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MARCH 2014


scream of reels, the call of the birds and the endless hours of rehab massage are just around the corner for Victorian and Tasmanian anglers. Tuna time is upon us and the Victorian and Tasmanian fishing economies will be boosted. This issue we take a look at the Victorian and Tasmanian options for this season and you might be surprised at what Lee Rayner and Kelly Hunt have to say about their respective state fisheries. I was pumped and ready to go as we read through their articles and I hope you all get the chance to do the same. I found myself making up little jingles in my head about tuna while remembering sitting on the banks of the Murray River last May and dining on tuna steak rolls for dinner. Yep, it’s tuna time. Good luck on the water, catch your targets and enjoy your time out there. After all that’s why we go fishing.



6 46 61 64 70


No? Too hard? You bet it is. Not enough media coverage, a real risk of being hurt by the locals and governments that really don’t give two hoots about what some Aussies think about what they let their fishing fleets do. It’s much like a lot of issues that the Green movement gets behind. It’s all about media and money. There are some very good organisations out there looking after the welfare of the real issues, however, the big ones, as a general rule, are nothing but media whores who make their money from ramping up issues that will get good media coverage. I hate it. Go do some real good. Having said all that, I am glad thousands of people, including some from the family’s of those taken, are there standing up against a very silly decision. Broaden it out, open your eyes and let’s get to the real problems. Rant over. TUNA TIME The smell of the salt, the


SBT feature Lake Tyers Redfin tactics Trout basics Check out the Apple Isle

northern Australia for things like shark fin soup and aphrodisiacs. Perspective time again. The sharks caught on the drum lines are killed as quickly and humanely as possible. The professional fishers doing the work know how to do this, it’s their jobs. The sharks caught for shark fin collection are treated far differently. The fins are cut off hundreds and hundreds of live sharks and the still living carcasses, and they are still living, are dumped over the sides of the boats, leaving the sharks to die in the most disgusting way. I still have etched into my mind the late Steve Irwin cradling a shark that was still alive and had been finned. He actually had tears in his eyes. This, my friends, is the real problem, not some drum lines off popular beaches in Perth. Perspective. If you really, really care about sharks and the natural world, go and stand by your thousands on the beaches overseas where these shark finning boats come from.


Mallacoota 44 Eden 44 Bermagui 8 Merimbula 48 Narooma 49

I know this is a bit late and the wheels are turning on the shark culling in WA but I thought I’d throw my 2c in the mix. And why not, I’m passionate about the welfare of sea life in all its guises. The issue is being exaggerated on every side of the argument. Firstly the need to bait sharks and kill them is the biggest over-reaction I can think of. What an absolute joke. Again it seems pollies are taking the easiest of options that will give them the perceived greatest poling benefit. An absolute disgrace. I will make no bones about it that I am absolutely against this, so what I say next is aimed at my side of the fence. Will all the shark loving, animal loving people out there get some real perspective on this issue. You gather by your thousands, sign petitions by the hundreds of thousands to stop this issue (all well and good), but you all do little to nothing about the real shark culls going on in



From the Editor’s Desk...


Inverloch 36 Welshpool 37 McLoughlins Beach 38 Ninety-Mile Beach 38 Lakes Entrance 40 Marlo 40 Gippsland Lakes 42 Bemm River 42







Geelong 20 Port Phillip West 22 Port Phillip North East 23 Port Phillip East 26 Rosebud 28 Phillip Island 30 Western Port South 32 Western Port North 34






Robe 14 Warrnambool 16 Apollo Bay 16 Cobden 18 Portland 18







Let the bluefin games begin PORT PHILLIP EAST

Lee Rayner

There has already been southern bluefin tuna caught on the west coast as early as late January. In fact some anglers found and caught fish not long after Christmas. Incredible, my mate and well-known west coast angler Scott Gray saw and hooked tuna as far back as November! So what does this say about the fishery, is it getting better? You would have to think so, however it’s also got other factors attributed to it. Anglers are spending more time on the water and definitely venturing further offshore, which has come about through more capable craft. Either way you have got to love it, as nowadays the autumn tuna run is as much an anticipated part of the angler’s calendar as the snapper each spring. By all the reports coming from the west and what has been seen so far, it looks like the 2014 season will be a great one. WHERE TO FIND ‘EM The answer to this is, ‘how long is a piece of string?’ For the most part bluefin love to congregate along the edge of the continental shelf along the west coast of Victoria and SA. The closest points

for anglers to reach them are well known locations such as Port MacDonnell, Portland, Port Fairy, Warrnambool and Apollo Bay. However the one interesting thing about bluefin is that they also make their own rules with the depth of water being lees important than other pelagic species. In fact in many cases the truly giant tuna are often found in less than 50m of water. For the most part however the edge of the shelf and beyond hold the bulk of the fish with nutrient rich water and plenty of food, but when conditions are right and the bait moves inshore some great fishing can be had much closer to port. Areas to begin looking for tuna out wide are the smaller sections of the shelf where there may be a steep drop-off, a canyon or a kink in the shelf line, such as the Horseshoe off Portland. These areas cause changes in the current creating upwellings and congregating the baitfish. While in the shallower waters look for drop-offs and reef systems as these will also congregate the food source. GEAR OF CHOICE The great thing about the bluefin schools of similar sized fish is that it allows you to target them with the according tackle. This however can at times become badly unstuck, as the next




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monster that decides to get in on the action among a bunch of small fish wont be the last. The majority of anglers run 24kg gear, which you will need for the really big fish. For the most part, I find that 15kg tackle is perfect for the average fish, which in reality are in the 12-20kg size, but still offers enough grunt on the bigger tuna as well. If you are really keen then some of the lighter end 6, 8 and 10kg outfits are a ball to use on the same sized fish. As for spinning reels versus overhead tackle, I still like my big shiny gold reels. However, spin gear does well and is easier for kids and beginners to use rather than a big game reel. Best of all these days you don’t even need to spend huge bucks on a spin reel for it to be any good, with perfect choices being the new

LURES OF CHOICE I hate choosing lures as they all work on their day, however it’s fair to say some catch more fish than others. Some catch small tuna, while there are definitely a few lures that catch huge bluefin on more than the odd occasion for it to be coincidence. One thing I love about having a tackle shop is that you get to speak to a lot of anglers and find out what is working. Minnows Theses are an essential part of your tuna kit, and really do help to pull the school of fish up into the lure spread. At the top of the tree in popularity would be the Rapala X-Rap Magnum 20 and 30. Their colours are amazing and this year the new Aussie patterns that have arrived are sure to smash the tuna, especially the new Real Redbait that was

Just like in all game fishing – find the bait and birds and the tuna won’t be far away. Salina 3 from Okuma and the Saragosa from Shimano. If I could give you a few tips on the spin gear. They are perfect for trolling diving minnows in close to the boat as nearly every reel will have braid, which being thin in diameter helps the minnows to dive deeper and run better. Additionally, don’t run the spin reel as your shotgun ‘longest lure back in the spread’ as in most cases the spin reels hold far less line than the game reels so you can find yourself easily getting spooled by slightly bigger fish.

designed for the west coast. While all the colours work there are some definite standouts, with the silver blue, purple mackerel and the green mackerel always being popular, however the silver blue mackerel has a reputation for catching several tuna over 100kg

UV colour in lures is important when targeting tuna. The Richter UV blue is one of the best. Other great lures and one that has a bit of a following is the Halco 190 Laser Pro, especially in the H58 pattern, not surprisingly it looks a lot like a redbait. New on the scene for this season is the Williamson Speed Pro. Available in three sizes, the larger two in particular are going to definitely become favourites in the tuna angler’s arsenal. The colour range is great with all the good old favourites and a few new and exciting ones, which include a pink and white pattern – to me it makes total sense as how good is a pink skirted lure. As an added bonus to the Speed Pro lures, as the name says you can tow them fast and they create minimal drag, while diving down to their running depth of 3m. When it comes to rigging the minnows, often anglers






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Lures with pink in them are a must-have in tuna season. Christian Styles nailed this bluefin and several more on the Bart XXX.

have trouble getting them to swim consistently or at any speed. For the best results I prefer lighter leaders with 80-130lb Black Magic Tough Trace being perfect. I have all the leaders with a solid split ring on the end, that way I can change lures over in seconds with split ring pliers and change leaders when they need it. This way also makes storage much better as you don’t have a leader on every minnow. As for the hooks, singles are far better with a dynamite hook up rate and much better for staying connected during long fights. The Decoy JS1 has a big following. This season however VMC have also just launched their new in-line single hook. It’s 30% wider in the gape and tough as hell. I have tried them and they are insanely good. Another great option and one that I use most days is the single Jobu 8/0 and 7/0, with just one of these run off the belly of the lure. This way you can run a larger hook as it doesn’t throw out the action of the lure. I find it also has as good a hook up rate as twin hooks on a lure. As for lure positions with minnows you can run them anywhere but keeping them short will prevent them from tangling with the skirted lures and also have them swimming in the clear water below the prop wash. Skirted Lures So many to choose from it’s like being in a lolly shop when you are confronted with a wall of pretty looking skirted lures. I tend to use slightly larger lures with a lot of my spreads in the 7-9” size with favourites being the Black Bart Pelagic Breakfast, Coggin Small Tado, Richter Soft Grassy, and other similar patterns. All of these run nice and straight and leave a great

bubble trail. Saying that, it is also important to have some heavier, straight running bullet-style lures with my favourite being the Bart XXX. One thing that can be a handy tip and was once again proven last season is that the big fish often eat really big food with big arrow squid, scad and mackerel being high on the menu. It can be worth pulling some larger marlin sized lures. This tactic helped several anglers to catch some very big tuna last year. Other notable lures that catch lots of tuna, and big tuna, are the Billmark Dougal in big dog and paris colours and Richter Soft Grassy. The Richter was probably the most standout lure last year with lots of fish caught on it with several over 100kg, especially in the UV blue, evil and black

and purple patterns. Meridian Demon No5, especially in the rainbow runner and secret squid patterns have also been catching plenty. Smaller straight running bullet style lures are very popular and for good reason. They catch tuna on a very consistent basis and can be placed anywhere in the lure spread; getting them to swim and surface is not as important as it is with a cup- or anglefaced lure. As for a range of colours to have on hand, I would definitely recommend some black/purple or black/red combos. In the brighter side of things green patterns such as lumo are always good on the sunny days, however I love lures with a good amount of pink in them as it relates back to the redbait they love to eat.

The end result for a lot of hard work. The boys prepare to lift Steve Taranto’s 120kg bluefin over the side.

Jules Coyne shows how effective the Rapala X-Rap is with just a single hook on the belly. When it comes to the natural patterns there are a few colours I wouldn’t leave home without. The first of which, and one I have mentioned many times before, is the petro – it imitates the arrow squid perfectly. Another variation from this is the yakka pattern, which has a lot of yellow and gold in it. While the big dog pattern or any blue and silver skirts are the perfect thing for when the tuna are on the sauries or pilchards. Finally, and a colour that doesn’t get much of a mention in the bluefin circles, is evil. It’s the perfect baitfish imitation and has taken multiple big fish over the past 8 or so years.

Either way it really pays to have a range of skirts on board as the tuna will often lock in on one or two lure colours and styles depending on the baitfish they are feeding on at the time.

Multiple rods are definitely the key to getting lots of tuna. TO WIND ON OR NOT As for whether to use wind-on leaders or not in tuna fishing, for the most part they make life much easier, allowing you to run a shorter leader on the lures.

TIPS • Tuna see UV colour. It is well worth taking note of what lures have some UV colouring in them as this can get you more bites, especially on the high UV index days. • Tuna aren’t always in the warmer water. Take note of the water temperature and if it starts to cool off, the centre of it will have less current and this is where the bulk of the fish will be. • When you get a bite, keep trolling for a few more seconds as this will get you multiple hook ups. • Always be aware of the tide changes. They are just as important on the inshore waters as they are out on the wide blue.

Take into account with wind-on leaders that if you keep them on the lighter side (80-150lb, with 100lb being my favourite) and by cutting them back to 10-12ft you will get far less drag in the water and get your lures swimming better. When it comes to leaders on lures, keeping them on the lighter side will get you more bites. Nearly all of my lures are rigged on 100-130lb leader, and the biggest ones on 150lb. Sure a lot of people may worry about getting a really big tuna on 100lb leader, however on the heavier leader you may not even get the bite, especially when they are being fussy while chasing small baitfish.


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Bluefin – the apple of their isle TASMANIA OFFSHORE

Kelly Hunt

Tasmania had a crazy southern bluefin run last year. Just plain crazy! School fish were big in the early part of the season but quite sporadic. Then Victorian NAVICO representative Bill Milonas came over from the big island and plucked a 127kg specimen right from under ‘The Rock’ early. This set the Island on fire and the game fishing community was all

awash with ‘what if?’ The Hippolyte Rocks are well known for holding bait that draws tuna in and holds them for months. Big and Little Hippo are home to school-size southern bluefin tuna that roam between Tasman Island, the continental shelf and back to the rocks. The small township of Eaglehawk Neck swells to the numbers of recreational fishers who take advantage of the unique topography and short run to the fishing grounds. The ramp at Pirates Bay is a short 7nm run to

some of the world’s best southern bluefin fishing. Big 3-figure bluefin are the target around the colder months as the redbait schools up in and around the many underwater haunts stretching from the picturesque Tasman Island to the Big and Little Hippo. Traditionally they are thin and far between and take a bit of finding from the wise and canny fishers who have spent years compiling some local knowledge. LAST YEAR The week before the Tom Jenkins Memorial

Big and little Hippo are home to school size southern bluefin tuna.

Bluefin tournament big schools of jumbos came to town and tore the place up. There is a mindset that the bigger jumbo fish travel and will only be found in smaller groups – rubbish. They came and they came in big numbers and those that found themselves in their way had better have come prepared. There were many fish in the 80-100kg range. It was not unusual in that month or so to see large areas of southern ocean alive with big powerful bluefin feeding hard and getting their backs out. In a hard blow with a bit of chop and sea spray they would take a lure and turn for the bottom. Looking to join the school again they took some stopping. Long battles well over an hour yielded some very good fish. These fish took up residence in and around the Tasman Peninsular for a number of weeks. The excitement and word soon spread and locals and mainlanders alike made the journey to Pirates Bay for a chance to hook and land that fish of a lifetime. The weather was not always conducive to

Victorian NAVICO representative Bill Milonas came over from the Big Island and plucked a 127kg specimen right from under The Rock. helping anglers out. In the nicer, calmer days the big tunny would still come up, get their backs out and feed hard, but were very selective on what they would inhale. In this sort of mood they were tough to hook. Feeding on the smaller redbait, they often

snubbed the customarysized skirted and bibbed lures. This proved to be very frustrating to all that witnessed the spectacular scenes. BUCKET LIST The weigh station was peppered with anglers that Continued page 10

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Lance Dunne landed this barramundi while fishing at Lake Monduran. Lance used Black Magic 60lb Supple Trace and Black Magic 8kg Inferno braid.

Black Magic 60lb Supple Trace was used to catch this 45kg dogtooth tuna. Neville Haglund was fishing at Ashmore Reef, in the Coral Sea.

Black Magic TAckle 34 x 6 NOT IN SYSTEM

Hong Fu used a Black Magic 5/0 Snapper Snatcher ‘original’ to take this 3.1kg tailor. Hong was fishing off Trigg, WA.

Blair Valentine caught this 8.2kg snapper at Moreton Bay. Blair used Black Magic 40lb Tough Trace and a Black Magic KL 4/0 hook.

Black Magic 40lb Tough Trace was used by Curtis Chappell to catch this 75cm mack tuna. Curtis was fishing off Bustard Heads, 1770.

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YOUR PHOTO COULD APPEAR IN OUR ADS! If we use your photo in our advertising you will receive a FREE BLACK MAGIC CAP AND STICKER! Include your name, address, fish weight, where you caught it and which Black Magic or Wasabi products were used. Send a high resolution image to: MARCH 2014


From page 8

ticked the big bucket list item and managed to weigh that fish of a lifetime. Pictures of bluefin pulling the scales down near or past that magical 100kg mark alongside anglers with big smiles were quite common. Equally as common were the stories of hardship and lost fish. I had my butt handed to me by a fish in a stiffening southwesterly. That fish came up and flossed his gills with a Sebile Bonga Jerk we had not long pulled out of its box and wet. Just north of, and pulling up along side the Little Hippo, he was in a massive rush to head back to the pack. He screamed line off the 24kg outfit at an incredible rate, had me bent over like a 90 year old man and the rod had a curve on it Charlie Sheen would have been proud of! This was not going to end nicely and in the shallow water I was busted off with such force the rod come out of the gimbal and back into my leg. The next morning I looked like I had taken a Brett Lee full toss flush on the inner thigh. The weather and conditions were kind and thankfully we set things

ruin his chance to take the glory. Graham’s fish was good enough to take the prize, but seal damage ruled it ineligible and the trophy for biggest fish of the

competition went to Stephen Fitzallen on Shanta. Marc Largerewskij captain of the Risky Rider crew battled a fish for 4 Continued page 12

A meat torpedo on the run. FRUSTRATING “Very tough, very tough indeed.” It was the only way to describe the event. The tuna were there and they would show and feed a number of times a day but BLUE WATER

right by landing a big fish 3 hours later. The big Bonga Jerk did the job again and in deep water, and wide. Adrian Morrisby managed to get the fish boat side in just under an hour. Ten seconds later and Clinton Howe and I supplied 121kg of southern bluefin on the deck at his feet. The 3 day Tom Jenkins Memorial Bluefin Tournament was the very next day and there were some very excited anglers arriving to hear of Adrian’s fish.

getting them to take a lure was driving most nuts. Graham Purton from Wynyard was one of the lucky ones that managed to hook, battle and land good fish, but alas the seals would

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Graham’s fish was good enough to take the prize, but seal damage ruled it ineligible for the competition.

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Adrian Morrisby managed to get the fish boat side in just under an hour. From page 10

hours only to have the hook pull and get the old school Zuker Grass Skirt back fully intact. Marc is a seasoned angler with plenty of experience and on the helm was long time tuna wrangler Johnny Jaws. The drag on the reel checked out later that day and this battle further suggests that there

were some serious fish that may have gone well over the 120kg mark. The madness continued for nearly a month and crews mixed great frustration with immense joy as the fish appeared and fed at will. The word managed to travel across Bass Strait and we saw an influx of

mainland crews that were amazed at how close our fishery is to the boat ramps and the cover the coastline can provide in most weather situations. The well set up and experienced mainland crews did a few things a little differently to what we might commonly do here in Tas.

SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT Fishing lighter leader material seemed to provide much better hook up rates for those fish that were stubborn to hit lures. The lures themselves were also a touch smaller than the traditional size we might always go to. This is a combination that is not new to other styles of fishing of course, but is something worth trying when the tunny are being very selective. I noticed a couple of the crews that were doing well were also trolling that little bit quicker than the 6-7 knots that is the norm. I didn’t get a chance to speak to them to ascertain speed, but it makes sense if something you have done ‘all the time’ is not working, try some variables. As always with fishing just when you think there may be a system and a train of thought to matching the hatch and downsizing the lures to match the redbait being fed upon, something throws a curve ball.

Battle won! The third and final day of the Tom Jenkins was called off because of heavy 50+ knot winds from the northwest. Some of the bigger boats were still able to fish in and around Tasman Island. One such vessel was South East Charters skippered by Michael. They managed to pick up 2 nice tuna that went

101kg and 128kg; one of which had 2 mutton birds and a little storm petrel in its stomach. I happened to see these and they looked like they were eaten 5 minutes before capture. That was the 2013 season in a nutshell really– crazy, but in a good way. Let’s hope season 2014 is even crazier.

SBT – what’s the recreational fishing impact? GEELONG

Ross Winstanley

The southern bluefin tuna fishery is, “Sustainable and rebuilding” according to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority in its September AFMA Update. The federal Minister for Environment, Heritage and Water has agreed that Australian exports of SBT should be allowed to continue, based on a rigorous assessment showing that the fishery is sustainable. The fishery is being managed under national and multi-national

harvest strategies designed to ensure that the global population continues to increase. Since 1995, annual aerial surveys in the Great Australian Bight area have provided estimates of yearly recruitment or spawning success. After a succession of poor years in the early 2000s, overall recruitment in the past five years has improved. These harvest strategies are based on stock assessments that rely on complete and accurate catch data from all countries that engage in SBT fishing. Unaccounted sources of mortality include recreational catches and death rates of

SBT this size aret regularly taken for food by rec anglers and need to be accounted for. Pic courtesy Mark Gercovich 12

MARCH 2014

sub-market size fish released by Japanese long-liners. This is where it gets interesting for Australian anglers and challenging for the Australian Government. In 2009-10, the Total Allowable Catch for Australia’s commercial fishery was reduced by 23.7% to 4015 tonnes. The landed commercial catch value for 2011/12 was $40.6 million; the improved value resulting from farming most of the wild catch adds around $100 million to this, making SBT one of Australia’s most valuable commercial fish species. Australia’s annual TAC is set as part of the global TAC through an international management process overseen by the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna whose members include countries that account for most of the catch: Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Set in 2011, the CCSBT’s immediate aim is to rebuild the stock to 20% of the original unfished level by 2035. The global TAC for 2013/14 is 12,449 tonnes of which Australia’s share is 5,151 tonnes. To comply with the CCSBT’s decisions and to implement our national harvest strategy, AFMA manages Australia’s commercial SBT fishery under a combination of Commonwealth legislation, the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery Management Plan 1995, regulations, licence conditions and fishing permits. These management arrangements apply in all State and Australian offshore

waters where commercial fishing for the species is allowed. Responsibility for managing recreational fishing for SBT rests with the States, which use combinations of bag and size limits. Currently in Victoria, the combined bag limit for SBT, yellowfin and big-eye tuna is 2 per day per person. Now, over the years Australia has taken a tough line in demanding full and accurate disclosure of SBT catches by other nations. Today, their compliance has improved significantly but the spotlight has been turned back on Australia. While our commercial fishery data are world-class, the lack of credible catch data from the growing recreational fishery is proving to be challenging – if not embarrassing – for Australia’s negotiators. As presented at the 2013 CCSBT’s October meeting, the summary of data on Australia’s SBT fishery shows recreational catch estimates rising from 16 tonnes in 1994 to 85 tonnes in 2002. The entry for the 20032010 period is “insufficient data”. The summary goes on to refer to joint efforts between southern States to come up with a national recreational catch estimate through a project due to end in February 2014 (in time for the next 4-yearly full stock assessment). Despite the uncertainty shown here, there are recent published reports that indicate that recreational catches now total in the order of 300 tonnes. For example, a Victorian study – funded from the Recreational Fishing Licence trust account –

Spin tackle is a favoured method for catching tuna. Quinn Scott got this one on a Wax Wing. Pic courtesy Lee Rayner estimated the retained catch to be 240 tonnes in MarchJuly 2011. A Tasmanian study estimated that anglers retained 75 tonnes and that seals/sea lions took a further 25 tonnes of SBT released by anglers. For several years anglers, fishery scientists and managers have known that the day of reckoning for incorporating the growing recreational catch into national and international stock assessments and TAC arrangements cannot be delayed forever. The justreleased Fishery Status Reports 2012 published by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics continues to list the SBT stock among just four biological fish stocks that are overfished in Australia, meaning that “the biomass is inadequate to sustain the stock in the long term.”

What has changed is that the level of commercial fishing under the current National Harvest Strategy is no longer listed as “overfishing” after many years at that classification. This means that, in terms of the Australian fishery, the SBT stock is no longer “subject to a level of fishing that would move the stock to an overfished state.” With the national recreational SBT catch running at perhaps 7% or more of the commercial TAC – but unaccounted for in national and international assessments – the credibility of this upgraded assessment needs serious reinforcement. Australian anglers will be looking to their representative bodies and their State fisheries agencies to protect their ongoing access and investment in this fishery.

MARCH 2014


South west heats up ROBE

Daniel Peart

The south west has had record temperatures this season and these hot days have produced plenty of calm weather and some quality fishing for both boat and land-based anglers. With more hot weather around the corner and early reports of bluefin tuna, things are really about to heat up! SALT CREEK As the sand starts to heat up, so have the large mulloway along the Salt Creek Coorong Beach. Excellent catches well in excess of 50lb were all the talk recently and there should still be a chance of hooking one of these monsters for anglers who are prepared to fish fresh baits and put in the long hours. Plenty of small bronze whaler sharks have been taking mulloway baits and those using berley can expect to tangle with plenty of these as by-catch. These small sharks, including gummy sharks in the 2-3ft range, make for great eating so take the time to remove fins and stomach contents and immediately place on fresh ice for best results. Again, snapper up to 8kg have been regular between 42 Mile and Ti Tree and who knows when they will stop coming? It has been a great season so far for beach reds. ROBE The picturesque town of Robe really is the place to

be over the warm summer months. It’s a great place to escape the heat and try your luck at the endless amount of fishing options available. The beaches from Robe through to Canunda National Park have been producing school mulloway to 10kg and should still do well while the weather stays warm. Good numbers of large school sharks usually roam these gutters throughout March. They put on a great fight as well as good eating, before they get too large. Just down the road at Beachport the small jetty, believe it or not, will also encounter large school and gummy sharks over the next

month or so. Those choosing to fish with heavy mono traces and circle hooks to prevent bite offs may also see the odd mulloway appear. PORT MACDONNELL The talk of the town at this time of the year is tuna, and fair enough too! The south west is famous for its annual tuna run with anglers coming from miles to get amongst the action. I have heard confirmed reports of tuna to 20kg as far back as the beginning of February, by now I’d imagine good numbers should be starting to hold in the usual areas. First signs of tuna are usually found across the continental shelf by larger

At times, particularly around heavy boat traffic or on sunny glassed out conditions, you really need to put in the effort setting up suitable spreads with a variety of lures to find what they want. Usually a good spread would consist a variety of different colour and sized skirts as well as deep diving and shallow diving hardbodied lures. Once a pattern appears and a certain lure is doing the damage, you can then change the rest of the spread and enjoy double hook ups, triple or as many rods in your spread when they’re on!

Brett ‘Chooka’ Perryman displaying a quality early season SBT. Photo courtesy of Daniel Murdoch.

The Boat House is a four year old, three bedroom home located just moments from stunning Long Beach in Robe. Three large bedrooms and a fantastic open plan living area opens up through glass sliding doors onto a very large rear deck making entertaining a breeze and provides a spot to chat about the one that got away. The house has one bathroom plus luxury ensuite with spa and walk in robe. Walk to Long Beach in 5 minutes or into the heart of Robe along the beach in 30. Plenty of parking room and a drive through drive way allows for the easy manoeuvring of large vehicles or boats. A great base to explore Robes beaches, jetties, lakes, bay and ocean.

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Daniel Murdoch with a typical sized bronzed whaler for Salt Creek.


vessels, but as currents push in schooling bait closer to shore, expect these fish to push in as little as 2km from the Port Mac breakwater in about 30m of water. While sometimes these awesome sport fish can be found in feeding frenzies on the surface and are willing to take almost anything thrown at them, they can also be amazingly frustrating at times if you can’t match the hatch.

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The author showing off a school mulloway from Salt Creek, fish these size are available all year round but these warmer months seem to be when they show up in numbers.

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Signs point to local fishing spots New signs across the Gannawarra region funded by the Victorian Coalition Government will help locals and visitors to find the area’s best fishing and camping spots. Minister for Agriculture and Food Security and Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh said the signs had been installed at popular boat ramps at Kangaroo Lake, Koondrook, Murrabit, Lake Meran and Lake Charm. “There are many great fishing and camping opportunities in the region and these new signs will help to showcase those to visitors and anglers,” Mr Walsh said. “The Coalition Government recognises the huge economic and social benefit fishing brings to regional areas and is committed to improving fishing opportunities across the state. “The signs, installed by Gannawarra Shire Council, identify popular fishing and camping spots nearby, the fish and crustaceans likely to be encountered by anglers, and the location of boat ramps and facilities such as barbecues and toilets.

“The information has also been reproduced in a brochure so visitors can keep it in their glove box for their next trip to the region.” Mr Walsh said the signs had been funded by Victorian recreational fishing licence fees and the Coalition Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative, as part of the Building Northern Native Fisheries project.

“The project is improving angler access and stocking more native fish such as golden perch and Murray cod in several northwest rivers and lakes,” Mr Walsh said. Learn more about the ‘Building Northern Native Fisheries’ project at northernnatives. - The Hon Peter Walsh MP, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Minister for Water

MARCH 2014


SBT season strikes again WARRNAMBOOL

Mark Gercovich

March is a brilliant time for fishing in the South West as all the summer species are still available. The southern bluefin tuna season is now ramping up and hopefully some good weather conditions will be on the cards. Timed perfectly to make the most of this is the local Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic competition. This annual fishing competition, run by the Warrnambool Offshore & Light Game Fishing Club, will run from March 1-10, culminating on the long weekend. There are some tremendous prizes to be won, across a wide variety of species from river to offshore, including two boat package major prizes, so get along and be part of the action. Mako sharks will be the focus of much attention during the comp and there have been some big ones encountered recently. But none bigger than the one Sam Hallyburton and the crew of Reel Stress subdued; it weighed in at a massive 241kg. The fish was caught out wide off Port Fairy and took 2.5hrs on 24kg line. March is usually the last month to get amongst the kingy action. When conditions finally warmed up some good captures of kings have been taken locally, most in the 3-6kg range but

Xavier Gercovich with a Hopkins’ mulloway. a few 10kg specimens have been taken by anglers on the money. Casting and jigging have been the most productive techniques this season. I’ve been having good success throwing smaller stickbaits, like the Zipbaits Monsoon Breaker and SSM120, when the fish have begun shying off larger profile lures. The first SBT of the season locally was taken by the crew aboard Lucas Wilson’s boat on the 14 January when, on a blue-eye


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trip to the shelf, they came across jumping tuna and landed a 28kg model. There have been a few sightings in closer and on our last kingy trip we saw some free jumping fish in 40m of water. Killarney and Port Fairy Bay have been producing some good whiting and squid early morning and evening, while flat seas in these areas make for happy cray or sweep anglers who have been taking some good captures when conditions are right. Pinky snapper, about 1.3kg, have been making up the majority of offshore bottom bouncers with a few gummies still being encountered. More and more anglers are also heading out wide and chasing blue-eye and other deep sea denizens on the days the weather cooperates. Ed Richardson also managed a fine striped trumpeter off Warrnambool on the long weekend. The school mulloway resurgence continues

Jo ‘Jigaster’ Rowland and the author with some kings taken with Nick Murrell recently. locally. Virtually every estuary system along the coast has seen varying numbers of small school mulloway encountered. The great majority of these fish are under the size limit of 60cm but the sheer numbers of them, particularly when compared to the past decade,

is a wonderful positive for the future. Bream fishing has also continued to be good. There have been big numbers of fish in the 28-34cm range in the lower regions of the Hopkins, which have been providing holidaymakers with plenty of action.

Excellent rewards for effort APOLLO BAY

Daniel Kent

I have been inundated with great fishing reports of late and it seems everybody is being rewarded for their efforts out on the water. There have been frequent captures of sharks of varying species but, for ease of reporting, I will break them down into two categories: Firstly, there are the pelagic species such as thresher, mako and blue sharks, which are targeted high up in the water column with the use of berley. They are usually targeted out in 70m+ of water but recent captures would suggest that the highest concentration of sharks is in the 40-60m range. The back of the Henty Reef and wide of Skenes Creek would be the highest on my list of areas to try in coming weeks for these big robust sharks. The second category of sharks is your bottom feeders, which include species such as gummy, school and seven-gill. They have been most prolific in water depths of 35-45m off Cape Otway or Blanket Bay. Fresh baits of squid or barracouta fillets will attract them from long distances but I believe the biggest factor when targeting these species is the tidal flow. Small tides or the slack water periods of the tide will produce the hottest bite times as the sharks freely swim around hunting for food when the current is at its weakest. Drifting in 60m of water off Cape Otway has been producing regular

The shark fishing off Apollo Bay has been excellent in recent weeks. Species such as mako, thresher, gummy, school and even seven-gill sharks, such as the one pictured, have been regular captures. catches of small but legalsized snapper and excellent hauls of flathead. When fishing these depths it is a good idea to use tough baits, such as squid or octopus, so you are not winding up checking your bait after every bite. Sometimes it is even possible to land several fish before the bait needs changing. For the light line anglers that like to target the inshore reefs it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride in recent weeks. The large schools of King George whiting have been difficult to locate but the silver trevally and salmon schools have made up for their absence. The Waterfall and Point Bumbry reefs have been fishing very well for the trevally and some have been thumpers of over 2kg. Lightly weighted pilchard

fillets or pipi baits are bringing the best results while plenty of berley made from bread and crushed pilchards is the key to bringing and keeping them around the boat. Hopefully the King George whiting turn up in larger numbers in the coming weeks as this has always been

regarded as the best time of year to target them around Apollo Bay. Surf fishers should be preparing their gear as March always brings a reliable run of Australian salmon to our beaches. And with the inshore boat anglers already claiming good numbers of salmon around, it looks like it could be a bumper season coming up. The rivers are still fishing well for black bream with the Aire River at Horden Vale and Erskine River at Lorne both producing fish. Small hardbodied lures have been very successful as well as baits, such as peeled prawns and scrubworms. Concentrating your fishing around structure, such as fallen timber or bridge pylons, will improve your catch rates but at this time of year don’t overlook the shallow sand flats either, especially when casting lures as the waves push in clean saltwater over the flats at high tide.

The deepwater reefs off Cape Otway are holding large schools of small but legal sized snapper.


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Portland pattern stabilises PORTLAND

Nigel Fisher

The weather in Portland over the last six weeks has been up and down. Let’s hope we will see some good stable weather from now on. At the moment when the weather is in our favour the fishing has been ok. The breakwall has produced pinkies, trevally, squid, sharks, whiting and the odd kingfish. Best baits for the wall are squid and pilchards for the bigger fish and pipis, worms and prawns for the smaller fish. The squid are taking baited jigs or a range of squid jigs. Salmon lures, poppers and plastics work well around the breakwall as well. The bay has seen whiting, pinkies, flathead, squid and

The mighty kingfish will be a prime target this month. the odd shark. Again baits such as pipis, blue bait, whitebait, pilchards and squid have been working well. North shore has seen sharks and mulloway off the beaches and sharks, whiting, squid and the odd kingfish

fishing from boats. Squid, pilchards and fresh baits are great off the beach and trolling and fresh baits for the kings out of the boats. Flathead and gummies are around Bridgewater and makos are around the

Capenelson area. There are also blue-eye in the deep waters. March fishing should certainly see plenty of people chasing our mighty bluefin tuna and albacore. We should see the bluefin run up to July pending on weather conditions. The North Shore can still produce kingfish in March depending on water temps, but the sharks, pinkies and other reef fish will still fish well. The breakwater will still have pinkies, squid, whiting, sharks and salmon hanging around and is a great place for anyone to have a go. The bay will have pinkies, whiting, flathead, squid, sharks and salmon and trolling for pike around the water tower can be worthwhile.

Young Justin with a gummy he caught off the breakwater while chasing whiting. The deeper water around Lawrences Rock to Bridgewater Bay has produced some great fish, such as makos, gummies, schoolies, sweep, flathead snapper and other unexpected fish from time to time. The beaches around the north should still have some good sharks and the salmon should start getting about.

Also the Bridgewater Bay Beach around to Discovery Bay is a great place for surf fishing too and can produce some great fish. • For all your bait and tackle needs and reports call into Portland Compleat Angler and say g’day to the team or contact us on 03 5521 1844. Open seven days at 61 Bentinck Street Portland.

March back the mayhem COBDEN

Rod Shepherd

Now is the best time of year to get out and wet a line! The summer school holidays are well and truly over leaving local waterways less crowded with water loving holidaymakers. The weather pattern is at its most stable with the days sunny and warm and the nights just starting to cool off. For those who love to venture offshore the summer winds have dissipated meaning more fishable days with time spent out on the water ever increasing. Getting blown off the water by midday is now a forgone conclusion. The big news on the salt would have to be schools of southern bluefin tuna making what seems like an early visit to our offshore waters. It is indeed

the earliest start to the SBT season we have seen. So far the schools of tuna are not common and the fish caught are only averaging around 6kg but as the days march on this will only improve. More boaters are choosing to bottom bounce out wide in depths averaging around 600m for species such as hapuka, blue-eye, trevalla, blue grenadier, Tassie trumpeter and the little known but equally delicious knife jaw. Weights of up to 2kg are often needed to reach the bottom. So too is a drogue to slow down a boat’s drift but the fish are plentiful and tasty on the tooth. The bonus of being out here is that you are forever on the lookout for surface feeding birds indicating schools of feeding tuna. Mako sharks have also made their presence felt with many anglers targeting these game fish. There seems to be plenty of makos out there

with many averaging around 80kg in weight, however in mid-January a thumper of 241kg was boated after a two hour tussle on 24kg gear. A few yellowtail kingfish to 7kg have been caught with the inner reef off Killarney Beach being an ever-popular area to target these fish, however the numbers do seem down on previous years. In January the mouth of the Curdies estuary finally closed and many bream soon moved from the lake and back into the river scattering into smaller schools right up and down the river’s length. The number one bait still remains local shrimp but the fish can be hard to tempt at times as the weed beds that line the river are absolutely chock full of shrimp so the bream appear to have gone a tad fussy of late. I, as well as a few others, have had varying degrees of success simply by casting minnow

A typical catch of Curdies River bream just prior to release. lures right up tight to the bankside weed growth in an effort to tempt the bream into biting. The takes are always visual and very

exciting with bream of all sizes often responding to a well cast lure. This is coinciding with an upstream migration of greyback

minnow. Schools of greyback can often be seen leaping from the water as they attempt to escape a predatory bream.


