Fishunter Ultimate spin reels. The popular Fishunter series has been upgraded with a modern graphite body and rotor design matched with a striking red and black ported aluminium spool. The attractive finish of the new-look Fishunter Ultimate reels is backed up with tough fish-fighting features, including a 3 ball bearing system, plus one infinite antireverse bearing, a stainless steel main shaft, brass pinion gear and multi-disc drag. Other features include a thick bail wire, click drag knob for accurate drag adjustments and a folding handle with a softtouch torpedo knob. Sizes 2000 and 4000 have a 5.2:1 gear ratio, and sizes 5000 and 6000 run a 4.1:1 design. The line capacities range from 210m of 8lb up to 280m of 25lb for the 6000. Jarvis Walker Fishunter Ultimate spin reels offer the features you need to catch fish without fuss, plus they’re easy on your wallet. Price: From $35

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Contour+2 takes it to the extreme

Contour has created two cameras that are ideal for anglers, the Contour Roam2 and the Contour+2. I’ve been lucky enough to play with the Contour+2 for last few months and have really enjoyed the simplicity, adaptability and end result. The Contour+2 is the next evolution in action video. Designed by professionals, but simple enough for the everyday user, the Contour+2 will inspire you to share new perspectives. The Contour+2 is a wide-angled video recorder (170°) that is palm-sized and comes with a waterproof case that allows this unit to submerge to 60ft (roughly 18m). This is brilliant for anglers who are in and around water all the time and need their cameras to be waterproof or come with a waterproof housing. You do need to be aware though, that unlike the Roam, the +2 is not waterproof when out of its case – you’ve been warned! Perhaps the best part of the +2 is that you can operate it from your smartphone or tablet by downloading the app (which is free). You can change settings, turn on and off recording, and do burst and time lapse photography all from your smartphone. It’s amazing and means it’s really hard to miss the action when it happens. A quick look at the features list tells you that this unit is not a muck around toy that won’t produce the results you want. It has a locking instant on-record switch, still photo mode, 1080p video (and reduced quality too!), 270° rotating lens, 170°


Interview shot on Contour camera.

wide-angle lens, laser alignment to ensure the image is taken on the right plane, mobile connectivity, GPS video mapping, up to 120fps, live streaming, external microphone jack and of course the waterproof case is included. It’s got a lot of features, all accessible via the app. One thing I particularly liked was the option to have two preset settings on the camera. I have set the camera up to record in 1080p on Setting 1 and on Setting 2 I have it set for time lapse photography, with a pic taken every second. When melded together in a movie, these 1-second pics look great! Out in the field I have strapped the Contour+2 onto my landing net and have gotten some great footage of flatties entering the net. I have also strapped it to my hat and walked around filming and of course I have

hand held the unit and taken what is pretty standard footage. I am yet to secure it to the boat, but this seems a logical extension at some stage and I can’t wait to see some of this footage of just how bad (or good) I am at fighting and landing fish. One thing I have noticed is how good the underwater footage is. The focus seems to be great and when taking footage of jungle perch and flathead underwater in clear conditions, the footage is amazing. I have to admit that most of the time I have been using the unit manually and not through my iPhone. It’s just so ridiculously simple to push the big button forward to start filming, but you do need to be aware of a little lag between the button being pushed forward and actual recording starting. When recording starts the unit beeps, so you get

used to it. When I have used the phone to record, it’s been a great experience. You can see what you have in frame and can simply press the record button on screen. When I mount the unit on the boat I will use this feature more often as having my daughter chase our blind labrador around while I start and stop recording from the lounge chair is probably not what this was intended for. Funny stuff though! Overall, the Contour+2 has been a real eye-opener for me. I enjoy using it, I enjoy watching the footage and I can even knock up some rudimentary videos for mates and for work. I use a Macintosh computer and I found the movies were easy to download, plus the iMovie program we use at work accepted the files without a problem. All in all, it’s just easy to use and that is the best part for a technologically ungifted individual like me. Check them out at www. or find them at various retailers like BCF around the country. - Stephen Booth Price: $499

Please send contributions to: The Editor, Fishing Monthly Group PO BOX 3172 LOGANHOLME, QLD. 4129 JANUARY 2014





Blueline has hooked into an exciting opportunity to launch its range of boats in Australia. These will be sold exclusively through BCF. Made from marine alloy, Blueline’s Nomad tinnies boast high fatigue strength, top notch corrosion resistance, plenty of storage and many other high quality features. BCF Managing Director Steve Doyle said he was excited to be offering customers an affordable, yet quality boat. “Offering matching gear and accessories takes away the stress and worry for our customers as everything they need can be purchased at their local BCF store,” he said. “Expanding our range to include these Nomad tinnies now makes BCF truly a one-stop boating shop.” The initial release will include a 3.4m and 3.85m hull made from 5052 marine alloy sheet. Blueline has partnered with Parsun Outboards and Endeavour Trailers to offer a range of motor and trailer options. For more information visit bluelineboats. or – BCF

Delivering best-in-class StructureScan HD and CHIRP fishing technologies in one compact module, SonarHub is ideal for marking fish and tracking lure action, with easy-to-understand, picture-like views of structure and bottom detail. Adding StructureScan HD and CHIRP sonar technology to compatible Lowrance HDS and Simrad NS multifunction fishfinder/ chartplotter displays, the SonarHub performance module is a plug-and-play network solution. The new module’s Frequency Sweeping Pulse Compression technology (CHIRP sonar) provides high-definition detail to depths of 3500ft; while its StructureScan HD functionality provides picture-like displays. A combination of DownScan Imaging technology and side-scan imaging, StructureScan HD includes an enhanced transducer design with 3 dedicated signals. It provides digitally purified images of individual fish and clear separation of fish from other targets. When paired with an AIRMAR TM 150 transducer, the CHIRP sonar has efficient pulse generation that provides improved target resolution and noise rejection. Plug-and-play compatibility with the Lowrance HDS Gen2 and Gen2 Touch fishfinder/chartplotter models, as well as Simrad NSS Sport, NSE Expert and NSO Offshore multifunction displays, SonarHub has 3 built-in Ethernet ports for convenient networking. The sounder is compatible with a wide range of transducers. The SonarHub Sounder retails for $799, has a 2-year limited warranty and is backed by the Lowrance and Simrad Advantage Service Programs. For more info visit www.lowrance. com. – Navico


Josren is a new company that provides high quality, affordable toy and hobby products you can purchase online. Their products are for the DIY enthusiast who wants to build quality projects. Josren projects are for boaties, campers, home brew gurus, fishos, cooks, gardeners, or people who enjoy doing things themselves. At this stage Josren has released their Tinny Console. The Tinny Console will be the first of many projects released by Josren Concepts and they hope that through your input they will grow the product range to suit your needs. Josren kits are designed and machine cut locally, in quantities to reduce the costs to you. They ensure kits are quick and easy to complete requiring only basic DIY skill and tools. Their kits contain only the main timber components, in a bid to reduce transport costs and to enable you to make use of materials you may well already have hidden away in your shed. Why would you buy a Josren product? Because they provide high quality, affordable DIY products you’ll be proud to say “I built that”. Join Josren’s Facebook community and share your DIY experience or watch their YouTube Channel for great DIY hints. – Josren


Australian design studio Marine Graphics Ink (MGI) has released its summer 2013/14 Stock Boat Wraps brochure, offering a stylish and cost-effective boat hull protection solution. It’s available in 16 new designs, and all you have to do is select a boat wrap from the brochure, tell MGI your boat details, and they will size the wrap to fit your hull (including positioning of registration number) and then print the wrap on premium cast vinyl with UV

over laminate. MGI will also apply the wrap to your boat if there’s an agent in your area, or send the printed artwork to you for installation by a local sign company. While the Stock Boat Wraps brochure provides a range of ready-to-go designs, customisation is also available. You can select any wrap from the brochure and replace elements with other stock designs, fish from MGI’s stock fish library, add sponsor logos and even incorporate the boat’s name. “A stock boat wrap doesn’t mean your boat is going to look the same as others on the water,” Hannan said. “Many people mix and match the stock designs or request other slight modifications to make their boat wrap unique.” Marine Graphics Ink’s summer 2013/14 brochure can be downloaded at www. – MGI


Insight Genesis – the personal mapgeneration tool for Lowrance, Simrad NS and B&G Zeus chartplotters – has announced a new single-tier, low-cost annual subscription featuring the most popular features of this premium mapmaking service. The new subscription delivers more functionality and performance, as well as regular free updates, and users can create maps from their own sonar logs to capture the personal detail and contours for their favourite fishing areas. Replacing the one-time download and multi-tiered subscription structure that ranged up to USD$299 per year, the new Insight Genesis subscription offers customers access to the service’s full feature set for a reduced annual fee of USD$99. Insight Genesis also continues to provide free features including uploads for up to two hours of sonar logs for online viewing of maps that depict contours and depth soundings with shading, as well as automatic tidal adjustments. The new annual subscription allows customers to upload up to 4 hours of sonar logs as well as view charts online or save maps to an SD card for use on as many as four compatible Lowrance Elite HDI, HDS*, Simrad NS Series and B&G Zeus multifunction displays. Additional subscription features provide the ability to adjust contour intervals; merge multiple uploads; overlay bottom hardness and vegetation outline layers; analyse changes over multiple recordings with trend-analysis; securely store sonar logs, maps and a boaters’ critical trip and waypoint data online - accessible from any internet-connected device; and the option to keep recorded sonar data private or to share selected tripsy. Existing customers who purchased the previously available premium subscription for USD$299 will be refunded USD$200, and users who purchased a standard subscription for USD$99 will receive a free upgrade adding premium features. For more information visit insightstore. – Navico


