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Exploring the western lakes Delights from the deep Eildon Pondage Holiday Park May, 2018 Fishing Monthly G R O U P
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May 2018, Vol. 13 No. 7
Contents WEST COAST West Coast
Portland 14 Warrnambool 16 Apollo Bay
CENTRAL Geelong 18 Port Phillip West
Port Phillip North East
Port Phillip North
Western Port North
Western Port South
EAST COAST Lakes Entrance
Marlo 32 Gippsland Lakes
McLoughlins 33 Bemm River
NSW SOUTH COAST Bermagui 37 Eden 36 Mallacoota 37 Merimbula 38 Narooma 39
VICTORIAN FRESHWATER Horsham 52 Robinvale 52 Yarrawonga 53
From the Editor’s Desk... DODGING BULLETS ON MARINE PARKS It’s been a busy month behind the scenes of fishing. The big story was that recreational fishing dodged a pretty big bullet with the passage of the latest Marine Parks plan from the government. In the opinion of Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), Australian Recreational Fishing Federation (ARFF) the Game Fishing Association (GFAA) and even the Seafood Industry Association (SIA), the government’s plans for federal marine parks were balanced. They provide a great compromise between keeping fishing and seafood industries alive, while preserving areas for conservation. Heck, the associations even got together to co-operatively launch a press release telling the
politicians that they thought this. You don’t often see recreational anglers and commercials working together like that. The opposition tried to get the legislation thrown out by moving a disallowance motion. Luckily the government and every single
way, there’d be great swaths of the ocean tied up, never to be sensibly enjoyed again. Like deadly asteroids passing close to the earth, sometimes bad outcomes are closer to becoming reality than you may think. For that, I thank the dedicated volunteers who
crossbencher voted against it, and the sensible plan is a step closer to reality. A lot of this happens behind closed doors, but at the end of the day, it really does affect how and where you can go fishing. If the Labour/Greens had their
work behind the scenes to make sure that our businesses and pastimes are protected. To the Col Tannahills (President of AFTA) and the Brett Clearys (President of ARFF) of the world, we thank you for your hard work behind the scenes to
make sure that I can keep going fishing. To the government, thank you for letting common sense prevail and for listening to the user groups who actually spend time on the water, rather than just battling for the wilderness from behind a keyboard. And to the anglers of Australia, thank you for doing what you do, for buying licences and for being a force to be reckoned with when serious issues arise. There’s not a sane polly alive who’s not scared of a cranky fishing sector against them at election time. Want to play a small part? Like the ‘Keep Australia Fishing’ page on Facebook, and when there’s a call to action, become a keyboard warrior yourself. It’s the only way we will win the war on our sport.
Mildura 54 Jindabyne 55 Wangaratta 56 Shepparton 57 Ballarat 58 Eildon 62
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Angus James holds up a stonking redfin from one of Victoria’s western lakes. An Angus James image. TO SUBSCRIBE SEE PAGE 67 FIND THE DAIWA LOGO COMPETITION PAGE 31 Victorian and Tasmanian Fishing Monthly magazine goes on sale the last week of each preceding month (latest sale date 31st of the month).