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MARCH 2014


Big bite at the Barwon GEELONG

Neil Slater

The Barwon River in Geelong has been nice and clear and the fish have been biting well. A group of friends and I fished Australia Day near Balliang Sanctuary, which is loaded up with snags, hoping for a European carp or redfin. We managed to trap a few gudgeon using a bait trap baited with bread. They were getting snapped up pretty quickly but the redfin were hard to hook. I did manage a redfin of around 400g on gudgeon but the carp kept removing my bait while I tended the snags. Ebony Plowman, 8yo,

was too excited to leave a bait stationary for too long so we rigged her up with a single tailed grub soft plastic lure. She was happy to cast and retrieve for ages and it wasn’t too long before there was some squealing and she hauled in a small reddie that had attacked her lure! Her dad Murray managed a doughnut, which she gleefully reminded him about on the way home. CORIO BAY April is whiting time inside Corio Bay and since we’ve had a fair season around the Bellarine, I’d expect good captures over this month as well. Best possies include Clifton Springs, Hermsley, Bird Rock, Point Henry and Stingaree Bay. Land-based anglers should try the rock wall

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at Limeburners boat ramp, the Portarlington pier and Griffins Gully jetty in Corio Bay. Snapper have prolonged their presence inside Corio Bay much to the joy of anglers. Richard Boyd had a day off Clifton Springs recently. Fishing just north of channel marker nine, he caught a pinkie snapper around 45cm plus a good bag of King George whiting. Late December, Gary Adams boated a ripping snapper that weighed 10.1kg and measured 95cm! Gary caught his fish in the outer harbour using pilchards for bait. Jonny Meehan took his

Matt was rewarded with this mulloway after cleaning up at the Barwon estuary.

Lyra, 8yo, had a ball testing out her new rod.

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daughter Lyra out on their first fishing expedition together recently. Leaving home just after 7am to test out their new rods, they headed for Bird Rock. After having no luck there they then headed over to Stingaree Bay where Lyra caught her first whiting of about 30cm. All up they caught three whiting and one toadie but they had a great time and Lyra can’t wait to head out again.   Ray Aquilina from Karumba Fishing Adventures has had reports of anglers catching pinkie snapper and


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gummy sharks from the shore at Hermsley after dark. Ray also notes that a couple of very large whaler sharks around the 150kg mark were caught off Clifton Springs around mid-January. Clifton Springs has also yielded good numbers of King George whiting. Ray says that bag limits are a possibility with South Australian pipis proving the best. PORTARLINGTON Ray Aquilina says there has been a few small salmon on offer from the pier at Portarlington. They make great

bait for squid and gummies but they must be of legal length. Ray notes that the snapper move in after dark and anglers have enjoyed fish to 3.5kg fishing from the pier here. Andrew Bowers has enjoyed good fishing out off Portarlington catching whiting around 35cm and plenty of flathead around the 40cm mark. Andrew caught the whiting on pipis and a few flathead on soft plastic lures. ST LEONARDS TO QUEENSCLIFF Ray Aquilina has had good reports of snapper to 7.5kg

taken out in the deep water off St Leonards. Ray also notes that after dark, there has been snapper caught from the pier at St Leonards, which is good news for land-based fishos. Ray has had some reports of quality calamari fishing the rock wall to the marine park boundary in the Lonsdale Bight. I fished here and did have a big calamari chase up the jig but the squid would not take it. I fished with a group of other boats around 50m from a bloke who was smashing the King George whiting while

Who says there are no big snapper in Geelong after October?

we all remained whiting-less! I could only manage a small salmon and a tommy rough, but did notice this guy boated one whiting that would have been well over 45cm. Anglers nearby were enjoying a hot session on the Australian salmon trolling not far from Bell Reef. Some of these fish were easily 3kg so I just had to have a crack at them! My first trolling run I boated a fish around 2.3kg and a few more either side of 1.5kg. These fish were a little hard to locate as they were not breaking the surface. Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says the whiting have been best at St Leonards but only an hour either side of the tide change with high tide best. Rod had a group of customer’s bag out on pinkie snapper at the Prince George Light around the high tide with fish up to 35cm. Rod says those chasing squid have found them tricky to tempt but Governor Reef has been fishing well. The squid are down deep so your jigs need to be presented down where they are which can be difficult. BARWON HEADS AND SURF COAST Ray Aquilina says there have been some big gummy sharks caught by anglers fishing around 1km east of the Rip. Mako sharks have been caught

by anglers fishing the 60m and 70m line from either side of the Rip to Torquay. The unluckiest fish of the month must be a 65cm mulloway caught by Ray’s son Matthew at the Barwon River mouth. Matt hooked a bunch of tangled line so thought he had better pull it all in to dispose of it. But when it started to pull back he started to take things serious then in came one unhappy mulloway! Ken Stevens from Barwon Heads Angling Club says the Barwon estuary has been fishing well for silver trevally,

King George whiting, small salmon and mullet with the odd mulloway after dark. Whiting, trevally and salmon have been biting best when the high tide brings clean saltwater up the estuary. Whiting are most common downstream of the Ozone Jetty while the trevally will go as far as the clean saltwater does upstream. The Surf Coast salmon have had a good summer with some quality fish being beached. Larger fish have come from the rock platforms while more fish are caught from the beaches on occasions.

Mick Redolphy can vouch for the salmon after he caught a whopper fishing from the rocks near Lorne. • Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to 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).

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Fishing pumping to the end PORT PHILLIP WEST

Brenton Hodges

Warm to hot conditions through the latter part of summer should keep the fishing pumping over the coming month with water

temperatures across the western shores at optimal levels for a range of species. Once again, King George whiting, flathead and squid are expected to feature prominently in the shallows, while there’s still some snapper available out wider, especially at first and last light.

POINT COOK TO POINT WILSON Jason Farrugia from Magnet Fishing Charters says it’s been a season to remember with all the summer favourites biting hard. King George whiting have moved into the shallow reef and weed areas from

After a 20 minute battle, Toby McClure eventually subdued this Maribyrnong River mulloway on just 4lb spin gear.


Altona through to Avalon. Depths ranging from 3-6m are your best bet with fish to 44cm available on mussel, pipi, squid and cuttlefish. Amongst the whiting, some terrific flathead to 55cm have been moving, as well as plenty of bait stealing juvenile pinkie snapper. Jason says better quality reds are available throughout Corio Bay outer harbour on minnow and worm pattern soft plastics. Southern calamari to 1.5kg continue to be had in bag limit numbers at Point Cook and along the Bellarine Peninsula. Jason also mentioned big shoals of Australian salmon to 1kg have been on the chew at Altona, Point Cook and Point Wilson, with small soft plastics and metal slugs getting the job done on most occasions. Joe Bonnici picked up some decent whiting and flathead amongst several undersize pinkie snapper and big banjo sharks at Werribee South. Out wider, Daniel Mizzi accounted for some quality snapper to 4kg+ while anchored in calm overcast conditions. Slimy mackerel proved to be the best bait shortly after the low tide change. METRO RIVERS Bream, pinkie snapper and school mulloway will be the key targets in the metropolitan rivers over the coming months with bait and lure anglers expected to share in the spoils. Likewise, Australian salmon should continue to provide entertainment in the lower reaches of the Yarra

After two consistent days on the water, Brad and Mike Hodges of Team Berkley took out Round 1 of the 2014 Vic Bream Classic Series held at Docklands in Melbourne. with diving minnows worked along the shady side of the yacht hulls enticing some to feed. Over at Port Melbourne, pitching lipless crankbaits or vibes in tight to the pier pylons has also brought about success on the bream. At this time last year, salmon and pinkie snapper were schooling amongst the timber, so be sure to keep this in mind if you’re in the area. MARIBYRNONG RIVER Mulloway have been responding well to lures amongst the bridge pylons in the Maribyrnong River. Toby McClure found himself connected to a solid specimen recently, which took almost 20 minutes to land on just 4lb spin gear. He also managed another during the recent Vic Bream Classic event. VIC BREAM CLASSIC – DOCKLANDS Round 1 of the 2014 Vic Bream Classic Series was held in Melbourne over the first weekend in February with 38 teams taking on the extreme heat. Commencing



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There’s still some snapper available out wide from Werribee South at first and last light. Slimy mackerel accounted for these corkers just after a change of tide. River and nearby inner reefs. Quality flathead are also expected to continue feeding across the shallow sand flats at the mouth of the Werribee River at least until Easter. YARRA RIVER Bream have been reasonably active amongst the Williamstown moorings

from the tournament starting point at Newport, anglers ventured far and wide in search of a winning bag with some making the trip all the way across Port Phillip to Queenscliff, Corio Bay, Little River and Werribee South. Others peppered away at the boat hulls and jetty

pylons at Williamstown, Port Melbourne and St Kilda while the remainder of the field took on the wily resident bream within the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers. After being well placed in second position overnight, Brad and Mike Hodges of Team Berkley snuck across the line with two consistent days on the water. Equipped with a 22ft Blue Wave sport fishing vessel on loan from Bill Classon, quick work was made of run around to Werribee South where the boys began making their way upriver. Casting Berkley 3B Puppy Dog bibbed minnows towards the shallow edges soon produced a 5 fish bag limit of 3.58kg on day one, which left them in second place after the weigh-in back at Docklands. Brad says a similar plan was employed the following day, although the super-hot calm conditions had the bream on high alert forcing them to scale back to just 4lb Nanofil mainline connected to a rod length of 3lb Sensei fluorocarbon leader. A high rod action kept the lure from diving too far into the shallow weed and mud, which combined with a rip and pause style retrieve accounted for another bag limit by mid-morning. Shortly before making the run back to Docklands, Mike landed an all-important upgrade, which proved to be the difference with just 90g separating them from overnight leaders Ben Scullin and Daniel Brady of Team Evolution Boats, who also claimed the Big Bream prize with a 1.14kg specimen. Cam Whittam and Warren Carter of Team Minn Cota finished in 3rd place for the second year running. 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.

Cyclic weather keeps turning up trumps

It sure seems like a long time ago that everyone was moaning about how cold it was on the bay, boy how things changed over the last two months of summer! Long, hot and windy periods with barely a drop of rain have certainly turned a few frowns upside down, and then back to the same all over again. These cyclic weather patterns are not all bad for us anglers, and have brought some welcome changes to the bay’s fishing, and the variety of species on offer. The mighty snapper still continue to consume a lot of angler’s efforts, in the hope that they land a big PPB red. At the moment, the bulk of the snapper fishing is for smaller schooling fish, especially from the deeper marks out from Mornington, Mount Martha and Safety Beach. Areas around the shipping channel have been popular, as well as the various deep mud and scallop beds south of Mount Martha. These schooling fish will respond well to berley, and tend to move around a bit, so be prepared to spend some time looking on your sounder, and also to move location to find an active school of fish. As with anytime you’re chasing snapper, the next big

one is only a cast away, so it doesn’t hurt at all to have a bigger bait or rig out at all times to tempt a larger fish. This offering will also be more likely to interest a gummy or other desirable species, especially the further south you go. Pre-tied snatcher style rigs have been very popular with many anglers of late, and also smaller fillet baits of tuna, salmon and slimy mackerel. Luckily both of the latter are readily available in the bay at the moment. Micro jigging is also still proving to be very popular, and effective for those anglers with the latest toys. Kept pretty quiet for a long time, the PPB whiting following has definitely increased this season, with

many local anglers choosing to target these tasty little scrappers on their home waters, at least some of the time. Our whiting are definitely a lot sketchier during the middle of the day, but respond well to a variety of techniques early and late in the day. Lately, I have received a few very encouraging reports of young lure anglers taking their fair share on plastics and small blades as well, which is awesome news. Typical and reliable locations for whiting are right along the eastern shoreline from Frankston to Dromana, especially open sandy areas close to major reef and weed structures. Fishies Beach, Woolleys Reef, Canadian

Patterson River estuary perch, like this one taken by Matt Petrie, were once a rare capture. They have now become increasingly common. under the lights of the Patto Bridge at night is a lot of fun in my opinion. Larger hardbodied lures and stick bait style plastics seem to be the most effective, especially after some substantial rain. Mulloway have also been fairly regularly taken over the course of this season,

particularly by anglers fishing near reef and structure like the Carrum artificials, Frankston and Hospital Reef. It’s been a hot and dry end to the summer, but with variety and quality fishing on offer all around the bay, I can’t wait for the cooler months, and new fishing trends to arrive.

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Some big squid have been landed, especially from the rocks on dusk.

Natalie Bills, 8 years old, who has proudly caught her first fish on her new purple fishing rod that Santa gave her. She was so excited, especially that she out-fished dad! The fish was caught not far from the Marlo jetty.

Bay, Sunnyside, The Royal and Bradford Road are all worth a look. The key to whiting success lies in the bait and, of late, fresh mussels and good quality pipis are the pick of the bunch. I have also recently seen a couple of ‘clued-in’ land-based anglers braining the whiting from the beach at Mornington on dusk using live Bass yabbies, so these are well worth a try if you can get hold of any, or if you own a bait pump! Be prepared to put up with a lot of undersized pinkies as well, and when I say undersized, I mean real key ring size. These little buggers can be a pest, especially if you’ve invested time and money to get fresh bait, but they are a real indication of the health of the bay, so take care to release these fish unharmed. They’ll be a lot more welcome in a few years to come! And while we’re talking up the health of the bay, how about all the kingfish reports recently! I have had several reports of kingies taken of various sizes and, most commonly, they seem to be encountered by anglers fishing in and around feeding schools of salmon. I have no doubt that some anglers are getting towelled up by larger salmon as well, but some of the monumental stories

seem to be pointing towards larger kingies. Most of the kingies that I have seen taken are smaller fish in the 2-4kg range and the salmon that they are feeding on most of the time are predominantly 1-3kg. Reliable locations to have a look at are Olivers Hill, Mornington Harbour, and south of Snapper Point. A good tip to get your bait or lure down to the kingies is to let it sink through the salmon school before you wind it in. Often this will draw a strike and will almost always catch the larger salmon as well. Metal slugs, large soft plastics, surface lures, and flies are all worth a go for the salmon. The kingies are suckers for large soft stick baits (5-9”), and if you really want to target them in isolation, all the bigger kings that I’ve seen taken in the bay have been taken on baits of squid or garfish. Following the trends of change in the bay has been the continuing presence of mulloway and also estuary perch, particularly at Patterson River. I’ve got it from a very reliable fisheries source that they have never stocked EP in this system, so why they have magically appeared is open for debate, but who’s complaining? Catching perch and jewies

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Better facilities and The Victorian Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative is helping Fisheries Victoria improve angling opportunities by: •

upgrading boat launching facilities

installing fish cleaning tables

building reefs in marine and estuarine waters

expanding access for boat and shore based anglers

improving fish passage in key rivers

stocking more fish to develop new fisheries

strengthening fisheries education and enforcement.

These improvements are all in addition to projects funded by your fishing licence fees.

The boat ramp at Lake Marma in Murtoa has been upgraded. The lake contains redfin and is stocked with rainbow trout and golden perch when the water level is high.

Parks Victoria has improved access to Venus Bay’s Beach No.5 by upgrading tracks, stairs and pathways. Changes to the car park layout should also reduce congestion, particularly during summer when visitor numbers peak.

Trout anglers now have easier access to the Rubicon and Goulburn rivers. The Goulburn Broken CMA has installed two metal stiles at each location to help anglers over bankside fences.

The boat ramp at Boat Bay, Peterborough, is amongst the steepest and most challenging in Victoria. Parks Victoria has improved the ramp by adding a sloping concrete apron that will assist anglers when launching and retrieving.

Anglers can look forward to better boat launching when Lake Natimuk’s water level recovers thanks to a new concrete ramp on the southern shore. The lake produced excellent fishing for rainbow trout in 2011 and 2012 after the drought broke and the water level was high.

better fishing

The South Gippsland Shire Council has replaced the boat ramp jetty at Port Welshpool. The new jetty is a little wider and features aluminium railings, ladders, solar lighting and a new concrete footpath where it meets land.

Anglers chasing golden perch and Murray cod in the Loddon River at Serpentine now have an easier job of launching thanks to an upgraded ramp.

The North Central CMA has used funds from the Recreational Fishing Initiative to upgrade the Spences Bridge boat ramp on Gunbower Creek, which is stocked annually with Murray cod.

Several boat ramps at Goughs Bay, Lake Eildon, have been consolidated into one location with two concrete lanes, better car parking on hard gravel and the ability to launch from full capacity down to 11 per cent.

The boat ramp at Koondrook on Gunbower Creek has been upgraded to improve access to this popular native fishery.

A new fish cleaning table at Eagle Point on the Mitchell River will help anglers fillet their catch before heading home.

Change of seasons bring new opportunities PORT PHILLIP EAST

Lee Rayner

It seems like only yesterday that we were all getting ready for Christmas and the hot weather, and now here we are looking down the barrel of autumn and a change in the fishing season. Nevertheless, I think it’s for the better with this month and April often producing some of the best fishing for the whole year. And best of all this generally coincides with some awesome weather, which often sees cooler mornings and perfect days. To this I say bring it on! MORDIALLOC TO BLACK ROCK The past few weeks have been a real mixed bag off the Mordialloc Pier with each day often producing something

different, with anything from garfish to salmon and pinkies and even a few good sessions on the squid thrown in. This month however we should really see a big influx in squid numbers moving in on the reef next to the pier. Add to this the odd small kingfish lurking around the nearby reefs, it’s well worth putting a live squid or garfish out under a float while you chase other species. In the boats there are plenty of options, with a few whiting reports still filtering through from the Parkdale Pinnacles, and up off the Horse Paddock Reef. The same areas are also holding good numbers of calamari with quite a few of them being of much better size. While the same story is happening off Beaumaris Pier with squid starting to show up in better numbers and the odd decent pinkie being caught of an evening.

In along the edge of the reef that runs from the scout hall, around Ricketts Point and towards Black Rock we have been getting some excellent reports of some better sized pinkies moving back onto the reef. Some anglers have also been getting good numbers and some thumping big snook on trolled deep diving lures, which is generally the case over the coming months as the water starts to cool off. During this month we should also start to see more consistent schools of salmon poking their heads up along the edge of the reef, and with them will still be a few kingfish, which were around in February for those anglers who were willing to target them. For a change of pace I have also found the next two months to always be good for the very tasty red mullet in these parts. I have had

Following the birds is a sure fire way to get onto an active school. success fishing smaller soft plastics close to the bottom in the reef areas, with the best plastics generally being the 100mm Squidgy Wrigglers or any of the 3” baitfish pattern plastics, such as the Gulp 3” Minnows, especially in the brighter colours. If bait is your thing then it’s very hard to go past a bit of cured sandworm, this stuff drives the red mullet bonkers.

Good weather and plenty of salmon on offer means it’s a great time to get the kids on the water. SANDRINGHAM TO ST KILDA As the water starts to cool off just a little, the land-based fishing in this part of the bay really begins to shine once again. An influx of pinkies move back in on the shallow reefs, along with the squid and a few leftover schools of whiting from the past few months, it can make for some really great fishing and some very nice mixed bags of fish. If I can offer one tip at this time of the year it’s to really make sure you have a few baits out as it can make all the difference, and that’s where a two dropper paternoster rig can be so handy. Bait one dropper with pipi or squid and the other with a bit of pilchard or bluebait; this way you can find yourself with a pinkie snapper one minute and a solid whiting the next. Try locations such as the Rock Groynes off Hampton but especially the Brighton breakwall as it just seems to produce some great fishing over the coming months. Further to the north the

water will still be a little warmer so it can and will still offer up some great flathead fishing if you can work the areas where the reef meets the sand with either baits or soft plastics. Trolling the reef edge between Brighton and North Road is also a top place to find some snook over the coming month. Over the past weeks I have also heard a few sneaky whiting reports from this part of the bay and fingers-crossed if we don’t get any dramatic rain to dirty the water we may see some good whiting action this month. Out wider it may take a bit of looking but there will still be some good schools of snapper along the edge of the shipping channel up around the Fawkner Beacon and a slight drop in temperature it’s all that it will take to get them feeding once again. ST KILDA TO PORT MELBOURNE If we continue to move into some nice settled weather over the coming weeks then

this area will have some good fishing on offer. March and April often produce some great salmon schools and plenty of garfish action for both boat and land-based anglers. The coming month will also see the bream activity start to fire up with the moored boats behind the breakwall and Station and Princess Piers offering up good fish for the lure fisher, or those who flick unweighted baits into the shadows. Fishing at night with larger baits out between Kerford Road and Station Piers can see you with a big late season snapper, but for the most part there will be decent numbers of 1-3kg reds on offer. It’s also the time of year anglers will start to see the odd ling turn up in their catches, and what these ugly fellas lack in the looks department they sure make up for in the tasty stakes. Either way, as I mentioned before the fishing over the coming months can be sensational, it just means you now need a jumper!


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A 68 year old Mt Waverley man will receive a fine of $433 for allegedly taking seven undersize snapper at Rye Pier. Fisheries Officers were notified by a nearby angler who rang the 13FISH (133474) illegal fishing reporting service. The fish all allegedly measured around 17cm, which is well below the Victorian minimum legal length for snapper of 28cm. Fisheries Officer Mark Gibson said anglers have been catching large

quantities of small snapper throughout Port Phillip Bay. While this is a good sign for the future, it is

vital these undersize fish are returned to the water immediately. – DEPI Fisheries

MARCH 2014


Royal reports in the bay excite ROSEBUD

Dan Lee

Autumn is a fantastic time of the year, as we start to experience some of those calm weather spells. I find it one of the most enjoyable periods to fish. This month the summer crowds are gone but the fish are still in good numbers and the last few years have even seen some of the best yellowtail kingfish caught in early March. KINGIES This is certainly a species that attracts a lot of attention at this time of the year. The great hunt for Victorian kingfish is on. The latest news is that we have had reports of rat kings on and off since January. However, there have been the first genuine reports of good fish taken over the last few weeks. Offshore, off Ocean Grove, some of the wrecks have yielded fish to small knife jigs. Finding a bunch of slimy mackerel has also proved productive for those wanting to troll live baits. Many of the kingfish die-hards are very secretive

but let me just say the time to go is now (hint hint, wink wink). GUMMY SHARK It’s been a good year on the gummies and the reports have really not stopped since spring. It seems that

anyone who takes the time to fish for them will see results as long as they stick to some basic rules. Fresh baits are best, but failing that, good quality frozen salmon and silver trevally will work fine. The

Ben Broomfield with a monster wobbygong shark he caught while fishing for gummies in the South Channel. It is a very unusual catch in the bay.

South Channel has fished well off Rosebud but bigger fish have been found down around the Symmonds and South Channel edges out from Chinamans Hat. If you are going to fish this end of the channel don’t go under-gunned with your sinkers – you may need as much as 14oz to hold the bottom (or more if you are fishing water deeper than 14m or 15m). KING GEORGE WHITING Over the last few weeks I would go as far as to say that some of the best local fishing for whiting has been off Rosebud with some of the reefy ground producing some fantastic bags. The good fishing has rolled on over in Western Port too, with plenty of anglers commenting on the ease with which they have nailed good bags off the Middle Spit, while fishing out of Stony Point or Hastings. SQUID We saw an unusually large run of big squid in the last few weeks. Most of the action centred around the tidal water around the heads. Point Nepean to Portsea fished well as

Nick Bailey with a lovely 10kg southern Port Phillip Bay gummy shark. did the stretch between Lonsdale Bight and up to the mouth of Swan Bay. For the most part the bigger fish were found in the deeper water, so fishing weighted or 30-40g jigs was what caught the calamari. LOOKING AHEAD Let’s hope for plenty of calm, clear weather which really leaves the door open for all manner of fishy activities. It can be a great

month for diving as well as chasing all of the local favoured species. For me it can be a great time to take advantage of the calm weather and get out in the rip and chase the huge schools of Australian salmon. • 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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Will on the Western Port whiting PHILLIP ISLAND

John Dalla-Rosa

While the snapper seem to have all but disappeared in Western Port, apart from a lot of small pinkies, the up side is the whiting are around in good numbers. So far it has been a much better year than last year, even though they are mostly school fish in the 30-34cm range, there are a

lot of them about. I took the grandkids out for a couple of hours on the water in the middle of the day and they still managed 25 fish. And I think if you were to fish early morning or late afternoon you would catch better quality specimens. SURF BEACHES All the local beaches are fishing well with salmon to 3kg being caught. I fished Kilcunda Beach just on dusk during the week but the wind


picked up and chopped up the water. I was just about to go home when I got a typical ‘whack, whack, whack’ of a shark. It took a 100m run on 5kg of drag, then turned and with a lot of head shaking took off in the other direction. As I watched the line on my overhead reel disappearing at a rate of knots, the line went slack and it was gone. On retrieving my gear, the 20kg mono leader was nicely cut where the hook


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should have been. I suspect it was a bronze whaler. SAN REMO AREA Below the Bridge Some good reports of makos and a couple of threshers have been coming in. The 40m line seems to be where most of the action is with makos between 40-130kg being caught. There are also some good schools of slimys and yakkas about. If you berley fairly heavily while drifting they will come up the trail and can easily be caught on the little multiple fly jigs. They make excellent shark bait. There are quite a few arrow squid about and you can use any old squid jig, as they’re not fussy. But you need to put it on a paternoster rig and weight it so it gets near the bottom. Above the Bridge There are quite a lot of whiting about and they are all over the bay at the moment. Places like Dickies Bay, Reef Island, Tortoise Head, Middle Spit and Tyabb Bank are all yielding good numbers of school fish. But if you are looking for bigger fish, try fishing the deeper channels on the slack tides.

A typical bag of Western Port whiting taken by the author’s grandkids. The bigger snapper seem to have all but disappeared and gummies are few and far between. Hopefully we should start seeing more entering the bay as the water warms up. FLINDERS SHOREHAM AREA I did a couple of trips to Shoreham and managed

5 whiting to 40cm on the first trip and zero on the second. I covered a lot of water from Flinders to Somers and could not find a fish. Talking to a few of the locals and they are all having the same problem. It’s probably the worst year that I can remember for this area.


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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:

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Surf’s up for salmon WESTERN PORT STH

Jarrod Day

How fast the year goes, it seems like only last week it was New Year’s Eve. But now it’s March, so it is time to dust off the surf gear ready for the annual salmon run. March is a great time of year to be out on the water. The weather conditions are quite good, allowing plenty of good fishing opportunities and, for land based anglers, the salmon will infiltrate the surf beaches nearing the end of the month. Although our beloved summer species are quietening down as the water temperature cools, whiting and gummy sharks are continuing on strong. OFFSHORE Bass Strait has certainly turned it on in a big way this year and there has certainly been a much better class of fish about. Last month saw quite a number of mako sharks being caught in the 50-100kg range with few fish over that. Considering we tend to get a lot of fish ranging 30-50kg, I don’t think I heard any complaints about the season. Of the notable fish caught, one fish was weighed in at 129.75kg, which was caught by Jessie Backman. Jesse raised the fish off Kilcunda on a slimey while a smaller fish, around the 30kg mark, was caught by Adrian the following day.

Bob Hee was out with his son Michael off Cape Woolamai. The boys were drifting in 55m of water when they hooked a nice mako. The fish took a tuna fillet bait and weighed in at 73kg. The highlight of course has been from the kingfish action, which took a little while to kick into gear. Staff member Jesse Caufield and his mates hit the jackpot with a

same amount that have been caught, have also been lost. INSIDE THE PORT Western Port has been very productive these past few weeks and, what’s more, the next few weeks are going to be absolutely sensational. When it comes to whiting, my favourite time of year is March purely because it is the perfect time of year to be working around the entrances

Zack Mcmahon with a magnificent mako taken a week after boating an 82.7kg model.

If you’re after kingfish, Seal Rocks is their local hangout. magnificent fish caught off Seal Rocks. After an epic battle, they weighed the fish that pulled the scales to 14kg. I heard quite a few other reports of kings but most were rats averaging 5kg. Wide spread along the coast, the most popular locations have been Kilcunda, Pyramid Rock, Seal Rock and Cape Schank. Live baiting is and has been the most effective method used to catch them but, when they are around in numbers, soft plastic fishing has also been productive. Anglers trolling 7” jerk shads in the washes have caught a number of fish, however the

where the larger whiting tend to school up. Sure they are there throughout the season but in March, you get the mix of the fish leaving the Port and the ones that have been there right through. This increases their numbers as they mingle together. And finding them, well that only takes a little berley. Cleeland Bight and Cat Bay are the two dominant locations with Flinders the third. Cleeland Bight is the easiest because of the launching facilities at the Newhaven Ramp. Working from the San Remo Bridge right along the

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coast to Red Rocks is where you’ll find the majority of the fish. In saying that, if conditions are calm, behind the Middle Sand near Griffith Point there are some very productive whiting holes that produce some thumping fish. On the Phillip Island side, between the No. 2 red marker and the No. 1 green marker the fishing can be extremely hot during the run-in tide. The wave action can really stand up here during a wind against tide scenario so keep your wits about you at all times and only head out when conditions are calm. Reef Island is another location that gets very little fishing pressure but is outstanding most of the year. Amongst the weed beds to the south of the rock and at the entrance to the mouth of the Bass River is a haven for rock flathead, calamari and whiting. Daniel Phillips fished the area recently to catch a mixed bag of all three species. Daniel fished the run-in tide using pipis for bait and used a white coloured jig for the calamari. Lang Lang is surely due

for a name change with the amount of kayak anglers that launch from its muddy shore, so let’s name it ‘Point Yak’ just for fun. The amount of anglers fishing out from here has been outstanding with most reporting excellent catches of gummy sharks. The high tide is preferred, as the fish will feed on the shallow flats. George Morris managed a nice gummy shark around 5kg and found prawns to be the top bait. This was the eighth gummy he has caught over the past few weeks when using them. What fishing report is complete without mentioning the Western Entrance? As all would know, the Western Entrance is the home of the gummy shark and if it is big ones you seek, then look no further than here. Nevertheless, fishing the Western Entrance is no easy task as swell and current can run up to 8 knots on occasion. Often, anglers wishing to fish here do not understand the strength of the tide and subsequently drift when attempting to anchor. To fish

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Brendan Wing, Dave Standing and the YouFish crew display the fruits of a hard day’s berleying – a quality mako that went 105kg.

this area, it is imperative you have the right anchor for the job, either a Sarca or plough with a boat length of 8mm chain. Some anglers attempt to anchor here using a sand anchor and only a few meters of chain if that. In this case, you won’t hold in the current and can drift into other boats or channel markers. If you are going to fish here, do it right and be safe. Of those that have been doing well, lots of big gummy sharks have been caught. Matt Cini from Reel Time Fishing Charters has been doing quite a number of trips to the area and has put his customers onto some magnificent fish. To date he has had gummy sharks to 18kg landed with plenty more under that. Shaun Furtiere from Think Big Charters has also been working the area and has put his clients onto gummies estimated at 15kg and he expects some even bigger models to move in over the next couple of months. Tackle World Cranbourne customers Methers and Robin fished a night in the Western Entrance and had a fantastic night catching a solid gummy shark of 17kg and a snapper that went 5.1kg. With the next full moon approaching, more quality gummy sharks like these will be targeted, caught and released. March’s full moon is on the 16th and with the first quarter beginning on the 8th, providing the weather is good, fishing during that period is when you can expect to catch a quality gummy.




MARCH 2014


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PO box 3172, Loganholme Qld 4129 VIC MARCH 2014


SUBSCRIBER PRIZE The subscriber prize winner for January was R Shelton of Romsey, who won a Contour Roam2 plus Outdoor Mounts. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – V&TFM


BITE ME by Trisha Mason

The Find the Black Magic C-Point Hook prize winners for January were G Tregear of Strathmore, P Lyneham of Fern Bay, I Wild of St Arnaud, K Morrison of Moama, J Parry of Stawell, R Ratuszny of Sunshine North, N Bryant of North Albury, C Owins of Invermay, R Moore of Greenvale, J Randall of Torquay, R Meaney of Tungamah, B Meaney of Tungamah, K Hartley of Coburg North, N Angee of Buninyong, E Dix of Hamilton, J Feldtmann of Emerald, P Gigliotti of Coburg North, P Cornish of Paynesville, P Musgrove of Casterton, D Baulch of Colac, R Bragg of Birchip, R Newton of Wangaratta, S Foreman of St Helena, B Whyte of Myers Flat, H Skeer of Millicent, B Howieson of Naracoorte, G Doidge of Tatura, T Hodgkinson of Kyabram, G Illman of Mount Gambier , B Martin of Stratford, H Stuchbree of Yapeen, W Johnson of Morwell, G Parfett of Horsham, A Labagnara of Beaumaris , S Davies of Craigieburn, B Shelton of Romsey, B Sharp of Wendouree, J Bird of Lance Creek, J Williams of Neerim South, F Healey of Traralgon, J Shelley of Glen Waverly, D Hill of Cranbourne North, M Fryer of Balwyn North, T Dron of Alfredton, R McMillan of Grovedale, A Gee of Goornong, R Trestrak of Port Germein, R Leathers of Romsey, B De Goldi of Eltham, K White of Bannockburn, who each won a packet of Black Magic C-Point Hooks valued at $5.95! Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – QFM


The answers to Find the Black Magic C-Point Hook for January were: 7, 16, 20, 24, 28, 33, 42, 47, 56, 59, 60, 71, 78, 80, 85 – V&TFM

FIND-A-WORD WINNER Congratulations to Amy Hill of Cranbourne North, 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 1


MARCH 2014


Whip up a whiting WST PORT NTH

Adam Ring

It’s been another seriously hot month and with it has been some seriously hot fishing! The whiting have been crazy, the gummies have been nuts and all the little bits and pieces that go with that have fired as well. THE TOP END We have witnessed some seriously good consistent fishing in the top end of late, and over the last month it has been no different. I will kick things off this month with a little bit of land-based action. Most of the top end piers have fished quite well, which is great news for the family. The Tooradin and Warneet piers have been the pick with plenty of family friendly fishing

on offer. There have been a lot of small salmon, silver trevally, flathead and the odd whiting around, and once up and running they are not the hardest fish in the world to catch. Plenty of berley is necessary and focus your attentions around the high tide change, as there is a lot more water around to get the fish coming to you. Small pieces of blue bait and pipi are the go-to baits. For the boat-based anglers it is all about whiting and gummies. The whiting are still very wide spread but there are a couple of key areas to target if you want to take home an exceptional bag for a feed. The Warneet Channel has been full of fish and even the kayak anglers are getting amongst the action. The whiting haven’t been too far away from the actual

pier and a few kayak anglers have been sitting up on the edges of the main channel and getting whiting to a healthy 38cm consistently on pipi and mussel. The other hot spot for the whiting has been up the Gently Annie Channel. Staff member of Tackle World Cranbourne, Nathan Peterson, put in a few good sessions up the channel and has been finding fish to a whopping 48cm. He has been catching the fish coming off the banks during the run-out tide and picking them off with a bit of pipi laced with squid hanging from one of the many ‘whiting snatchers’ on the market. If it’s a gummy that you are after then I would be making my way over to the waters around Joes Island. Our very own Aussie cricketers in Cam White and James Pattinson fished in one of their little honey holes recently and had a ridiculously good session on the gummies. They landed six gummies in one session

This is one of the many cracking gummies around at the moment. with the biggest tipping the scales at 10kg. THE NORTH ARM A little bit of everything is going on in the North Arm at the moment. The

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sharks to 5kg and an absolute truck load of whiting being caught off the banks. So if you are not quite sure what you want to target, I suggest you make your way over to the spit and start berleying! Before we talk gummies, I want to spend a little bit of time talking about bait. Kingfish are on the mind and so are big gummies and the amount of bait on the Port at the moment is out of control. The kingfish brigade will find a heap of yakkas and slimy mackerel for live baits and the grounds here are so rich at the moment that while catching fresh bait you can also collect a nice bag of whiting and pinkies at the same time! The gummy fishing is

another species that have exploded in recent times. Just out from Hastings and off the banks of the Middle Spit have been the most productive. Good mates, Ned and Zoran fished off Hastings and managed a couple of gummies ranging from 12-16kg. There have also been a couple of nice ones caught to 11kg by fishos chucking out a big bait while fishing for whiting in the deeper water. Fresh bait are best, making a couple of nice chunk baits out of the local yakkas has been a winner along with some nice fresh fillets of trevally. Good luck to all who venture out for a fish in the not too distant future and, like always, keep the reports coming! 07·5576 4365


A lot of quality King George whiting are still around.

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whiting are absolutely everywhere and a lot of the local charter boats are dominating the whiting in the area. Most of the charter boats have been up on the Tyabb Bank, the top end of the Middle Spit and also fishing the deeper water at the top of the run way and getting a solid bag. There have been some really big whiting to 48cm caught but the average size of the fish have been hovering between the 32-34cm mark. The Middle Spit has been one long fish beacon. It’s not just whiting that have been pulled in from off the spit, there have been yakkas, slimy mackerel, flathead to 50cm, gummy

As you can see there are some massive bags of whiting to be caught.