Easily catering for up to 7 passengers, the Stacer 579 Sportster is fit for the entire family or a large group of friends. The 579 Sportster comes complete with all the little luxuries, including a carpeted floor, bimini and envelope, bow storage, a duckboard platform, cushioned bow lounge and finished with a painted hull. The Low Profile Sports Deck gives the 579 Sportster a new modern look, and with a max rating of 135hp and a central ski hook this boat is perfect companion for serious watersports action. It’s built with the EVO Advance Hull which combines a sharper bow design and deeper V to ensure the 579 Sportster delivers an impressive ride at rest and underway. Stacer National Account Manager Drew Jackson said the EVO Advance Hull made the Sportster stable fishing platform that performed well in all conditions. ‘The 579 Sportster can be optioned up with a casting platform infill and extra rod holders, perfect to take your crew fishing,’ Drew said. “It can also be optioned up with front and side clears and storm covers for extra protection, a Mark 5X fish finder and rocket launchers.” The 579 Sportster is available as a Stacer Ready 2 Go package with engine, trailer and a 3-year limited factory warranty. For more info go to – Telwater


Yamaha’s new neoprene PFD’s mould to your body and are a more comfortable fit whilst the segmented style also enhances flexibility. They are certified Level 50S, Australian standards approved (AS4758). This vibrant and fresh new range focusing on bold, angular designs. Features include a front main zip; internal 38mm thick belt with buckle closure for added security; and accessories clip. The men’s models range from SM-XX and are available in black/gold and blue. The ladies sizes are 8-16 and come in an attractive black/pink colour. All come printed with the Yamaha logos on both the front and rear of the PFD. Price: approx. $140

Please send contributions to: The Editor, Fishing Monthly Group PO BOX 3172 LOGANHOLME, QLD. 4129



Estuary perch, the story so far GIPPSLAND LAKES

Brett Geddes

Estuary perch were once a mystery fish with their habits shrouded in obscurity and caught by a select few. These days estuary perch (EP) have become prime targets, predominantly for lure anglers who are now well aware of their aggressive nature. In fact when in the mood, they will attack just about anything cast in front of their nose, but the whole sticky problem to working out EP - is finding them. They are well known for schooling in huge numbers

so catch rates are often mindblowing. But as with all fish EP have their quirks and foibles and are at times very guilty of lockjaw. Let me share with you the shadowy world of estuary perch one of our finest Victorian (and Tassie?) sport fish. I will explore some of those lesser known details of EP and you will understand my passionate, fanatical and almost senseless devotion to these wonderful fish. You’ll see that my quest is far from over and so here’s the story so far. SEARCH FOR PERCH I’ve spent about 15 years now addicted to EP. I’ve nearly worn out two vehicles with the 1000’s of kilometres

This 51cm Gippsland Lakes horse slammed my sinking bibbed minnow.

required to track them down and I’ve also just about worn out my welcome at home! Each year I chalk up about 120 days on the water, with maybe half of them devoted to perch alone. I’ve walked into remote wilderness, pushed into far flung creeks only accessible after hours of ocean boating and even caught them in drain like murky water around heavily populated areas with houses and people all around me. I’ve found them under ocean waves and to the other extreme, up in rivers of total fresh water, at least 10km above tidal reaches. They can live almost anywhere and will turn up in the most surprising of places. Sometimes they arrive almost over night in massive schools, only to disappear weeks later, seemingly for no reason. They never seem to stick to the same seasonal patterns like other fish and it’s taken many hundreds of hours to try and understand where and how to trick EP. They can hide better than any fish I know and I will often spend days looking for them. Sometimes I hit the jackpot and spend twelve hours catching the absolute hell out of them.







exceeded 3.2kg, and a 2.7kg perch is a real horse, usually just over 50cms. The biggest perch I have seen reliable pictures of or had trusted mates measure are 57cm and 58cm. Some people tell me of bigger perch and I hope they are out there, but show me the money honey. HABITAT RANGE As for where they live, well this is the part you wont believe! I put it to you that they have, and will inhabit every single estuarine system right along the entire Victorian seaboard, then right up the NSW coast almost to the Qld border. And yes they are right now caught in lesser known EP haunts like the Barwon or Anglesea rivers and even in Western Port. In the east they are in Growler, Chinamans, Boxes, Shipwreck and Clifton creeks, the Latrobe and Nicholson rivers and despite much conjecture, they do in fact live in Lake Tyers. The biggest strongholds are well known and documented like the Glenelg River and Mallacoota at the two extreme ends of the state.

Mitch Chapman with yet another huge East Gippsland perch.



Chasing perch on fly is so rewarding especially on home tied flies.




They provide my greatest angling challenges but also my biggest rewards and that explains my sick obsession. EP BY NUMBERS If you question my devotion to them let me put those doubts to rest. I’m quite sure a few blokes may have caught more EP than me over the years but I’ve yet to meet them. I keep detailed fishing records that go back 15 years now. As I type this my diary tells me I have now caught a grand total of 8,433 estuary perch over the years. My best 12 months was when I caught 2013 EP last year and it was a very busy time. This year so far I have found 930. My PB perch to date is 55cm and I can recall about 10 times I’ve reached this mark but I can’t for the life of me get one bigger! My best tallies have included days of 149, 135, and many days of 60-100 perch. On one occasion I hauled in 108 EP with nearly all of them between 40-53cm. And if all that sounds like bragging then yep, I reckon you’re right! I’m proud of what I have done because it’s all balanced up with failure too. I’ll talk a whole lot less about my total flops without a single bump for the whole day, after driving and paddling hours and hours to try and find them. That’s the thing about EP, I guarantee you we will never totally work them out! THE REAL FACTS Many rumours and tall stories have surfaced about EP over the years especially about their size. The biggest perch any of us are likely to

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encounter will be a tad either side of 50cm. They grow larger than that with 60cm+ not out of the question, but stories of them growing to 10kg are fables and far from reality in my experience. This 10kg mark seems to be often documented and quoted in text books or on the internet, but why have we never seen pictures of such monsters? I think someone over time has got pounds mixed up with kilograms! In fact my heaviest EP weighed on digital scales have never

There’s a whole mess of other systems they call home and in some areas big perch are stacked up in huge numbers almost on the doorstep of town centres, busy fishing ports and even not far from the suburbs of Melbourne. Perch are probably living right under your nose each time you fish your local estuary. Other hotspots are in far away wilderness. All of those places you’ll need to explore and discover for yourself and that’s 90% of the perch allure, uncovering

their hidey holes and not telling anyone! NEIGHBOURING STATES What about Tassie? Yes they live there all right and I’ve seen the recent proof. When the island was part of the mainland it seems only logical perch called it home. DNA testing has identified two slightly different populations, one in western Victoria and the other in the east. The dividing line seems to be Melbourne, or more to the point, when the two states were joined, EP probably didn’t migrate around the far southern tip of what is now Tassie. It seems even though Bass Strait then filled up with water the perch wont swim from east to west and for the two disparate populations to mix. They may be scarce but it’s also fair to say that only a few dedicated anglers target them in the Apple Isle and it may be the last unexplored EP frontier. In the coming years my grand plan is to unlock that puzzle so stay tuned! As for NSW well there are incredible numbers living in heavily fished waters like the Clyde, Shoalhaven and Hawkesbury just to name a bare few. I have a good mate and well known fishing identity who has explored some of the northern estuaries of NSW and he has uncovered truck loads of EP to 52cm! He also tells me hardly a soul knows about them and he plans to keep it that way! OTHER EP FANATICS I want to acknowledge other fanatics and we cautiously swap notes and have cagey discussions about perch for hours, trying to unlock each others secrets. Mitch Chapman and especially Gez Hawthorne have seen more giant perch (and Victorian bass) than almost anyone alive. And just like all EP extremists they refuse to spill info on where or how they get them, it’s the unwritten code! Gez has sent me photos of monster EP that scare the life out of me, and I think his PB is close to a 60cm dinosaur! Chris Burbidge is another very cagey angler that lost count of his perch tally many years ago. He

One of about 70 perch for the morning, caught on fly in very muddy cold water. remains one of the very first lure specialists to stack serious numbers of EP back in the 80’s and 90’s. Martin Fellows tells me about his triple figure tallies that go back many years. There’s a good reason he called his boat the ‘Perch Plucka’! Neil Morrison needs a special mention as I have seen him hook cricket scores of perch while frustrated anglers around him (including me!) fail to get a touch. He has an incredible knack of tweaking a soft plastic that EP cannot refuse. Mick Selzer has shown me a few tricks as well and he also has a certain flair for tricking shut down perch. I’ve seen him sit in the one area for hours and pull perch non-stop.

An eye for a fly. EP have excellent vision and find it hard to refuse baitfish-style flies.

He is also quietly going about uncovering new waters where the biggest and fattest perch I’ve ever seen, fail to hide from him. Other gurus like Ritchie Egan, Anthony Havers, Dylan Brennan, Jordan Trusty, Justin Digwall, Matty Leach and Owen Pierce have also caught serious tallies of big perch over the years. One thing we all have in common, we rarely talk about where perch live and refuse to even tell each other! BANK OF KNOWLEDGE So the reason I mention all those guys is because combined, it adds up to such a vast bank of knowledge. We have all discovered that EP have made a remarkable comeback over the last 3-4

years and their numbers have grown unbelievably right across the state. At the 14 or so different places I fish for them regularly, I’ve seen their numbers explode in some areas: big and little fish all mixed up. Those six years of serious rain events starting from 2007 have worked wonders for EP. For example, on one particular day in September 2012, Mitch Chapman and I made a visit to an east Gippsland creek and we caught just over 200 fish for the day. We got about 100 each with most of them 34-38cm and the odd 40cm amongst them. We caught a heap with the fly rod and a whole lot more on soft plastics. Just two days before

at the same location, I had Mick Selzer join me and we got about 75 each with even more on flies. Both times were extraordinary days of fishing and created great memories with trusted mates. About a week later I went by myself for a third trip and I released 135 more. In other ‘swampy’ locations I’ve recently caught dozens of big perch on surface lures all day long providing incredible visual sport. I think you get the picture, when EP school up the number of fish can be staggering. UNDERGROUND TRICKS Now for the bad news. If you reckon you know about half of what there is

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to know about EP then think again! Be assured they can shut down totally just like the crankiest bream. A few lucky people might fluke one while chasing bream, tailor or maybe salmon but EP usually require specific angling requirements and great attention to detail to successfully target them. Therein lies the greatest rewards and with that, also bitter disappointment. At times they have totally beaten me and I have nearly accepted defeat. Despite all this, I somehow become more passionate about EP with every passing year. I will finish up now with a few sly luring methods that you should keep up your sleeve. Perch will rarely refuse

a very small soft plastic and I mean tiny fish or shrimp patterns 35-50mm and make sure you work them dead slow. Another recent discovery I’ve made is that perch don’t always huddle in snags, bridge pylons or around structure. Some of my biggest tallies over the last year have been when I sprung loads of EP schooled in deep open water while I was blading for bream. I started stacking up embarrassing totals of thumper perch without a snag in sight. This has blown my mind and opens a brand new chapter in unlocking their endless secretive behaviour. Long live the magnificent estuary perch.

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One of 35 perch caught on the fly rod one afternoon. Does life get any better?



We’re going native NSW STH COAST

Jo Starling

When every single log in the shallows makes your heart stop momentarily, and every dried fallen tree trunk looks like a sunning croc, a kayak is the last watercraft you’d consider boarding. Recent migrant from the Top End, Jo Starling, conquers her fears and launches into a new adventure—learning to ‘yak fish. Until four years ago, the term ‘yak’ had only two meanings in my world… a Himalayan smelly creature

and something I liked to do around a campfire, over a chilled beverage, with some well-chosen mates. I come from the Top End… a land where man can only claim dominance IF he doesn’t enter the water. Kayaks don’t form part of a Top Ender’s psyche. WHEN IT COMES TO YAKKIN’ Four years ago, however, I started fishing south of ‘the crocodile line’ and the charm of the ‘quiet yak’ became apparent. Once I’d allayed my instinctive suspicion that a scaly man-eater lurked beneath every watery surface, I was able to see the benefits

Jo Starling’s new love, her Native Mariner, waits quietly for its next voyage.


of the humble kayak as a fishing vessel. It’s virtually silent, stealthy, peaceful and can hop waterholes like a salmon! Thus a third definition has been introduced to my personal dictionary. MY NEEDS ANALYSIS Let me be blunt – I have no interest in kayaking for kayaking’s sake. Apologies to any folk who are avid paddlers, but I’m an avid fisher. It’s to the avid fisher in me that a kayak appeals, and it’s from this perspective that I fashioned my list of wants, needs and expectations. Having never fished from a kayak before, I had only my imagination and fear of crocs to guide me. My expectations were relatively simple: Stability, so that I could stand and cast (fly casting optional, but preferred); clearance, opening up shallow water options that would be closed to me in the boat; manoeuvrability, so I could get myself into likely spots and out of trouble; discretion, because I liked to hunt and I knew my quarry had many advantages from their unseen hidey-holes; accessible storage so that I had what I needed at my fingertips (or close too it)


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without limiting my already limited standing room; oh yeah… standing room! And, last but not least, I wanted my kayak to be “easy to mount”. That was so my pride would remain intact. And so it was that I set about researching kayaks that might tick all my boxes. To my delight, I discovered the wonders of the Hobie! My imagination went wild with the potential to troll

the option of a Mariner 12.5 Propel Angler, which comes factory rigged with two Scotty flush rod mounts, one Scotty side rod mount, a groove mount outfitting plate, anchor trolley system and anchor kit. At the time I was looking, there wasn’t an Angler handy, so I installed the extra bits myself (except the anchor trolley, which is a project for near future) to my new Mariner 12.5 Propel.


This is a dual function icebox/drink dispenser TALL ENOUGH TO STAND WINE BOTTLES AND 2 LTR BOTTLES UPRIGHT

A little imagination and innovation will let you make the most of your deck space.

The ‘live well esky’ on Jo’s Mariner 12.5 Propel has a footprint of 400x600mm, a perfect fit for the stern. whilst en route… let alone get to my fishing spot quicker! I quickly decided that a leg-propelled kayak was the better option for me. Some time later that I stumbled upon a magazine ad promoting Native Watercraft kayaks. They didn’t have the profile of the Hobie, but they had something else that piqued my curiosity… they had a propeller, not flippers. “So?” I hear you say. So, they can go backwards! I don’t know about you, but as a fisho who likes to mix it with as big a specimen as I can find, having the capacity to pull a hooked monster away from heartbreaking structure seemed like a pretty good asset. So it was that my investigations turned to Native Watercraft. I’M IN LOVE WITH A NATIVE MARINER After a short time of weighing up options and specifications, I committed to a Native Watercraft Mariner 12.5 Propel. They also have

BORN TO RIDE With fit-out all but complete (there is still that anchor trolley assembly to do yet), the day came in late October for my virgin kayak launch. To my delight, the Mariner didn’t buck me off! In fact, it was so stable that I quickly returned to shore to pick up my ultra-eager 9-year-old daughter. I was confident that I could take her for a ride without tipping her into the drink, even though she was sitting atop my strapped-in esky/’live well’! I hadn’t pedalled far before I heard the inevitable, “Can I ‘vago?”. I objected at first, but then thought it would be an interesting test of the kayak’s ability to tick off my first requirement. So we made a plan to swap places… and we did so without fuss! Stability? Tick. Pedalling the craft made me aware of one thing I hadn’t considered… comfort! You sit ‘on’, not ‘in’, so you have great visibility from the comfortable

Jo releases a golden perch from her comfy seat aboard her Native Watercraft. My new rig is a beaut! There are plenty of options for custom fit-outs, so you can feel free to couple your wish list with your imagination. In fact, now that hubby Steve and I have started setting the Mariner up, I would have to name innovation as one of the greatest assets of a ‘yak newbie. You really can create a very efficient fishing craft in a small space, when you put your mind to it.

webbed seat. The back support is adjustable, which is perfect as I suffer from a chronic bad back and wouldn’t be able to go far otherwise. The seat slides forwards and backwards, locking into place with adjustable strapping. This makes it easy for those of us who are vertically challenged to share with the lanky. The long and the short of it is, the kayak proved to have the comfort box ticked as well.

The direct drive propulsion is an ingenious bit of kit that is fully removable (in fact, it transports separately from the kayak and is installed before launching) and therefore fully optional. It’s driven by the pedals which work just like a bicycle’s, unlike the Hobie’s stepping/pumping action. If you visualise one of those low-riding pushbikes with the pedals out in front, you’ll get the idea. It’s an easy action that generates a good amount of speed. At a relaxed pedal you can maintain trolling speed, but you really do need to focus on keeping a slow rhythm. The Native Watercraft Mariner Propel was clocking 3.1 knots at my natural pace… and I’m unfit! As for manoeuvrability, the Native has it in spades. I could not believe the over-delivery on promise. The rudder sits at my left hand and is an easy tweak, even when standing. In a gentle wind, it easily manages nose direction. Pedalling backwards for reverse works like a charm, although steering is less direct, as you’d expect. The big surprise, however, is the ability to virtually stop on the spot! This is handy in so many situations, stopping when snagged on the troll

Mother and daughter enjoy a quiet fish together along the edges of Lake Lyell.

is deployed, my Native Watercraft 12.5 Mariner is able to get me through water 30cm or deeper. When it’s up, I save around 15cm in draft. For those occasions, I’ve taken to using an H2O Fish paddle. I have to admit that I’m useless at paddling! The pedal option suits my coordination (or lack-thereof) far better... but when the pedals are up, there is no option but for me to grip the paddle, splash around and invariably cuss! There are several reasons why I’ve opted for the H2O Fish paddle. First of all, it breaks down to 2 pieces for transport, is discretely coloured for stealth and,

SPECIFICATIONS Length.............................................................3.81m Width..................................................................81m Weight............................................................ 39.5kg Max. Capacity................................................. 181kg Bow Hatch Length...........................................0.46m Bow Hatch Width.............................................0.30m RRP: $2760 (plus custom options) being one that I discovered very early in the piece! Holding off from action that appeared in my path was another. The elephant in the room is the clearance. Unlike the Hobie, the Native Watercraft Mariner’s pedals cannot fold flat under the

hull. They can, however, be raised up through the hull to rest on the bow whilst paddling or drifting through shallow water. This is not as immediate as the Hobie paddles folding up, but isn’t difficult to do. If anything, it’s just a bit fiddly. When the propeller

The Native Watercraft’s ability to reverse helps pull fish away from structure.

most importantly, it has a fish measurer along the handle – not just for small fish either, but for big fish! This just proves that I’m not alone in my belief that I can catch a monster from my ‘yak! My tip: clip it into the paddle mount with the zero mark forward… I nearly gave myself a cramp when I first tried to measure up with the zero back behind my seat! FIRST IMPRESSIONS I’ve yet to become an experienced ‘yakker, but I am happy to give a solid 2 thumbs up to the Native Watercraft 1.25 Mariner Propel. It’s answered all my needs and although it doesn’t quite have the clearance of the Hobie Pro Angler, it has all the capabilities plus more and weighs a lot less. Overall, I am very happy with my choice. If you are interested in seeing me putting the Native Watercraft through its paces during my first weekend on the water, there’s a review on the Offroad Adventure Show channel on YouTube. Go to OffroadAdventureShow and search Native Watercraft. I’m looking forward to reporting and reflecting more as I now embark on this new adventure… Learning to yak! I hope you’ll join me over coming issues.