Reel love matters NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling

Over the next few issues, I plan to look at the basic care and maintenance of your fishing gear, starting this month with those most important, complex and costly items of tackle: your reels.

salt, sand and dirt into the internal workings of the reel. Instead, use a very fine, soft spray or a trickle of slowflowing water to rinse off the outside of your reels. Better still, fill a basin or bucket with warm, soapy water and use a soft cloth dipped in this water to gently wipe over your reels, paying particular attention to any nooks and crannies where nasties may gather. After

Store your reels in a cool, dry place, well away from direct sunlight. While you’re at it, make a note of the make, model and any serial numbers of all your reels and add these details to your household contents’ insurance policy, in case of theft or fire. Every year or two, or any time your reel begins to make funny grinding noises or seems stiff and lumpy to

This rod and reel outfit may be a little beyond the help of basic maintenance! Its only hope of continued life is a complete rebuild.

By its very nature, kayak fishing is also tough on reels, which spend a lot of time close to the water and are regularly doused with spray. With the possible exception of those tough, simple, Aussiemade Alvey sidecasts, most modern fishing reels generally require a bit more maintenance than rods. That’s because reels have a more complex assembly, with various moving parts, both internal and external. One of the best way to look after your fishing reels is to remove them from your rods whenever an outfit isn’t in use (including time spent travelling) and store them separately. I also recommend that you wash your reels after use (especially if fishing in saltwater) and lubricate them from time to time, as well as having all reels serviced professionally once every year or so by a qualified technician. Let me explain: After a fishing trip, you can wash your reels while they’re still attached to the rods, or (better still) remove them first. However, if you use a hose or tap to wash gear, be extra careful not to direct a high pressure jet of water onto the reel. This risks forcing water,

rinsing the reels in this way, wipe the remaining water off with a dry cloth and spin the handle a few times to throw off any excess droplets. Following every third or fourth outing, I recommend that you apply a drop or two of fine grade machine oil to all of the reel’s external moving parts, including the handle knobs, bail arm assembly, bail roller, any level-wind device and so on. Sewing machine oil is fine for this purpose, although specialist reel lubes are also available. An occasional light squirt of the reel’s exterior with an aerosol lubricant is also a good idea. However, try not to spray too much of this stuff onto the spool or the fishing line itself as the chemicals in some lubricants may degrade nylon fishing lines (and many people believe that the smell of chemicals on your line can put some fish off biting). For this reason, it’s usually best to spray the aerosol lubricant onto a cloth then wipe the reel with this cloth.

turn, take it to a reputable tackle shop and have it fully serviced by an expert. You can certainly do this job yourself at home if you have even a modest level of mechanical aptitude, but in this age of specialisation and

out-sourcing, why bother? Unless you’re the sort of person who changes the oil in your own car and can rebuild a cranky lawn mower, I recommend you avoid the headaches and pitfalls of reel servicing and pay an expert

to handle the job. The more expensive and complex the reel, the more the use of such an expert makes sense. Next month we’ll examine basic maintenance procedures for your rods and other items of tackle.


Catfish find new home in Crusoe Reservoir In a Victorian first, native freshwater catfish have been stocked into Crusoe Reservoir near Bendigo with funding allocated by the Victorian Coalition Government. Member for Northern Victoria Region Damian Drum said community group Native Fish Australia (NFA) Wimmera today had 500 catfish stocked into Crusoe Reservoir to improve recreational fishing opportunities and rebuild the catfish population. “This is the first time native catfish have been stocked into Victorian waters,” Mr Drum said. “The Victorian Coalition Government provided funding from the Recreational Fishing Grants Program to NFA Wimmera to stock these catfish, along with another 1,400 into Lake Moodemere near Rutherglen. “The grants program uses the proceeds from recreational

fishing licence fees to improve fishing opportunities across the state, so the Victorian Coalition is putting anglers’ fees directly back into the pastime they enjoy.” Mr Drum said today’s stocking was part of the first instalment of catfish fingerlings from the project. “This is credit to NFA Wimmera and local anglers who helped catch the broodfish and worked with Silver Native Fish Hatchery to breed and raise the larvae for release,” Mr Drum said. “Hopefully catfish can be added to Victoria’s great list of native fisheries in the near future, along with golden perch, Murray cod and Australian bass. “Catfish were once widespread across northern Victoria but a decline in distribution and abundance now limits them to only a few locations, so they are classified as a threatened species. “In Victoria catfish can

only be taken by anglers from the Wimmera catchment, with a daily bag limit of two catfish.” NFA Wimmera’s Bruce McInnes said the stockings into Crusoe Reservoir and Lake Moodemere were real progress towards developing new fisheries for catfish outside the Wimmera. “Our members are looking forward to monitoring catfish growth and assisting fisheries managers to determine when

angling for catfish might be permitted in these two lakes,” Mr McInnes said. As part of this project, the genetic structure of catfish populations was mapped, which will inform future management of key catfish populations. For a list of waters stocked with native fish by the Victorian Government last summer visit www.depi. – DEPI Fisheries

BIA Vic Award - Service Industry Award 2014

Beach fishing can be particularly hard on reels with its harsh combination of salt, sand and sun. Note the PVC tube rod holders being used in the background to keep outfits up out of the sand.

Presented during the Melbourne Summer Boat Show at the Docklands, during the BIA Annual Dinner, Nautek Marine received the Service Industry Award for 2014. Nautek opened its doors for business on 16 April 2005, initially as an electronics service business, then expanded to include Shipwright in 2007 and mechanical services in 2008.

Nautek moved from a Port Melbourne, Pier 35 location to Braeside in 2010, to be more centralised to the South East marine hub. Solely operated by Michael Fitzallen, ex Australian navy and an avionic engineer, he started Nautek after working through the Mediterranean Super Yacht industry. Nautek offers the convenience of the one stop service centre, with in house

tradesman for electrical, mechanical and fibreglass requirements. Nautek are electronic service and sales centres for Raymarine, Garmin and Furuno, Fusion, Lenco, Icom, Victron, Mastervolt Chargers and FLIR. Nautek service all brands of engines, with full in house diagnostic tooling, to ensure you get the most out of your engine. Their shipwright services include gel

coat and fibreglass repairs, vessel restoration, resprays, bow thrusters and custom modification. Nautek’s ongoing commitment to quality marine service and customer care is paramount. Nautek value their customers safety on the water, and promote their ethos of putting you, the boat owner, in touch with the technician. - Nautek Marine Services MARCH 2014


Great variety inside entrance INVERLOCH

Alan McFayden

The majority of holidaymakers have now returned back home and the locals are back on the water where the great fishing continues. A great variety of fish are being caught just inside the entrance at Anderson Inlet. Most land-based anglers had at least a few very good size mullet that were around the 35cm mark and were taking just about anything that they could get into their mouths. Mullet are a much underrated fish, as when properly prepared and cooked fresh they are well worth the effort. But like many fish, they

are of no value after being frozen. They are best filleted and that awful foul tasting black stomach must be completely removed and you will have a very worthwhile presentation that will please the majority of critics. They also make very good baits for sharks and most other smaller species. Stevies Gutter has also been firing very well. For those in the know, there have been quality perch and whiting along with the occasional flathead on both sides of the tide. Just outside the entrance to Stevies Gutter whiting are being bagged in reasonable numbers; there can be a fair wait between enquiries but they are there and to the 35cm mark. Bass yabbies



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seem to be the best of the baits. There are also plenty of those mini flathead that are at this stage of their life a nuisance and can best be best described as fish thieves, but they are a good sign for the future. The jetty at Inverloch has been renovated and just as the work had been completed there was a huge school of mullet that paid the area a visit. Of course the news quickly spread and there was standing room only with everyone taking home a very good bag of fish. They were being taken on both sides of the tide with the run-in flow being more productive. There was also a few good size salmon being bagged. Mahers Landing is always worth a visit, as landbased anglers and boaters have been doing very well. For the benefit of those not familiar with this area the ramp has a shallow grade and best used at mid to high water. Experienced boaters will launch to the right or Inverloch side, which will make the task that much easier. There is also not as much tidal flow in this area, which is an added bonus. There has been a mixture of fish being caught by those

without a boat to the right of the ramp where mullet, silvers and flathead are being caught. The fish are not huge but well above the limit. As the run-in tide reaches its peak the occasional good size gummy will make an appearance. The results are better still if this coincided with dusk into darkness where the fish will move in closer under the cover of darkness. Further up towards the double islands there has been very good results with silvers, flathead, mullet and a few quality pinkies being caught. For those who know where to look there are also quality perch being taken in the gutters. The Tarwin River is worth a visit for perch. The best results have been on the run-out tide. They have been to the 34cm mark along with mullet and reasonable size silvers. To a visitor this stream looks as if it is running upside down with all the muddy water but this is misleading, as the quality of fish it produces is surprising. Not far away is Shallow Inlet, which at this time of year is really firing. Andrew Starrett who runs the local caravan park with wife Karen

This whiting bag was caught by Peter Zuiland in his kayak in less than 2 hours. says that everything is all good with a great variety of fish. Caitlyn who is staying at the park is 11 years old and a keen fishing lady. She has been catching quite a few fish and is very happy with her returns but not so happy when she hooked into and landed a spikey gurnard, fortunately she dodged the spikes. There have also been very good numbers of pinkies to the 3kg mark as well as whiting and good size gummies. Andrew says that they are in pleasing numbers but really come on the bite when there is a full moon. No one seems to know why

this is the case but it doesn’t really matter as long as they do just that. As with most inlets there is a sand bar that opens into the sea and this one is no different. The bar is very dangerous and shortly before this report there was a tragedy when a boat overturned and a man was drowned. The bar is very shallow, which makes it so dangerous and great care must be taken. Inexperienced boaters should not risk doing this unless they have an experienced boater with them. The best bag of fish is not worth your’s or someone else’s safety.

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MARCH 2014


Fishing fires up everywhere WELSHPOOL

Alan McFayden

This popular spot is really firing with positive reports coming from everywhere. The water is clear and at summer temperatures the great fishing will no doubt continue. The local jetties have been well worth a visit and on my last visit to the area I came across quite a few trying their luck. I arrived as

the tide was about halfway up the cycle and most anglers were doing reasonably well on a fine sunny day with no wind, which has been unusual for this area in recent times. Henry Imon was making himself comfortable in a deck chair with a couple of long rods hoping for whatever might come along. As it turned out he had half a dozen fish, which was made up of mullet, and reasonable size silvers that had been taken on whitebait. The other anglers I visited also had enough fish to

make the effort worthwhile. I always call in at the boat storage, which is the best place to get the latest information as well as fresh bait. The word was that there have been very good numbers of whiting to the 36cm mark being caught in the Lewis Channel. Although the Long Jetty is still closed and will probably remain that way for good, boaters have been tying up to the structure and doing well in the Lewis Channel that flows on by. The fish have been taking a variety of baits including Bass yabbies, squid, and small pieces of pilchards. The royals might not be huge but being up the 37cm mark they are well worth going after. There is also a sprinkling of mullet, silvers and flathead, many of which are throwbacks but will grow to swim and fight another day.

Robbie caught this massive 10.1kg conga eel off the pier. According to local reports there are bigger specimens out there.

Dan Vardy caught 34kg bronze whaler.

The Franklin Channel is always worth a visit and so far there have been good numbers of snapper to the 8kg mark being caught on a variety of baits, with squid, fresh silver fillets and pilchards being hard to beat. There are also good numbers of gummy sharks and good size flathead being landed with the run-out tide being the best time to try your luck. On the other side of the inlet at Yanakie the reports are also positive with the water now at summer temperature. The Bennison Channel is the place to be, as very good whiting are being bagged to the 38cm mark. Bass yabbies have also been caught. The other nearby spot that has been really firing is Port Albert. Information from the local general store that is run by Rob Killury is that now is the time to wet a line. He has installed a gantry for the larger fish such as bronze whaler sharks and also has scales for the smaller species. He says that both have been getting a very good work out. The jetty has been super productive where there has been a very good variety of fish being taken mainly on the run-in tide. Whiting have also been caught, which is a bit unusual but no one is complaining. There have also been a few conga eels caught off the structure and one local youngster bagged one that weighed in at 10.1kg, but there have been even bigger ones taken. Barry Manson from Yarram likes to fish outside the entrance and had a very successful trip when he bagged a 13.2kg gummy shark as well as some very good size flathead. There have been other reports from this area

Darren Wheelo with a cracking 16kg gummy. and it seems that around the 20m mark has produced the best results. Jack Crapper had a very good day when he hooked into and landed a bronze whaler shark that dragged the gantry down to 91kg. He had bragging rights for the next week! Dan Vardy is another local who has been doing very well and among his success stories is one where he caught a very impressive 34kg bronze whaler. Another local Darren Wheelo bagged a 16kg gummy shark and can’t wait to get on the water to do it all again. Locals and visitors have also been catching plenty of mullet, silvers and good size flathead.

Phil Janson who runs the Seabank Caravan Park has also been doing very well whenever he can get out on the water. His lovely wife Elisa actually sends him out fishing with orders to bring back either gummy sharks or flathead as these are her favourites. Of course he always follows the good lady’s orders and took out his dad and son looking for the ordered fish. They were not disappointed and came back with a very impressive bag of whiting, flathead and a very good size gummy that were caught a short distance from his caravan park. Phil says that there are plenty of small gummies and flathead around, which is a great sign for the future.

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MARCH 2014


Whiting and pinkies go bezerk MCLOUGHLINS

Will Thompson

What a month of fishing we have had! Warm weather and warm water have brought the fish on the bite, and none more so than Victoria’s favourite fish, the King George whiting. PORT ALBERT INSIDE Port Albert has given us some of the best fishing I have seen in years. The whiting have been spectacular in size and in numbers. Pretty much most of the channels around Sunday Island have been producing good numbers of fish and the usual popular spots, such as The Pines, Old Port and One Tree have been as good a place as any to go. The whiting are averaging 36cm in length, but there are plenty at 40cm, and some nearly cracking the 45cm. I have even seen a few photos of some lucky anglers holding 50cm whiting, but only 1 or 2. If you head left towards Kearney’s entrance there have been good bags of whiting caught there as well. Manns Beach was producing great numbers until very recently when they seemed to disappear, which doesn’t surprise me when we have to compete with commercial netters netting this tiny little waterway.

Jason Taylor caught and released this 22kg gummy shark offshore. The flathead have been very good as well, certainly a lot better than they were in December and this year we have seen some thumping big flathead landed to 75cm, mainly in the Snake Channel. Bigger soft plastics, such as 4” minnows and shads are accounting for most of the bigger flathead, but good numbers are getting caught by bait fishers chasing whiting and gummies. A very nice surprise has been the amount of pinkies in the system. When chasing whiting you are likely to get half a dozen 30cm+ pinkies as well, making for great sport and a great feed. The pinkies at port Albert have been up to 40cm in length,

however there are plenty of 27cm undersized pestering the whiting anglers as well. Toward Kearney’s entrance and Manns Beach, there are bigger pinkies getting caught up to the 2kg mark. Lastly, the whiting are getting caught on pipis, fresh squid and Bass yabbies; it’s the same for the pinkies as well. Get over inside and chase some prawns. They have been very abundant and you can easily get a few kilos on a still night whether you are walking and dipping or in your boat anchored in the channel. Andrew Gill found out there are a heap of south Gippy

This little tasty treat put up a good fight on nibble tip rods and make a nice edition to the dinner table mixed with some whiting fillets.

Tubby caught this thumping big 43cm whiting at Port Albert using pipis. A bit of red beading or tubing definitely made the fish bite quicker. green clickers mixed in with the prawns as well. I’d love to have a heap of these for some nice live baits myself. MCLOUGHLINS OFFSHORE Monster gummies are all I’m hearing about. There are photos left right and centre of 6’ gummies. This truly is the best season ever for gummy sharks and they are so plentiful; it’s commonplace to get a 15kg+ or even 20kg+ gummy offshore. They are widespread from Manns Beach to just in front of Mcloughlins in 12m, 15m and 21m and they are spread all the way past the hedges as well. If you have some fresh salmon, trevally or slimy mackerel, of which there are plenty around to catch live,

you will probably catch a monster sized gummy shark. There are plenty of flock of birds working offshore now and anglers are catching rat kings and a few striped tuna recently as well. There are also some massive salmon offshore to 4kg so there is no problems getting fresh bait if you need it. In saying that, plenty of big gummy sharks are getting caught on pilchards and squid as well. For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544. You will get expert advice and great deals on fishing bait and tackle. Tune into Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner’s “Off the Hook” on 1242 to hear Will’s report on what’s going on in Gippsland!

There is a little bit of everything NINETY MILE BEACH

Will Thompson

With some cracking good weather and warm water, the fishing on the Ninety-Mile Beach has never been better for catching a wide range of species. FLATHEAD The flathead have been going great these past few months. Normally they slow down a bit as we enter autumn, however they have continued to remain consistent and abundant. As usual the big blue spot flathead are all up the western end of the beach from Seaspray and Woodside through to McLoughlins Beach. There have been some real beauties measuring over 65cm in length and averaging 45cm. White grubs, surf poppers, blue bait and whitebait have all been the best baits for the flatties. GUMMY SHARKS There are more gummies on our beaches 38

MARCH 2014

than I have ever seen and it is truly the best gummy shark season ever; I’m worried that next year can’t possibly top this! They are so prevalent that anglers have come to expect to catch at least 2 gummy

sharks on an evening. We have been very spoilt. The gummy sharks have been averaging 1m with a few fish over, however most are just under 1m. There are stacks of baby school sharks pestering

Emily Reid caught this ripper blue spot flathead at Seaspray. She even out fished her old man!

everyone as well but at least it’s a good sign for the future. A few lucky anglers, like Clint Jones, have landed some massive gummy sharks this month up to 6’, as well as a few nice snapper along with them. The best baits have been squid legs and heads by far, however there have been a few nice salmon around and anglers have been lucky to catch one or two of a night giving them the perfect gummy baits. I have heard of equally good reports all along the Ninety-Mile and the gummies have been biting pretty late, usually after 9pm. SCHOOLS OF SALMON The past few weeks have given us some really hot days, warming the water up considerably and bringing a lot of bait down our way. This has also brought in some very big salmon and I’ve seen some thumpers well over 3kg caught, especially around Seaspray. Some anglers have been catching them on blue bait and surf poppers but other anglers have been targeting these fish

Clint Jones had a ripper session off the surf landing a decent snapper and a few gummies in the evening using squid legs. and spinning for them with metal lures in the mornings. There have also been some very interesting anecdotal reports of anglers hooking up to very fast swimming fish on lures when flocks of birds have been diving in front of them. I wonder if any striped tuna or kingies are coming in close. It wouldn’t be too surprising considering

anglers have been catching them offshore. • For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get expert advice and great deals on fishing bait and tackle. Tune into Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner’s “Off the Hook” on 1242 to hear Will’s report on what’s going on in Gippsland!





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Prawns galore in March LAKES ENTRANCE

Lucas Smith

Prawning season is in full swing, and the many warm nights have allowed anglers to get out and bag some excellent specimens. Cunningham Arm and Bullock Island have been the key areas for prawns, especially around Eastern Beach Creek along the sand banks. Walking along with a light and dip net is great fun and there have been plenty of flounder around too. Keep an eye out for those nasty little cobblers, one spike and hours of pain may follow. Some good bags of whiting have been caught near the footbridge on mussel and shrimp. While they haven’t been as big as the specimens being caught in the main channel they have made up for it in numbers. Fish the edge of

the weed beds and drop-offs around both tide changes for best results. Some huge trevally and pan size pinky snapper have been taken too, and don’t be too surprised if you hook one of the many huge flathead that call these sand banks home! The jetties have been fishing well for bream and luderick, and again a few trevally thrown in for good measure. Soft plastic shrimp have been best, with the new Savage Prawns proving to be dynamite. Further up the channel has been fishing well for big whiting on live shrimp and squid strips. Kalimna Jetty and Barrier Landing are reliable areas, as are the beds around the red marker at Nyerimilang. The north arm has been quiet with a few bream right up the very top of the arm in the shallow timber. Hardbodied minnows and surface lures, like cicada patterns, work well at this

time of year, especially first and last light. Garfish have been taken on worm and bread under a pencil float. Offshore has been sensational with gummies and snapper featuring heavily in angler’s limits. Most have been heading west to the Pipeline, although some great shallow reef action has been found around The Bluff and Beacon Point. Whole pilchards, Californian squid and salmon strips are gun baits, while throwing soft plastics on light gear adds another exciting way if catching a feed of pinkies. Kingfish have been hooked and lost, so it pays to have a popper or stickbait rigged on a heavy spin rod ready to go. The surf beaches have been firing too with gummies, big salmon and good numbers of big bronze whalers for the LBG freaks. Again Californian squid is the best bait for

Alex Coutts with his thumping bronze whaler taken on a whole tuna. the gummies and salmon (rigged with a surf popper), while whole tuna and salmon are jellybeans for the bronze whalers. I just want to add about surf safety, after a recent tragedy at Lake Tyers Beach. If you don’t know how to read the beach for rips, currents and troughs don’t attempt to go in the water. Always swim between the flags and don’t

go in the water alone. Lake Tyers is again at its very best. Those who fish with lures have had best results throwing big jerk bait style hardbodies over the flats, along with surface lures, like those deadly Bent Minnows. Stickbait style plastics twitched along drop-offs and around the channel markers are producing good bream too. Bait fishers have scored

well using live prawn in the main bay and around the Glasshouse, casting the livies with no weight into the shallows. Prawns have been taken in Tyers but due to the entrance being closed this won’t last long. One angler even caught a 3’ gummy at the Glasshouse on a peeled prawn, so you just never know what’s going to show up next.

Let the action begin MARLO

Jim McClymont

The warm summer weather and perfect conditions make our area the fishing capital of Victoria. The warm currents have arrived down from the east coast and moved around the corner into Bass Strait, stretching from Lakes Entrance to Mallacoota and the border. Along with the warm current that has come all the way down the coast, are big schools of baitfish followed by plenty of predators to sharpen up our game fishing ability. The stage is set so when the weather falls into place let the action begin. We have two access

points to the ocean; one is accessed from Marlo boat ramp, which entails a bar crossing at the entrance, and the other is at Cape Conran, which is direct into the ocean making it safer and hassle free. Anglers have reported doing battle with some good size kingfish on Marlo Reef using live bait either under a balloon or free swimming. Other anglers have had good results using knife jigs, casting poppers and trolling diving lures. There have been good captures on the reef of pinkie snapper, morwong, snooks, barracouta and shark. So far the only reports of kings caught were at Marlo Reef but many had been sighted all the way down to Cape Conran and further. If they are there now, they will be on the chew

in March. And of course with all the action there are several mako sharks on the prowl and giving anglers a good workout. The local game fishing club is having a club kingfish comp this month and I will report on results in the next edition. Members of the Orbost Sports & Game Fishing Club Inc. are also planning a deep-water trip out to the shelf hoping to see or capture a marlin or some of the beaky species. Offshore from Cape Conran is fishing well, anglers have reported catching plenty of flathead, gurnard, barracouta, squid, pinkie snapper, leatherjacket, salmon, tailor and gummy shark, school shark and mako. The surf beaches are also firing with plenty of salmon, tailor, mullet and

Flathead like these are being regularly caught around Marlo. flathead on the chew during the day, and in the evening anglers have been getting good size gummy shark. For best results during the day, use blue bait, whitebait,

squid, and pilchards (always accompanied with a surf popper). The best results evening fishing for gummy sharks is with squid legs, eel, bonito and fresh fish fillets.


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Wild predictions sure to fire GIPPSLAND LAKES

Brett Geddes

It is not often I stick my neck out with wild predictions, especially about fishing, but I’m going out on a limb here by saying that the next few months will provide the best bream, mullet, perch, bass and flathead action we have seen for a long time. There, I’ve said it! I have probably put a curse on it all and floods will soon arrive, but so far all the signs are looking just perfect. CLEAN BILL FOR GIPPY LAKES Just a quick answer to a few emails I recently took about water quality. First of all there is no sign of any algal blooms this summer and weekly monitoring by the authorities show all common species of algae are at very low levels. Secondly, because of decreased flows in the Latrobe and Thomson rivers, the salty clean water has now pushed right up into Lake Wellington. This is when things really start to hot up when the brackish waters encourage big bream to the mouth of the Latrobe River and the shallow margins of Lake Wellington. HUNGRY BREAM AND FLATHEAD Hungry bream have come along with the clean warm water and I’ve been following them up into the

western part of the lakes over the last two months. At first I found them around the shallows of Raymond Island and Mason Bay then they moved up to Storm Point. Other hot spots have been Newlands and Duck Arm and the Mitchell flats. Right now the bigger bream are pushing up into Lake Wellington and also the upper reaches of the Nicholson and Tambo rivers.

Always nice to see big bream swim away. Take note of the clean waters in Lake Victoria. It is the shallow water lake fishing that has been very exciting for lure anglers and it will get even better. Josh Morgan from Stratford is the real star at the moment with 17 bream

U-Make-Em Fish Take Em

A decent bream caught on a hardbody vibe worked in the shallows of Bandin Bay. for dinner that night. They paddled away quietly with soft plastics out the back and eventually landed a good feed of fish with tailor to 32cm. The family persevered and battled wind and rain so it was a good effort indeed. METUNG Another worthy mention is the Metung area where big schools of pinkie snapper have invaded the region. If you work the deeper waters around the jetties with small blades or soft plastics then expect to catch one with nearly each cast. Great fun for kids and even keeps mum and dad occupied. A lot of yellowfin bream are also lurking in the same area but proving a little harder to trick. We have seen schools of them sitting under moored boats all around 28-30cm, but will not take a lure. I have found

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that getting on the water at first light is the key to getting bream in this area and it’s also the best time to work the shallows for big flathead. BASS I have to also pass on the news about the ever growing numbers of stocked bass being caught. Lake Glenmaggie seems to be the hotspot at the moment although Blue Rock Dam is still getting its fair share of attention. Even more exciting is that all the rivers that pour into and out of these impoundments are now producing big numbers of bass to 38cm, but most of them are around 25cm. These are exciting times as this bass fishing gains momentum because even new chums to the sport are getting up to 20-30 bass on their very first try.

The fish just keep getting better Robyn Sturgess

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MARCH 2014

skinny water. My next trip I searched the edges and deeper areas of Bull and Bandin bays. I got my first bream, which

went 44cm, on a sinking hardbody. I ended up with 29 bream and 7 flathead for the session and I got most of my fish using blades in the shallows with a quick ‘hop and rip’ retrieve. The best thing about this method is you can cover vast amounts of water quickly and, apart from an increased flathead by-catch, you also establish where the bream are hiding and at what depths. Speaking of the duskies, they have now started to really fire up and I’m finding most of them between 40-50cm. I have also found huge numbers of tiny flathead about 8-10cm, which seems to suggest a major spawning event last year. The waters right across the Gippy Lakes have cleaned up now and the carp have nearly all retreated into the upper rivers. These are the cues that make me realise the fishing is really going to hot up from now on. Bring it on! TAILOR IN THE MITCHELL This nice report was sent to me and demonstrates an effective, easy and enjoyable way to get on the water and fish. A family of four, Matt and Jayne in one double kayak with Gemma and Damian in another, decided to troll the lower Mitchell River between the Silt Jetties. They set themselves a target to get a few tailor


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one morning near Wattle Point. He was using a Z-Man Grub in motor oil and searched the vast sand flats in his kayak. His first five bream in order went 43, 40, 44, 45 and 43cm! Luring for bream does not get any better so I went for a look soon after and managed a modest 13 bream with my best six around 41cm, all caught on a Micro Max hardbody in very

The fishing just seems to get better and better in Bemm River. We are now in our eleventh year and it continues to produce and please. The entrance closed approximately six weeks ago so the water is at a good level to get to those difficult locations when the entrance is open. The continual hot weather is great for anglers targeting flathead, which have been taking lures and frozen prawn. The entrance of Mud Lake, Bobs Bay and The Mahogoneys have been popular locations for anglers with reports of quality bream being caught on frozen prawn, sandworm and soft plastics. The average size of the bream have been between 43-45cm, and the flathead are averaging around the 50cm. Anglers fishing from the jetties and fishing platforms

Tom has been fishing Bemm River for many years so knows all the tricks.

have also been pleased with catches of quality bream. Most visitors to the area will have noticed the new fishcleaning table in between the fishing platform and the boat ramp. This replaced the old one and is a great asset to the area. I have had reports of a few prawns sneaking about the edges of the lake. This is an enjoyable activity on these warm balmy evenings. The surf is still fishing well for salmon. Gummies are also being caught at first beach on a full and new moon. It is vital that you are aware of fish sizes and daily limits, in addition to your fishing licence being current. • Bemm River Holiday Accommodation & Boat Hire, clean quality accommodation overlooking Sydenham Inlet 41 Sydenham Parade, Bemm River Ph: (03) 5158 4233, 0427 584 233, bemmaccomm@ www.bemm

Lazy Acre Log Cabins WARRAGAL

Martin Auldist

When the demands of work and family reach their peak, time to spend purely on fishing can be hard to find. There simply aren’t enough days in the year to do everything. For me, the answer is to compromise: I take my family with me on most of my fishing holidays. I’m sure many other anglers are the same.

More on the actual cabins in a second, but first let me tell you about the owner, Helen MacCubbin. Helen grew up in Lakes Entrance and fishes the local lakes regularly: usually at least once a fortnight, but sometimes up to two or three times per week, often with her granddaughters. She is about to embark on her third fishing trip to Christmas Island, and has also been fishing everywhere from the Kimberley in Western Australia to Norfolk Island off the NSW coast. By now you

style – which if you ask me gives the perfect atmosphere to any fishing holiday. There is one three bedroom cabin, while the rest have either one or two bedrooms. One of the cabins has wheel chair access. Bedding arrangements vary, but all cabins have a double queen-sized bed in the main bedroom, and either bunks or single beds in the other room. The single beds can be zipped together to form a kingsized double bed. Doonas, pillows, towels and linen are all provided.

Above: Kitchens are fitted out with everything you’ll need for a perfect fishing holiday. Top Right: There are heaps of land-based fishing spots around Lakes Entrance, and many are within an easy walk of Lazy Acre Log Cabins. Right: More distraction for the non-fishing family: there is a swimming pool near reception. As much as I hate to admit it, though, at least one member of my family just isn’t that in to fishing (OK, OK, only one member). That’s fine, it just means we have to find a destination that suits everyone. A place where the fishing is great, that’s a given, but also somewhere with a few creature comforts where my betrothed can relax, perhaps with a bit of shopping thrown in, some restaurants, and with plenty to distract the three short people when we aren’t fishing. Not to mention somewhere with safe, all-weather boating suitable for children. Sound like a lot to ask? I’ve found just such a place: Lazy Acre Log Cabins in Lakes Entrance.

should be getting the idea that she is a very keen angler – and you’d be right! That means she is a wealth of local fishing information about what is being caught where, which should put you in front of the game right from the start. Not only that, she is also a very welcoming and lovely lady. She’s even happy to show guests how to fillet their catch! Helen and her late husband, Trevor, started up Lazy Acre Log Cabins around 29 years ago. They built the cabins two at a time over 10 years. Today there are 10 cabins, which includes nine self-contained units and a motel room. All are built in the same rustic log cabin

Lakes Entrance is a great place to be based when exploring the vast, fish-rich Gippsland Lakes system.

The self-contained cabins are immaculate on the inside and equipped with everything you’ll need for a family fishing holiday. This includes a shower and toilet area, plus a laundry and washing machine. In the kitchens there are fridge-freezers (ideal for freezing your catch), microwaves, stove, kettle, and all the usual cutlery, crockery and saucepans. There will a complimentary tea and coffee pack waiting for you, so that you can start relaxing pronto! Meanwhile the carpeted lounge rooms are complete with comfortable easy chairs, air-conditioning, heating and a television. Incidentally, because of the smell, Helen has a strict rule that there is no cooking of crabs in the huts, so if crabs are your thing then you’ll need to process them elsewhere. The motel room has many of the same features as the other cabins but it is not selfcontained and is therefore perfect for the single traveller or couple that doesn’t want to cook. There is, by the way, a three-bedroom house across the road, also managed by Helen, that is available for hire by larger groups. All the huts have plenty

One of the ten log cabins has wheelchair access. All have ample parking for vehicles, while some have room for boats. Accommodation comes in the form of rustic log cabins that are immaculately detailed on the inside. Each is named after one of the local rivers or lakes. of parking space and five have ideal areas for boat parking. If you have a boat, please let Helen know ahead of time to secure your spot. There is a rear entry to the property, which is ideal for boaties as it means much less reversing. Helen is also happy if you want to wash your boat on the grass. In the communal area outside the huts you will find a solar-heated swimming pool, playground and gazebo with tables and chairs. There are also portable barbeques that you can wheel to your door to cook your catch. Near the pool there is a spa and clothes drier – these are the only things that incur a small minimal fee, should you wish to use them. Lakes Entrance boasts two excellent boat ramps, the nearest being less than 2km from Lazy Acre Log Cabins. These ramps give you all-yearround access to the massive Gippsland Lakes system and untold opportunity to target all the common estuary species like flathead, black bream, silver trevally, whiting, gurnard and luderick. There are excellent fish cleaning facilities at both ramps. Meanwhile surf anglers could head for nearby

There are two excellent boat ramps in Lakes Entrance, the closest one being less than 2km from your cabin. Eastern Beach. If you’re into prawning, these tasty crustaceans can be dipped between January and April in the lake just two blocks away – but, again, please don’t cook them in the huts. So, anyway, back to the non-fishing family, Lazy Acre Log Cabins is located less than a block from the edge of town. That means that you can nick off in your car with the boat, leaving your non-fishing friends and family with less than a five minute walk to town. Lakes Entrance is a bustling little waterside holiday resort with any number of cafes, restaurants, attractions (my kids loved

the mini golf) and, of course, shops (apparently including some very nice dress shops, though I admit to not checking these out personally). Not only that, five minutes’ walk will also put you at the start of the foot bridge that takes you across to the main surf beach, which is patrolled in summer. How much would you expect to pay for such an all-inclusive, stress-free, something-for-everyone holiday in the centre of a fishing Mecca like Lakes Entrance? Well, you’d better ask Helen for all the details, but put it this way: in winter, it will cost you as little as $115 per couple for one night, less if you stay longer stay, and with senior discounts available. That’s great value as far as I’m concerned. Even though rates do increase during peak holiday time, you’ll do well to consider Lazy Acre Log Cabins for your next family fishing holiday. My family had a great time there – yours will too. For further information go to, or contact Helen on 5155 1323.

Top: In the communal area you will find a gazebo with tables and chairs, and a barbeque that can be wheeled to your room. Middle Left: Many of the rooms offer bunks or single beds in the second room. Middle Right: There is a playground to distract the kids when they’re not fishing. MARCH 2014


Getting the timing right EDEN

Kevin Gleed

The busy time of year has been and gone with plenty of tourists here for the Christmas break. Plenty of the visitors are here to go fishing but those heading offshore have really had to pick the right days. The ocean waves haven’t been an issue, the problem has been the wind which has been blowing relentlessly. An early start is needed if you want to catch a few fish. Kingfish have been caught of late, with the best fishing coming anywhere from South Head down to Green Cape. The fish have been on the move so you’ll need to rely on your sounder to get amongst them. These fish have been caught using all methods – trolling,

jigging and live baiting – with catches of big specimens over the 1m mark. Flathead fishing has been good with some great fishing had down at Disaster Bay. It’s a long way from Eden but that’s the reason the fishing is so good. On the reef fishing front, anglers are catching snapper, morwong and leatherjackets, with an early start needed for the best fishing. Fishing for gamefish out around the shelf has seen striped marlin and yellowfin tuna caught when the weather has allowed the boats to get out there and have a go. Salmon are plentiful on all the local beaches, with big patches of fish visible from the shore at times. Bream and whiting are also being caught from the gutters along the beach, with the rising

tide near dawn and dusk the best time to wet a line. The local estuaries have been fishing well with plenty of flathead caught, and soft plastics have been working well. Keep trying different coloured lures until you find what they want to eat. After that they can be easy to catch. Sand whiting are also on the bite with the best fishing coming from the front sections of the estuaries. Live bait and fresh bait are the go. Yellowfin bream and black bream are being caught from all the local estuaries with the best fishing being near the mouths of the rivers for the yellowfin bream. With the rivers and creeks still flowing the bass fishing has been great. Some big fish have been caught in recent weeks, and it’s great to see these fish let go by those successful anglers.

Bass have been on the go with the evenings the best time for a big fish.

Up and at it early for anglers fishing the lakes MALLACOOTA

Kevin Gleed

Another holiday season has been and gone, and this year the town didn’t feel as busy as it has in years past. Weather-wise, the wind

has been really blowing by midday, so if you want to go fishing you should to be up and at it early. That way you will be off the water before you get blown off

it, and you’ll also avoid the heat of the day (it’s no fun being on the water when it’s 40ºC). Those anglers heading offshore have had some

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great fun recently on the kingfish. Specimens between 80cm and 1m have featured in catches, but these fish were obviously just passing by as the

kingfish action has been nothing over the past few weeks. They will show up again as they pass by on their return trip north. Continued page 45

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Some great gummy sharks are being caught, with most boats returning home with a feed of fish. The best area has been out around Gabo Island. Sand flathead and tiger flathead have been biting well, with some great catches of good size fish being reported.