KAYAK AND CANOE SPECIALISTS 225 Bay Rd, Sandringham, Vic 03 9598 9821 JANUARY 2014



Neil Grose

The quest for the perfect all round boat may never be achieved. Sounds brutal, but it is a fact of life. There are plenty of boats that have tried to be all things to all anglers, but more often than not, the level of compromise is too great and they pass by on the great ebb tide of good ideas gone wrong. Once every now and again a boat comes along that gets as close as any boat ever will, and the Bar Crusher 535 XS is as good as any I’ve been in. The 535 XS has the full benefit of Bar Crusher’s high tech Waveslicer deep V hull and the extremely strong Rigideck sub floor system in an open deck boat. Many other boats with centre console (or side console) type have constructed their boats on fishing space and stability rather than rough water performance. With the Bar Crusher 535 XS it has both – simply awesome rough water performance combined with great stability and open deck fishability. ABOUT THE BOAT For the technically minded, here are a few facts, figures and clever innovations. The boat is built with Bar Crushers renowned Rigideck. The origins of this lay in the design and construction of an aeroplane’s wing. Rigideck uses full-length longitudinal frames, making everything boxed and triangulated. Cross frames are then used to tie the whole sub floor together. This is a system that uses greater skill in welding, greater cost to achieve and when all is said and done, bloody hard to do. But it won’t break or crack. And for Bar Crusher, that is the most important thing. The boat is 5.35m overall length, and is quite beamy at 2.15m wide. No doubt many will say it could be beamier, but a wider beam, especially at the stern, could compromise

rough water performance, especially in a following sea. This boat is rated to 100hp, and the test boat was fitted with the superb 70hp Suzuki 4-stroke. Under the floor there is 90L of fuel capacity, so with any of the three engine alternatives you are going to cover a lot of water between refills. As to be expected in a boat like this, the interior is extremely workman-like. Everything is open to the elements in a centre console boat, so there is no need for fancy plush and flush carpet and so on. The top of the dash has plenty of room for light tackle bits and pieces, and under the console is enough room for the tackle boxes or a small cooler. If it was my boat, I’d substitute the seat at the console for a 70L cooler, and put all my lunch, drinks and things to keep dry in there with a cushion on top. TRAILER Bar Crusher don’t cut corners anywhere, and the trailer is a perfect example of this. The trailer is perfectly fitted to the boat – the boat will spend more time on the trailer than off it (unless you are really

lucky), and it is critical to get this right. There is a full set of keel rollers for stability and the side rollers are perfectly spaced to assist a trouble-free launch and retrieve every time. At the front of the trailer is the Bar Catch – a great innovation that makes launching and retrieving far easier than without it. You just won’t know just how good this thing is until you use it. FISHABILITY As far as fishing goes – this boat is all action. The front deck area is higher than the lower deck, due in part to the deep V structure but also to give a bit more storage. There is provision for a seat up here, but most keen fishos will leave that at home, or fit a hip-style lean seat if the going is expected to be a bit choppy. For flyfishing you might want to drape some shade cloth over the anchor well to prevent the fly line snagging, but 99% of anglers will be very happy to tap out some great casts and bagging a few fish. Down the back is the same, with the added comfort of high gunnels for those of us who like something above our knees.

More Bar Crusher attention to detail – even though most open boat users don’t anchor often, when you do it is all electric and easy to use.

Chasing fish off the bow – what all open centre console boats should be good at. The 535 XS was at home in the mangroves as it was in the rough stuff. A big tick here for adaptability in the uses of this boat. The test boat was fitted with an electric bow mount engine, and the 54lb thrust Minn Kota easily moved the boat in and amongst the mangroves at Anderson Inlet. No fish caught while testing, but when you leave the lures at home you are always at a disadvantage I suppose. The strong point for this boat is the stability at rest while sports fishing (which is the principal domain of a centre console boat). We snuck along the edges of the mangroves at Anderson Inlet looking for an estuary perch, and while it was no show on the fish side, it did exemplify just how nimble this boat is given its 5.35m length. As to be expected, there is little sideways movement when fishing from the bow,

The Bar Crusher 535 XS slips off the trailer with ease – the Bar Catch makes launching and retrieving very easy indeed. The trailer is also perfect for the boat.



and even abrupt sideways manoeuvres using the electric didn’t upset the apple cart at all. This is important when fishing with someone else controlling the electric engine, as sudden dips or wobbles can mean a big splash and a very wet angler in an unstable boat. The sloppy water fishing performance is terrific as well. On the day of the test there was a fairly decent swell pushing into the inlet. Combined with an outgoing tide the waves were standing up pretty well. We stopped while photographing the 535 XS in the midst of all this (where there are often plenty of decent Australian salmon congregating) to see what the boat felt like in the ‘rock and roll’, and to see if we could belt

Sprinting across the face of waves is important in rough water – this boat was as dry as you’d ever expect an open boat to be.

a salmon or three. No salmon, but the boat performed very well in all aspects of sports fishing-type situations. As I said before, those that look to fish from open sports fishing boats generally aren’t the ‘anchor up and drop bait’ kind of anglers, and drifting amongst some big waves saw this remarkable boat handle the conditions very well indeed. One of the great features of the Bar Crusher brand is the Quickflow water ballast system. Many will be familiar with the concept of water gurgling into the water ballast chamber, via the opening in the transom, when the Bar Crusher pulls up, dropping the boat down onto its chines for extra stability. The 535 XS has this

feature and while it lowers into the water, you wouldn’t call it a deep draft boat. The 535 can drift over fairly shallow water, which is fantastic when you are hitting the shallow flats for any number of light line sports fish. IN THE ROUGH STUFF I could probably just stop here and let the photos tell the story, but I won’t. This boat has all the trademark features of the Bar Crusher rough water performance. That day in Anderson Inlet was (up to that point) one of the roughest days I’d spent on the water in a boat smaller than the Spirit of Tasmania ship! These boats are superagile in bar crossing situations. This boat was able to ride the crest of the swell without slamming down, zip across the face of a wave to find the ‘gap’ in the wave set and true to Bar Crusher’s claim, there is no suspicion of broaching when travelling with the sea. Now while the 535 XS probably isn’t for the dedicated offshore punter, the capabilities of this boat means that opportunities for offshore trips aren’t limited to those days of calm winds and no swell. The standout feature for me on test day was how comparatively dry this boat is in the rough stuff. Anyone who thinks any open boat is going to be completely dry in rough conditions is seriously kidding themselves. However, the 535 XS does an incredible job at minimising the hurt. The way this boat softly lands after tackling a big wave is outstanding, as is the way the spray is deflected out. Of course traversing across a wave in a wind is going to throw some spray, but hey, it’s an open boat! The test boat was fitted with a 70hp 4-stroke Suzuki, which was perfect for the task at hand. While this boat is rated to 100hp, I’m not sure why you’d need to go that big, unless you were doing a lot of diving and carrying plenty of heavy things. At altitude I’d punt for the

The agility of this boat between the waves was excellent – it is important to find the right gap in the waves when negotiating a barway and the nimble performance of the 535 was excellent.

It was rough! We drifted in this sort of sea and I was extremely impressed with the fishing performance of the boat at drift.

Spray deflection was great and soft landings were assured with this hull design – no bang, no bash and no soaking either.

The rough water performance of the 535 XS is exemplary, cleanly negotiating any sort of wave that the day threw at us, and there were a few big waves!

90hp, especially if you were considering a lot of work in the Snowy Mountains or on the Central Plateau in Tasmania, for which this boat is very well-suited. I’m not big on quoting speeds at XYZ rpm and all the associated figures. Suffice to say this boat has the agility to more than cope with rough water, and the flat water speed is fast enough to

get you back to the ramp in time for dinner. CONCLUSION In conclusion, this is a workman-like boat designed to give anglers the best shot at good sports fishing in pretty much any condition. Any manufacturer can pop out a boat that goes well in flat water and light winds, but when the going gets serious, then the serious boat builders get going

There is no hint of any broaching at all in a following sea – this is a prefect indicator of a well designed and built boat. SPECIFICATIONS Overall length:............................................... 5.35m Beam:............................................................2.15m Hull thickness:................................................ 4mm Outboard shaft length:...................................... 25” Fuel capacity:................................................... 90L Dry tow weight:............................................1000kg HP range:................................................ 60-100hp

– and Bar Crusher is a very serious boat builder. Bar Crusher with the 535 XS demonstrates their commitment to excellence in fishing vessels, and this boat comes highly recommended. Prospective buyers should book an on water test with their local dealer – there is one in every state and territory. The package price is around $45,000 depending on the

options you choose. Check out for the contact details. Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.

Drop in to your local Quintrex Dealer! GEELONG

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Hunter Marine 350 Angler GEELONG

Marcel Krieger

Looking for an economical tinny for a car topper or just a light weight v-nose punt to get on the water? Then the range of Angler model boats from Hunter Marine is just what you are looking for. Hunter Marine has been manufacturing aluminium boats for over 50 years and are locally made in Swan Hill by Andrew Ash and his team of skilled staff. The Angler range of v-nose punts comes in 3 sizes and various configurations to suit your needs.

The 290 Angler is 2.9m long and comes only in a two-seat configuration. Weighing in at only 38kg it is the baby of the family and light enough to be easily handled by one person. Our test boat on the Murray River was the 350 Angler, which is 3.5m long. It is available in a two or three seat configuration and weighs 46kg. I was quite surprised when lifting this out of the back of the ute, the 1.2mm aluminium means it is light and the design of the ribs gives the punt its strength. Finally the 410 Angler is 4.1m long, weighs 52kg and is also available in two

or three seat configurations. This boat has more than enough room and is light enough to manually launch from the bank. All 3 models have a 1.3m beam and 45cm depth. The design includes a braced transom, extruded gunwale, and extra ribbing on the floor. A popular choice for the river or lakes, the v-nose design means a drier ride in choppy conditions. This punt is a stable fishing platform to tie up to the snags and jig for some yellas or when leaning over the side with the net to bring in that mighty cod. Deck it out with some rod holders and a Humminbird sounder from Andrew and you have all you need to explore the waterways this summer. The Angler punt goes great with the lightweight and compact 5hp Yamaha 2-stroke and, when you’re in NSW you are not required to pay rego for 5hp or under. The Yamaha F5A has a

The Angler range of v-nose punts comes in 3 sizes and various configurations to suit your needs. built in 1.1L fuel tank and the ability to connect to an external tank. For ease of starting, these engines feature an auto decompression device fitted to the camshaft. This system

releases pressure in the cylinder when the manual pull start is engaged allowing the user a much lighter pull starting experience. For convenient transport and mounting, the F5A has a

grasp designed on the front of the motor and a large carry handle on the rear. The unique oil leak prevention system allows you to store or transport the engine on either side or its front


The Angler’s design means it’s tough but also very light and easy to lift off the back of the ute.

Model Name 290 ANGLER 350 ANGLER 410 ANGLER

Length (m) 2.90 3.50 4.10

Beam (m) 1.3 1.3 1.3

Depth (m) .41 .41 .41

Weight (kg) 38 46 52

HP 6 15 15

Persons 2 3 4

Seats 2 3 4

Fishy smells that stink so well NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling

The sense of smell is a welldeveloped and important one for most fish species, and plays a significant role when it comes to fooling and catching these critters. We know that dogs have a far superior sense of smell to humans, but it would seem that many fish leave dogs floundering in their wake (pardon the pun!) when it comes to scent detection. In fact, some scientists believe that a fish’s sense of smell is, on average, up to a thousand times keener than a dog’s, and more than a million times better than

a human’s… Perhaps customs officers should be using ‘sniffer mullet’ at out airports instead of their trusty canine companions! The low concentrations at which some marine creatures can detect substances is the stuff of legend, and it’s true that certain sharks can effectively detect a few drops of blood in an Olympic swimming pool full of seawater! Fish species with good eyesight that hunt near the surface in clear water generally rely less on smell than those grubbing around the bottom in murky conditions. For example, we can reasonably assume that a marlin’s sense of smell is probably less refined than, say, a catfish’s. Species like bream, trout, Murray cod and mulloway

Adding scent additives or feeding stimulants to lures is becoming an increasingly common practice amongst keen anglers. At worst, these agents probably help to mask human odours. At best, they could spell the difference between getting a bite and missing out altogether. 84


will rely on a combination of sight and smell when hunting. But the fact is that most of the species we pursue as anglers do rely to some extent on their generally excellent sense of smell when it comes to finding food, avoiding being eaten and successfully reproducing (the three key motivators of all fish behaviour). Scientists have also demonstrated that many fish can determine differences between groups of chemicals, and even between separate compounds within those chemical groups, especially when amino acids are involved (amino acids are essential building-block compounds found within the cells of living organisms). Incredibly, it seems that fish have the ability to recognise the smell of specific amino acids, and that they will respond differently to each of these scents. One amino acid called L-Serine, found in natural oils on the skin of humans, has been identified as a significant repellent to some fish species. If transferred to lures, flies or baits when handling and rigging these items of tackle, L-Serine could definitely turn fish off striking. Interestingly, it has also been shown that some people have much higher concentrations of L-Serine on

their hands than others. This fact alone could help to explain why some individuals seem to be consistently ‘luckier’ anglers than others! To backtrack for a moment, we need to understand that fish ‘smell’ things in a slightly different way to humans and other air-breathing creatures. The senses of smell and taste are closely related in most animals, and this link is especially important beneath the surface of the water, where ‘odours’ are effectively tiny bits of stuff tasted by fish. This involves minute concentrations or traces of materials being carried by the water before coming into contact with receptors in the fish’s nostrils, mouth, any whiskers or barbles they might have, and even via special sensory pores on the skin. To aid in this task, the nostrils (nares) found in most fish are quite different to those of humans and other mammals. We use our nostrils as part of our respiratory (breathing) system, whereas fish use theirs exclusively for detecting scents. A fish’s nostrils are typically positioned between its mouth and eyes and are connected to an olfactory organ that contains millions of odour-sensing cells. Water must be constantly passed through the nostrils and

Could chemical ‘fear and flight’ pheromones released into the water by hooked fish be one of the reasons that species like bream become harder to fool with lures over the course of time? over these olfactory cells for scents or particles of material to be detected. Many of the fish species we pursue have U-shaped nostril canals, with water being forced in one end and out the other as the fish swims, or simply holds position facing into any current flow. The sense of smell is important in other ways, too. Fish species that aggregate in schools are known to communicate with each other using chemical secretions called pheromones that are detected via the senses of smell and taste. These pheromones are not only sensed by fellow school members, but also by potential predators. Furthermore, some

species produce distinct fear, feeding and reproductive pheromones, depending on prevailing circumstances. Many experienced anglers believe that this is one of the reasons why freely-striking fish may suddenly go off the bite if one of their school mates is hooked and (especially) if it’s then released in the vicinity of the school. The existence of pheromones may even help to explain how entire populations of fish can effectively ‘wise up’ to fishing pressure and become much better at avoiding hooks or nets overtime… It’s a fascinating subject and one we’ll be returning to in this series.

For ease of use in shallow conditions, the Yamaha manual tilt motor featured a 2-step shallow water drive function as well as an adjustable trim.


Light Kit




AND • Run for 12 hours and still WHITE start your motor RUNN LIGHT ING • Hook up bait and tie knots with ease KIT • Never replace a bulb - Virtually indestructible •KIT• Designed in • Fully waterproof Australia for Australian (they will run under water) IP68 conditions • No stumbling around the boat SPECIAL OFFER • Rig up quickly and safely 4 METRE BOAT LIGHT KIT • Lights up all your wells • 12v easy to fit DIY, • Commercial quality product • 50,000 hour life span


The Yamaha 8CM motor is a 2 cylinder 2-stroke engine featuring a computer-controlled ignition for smooth running, quick acceleration, great top speeds and excellent fuel economy.

The 350 Angler is 3.5m in length and is available in a two or three seat configuration and weighs a light 46kg.


The tested boat had a new Yamaha 2-stroke 8hp straight out of the box and it started second pull with ease.

limited warranty. All new Yamaha 2-stroke motors have a 4 year warranty for piece of mind when you are out on the beaten track or exploring some of the great waterways on offer in Australia. Ask your nearest dealer for details or phone Andrew Ash at Hunter Marine on 03 5032 2320 located at 21-25 Nyah Road, Swan Hill, Vic, 3585 www. Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/ trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.


without leaking engine oil. These are all great benefits to ensure a reliable motor for your car topper that will start and run anywhere, anytime and only weighs 28kg. The Angler punt I tested had a new Yamaha 2-stroke 8hp straight out of the box and, I kid you not, it started second pull with ease. I recommend this larger motor when you require going a greater distance or getting on the plane with a passenger and their fishing gear. The Yamaha 8CM motor is a 2 cylinder 2-stroke engine featuring a computer-controlled ignition for smooth running, quick acceleration, great top speeds and excellent fuel economy. This motor weighs 27kg for the short shaft model. For ease of use in shallow conditions, these manual tilt motor features a 2 step shallow water drive function as well as an adjustable trim. All this in a smooth and quiet outboard with great portability. The Angler 290 is rated to a 6hp, the 350 and 410 models are rated to 10hp. The 290 Angler is priced from $1,500, the 350 Angler from $1,700 and the 410 Angler from $1,900. Package this up with a new lightweight Yamaha 2- or 4-stroke outboard and you can make sure you have the ability to get on the water with ease and not break the budget. All Angler boats from Hunter Marine have a 1 year

DIY 12v



GREAT FOR • Tents • Boats • Utes • Trucks • Camper trailers • Caravans • Vans • Tool boxes • Compartment lighting • Beach fishing