Once again the holiday period saw a couple of boats come unstuck on the bar, but luckily no one was hurt. The end of the month will see the work on the boat ramp recommence so it won’t be long before ocean access will get a lot easier. Fishing the local beaches has been popular,

with anglers wetting a line getting amongst some good sized salmon. These fish have been caught on both bait and lures, and the coming months will see more variety with sand whiting and bream turning up in the warmer water. The fishing in the estuary has been good lately. Some weeks back

Ellie with a bream caught on a lure. Mallacoota has no shortage of fish like this.

there was some great fishing for dusky flathead, with numbers of good fish being caught. They are still there but you need to work

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MARCH 2014


Lake Tyers top notch COBDEN

Rod Shepherd

I’ve been extremely privileged to have fished many places around our great continent and by no means have I exhausted all possibilities but I have yet to encounter an estuarine system that goes close to imitating Lake Tyers. Is it a genuine lake or just two massive rivers that start separately, conjoin along the way and then end abruptly at the mouth? Due to its size, Tyers probably lends itself more to a lake due to the sheer amount of open water

bream (mostly black with some yellowfin), luderick, tailor, Australian salmon, yellow eye and poddy mullet, garfish, estuary perch, bass and flathead (mainly duskies). The only commercial fishing allowed in Tyers is the collection of invertebrates, such as sandworm for bait, plus some eel netting. However, the bait gathering has been put temporarily on hold due to two experimental releases of prawn larvae into the system. Lake Tyers is one estuary that seldom opens to the sea. Unless continuous and heavy rain falls in the catchment,

this system can and has been known to stay closed to the sea for some years. Prawns naturally run in this system (as they do in most other East Gippsland estuaries) but not when it has been closed for extended periods of time. So this is a little experiment carried out by Fisheries to see if adding prawn larvae to the system will benefit angling options in the warmer months by providing people with an opportunity to gather prawns on a potentially annual basis for bait or the table. Not to mention providing many fish species with a more regular food source. Scott France with an average Tyers bream taken on local prawn.

Spot the schooling bream around this snag! available for angling, but, oh what a lake! Covering 1,600ha and surrounded mostly by bushland, you can feel that they are fishing a very isolated area indeed. Two main arms make up most of Lake Tyers, Toorloo and the longer Nowa Nowa begin their respective estuarine journeys from the bridges that connect the Princes Highway some kilometres inland from the sea. For those not in the know, Lake Tyers can be found just a few minutes’ drive east from Lakes Entrance along highway one in far East Gippsland. The main species on offer to the angler are





R E V A L LY . S N A P P E R . E S G.T TU IN A












when the mouth is or has been recently open to the sea. Estuary perch are about in solid numbers but the majority of captures seem to occur in the longer Nowa Nowa arm. The reason could well be because of the greater amount of snags and fallen bank side timber available providing cover for the perch. FISHING By far the most exciting aspect of fishing Lake Tyers is the prospect of hooking up to, playing and successfully landing a sizeable poddy mullet on bream gear. These mostly vegetarian fish can achieve weights in excess of 8kg. My first forays on Tyers involved casting a variety of plastics and blades in the upper reaches of the Toorloo Arm in spring. Besides catching dusky flathead and bream, I would occasionally hook up to something unstoppable, which would inevitably involve a break off, no matter how careful I was. For the life of me I couldn’t work out exactly what species this was. The fish would inevitably jump but always at a distance so visual identification was left to guesswork. Were they massive tailor, or trout? I had no idea at the time. It took two trips to the upper Toorloo Arm with slightly heavier gear (3-5kg rod, 4kg

braid with a 5kg fluorocarbon leader) to actually manage to land one. The reason for the heavier gear is that the upper sections of both arms narrow off and become quite snag ridden. Poddy mullet won’t deliberately run towards a snag but it’s inevitable that one will get in the way during a prolonged fight. Funny, that afterwards (not before) I began to notice (with the help of polarized glasses) large schools of poddy mullet slowly cruising around the upper reaches of the Toorloo Arm. Stoney Creek is the main feeder for the Toorloo Arm and begins (or ends) at the Princes Highway Bridge. The creek is surrounded by thick bush and the only way to fish this creek is on foot, but plenty of riffles and pools can be located in the lower reaches. I mention this here because the creek is home to a population of Australian bass and is considered only lightly fished by a few local avid bass anglers. It is definitely worth the effort to walk in from the highway bridge and flick a few lures about. The feeder creek for the Nowa Nowa arm is Boggy Creek, which is smaller and basically inaccessible on foot and not considered a viable proposition for bass if they are here at all.

Sometimes dusky flathead can be spotted cruising the shallows.



FISH SPECIES Bream can be found all over the system and can be caught year round. In spring black bream will tend to move well up into the arms in search of the right salinity in which to spawn. What few yellowfin that are in the system will remain down in the lower reaches and, if and when the mouth is open, will come and go as they please. Dusky flathead are best targeted in the warmer months and in the bottom half of the estuary. They can still be caught in the cooler months but at this time they tend to migrate right up both the arms to the extreme limit of brackish water. Any flathead caught at this time further downstream

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towards the mouth will tend to be southern blue spots. As both species have different size and bag limits applied to them it would pay to be able to visually identify and separate both species (see Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide - marine and estuarine scale fish section). If in doubt, call it for a dusky. Luderick and whiting are widespread throughout the lake but are best targeted in the lower reaches, especially

The culprit that has been breaking me off all along – a poddy mullet! And they get much bigger than this.

Other by-catch species can come in the form of snapper (mostly juvenile) and occasionally mulloway. This occurs mainly when the mouth is open for extended periods. ACCESSIBILITY There many access points available to the mobile angler without a boat. In saying that the Toorloo Arm is much more favoured for bank fishing than the Nowa Nowa Arm. Just a few kilometres east of the Lake Tyers turnoff on highway one there is a dirt road labelled Burnt Bridge Road. I’ve found this road suitable for 2WD vehicles, except after heavy rain. From here, several sites suitable for bank fishing and picnics can be accessed. These localities are Burnt Bridge, Cherry Tree Track and Long Point.

Upper reaches of the Toorloo Arm. Snag ridden and very fishy looking. Several kilometres further on will take the driver to Burnt Bridge Road north. From here, Crystal, Pile and Lonely Bays can be accessed. So too can Blackfellows Arm.

Burnt Bridge Road. Great access for the bank angler.

Access to areas along the Nowa Nowa Arm not only requires a much longer drive along dirt tracks but most end up at private property with no river access. In saying that, I have not explored all tracks but that’s the general gist of it. There are five boat ramps in which to launch and explore the lake: There are two in town but the best by far is the main one that faces Mud Island. The other is closer to the beach and is rarely used and hasn’t been. This town ramp is used mainly to access the lower reaches including the Nowa Nowa Arm. A further two are located prior to entering the township. By turning left

Mill Point boat ramp and bank access. down Mill Point Road gives the boater more access to the Toorloo Arm. The first being Fisherman’s Landing and further along is Mill Point. This road is fully sealed. The final ramp is accessed from the Princes Highway at the township of Nowa Nowa

and is situated right at the top of the arm. Accommodation is plentiful in both Lake Tyers as well as nearby Lakes Entrance. In fact, simply far too numerous to mention here. From camping grounds to holiday lets and right up

to five star accommodations are all locally on offer. By using a computer’s search engine a myriad of options will be available to those contemplating an extended fishing trip to Lake Tyers whatever your budget may be.

MARINE WATERS Even though Lake Tyers spends most of its time closed off to the sea, Fisheries Victoria has designated most of the fishable water available as marine waters. The boundaries for the Toorloo arm are the downstream side of the Princes Highway Bridge. For the Nowa Nowa arm the boundary is an imaginary line running from Boggy to Ironstone Creek, which is right up near the top of the arm (see Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide). An excellent mud map of the lake is available from the Lake Tyers Beach general store for $2 or a waterproof version (which I recommend) for $4. This map lists all ramps, roads and fishing hot spots. Unlike the Gippsland Lakes, which are still subject to heavy estuarine commercial fishing, Lake Tyers is pristine in comparison and mostly surrounded by virgin bushland giving the impression of being a million miles from civilisation.





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MARCH 2014


11/12/13 11:15 AM

The best fishing of the south BERMAGUI

Darren Redman

The beginning of autumn is undoubtedly the best month of the year to fish the south coast, especially at Bermagui. Estuaries are firing, bass are on the chew in Brogo, Reefs are good, so are the beaches and rocks plus the game scene is fantastic. The marlin fishing is what Bermagui is famous for, and now is prime time. Calm autumn weather, good water temps and plenty of baitfish have the billfish feeding in earnest, putting on body fat for the cooler months ahead. Schools of mackerel and cowanyoung are concentrated on the Twelve Mile Reef, attracting the predators in the form of both fish and anglers. This reef system is only 8 or

so miles slightly southeast of Bermagui, making it a safe close option in which to hunt for marlin. All three species congregate here in the form of striped, black and blue, plus the lesser encountered spearfish and mahi mahi, the occasional yellowfin tuna and a host of shark species only too willing to feast on the smorgasbord on offer. Most techniques will work on marlin at this time of year so it pays to be versatile. Live baits may work one day whereas lures will produce better the next. My favourite method is switch baiting because it adds more excitement to the hunt. For those not wrapped up in chasing gamefish there are other fun options available. Kingfish are providing plenty of activity around Montague Island with some lovely bonito mixed in with them. Like the marlin, you may have

Wallaga Lake is holding some stud bream.

This 46cm King George whiting was a rare catch from the Bermagui River. to try a few methods to find the flavour of the day. These include jigging, using live bait or strips of squid or mackerel. If catching fish for the table is your thing, the reef action is excellent. Most of the popular Four, Six and Twelve Mile Reef systems are producing a host of species, with the more favoured snapper, tiger flathead, trumpeter and morwong all being encountered. The pick of the areas is down south out from Goalen Head where you can fish from as little as a few metres right down to 30 fathoms plus, which start less than a mile out to sea. The Goalen Head area offers anglers the chance to experiment with different methods from anchoring and berleying to attract fish to you (this produces very large

snapper in this area) through to jigging plastics in varying water depths. Jigging plastics is good fun and is gaining in popularity. Along our coast there are many suitable rock platforms accessible for those who wish to chase the many smaller (and not so small) pelagics that visit our coastline. Small tuna may be encountered in the form of frigates, bonito and mac tuna, with the occasional larger yellowfin. High-speed lures from the stones is becoming more popular, putting you in with a chance at all those species plus your more common salmon, tailor and kingfish. Live baiting will also produce, usually on a larger scale, with marlin, sharks and tuna all being possible. While you’re waiting for the big bite, try some bait fishing down deeper. A host of hard-pulling

All season there have been good dusky flathead around Bermagui like this 65cm fish. rock dwellers will be only too willing to eat your bait. So you like prawning! Well, Wallaga Lake just north of Bermagui has good stock of very large prawns at the moment. With the first week in March being the lead up to the dark, things could not be better. As a result of the prawns in the estuaries, fish are all fired up as they look to condition for the cooler months ahead. Most of our systems are producing some excellent bream and flathead with most forms of

angling working well. Not to be outdone, most other species are also on the chew with some very nice whiting, plenty of blackfish for the traditionalist plus many more. Now to the sweetwater of Brogo Dam. Black crickets are the flavour providing very exciting surface activity. Whether you use them for bait or prefer artificial flies and lures, now is a great time to use them. The best action comes early in the morning or (even better) late in the evening when the barometer is up

Pambula out punches the rest MERIMBULA

Stuart Hindson

The local estuaries around Merimbula are firing on all cylinders with Pambula Lake just to the south being a standout. This skinny bit of water is only a puddle but, gee, it fishes well. All species are having a chew with flathead, whiting, blackfish, bream, and tailor in great numbers. The flattie fishing is the best I’ve seen for years, it’s not uncommon to get your bag in a few hours, although thankfully most anglers are only taking a feed and letting the rest go. There’s some solid fish to 70cm amongst them, but most are averaging 45cm, which are still good fish and great for the plate. When guiding there recently we’ve been averaging 30 odd legal flatties, which is nice fishing in anyone’s book. A smaller soft plastic is certainly the key to better results, bigger plastics will only catch you a handful of fish. Concentrate along the ribbon weed edges in 3-4m for best results. 48

MARCH 2014

Those who like throwing surface lures will have plenty of fun too. The many sand flats that Pambula possesses are loaded with flathead at present; also the windier the better in the shallows. Once you locate them you’re in for some serious fun. The only time they have been hard to entice is when it’s calm so wait for the afternoon sea breezes. For bait anglers, live nippers fished around Shark Hole will see plenty of bream and whiting. Anchoring up and using a little berley should see some solid results. Offshore the blue water scene is awesome to say the least. With the very warm water, marlin numbers are on the increase with some crews getting 5-6 shots a day. Most fish have come from the 40-fathom line and further east giving the smaller boats a real possibility of cracking a beakie. Trolling has been the most productive with a spread of skirted pushers the go, although switch baiting live mackerel has also been very effective. This method needs an organized crew for it to work but once you have it down pat watch your catch rates soar.

Most of the marlin captured are stripes around 70kg with the odd better black over 100kg. I expect this marlin action to continue for quite a few weeks yet as the water north of us is exceptional. Later this month we should see a few decent yellowfin tuna to 50kg succumbing to trolled pushers. Every March is the same, we get a smattering of tuna

so let’s hope this season is the same. Closer to shore the kingfish have been non-existent. There’s been the odd rat caught but nothing to talk about. I don’t know why they’re not here but let’s hope it changes real soon. The bottom fishing is still good for snapper, morwong and the flattie species. Off the rocks the spin die-hards are doing pretty

Curtis Armour with his best flattie to date – an 82cm specimen. This fish was released after the photo.

Andy Kolber with the type of whiting Pambula Lake is producing at the minute. They can be caught on blades, plastics and surface presentations.

good on bonito and striped tuna. They are responding well to chromed slices around 30g wound flat chat. These pelagic species like speed, so the faster you can wind generally the better. I haven’t heard of any kingfish of late but this month usually sees a few hoodlums turn up, particularly at Tura Head. If one of these is for you then live bait would be the best way to tempt one. Off the beaches it’s very slow on the pelagic front with salmon and tailor very hard to find. It may be due to the warm water

in close but nearly every beach angler I have talked to is complaining about no fish. This will change in the long term but if I was fishing the beach I’d be getting some live beach worms and fresh pipi and start donging the bream and whiting that have been around for months. It’s the best whiting run seen for a long time so grab the light gear and give it a go you won’t be disappointed. Better beaches to try include North Tura (northern end), Tura main and Haycock.

NSW South Coast

Tide changes are the key Stuart Hindson

The Narooma region has returned to some sort of normality after the school holidays. With the decrease in boat traffic the estuaries have really fired up with Wagonga Inlet and Tuross fishing excellently of late. Both systems are producing bream, mulloway, whiting and blackfish. With the water temperature around the 25°C mark, all species are having a chew, although tide times have played a significant part in getting consistent results. We’ve experienced some very big tides of late, especially around the new moon period, so fishing the tide changes has been the key. Tuross has seen a significant increase in mulloway numbers, which is awesome news. The majority of fish are only soapies between 60-75cm but, caught on the right tackle, they’re still a whole lot of fun. Remember that mulloway sizes have increased to 70cm minimum, I’ve talked to a few anglers that have caught the smaller fish and have

not realised the size increase. These fish have fallen victim to soft plastics and bait, and it’s possible to get multiple fish during a session. We managed 3 fish and lost another 2 one morning, so there’s good numbers available. Those after a feed of flatties are finding it a bit tough; you have to work through the smaller fish, you get 5 small fish to 1 legal, which can become frustrating. You will get a feed but you will work for it. If you’re after some sport the Tuross River is good for estuary perch and a few bream. There’s some cracking perch around 45cm to be caught, it’s just finding the right snag to fish. Smaller deeper running hardbodies and plastics fished hard against the structure is the go. In Wagonga the main basin is firing for flatties with some over 85cm being captured recently. I’ve heard of at least 8 fish over this size, which looks good for the upcoming flattie competition at the end of February, hopefully those anglers fishing the competition can get amongst them. Up stream around the racks, bream have responded

well to surface lures, with smaller poppers around 40mm being ideal. You can expect a few whiting with the chance at a decent frog too. Offshore sport fishers are having a field day with marlin the main species. Black, striped and blue have been caught with striped marlin the most predominant species a present. Trolling skirted pushers anywhere from the 70 fathom line to the second drop has been the place to fish. Marlin upwards of 120kg are possible, although most are averaging 80kg which are still solid fish for this neck of the woods. Some crews have had multiple strikes per day, local game skipper Pete Davies had 5 shots at marlin in a day, which is excellent fishing. With the water around 24°C expect this marlin action to remain consistent for a few weeks yet. They are getting plenty of fish north of us so all looks good. There’s also been sporadic catches of yellowfin tuna to 30kg plus a few albacore. At Montague Island the kingfish have finally woken up with some solid models being captured. Young Nick

from PlayStation has got his clients onto many solid fish, mainly on live bait. These have been caught around the western side and northeast corner of Montagu Island. The place is still loaded with undersize kingfish but it’s good to see a few legal fish coming aboard most boats. I expect the kings to fire up even more this month, especially with the current pushing south, which is perfect for this fine sports fish. The better kings have responded to live slimy mackerel, which are easily available along the shoreline near the Golf Course rocks at Narooma. Jigs are getting a few fish but the majority are undersized. There’s been a few bonito mixed in with the kings and smaller yellowfin tuna to 15kg just east of the island. I know of a few small yellowfin caught on jigs on the northeast side of the island so there’s a few there to be caught. If the kings aren’t for you then the bottom fishing has been excellent. Snapper numbers are on the increase with most switched on boats getting at least a dozen fish per session. The reds are averaging 2kg, which are solid fish and great on the SA005


This is the sort of kingfish available at Montague Island at the minute. plate. The fish are on most reefs although the deeper water around 50-60m off Tuross has been the pick. I’d be concentrating where the hard ground meets the gravel/sand either anchoring up or doing short drifts over it. Technique will depend on what the current and tides are doing. On the beaches the fishing is still good with bream, whiting and the occasional salmon falling victim to the bait brigade. Whiting numbers aren’t quite as good as last month but the size seems to be increasing with a smattering of fish around 40cm mark, which are solid models for the beach. I expect the numbers to increase as the

month passes on, especially around the estuary entrances like Tuross, Dalmeny and Tilba Lake. There’s a great chance at a mulloway mid-month with a cracking moon phase and tide that looks ideal for this enigmatic species. Look at either Blackfellows or Tilba beaches for your best chance. The ocean rocks have been quiet, there’s the odd salmon, bonito and smaller kingfish to be caught but you really have to work for them. I’m not too sure why it’s tough, it should be awesome, hopefully it will pick up over the next few weeks. Better ledges to try are Mystery Bay to the south and Dalmeny headland to the north.

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MARCH 2014


Toolondo continues to shine HORSHAM

Trevor Holmes

With water temperatures continuing to rise at a rapid rate the fish have been very obliging in most lakes so far, however some are now starting to suffer badly from evaporation. In the past week or so I have heard many reports of the onset of blue/green algae blooms. TOOLONDO While the Great Lake is starting to drop back rapidly in water level the fish here are still very willing to take a well presented bait or a lure that crosses their path. Recently I have had great success there on the charters using the Fish Arrow plastics in the Paddle-tails, J Huddles and the 4” split tails. Mudeye under floats fished close to the tree lines have also taken their fair share of both browns and rainbows. Browns have been up to 3.2kg but rainbows of

the larger variety have now declined; the smaller ones around 1kg are still abundant. Trolling lures has gone very quiet with most fishos quickly turning to bait or plastics as their best option. We are finally starting to see a few redfin emerge

too although nothing massive as yet. Water levels are declining rapidly and after a meeting with the local water authority on Friday I am very disappointed that no water is planned to be put in the lake at this stage.

Lachy Bath with his beaut brown taken on a Fish Arrow J Huddle.

Aussie cricket legend Merv Hughes and Fishin Trip host Jason Kennedy with a couple of Toolondo fish.

ROCKLANDS Holding at approximately 35% currently, Rocklands has produced once again some great sport on the redfin. Not the large numbers we are accustomed to seeing but with a bit of patience and exploring these tasty critters can be found in the tree lines and the old river bed up around Brodies and the wall area where the fish seem to gather at this time of year. Trout these days are a somewhat rare catch but usually if you do hook one it is going to be a big one. StumpJumpers are the standout lure for the reddies

as well as the Diawa Double Clutch and Presso Minnow. Bait wise the live yabby or gudgeon do well and at most times the carp will leave them alone. Worms will attract a bite too but try keeping them away from the carp! LAKE FYANS Fyans is still suffering a lot of fishing pressure but continues to produce some good redfin, rainbows and browns for the patient and experimental angler. Diawa Double Clutches once again seem to be the dominant lure as well as StumpJumper Finesse, Ecogear SX48 and vibes also have accounted for some nice fish. Bait fishers also have done well with mudeye and scrub worms filling the bag. Flyfishers seem to flock here for ease of operation and the fact that whatever quarter the wind is in they can still find a place to lob a feather or two out with high expectations. BELLFIELD AND WARTOOK These two lakes are still on the go with redfin of the smaller variety being the main fare in Bellfield, as well as some feisty little chinook salmon. Trout are there but very hard to tempt at times. Wartook although in the midst of a bushfire crisis has up until now been patchy. Trout there seem to be very hot and cold but a determined angler can still nail a couple. Trolling the old faithful Tassie Devils and hardbodies early

Rod Rees (left) with a decent 2.15kg hen and Ray Rogers with a 2.22kg buck from Toolondo. excess of 3kg. Locally caught minnow are the standout bait as well as glassies. Trolling Tassies is another great option as the lack of depth in the lake presents the Tassie in the ‘zone’. Shallow running hardbodies work well too, like the Ecogears and the Strike Pro Bass X Minnow and Sprat Stick. Natural colours with plenty of rattle in the Strike Pro stuff and lumo pink or plain white in the Tassies. Sherbet Powerbait has also taken a few from the bank. TAYLORS LAKE Taylors is only a short drive down the Western Highway from Horsham and has been relatively quiet. However, I know of a couple of Geelong visitors that cracked the code over the Australia Day weekend on the yellas and redfin population. They trolled and flicked towards the trees on the highway end and they managed to snag a couple of




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With the abundance of spider mudeye hatches around, the trout have become very selective, so you may need to diversify. morning and leading up to dusk should snag you a fish. Mudeye, as with most inland lakes, will see you hooked up to a trout as these tasty morsels are hard to resist in a trout’s eyes! Gudgeon and yabby-tail also have produced fish in the past few weeks presented on a running sinker rig. If venturing into these waters please be aware of the bushfire that has destroyed 55,000 hectares and be on the look out for fire vehicles. LAKE BOLAC Bolac is now starting to produce the great fish it is well known for, and I have seen some rainbows come out of here in the last month in

the natives up to 1.8kg and many redfin between 800g ranging up to 1.4kg. So there’s some promising news there! Outlaw Spinnerbaits in the purple accounted for the yellas and a few of the reddies but the standout lure on the redfin was a Grizzly in red/black combination. After also fishing scrub worms on a running sinker rig on the bottom and being pounded by smaller redfin they resorted to locally caught yabbies and managed a few bigger redfin on them. Same party also took a tench that weighed in excess of 3kg on a scrubbie. With the abundance of insect, bug and spider mudeye hatches in the Wimmera Lakes, the trout have become very selective and pretty much turn their noses up at trolled lures, so diversification is required at times. Don’t be afraid to think outside the square and go for that wildcard bait or lure that you normally wouldn’t drag out! I have spoken to some very successful fishos from Stawell who have visited Toolondo and free-floated freshly hatched dragonflies on top with great rewards. Match the hatch, experiment and persist, the rewards will come. Tight lines to all. • To book a trip with Victorian Inland Charters, contact Trevor at trev@victorianinlandcharters, visit their Facebook page or log onto www. .au.

Brayden Xanthoulakis with his cracking 2.365kg brown.

The cool change is welcomed MILDURA

John Menhennett

With cod season well and truly in full swing, anglers have been taking full advantage of the low river flows and heights, and have been heading out on the water in the hope of catching a big green fish. Reports of catches on lures have been slow but bait fishers are doing well. Autumn is a great time to fish for native species in the Murray River around Mildura. Leaves falling from the trees are just one of Mother Nature’s signs telling you the air temperature will soon become cooler. Now is an optimum time to target big Murray cod, and it’s also the time to upsize

lures and tackle and cast into snags. The cooler weather will be welcomed by all anglers as it has been an extremely hot and dry summer. Golden perch have been caught just about everywhere lately, especially on shrimp and yabbies. Most of these fish have been in excess of 50cm and very fat. A simple river rig with a 2/0 hook and a cocktail of worm and shrimp has done the trick lately. Trolled and cast small lures have also been working well around snag piles and reed/weed banks too, especially around Merbein and Wentworth. In the summer it is easy to troll up a 13-14 hour day, but in autumn and winter your fishing day is reduced to around 9-10 hours. There haven’t been as

many reports of Murray cod being caught on lures as there were at same time last year. A couple of the fish which have been reported have been around 90cm and were caught upstream of Mildura. Bait fishers in the shallows upstream of Mildura have been doing quite well, with numerous reports of 20+ fish up to 20lb on grubs in a single session. These fish have been very healthy and most were released which is great to see. Of course there has been the usual ton of carp caught everywhere over the past month. Yes, they are a noxious species and it’s always good to rid the system of them whenever possible, but they are also fun to fish for, particularly larger fish on small spin outfits using 2-6lb braid. They are also a great

species to teach the kids how to fish because they are pretty consistent. The next month or so should bring some good fishing for all native species, in particular Murray cod. This is the time when the fish forage for food stocks to sustain them through the cooler months, which means they become much more active and willing to take big lures. The key to fishing success in the autumn, or at any time of the year for that matter, is time on the water. Fish are relatively easy to catch if you can find where their hidey-holes are and what their movements are. Even though keen anglers will fish even in the hottest of conditions, the cooler months are always a relief and produce some great fishing around the Sunraysia area.

Hot action as autumn nears BENDIGO

Roger Miles

The fishing in the Bendigo region has continued to be productive lately. We recently had a heat wave of several days in excess of 40ºC in a row. An extreme heat wave like this would normally have a negative

effect on the fishing, however, water temperatures were still low before this weather event so the hot weather has had a positive effect on the fishing. LAKE EPPALOCK The lake has been very busy over the holiday period with boat traffic. Water skiers and jet skies have been very active around the lake – this can be frustrating for anglers. If you are prepared to make

Tallis Miles displays a 69cm Murray cod that was caught on the new Jackall Pompadour surface lure.

an early start on the water then generally the boat traffic is good until 10.30am, then it gets progressively busier. The redfin fishing continues to be hard work. The majority of large redfin caught are still being taken in deep water with the depth range of 10m being the most productive. Trolling deep diving hardbody lures continues to be the most productive method in locating a school of quality redfin. Once a good school is located anglers can continue to troll hardbody lures or change tactics and cast soft plastics with good results. Locating a good school of redfin is currently very difficult and anglers must be prepared to try many different locations in order to locate a good school. Increasing numbers of small redfin are being caught around the edges of the lake in shallower depth ranges between 3-5m of water. The native fishing continues to be productive in Lake Eppalock. Anglers are currently catching reasonable

numbers of golden perch. Bait fishers are producing good results fishing around the standing timber with worms and small yabbies being their most productive bait. Trolling the edges of the lake and casting lipless crankbaits has also been productive when targeting the golden perch. There continues to be small numbers of Murray cod caught, with the majority trolling hardbody lures. CAMPASPE RIVER The fishing has been good in the Campaspe River and should continue to be productive in the future. Water clarity is currently good but this can change quickly depending on the volume of water that is being released from Lake Eppalock. There are currently reasonable numbers of golden perch being caught in the Campaspe River. The majority of these have been caught by anglers casting and retrieving hardbody lures and lipless crankbaits. Continued page 52

Jack Menhennett doing his bit for the environment by catching carp on a recent outing with friends. These fish can be good fun on light gear.


Australia’s largest freshwater fish “The Mighty Murray Cod”

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MARCH 2014


Too hot for native fish ROBINVALE

Rod Mackenzie

You know it’s hot when you bounce out of the ute barefoot and you can feel the tar move beneath your feet. Dressed in nature’s finest boots, black globs of sticky goo tear at the skin as you literally hot foot it for the nearest shade. Funny for onlookers but you’d reckon after two decades a bloke would have more sense than to brave the barefoot in summer. I don’t mind the heat but can you seriously imagine

fishing in these sorts of conditions? Actually, imagine is all I do at this time of the year when it comes to chasing native fish along the Murray River. Those anglers unperturbed about keeping their catch have little to lose other than a lot of sweet. If you are into catch and release however the odds of losing your catch run very high during the peak of summer. Large Murray cod are a real challenge to release and the bigger the fish the more likely it will die, regardless of your best efforts. I see it every season and no longer risk angling these fish during the

The elusive catch – Gus Storer with an average size mulloway. It’s the elusive giant of the species we desperately seek.

hottest months. There is so much about catch and release angling that is little known by a broader audience, especially the impact heat plays on summer caught cod. I would rate the loss of larger fish, say a metre-plus, at around 30%. This could possibly be higher if you include the following days as they later succumb to the stress of capture and handling. I have no stomach for the death of these iconic giants and for these reasons refuse to fish for cod in the heat. In saying that I am none the wiser on how the cod have been biting this past month but I do know most who have ventured the heat are turning up a few golden perch and a mountain of carp on bait. While I don’t cod fish at this time of the year the angler in me demands a challenge and I choose to vent my angling frustration on the surf. mulloway, shark and snapper are all on the cards and you can never be sure as the rod loads and the drag screams to life. Most of our fishing takes place along the back of the Coorong and the challenge of a giant mulloway taunts us every trip in a similar vein that Murray cod do for some river anglers. Perhaps it is just

Fish and chips - a couple of surf caught bronze whaler shark destined for the plate.

The temperature not to mention the scenery make the surf a great place to fish during the summer months. me but they seemingly make big cod look stupid; only the freshest baits, only the right tides, only the right this, only the right that. Then some idiot comes along chucks in a frozen pilchard lands a 70lb model on a K-mart special From page 51

Small numbers of Murray cod measuring up to 75cm have also been caught in the Campaspe River on cast spinnerbaits. Anglers fishing at night with surface lures have also caught increasing numbers of Murray cod. CAIRN CURRAN The redfin fishing has been average with the majority caught by anglers trolling deep diving hardbody lures. The native fishing has been fairly consistent of late. Reasonable numbers of golden perch are currently being caught by anglers trolling the edges or casting lipless crankbaits. There have also been some good reports of Murray cod being caught at this location. The largest Murray cod

and has the cheek to ask you what it is. Should have bludgeoned him to death with his bloody rod. For me the want to catch such a giant never wains and only grows in stature with every close encounter.

We have several more trips planned before the heat starts to drop away and we return to the river and our beloved green fish. Until then we will continue to track down the silver sided giant that so far remains an elusive catch.

that I received a report on measured 74cm. Trolling hardbody lures around the edges of the lake has been the most productive method. LODDON RIVER Water clarity is currently good at most locations along the Loddon River. The productivity of the fishing has been good and should continue to be good for the next couple of months at least. As always the most popular sections of the Loddon River received a lot of fishing pressure over the holiday period. The increased boat traffic has had a negative effect on the fishing in these areas. The majority of holidaymakers will have now returned to work and the boat traffic should reduce.

Over the holiday period the most productive fishing continued to be in the shallower sections of the river. Anglers who walked the banks produced some good catch rates on both golden perch and Murray cod. The recent hot weather has seen large numbers of cicadas hatch along the river. These insects are a favourite food source for Murray Cod over the warmer months of the year. In recent weeks, anglers have been producing some good results on the Murray cod while fishing surface lures during periods of low light. The productivity of surface lure fishing should improve over the couple of months.


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MARCH 2014

Appointed late last year as a Savage Fibreglass dealer for the Melbourne region BL Marine is the newest dealer to join the quickly expanding network. BL Marine is a family owned and operated business offering customers a wide range of marine accessories and supply and service of Yamaha and Mercury outboards. Starting in 1980 the team at BL Marine have a wealth of experience to share with customers and aim to accommodate the needs of all boaties. BL Marine now offer

customers in the Melbourne area access to the new range of Savage Fibreglass boats including bowriders and cabins which have been expanded to include a hard top option. The Savage Fibreglass range is known for its durability and strength, created from a single piece moulded floor and full fibreglass stringer system free from timber. Savage Fibreglass National Account Manager Jason Draeger said he was excited to welcome BL Marine to the team and was looking forward to working with the dealership in the future. ‘With BL Marine

expanding their premises recently they really are a leading dealership in their area and we are excited to be working with them and believe they are a great match for the Savage Fibreglass brand,’ Jason said. The new premises includes an indoor, air-conditioned show room and a large yard of 1500 square metres. To contact BL Marine head to www.blmarine. and for further information on the Savage Fibreglass range head to au. – Savage

Searching for salmonoid CRATER LAKES

Rod Shepherd

The summer weather has arrived late in the South West with some hot days still around but the nights are just beginning to cool off bringing some relief to our impoundment trout population. Early mornings, evenings and at night are definitely the prime times to wet a line in search of a salmonoid. Lake Elingamite’s water level is constantly falling and by the time this report makes print, possibly the only craft capable of launching will be kayaks and small duck punts. This is a definite shame as the trout fishing has been exceptional, but the same cannot be said in the redfin department. Some reddies are being caught but nothing of any decent size, which is definitely down on previous

years. Brown and rainbow trout in two release sizes are common; fish approaching 1kg making up the majority of catches with the less prolific but still available, weighing in at over 2kg. The recently stocked Chinook salmon are growing well with the fish now topping over 30cm. A similar situation has occurred in Lake Purrumbete and Bullen Merri where much greater numbers have been stocked. Please consider carefully releasing all Chinooks as these fish grow quickly and most anglers would love to tangle with them in a year or two. By then many will weigh in excess of 10lb in the old scale. Instead of taking a feed of easily caught pan-sized fish now, think of the sport these fish will provide in the near future. Lake Bullen Merri has rainbows topping 1kg taking local gudgeon and Powerbait fished from the bank either

suspended under a float or unweighted and allowed to slowly waft down to the bottom. Flatline trolling Loftys Cobra style lures at first light is also picking up a few but once the sun’s rays hit the water, these fish go deep. Once again an outbreak of blue-green algae has occurred and it is advisable not to eat any fish currently being caught here. Purrumbete remains insipid, with bait such as mudeye out fishing lures at present. However many baits are being taken by small Chinook salmon and redfin. First and last light anchored just out from the weed beds has been consistently taking fish. Downrigging lures and trolling at depths exceeding 20m has also picked up a few trout on a given day but currently bait fishing is the more consistent method to employ. Lake Tooliorook has been rather disappointing in the last

An Elingamite rainbow approaching 2kg taken on a trolled Loftys Cobra lure. 12 months. Receding water levels, excessive weed growth and the disappearance of the redfin has lowered this lake’s once excellent reputation. However, a few rainbows

over 1kg are still being caught by those persevering. Shallow diving lures cast or trolled are working along with Powerbait, worm and mudeye fished shallow under

a float. Again the water quality here is not good and consideration should be given when deciding whether or not to take fish for general consumption.


Waiting a lifetime for this fish! Ron Leech from Inglewood caught this fish on the Loddon River at Bridgewater. Despite fishing this waterway everyday, he has never caught a fish like this before! He was fishing by himself in his trusty 420 Hornet using Mantis 88 surface poppers in the early morning. The sun was coming up and he was just about to give up and change to a Jackal when bang! The lure had been dragged over a branch and dropped back into the water when a gun shot sounding crack let out. It was on!

The fish went straight down. Ron knew it was big and for 15 minutes it was dragging the boat around until finally it stopped. As it was still down deep he thought the fish was snagged. He could still feel headshakes but couldn’t move it. Then finally, it moved. He was getting line back on and finally he saw the fish. Edging it closer to the boat it took off again. Straight across the front of the boat and wrapped the line around the electric motor. Damn, it’s all over! Holding the rod out with one arm he bent down and lifted the motor out of the water. For a brief second

there was slack in the line and he managed to unwrap the line. Then it had one more run before he turned it again and brought it to the edge of the boat. Grabbing the net he bent down in the water, moving the cod closer towards the net. When you wouldn’t believe it! The front treble hook got caught in the net. It’s gone this time he thought! Working the net around for what seemed like forever, the net came off the hook. He quickly had a second swipe of the net and the cod was in; two-thirds anyway. Dropping the rod he bent down putting one arm under the tail to

support it and lifted the fish in. He could only just lift it. After 70 years of fishing he has finally landed the fish of his dreams. Not having a camera he was lucky that another local was fishing nearby and has now pulled up to the boat to see this fine catch. They both couldn’t believe it. With a few quick photos and a measure the mighty Murray cod was released. The cod measured 108cm and approximately 70-80lb. Caught on a Shimano River Raider rod, Daiwa Alphas reel with 30lb Finns Braid and a 30lb mono leader. - Andrew Leech



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MARCH 2014


Goulburn the best in years SHEPPARTON

Nick Brown

It’s been a very busy period for me recently with all the planning and organising for the Macs Lures River Rats Family Fishing Classic. It has restricted my time on the water but I have had plenty of helpers with reports this month, which has been great. BROKEN RIVER Broken River is in a very poor state. Water conditions are the worst in years with crays even leaving the water due to minimal oxygen levels. However, there are still anglers catching fish mostly on surface lures and on hardbodies. Young Jayden Blum had a day out casting the new Macs Demolisher during the River Rats comp landing over half a dozen cod and yellowbelly. The Broken River out towards Dookie has quietened right off. What was once a hot spot for locals is now very average. There are some untouched waters closer to Shepparton TOH144 Fishing and hopefully I will be targeting some new areas in coming months.