Length Beam Depth Weight HP No. Person Seats

370 SPORTSMAN 3.70 1.55 .455 420 SPORTSMAN 4.20 1.55 .455

55 15 67 15

3 3

3 3








Length Beam Depth Weight HP No. Person Seats

MODEL Length Beam Depth Weight HP No. Person Seats 290 ANGLER 2.90 1.3 .45 38 6 2 2 350 ANGLER 3.50 1.3 .45 46 10 3 3 410 ANGLER 4.10 1.3 .45 52 10 3 3


(03) 5032 2320

310 FISHERMAN 3.10 370 FISHERMAN 3.70 420 FISHERMAN 4.20

1.3 .38 33 4 1.3 .39 38 5 1.3 .44 38 6

2 2 3

2 2 3

For location of your nearest dealer



This new section in VIC/TAS Fishing Monthly consolidates the trades and services in your area that are relevant to your fishing and boating. Whether you’re a local looking for more options or a travelling angler fishing around Victoria and Tasmania, this guide will direct you to reputable businesses in the area you’re searching. Advertisers wanting to be involved in this directory can call (07) 3387 0835 or email

Bait and Tackle West Coast Portland Bait & Tackle (03) 5523 5213

Central Hooked On Bait and Tackle Hoppers Crossing (03) 9748 3811 Fishing Fever Mordialloc (03) 9590 9899

Online Tackle Products Continued


Adrenalin Flies

TRADES AND SERVICES ADVERTISING Line listing from $15 + gst per mth* 2cm x 2 from $35 + gst per mth* 5cm x 2 from $50 + gst per mth* 7cm x 2 from $74 + gst per mth* 9cm x 2 from $89 + gst per mth* 10cm x 2 from $99 + gst per mth* 11cm x 2 from $105 + gst per mth* 12cm x 2 from $110 + gst per mth* * Conditions apply Call (07) 3387 0835 or email

“For all your fly fishing needs” ORDER ONLINE Korr Lighting She Left

Peninsula Total Tackle (03) 5981 1994


JV Marine World Braeside 03) 9798 8883

This is where your copy will appear. You will have approximately 40 words within a 8 x2 ad size.

Flatwater Covers 0438 367 689

Complete Angler Ringwood (03) 9870 7792

Naaj Marine 0421 955 371

New World Marine (03) 9709 8444 The Flyfisher Melbourne (03) 9621 1246

Unique Marine Accessories (03) 5427 1802

East Coast

CMC Marine Sales Always Angling Traralgon (03) 5174 8544

Hunter Marine Boat Builders (03) 5032 2320


Marine Mechanics

Complete Angler Echuca (03) 5482 1992


Complete Angler Shepperton (03) 5822 2180 J T’s Fishing and Camping Moama (03) 5480 3868

Kris Oakley Marine Services (03) 9794 5524

Flatwater Marine (03) 9401 2298

Boat Modifications & Repairs

JV Marine World Braeside (03) 9798 8883 Salt-Away 1800 091 172

Fish Taxidermy

JV Marine World Laverton (03) 9368 7100


The Outboard Workshop (03) 9783 0840

Fish Taxidermist 0428 544 841 Neptune’s Treasures 0419 643 654

Nautical Marine (03) 5984 1666

Screen Printing

New World Marine (03) 9709 8444 Regal Marine (03) 9874 4624



9 out 10 engines fail from salt corrosion



FREECALL For more info


1800 091 172

VISIT SAMPLE AD - BUSINESS NAME This is where your copy will appear. You will have approximately 30 words within a 2x2 ad size. Contact Peter Jung:

Streaker Boats (03) 9729 8288

Boat Imports

Triple M Marine (03) 9465 8787 Warragul Marine (03) 5623 6250

Boat Import USA 0435 476 177

Wes Frost Marine (03) 5976 4622

East Coast


Logan Specialised Screen Printing (07) 5546 4107

Inverloch Marine (03) 5674 1502


Boat Hire Lake Eildon Cruises 0422 166 986

BOAT HIRE Lake Eildon

WE HIRE: • Fishing boats • Kayaks • Pedal boats

Boats and More Shepparton (03) 5822 2108 Boats and More Echuca (03) 5482 1992

Online Tackle Products

Specialty Fishing Products U-Make-Em Soft plastics

LAKE EILDON CRUISES Kennedys Point Boat Ramp, Maintongoon Rd, Bonnie Doon 3720 0422 166 986 • •

Boab Boat Hire Shepparton (03) 5822 2108 Boab Boat Hire Echuca (03) 5482 1992




Holiday Rental


Gone Fishing Charters 0409 007 068

West Coast

Angling Expeditions Victoria, Tawonga (03) 5754 1466 Highland Trout Lakes, Ballarat (03) 5368 9574

Warrnambool Holiday Park (03) 5562 5031

Millbrook Lakes Lodge, Ballarat (03) 5334 0404

East Coast

SAMPLE AD - BUSINESS NAME This is where your copy will appear. You will have approximately 30 words within a 2x2 ad size. Contact Peter Jung:

Shallow Inlet Caravan Park (03) 5687 1385


Tasmania & Flinders Island


• Easy access for boats • 10 cabins (3 with ensuites) • LPG gas refills • Kiosk



from dawn to dusk


• Plenty of powered and unpowered camping sites • BBQs • Playground

Lester Rd Yanakie WILSONS PROM E

03 5687 1385


Ausprey Tours, Launceston (03) 6630 2612 Gone Fishing Charters, St Helens (03) 6376 1553

Reel Time Fishing Charters 0438 302 093


SNAPPER SEASON PORT PHILLIP | WESTERN PORT | PORTLAND Individuals, Small or Large Groups Welcome Private Plumbed Toilet | Rods, Bait & Tackle Supplied

Fish Wild Tasmania, Hobart 0418 348 223 Flinders Island Adventures, Flinders Island (03) 6359 4507 Professional Charters, St Helens (03) 6376 3083 Trout Adventure Tasmania, Bronte Park 0418 139 048 Trout Territory, Northern Midlands (03) 6397 5001

NSW South Coast Reel Affair, Merimbula freecall 1800 233 247

Victorian Alps

Espirit Charters, Bermagui (02) 6493 4104 or 0407 260 110

Dartmouth Motor Inn (02) 6072 4233

Freedom Charters, Eden (02) 6496 1209 or 0415 602 446

Scan the QR code with your smartphone for more info!


“Pristine Lakes & Wilderness” • Motel style units • Self contained apartments & lodges - ideal for groups, fishing clubs etc • Nightly, weekly & corporate rates

1 Eustace St, Dartmouth VIC 370 P 02·6072 4233 E

Cini SKIPPERS: Matt Matt Boulton

Headland Fishing Adventures, Merimbula (02) 6495 1134 Island Charters, Narooma (02) 4476 1047 or 0408 428 857 Snapper Tuition Available

0438 302 093

K9 Fishing Charters, Merimbula (02) 6495 1681 Merimbula Marina, Merimbula (02) 6495 1686 or 0427 951 080 Narooma Charters, Narooma 0407 909 111

Off The Hook Fishing Charters 0419 554 916

O’Brien Charter Service, Bermagui 0407 214 124

Able Fishing & Charters, Williamstown (03) 9502 3777

Fishing Guides

ACE Fishing Charters, Bonbeach (03) 9773 4183 Adamas Fishing Charters, Barwon Heads (03) 5254 3320

Queensland Cairns Bed and Boat 0418 772 751

Big Red Fishing Charters, Queenscliff 1800 805 587

NSW South Coast

Blue Magic Fishing Charters, Rowville (03) 9759 5301

Wilderness Fishing Tours, Mallacoota VIC 0424 625 160

Calypso Fishing Charters, Tootgarook (03) 5985 8463

Aussie Fish Estuary Adventures, (02) 6495 9902 or 0400 062 504

Geelong Charters & Fishing Trips, Geelong (03) 5275 7107 Impulse Charters, Queenscliff (03) 5258 3739

Chandlery & Accessories Anchor Right (03) 5968 5014 Techni Ice (03) 9783 1922

Boat Trailers

Jillian Fishing Trips, Blairgowrie 0418 148 426 Katrina Louise Charters, Cheltenham 0402 828 140 Kestrel Charters, Queenscliff (03) 5258 1783 Queenscliff Fishing Charters, Queenscliff 0458 504 058

Ideal Xmas gift!

Pro Red Fishing Charters 0421 442 775 Reel Adventure Charters, Yaringa 0409 932 077 Rip Charters Fishing Trips, Sorrento (03) 5984 3664


Saltwater Charters, Queenscliff (03) 5258 4888 BMS Marine (03) 9731 7269

Charter Boats

St Kilda Fishing Charters, St Kilda (03) 9770 2200 Western Port Fishing Charters, Hastings (03) 9769 5544

East Coast


West Coast

Series 2 through 8

Capella III Fishing Adventures, Port Welshpool (03) 5688 1585 Sharkmen Fishing Charters 0418 107 071

Far Out Charters, McLoughlins Beach 0428 401 819

Portland Fishing Charters, Portland (03) 5523 3020

Prom Adventurer, Port Welshpool (03) 5682 2633 or 0428 594 767

Shipwreck Coast Diving & Charters, Warrnambool (03) 5561 6108

Prom Coastal Charters, Yanakie (03) 5687 1248 or 0429 935 583

South-West Fishing Charters, Portland 0418 306 714

Razorback Bluewater Charters, Port Albert (03) 5183 2691

$19.95 each GST INC. - with FREE P&H

1800 228 244



Victorian Tide Times


LONG 144° 37’


JANUARY – 2014 Time m 0403 0.81 1027 1.30 WE 1628 0.23




0000 0517 TH 1139 1736

1.52 0.75 1.34 0.17

Time 0011 0533 TH 1137 1751




0057 0630 FR 1230 1840

m 1.39 0.77 1.22 0.34

Time 0034 0600 SA 1230 1824

1.44 0.70 1.25 0.32

0128 0702 SU 1331 1922

1.61 0136 1.48 3 0058 0621 0.65 18 0717 0.62 1244 1.41 1316 1.29


1837 0.13


1922 0.31

1.67 0210 1.52 4 0149 0718 0.54 19 0759 0.55 1342 1.47 1400 1.33


1932 0.13


2000 0.31

1.71 0242 1.55 5 0238 0812 0.43 20 0836 0.49 1436 1.52 1440 1.36


2025 0.15


2035 0.33

1.71 0313 1.56 6 0324 0904 0.34 21 0911 0.43 1530 1.53 1519 1.39


2115 0.21


2108 0.36

1.69 0345 1.56 7 0407 0954 0.28 22 0944 0.39 1623 1.52 1558 1.40


2202 0.29


2141 0.40

1.65 0416 1.54 8 0449 1043 0.24 23 1016 0.35 1720 1.48 1637 1.40


2248 0.38



2215 0.44

0449 1.51 1.58 9 0530 1130 0.23 24 1048 0.32 1719 1.39 1820 1.43


2332 0.48


2252 0.50


1 2

m 1.52 0.60 1.40 0.20 1.59 0.47 1.49 0.20

Time 0102 0654 SU 1259 1903

16 17

0139 0735 MO 1344 1942

2015 0.21


m 1.39 0.60 1.28 0.39 1.44 0.51 1.35 0.38

2016 0.38

1.67 0245 1.52 4 0302 0850 0.25 19 0845 0.36 1523 1.58 1504 1.46


2102 0.26


2050 0.39

1.66 0318 1.53 5 0345 0938 0.18 20 0918 0.31 1615 1.58 1543 1.48


2147 0.32


2125 0.42

1.63 0351 1.52 6 0424 1023 0.16 21 0951 0.27 1706 1.54 1621 1.49


2230 0.39


2200 0.45

0425 1.50 1.57 7 0503 1106 0.17 22 1024 0.24 1701 1.47 1758 1.48


2310 0.47


2237 0.49

0500 1.47 1.50 8 0542 1147 0.21 23 1059 0.22 1745 1.44 1848 1.41


2350 0.55


2315 0.55


1.41 0538 1.42 9 0622 1228 0.27 24 1136 0.22 1941 1.34 1835 1.40



APRIL – 2014

MARCH – 2014

1.65 0213 1.49 3 0217 0759 0.35 18 0812 0.43 1429 1.55 1425 1.41



2357 0.61

Time m 0424 0.64 1109 1.33 SA 1700 0.35


Time m 0528 0.66 1144 1.22 SU 1748 0.55


1.45 0018 1.33 2 0007 0541 0.52 17 0620 0.57 1221 1.43 1238 1.31


1812 0.33


1838 0.52

1.52 0059 1.39 3 0101 0645 0.38 18 0701 0.47 1324 1.53 1326 1.41


1910 0.32


1918 0.50

1.58 0137 1.44 4 0150 0740 0.27 19 0737 0.38 1420 1.61 1407 1.49


2000 0.33


1954 0.48

1.61 0214 1.48 5 0235 0829 0.19 20 0813 0.31 1512 1.64 1447 1.56


2045 0.35


2030 0.48

1.61 0250 1.50 6 0316 0914 0.15 21 0847 0.26 1600 1.64 1526 1.59


2128 0.39


2106 0.48

1.58 0326 1.50 7 0356 0957 0.14 22 0923 0.22 1645 1.59 1605 1.59


2207 0.43


2143 0.49

1.53 0401 1.49 8 0433 1036 0.17 23 1000 0.21 1729 1.53 1645 1.57


2245 0.48


2221 0.52

0439 1.46 1.46 9 0510 1115 0.23 24 1037 0.21 1729 1.52 1812 1.45


2324 0.55


2300 0.56

Time 0030 0623 TU 1314 1853


m 1.48 0.33 1.59 0.49

Time 0013 0616 WE 1301 1846


m 1.36 0.45 1.50 0.65

1.53 0058 1.42 2 0120 0715 0.24 17 0657 0.36 1407 1.67 1345 1.59


1942 0.48


1926 0.62

1.55 0140 1.46 3 0205 0801 0.19 18 0735 0.29 1455 1.70 1428 1.66


2026 0.48


2005 0.59

1.55 0220 1.49 4 0246 0845 0.18 19 0815 0.24 1539 1.69 1509 1.69


2105 0.49


2045 0.57

1.53 0300 1.50 5 0325 0926 0.20 20 0855 0.22 1619 1.65 1550 1.69


2144 0.51


2125 0.57

1.49 0341 1.50 6 0401 1004 0.24 21 0936 0.23 1657 1.58 1631 1.66


2221 0.54


2205 0.57

1.44 0422 1.48 7 0439 1042 0.29 22 1018 0.26 1733 1.51 1715 1.61


2259 0.58



2248 0.57

1.38 0508 1.44 8 0516 1118 0.36 23 1102 0.31 1811 1.44 1800 1.55


2337 0.62


2332 0.58

1.31 0559 1.40 9 0557 1155 0.43 24 1149 0.39 1852 1.37 1852 1.49



1.51 0524 1.47 10 0613 1215 0.25 25 1122 0.29 1920 1.38 1806 1.37

0.64 0621 1.38 10 0033 0705 1.33 25 1219 0.24 1312 0.33 1932 1.35

1.39 0519 1.42 10 0548 1153 0.29 25 1117 0.24 1856 1.37 1815 1.47

0.67 0023 0.59 10 0018 0644 1.25 25 0701 1.36 1235 0.51 1242 0.49

0.59 0601 1.42 11 0017 0657 1.42 26 1159 0.27 1302 0.29 1900 1.34

0.72 0045 0.66 11 0121 0755 1.25 26 0714 1.33 1402 0.39 1312 0.27

0.61 0606 1.38 11 0003 0629 1.31 26 1201 0.28 1232 0.36 1910 1.41

0.70 0123 0.59 11 0104 0740 1.20 26 0821 1.34 1321 0.59 1345 0.58

0.68 0015 0.64 12 0105 0745 1.34 27 0645 1.37 1353 0.33 1243 0.26

0.78 0144 0.70 12 0219 0853 1.19 27 0820 1.29 1505 0.44 1416 0.32

0.68 0030 0.63 12 0046 0715 1.23 27 0702 1.33 1315 0.44 1254 0.36

0.72 0236 0.56 12 0200 0849 1.18 27 0944 1.38 1418 0.67 1500 0.66

0.76 0106 0.72 13 0200 0839 1.27 28 0736 1.33 1451 0.37 1336 0.26

0.80 0259 0.70 13 0335 1000 1.15 28 0944 1.28 1616 0.45 1537 0.35

0.73 0129 0.64 13 0138 0813 1.17 28 0815 1.29 1410 0.51 1359 0.44

0.70 0352 0.49 13 0314 1005 1.21 28 1057 1.46 1533 0.71 1620 0.69

0.81 0209 0.77 14 0309 0938 1.22 29 0840 1.29 1554 0.38 1442 0.26

0.77 14 0457 1107 1.17 1723 0.44

0.76 0244 0.63 14 0245 0923 1.14 29 0943 1.31 1520 0.56 1518 0.50

0.64 0500 0.41 14 0434 1115 1.28 29 1201 1.56 1700 0.72 1732 0.69




2019 1.35



2118 1.32

2217 1.33


2316 1.35

2331 0.57





2002 1.33

2113 1.33

2226 1.37

0.81 0325 0.77 15 0425 1039 1.20 30 0957 1.28 1656 0.37 1600 0.26 WE


2334 1.44





2035 1.29

2133 1.25

2233 1.25

2330 1.28



2041 1.33



2156 1.33

2305 1.38


1.33 15 0021 0603 0.69 1207 1.21 SA




1944 1.30

2038 1.25

2136 1.22

2236 1.23

2343 0.59





2015 1.36

2126 1.35

2233 1.37

0.74 0408 0.55 15 0412 1037 1.16 30 1104 1.38 1642 0.57 1643 0.52


2331 1.27


2335 1.42

0.44 31 0522 1213 1.49 1755 0.51







1939 1.31

2032 1.28

2131 1.26

2230 1.27

2324 1.31






1952 1.44

2057 1.41

2200 1.41

2301 1.43

2358 1.46

0557 0.33 0.54 15 0532 1212 1.39 30 1259 1.64 1831 0.66 1800 0.69 TU

 




© Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2012 Height datum is Lowest Astronomical Tide Moon Symbols



1817 0.41

0.71 31 0445 1119 1.32 1716 0.23


 New Moon

Bureau of Meteorology

National Tidal Centre

When daylight saving time is in force, add one hour to times

 First Quarter

 Full Moon

 Last Quarter

Tide predictions for Port Phillip Heads have been formatted by the National Tidal Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Copyright reserved. All material is supplied in good faith and is believed to be correct. It is supplied on the condition that no warranty is given in relation thereto, that no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions is, or will be, accepted and that the recipient will hold MHL and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Australia free from all such responsibility or liability and from all loss or damage incurred as a consequence of any error or omission. Predictions should not be used for navigational purposes. Use of these tide predictions will be deemed to include acceptance of the above conditions. 88




ONLY WITH EVINRUDE • No scheduled dealer servicing for


• Fewer parts. Fewer problems.

the first 3 years or 300 hours.**

• No break-in period. Go flat-out from

• No oil changes. Ever.

the box.