MACS LURES & RIVER RATS FAMILY FISHING CLASSIC Open Male Biggest Cod: .......................................Scott Campbell..................................72cm Biggest Carp:.......................................... James Feeny..................................69cm Biggest Yellowbelly:........................................Tim Polis..................................46cm Open Female Biggest Cod: ...........................................Helen Wilson...............................70.5cm Biggest Carp: .........................................Helen McGee..................................72cm Biggest Yellowbelly:..................................Helen Wilson..................................34cm Un13 Boys Biggest Cod:......................................... Daniel Hooper..................................68cm Biggest Carp: ......................................... Karvyn Smith..................................68cm Biggest Yellowbelly: ................................. Luke Damon..................................42cm Un13 Girls Biggest Carp: .................................. Jamason Stretton................................47.5cm Biggest Cod:.......................................... Taylah Groves..................................68cm • 125 entrants, furthest travelled was from Geelong • Over 200 fish were entered in event • Over 150 attended Fridays Fishing Expo and Rod Mackenzie Cod seminar • Raised over $700 for Give Me 5 For Kids with club President shaving his 12 month old beard • All entrants received a FREE Mac’s lure Huge thanks to the River Rats Club members & Congupna football club members for their help and support over the weekend. GOULBURN RIVER The Goulburn River has been up and down in water level, but it has been fishing its best for 3-4 years. Local fisho mark Gibson landed some cracking fish prior to this World 1 report half with page one Ad.pdf pushing the 90cm mark. River Rats comp fish in

the Goulburn were mostly either out towards Toolamba or out Medlands Road area Bunbartha. Bait seems to be the best method to land small fish but the bigger ones are being trolled up. 12/12/13 9:52 AM Cod legends Rod Mackenzie and Gus Storer recently fished the river and

were very impressed with the water and say our area has huge potential for the future, which is great a huge tick of approval. No surprise at River Rats comp 70% of fish were caught in the morning sessions with temps rising to over 40ºC on both days with the 2 days

Daniel Hooper caught this 68cm cod on a Mac’s Mauler Lure. leading into event hitting 40ºC as well. SHEPPARTON LAKE Local fisho known as Sheeves has been catching plenty of legal sized yellowbelly lately. Worms have been the best method if you can cast them into a weedless patch off the banks. In the warm weather, fish will head out into the deep water that can only be accessed via a boat or kayak. KIALLA LAKES We’ve had reports of the yellowbelly being caught again in good numbers. Light tackle with unweighted scrub worms have been working well around the edges. It’s not the easiest way to fish but the weight of a scrub worm should be enough to get a big cast in.

WARANGA BASIN I have not had many reports from the basin lately, I think this is because of the windy conditions. Feb/ March/April seem to be good months to target the biggest fish out there but with the wind being too extreme most anglers have been keeping away. With the lack of fishing at Waranga, many locals have been trying to target redfin in the channel systems. However, in the past month or two the channels have been very average, which is a major let down for those who love targeting these fish. Fingers-crossed we see the wind drop right off so we can get back on the basin in March.

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MARCH 2014

Boom or bust at Ballarat BALLARAT

Shane Stevens

There’s an old saying ‘going from chocolates to boiled lollies’, which has certainly been the case for the anglers in and around the Ballarat district. Talk about boom and bust! In a couple of our waters not too long ago, a bit over 12 months, I remember anglers of all ages lining the shores of Lake Learmonth catching magnificent rainbow trout around the 3lb size. Now the lake is closed, trout are washing up on the shores dead and the lake has a depth of 50cm. How things have changed! The lake suffers from a poor catchment and a relatively dry last couple of winters have resulted in the lake disappearing off the fishing radar. Lake Burrumbeet, not too far away, is currently closed to all water activities due to an outbreak of bluegreen algae. This could disappear at any stage but as we are experiencing some of the hottest weather I can remember for a long time and, with the shallowness of the lake, I think it will be a long time before the lake

is open to water sports. It was only last month that I reported on some excellent catches of redfin. It’s not all doom and gloom around Ballarat, the fishing activities have certainly slowed down with the heat wave we have had over the last month but those anglers fishing in the evenings and early mornings are still catching a few quality trout. Lake Wendouree is still the pick of our local waters with the bait and fly anglers certainly reaping the rewards for fishing at the right time.

Mudeyes fished under bubble floats from the shore or the newly constructed jetties around the lake or out in boats have resulted in catches of brown trout to 3kg. Likewise, the fly fishers fishing mudeye patterns after dark and into the night have also landed some cracking brown trout to 3kg. Anglers over the coming months should see the arrival of black crickets to the lake’s shore, which the trout love to eat. This can be very exciting fishing but be prepared to fish well into the night. Bait anglers need to use bubble

Lake Wendouree is still the pick of the local waters whether using fly or a mudeye, like Zach Stevens did with this 4.5lb brown.

floats with a greased leader of approximately 3ft to the hook and then put the cricket on. Just let him drift around, as the trout cannot resist this tasty meal. For the fly addicts, casting and retrieving Muddler Minnow fly patterns very slowing in and around the shorelines should results in some excellent catches. There’s nothing better than to catch feeding trout on surface flies; you can hear the trout slurp the fly down and it’s game on. Newlyn Reservoir and Hepburn Lagoon reports have been very slow coming in. Both waters are holding excellent populations of trout and redfin but during the summer they are used for irrigation and can be difficult to fish, especially Hepburn. These waters are certainly worth fishing in the early mornings and evenings for all forms of angling, just be prepared to put in the yards and you will be rewarded. Lake Fyans, one of my favourite waters, has been fishing well. I recently spent a few days catching some lovely brown and rainbow trout on mudeyes fished under bubble floats. Once again the early mornings and

Trev Crawford flyfishing at Lake Wendouree caught this great 3kg brown trout. The best time to fish the lake has been after dark. Photo courtesy of Trev Crawford. evenings is certainly the go. The redfin catches have been a bit patchy over the last few months but if you can get onto a school of reddies use worms, yabbies, soft plastics, local minnows or lures. You will catch plenty and some very good sized ones up to 3lb. Cosgroves Reservoir has been a bit quiet recently but I expect the redfin will fire up very soon. Casting lures or soft plastics from the shoreline in the early mornings or evenings will once again provide the

anglers with the best chance to catch these excellent sport and table fish. Tullaroop Reservoir is a very good redfin fishery, especially now we have some very warm weather; the reddies seem to like the warmer temps. Anglers using worms and yabbies on running sinker rigs on the deeper banks will gain the best results. I have found having the bait in the water about 1-2 hours before daylight and hour after the sun comes up are the best times at Tullaroop.

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Settled water rewards ECHUCA

Ian Page

As our weather and water levels have settled down into a more regular pattern so have our fish. This is what I regard as the best time: the next three months. It’s time to get out the deep diving lures, the big Oar-Gees, Custom Crafteds, Stumpies and the like. Now is the time I try my brighter lure colors now that the water clarity is better. Don’t

be afraid to try a lure that’s been in the collection for some time and perhaps been a little forgotten. After establishing the depth from your sounder, choose the lure that will get down to where the fish will be with the bib bouncing on the bottom every now and then and knocking over the timber. Invest in a lure retriever as this is not nice country. When you have saved two or three lures the lure retriever will have paid for itself. I generally establish an

area that looks like good trolling water and then work it up and down a few times, changing lures every 20 mins if I get no results. If casting from the boat and working fallen trees, be prepared to have multiple casts at the snag as often the cod will not be enticed on the first or second attempt. It pays to annoy them till they strike or you believe it’s time to move on. I see a lot of people trolling with rods in rod holders. This leads to more lures getting snagged than if you hold the Fishing from the bank with lures or bait can cost you a bit in tackle, but you have to be in it to win it and March is as good a time as any to get yourself a cod or golden from the bank. rods because a hand held rod will telegraph what the lure is running over. If it feels like a snag, you can drop the rod tip back and allow the lure to float over the structure – most times. You can also feel any hits better and that’s all part of the fun.. Some areas that have been fishing well from reports flowing into the shop are around Torrumbarry and Gunbower Creek, which are seeing some good golden perch as well as cod on both bait and lures, The deeper holes in the Campaspe between

As the water settles, big cod will come on the chew from Barmah to Torrumbarry.

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MARCH 2014

yabbies and with river having plenty of shrimp invest in a shrimp net and be prepared to put a few on your hook at one time and they will work very well. So with this good weather with us for quite a while yet it’s a good time to get out amongst them, good luck. • For the latest fishing and boating information, or just to check on the river levels in teh Echuca and Moama regions, drop into Boats and More’s Echuca store at 76 Northern Highway, or give them a call on (03) 5482 1992.




Echuca and Elmore have been great for anglers casting lures. The Goulburn has been hot and cold as the water managers have been adjusting the height continually and this can change the results accordingly but bait anglers have had some top catches in recent times. The Narrows around Barmah have been very consistent all season with some big fish and the Edwards River, although very snaggy, has been worth the effort. Just take care in boats. The best baits remain scrubworms, grubs and

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Mad not to go native YARRA VALLEY

Ian Loft

With the Yarra River at its lowest and warmest, you’d be mad not to try fishing for some of the great native sports fish that live there. Whether you’re a weekend bait angler or a hardened lure aficionado, this is the time to catch the best fish that the river has to offer. For the bait fishers, it’s either early in the morning or late in the afternoon that you’ll have the best success. For the most part, fish like golden perch and Murray cod will be tight in their snags during the heat of the day and only venturing out when conditions

tell them it’s morning or night. This is not a bad time to be on the river mind you – a nice cool breeze to cut through the day’s heat is always welcome. Bait anglers will do well if they carry several types of bait with them, including scrub works, yabbies, bardy grubs and the good old Coon cheese. The last one might sound a little strange but cheese is one of the most affective baits for native fish. It works well for two reasons: Firstly, it attracts a lot of shrimp and small yabbies to it. This creates a mass of feeding activity around the bait and, at times, all you can see is a ball of shrimp. This is the dinner bell ringing for Mr Native! Secondly, cheese is also quite smelly (as far as food

source in a river is concerned) and will leave quite a large berley trail behind itself as the water runs past. Lastly, its colour is fairly bright compared to the rest of the surrounds it will be lowered into. A small block of 4cm x 2cm x 1cm deep should do the trick. Get a small stick to drill yourself a pilot hole to help put the hook through. Lure anglers can bust out the entire arsenal and really let them have it at this time of the year – spinnerbaits, hardbodies, surface lures, soft baits, should all get a run! From sun up until sun down is a good time with the peaks being 7am until 11am and 4pm until 9pm. These times of day coincide with the movement of the fish from

Right now is the best time to get into a Yarra River Murray cod! feeding grounds to cover and back again. With more light in the sky, you’ll need to fish harder and tighter to the snag structure. Really put the spinnerbait deep into the snags. Another good option for this type of combat fishing is to fish a weedless

soft plastic. A weedless worm hook is what you’ll need here and you can more than likely fish it unweighted. Please be mindful of close seasons, bag limits, protected fish species and the fact that this fishery is a very delicate one. Fisheries are on patrol at

this time of the year, as are very protective anglers. So do the right thing! • For all the latest information on how to go about fishing the Yarra River and surrounding areas, drop into Compleat Angler Ringwood or give them a call on (03) 9870 77922.

Lure them in this season MELBOURNE METRO

Ian Debar

As this is normally the last month of warm weather here in Melbourne, it’s worth making the most of the fishing that goes along with summer. You only have to blink at this time of the year and Easter has passed, bringing with it the crisp air of autumn. For those anglers keen on fighting a Murray cod, the midstream reaches of the Yarra are still producing fish. The area between Eltham and Bulleen can be productive as the season begins to cool down, with most of the better fishing

coming from sections of river that have extensive rock bars, along with timber. Best lure choices when fishing around the rock bars consist of 3/8oz spinnerbaits – with a single gold or brass willow blade being an excellent starting point and medium running crankbaits, like Rapala Crankin’ raps. Both of these lures have a relatively snag-proof design, which is needed around rocky sections of the Yarra. Yellowbelly are a good option this time of the year in local haunts, like Sugarloaf Reservoir. With the impending start of autumn, the water temperature will drop and the yellowbelly will feed heavily before the cooler months begin.

Try using fatter style lures at the moment, as bigger prey items, like redfin and galaxias, will be on the menu leading up to autumn. Vibes and deep running crankbaits are two of the better options. The Redback Venom vibes make a very good lure for yellowbelly, as do the smaller Sebile Flatt Shads, both slowly twitched back mid water. Some of the better sized fish have been caught recently from the area around the dam wall. For the angler more inclined to sit back with a beer and a bait or two out, Rowville Lakes has been a handy spot to stop off at. The main lake has been fishing well for redfin and carp on baits of maggots and the occasional worm. Berleying up is a sure fire

Last of the summer sport. Make the most of the fishing this season before the cool water begins. way to induce some fish into your area, and the finer the berley the better. The fine grit berley generally suspends so it stays around the fish’s face for


Victoria’s King George whiting fishery King George whiting are known for their fighting qualities and are superb on the dinner plate. Mr Dallas D’Silva, Executive Officer of VRFish said, “King George whiting are one of the most sought after marine species in Victoria”. King George whiting have a complex life cycle. The success of the fishery is determined by a combination of factors, including spawning off Kangaroo Island in South Australia, the extent of westerly wind patterns that help carry larvae hundreds of kilometres and the health of seagrass beds in bays and inlets, which are a vital nursery habitat. By monitoring the number of small fish that settle in seagrass beds each spring, and knowing how fast they grow, scientists

can predict future changes in abundance and catches. The latest forecast for King George whiting in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port is for good catches now, moderating over the next two years and then rising again sharply. The fishery is expected to peak in the following 3 years due to one of the highest counts of small fish in many years. Dr Paul Hamer from Fisheries Victoria said “It is important to remember whiting leave the bay by about 4 years of age, and then spend the rest of their lives in ocean waters. This means the fishery is highly variable and peaks and troughs in abundance generally only last a few years.” Professor Greg Jenkins, from Melbourne University added “New research is also underway to better understand the life cycle and assess

potential spawning grounds off north-west Tasmania.” The research is funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and Victorian recreational fishing licence fees. Mr D’Silva added, “Recreational fishing in Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and other coastal locations from Portland to Mallacoota contribute substantially to Victoria’s economy each year.” The daily bag limit for

King George whiting is 20 fish, all of which must be longer than 27cm. VRFish encourages fishers targeting whiting this season to do so responsibly and within the current regulations. Fishers are encouraged to report any suspicious activity, along with vehicle and vessel details, to Fisheries Victoria’s 24 hour reporting line 13FISH (Phone 13 34 74). – Dallas D’Silva, VRFish Executive Officer

longer, and being fine grit the fish don’t fill up on it! Fish two rods, one with the bait on the bottom and the other suspended under a float – this way you’re able to find out which is more effective on the day. 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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The cod are still falling for bait March is looking to be an absolute cracker with the yellas and reddies back on the chew to complement the great cod fishing that we


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have had over summer. All the signs are now good with the redfin moving up into about 12-14m in fair numbers with the schools ranging from 500g to 1.75kg (4lb); some really good quality table fish. Small yabbies have been going great lately, as well as the good old scrub worm. However, the best soft plastic is still smackin ‘em, which is the Black and Gold T-Tail. For those of you who love fishing Jackalls for redfin but get very frustrated loosing expensive lures in trees (I’m one of them) go into your local tackle store and get yourself either single in-line hooks or some soft trebles (that will bend and come off the snags easily), and upgrade your braid and leader; you won’t loose any lures and will save yourself a

small fortune. Of late the yellas have been coming on the chew. They are not massive fish but good quality models around the 30-40cm range (by far the best eating size) once again the yabbies have produced the most numbers. It’s funny sometimes the way the feeding patterns change at the drop of a hat. It just goes to show that the lake is super healthy and has a lot of food on offer for all species. The ever-reliable StumpJumper in purple and black has been going strong and has picked up some yellas and a lot of cod. It’s been staggering how many small cod have been caught this summer with literally 100s between 30-50cm, and some good-sized cod

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As we head into March we’re coming out of the silly season as the water skiers, jet skiers and whatever else churning up the water starts to slow down. This makes fishing that little bit more comfortable, not to mention a hell of a lot more peaceful. The water temps have already peaked and will slowly start to creep back down as most of the hot weather is now behind us. Autumn is a brilliant time to fish Lake Eildon, as all of the species on offer can be targeted successfully using a mix of bait and lures. Melbourne fisho Ramsey Ramadan gets to Eildon just







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There are some football-size yellas out there but it’s all about putting in the time to search for them. about every weekend with his wife Rita and fishes the lake. I’m constantly receiving text messages with their latest catches. Ramsey’s been fishing a lot of bait recently, with scrub worms and yabbies the bait of choice. If you can find a school of redfin there are some quality fish to be caught, the key is to find a school. The same goes for goldens. There are some football-size specimens out there but it’s all about putting in the time searching to find a school. Upright timber in 20-30ft of water is always a

good place to start. In the warmer weather one of the more popular ways to snag a big native on a lure is trolling lures from dusk until midnight. That 5-8m mark is ideal; with the cover of darkness the predators come out to play and offers the angler a great chance to tangle with a bigger fish. It is important to make sure you’ve got the correct lights installed on your boat to ensure you are complying with the Victorian regulations, and besides having the right light in the boat makes life a lot easier if

you do hook up on one of the bigger fish. The fish of Eildon get their fair share of fishing pressure, so if you can do something different to the majority of other anglers you’ll be giving yourself a great chance to catch a few. The fish population won’t be used to being targeted after dark and they can be more susceptible to taking a lure when they have their guard down. If you haven’t fished Lake Eildon there is no better time to get over for a fish, there are plenty of local tackle outlets as well as accommodation, service stations, bakeries, pubs, everything you need to make a weekend out of it. And it is worth putting at least a couple of days into the waterway, it can be quite tough at times. If you are there for at least 2 days, chances are you will catch a good bite period, which will well and truly make up for the times the fishing is a bit slower. • Our Balista range of lures feature LED technology and are designed specifically for natives. View the range at or join us at balistalures.

Ovens cooks up hot fishing WANGARATTA

Robbie Alexander

The extreme heat experienced during summer has done little to slow down the Murray cod fishing around the Wangaratta area. The great Murray cod fishing just powered through, which it should continue to do right throughout March. Both the Ovens and King rivers have very healthy populations of Murray cod despite the high fishing pressure this season. The average size is not great though. MURRAY COD During March the Murray cod fishing should remain fantastic anywhere along the Ovens River from Myrtleford to Bundalong. As has been the case for the last few years, the high populations of Murray cod are upstream around Wangaratta while the bigger Murray cod seem to be in the far lower reaches of the river closer to Bundalong. It is not uncommon to hear reports of 15-20 cod caught in any given day in the Ovens River upstream of Wangaratta, with all fish often being undersize. However, reports of those numbers closer to Bundalong are rare. In fact reports of more than just 2 or 3 cod a day

down there are not common in those parts, but reports of large cod are becoming more and more frequent. So if you know what it is you are after, you can choose your location better. If you want to try and catch a large Murray cod, head downstream to the Bundalong area. If you are after a sporting challenge and want to catch good numbers of cod, and size is irrelevant, head further upstream closer to Wangaratta. The King River has been ticking over nicely. The King has not seen the same numbers of Murray cod caught as the Ovens, but has been a popular spot for anglers to fish, particularly local anglers that know how and where to access the river. The King River is harder to access than the Ovens and permission to cross private property is often required. In both rivers surface fishing has been great fun again this season. I have been catching a lot of cod on the Koolabung Codwalker range of surface lures. I do have to admit though, the surface fishing has not been quite as good as it was last season, and this season I have been catching a lot more cod on spinnerbaits and hardbody diving lures. Bait fishing has been very popular with anglers having good results fishing with bardi

grubs. Anglers using smaller baits such as worms and freshwater shrimp have been catching a lot of small cod as well as the usual carp and occasional yellowbelly. YELLOWBELLY As is usually the case there has not been a huge amount of yellowbelly caught in the Wangaratta area this summer. Surprisingly the odd yellowbelly has turned up in the King River, which is not a common occurrence. The far lower reaches of the Ovens River from Peechelba downstream has seen a few yellowbelly turning up on people’s lines, in particular for the bait anglers sitting on the bank at

their campsite drowning some worms or freshwater shrimp. I did hear of one bloke who managed to catch three yellowbelly in the one evening underneath the bridge on the Ovens River at the 7 Bridges. Multiple catches of yellowbelly in the Ovens River are not common at all. Yellowbelly bite well into March so the lower reaches of the Ovens River may just hold a few surprises for anybody planning to head down there. REDFIN The redfin took their time to fire this summer. Lake William Hovell was a bit patchy at the start but by February people were catching good numbers of

Paul Love with a King River Murray cod caught on a green StumpJumper.

The tranquil Lake William Hovell. small redfin with a few larger fish thrown into the mix. The 7g blades and small-sized soft plastics have been doing the damage. March is a fantastic time of the year to head to Lake William Hovell chasing redfin. As the water level drops, the redfin usually start to get active. Try fishing with soft plastics such as a 2-3” curl-tail grub, or ribbon-tail minnow. If you’re casting from the bank, cast your plastic out, let it sink to the bottom and then bob it up and down along the bottom as you retrieve it. If you’re in a boat or kayak, try just gently bobbing the soft plastic up and down along the bottom. If it’s not too windy, do this while drifting and as soon as you catch a couple of fish, lower the anchor and concentrate on that spot. Blades are a fantastic redfin lure in Lake William

Hovell. Blades such as the 7g TT Switchblade, or Berkley BigEye blade work well. Towards the end of the month as the water starts to cool down you may even find yourself hooked onto a trout. TROUT The trout fishing has been poor at best all summer. Some streams have managed to hold onto a few trout, but they really have been few and far between. In March as the water starts to cool down it will be worth looking around for the right streams to target. The Buckland River has been producing a few trout over summer, so too has the Buffalo River. With the trout numbers at such a low level, now is a good time to consider catch and release fishing until the trout populations bounce back up in the next couple of years.

Quality cod off the surface YARRAWONGA

Tony Bennett

Lake Mulwala, the ‘Murray cod Mecca’, is the only place to be if you want to give yourself a better than average chance of catching a cod at this time of year. January to May generally considered to be the best time of year to fish this region but February to April tends to produce the best numbers of cod. There are options aplenty at the moment, with beautiful warm days, dead calm nights and postcard perfect mornings giving anglers plenty of choice throughout a day’s fishing. If I had a choice (and the energy!) at the moment, I’d split my day up as follows: 5am-7am: Surface fishing the edges of the lake based around the Kyffins area casting Koolabung surface paddlers, Bassman Buzzbaits and Moose’s poppers. 7am-10am: Once the sun gets up a bit I’d

head out to the water in the 3-5m depth range and cast spinnerbaits, 5/8-1oz, double Colorado with stinger hook and bulked up with a soft plastic added. The other critical weapon to have in my arsenal would be a selection of 5/8oz and 1oz chatterbaits (known locally as Mumblers). 10am-afternoon: Time to pull the pin and head home to re-arm. Brunch with a quick midday siesta would see me back on the lake around 2pm rigged up with some bigger hardbody lures (90mm+). Trolling the edges of the many lagoons that litter the lake in search of a big fella in 5m+ of water would be the go. Late: As the afternoon wears on I’d switch back to the spinnerbaits and then get myself set for a night of surface fishing. During the afternoon I recommend familiarising yourself with some ground you want to fish once dusk arrives. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for wind speed and direction. A northerly should see you fishing the north side of the lake and vice versa for southerly winds. You will

always find some pockets of still water even if there is a bit of breeze up. WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING Looking back, the past month has been very productive with many fish reported on the Australia Day long weekend. Spida and Painter Rogers took to the canoes for a great afternoon’s fishing, landing seven cod with the best measuring 77cm. Mulwala locals Brad Pepper and Jamie Stewart were a couple of other anglers who also managed some great returns, with cod measuring well into the 80cm bracket. The lovely wife Vanessa had a great time fishing the surface, landing an 83cm prize. These are just a few of the cod that have been taken off the surface in recent weeks. Fishing below the weir continues to be impressive, especially for those casting smaller lures (such as Jackalls) and spinnerbaits in search of golden perch. I spent a few hours in the company of a few fishing tragics casting the aforementioned lures for an impressive return of seven golden perch and

three cod. The best fish was a golden bagged by Thommo that stretched the tape out to 52cm. COMPETITION TIME The competition season is upon us and there are a couple more coming up in the next two months. The next is the His & Hers Partners Classic on 1 March, and it’s a great day for couples to share time together in the boat. Rounding out the comp season is the Cod Nationals from 27 April to 2 May. It’s five days of serious tournament fishing for the dedicated greenfish angler. It’s guaranteed that once you have fished a Cod Nationals you will never miss it again. • If you are visiting town I urge you to call into Lake Mulwala Fish Camp & Ski (Opposite the Post Office) in Mulwala and say G’Day. We are your largest Murray cod specific shop in Yarrawonga/ Mulwala and specialise in all things ‘Green’! For any information on the upcoming events or fishing reports give us a hoy on (03) 5744 3133.

Matt ‘Spida’ Rogers was happy with this 75cm cod.



Dive into diversity KEIWA VALLEY

Robbie Alexander

The far north east corner of the state has been producing some excellent fishing throughout these stinking hot months. The diversity of the fishing has been fantastic with people catching all kinds of species including Murray cod, yellowbelly, trout, redfin, blackfish, tench and even the odd trout cod in the Kiewa River. TROUT The trout fishing has been slow all season, but has kept ticking over throughout the extreme heat in a few waterways. I lost one about 3lb directly under the spillway at Mt Beauty in the Kiewa River on a stinking hot day. I was standing on the bridge and

cool down, some trout will begin their annual spawning run upstream and get stuck at this spillway, so this particular spot can be a real hot spot in the autumn. The rest of the Kiewa River will be well worth fishing as well, especially as the nights get longer and the water begins to cool down a bit. March can be a red hot month to fish for trout in the Kiewa Valley, and anywhere else in this corner of the state really. The Mitta Mitta River will be worth fishing during March, particularly around the township as the water cools and the trout start to become more active. Upstream of the township the river will also be well worth a trip. There are some very deep rocky holes in that region downstream of Lake Dartmouth. It can

enough emphasis on catch and release fishing in the Snowy Creek at the moment while the creek has such a limited number of fish in it. Those few trout can turn into a lot of trout if they are afforded some protection now, especially leading up to spawning time. YELLOWBELLY The yellowbelly have been biting well at Lake Hume all summer, with anglers trolling deep diving lures close to rocky outcrops having the best results. I have also had reports of nice yellowbelly around 5lb being caught on small yabbies under the trees near Ludlows boat ramp. As much as I am an advocate for catch and release fishing, lakes such as Lake Hume are stocked with thousands

Allans Flat Waterhole has quite a few yellowbelly, which should bite well throughout March. could see some massive carp. I was dangling my soft plastic in the carp’s face trying to hook one of them when from out of nowhere, a large brown trout grabbed the soft plastic and took off like a madman. Therefore the fish are there, and the spillway is a regular producer of trout as they swim upstream and cannot swim any further. Towards the end of March as things start to

Brett Corker snared this tiny redfin (possibly his smallest ever) on a Metalhead 40mm soft plastic minnow. Lake Hume is teeming with these tiny redfin at the moment. of yellowbelly each year. Yellowbelly will not spawn up there, so it is a put and take fishery so keeping a feed of yellowbelly for the plate is perfectly fine. As long as the DEPI continue to pump the yellowbelly into Lake Hume it will continue to be sustainable, making it a great place to catch some for the table. Allans Flat Waterhole has also been producing a few yellowbelly, some of which have been quite a decent size. I recently caught a 45cm yellowbelly there on a soft plastic while fishing for redfin. About 10 minutes later the kid fishing close to me caught himself a tench around 30cm long on a bunch of worms. REDFIN Lake Hume has been producing plenty of redfin all summer. I have been heading up there a lot this season just flicking soft plastics from the bank while I wet wade and

A Snowy Creek brown trout caught on a 40mm soft plastic. swim. The redfin have all been tiny, but I have been catching up to 100 in a

be hard to access, but can really be worth it as there are some truly massive trout in some of those deep holes. The Snowy Creek upstream of Mitta Mitta may also be worth a shot during March. I have fished it a few times recently. There are a few fish in the creek in patches, but like so many trout streams this season, it has been very tough going. I can’t put

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After catching heaps of small redfin at Lake Hume recently, Brett Corker thought he had finally hooked onto a better fish until he got it in and realised it was just a stinking carp.

few hours and it has been a wonderful way to beat the heat, particularly later in the day as the sun sets. Anglers heading out in boats targeting the bigger redfin have been doing quite well. Redfin to 30cm are quite a common catch around the submerged trees in the Mitta Mitta arm of the lake, and also in the Bowner area up the Murray arm. COD The lower reaches of the Kiewa River have been producing some fantastic Murray cod all season. As is always the case, the cod fishing tends to fluctuate with the water. Every time water is discharged into the system to generate electricity the Kiewa River rises suddenly and the water temperature drops quickly. This usually tends to slow the cod down. So the Kiewa has been fishing really well for cod, and will do throughout March, you just need to make sure you time your trips well!

Turning the water red TASMANIA

Neil Grose

When it comes to a freshwater fish that pretty much any angler can catch, you simply can’t go past redfin perch. Originally stocked from England well over 100 years ago, the redfin perch is hated and loved in almost equal measure. It is hated because it breeds prolifically and competes with native and trout for food in freshwater streams and lakes. It is loved, especially in Victoria because it is prolific, aggressive and tastes damn fine as well. Tasmanian waters also have redfin (it is argued that redfin were first introduced into Tasmania, like rabbits),

some big food items for even a small fish. Large redfin will often predate on small reddies as well. In rivers they prefer the warmer and slower moving stretches of rivers – fast shingly water that is below 14ºC will hold far more trout than it will redfin. However in slower moving waters, like the Murray River below the Hume Weir, redfin will dominate trout easily. In the rivers, look for the deeper holes with timber laying in it, undercut banks or weedy areas. Any flowing water will always be worth a cast or two as well. BAIT Bait for redfin is very simple. Keep it to what can be easily found in the area and you will be right. The best bait and easiest to come by is scrub

Big redfin are magnificent creatures. This 1.5kg specimen was caught in Tasmania’s Brushy Lagoon on a soft plastic by Mic Rybka. and the Inland Fisheries Service goes to great lengths to reduce the possibility of redfin spreading any further. The greatest thing of all about redfin is that they are extremely easy to catch and your regular 2-4kg spin outfit is perfect for the job. They take bait and lures very easily, and while they will take flies with great gusto, most dedicated fly fishers will fish where the perch aren’t. HABITAT Given that perch love lakes, dams and streams, their habitat is wonderfully diverse. Principally however, they do love to be near structure. They choose this for two reasons, to ambush food, and to escape predators themselves. In lakes and dams look for drowned timber or fallen trees, sometimes called ‘laydowns’. These structures will hide a great many perch, especially when small baitfish, damselfly nymphs and dragonfly nymphs are around. Very weedy areas can be great holding places too, especially when the water really starts to warm up. Perch have a very big mouth and an appetite to match, so they can tackle

Where there is a reasonable flow, or windy conditions use a sinker, but keep it as light as you can. Run it straight down onto the hook, that way you have direct contact down the line. Where there is a lot of weed, use a flat in conjunction with your bait. Baits in this situation should probably be mudeyes rather than scrubbies, as when things weed up, the numbers of mudeyes and damselfly nymphs also grows. Other baits that can be used are mudeyes, cockroaches or small bardi grubs, but given that scrubbies are as good as you will get, just either dig some up or swing by your local tackle store and buy a punnet. LURES Lure fishing for redfin is perhaps more productive than bait fishing, primarily because you don’t attract the unwanted by-catch of European carp. In some waters in Victoria, carp will take every single bait presented for redfin – good for ridding the waters of these pest but not so good for a good feed at the end of the session! Soft plastics are the best all round lure, mainly because (apart from their effectiveness), they are relatively cheap if you happen to get snagged! Redfin love a lure with plenty of vibration, so everything from revolving blade lures to vibes will catch heaps of redfin. There are also some really groovy T-tail plastics around these days that vibrate as well – giving the best of both worlds. Colour isn’t so important, just make sure there is plenty of contrasting colour. Black

Redfin are great fighters, especially in the bigger sizes.

Use the boat as a platform to access submerged structure a long way from shore. at the high end of the price spectrum, the cheaper variants are quite effective too. You really need to tie on lures you are happy to lose in a snag – don’t use the $100 heirloom lure for a redfin when they are just as happy to have a crack at something from the $10 clearance bin at your local tackle store. When using soft plastics match the jighead weight to the situation you are fishing. As with all fishing situations, go as light as possible. In deep areas use some decent weight up to 1/4oz, but around shallow structure or in dense weed try to use lightweights such as 1/16oz, or even rig them weightless with an offset worm hook. TECHNIQUES FROM THE SHORE From the shore the task is quite easy, look for areas of structure next to undercut

banks and weed banks. Think about what food is present in each type of river or lake bank you fish. Dense weed or bulrushes will scream mudeyes, while deeper holes with timber structure or around any inflowing current will mean scrub worms. Don’t think you have to cast to the other side of the lake either, most fish, redfin included will use the bank structure for most of their feeding activity. Logs submerged in the water are obvious hot spots, but if you are after a relaxing time then pop out a bunch of worms and sit back and wait for a bite. Lure fishers will have the advantage of covering plenty of water, as the very nature of lure casting means that new water is covered on every cast. Most anglers starting out

will use soft plastics such as 3” curl tail grubs. These great little lures have a very seductive action as they are retrieved and have the advantage of looking very tasty to redfin as they drop. Using plastics such as these allow for a different rate of retrieve as you try to work out what the fish are after. Curl-tail grubs can be wound in quite fast without losing action, yet are flexible enough to use the jerky ‘flick-pause’ style retrieve. TECHNIQUES FROM A BOAT Boats are wonderful, and are the perfect platform for chasing redfin. If your boat has a sounder you can drift and fish or troll while looking for large schools of fish, especially in deep water, then so much the better. In the absence of a sounder or schools of fish, use the boat to access snags and other structures, such as submerged trees. When all else fails, fish deep with soft plastics or simply troll around. The beauty of redfin is that when you find a school you can go to town and catch heaps, especially with vibe style lures. Redfin are a pest and do cause plenty of environmental damage, but they are also a great tasting sports fish, which look great too, so to try something different, grab a spin rod and hop into them.


They aren’t all whoppers – be prepared for plenty of these little fellas. worms. There wouldn’t be a redfin alive that would swim past a bunch of scrubbies. Where there is no or little flow just fish them on a single hook rig with no added weight. Let the worms drift to the bottom and waft around with any slight current there may be about.

and red, black and gold, black and silver, red and green, red and bright yellow – collect a wide colour range in several styles of lures and you will have plenty of options. The vibe-style hardbodied lures are perhaps the most effective redfin slayers of all, and while some brands are

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Busting out the bass bags CTL GIPPSLAND

Will Thompson

This article is all about the bass. I apologise to those who are used to me talking about the trout, but it’s very exciting that the bass are finally going great. Summer has kicked in and this is when bass really get on the chew. Plenty of anglers have been taking advantage of the hot weather and getting out to our local streams, which are now fully stocked with these great fish and are having a ball. Fisheries have done a great job and most of our streams now have bass in them. The catchments that are producing the most are the rivers and tributaries adjoining the Thomson, Glenmaggie and Blue Rock catchments. The bass are growing well and we are seeing plenty of baby bass anywhere from 12-21cm commonly in our streams with the odd one pushing 35cm in the same areas. These bigger bass were most likely stocked post-2002 and the smaller bass are the recent generations stocked over the past couple of years.

Nick Charalambous with a typical sized bass that have been caught around the area. The important thing to remember when chasing bass is that they don’t seem to bite in the middle of the day. All the bass are getting caught after 3pm until dark. Also, it’s the hot days that fish well. If you have a cold overcast day, they don’t seem to want

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to play, but as soon as you get a stinking hot day, they go crazy. The majority of the fish are getting caught on lures, so lure size is important. As most of the fish aren’t very big yet, select floating, shallow diving or sinking bibbed minnows in 3-5cm; there are some bigger fish in Blue Rock getting caught on bigger lures. The ultimate lure has been small tiny spinnerbaits or jig spinners, which are a spinnerbait body that you can attach your own little soft plastic onto. One of the best has been a jig spinner with a small 2” grub tail attached. These will take the smaller bass as well, plus they are relatively snag proof. TROUT UPDATE As regular readers would know, the Strzelecki streams have had some trouble over the past year with trout stocks,

DAM LEVELS Lake/Dam % Full

Dam % Full

LAKE/DAM Dec Jan Feb Cairn Curran 82 77 73 Dartmouth 98 94 91 Eildon 90 85 78 Eppalock 87 84 81 Fyans 73 73 68 Greens 62 59 56 Hepburn 96 85 75 Hume 78 66 53 Lauriston 99 91 89 Malmsbury 88 66 47 Mulwala (Yarrawonga) 96 96 93

Newlyn 97 89 80 Nillahcootie 97 91 84 Rocklands 43 39 38 Taylors 63 75 72 Tullaroop 66 63 61 Upper Coliban 99 98 97 Waranga 69 52 44 Wartook 82 73 73 William Hovell 100 97 85


MARCH 2014

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.

and Fisheries were very interested in doing further investigations on stream habitat and trout quantities. No more surveys have been done yet, however they assure me they are getting around to it. Nevertheless, we have had some good news that the trout numbers are healthier than they were 1 year ago and, in Traralgon Creek in particular, we have semi descent numbers of trout in the lower reaches. I have seen a few trout being spooked as high up as Koornalla Park, which is promising. The numbers are still a lot lower than they were 3-4 years ago, but it’s a start and it looks like we have new trout moving upstream and taking up residence again in the deeper holes on the river bends. This is very similar to what’s been happening in the Morwell River and the smaller streams further south, however the trout are a bit wider spread throughout the upper reaches. Hopefully Traralgon Creek will fix itself and return to normal. I still

Mitch Blomquist caught this ripper Glenmaggie bass measuring 36cm. From the size of this fish, it is most likely from one of the original stockings. think there are some habitat issues though. • For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get

expert advice and great deals on fishing bait and tackle. Tune into Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner’s Off the Hook on 1242 to hear Will’s report on what’s going on in Gippsland!

Daylight savings trout WST/STH GIPPSLAND

Steve Haughton

This is our final month to enjoy daylight savings and have a decent midweek crack at catching a West or South Gippy stream trout. It is the last of the long daylight hours before turning back the clocks on 6 April. In March we should expect to see a decline in grasshopper action, however there will be plenty of other insect activity for the stream trout so they will be aggressively feeding; all techniques will be productive. Following the long hot summer, stream flow has significantly slowed down so for fly anglers, dry flies are the way to go. If we happen to get the autumn break this month then move over to beaded nymphs, which will present nicely just under the surface as the stream flow increases. Bait and lure anglers will be in the action too as the hungry stream trout will be striking anything that moves to improve body condition in preparation for the spawning season. Hardbodied minnow styled floating lures, spinner bladed lures, soft plastics, garden worms, scrubbies and grasshoppers are all fair game for a hungry trout. This is also a great time of the year to find a deep hole in a creek and fish for

Adam Neville’s first stream rainbow trout – a nice little chunky fish. It’s great to see that the rainbows are still about in the streams of West Gippsland. the beautiful Gippsland spiny freshwater crayfish. Found in most of the streams, small creeks and even constructed drains around this region, they are best caught using some old meat tied to string/ line or using a couple of hoop nets. You are allowed to use up to 10 baited lines and 5 labelled hoop nets in the Latrobe River system, but baited lines are a lot more fun for the kids. You must not keep females with eggs or remove the eggs, and the minimum length for the carapace in this region is 9cm. There is a limit of 5 of which no more than 1 cray may exceed 12cm carapace length. The carapace is the main body of the cray, which is the section of shell from the eye socket to the last legs or where the tail begins. It is illegal to use opera house nets in any public waters and it’s very disappointing to continue seeing them be left behind in the streams and rivers where platypus become trapped and die. If

you see an opera house net, make sure you notify Fisheries immediately. All rivers are fishing really well around the Noojee District with the Latrobe and Toorongo rivers attracting most of the attention and still proving to have plenty of goodsized browns and rainbows. Regular correspondent Adam Neville has been doing really well fishing these rivers and has made the most of his summer holidays wading the streams in search of the next thrilling catch. Amongst the countless decent browns, he’s been catching and releasing, he was able to land his first rainbow on a Yo Zuri Pinns Minnow, which put up an exciting fight against stream flow and light gear. Feel free to send me a report or photo particularly if you have any success stories fishing the streams or bass fishing on Blue Rock. Happy fishing!

Edge fishing will improve JINDABYNE

Steve Williamson

What was a cold start to summer ended up a very hot end for all of us down south. However, now that we are heading into the first month of autumn, the water on Lake Jindabyne should start to cool quickly, and with a return to the cooler water temperatures we should see an improvement to the edge fishing around the lake for the shore based anglers. For the last month or so the downrigging was very good and made it easy to catch a fish as long as you had all the gear to deep troll. With the summer heat over, the streams will also start to fish better and if we get a little rain this may spur the trout into a last-minute feed up before the spawning run, which could start at any time in the next couple of months. At the moment, only fly anglers are doing well on the rivers and streams. Things will pick up for the lure anglers only after we get rain. The best river for spinning lures has been the Thredbo River, and the size and the condition of the trout caught has been quite good. These trout have been caught using Rapalas of the sinking variety (these are better in the

faster water) and Celtas or other bladed spinners in the shallow water. Other lures to try on the rivers have been Gillies Bendbacks and Feathertails, the Vibrax Blue Fox, Blue Fox Super Minnows and you can even try some smaller soft plastics for smaller runs. On the lake, working the same sort of lures around the edges of the shallow bays in about 4m of water will be the best way to pick up a bigger fish, but it must be early morning or else you might have to wait until dark. If it is windy – and windy days are quite often good days in summer – try some of the heavier Tasmanian Devils in green and gold or even yellow. Throw them out into the wind in deeper water and retrieve them slowly. The best colour lures for the lake have been in either natural brown trout and rainbow trout patterns and gold. Bays like Creel, Hatchery and the Snowy Arm all fish well. As the sun rises, change to a Tassie and cast further out over drop-offs, letting the lure sink before you retrieve with a slow wind. For boat owners, the best way to start off the day’s trolling this month will be to try surface lines with lures to about 2m at first light, maybe with a lead core line at two colours to take the lures to 4m as a backup.

If you have been out a while and there are no bites, don’t persist. Instead, get out your downriggers and starting at 35ft with a lure dropback of 4m, you should start to see some fish. As the day brightens further, maybe go to 45ft by mid morning for the best fishing. On cloudy or rainy days you can surface fish until about 9am before going deeper. The Tasmanian Devil number 111 Willy’s Special or Steve Williamson’s Lime Green Yellow Wing are the best deep lures at the moment, with Tasmanian Devil number 36 Yellow Wing doing OK on the surface and off leadcore lines early. Some of the better trolling areas this month will be deep water off Lion and Cub islands or the deeper water off Hatchery Bay and Hayshed Bay. Sid’s Bay through to Rushes Bay will fish well early in the day for big brown trout but the first hour of light will be the time to be there. Over this month the best lake bait fishing will be early and late in the day. Mudeyes under a bubble float will be the best bait before changing to scrubworms off the bottom teamed up with some artificial bait maybe as the sun gets higher. Worms under a float is another alternative if you can’t get any mudeyes, which are slowly getting harder to collect once again due to the dry weather. The best bait

fishing areas are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay and Curiosity Rocks in the deeper water. For lake fly anglers at the moment the best fishing has been in the early morning. There have been a few wind lanes about that if you see the ducks and seagulls on the water this is a telltale sign they are eating insects that are on the surface. Some of the best lake flyfishing is during the coming months as the water cools ,and this year with so much weed around the edges of the lake we should see some big fish caught. Try any of the streamer patterns such as black Woolley Buggers and Williamson’s Gold Fish. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try. The South Arm, Creel Bay and especially Sid’s Bay are all great. On the rivers the best flyfishing is in the evenings and there should still be plenty of evening rises and fantastic dry flyfishing for a few weeks yet. The Alpine streams are still looking good and plenty of small fish are being caught on dry fly also. Fly selection isn’t too important in these streams but placement is critical or else you’ll just scare all the fish. Try a small hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy. A caddis moth fly is also not a bad option. Well worth a look is the lower Mowambah near the weir on the Dalgety Road.

Lucy Sacco from Sydney with a brown caught on a Willy’s Special Tasmanian Devil. MARCH ROUNDUP Here is your March round-up – the best of the best! • Best method: lake trolling leadlines early then downriggers at 35ft. • Best depth: 2m early to 35ft. • Best lake lure: Tasmanian Devil yellow wing Freddo or Steve Williamson’s Lime Green Yellowwing. • Best lake area: Deepwater off Lion and Cub Islands. • Best fly method: dry fly – hopper patterns and Yellow Humpies. • Best river: Thredbo River NEWS My next weekend Beginners Fly Fishing Course is being held on 22-23 March, 2014. Call my shop on 02

6456 1551 and we will send you the details. Sydney’s Family Fishing Show is also on in Parramatta on the 5th and 6th April (www. and I will be on stage with a couple of presentations. I would love to catch up with you and have a chat about trout fishing in the Snowy Mountains. Hope to see you there! If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions, check out our latest reports on Facebook at or visit my website at www. Until next month, hope you catch the big one.


Artificial reefs to improve recreational fishing Gippsland Ports CEO, Nick Murray, and Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, inspecting the purpose built artificial reefs at Bullock Island in Lakes Entrance. The Victorian Coalition Government is improving recreational fishing opportunities in East Gippsland with the installation of seven new artificial reefs in the Gippsland Lakes, (Metung and Nungurner), Mallacoota Inlet and Lake Tyers. Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the Coalition Government had provided $400,000 for the reefs from the $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative, which is improving recreational fishing

opportunities in Gippsland and across the state. “A number of similar reefs also funded by the Coalition Government have been successfully deployed in Port Phillip Bay and have improved fishing opportunities by attracting a variety of recreational species,” Mr Bull said. “The new Gippsland reefs are the culmination of 12 months’ work consulting with locals, undertaking detailed site works and making sure we had the necessary permits. “The reefs should help to attract popular recreational fish. The artificial reefs are purpose-built hollow concrete structures which provide habitat for a range of fish and marine life.

Mr Bull said Gippsland Ports and local contractors had begun installing the reefs, which vary in shape and size, in the Gippsland Lakes last week, with Lake Tyers and Mallacoota to follow next month. “These reefs are additional to the range of projects already

funded by recreational licence fees to improve fishing in Victoria,” Mr Bull said. Now in its third year, the Coalition Government’s Recreational Fishing Initiative is stocking more fish, improving access and facilities, upgrading boat launching facilities, building new fishing reefs, undertaking more fisheries research and strengthening fisheries enforcement and education. For more information

about the Recreational Fishing Initiative and other recreational fishing reef projects visit www. or if you have a suggestion how Fisheries Victoria can improve recreational fishing email your idea to – Tim Bull, Member for Gippsland East

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Trout basic techniques TASMANIA

Neil Grose

This is the first in a series of basic technique articles on trout. So why trout? Because trout are arguably the most popular freshwater species in Victoria and Tasmania. There are two main species of trout: brown trout and rainbow trout. There are other species stocked in Australian waters such as brook trout and Atlantic salmon (with small liberations of Chinook

Australia, and have selfsustaining populations in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Western Australia. Rainbow trout were introduced much later and have now extended their reach almost as far as brown trout. Rainbow trout tend to suit hatchery management better, and as a result most stocking of trout will be rainbow trout. Many state fisheries organisations and departments regularly stock trout into waterways close to population

WHY DO ANGLERS LOVE TROUT? The reason for the popularity of trout is as diverse as the locations you find them in. Generally speaking trout can be successfully targeted with bait, lures and artificial flies. They can be targeted all year, from the depths of winter to the middle of summer. Trout fight hard, eat well and are often found in the most beautiful of places. There are very few more idyllic fishing scenes than fishing in a mountain stream

A prime rainbow trout taken near Ballarat to the west of Melbourne.

Wild brown trout are the prime target for many experienced anglers. salmon in Victoria). Mostly though, trout encountered will be either brown or rainbow. Introduced into Tasmania from England in 1864, brown trout have spread to just about every state in

centres and in waters that lack spawning flows, and the Victorian and Tasmanian fisheries departments are generally very good at keeping stocks up to good angling levels in accessible places.

Lure fishing for trout is an exciting and productive method. 64

MARCH 2014

or small highland lake. There are a huge range of things that trout eat, and this makes it easy to target them. While trout can often be easy to catch, they can also be the most difficult fish of all – often on the same day. WHAT TACKLE CAN I USE? Tackle for trout is reasonably straightforward and unless you love accumulating lots of tackle (and who doesn’t love that) your basic 6-7’ 2-4kg spin outfit with a 2000-2500 series reel will suit most trout likely to be encountered. Lure fishers should spool up with 2kg braid and use a long 2-3m fluorocarbon leader of 2-3kg. Bait fishers might like a longer rod depending upon the type of bait and kind of water. Flicking grasshoppers upstream will need a longer rod and a shorter rod will suit fishing static worms in a lake. Perhaps the pinnacle of trout fishing is flyfishing. Flyfishing basically evolved as the ‘proper’ method for targeting trout in the genteel days of old England. These days it is a cutting edge method for presenting close imitations of what the trout are feeding on. Flyfishing for trout is a whole industry in itself and is certainly the most written about branch of fishing, let

alone trout fishing. Most beginning fly fishers are best suited to a medium action 9’ fly rod with a floating line. As with all tackle, the best advice is from your local specialist tackle dealer – prices might be cheaper on line, but good local and face-to-face advice is priceless. WHERE DO I FIND TROUT? Trout will live in freshwater that is mostly below 17ºC, well oxygenated and relatively clean. This means lakes and streams; in fact any trickle that flows consistently will hold trout. Trout spawn in running water during the late autumn/ winter months. Lakes without inflowing streams that hold good water flows between March and October will generally struggle to hold good self-sustaining populations. Where rivers have an

encounter their first trout. The best streams are those that flow from high country with consistent rainfall. In spring and autumn these flows should be quite strong while they will ease back during summer. The best locations to find streams like these is in the north east of Victoria and pretty much anywhere in Tasmania. Streams flowing into Lake Eildon in Victoria are great places to start, and while they may be busy at different times, walk far enough and you will find some peace and quiet. If lakes are more to your liking or closer to home, there are plenty of options to the east and west of Melbourne. The lakes around Camperdown such as lakes Purrumbete and Bullen Merri are well known for their big fish and good fishing, while others such as Lake Bolac are also highly regarded for big fish.

insect larvae like stick caddis, mayfly nymphs, small shrimp and things washed in from the banks, like worms and grubs. Terrestrial bugs like beetles, ants and grasshoppers are a huge part of trout diet during the warmer months. In lakes we can add bait fish, like smelt or galaxia (depending upon location), dragonfly larvae (mudeyes), damselfly larvae, scud (a bottom dwelling crustacean), and yabbies. Again windblown terrestrial insects like ‘hoppers and beetles are a huge part of a varied trout diet. Trout will feed on the surface whenever sufficient food is present. Mostly though they will feed either on the bottom or in the mid levels of the water. Trout are like all wild creatures, they follow two basic principles – food and shelter. If you can

Brown trout are found pretty much everywhere and fall to any method. unimpeded flow to the sea, trout will adapt to estuary conditions very easily and grow to huge proportions. Termed ‘searunners’, the best of these fish migrate to the estuary mouth each year to feed upon the baitfish accumulations. These fish are often bright silver and fight harder than many comparablesized saltwater species. Streams are where most beginning trout fishers

Tasmania has thousands of lakes on the central plateau and most new trout fishers are well served at lakes like Arthurs. WHAT DO TROUT FEED ON? A good friend of mine once said that trout feed on brown things that are 10mm long. While this may seem an over-simplification, in essence it is true. In streams, trout feed mostly on aquatic

find plenty of trout food near areas that give shelter, then you will find plenty of trout. Trout fishing is very much about fishing the percentages – generally trout feed on the bottom on slow moving small things, with the odd fast moving thing. If the aim is catch a trout, then bait fishing is the most productive method. In the next instalment, more about fishing bait in streams and lakes.

Hot Spot

Tamboon Inlet’s treats CRANBOURNE

Mitch Chapman

Tamboon Inlet has to be one of my most favourite fishing locations in Australia. With the diverse species this place has to offer and the size of the fish, you will see why this place is a destination both lure and bait anglers see as a must fish location. The Lake or inlet system offers top notch flathead, bream, salmon and tailor just to name a few, and as you snake your way up and enter Cann River, catching a fish up in this pretty system is a bonus.

PRIME TIME Tamboon Inlet can be fished with great success all year round. Targeting flathead in the warmer months is best when the shallow water heats up and the fish become more active, ‘basking’ in the sun waiting for an easy meal to swim by. Bream fishing is exceptional in the winter months when the fish start to school up pre spawn. Cricket scores of fish can be caught during the time of the year and can make for some top notch fishing in the lake and river. THE GEAR Like most estuary fishing a light 2-4kg graphite spin

Structure means fish, and there is plenty of structure down near the mouth and way up into the river.


rod with a 2000 size reel is best when chasing bream and flathead. When targeting the abundant tailor then don’t forget to use a wire trace otherwise it can become very expensive in the pocket with the amount of lost lures. THE RIG A reel spooled up with 6lb braid and a long 4-6lb fluorocarbon leader is ideal for casting lures at bream. You might want to bump it up a little if fishing the snags as light leader doesn’t last long around barnacle-encrusted snags and big perch. If specifically targeting flathead then 8-12lb leaders are a good starting point with a 1/8oz jighead and your favourite plastic tied on the end. BAIT AND LURES One of my go-to lures for targeting flathead in the estuary is Squidgy Fish as it is a good replica of a mullet and a proven flathead catcher. Softies for bream work well. Squidgy bloodworm Wrigglers in 80 and 100mm are almost the first plastic I tie on and cast out. Fishing blades in the open water and along rock walls is very effective and are one of the easiest ways to catch bream, along

Gez Hawthorne with a horse yellowfin bream, bladed up in the lake. with other species that are available in the lake. BEST METHOD When targeting bream in the winter months then a quality sounder is essential. Locating schooled up bream in open water and casting small blades to the fish is by far one of the best methods and most enjoyable ways to spend time on the water. REGULATION WATCH Dusky flathead rules and

regulations have recently changed so just remember that the size limit is now 30-55cm with a total possession limit of 5 fish per angler. Letting the bigger fish go will ensure stock levels of fish are maintained and the breeders are left to do their thing. HOT TIP It’s important to adjust the drag on your reel to suit the surrounding and

environment that you are fishing. When fishing for bream in snags you want to have it locked up making it easier to pull fish from the timber and not get busted off. Fishing in open water for bream and flathead having the drag backed off is best. You will not pull as many hooks from fish’s mouths as you are not required to pull them from timber in a white knuckled affair.




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MARCH 2014


Make your own loading arm AYR

Steve Farmer

One of the advantages of kayak fishing is that it can be a solitary pastime. Provided you have a single-person kayak, you won’t have to chase up crew whenever you feel like slipping out for a few hours fishing. Of course, one of the downsides of is that you really do have to be independent and able to handle all tasks alone. Probably the trickiest part of a day’s paddling and fishing is loading and unloading your kayak from the roof bars of your vehicle. Last month I told you about the kayak carry cradle I made. That simple project made it so much easier, faster and safer for me to load and strap down my Prowler 13. However, getting the kayak from the ground to the cradle still required a fair bit of a struggle single-handed and I ran the risk of damaging my vehicle, my kayak or myself. I really needed a gadget to help. I had seen a number of loading bars or arms in


magazines and on websites and decided to build my own from whatever scraps I had lying around the shed. At this stage I must point out that you’ll need a fairly robust set of roof bars to use the loading arm I’m about to describe. The bars will have to match the weight of your kayak, which will be multiplied many times by the leveraging effect of the loading arm. Lightweight bars may be distorted by the extra weight concentrated in a small area by this leveraging effect. My Rhino Bars proved to be an excellent investment and have so far handled the concentrated pressures of the loading arm. For the design I had in mind I needed a loading arm with a similar crosssectional width as the roof bars. A 40mm Unistrut suited my roof bars well, but box section or even a solid piece of hardwood would have done the job just as well, as long as it was the same width. After measuring the beam of my kayak I decided 950mm was a good length for my loading arm. The ideal length for your loading arm may vary, depending on your

kayak, roof bars and vehicle. The next step was to cut two 90mm lengths of 25x5 flat steel and drill a 9mm hole, 10mm from the end of each piece. This hole was for a length of 8mm round rod that would lock the loading arm onto the roof bars. These two pieces of flat were then welded either side of the Unistrut and flush with the end and positioned so that the 8mm pin could be passed through one hole, under the roof bar (with just 1mm clearance) and through the other hole, effectively locking the arm onto the bar. To stop the bar twisting horizontally, two more short pieces of flat steel were cut and welded about 100mm from the end so that they protruded 30mm below the bottom edge of the Unistrut and fitted snugly over the roof bar. I made the attaching pin from a long 8mm bolt, hacksawing it off at around 95mm. I made the pin 40mm longer than it needed to be to minimise the chance of it working its way free and detaching from the roof bar while I was loading the kayak. I also welded a short

length of keeper chain to the bolt and the Unistrut to ensure it was always at hand when needed. I used this ‘Mark 1’ loading arm for quite a while. The loading procedure was to fit the arm and position the kayak parallel with the vehicle and below the arm. The stern section of the kayak was then lifted onto the arm. I then moved forward and lifted the bow, pushing it across into the forward cradle. The stern was then lifted from the arm and placed in the rear cradle. Finally, I would remove the loading arm and tie or strap down the kayak and cradle. Unloading was simply the reverse of the loading procedure. The only problem was that the plastic kayak hull slid easily on the steel loading arm. This meant that at times I barely had control of the operation, with the kayak sliding over against the vehicle and scratching the gutter or threatening to slide off the end of the loading arm and crash to the ground. Some sort of non-slip, rubber type coating on the loading arm would have


Attach the loading arm.

The loading arm ‘Mark 2’ with the cradle that prevents the kayak from sliding about. improved the procedure, but I eventually solved the problem by cutting a cradle from 20mm plywood, similar to those on the rooftop cradle. This was then lined with carpet and bolted to the loading arm. The neatly fitting cradle meant that the stern of the kayak could no longer slide about and possibly fall off the arm. Loading the kayak was getting easier, but there was still one problem that, at times, had me struggling. When the stern was lifted onto the loading arm the kayak could, depending on the type of ground surface the bow was resting on, slide forward and off the loading arm.

One solution I’ve been trying lately is to tie the bow rope (which is used to attach the kayak to the bulbar when on the road) onto the base of the loading arm. This prevents the bow from sliding away when the stern is lifted onto the loading arm and maintains more control over the kayak as you lift it onto the roof bars. The rope is then untied from the arm and used to secure the kayak to the front of the vehicle for travelling. Of course, tie-down straps or ropes also attach the kayak and the cradle to the roof bars. The most essential step in the loading procedure is to make sure you’ve removed the loading arm before you

Position the kayak beside the vehicle and below the loading arm.






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MARCH 2014


Lift the stern of the kayak onto the loading arm.


New vehicle limit for abalone



Lift the bow of the kayak.

Place the bow section in the forward cradle.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries has introduced a new limit on the number of abalone and the amount of shellfish that can be possessed in vehicles in south west Victoria. These limits will help protect these resources and ensure that they are appropriately shared amongst users. Under the new regulations, no vehicle may have in it more than 10 abalone and 10L (2L if shucked) of other shellfish such as periwinkles, dogwinkles, snails and limpets. The vehicle limit does not apply to mussels, pipis, scallops, octopus or squid. This new limit is being introduced because Victorian Fisheries Officers have, in recent months, observed large groups travelling in single vehicles to harvest abalone and shellfish in the south-west part of the state. Although the individuals in these groups did not exceed their daily catch limits, they had been returning to

harvest shellfish regularly and their collective catch was exerting pressure on the fishery. The vehicle limit applies to the area bound by the Victorian coastline, the South Australian border, the Hamilton and Glenelg highways (inclusive) and a line running north from the Aire River as displayed in the map below. The new rules have limited impact on local fishers but will discourage large groups from acting in a way which puts the resource at risk. This limit does not affect the daily bag limit per person for abalone

which remains unchanged at 5, of which no more than two can be greenlip. Similarly, the daily catch limit for other molluscs remains unchanged at 5 litres per person (1 litre if shucked). Fishers are reminded that restrictions on the harvest of abalone and other shellfish from the intertidal zone still apply. Shellfish can only be taken in more than 2m of water to protect these vulnerable areas. `Fishers and the community are encouraged to report illegal fishing anytime to 13FISH (133474).






Lift the stern of the kayak across into the roof cradle. Remove the loading arm and strap or tie down the kayak and cradle

drive off. Forgetting to do this could be hazardous to your own vehicle and to other vehicles and pedestrians. The loading arm complements the roof top cradle nicely, considerably reducing the risks and effort needed to load my kayak single-handed. The design outlined above suits my personal needs, but may not be suitable for your kayak, roof bars, vehicle or physical abilities. If necessary adapt the design to suit your own situation and requirements and, most importantly, ensure it is safe and suitable for your needs.



LEE RAYNER SUBSCRIPTION TO BE The loading arm is secured to the roof bar by an 8mm, extra long pin that fits through the side flats of the loading arm and under the roof bar.



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MARCH 2014


March on the fishing TASMANIA

Neil Grose

If asked for the best month of the year to fish in Tasmania, I’d opt for March. March has so much going for it – the warm offshore currents bring loads of game fish, the highlands has some sublime trout fishing, the estuaries are as good as ever, especially for bream, and the stream fishing is very good as well. NORTHERN FRESHWATER Northern freshwater options are essentially found in streams that have a reasonable flow. A dry patch in summer means that many streams are at low levels, and while this really doesn’t present too much of an issue for the trout, it will start to make them very spooky during the middle of the day. Until we get a decent autumn break the best streams will be those that receive a flow from the hydro/irrigation schemes, such as the Macquarie and Brumbies Creek. The South Esk is well worth a look below its confluence with the Macquarie and Meander rivers. Stream fishing is predominantly based around grasshopper feeders and small mayfly feeders. The mayflies will come back into prominence during the later part of autumn, but until the first big rains and cold snaps the ‘hoppers will reign supreme. Look for the overhanging banks with dry grass nearby. If a deeper stretch runs along these banks then so much the better. Streams such as the North Esk, St Pats, Meander, Macquarie and South Esk are the prime waters, but those searching further afield should look for any decent flow, especially in the north east. Lakes such as Huntsman, Brushy Lagoon and Four Springs are really off the agenda until the water cools below 18ºC during the day. NORTHERN SALTWATER All along the coast and the estuaries that flow into Bass Strait are prime. The Tamar River has warmed up beautifully and a good

amount of salt water is all the way up to Dilston, meaning salmon can be found along the entire river below Legana. Snapper are definitely on the agenda, and while it is something of a ‘black art’ to find these fish consistently, areas around the Batman Bridge, Long Reach and between Shag Rock and Inspection Head are all worth sounding out. Quite a few have been caught around Pipe Clay Bay and similar areas. King George whiting are increasing in numbers every year, and the Tamar has proven to be a real hot spot for them. Lagoon Beach and the area along the Kelso flats seems to be the best spot, but keen anglers have found good locations for them in other areas. Catching them is relatively simple, finding them is the real key. The best rig is a simple paternoster rig with a small hook, a light enough sinker to hold the bottom and bait of either pipi or tenderised squid. Some anglers are doing well with soft plastics such

of big Australian salmon, and as always it seems these days, the kingfish aren’t far away. EAST COAST SALTWATER Most eyes are on the gamefishing in March, with the warm current now established down the eastern side of Tasmania. Catches of albacore, striped tuna and yellowfin tuna are expected now rather than hoped for, and while yellowfin aren’t a regular catch, albacore and striped tuna are certainly in huge numbers. Basically the albacore and striped tuna can be targeted in any water deeper than 20m, and most anglers heading out will drop the lures out in anything over 30m of water. At St Helens small boat operators will focus on Merricks Reef and head deeper if conditions allow, while boats setting forth from Bicheno will be setting a spread of lures pretty much as soon as they clear the Gulch. Lower down the coast at Eagle Hawk Neck the water will waver between warm

Boden Buist with a stomping 46cm to the fork bream from a northern estuary. March is a perfect time to chase these very large bream. enough for yellowfin tuna and cool enough for southern bluefin tuna. This is weather dependant, but generally by the end of March most eyes will be waiting for the SBT run to start in earnest. Closer in the bays like

Ashley Hallam dictates terms to an Australian salmon at the mouth of the Swan River.

It’s all eyes to the horizon as the boats leave the Burns Bay ramp at St Helens. as Berkley 6” Sandworms in camp or red. Yellowtail kingfish are always on the agenda once the water warms sufficiently, and while the action was slow to start, it certainly kicked off with a bang in late January. In the Tamar the action is most reliable around the Farewell Beacons as these wonderful sports fish feed on masses of baitfish and small squid. Along the coast, any rocky areas will hold good numbers

From chasing flathead and salmon in the calm bays and beaches within minutes of Hobart’s CBD, to trout in the pristine Upper Derwent and Huon rivers or targeting bream in the tournament waters of the Lower Derwent. Whatever type of experience you’re after, Paddlefish Tasmania can cater for it.


MARCH 2014


0455 150 120

Bev Elmer with a typical east coast albacore.

Georges Bay at St Helens are loaded up with every fish you’d want to catch. Bream on the flats are always exciting when conditions allow, but many anglers are now diverting away from the bream scene into chasing fish like King George whiting and kingfish. The kingfish can be targeted from the bar way at Georges Bay right up into the upper reaches of the bay depending on where the small salmon go. The deeper stretches of Steiglitz are always worth a good look, especially before the sea breeze gets up. Estuaries like the Swan and Scamander rivers are always home to huge numbers of bream, and if the aim is just to get a bend in the rod then fish around the mouths of these respective estuaries as the tide runs out for Australian salmon. Salmon are thick in numbers as they feed on bait heading out with the tide, so any smallish baitfish pattern lure (hardbodied or soft plastic) will do well. DERWENT RIVER This is the prime month for big bream in the Derwent, and with no national ABT tournament on the Derwent this year there will be less traffic to contend with.

As the whole season was running late, the majority of big bream were still spawning as late as mid January. This delayed the ‘population’ of big bream spots in early summer, with most anglers struggling to find some bream over 35cm. As the season has matured into a ‘normal’ one, the usual haunts along the shores are pretty much back to business as usual. For the pick of the action look along the western shore between Cadbury’s and the Zinc works and the corresponding locations along the eastern shore. The bays on the eastern shore between Lindesfarne and Ralphs Bay are especially worth working over. HIGHLANDS The highlands in March is somewhat enigmatic. One awesome day can lead to a hard day at this time of year – it really is a time of transition. Popular wisdom says that trout feed up hard in preparation for spawning, but I suspect that trout feed whenever conditions are right, irrespective of spawning. Arthurs Lake is often the go-to spot for lure fishers, especially trollers. The deeper sections of the lake are always super-reliable for

trolling around 3-4m deep, especially with lures such as Tassie Devils or deep diving hardbodied lures. Drift casting with soft plastics is also well worth persevering with. Cast around the rocky reefs in the Morass – here are the biggest fish. Great Lake is my favourite in March, irrespective of imminent spawning, brown trout are always keen to feed on the surface. Quite often at this time of year we see another surge of gum beetles, and Great Lake trout love these like no other. Head to areas in the north of the lake where they blow off shore in a northerly wind. Places to concentrate on are the whole northern shore from Breona to the outlet and down the eastern shore in bays like Elizabeth Bay and Muddy Bay.

MARCH BEST BETS Salt Offshore from St Helens and Bicheno for albacore and striped tuna with the good chance of a striped marlin or yellowfin tuna. Inshore look at Georges Bay, Ansons Bay and the Swan estuary for plenty of big bream and loads of Australian salmon. Any rocky outcrop along the east coast is worth a look for big salmon or yellowtail kingfish. King George whiting are a great option in Georges Bay, Tamar River and along the North west coast at Stanley. Freshwater Great Lake on warm days when the beetles will take to the wing. On cold days fish the rocky shores with wet flies and lures like soft plastics and gold and black hardbodied lures. In the streams look for grassy banks from which ‘hoppers can fall. Late in March the small mayflies begin to hatch again in the faster streams. Other lakes that fire in March are Lake Echo and Lake St Clair. Again both of these waters are gum beetle focussed, and if searching for some testing fishing, head to Dee Lagoon in a bright north easter – then you will

soon find out how good a fly angler you are! The western lakes are usually very tough in March, at least until the first cold snap comes through. Low levels and warm water usually slow action, but as water cools they

get going again. Waters that have dropped very low will have some stressed trout in there. This isn’t too much to worry about long term, as it pretty much happens every year, but if heading out west look for deeper waters.

Brendan ‘Beevor’ Turriff scores a great trout in the Christys Creek region of the western lakes.


Winner of the IFS licence promotion stoked IFS

Tim Farrell

On 8 January 2013 the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Deputy Premier Bryan Green and Director of Inland Fisheries, John Diggle, were in South Spreyton to present the winner of the IFS licence promotion. Mr Greg Morrison, whose name was picked from a random draw of licence holders was delighted to receive the $22,000 boat package. The draw was for all full season licence holders that purchased their licence before 30 November 2013. After initial disbelief at being told he had won the prize Mr Morrison had to call back to express his thanks and surprise at his win. It was all very real when Mr Morrison took delivery from the Minister and the IFS Director and he was very happy. Thanks to Coastal Marine and Marine and Safety Tasmania for their support of this promotion. HELPING RIVERS ON ROAD TO RECOVERY In 2013 the IFS investigated the current status of a suite of river fisheries across the state. As part of this investigation several rivers with regional representation were electrofished in a survey

Greg Morrison upon receiving his boat package. during February 2013. The findings of the survey showed depletion of river brown trout populations across the state and that the most likely cause was high numbers of cormorants, especially prevalent in 2012 and 2013. Though stocking is not a cure all for these depleted river fisheries it may go some of the way to aid recovery of stocks, particularly in rivers or creeks that have other negative influences on their trout populations. The Rubicon, Galwer, Coal, Clyde, Nile and Break O’Day rivers have all been stocked with at least 10,000 brown trout fry as they have all had environmental issues working against them on top of the latest depletion of the trout populations through cormorant predation. A repeat of the electrofishing survey is due to be undertaken in February 2014 and this will look at those rivers stocked with 10,000+ fry to assess efficacy of stocking with fry for recovering fisheries.

The iconic Break O’Day River has had years of low trout numbers, stocking may help this once famous river fishery recover.

A selection of streams in the state’s northwest have been stocked with a smaller number of brown trout fry to aid in their recovery. Lobster Creek, Don River, Penguin Creek, Dale Brook, Western Creek and Forth Falls Rivulet all received a stocking of brown trout fry on 9 January. Anglers are welcome to provide feedback on river fisheries, particularly those that have received the larger stocking of brown trout fry. The IFS encourages anglers to reduce their personal take of fish from rivers and streams around the state to help with the recovery. ILLEGAL GILL NET RETRIEVED FROM WAYATINAH LAGOON Wednesday 22 January 2014 the IFS received a call from staff at SALTAS Wayatinah hatchery informing of a net found at Wayatinah Lagoon. An IFS staff member went to Wayatinah to collect the net. The net contained dead cormorants and redfin perch and is a reminder of the destruction that illegal fishing gear can cause when used in the freshwater environment. The use of gill nets in lakes and rivers is strictly prohibited and anglers should report any sightings of such gear to the IFS. Thanks must go to the staff at Wayatinah SALTAS hatchery for informing the IFS of the find and removing it from the river where it was causing death of native and introduced wildlife.

SHANNON LAGOON JOINT PROJECT COMMENCED Shannon Lagoon, located in the Central Highlands close to the community of Miena, has an interesting history and has provided for numerous values including hydro-electricity, trout fishing, biodiversity and recreation. Over recent years, Shannon Lagoon has not been a quality trout fishing venue because of high levels of turbidity. With the loss of Lagoon of Islands as a fishery, and increasing

This short piece of gill net has caused the death of native and introduced wildlife.

fishing pressure on Little Pine and Penstock Lagoons, the IFS believes that it is important to explore opportunities to improve Shannon Lagoon with the aim of providing another quality fishing location. The Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) and Hydro Tasmania (HT) have commenced a joint project to determine the current environmental condition and evaluate options for enhancing recreational values at Shannon Lagoon. The project will systematically assess the environmental and economic feasibility of options to enhance fishing opportunity and reach an agreed management approach for the lagoon. We are monitoring turbidity through data loggers installed in the lagoon, and we will be

mapping aquatic plants and monitoring native fish and trout. Hydrological data will also be assessed. We will evaluate the feasibility, likely effectiveness and cost of the various management options that have been proposed in the past, and communicate our findings to anglers to enable open discussion on future management. The IFS is currently in the process of acquiring a strip of land along the northern shore of the lagoon to ensure future access for anglers. IFS and HT aim to hold a workshop to discuss management options towards the end of 2014, and will provide web based updates on the project throughout the year.

Shannon Lagoon from Great Lake Dam.


Specialists  Qualified service staff  New workshop  Comprehensive range of parts for all major brands  Authorised sales/service dealer for SeaDoo Jet Skis & Jet Boats

Contact Maynes Marine 03·6214 9999 Email: 6 Effingham St, Moonah TAS 7009 MARCH 2014


Get your game on in Tasmania this season TASMANIA OFFSHORE

Kelly Hunt

Tasmania has so much to offer the mainland angler with fabulous fishing grounds that are on par with any in the nation. Some of our species will happily go toe-to-toe with all comers. Bream, squid whiting and bluefin tuna are all world class. Anglers that are used to big line ups and crowded fishing areas will be blown away by the ease and accessibility of the region’s fishery. Boat ramps in Tasmania are free to use and so is the available parking. The atmosphere at the ramp is friendly and everyone is happy to help those that need a hand. The upside down triangle shape of Tasmania with its many inlets, bays and harbours allows a plan of attack in any wind condition. All that effort in putting a trip together can be very frustrating with a week of unfavourable winds. In Tasmanian with a 2 hour drive, it’s blowing offshore somewhere. Cheap fares by air or sea means that Tasmania has never been so accessible to those looking for adventure and

something a little different. The friendly nature of the place along with its much slower lifestyle tempo means after but a few days you are relaxed and in the groove. Nothing is a problem and if you slip into one of the local tackle stores they will be more than happy to share any information on what and where the hot bite is. Speak to Jaime at St Helens Bait and Tackle, as it’s the place to go when fishing the Georges Bay area. He has fished it for many years and constantly has his ear to the ground. He often says that for species count and quality the St Helens and Georges Bay area would struggle to be beaten.