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• Superior low-end power & torque.

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• Exceptional power-to-weight, so you're on

standard in the world^ - the California

plane faster.

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• Greater fuel-efficiency at high & low speeds

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from computer-based engine management.

Technology Excellence Award. • Up to 50% quieter than older technology engines.


South West Melbourne

Western Districts



JV Marine World

WebbCon Marine

Alberton Marine

Moolap Marine

72 Hamilton Road Horsham

Johnson Street Alberton

250 Portarlington Road Moolap

03 5183 2344

03 5248 3772

9-11 Fitzgerald Road Laverton North Lismore

03 9368 7100

Sydney North

03 5381 0600

Coffs Harbour Marine Centre Coffs

Nowra Marine Dave Hill Marine Lismore Outboard


59 Union St, Lismore, 2480

1131 Pacific Hwy, Cowan, 2082 Boats & More 02 6652 4722 JV Marine World Barrow Marine 878 Springvale Road 28 Overton Road

Sales & Service

Echuca 02 6621 2657

76 Northern Highway Echuca Sydney South Port


Triple M Marine 117 Northgate Drive Thomastown

03 9798 8883

03 9783 8991

03 9465 8787

Sydney West Forster Cowra

Blakes Marine

Graham Barclay Marine North West Tasmania

All ServiceTasmania Motors Southern Stephens

Boat Supplies Burnie Marine Services Cnr Windsor & Mulgrave Rd, 129 The Lakes Way,

Princess Highway 4982 Traralgon 7899

Northern Suburbs


Cranbourne Boating Centre Gippsland 62 Princes Highway, 332 Soldiers Point Rd, Blakehurst, 2221 Salamander Bay, 2317

03 5996 2206

1 Berry Street, Nowra, 2540


Sales Melbourne Central & SE Bay Boat Traralgon Hunts Marine

311B Pacific Hwy

South East Melbourne Coffs Harbour Sth, 2450 Mornington Peninsula 02 9456 1444 02 4423 6137

03 5482 1992

236 South Gippsland Highway Cranbourne 02 9546 1324


03 5174 1223

McGraths Hill, 2756

02 4577 6699

Forster, 2428 29 Bass Highway Burnie 02 6554 5866

03 6431 3082

Maynes Marine 1 Redfern St, Cowra, 2794 602 Effingham 6342 Street 2590 Moonah 03 6214 9999

© 2013 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). ®, ™ and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. Terms and conditions apply, excludes commercial purchases. * ‘Spring Cashback Promotion’ offer valid on MY11, ©MY12, 2013MY13 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). and the BRPpurchased logo are trademarks of BRP or participating its affiliates. authorized Terms and conditions apply, December excludes commercial purchases. 'Spring Cashback Promotion' valid of on aMY11, & MY14 evinrude E-TEC engines 40 HP ®, and™above newly and registered from dealers between 1st 2013 and January *31st 2014. Cashback will be inoffer the form Prepaid st andregistered January 31 Cashback will be indealers the form of a Prepaid MY12, MY13 MY14 evinrude E-TEC use. engines 40 HP and above covers newly purchased and MY13 registered from Evinrude participating authorized dealersand between 1st 2013and Visa Card. **&For normal recreational # Extended warranty MY11, MY12, & MY14 E-TEC engines 40HP above,December newly purchased from2014. participating authorized between October Visa Card. ** For normal recreational use. # Extended warranty covers MY11, MY12, MY13 & MY14 Evinrude E-TEC engines 40HP and above, newly purchased and registered from participating authorized dealers between October 1st and January 31st 2014. ^ 25hp-250hp consumer models. For full terms and conditions please contact your local participating Evinrude dealership. BRP reserves the right at any time to discontinue or change specifications, prices, 1st and December 31st 2013. ^ 25hp-250hp consumer models. For full terms and conditions please contact your local participating Evinrude dealership. BRP reserves the right at any time to discontinue or change specifications, prices, designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. Products are distributed in Australia and New Zealand by BRP Australia Pty Ltd. Card Issued by Heritage Bank Limited ABN 32 087 652 024 AFSL 240984. Visa designs, features, models or equipment without incurring obligation. Products are distributed in Australia and New Zealand by BRP Australia PTy Ltd. Card Issued by Heritage Bank Limited ABN 32 087 652 024 AFSL 240984. Visa Card Terms and Conditions apply. Card Terms and Conditions apply. JANUARY 2014 89


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--AFTA Best Lure AFTA2013 Best Soft Soft Lure Lure 2013 2013 - --

unique rigging slots inin the unique rigging slots in the unique rigging slots the life like life like body to shield hook making the ody to shield hook making body to the shield hook making the realistic realistic can bebe re-rigged can re-rigged lure supersnag resistant whilst ure supersnag colour resistant whilst lure supersnag resistant whilst range colour range with standard jig with standard jig maintaining great hook upup ability maintaining great hook up maintaining ability great hook ability head or worm hook head or worm hook 6”6” also includes also includes bonus saltwater bonus saltwater jig head! lumo eyes jig head! lumo eyes

comes pre-rigged comes pre-rigged with weighted with weighted weedless hook weedless hook

in-built in-built rattle chamber rattle chamber

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hollow main chamber hollow main chamber for easy hook upup for easy hook








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unique segmented unique segmented tail held together tail held together byby kevlar matting to kevlar matting to give durability and give durability and life-like action life-like action


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Available in 4" Available in&4"6"& 6"

South Gippsland

Alberton Marine 39 Johnson Street, Alberton Phone: (03) 5183 2344 | Fax: (03) 5183 2219 Email:



Eades Xtreme Marine 24 Sturt Street, Echuca Phone: (03) 5482 2333 | Fax: (03) 5482 2133 Email: Website:


The Marine Shop 6 Holland Drive, Melton Phone: (03) 9747 0588 | Fax: (03) 9747 3999 Email:


Avante Marine 345 Dorset Road, Boronia Phone: (03) 9760 2222 | Fax: (03) 9762 8565 Email: Website:

East Gippsland

Mallacoota Outboards 3 Commercial Road, Mallacoota Phone: (03) 5158 0459 | Fax: (03) 5158 0719 Email:

Triple M Marine 117 Northgate Drive, Thomastown Phone: (03) 9465 8787 | Fax: (03) 9466 1418 Email: Website:



West Gippsland



Bell Marine Services 120 Talinga Road, Cheltenham Phone: (03) 9583 3881 | Fax: (03) 9583 0117 Email:


Bendigo Marine World 49 Midland Highway, Epsom Phone: (03) 5448 3988 | Fax: (03) 5448 3940 Email: Website:


BL Marine 612- 614 Plenty Road, Preston Phone: (03) 9478 1420 | Fax: (03) 9470 4638 Email: Website:


Boats and More 207 Numurkah Road, Shepparton Phone: (03) 5822 2108 | Fax: (03) 5821 2908 Email: Website:


Crawford Marine 71-77 Chickerell Street, Morwell Phone: (03) 5134 6522 | Fax: (03) 5134 6455 Email: Website:

Maverick Boats Hammersley & Theiss Roads, Corowa Phone: (02) 6033 3222 | Fax: (02) 6033 4488 Email: Website: Moolap Marine 250 Portarlington Road, Moolap Phone: (03) 5248 3772 | Fax: (03) 5248 4633 Email: Website:

Warragul Marine South Road, Warragul Phone: (03) 5623 6250 | Fax: (03) 5622 0623 Email: Website: Wes Frost Marine 3 Satu Way, Mornington Phone: (03) 5976 4622 | Fax: (03) 5976 4633 Email: Webste:


Nautical Marine 139 – 141 Hotham Road, Sorrento Phone: (03) 5984 1666 | Fax: (03) 5984 1680 Email: Website:


Regal Marine 514 Canterbury Road, Vermont Phone: (03) 9874 4624 | Fax: (03) 9874 6586 Email: Website:

West Gippsland

Tooradin P & J Marine Service Centre P/L 101 Tooradin Station Road, Tooradin Phone: (03) 5998 3107 | Fax: (03) 5998 3108 Email:




FOR FULL DETAILS VISIT MERCURYMARINE.COM.AU Terms & Conditions: *Finance for credit approved purchasers only, fees charges and conditions apply. The offer is available on a 24 month term, a minimum deposit of 20% and subject to a total maximum amount financed of $20,000. The comparison rate above is based on a $30,000 secured loan at 2.94% over a 5 year term. **Finance for credit approved purchasers only, fees charges and conditions apply. The offer is available on a 24 month term, a minimum deposit of 10% and subject to a total maximum amount financed of $55,000. The comparison rate above is based on a $30,000 secured loan at 3.94% over a 5 year term. The amount of credit provided to you and the term of your loan may be different to this. WARNING: The comparison rate only applies to the example given, different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraws and early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Finance is provided by Mercury Finance Pty Ltd ABN 28 156 248 092. Australian Credit Licence Number 421347.



Victoria and Tasmania Fishing Monthly - January 2014