The area was fishing very well early in the season with good numbers and size bream being posted on Facebook. This is fairly obligatory now so if you would like to see the quality of the fishing in and around the Tasmanian east coast get across and slap a like on St Helens Bait & Tackle and check out their pics. GAME SCENE The game fishing scene is growing from strength to strength in Tasmania. The southern bluefin fishery is the staple of most anglers, however albacore and striped marlin also feature. The next run of really good yellowfin cannot be far away and we are

all waiting with anticipation. Unlike yester year when we used to just rely on word of mouth and catch reports, more and more anglers are learning and subscribing to sea surface chart websites. These can open up a whole new way in which to plan a trip and maximise success. Combining information around tide change and moon phase and logging good results can mean a more targeted approach next time they all align. It is not just the traditional game fish that are keeping Tasmanian anglers entertained. In February there were some big schools of big salmon to 4kg in Bass Strait and those anglers that persisted pulled some nice yellowtail kingfish from amongst them. On light gear, this is game fishing for one and all, and can cause as many hoots and hollers from anglers being taken to task as the more fancied game species. So if you are reading this and don’t want to miss anymore of the action get into a local tackle store and find out where the hot bite is currently and get involved. If you game fish in Tasmania you always have one ear out for those two words you look for at this time every year, “JUMBO caught!”

March is a little early, but only just. Local fisho Leo Miller always says, “There are no fences in the ocean and if the food comes, so will they.” Jumbos are fish over the 100kg mark and they came last season, and they came with conviction – big schools of triple digit fish in big schools. In amongst them were fish

much bigger than that. If they come again this year we will be better prepared and keener than ever. We all learnt a bit more last year and we will be looking to try new things. A jumbo southern bluefin in temperate waters he calls home is a monumental battle and one certainly to look forward to or travel interstate

HYDRO TASMANIA WATER STORAGE INFORMATION Water Storage Information as at 6th February 2014 Lake/Lagoon

Metres from full


Lake Augusta ...................................2.89 .......................................................Steady Arthurs Lake ....................................0.70........................................................Steady Great Lake .......................................14.31 .....................................................Steady Trevallyn Pond .................................1.06 ....................................................... Falling Shannon Lagoon ..............................0.18 .......................................................Steady Penstock Lagoon .............................0.19 .......................................................Steady Lake Echo ........................................6.6 .........................................................Steady Dee Lagoon .....................................0.07 .......................................................Steady Bradys/Binneys/Tungatinah .............2.75 .......................................................Steady Bronte Lagoon .................................1.07 .......................................................Steady Pine Tier Lagoon ..............................2.58 .......................................................Steady Little Pine Lagoon ............................0.83 .......................................................Steady Laughing Jack Lagoon ....................3.26 .......................................................Steady Lake St Clair ....................................1.93 ........................................................Rising Lake King William ............................1.82 .......................................................Steady Lake Liapootah ................................0.22 .......................................................Steady Wayatinah Lagoon ...........................Null................................................. Unavailable Lake Catagunya ...............................0.40........................................................ Falling

Lake Repulse ...................................0.81 .......................................................Steady Cluny Lagoon ...................................0.90........................................................ Falling Meadowbank Lake ..........................0.32 .......................................................Steady Lake Pedder ....................................1.41 .......................................................Steady Lake Gordon ....................................23.76 ..................................................... Falling Lake Burbury ...................................5.66 .......................................................Steady Lake Plimsoll ...................................2.93 ........................................................Rising Lake Murchison ...............................18.44 .....................................................Steady Lake Mackintosh .............................6.98 .......................................................Steady Lake Rosebery .................................2.30........................................................Steady Lake Pieman ....................................0.66 .......................................................Steady Lake Mackenzie ...............................7.86 .......................................................Steady Lake Rowallan ................................. - ..........................................................Spilling Lake Parangana ...............................1.39 .......................................................Steady Lake Cethana ...................................1.00.........................................................Rising Lake Barrington ...............................1.01 .......................................................Steady Lake Gairdner ..................................1.27 .......................................................Steady Lake Paloona ................................... - ...........................................................Spilling Woods Lake .....................................0.54 ....................................................... Falling Whitespur Pond ...............................8.07 .......................................................Steady Lake Newton ...................................4.61 .......................................................Steady Lake Margaret .................................1.04 .......................................................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


MARCH 2014

for. If you hear they have come to make the Tasman Peninsula home again, don’t hesitate to get on the phone. Ring a local tackle store to see if it is true, ring an airline to get over here and ring to book a charter. If you are looking to get your own boat over here, then again ring a local tackle store for Hooch and Mozz’s number. They will help in any way they can. TRIABUNNA SEAFEST The small town of Triabunna has been effected negatively by the timber industry down turn. It was home to a large wood chip mill responsible for a large part of its existence. This mill is closed, but its deep water port is still an asset. The deep water port is on the minds of a number of clever people that have big things in store for Triabunna, but as with some big plans there are some delays in enacting. It was this deep water port and vibrant marine environment that got people thinking. In the short term it was decided that Triabunna would be a fabulous new venue for a 2 day fishing competition and boat show. The first weekend in April will see Triabunna waterfront come alive with a sanctioned game fishing tournament and an unsanctioned competition for those that would like to

try their hand. The Game Fishing Club of Northern Tasmania will be involved throughout the weekend and will be working with the local community to put on a groundbreaking event for Tasmania. The prize pool for both days is well above anything that Tasmania has seen for some time and currently at $25,000. This is of course not the only reason to attend. There will be

DEEGAN MARINE TEAM PENN Team PENN has a great many people to thank for the tools they have at their disposal. They enjoy massive support from Evinrude outboards, SIMRAD electronics and Surtees Boats. This has all come to fruition from the staff and Hadley Deegan at Deegan Marine. In Tasmania Deegan Marine, or

information sessions and trade stalls, food and refreshments. The game fishing scene and recreational fishing industry has come together to put on an event that will not only deliver a vital economic stimulus to the Triabunna area but, put in place the foundation for the event in future years. Anyone interested in being a part as an entrant go to

as previously known Lindsey Deegan Marine, has been part of the boating scene since oars were a performance option. This business has grown from strength to strength and really does ‘take Tasmania boating’. This Team and its current configuration could not have eventuated if it was not for the willingness of PENN reels Australia to have invested in the Tasmania fishing scene. This investment

continues to provide benefit and new opportunity to Tasmanian anglers and the invigoration of the industry is evident by events, such as Triabunna’s Seafest. Team PENN attend as many competitions and fishing events it can throughout the calendar year. Agfest and the newly organised Triabunna Seafest are other places you can catch up with the team and have a chat. Forever keen to catch up and share their love and appreciation of Tasmania and all the life lessons and good times fishing delivers. The Surtees boat has been fitted out with equipment that makes game fishing and indeed all fishing a real experience so by all means ask the crew about anything you may be interested in. Team PENN was very happy to be invited to the Port Stephens Interclub held recently and attended with one thing in mind. To soak and learn as much off the men and women that make catching marlin look easy. When they return they will be looking to share that experience with Tasmanian anglers. So if you see them at an event or at a ramp near you, get along and say G’day. You can catch up with the lads on facebook at Team PENN international game fishing team. – Kelly Hunt

n o e b o t t Wan f o r e v o C the ? y l h t n o M Fishing


Do you love your monthly issue of Fishing Monthly? Do you think it’s about time you were on the cover of it? Well, we think that too and are offering readers the chance to do just that. The June, July and August issues of Queensland, NSW and Victoria/Tasmania FMs will all feature readers’ pics on the front covers. And there’s no reason why it can’t be you... Entry is simple. Email us your cover-worthy pic. Remember, though, that it needs to be the right composition and resolution to work. After that, it just needs to get through the Grumpy Old Men committee (of Steve Booth and Steve Morgan) and then BOOM, you’re the latest cover model.

Be creative - we like images that aren’t just ‘person holding fish’. • • • • • •

Other parameters of which you need to take note: Portrait format (turn camera on its side). Leave enough room for a magazine masthead at the top of the image. Shoot in the highest resolution your camera can take. Use fill-in flash to help remove any shadows under caps or biminis. Live fish look way better than dead ones. Any fish must be legally captured (within season/size limits).

Head not too high in the shot to allow for Masthead Portrait format showing focus area

And then email your image to: with a description of the what/when/where/how of the capture. Be sure to include your details, too, because we’ll post out a framed copy of the winning covers to the entrant.

THAT will be going straight to the Pool Room, we bet.

For full terms and conditions, please refer to MARCH 2014


Get ready for the Pirtek Challenge 2014 The Pirtek Challenge is on again and the team at Fishing Monthly thought we’d give you all a bit of a heads up on how to go about catching one of the species involved in the competition. This competition donates a lot of money to the Prostate Cancer

Foundation of Australia and that is worth getting behind. You can win part of the $155,000 in prizes and even have the opportunity to fish with Guesty and ET. But apart from all of that, this competition gives you the opportunity to hit the water with friends and family and have a great day in the outdoors doing what we all love the best - fishing! So let’s check out some

tactics to help you win and get you organised to make the most of the 2014 Pirtek Challenge, Australia’s biggest fishing competition.. COMP TACTICS • Get to know your target species and make sure you have them worked out before the competition starts • Your angler number will be emailed to you after 6pm the night before the competition starts • Fish as early as you can to make the most of the limited fishing time (6am till 6pm) • Always look after yourself by wearing the right clothes, drinking and eating the right foods and being careful of the sun while fishing • You are only allowed to


measure in one fish per angler so choose carefully. Most measure in the largest of a given species • Remember there are mystery

length prizes so even a relatively small fish can win you a great prize • Photograph your fish correctly after you have

numbered your competition brag mat with your angler number. Make sure that your camera is charged! GET OUT THERE So sign up, join in and have a great day on the water knowing you’re helping a great cause, all with the chance to win some great prizes.

This map gives you a rough guide on where you can find the target species. They are all abundant and found in many areas throughout the state.


Australian salmon Flathead Bream Brown trout

Murray Darling Basin

To enter the Pirtek Challenge on 28 March 2014 visit Cost is $20 and pre-entry is mandatory. 72

MARCH 2014



Size range: up to 80cm, commonly 24-55cm Tactics: Australian salmon are a schooling fish that terrorises baitfish. Look in areas of good current flow that have bait stacked or along beaches and headlands where whitewater gives cover to the salmon. Bait sand lures work equally well with salmon preferring to eat baitfish profile lures (soft or hard) and baits such as pilchard, bluebait and whitebait. Cast lures towards feeding fish or foamy cover and retrieve quickly. Bait fishers should concentrate on presenting baits in the best areas and being patient. Rigs Bait: Paternoster rig, Running sinker rig, Float rig 10lb braided main line, 25lb leader Lures: 10lb braided main line, 15lb leader



Size range: up to 1.1m, commonly 30-65cm Tactics: Flathead are classic ambush predators that us camouflage to their advantage. Drop offs, weed edges, hard rock and mud edges are all favourites haunts of flathead. Lures, flies and baits all work equally well on flathead. Lures such as soft plastics, vibes, lipless crankabits and hard bodies all take flathead and the variety of baoits that work on the species is endless – they really will take most things. Cast towards structure with baits and lures, drift over the same areas with bait or troll over these areas with lures to take advantage of these ambush predators. Rigs Bait: Running sinker rig 6lb braided main line with 15lb leader Lures: 6lb braided main line with 15lb leader, attach lures with a loop knot where possible. Size range: up to 50cm, commonly 25 to 35cm. Tactics: Bream can be found in every saltwater river, creek and lake in the state. Bream love structure - especially rock - and if you find crud-encrusted rocks in the intertidal zone, you can be sure that bream hang around it at some time of the day. Keep the gear light when bream fishing as they can be spooked by heavy weights and lines. If you want to catch a bream on a lure, make sure that it’s small - smaller than your middle finger. They’ll eat nearly every bait you can find or buy - including white bread, which is an under-utilised favourite. Rigs: Bait: Running sinker onto a #1 or 1/0 hook. Keep the weight as light as possible and let the bream eat the bait before setting the hook. Lures: Small hardbodied divers cast around rocky shores with a slow, steady retrieve are hard to beat.


Size range: up to 80cm, commonly 20-50cm Tactics: Brown trout are found in all freshwater environments and occasionally in the salt where they are called searun trout. They are active predators that will eat anything that presents itself to them. This makes brown trout easy to target with bait, lure or fly. Lures such as minnows, winged-style and soft plastics are deadly on brown trout, while an unlimited variety of flies will work if brown trout are your target. Baits from artificial trout baits through to worms, grasshoppers and crickets are all excellent takers of brown trout. Rigs Bait: Running sinker rig, Float rig, Drift rig 4-6lb mono mainline and leader Lures: 4-6lb mono mainline and leader


MURRAY DARLING BASIN Size range: up to 1m, commonly 30-60cm. Tactics: Carp feed by smell and taste and are therefore attracted to smelly baits. This makes all sorts of baits and surprisingly, occasionally lures, very effective on carp. Baits as varied as scrubworms, corn, bread, dough, shrimp and grubs are all attractive to carp and the use of berley will increase your success rate dramatically. Look for slow flowing areas in rivers, such as back eddies and deeper bends and in lakes look to weedy shallows for the best results. Rigs Running sinker rig, Paternoster rig, Float rig 6-20lb main line, 10-20lb leader, lighter in clear water free of snags.



Size range: up to 75cm, commonly 25-50cm. Tactics: Golden perch are predators that like a moving target. This makes lures and live baits popular, however they also love to hunt down worms and grubs set on the bottom. Lures like Australian-made hardbodies, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits cast around fallen timber in rivers and standing timber in lakes are all successful, especially around first and last light. Bait fished on a running sinker rig or paternoster-style rig are favourites. If you can impart some movement to the bait, your success rate will increase. Cast baits towards and into structure for the best results. Rigs Bait: Running sinker rig, Paternoster rig 20lb braided main line to 20lb leader Lures: 20lb braided main line to 20lb leader, attach lures with loop know where possible. Size range: up to 60cm, commonly 10-40cm. Tactics: Redfin are an aggressive predator that will attack anything alive that the fish thinks it will fit inside its mouth. They love to hang around structure such as timber and rocks, however schools of fish can also be found in relatively clear water, suspended mid-water with no structure nearby. Lures such as diving minnows, winged lures, soft plastics, ice jigs, lipless crankbaits and flies work very well on redfin. Cast towards located schools of fish, redfin will happily accept just about any lure offering you can think of. Baits fished around structure like steep rock walls and standing timber are best. If you can move the bait, all the better as the inquisitive and aggressive redfin loves movement. Rigs Bait: Running sinker rig, Paternoster rig, 10lb braided main line to 15lb leader Lures: 10lb braided main line to 15lb leader, attach lures with a loop knot where possible.


in cash and prizes MARCH 2014


Pirtek Fishing Challenge 2014 The Pirtek Fishing Challenge is a competition with a goal to see as many keen anglers fishing in support of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) all on the one day. It’s a celebration of Australian anglers and their willingness to support a great cause. We’re extremely proud to have had 7,500 competitors in 2013 and to have raised $150,000 for PCFA. Money isn’t everything and it’s the

message and awareness we have been able to promote over the past six years that is truly important. Stephen Dutton, Chief Executive Officer of Pirtek Fluid Systems commented, “Here at Pirtek we believe in having a strong commitment to the community. The Pirtek Fishing Challenge is an initiative designed to get friends and families together all fishing on one day supporting research and awareness of prostate cancer. 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

“As an added incentive there’s over $155,000 in cash and prizes and I urge fishos young and old to become involved. Everyone at Pirtek wishes all competitors good luck and tight lines on Sunday, March 23.” MAJOR SUPPORT The Challenge also brings together several major corporate partners from the fishing, boating and lifestyle market. We have enjoyed long term support from Evinrude, Lowrance, Berkley and BCF and without this partnership the Challenge would not be the success it is today. This year we’re proud to announce two new partners: Stacer Boats and Companion Leisure. Stacer is a name synonymous with quality aluminium boats built tough for Australian conditions. The Stacer 489 Outlaw boat/ motor/trailer package is a sensational prize and will be won by a lucky competitor in this year’s Challenge.

for sale on 2007 Skeeter ZX190/Yamaha 150HP 200 hrs, 80LB Fortrex, HDS10, Simrad TS8........................................................................... NSW / $34,900

2008 Skeeter 20i/Evinrude 250HO 101lb MinnKota, LMS 520/510 sounders, EasyTow Trailer..................................................... NSW / $53,000

Haines 485SF/100 Yamaha 4S 100 hours, 80lb iPilot, HDS9/7, EasyTow trailer.................................................................... NSW / $37,000

Haines ProStrike 490/Evinrude 150 109 hours, 80lb MinnKota, Humminbird 778/998SI.................................................................VIC / $33,000

2009 Attack 470/Mercury 115 72 hrs, HDS 7/5, 80lb MinnKota, custom trailer.................................................................... NSW / $30,000


Companion Leisure are experts in everything outdoors and we’re excited to have them as a new corporate partner. They have an extensive range of fantastic camping and outdoor gear and some successful anglers will be reaping the rewards of their involvement. Evinrude are again supplying the super economical, low emission 75hp E-Tec outboard to power the BMT package; light weight with plenty of torque and power. Berkley is one of the most popular fishing brands on the market and is a huge favourite with Challenge competitors. Every year fishos are fighting it out to get their hands on the latest fishing tackle from Berkley. Lowrance dynamic range of marine electronics is legendary among boaties. This year we have fabulous sounders and GPS units to award our fortunate anglers. Gift vouchers are popular any time of the year but when it has a BCF logo attached it’s the ultimate prize for a fisho. Once again BCF will be supporting our junior anglers helping them choose the right gear for their favourite fishing. CHEAP AS CHIPS It is only $20 to enter (plus $5.95 p&h). All proceeds from the Challenge will go to Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Once again we will send out a limited edition cap and brag mat to every competitor. To register for the event simply log on to www.pirtekfishing The competition will be held on Sunday, 23 March,

2014 between the hours of 6am and 6pm. All competitors need to do is catch their State’s target species, photograph the fish on the Pirtek brag mat along with their registered angler number and send the photo to the website. The idea is to catch, measure, photograph and release the fish. There are 21 target species nationally with fantastic prize packs for first, second and third for the longest fish in your category. Junior anglers (under 16) won’t miss out either with prizes for first and second for each target species. MYSTERY LENGTH Returning for 2014, a $4000 cash prize will be awarded for each target species in ACT/NSW, QLD, VIC, Northern WA and the Murray Darling Basin for the fish closest to the ‘Mystery Length’. To give our angling mates even more to fish for there will be two target species in NT, SA, TAS and Southern WA with a $2000 cash prize for the mystery length in each category. The Mystery Length for each species will be determined prior to the event and not disclosed until the winners are announced.

WIN BIG JUST FOR ENTERING Every registered competitor will go into the On The Water prize draw to win one of four great prizes: • Stacer Outlaw 489 BMT package powered by an Evinrude E-tec 75hp outboard engine. RRP $33,165. • Lowrance HDS-8m Gen2 Multifunction Chartplotter. RRP $2,299.00. • Berkley tackle pack. RRP $2000. • $1800 BCF spending spree gift voucher. Pirtek Brand Champion and Challenge Director, Michael Guest, commented “I’m really looking forward to this year’s Challenge and the goal of 8,500 competitors. It amazes me every year how passionate my fellow fishos are about getting behind such a great cause. There’s no doubt a little incentive goes a long way and $155,000 in cash and prizes is a sensational carrot to dangle. “I wish all competitors a great day on the water, some luck with the fish and our thanks for supporting the world’s biggest fishing competition. “Let’s fight a fish to fight prostate cancer.” – Pirtek




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MARCH 2014

Spearing success

Australia’s biggest fishing competition! Fight a Fish to Fight Prostate Cancer


Rob Torelli

March is perhaps the most exciting month for spearfishing in Victoria. Warmer waters and a great mix of reef and pelagic species make this time of the year a very active and successful time for spearfishers from across the state. The shallows of Port Phillip Bay come alive with challenging and tasty species, such as whiting, snapper, snook, flathead, trevally and even yellowtail kingfish. These species along with your usual leatherjackets and reef species mean places like Mornington, Mt Martha, Black Rock, Williamstown, Point Cook, Saint Leonards and Queenscliff all offer some fun and exciting diving. I have had a blast hunting some flathead and snapper in the shallows recently but must admit it has been a nervous experience with heavy boating traffic being a real problem. I drag out my largest and most visible float and fly a large diver below Alpha flag to alert fellow water users of our presence during these popular months of the year. Jet skis and water skiers can prove a real problem so dive in a pair for safety; one to wave at any incoming boats while the other is down hunting. The ocean beaches and headlands and capes have been producing quality spearfishing as well with consistent catches of crayfish, salmon, large whiting and the occasional yellowtail kingfish. February and March are our peak months for yellowtail kingfish and it has been the usual haunts producing such as Portland’s north shore, Lady Julia Percy Island, Kennet River, Cape Schanck, Nobbies, Pyramid Rock and Cape Woolamai off Phillip Island. Further east Cape Liptrap and the islands off Wilsons Promontory have consistently produced kingfish up to 15kg with larger fish being seen. February 8-9 saw the




in cash and prizes

Sam Dawson from South Australia proudly shows two awesome SBT from south east SA. running of the 4th annual Victorian Kingfish Cup and the state’s best blue water hunters went in pursuit of the mighty yellowtail kingfish, but with poor results. Thirty divers (15 pairs) spread out across the state from Lady Julia Percy Island in the west through to Wilsons Promontory in the south east. No kingfish were landed over both days despite the regular catches in the month or so before the comp. I guess that’s the way blue water fishing goes sometimes. This competition also allows the weighing of crayfish and some quality specimens were landed. Again, these crays were hunted statewide but the best two came from Wilsons Promontory and Phillip Island. Young Tom Adamson won with a 3.6kg specimen while Nathan Watson had a great bull also weighing in at 3.3kg. March is also the time of the year that the most serious blue water spearfishers drag out their blue water

West coast spearfisherman Shane Lowery and 2 fine eating species from Point Fairy – tasty green lip abalone and a nice King George whiting.

spearfishing rigs to go in pursuit of Southern bluefin tuna. These elusive species are always a challenge but with patience and determination we have had limited success. Several mates in South Australia have capitalised on the SBT run in the south east of SA and managed some awesome SBT around the 25-28kg mark. They swam with them for hours without chum and had them milling around, “like salmon, just cruising through in big schools of 20-30kg fish”. Hopefully these fish move into our state waters and remain in this relaxed state during March. With fish already being taken by game fishers off Portland in February we can only hope that greater numbers will continue in March. The offshore waters from Point Fairy and Portland would be a great starting point but obviously check with the local forums and websites to see where the schools are turning up. Hopefully someone will get a chance at the monster barrels and bait balls that have happened in recent years. On a sad note our condolences go out to the family and friends of a South Australian spearfisherman named Sam Kellet who was tragically taken by a Great White Shark in South Australia in February. It does hit home how potentially dangerous our great pastime can be. I have recently bought a new charter boat business in Tonga catering for spearfishers and swimming with humpback whales. ( au) This means that I will be spending most of the winter in Tonga and unfortunately will not be able to continue my column in VFM beyond April.

Register to go in the draw to WiN...

Stacer 489 Outlaw Side Console powered by Evinrude E-tec 75hp plus trailer ...valued at over $33000



to enter

$2000 Lowrance Electronics Pack

$1800 BCF Spending Spree!


+ $5.95 postage

$2000 Berkley Fishing Pack

Fish the Challenge with ET and Guesty!

(inc. flights & accommodation for two to Lake Macquarie)

To enter, log onto All proceeds to Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

For full terms, conditions and licensing log on to Permit Nos: ACT Permit Nos TP 13/04493 and TP 13/04494 ; NSW Permit No LTPS/13/10269 ; SA Permit No T13/2267 ; VIC Permit No 13/3061. MARCH 2014


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Mustad KVD titanium coated knives are ergonomically designed to provide the ultimate in comfort and ease of use. All are precision forged from a single blank of highcarbon German stainless steel, then skilfully honed to hold a razor sharp edge cut after cut. These chef grade knives have an attractive rainbow titanium coating over German stainless steel, with an ergonomic soft rubber handle to provide firm grip even when wet. All in all, the KVD (Kevin Van Dam) fillet knife from Mustad makes filleting fish a breeze. The sharp edge, flexible blade and comfortable handle make getting that perfect fillet easy and safe. They’re currently available in 2 sizes: 6” (#KVDBSJ6T) and 7” (#KVDBSJ7T). Price: from RRP $29.95

The Megabass Blading X is a 45mm metal blade style lure, perfect for estuary and offshore use, with multiple weights available. There are three sizes – 1/4oz, 3/8oz and 1/2oz – which cover everything from bream and bass to flathead and snapper, and everything in between. The Blading X casts like a bullet and can be used to get well ahead of the boat when the fish are easily spooked. It is a great option when fish are not actively feeding. Available in six colours, this bottomweighted blade has a unique wobble that’s slightly wider than other blade style lures. This action encourages shutdown fish into a reaction bite as the lure is worked past them. It can be cast ahead and hopped across the bottom or used in a straight up and down fashion or even with a slow wind. Price: RRP $34.95



Saltwater anglers targeting serious fish will appreciate the extreme build quality of the new Quantum Cabo series. These reels have a modernistic lightweight frame and more metal inside and out than the competition. The body and side cover are built from the new SCR alloy for the ultimate in strength and corrosion resistance. A SaltGuard 2.0 coating is also applied to the alloy prior to the painting process. The machined aluminium handle and ported aluminium spool add to the metal count, as does the huge centre shaft, which is complemented by stronger threads. The super-sized water-tight drag includes a stack of ceramic, carbon fibre and stainless steel washers above the spool, with massive ceramic and carbon fibre washers under the spool. These reels have 7 polymer-stainless hybrid PT bearings plus 1 sealed anti-reverse bearing. Other features include a nickel-titanium bail and magnetic bail trip mechanism that is guaranteed for life. There are 4 models in the range. Sizes 40 and 50 have 5.3:1 gear ratios and the 60 and 80 sizes have a 4.9:1 design. Line capacities range from 270yd of 30lb braid on the 40, up to 380yd of 65lb braid on the Cabo 80. All come lubricated with premium Hot Sauce grease and oil. Price: RRP $199


MARCH 2014





Gold Coast based polarised eyewear manufacturer Barz Optics will release their unique Cabo floating sunglass model later this month. The Cabo is available with 6 lens options: PC Polarised, PC Polarised Bifocal, PC Photochromic, PC Non Polarised, PC Polarised to fit Asian faces and the industry first Polycarbonate Polarised Photochromic Bifocal. The frame comes in 3 colours (gloss carbon fibre with black trim, matt black with light grey trim and matt white with blue trim) and it floats in both fresh- and saltwater. Barz exports to 26 countries and is the only company in the fishing market offering Polycarbonate Polarised Photochromic Bi Focal lens. The photochromic lenses darken in about 30 seconds of full sunshine and take about 2 minutes to fully lighten. They are available in +1.50, +2.00 and +2.50 powers. Price: from $130 (non polarised) to $300 (polarised photochromic bifocal)

EJ Todd are the Australian distributors for LunkerHunt, a company that is dedicated to providing innovative, high quality fishing products for anglers of all skill levels. Winning the ICAST Best Soft Lure Award 2 years in a row, their plastics and hollow body frogs are very impressive. Designed to perfection, the Lunkerhunt Bento and Swim Bento are some of the most realistic baitfish imitations on the market. The Swim Bento features a lively keeled paddle tail while the Bento features a split tail design. Both feature a holographic mylar core and biologically correct detailing. All of these elements are incorporated into a soft yet durable body construction that enables the Bento and Swim Bento to come to life with the slightest movement. The Bento is currently available in 3” and 4.5” sizes, and the Swim Bento comes in 3”, 4.5” and 5.5” models. Price: from RRP $18




Just about every fish will eat a shrimp and the 3D Manic Shrimp profile closely mimics the common saltwater prawn found throughout Australia. From the lifelike detail in the head, right through to the flexible legs and feelers to the tubular, fanned tail, the 3D Manic Shrimp screams ‘eat me!’ Each packet of 3D Manic Shrimp comes salted and scented and its profile lends itself to a range of different rigging techniques. The legs and feelers of these lures are designed to mimic the natural escape pattern of a prawn so reverse rigging a jighead through the tail is by far the most effective way of fishing them. Savage Gear 3D Manic Shrimp are available in 2” (6 per pack), 2.5” (6 per pack) and 4” (4 per pack). These slow sinking soft baits are targeted at bream, flathead, snapper, mulloway (jewfish), barramundi, mangrove jacks, golden snapper (fingermark) and pearl perch. Look for them at your nearest BCF store. Price: RRP $9.99



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

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The flashing red LED in the tail of the new Balista Hunchback sets the scene for amazing visuals as large Murray cod belt the lure off the surface. The LED is water activated. Simply cast the lure into the water and the LED will turn on, and when the lure leaves the water it will turn itself off. The 90mm Hunchback is an all-rounder, big enough and tough enough to handle large surface feeding cod and barra, but not so big that you sacrifice numbers of fish caught. It’s one thing to get surface strikes and quite another thing to actually hook up. The good news is that the tail of this lure hunches around and down to allow the rear point of the lure to sit below the surface, delivering excellent hook-up rates. The Balista team has also fitted it out with large 3X Mustad 1/0 trebles for ultimate strength and hook penetration. The Hunchback also has a clip-off bib for easy storage. Price: RRP $22.95







Bait Buttons are a simple, safe and effective way of securing a stinger hook on spinnerbaits, maximizing hook exposure when fishing soft plastics or locking a soft plastic in place on a worm hook, TT Lures SWS or Snake Head jighead. You can add a Bait Button to your spinnerbait hook, slide on your stinger hook and then add another Bait Button; use a Bait Button to keep your soft plastic in place for maximum hook exposure; or use the Bait Button under the chin of your plastic when using a worm hook to stop it sliding down. Now Bait Buttons are available in a larger size called Bait Buttons Big Game, suitable for hook sizes up to 10/0. The Big Game dispenser pack includes a dispenser unit for easy application of the Bait Button, along with 25 Big Game Bait Buttons. Refill packs of 25 Big Game Bait Buttons are also available. Refill Packs are $9.95 for a pack of 25. Price: SRP $16.95





The Okuma Signature is an extremely versatile reel that has been designed specifically for Australian anglers and the species they love to target. A lightweight graphite frame and rotor, along with the carbon fibre handle arm (size 30 and 40 only) with a Soft Touch EVA knob maximises the angler’s comfort and control whilst fishing for extended periods of time. This is complemented further by an eye-catching black and gold colour scheme, which is sure to please many keen anglers who love their tackle. Internally, the Signature Reel series features 7+1 stainless steel ball bearings, multi-disc Japanese oiled felt drag washers and precision cut machine brass pinion gears. This combination of high quality components enables the reel to perform effortlessly in both saltwater and freshwater environments. As with all Okuma reels, the Signature comes complete with a Lifetime Guarantee. Price: RRP $159.95



There’s nothing quite like throwing a Megabass surface lure. You can just tell it’s going to catch fish and the Pop X is one of those lures. Already available in a healthy range of colours, this 64mm surface lure features an internal structure like no other. Internal supports create hollows for Moving Balancers that create the erratic action fish can’t resist. The latest colours – orochi, burst sand snake and white python – are created by a unique paint job which is used to give the most lifelike look. Each lure receives numerous coats of paint that blend to make the colour perfect, and different colours blend and fade into each other. The Pop X is perfect for bass, bream and most surface feeding fish. Price: SRP $34.95





Fishing DownUnder #34 is in a new format, and now features 7 fishing stories – that’s over 2.5 hours of action packed stories Australia wide. It’s a bumper issue! The features Volume #34 are: Mangrove Jacks And Mongrels; Estuary Luderick; Warrnambool Bream and Trout; Soft Plastic Snapper Tips; Weipa Offshore; Tweed Wild Bass; and Clyde River Gets Turned On. Fishing DownUnder #34 is available now from tackle shops and online at www., or you can place an order over the phone (07 5485 1188). Price: $14.95

Braid Products are a perfect addition to the Penn Australia stable with harnesses, fighting belts and lures included in the range. Braid harnesses are used across the globe, and make full use of the angler’s body weight, spreading out opposing forces at the pivotal point and using all elements of rod, reel and manpower to the fullest advantage. Braid fighting belts are the GT angler’s best friend, combining versatility, comfort and durability. There’s also an array of new jigs from 7g through to 330g in a range of styles. Braid’s range of Tantrum poppers and stickbaits feature realistic colours and a highly reflective holographic finish. They have heavy-duty trebles and through body wire construction. Australian born Dennis Braid has fished Central America, the Bahamas, Bermuda, even testing giant bluefin tuna off the coast of Italy. A trained racing car builder, he became an expert in developing ideas into prototypes. Today he is renowned for his more than 20 years as the leader in big game fishing equipment. Price: Varies

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

MARCH 2014


What’s new fishing Powered by



Inshore and estuary anglers now have access to a larger version of the revolutionary lightweight Quantum EXO spin reels. EXO Spin 40 and 50 have been added to the range, which also includes sizes 15, 25 and 30. An ultra-rigid aluminium alloy in loadbearing areas has been combined with a lightweight composite that reduces weight by 50% in non-critical locations. This delivers the lightest possible frame with zero sacrifice in strength. It’s 38% stronger than magnesium and 6 times stronger than a graphite composite. EXO Spin 40 and 50 sizes use the Quantum C4LF carbon fibre rotor and the saltwater-specialist SCR base alloy. It also has 10 high-grade stainless bearings fitted in a polymer cage for added sensitivity and corrosion protection. Other features include the Quantum line management system, to keep your line packed neat and tight; extra-hard PT gears; a tough-yetlightweight machined aluminium crank handle with EVA knob; and continuous anti-reverse. The sealed CSC drag uses a mix of stacked ceramic, stainless and carbon-fibre to provide great drag power—the EXO 40 up to 20lb; and EXO 50 up to 25lb. And all EXO spin reels come lubricated with Hot Sauce grease and oil. Price: from RRP $199



Not one to put his name to a product that he’s not 100% happy with, Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling says he’s more than pleased with his new Jungle StiX rods! These relatively high-modulus graphite rods are designed to put a tournament-standard rod with near custom-built specifications into the hands of every Australian angler, yet at an affordable price. Notwithstanding the catchy ‘camo’ grips and a military theme, Starlo StiX also feature Sea Guides with zirconium inserts, and custom reel seats. Rod options cover everything from light to medium and heavy spin, and a couple of handy baitcasters suitable for bass to barra. Steve says, “These are the rods I use in my day-to-day fishing: whether shooting DVD and TV segments, competing in tournaments, researching magazine stories or fishing with friends and family.” Starlo has provided his own analysis of the rods and their best applications at www. Price: from approx. $70



LunkerHunt, a company that has won the ICAST Best Soft Lure award for two years running, has released a frog imitation which is like no other hollow bodied frog on the market. The designers have taken a seemingly standard hollow body frog and replaced the traditional skirted legs with functional ‘swimming’ rubber legs. These legs extend during the retrieve and retract on the pause in a lifelike swimming motion. At rest, the body of the lure drops down a little into the water, perfectly replicating


MARCH 2014

the action of a frog and resulting in higher hook-up percentages. It’s another reason why the Lunkerhunt Frog is considered to be the most lifelike frog currently available. There are two sizes: the original Swimming Frog and the Pocket Frog. The Pocket Frog is 40mm (1/4oz) and will extend to 63mm on the retrieve, and the larger frog at rest is 55mm (1/2oz) and will extend to 100mm on the retrieve. Price: from RRP $18



Impact Tackle has released the much anticipated Heavy Duty Headz range. Manufactured using a very strong chemically sharpened hook, these jigheads provide the next level in performance when it comes to combining strength with hook point penetration. With the combination of a correctly set hook point angle in relation to the eye of the hook, and a unique hook shape that increases strength through design, the end result is a stronger hook with the penetration performance of a finer wire hook. It’s currently available in 10 weight/hook size combinations that suit a wide range of inshore and offshore applications. Price: RRP $8.50





The SureCatch Professional Rigging Pack has been designed to save you time and money. This great all-round kit provides enough variety to the angler to make many different mono leader rigs without having to buy the pieces individually. The Professional Rigging Pack (#307RK1) includes a variety of sized aluminium sleeves, oval lumo beads, lumo and aluminium thimbles and rigging springs, all packed and sorted in a double sided worm-proof tackle box. It delivers everything you need in an organised fashion, so you can stop hunting for bits and pieces and just get down to the business of rigging. Price: from RRP $29.95





Bugga Yabbie pumps are made entirely from components that will not rust. This is a godsend for those like me who may not be the best at maintenance. Having said that though, a quick washout with freshwater after use will always make these pumps work better. These pumps are also light. At around 600g for the simplest pump, right up to just under 1kg for the full blown pump, these pumps are easy to use all day – and they also float. Unlike traditional yabby and worm pumps, the Bugga Yabbie makes use of PVC and nylon with a nylon shaft and nylon M10 thread top and bottom. Suction is provided by washers and a nylon wing nut so there’s no chance of losing suction as the wing nut won’t come undone. There are large and small pumps as standard, or you can order a custom one. For example, if you’re a kayaker you can have a shortened shaft, or if you reckon you’re a strong man you can have a shaft with a bigger diameter. Look for Bugga Yabbie pumps on Facebook or email Price: from $55.95



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

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FEATURE PRODUCT Alvey Auto Retract Cord Holder This is something I really like, a retracting cord holder for your tackle retriever. And why do I like this? Simple, it keeps everything neat and there are no more annoying tangles waiting to cause you trouble. Alvey’s Auto Retract Cord Holder allows you to recover lures with ease when you use it in conjunction with your favourite lure retriever. Operation is simple. First, attach your lure retriever to the cordlocking device via a simple loop. Your lure retriever will not go anywhere now. Then let out enough cord to reach the depth your lure is at and press in the black Hold button. The next step is the most important. With the large black hold button pressed in, click in the small black button to secure the cord. You can now clip the unit to your belt or pop it on the boat deck and connect the lure retriever to your fishing line and send the retriever down to

save your lure. When the lure is free, simply release the small black button and the Alvey Auto Retract Cord Holder will wind in the cord, the lure retriever and the lure, leaving you to simply wind up the slack line onto your reel. If you pop the unit on your belt, it works brilliantly hands free. For a native lure caster and occasional troller, this unit is a godsend. Historically our lure retrievers have been stored on handcasters and inevitably the cord would twist up, unravel and create a giant mess in the bottom of the boat or tackle box. This product solves that problem absolutely. Made with stainless steel metal components and built with Alvey’s attention to toughness, the Alvey Auto Retract Cord Holder has a cord breaking strain of 40kg and 7.5m of cord stored inside. This device will save you time and money and it has now become a permanent fixture in my boat. Selling for around $29.95, it’s available from Alvey stockists or you can check it out on the web at – Stephen Booth

FEATURE PRODUCT Saltiga Expedition Saltiga introduced ground-breaking technology to the world, with Digigear II, Magseal and Zaion Air Rotor setting the standard in high performance design and innovation. In 2014, Daiwa has taken it even further with the introduction of Magsealed bearings into the new Saltiga Expedition range. The Saltiga heralded a giant leap forward in design, revolving around magnetic fluid. This revolutionary innovation was introduced to the fishing industry in the 2010 Saltiga. So strong is this magnetic liquid that if placed in a container with a magnetic surface it would retain its shape even if the bottom were removed. Being magnetized, this lubrication system avoids any friction and prevents dust intrusion, improving reel life expectancy. And Daiwa was able to take this technology one step further. Innovative design in the rotor/anti-reverse system has combined new CRBB bearings with a magnetic oil membrane to make water intrusion a thing of the past. The new Expedition series introduces an all-new revolution in ultra-smooth rotation and water sealing. Magsealed bearings are placed in key points in the reel to prevent water intrusion, increase rotation smoothness and increase part longevity. Unlike the Magseal used in the rotor system the new bearings are a fully contained Magsealed bearing. T The Expedition series reels also feature a new body design. The new drag system called UTD Hyper Tune uses an all new carbon and metal washer system combined with a specifically designed grease

that provides ultra-smooth performance. Zaion Air Rotor is a super strong, light rotor that performs flawlessly. This design disperses pressure to the entire lower section of the rotor. Working in conjunction with the Mag Seal, the Air Rotor has been hollowed out to create airflow through the whole rotor system. This prevents foreign material such as water, salt, sand and dust collecting inside the reel. The added air flow also eliminates moisture build-up in the reel, preventing corrosion issues. With other designs innovations like Real Four, Hyper Digigear, Airbail and CRBB also used, the new Saltiga Expedition sets the standard as the best heavy-duty reel available. It is available in two sizes, the SA EX 5500H (15kg drag pressure) and the SA EX 8000H (30kg drag pressure). - Daiwa

TESTED: Hot Shotz Pre-Rigs Although most of my fishing during the year revolves around casting lures and soft plastics around the waterways of South East Queensland, I always look forward to visiting our family in South Australia and enjoying the bread and butter fishing this holiday and South Australia provides. By bread and butter fishing I mean targeting species like King George whiting, snapper, Australian salmon, tommy ruff and garfish using paternoster rigs and bait.

With my knowledge of tying these types of rigs not up to scratch, I felt it was best to purchase pre-rigs to meet my needs. A simple task I thought, but there are a lot of different brands and options out there, so I needed to refine my requirements. I ended up with two criteria, hand tied and under $15.00 per rig. After a Google search I came across and Hot Shotz tackle pre-rigs. Hot Shotz rigs are hand made in New Zealand using quality terminal tackle. The

range of rigs available from the Specialty Fishing site provided me with ample choice to target the species I wanted to, without confusing this simple Queenslander. Snapper fishing was covered with 7 styles of rigs using heavy duty circle style hooks. The flash on the hooks comes in a number of forms and colours to provide an additional attractant, to bring the fish to your bait. The Snappariza also proved to be a great alternative, to use in the surf, chasing Australian salmon. The flash keeping the fish interested, when little or no bait was left on the hook. I love catching King George whiting and the hybrid whiting rigs are a winner. These are hand tied rigs made especially for Specialty Fishing using long shank red hooks with either a blue or yellow flash. The long shank hooks made it easier to bait the hooks and remove the hooks from hooked fish, especially when the kids were fishing with me. If you prefer a circle style hook there is also a rig called a Jig a Bugz. They use a Senshi recurve hook, which ensure a corner of the mouth hook up on most occasions. I also found these rigs to be ideal fished under a float, to target tommy ruff and garfish (I removed most of the flash when chasing the garfish). It would be remiss of me not to mention

the Naked Patty rigs also sold on the site. As the name suggests, these rigs are a hand tied paternoster rig, with no terminal tackle attached. They are available in 3 breaking strains (10lb, 20lb and 30lb) and have twisted droppers. Add your favorite terminal tackle and you are ready to fish. Pricing for the rigs ranged from $8 through to $11.95 and at the time of writing there was free postage. The delivery of my order was prompt and the quality of the rigs was fantastic. Check out Hot Shotz pre-rigs at today. – Peter Jung

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

MARCH 2014


Taking fishing to the Extreme WARRAGAL

Martin Auldist

OK I admit it. I like to bag the Kiwis as much as the next bloke. Afterall, I once spent the best part of a decade living in the North Island and copped my share of stick while I was there. One thing I learnt during my time in the Shaky Isles, though, is that our Anzac cousins take their outdoor recreation very seriously indeed – and that definitely includes fishing and boating. That’s why I was pleased to take a spin in some of the Extreme range of aluminium fishing boats with Shane Hemming and Tim Edney from Inverloch Marine. It’s a fair bet that many Aussie anglers have never heard of Extreme boats. That’s no surprise, because they’ve only been available in Australia for around four years. Even then, they’re sold through a handful of dealers around the nation. Make no mistake, though, these boats are extremely popular across The Ditch. They currently have the largest market share of any aluminium boat in New Zealand and are the most awarded alloy boat in the last 7 years. That’s a damn fine recommendation as far as I’m concerned. The first boat I got a look at was the 570 Centre Console, the sleek lines of which looked stunning, even resting on the

custom built Easytow tandem trailer. For the test, the boys had fitted a Yamaha 150hp 4-stroke outboard spinning a 17” pitch SDS (shift dampening system) propeller – more than enough grunt to push this beast along nicely. Usually, though, the 570s are packaged with Yamaha 115hp 4-stroke engines. Like

all Extreme boats, this boat is manufactured to survey standards in Whakatane on the east coast of the North Island. The marine grade aluminium is 4mm thick in the sides and deck, but 5mm thick in the hull and transom. In other words, it is built to last. Shane and Tim slipped her into the briny with little fuss at the main

The boat felt very sure-footed and stable, even in sharp turns, with minimal pounding as it cut through the chop.

The Extreme 570 Centre Console slipped easily off the Easytow tandem trailer at the main Inverloch boat ramp.

Inverloch ramp and then it was off to the deeper water near the entrance to put the boat through its paces. The first thing I noticed about the 570 Centre Console was the exceptional ride. The boat felt very sure-footed and stable, even in sharp turns, with minimal pounding as it cut through the chop. Shane puts this down to a twenty degree deadrise, aggressive down-turned chines and a broad waterline beam leaving more boat in water. I’m certain these features would allow the 570 to cope easily with seas much rougher than those we had to work with on test

A 20º deadrise, aggressive down-turned chines and a broad waterline beam combine to give the 570 Centre Console great stability at rest and an exceptional ride. MARCH 2014

(capstan winches are also available). Meanwhile, at the back, there are further storage areas for the batteries, as well as a live bait tank beneath the step of the walk-through transom. Above this was a rear rod holder assembly, complete with ski tow hook, and a bait board that comes as an option. There are other rod holders along the gunwales, while the outside of the transom houses the fuel filling port, which ensures no fuel can be spilt on the inside. The vast majority of these accessories are welded in place – as opposed to screwed or bolted – to minimise the risk of corrosion.

SPECIFICATIONS Length:........................................................... 5.75m Beam:............................................................... 2.2m Transom thickness:........................................... 5mm Hull bottom thickness:..................................... 5mm Side and deck thickness:................................. 4mm Recommended HP:....................................90 to 115 Build:..................................Marine grade aluminium Deadrise:............................................................. 20° Towing weight:...............................................1600kg

At rest there is plenty of boat in the water, which with the flooding keel gives the Extreme 570 Centre Console great stability at rest.


day. The keel hits the water well forward, too, with a nice slope and a broad, proud nose helping the transition from standing to planing. Incidentally the 570 popped out of the hole at around 30 km/h and reached a top speed of nearly 70 km/h with three people on board. The New Zealanders like

Aggressive reverse chines are a feature of all Extreme boats. to talk about “good old Kiwi ingenuity” and, believe me, it is certainly evident in this boat. The designers had made incredible use of the available space to incorporate all sorts of accessories and stowage areas in places that didn’t detract from the fishing area. For starters, beneath our feet the 570 had a welded underfloor construction and a treadplate floor that concealed 100 litres of storage area, a 100 litre fuel tank, three large buoyancy tanks, and under floor kill tanks plumbed into the flooding keel. That’s great use of the space below decks. The flooding keel, of course, is designed to increase stability at rest even further, and it certainly seemed to work. Walking from one side of the boat to the other barely raised a wobble! Halfway along the boat the rear floor steps up into a raised foredeck to maximise overall floor space, while a bow rail provides a functional and aesthetic addition to the front end. Right at front of the boat the anchor was retrieved and held by a concealed drum winch that deposited the rope and chain beneath the bow platform

The deck is dominated, of course, by a modern centre console that wouldn’t be out of place in a spaceship. The steering wheel and throttle, along with other controls, instrumentation and gauges are all within easy reach of the comfortable driver’s seat. For the record, the test boat was kitted up with most of the fruit, including VHF radio, AM/FM radio, iPod, and touch screen sounder/GPS combo. This gear is protected by an attractive perspex screen to keep the spray off – not that there was much of that because the hull and reverse chines threw most of it straight back into the sea (you will be able to see that in the photos hereabouts). Overhead there was a roof to keep the rain off, and above that was the rocket launcher and aerials, right up out of the way. In front of the console is a comfortable seat for a passenger, the cushion of which lifts up to reveal yet another storage space. Despite all this, the wide internal beam allowed plenty of uncluttered deck (read fishing space) all around the console.

Top Left: The centre console puts all the controls within easy reach of the driver. Top Right: In front of the console there was a padded seat for a passenger that lifted up to reveal yet another storage compartment. Above: There is a live bait well beneath the step of the walk through transom.

So, if you’re in the market for a serious fishing boat that would be suitable for both inshore fishing with the family or offshore gamefishing with your mates, you’d better contact Inverloch Marine for pricing or to arrange a test drive. These Extreme boats are built specifically for fishing and are as tough as the Kiwi outdoorsmen who design and make them. They are versatile, a pleasure to drive, and have an unmatched refinement in design that will keep the whole family interested. To me, owning one seems like an extremely good idea. FURTHER INFORMATION For further information, pricing, or to arrange a test drive, contact Inverloch Marine on 03 5674 1502, or send them an email at au These guys are the sole dealers for Victoria, South Australian and West Australia. You could also have a look at • 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.

Bottom: Above the transom there were rod holders and a bait board that come as an option. Below Left: The anchor is retrieved by a concealed drum winch that deposits the rope and chain below the bow platform. Below Right: There are underfloor kill tanks plumbed into the flooded keel.

Top Left: Most of the accessories are welded in place to reduce the chance of corrosion. Top Right: The driver gets a comfy padded within easy reach of all the controls. Above: A purpose built fishing boat, the 570 Centre Console has loads of space all around the console.

inverloch marine EXTREME 750 GAME KING


Extreme Boats, the most awarded plate alloy boat in New Zealand is available here in Victoria at Inverloch Marine.

Extreme Boats have everyone covered!

With models ranging in size from 5.4M through to a whopping 11.5M



03 5674 1502

2 The Esplanade, Inverloch 3996 VIC

inverloch marine

For an individual package tailored to suit you or to book your on water demonstration call Tim or Shane at Inverloch Marine today. MARCH 2014


Industry Profile

Streaker Boats Where is Streaker Boats located? We are based in Bayswater in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs where we have three separate divisions. Our purposebuilt showroom is situated at 461 Mountain Highway, Bayswater with our service division around the corner at 14 Michellan Court. Our boat manufacturing facility is located nearby in Havelock Road. How long have you been in business? Leon and Paul Savage started the business in 1973

Mercury engines and come supplied exclusively on Easytow trailers. We also proudly sell the full range of Quintrex aluminium boats. We are an authorised Yamaha ‘Platinum’ Outboard dealer along with Lowrance electronics, Dunbier trailers and Club Marine insurance. What has kept Streaker Boats in business for such a long time? Streaker Boats has been in business for over 40 years due to our commitment to offer the customer not only a ‘quality’ product but also a ‘quality’ buying experience,

extremely hard at providing a friendly, comfortable environment for families to take their time and actually enjoy the experience of purchasing a boat. When you walk in the door, Streaker Boats will… Greet you in a friendly and professional manner, ask how we may assist you and then ‘LISTEN’ to your requirements so that we can offer advice on a boat that suits your needs. We are more than happy for a customer to say that they are

just browsing and will leave them to themselves until they require our assistance. Our ability to listen to a customer’s needs sets us apart from our competitors. and still work ‘full time’ today sharing their commitments between our manufacturing and sales divisions. Having been in business for over 40 years, both Leon and Paul were recently awarded ‘life membership’ to the Boating Industry Association of Victoria. Which brands do you carry? We are the only sales outlet within Australia for our Streaker Boats and these are available fully factoryfitted with the customers’ choice of either Yamaha or


MARCH 2014

with customer service that we pride ourselves on. We find many of our competitors talk a lot about customer service, however our experience is that very few seldom deliver! What does Streaker Boats pride itself on? We pride ourselves on the quality of products that we manufacture and represent and our passion and commitment to the boating industry and our customers. We take great pride in how we present our products to our customers within our showroom and we work

What is the biggest issue facing the boating industry in Victoria and do you have a solution? For many years our biggest issue has been a lack of ‘user friendly’ boat ramps and this continues to be a problem. Although many ramps have gone through some good upgrades in recent years we still require more launching facilities, which will encourage more people to get involved in boating. If you could change one thing in the fishing and boating industry, what would it be? Better facilities, as it should be all about making boating easier for families to get involved in.

There is a passion about Streaker Boats rarely found in the industry, can you explain this passion? This ‘passion’ comes from a strong desire to offer customers a first class ‘boating experience’. As a customer service orientated family business, we know how people like to be treated and this philosophy extends throughout the entire business encompassing our manufacturing, sales and service divisions. All of our staff share this passion and it is reflected in our results from customer surveys, carried out by Yamaha and Quintrex, where we consistently score well above our competitors. The most memorable moment for the company was… In 1993 when we were finally able to offer our customers a true ‘turn key’ boat package from our own retail division, which then culminated in 1999 with the opening of our purpose built showroom. If people want to contact you they can get hold of you by… Giving us a call on 03 9729 8288, send us an email to au (yes we will respond to your email!) or visiting our showroom at 461 Mountain Highway in Bayswater.

What’s new boating


Award-winning Bayliner Element


Platinum Nautilus Inflatable PFD

Bayliner’s Element has won yet again, this time as the Powerboat of the Year in the Starter Boat category at the 2014 Motor Boat Awards gala in London. The Bayliner Element represented a massive shift in Bayliners’ thinking and construction and was further evolution of the strategy of making Bayliner boats easier to own and use. The Element, available in Australia in a standard and sport version, is a versatile package delivering more boat at a reasonable price. The true step-aboard nature and simplicity of owning an Element is the key to its success. You can tow it with a family sedan, handle it on your own and fit the entire family. With its affordable price and safety features, like the patent-pending M-HullTM design that provides 30% more lateral stability, a deep freeboard and high gunnels, all passengers will feel at ease immediately. For more information visit - Bayliner

The Nautilus Inflatable PFD Level 150 Foul Weather Offshore Yoke is designed for allday comfort, with a soft neoprene neckliner to avoid chafing. It has a large 50mm webbing belt with a twin-tab synthetic nylon buckle for quick and easy fitting, and complies with the latest AS4758.1 safety rating. The tough and durable material is nylon Oxford 420D with convenient access for maintenance. It is rated for adults heavier than 40kg, with chest sizes 80-140cm. This PFD is designed flat for easy storage and has a manual inflation system that is activated by pulling down on the toggle. There is also a mouthpiece for oral inflation. Designed for general offshore and rough weather use, this PFD will keep a fully clothed person on their back with their head clear of the water without any action required by the user. The RRP is $99 and more info is available at platinummarine. – JW


Mercury 75th anniversary

Mercury Marine turns 75 this year, and the company is celebrating with upcoming events around the world. Mercury, a division of Brunswick Corporation, designs and manufactures a huge range of marine propulsion products for everything from inflatable tenders and fishing boats to cruisers and yachts. Mercury was founded by E. Carl Kiekhaefer in 1939 when he purchased a bankrupt engine manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, near the Kiekhaefer family farm. The plant had 300 outboards that had been rejected by a large retailer due to defects and operating problems. Hoping to transform the engines into working capital to fund the future business he envisioned – magnetic separators for dairy farms – he redesigned, rebuilt and sold the engines to the retailer that had initially rejected them. The engines sold immediately and Kiekhaefer suddenly found himself in the marine engine business. Since then Mercury has gained a reputation for superb reliability and performance, and you can find out more at – Mercury Marine


Navico’s new acquisition


Savage 495 Bay Cruiser


Navico Holding AS, parent company to the Lowrance, Simrad and B&G brands, has announced that it has acquired Contour Innovations. Contour Innovations is a mapping and geospatial software company that created the LakeTrax platform, which powers Navico’s Insight Genesis global mapmaking tool. Navico has worked closely with the Contour Innovations team for the past 2 years to bring Insight Genesis to market. To date, Insight Genesis has provided innovative map-making tools to 146 countries. Contour Innovations is also the creator of the innovative BioBase software and service, which allows aquatic biologists, government agencies and researchers to implement long-term monitoring programs related to current and historical aquatic vegetation densities and other waterquality characteristics. Navico will now add BioBase to its product portfolio. The acquisition of Contour Innovations is Navico’s second purchase in the last 6 months; the company recently acquired Consilium’s radar business to grow its Simrad Professional range of products. Navico

The Savage 495 Bay Cruiser runabout is the perfect choice for multi-purpose family boating. With new, modern styling, including smooth plate look 3mm side sheets, the 495 takes up to 5 passengers. It is rated to 90hp and has a 70L underfloor fuel tank so you can cruise around all day. A painted hull is included as standard, along with all the practicalities such as rod holders, rear folding lounge and large side pockets and anchor well for storage. Available options include a berley bucket, ski hooks, sounder, transom door and rear ladder. For extra protection and shelter from the weather, the Bay Cruiser can also be optioned up with a bimini and envelope and side and front clears. The 495 Bay Cruiser is available as complete boating package including boat, trailer and engine as well as a 3-year limited warranty. For more information head to - Telwater




4 5

Stacer Outlaw 429

The 429 is the smallest in the Stacer Outlaw range but it’s just as tough as its bigger brothers, built with 3mm bottomsides and rated to 50hp. Available as a tiller steer or side console, the 429 Outlaw is complete with Stacer’s renowned EVO Advance Hull, front and rear casting platforms and rod holders. The EVO Advanced Hull ensures superb stability at rest while also providing a soft ride when underway. An anchor well, transom step and rail, large side pockets and a battery tray in the casting platform are standard features. Optional features include a bow mount thruster plate, sounder, underfloor 50L fuel tank and painted hull or vinyl wrap. The 429 Outlaw is available as a Stacer Ready 2 Go package complete with boat, motor and trailer and a 3-year limited warranty. For more info on the Outlaw 429 or the entire Stacer range head to www. - Telwater


MARCH 2014


Whittley’s superb SL22 with Volvo Penta 200hp BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe

The Whittley heritage goes back 6 decades. Timber construction in the early 1950s gave way to fibreglass, and with the company’s emphasis on best possible finish and presentation it didn’t take long for the Whittley name to become synonymous with quality boating. Today there’s a large range of well appointed Whittley fibreglass boats. The Sea Legend series alone has 6 models, ranging from the SL21 through to the massive SL 28 hard top. The reviewed cuddy cab SL22 with Volvo Penta inboard engine seamlessly combines comfort and useful features from stem to stern with decent shelter from the elements. Power options are interesting – you can choose either an outboard or inboard engine. While many trailer craft these days are equipped with outboard motors there’s no denying the cost savings and other benefits of the inboard Volvo Penta 4.3L petrol V6. The Volvo unit costs around the same as a modern 70hp 4-stroke outboard. LAYOUT The SL22’s layout was a combination of comfort and practicality. Reviewing the craft out from Scarborough on Brisbane’s north side, I soon noticed that no space was wasted. Every appointment and feature

The Whittley SL22 features handsome looks with a high degree of practicality.

Top Left: Optional rear seating immediately sees the SL22 as a 6-seater rig. Top Right: The Whittley’s dash: an ergonomic combination practicality and purpose. Middle Left: Comfortable full-length bunks were par for the course on the Whittley Sea Legend 22. Above: The Whittley’s bait tank and bait station are adjacent for easy angler use. Left: The Whittley’s seating, on storage boxes, offers a handy mix of practicality and high levels of comfort. 84

MARCH 2014

made a lot of sense in the best Whittley tradition. The Sea Legend’s sleek design emphasized modern styling highlighted by an exemplary standard of finish. Up front the wide anchor well came equipped with a provision for an electric winch, although manual anchor tending is no trouble thanks to the large cabin hatch. The Whittley’s cabin featured full-length bunks over large storage boxes, was neatly lined and had overhead shelving plus a marine toilet. An infill is available to convert the bunks into a large double bed. Entry into the cabin was direct, with a door another a factory option. A heavy-duty set of clears were part of the SL22’s package. Featuring zip open front sections, they were linked to a solid stainless steel hard top frame equipped with a bimini. This extended both forward and backwards (the latter section is an option) to cover some of the cockpit work area. Sensibly, the bimini’s rear section had a zippered opening section to allow access to the 6 rod holders mounted on the hard top frame along with paired LED cockpit lights. These were also an option on the test boat. Aft of the craft’s 5-section windscreen (the section in front of the skipper was equipped with a wiper) the Whittley’s helm seating was strong, comfortable, and very practical. The skipper’s and mate’s wraparound slide adjustable seats were set on the front of quite substantial storage boxes equipped with aft facing seats. Up front, to starboard, the helm/dash layout was purposeful but practical.

A compass was tucked highest, just aft of the windscreen. Just below was a rounded off dash section with gauges; a speedometer to port, then came trim, temperature, oil pressure, RPM, fuel, a voltmeter, with tachometer to starboard. On the next level were the engine’s ignition key, a Raymarine Hybrid Touch 7” unit, with winch controls and QL trim tabs to starboard, next to a 12V outlet. The classy 3-spoke steering wheel had arrays of switches set each side, while forward controls for the inboard engine were set into the craft’s side, handy to the skipper. A VHF radio

This stern view of the SL22 gives an insight into the amount of fishing room available. The Volvo was very responsive, with only slight throttle lever movements required to increase speed rapidly. Steering was very sweet, too, thanks to hydraulic steering. It was fun to throw the Whittley’s 23 degree deep V hull into fast turns to watch how quickly the hull recovered to a level aspect. QL trim tabs are standard and make sense on a large hull like this one.

FISHABILITY Overall, the ride was very good. The hull was extremely quiet, responsive to trim and seemingly without any vice whatsoever. The slick entry section up front, paired bottom strakes each side, central planing plank and outer reversed chines ironed out small waves and chop east of Scarborough with ease. It was easy to see that the Whittley would make just as great an offshore rig as a boat for a day on the bay with the family or a group of friends. The Whittley’s useful array of fishing features were backed up with a great touring range thanks to its 210L fuel capacity. This boat would easily take 4, perhaps 5 anglers well offshore for some bluewater work. A cockpit freeboard of 900mm would ensure confident sea keeping and minimal spray intrusion into the cockpit’s interior. The Whittley’s cuddy cab, of course, would also offer great shelter for occupants or for tackle storage.

In all the SL22 was a great craft for serious fishing or for enjoyable family use where fishing is mixed with tow sports or just enjoying some cruising. It came on a well built tandem wheel Mackay/ Whittley trailer which was quite suited to the drive off/drive on style of launch and retrieval that larger craft demand. The test rig, with the extras of deck wash units, paired rear seats, LED lights, extra rod holders, VHF radio,and Raymarine unit, was priced under $90,000. A more basic boat-motortrailer package is available for under $75,000. For more information log on to www.whittleymarine • 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.

The Whittley’s stern drive unit had ample power for the solid glass craft and offered great stability at rest. was also part of the kit. In all, an ergonomically pleasing helm set-up and very Whittley. BIG COCKPIT WORK AREA The carpet-lined cockpit was 1200mm long and 1720mm wide, and with only 30cm intrusion from the 200hp inboard engine at the stern there was no shortage of fishing room. Extended seating options involved 2 removable seats each side at the transom area. As I saw it, the Whittley’s 770mm deep cockpit, from its underfloor storage area aft to the arrays of upright rod holders in each stern quarter, virtually had the lot! Large off floor side pockets with toe holds underneath were equipped with recessed (horizontal) rod holders that saw both butts and tips protected behind the hull liner. Gunwale top sections were well padded and featured another 2 stainless rod holders per side. A freshwater deck wash unit was set up in the port

side pocket, and a raw water wash down to starboard. Rounding off the cockpit features were a plumbed bait tank atop the engine cover plus a moulded bait board complete with storage area and 2 more rod holders, In total there were 20 stainless steel holders available. Interestingly, there’s no transom door; you just step over the transom sections each side of the engine when boarding from astern (a ladder was set to starboard). Dual batteries were located to port in the transom area, with an isolator of course. ENGINE PERFORMANCE Thanks to the grunt from the fuel-injected 4.3L 200hp V6 Volvo inboard, the SL22 was no slouch underway. The low centre of gravity of this smoothrunning petrol V6 added terrific stability to the craft, especially at rest. The engine was also quiet. Even when working hard it had minimal noise intrusion into the cockpit.

SPECIFICATIONS Length of hull...................................................6.50m Length on trailer...............................................7.64m Height on trailer...............................................2.90m Beam...............................................................2.26m Fuel capacity..................................................... 210L Engine ratings...........................................150-225hp Engine fitted.................200hp 4.3L Volvo V6 inboard Persons rating.........................................................7 Towing...........................Large 4WD, family 6 wagon

And it was so willing to go! A push of the throttle lever saw the craft – with 2 aboard – planing at 20km/h, at just under 2000rpm. 3000rpm saw 34.6km/h, 4000rpm 48.3km/h, and 4500rpm (WOT ) saw 57.4km/h. The 200hp Volvo Penta stern drive has a CARB 4-star rating and comes with a QL Neutra Flush engine flushing system as a bonus. The Whittley SL22’s engine ratings are from 150-225hp (for both inboard and outboard) which saw the 200 Volvo towards the top of the tree. In my view it provided all the power required for easy performance.

The V6 Volvo inboard offers easy service capability with all important items easily reached.

The Whittley at speed. Note the way the hull pushes water well away from the occupants. MARCH 2014


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


MARCH 2014

Holiday Rental


Charter Boats

West Coast

Angling Expeditions Victoria, Tawonga (03) 5754 1466

West Coast

Warrnambool Holiday Park (03) 5562 5031

Highland Trout Lakes, Ballarat (03) 5368 9574 Millbrook Lakes Lodge, Ballarat (03) 5334 0404

Sharkmen Fishing Charters 0418 107 071 Portland Fishing Charters, Portland (03) 5523 3020

East Coast

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

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:

South-West Fishing Charters, Portland 0418 306 714 Shallow Inlet Caravan Park (03) 5687 1385



Gone Fishing Charters 0409 007 068

Tasmania & Flinders Island


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


Ausprey Tours, Launceston (03) 6630 2612 Gone Fishing Charters, St Helens (03) 6376 1553 Fish Wild Tasmania, Hobart 0418 348 223



from dawn to dusk

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

Lester Rd Yanakie WILSONS PROM E

Flinders Island Adventures, Flinders Island (03) 6359 4507

03 5687 1385

Professional Charters, St Helens (03) 6376 3083 Trout Adventure Tasmania, Bronte Park 0418 139 048 Trout Territory, Northern Midlands (03) 6397 5001

Accommodation NSW South Coast

Reel Time Fishing Charters 0438 302 093

East Gippsland


Marlo Ocean Views Caravan and Camping Park (03)5154 8268


21 Marine Parade MARLO VIC


03 5154 8268

• Deluxe cabins HOSTS: Les & Kathy HEYNE • Cabins with ensuite • Budget cabins • Premium ensuite vans • Powered & Unpowered sites • Pet friendly • Undercover BBQ areas in Marlo • Large oval • Kitchen Largest park • Camp fires • Kiosk the beach Short walk to • Coffee shops

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

Reel Affair, Merimbula freecall 1800 233 247 Espirit Charters, Bermagui (02) 6493 4104 or 0407 260 110 Freedom Charters, Eden (02) 6496 1209 or 0415 602 446 Headland Fishing Adventures, Merimbula (02) 6495 1134 Island Charters, Narooma (02) 4476 1047 or 0408 428 857 K9 Fishing Charters, Merimbula (02) 6495 1681 Merimbula Marina, Merimbula (02) 6495 1686 or 0427 951 080 Narooma Charters, Narooma 0407 909 111 O’Brien Charter Service, Bermagui 0407 214 124

Scan the QR code with your smartphone for more info!

Cini SKIPPERS: Matt Matt Boulton

Victorian Alps

Fishing Guides Snapper Tuition Available

0438 302 093

NSW South Coast

Dartmouth Motor Inn (02) 6072 4233


“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

Off The Hook Fishing Charters 0419 554 916 Able Fishing & Charters, Williamstown (03) 9502 3777

Wilderness Fishing Tours, Mallacoota VIC 0424 625 160 Aussie Fish Estuary Adventures, (02) 6495 9902 or 0400 062 504

ACE Fishing Charters, Bonbeach (03) 9773 4183 Adamas Fishing Charters, Barwon Heads (03) 5254 3320 Big Red Fishing Charters, Queenscliff 1800 805 587 Blue Magic Fishing Charters, Rowville (03) 9759 5301 Calypso Fishing Charters, Tootgarook (03) 5985 8463 Geelong Charters & Fishing Trips, Geelong (03) 5275 7107 Impulse Charters, Queenscliff (03) 5258 3739 Jillian Fishing Trips, Blairgowrie 0418 148 426


Katrina Louise Charters, Cheltenham 0402 828 140 Kestrel Charters, Queenscliff (03) 5258 1783

Queensland Cairns Bed and Boat 0418 772 751

Queenscliff Fishing Charters, Queenscliff 0458 504 058 Pro Red Fishing Charters 0421 442 775 Reel Adventure Charters, Yaringa 0409 932 077 Rip Charters Fishing Trips, Sorrento (03) 5984 3664

Chandlery & Accessories

Saltwater Charters, Queenscliff (03) 5258 4888 St Kilda Fishing Charters, St Kilda (03) 9770 2200

Anchor Right (03) 5968 5014 Techni Ice (03) 9783 1922

Boat Trailers

Western Port Fishing Charters, Hastings (03) 9769 5544

BMS Marine (03) 9731 7269

Series 2 through 8

Capella III Fishing Adventures, Port Welshpool (03) 5688 1585 Far Out Charters, McLoughlins Beach 0428 401 819



East Coast

Prom Adventurer, Port Welshpool (03) 5682 2633 or 0428 594 767 Prom Coastal Charters, Yanakie (03) 5687 1248 or 0429 935 583

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

1800 228 244

Razorback Bluewater Charters, Port Albert (03) 5183 2691



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

MARCH 2014



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JARROD DAY Pick up any fishing magazine or tune into a fishing TV show these days and you won’t have to look too hard to find Jarrod Day.

pop all day and just when your arms can’t go on any longer, you hook a brute that nearly pulls you out of your socks.

Jarrod is rapidly becoming one of Australia’s most respected fishing journalists, and has worked extremely hard to get there, making the most of every opportunity. Jarrod is a regular columnist for Fishing Monthly, and has contributed countless articles for many other national magazines along with writing and co-writing several important books. As a journalist he has experienced the best fishing in Australia and as a retailer he also sells the best and advises customers on what to use when, where and importantly, how. So he really knows his fishing, and has experienced the best around. Jarrod has been using Wilson Live Fibre rods for many years now, and has put them into action in all sorts of situations, so it is fitting that a journalist formed from hard work loves the Live Fibre rods series, also made good by genuine Aussie hard work.

How important is well-designed gear to fishing success? It all comes down to the species you target. If you’re a weekend angler that just hopes to catch a fish, reliable gear will pay dividends and cost you less in the long term. This is mainly due to the gear holding up, not rusting or breaking down. Cheaper rods and reels on the market almost tend to be a “one use” item. As I say, if you can spend an extra $20 on a rod or reel, your gear can go from basic to first level professional and will last twice as long. How important is it that Wilson’s rods are rolled here in Australia in response to research and development on the ground? Aussie built rods are built for Australian conditions and Australian fish, not overseas species for overseas anglers. The attention to detail is far better here, but aside from that, with rods designed, rolled and built here you know you’re getting a rod to suit the species you’re targeting in your own backyard. No one knows and understands our unique fishing conditions like local Australians and Wilson’s Live Fibre rods are designed and built by Australians right here. I liken Wilson rods to Dick Smith food products; we are Australian so why not buy Australian. Supporting our local economy is more important than overseas. What is your favourite Wilson rod, and why?

Big GT’s demand a tough rod, like the Wilson Live Fibre Blade N Tail X Heavy.

This is a hard question simply because I have so many Wilson rods to choose from. I am a huge fan of the Blade N Tails range in particular the X Heavy

At what point did you realise that writing for a hobby and fishing for fun had evolved into a career? After my honeymoon and I told my wife I didn’t want to go back to work, so I quit my well-paying job and decided to get into the fishing industry. That was ten years ago now and I haven’t looked back. I took a 20k pay cut at the time but found fishing as a lifestyle, not a job as such. With a substantial loss of income and my first child on the way, I had to find other ways to bring in a little more bread. I currently spend around 30 hours a week writing, then fishing and photographing. I guess one day I will get a real job. What technique gives you the most satisfaction? Jigging and tossing poppers are much the same, as you need a lot of stamina to be able to continue on all day. These two styles of fishing are extremely hard on the body, your fitness and your gear. You can jig or

Snapper love a deep-fished soft plastics, and what better rod than a Wilson Live Fibre.

model. I have caught many memorable fish including snapper on plastics, tuna on stickbaits, kingfish on stickbaits, red bass and GTs on poppers and even live-baited sailfish in Kuala Rompin, Malaysia just recently. For me, this rod has been put to the test on a lot of tough species and it continues to perform. If you were only allowed to fish for one species, what would it be, and what rod would you choose? If I were only allowed to target one species, I would have to say trout. Nothing can be more relaxing than wading a small gin clear stream watching trout rise or swimming in the current. Of course I’d then have to catch them so I’d naturally use the Blade N Tails Ultra Light. Favourite fish destination?

Working blades is a very productive during the cooler months, and a Live Fibre Blade N Tail is the perfect choice.



Fishing for giant trevally. No other species I have caught to date can rip 120lb braid off a reel at a rate of knots and that’s after you’ve tightened the drag knob with a pair of pliers! Together with that, my favourite destination would be Bligh Reef off Portland Roads in far North Queensland – that is where the big GTs hang out.


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OFFER ENDS 31 MARCH 2014 > Stainless Steel Propeller > DTS (Digital Throttle & Shift) > Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (On all 6 cylinder Models)



MARCH 2014

Victoria and Tasmania Fishing Monthly - March 2014  
Victoria and Tasmania Fishing Monthly - March 2014