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Delights from the deep
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Sussing out the western lakes
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Sussing out the western lakes for the first time FRESHWATER
Angus James Instagram: @jimmygusjames
I’m a passionate fisher from Tropical North Queensland, where I spent my spare time targeting everything that swims in the crystal clear rainforest streams and also enjoyed sharing my adventures in the Queensland editions of Fishing Monthly. At the end of last year my wife and I made the big move down to Western Victoria. After settling in, my research quickly
history of this lake dates back to the 1800s when it was dammed during the gold rush era; the lake was established from a natural wetland and it became a thriving part of the Victorian district with plenty of water activities during the early settler days. It even hosted an Olympic rowing event during the 1956 Melbourne games. It was one of Australia’s first stocked lakes for trout and English perch. Now, it’s a beautiful place teeming with birdlife and surrounded by well-established European trees and vintage buildings. The lake really is the heart
are two boat ramps to choose from to get you onto the water. These ramps are well maintained and easy to access with plenty of parking spaces. Around the lake there are also little pontoons and jetties, and for the landbased anglers the options are endless. Being a shallow lake, it is almost completely covered with weed. This sometimes makes it challenging to fish and work lures, but let me tell you, hiding in the weed are some of the healthiest and hardest-fighting fish in Western Victoria. My favourite time to fish
Big redfin are what Victoria is famous for! metre long in this lake; they are super healthy fish and fight hard. Because it is very shallow they can make their way into to weed fast. It’s crucial to get the upper hand in the battle ASAP. I like to run 5lb braid with an 8lb
brown and rainbow trout that thrive in the lake and many of the locals say this is the healthiest they have seen the lake in a long time. As the weather starts to cool down there will be some great catches coming
edges is a dynamite way to go about things. I also like to rig my soft plastics weedless. This allows me to let my favourite plastics work hard up against the bottom without worrying about snagging up. It’s
A beautiful buck rainbow trout from a land-based session. turned into anticipation and excitement when I discovered how many awesome fish-holding lakes are situated in Western Victoria. LAKE WENDOUREE The name Wendouree actually comes from the local Aboriginal word ‘Wendaaree,’ which translates to ‘go away.’ The
and soul of the town. It’s approximately 6km around the whole lake and often has lakeside activities, like Sunday markets and live bands playing most weekends, in close proximity to the botanical gardens nearby. Most of Lake Wendouree is very shallow with an average depth of 2m. There
here is early mornings and late afternoons. Spinnerbaits work really well on this weed-covered lake as they create a lot of flash and vibration above the weed. Often you will see the big redfin race out from beneath the dark holes in the weed to smack your lures right in front of your eyes. English perch can be up to half a
Beautiful backdrops make catching fish a bonus. leader. This light gear allows me to cast my spinnerbaits long distances and cover a lot of water when I’m out prospecting for the big perch. There are big numbers of
out as the trout will really start to become active. I have caught some nice rainbow trout in the past few weeks on spinners attached to a grub. Slow rolling the weed
important to set the hook hard when rigging weedless. My goal this year is to catch a 50cm Lake Wendouree perch and I will be giving it a red-hot crack.
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Land-based fishing at its best. Even better when there are no crocs!
LAKE FYANS Heading south, just over an hour down the road, and we come across another magical Victorian Lake. Located at the stunning foothills of the Grampians, is the spectacular Lake Fyans. This hidden gem is by far my favourite place to fish since moving down to this part of the country. The lake’s
My biggest from the lake so far is 47cm and it was one of the best fights I have had from a perch – it just wouldn’t give up. When fishing the lake I love casting chatterbaits and spinners around. There are lots of schooling redfin around and I find that these bigger presentations allow me to search out those bigger
are best as the fish will be out and about hunting for longer periods during the day. ROCKLANDS At the foothills of the Grampians, another beautiful location well worth a fish is Rocklands. This place is on fire this time of year and you can fill your esky up in no time when you locate the school redfin. Using your
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Afternoons on the Victorian Lakes are pure magic. picturesque Grampians backdrop is a real treat. It makes you realise that catching fish really is just a bonus when you come to places like this. The lake has plenty of timber, weed edges and some deeper water in parts of the lake. The edges are quite sandy with lots of little dropoffs and snags for fish to ambush small baitfish and
models. I like to cast my lures past the timber and reeds then bring it back past the clear patches. The fish will be waiting in ambush for that innocent baitfish or yabby, or your lures. If you want to experience some true Wimmera magic then I highly recommend making a trip to this ripper of a lake. The Lake Fyans Holiday Park is situated right on the
sounder to find the schools is a must in this lake and when you find them, let the fun begin. I often hear of cricket score sessions here. This place can produce hours of line pulling entertainment. Rocklands has free camping and the ramps are fully accessible. Chuck in the camping gear and head out for a weekend adventure and get a good feed of Wimmera
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whiting in the process. I find CRUSADER little grub-tail soft plastics work really well here. Let them sink down to the bottom through the schools of fish you find on your sounder then work them up with pauses into the schools.
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LAKE WALLACE Situated in the town of Edenhope, Lake Wallace is starting to thrive again. It wasn’t long ago that this place was all dried out and now after a few years it’s back to the excellent fishery it once was. The lake is surrounded by a weed edge making it perfect for trolling. Working small hardbodied
shallow divers and Tassie Devils will eventually get you hooked up and reeling in a trout or two. Land-based anglers have been successful lately casting soft plastics off the jetty and working them back of the bottom. It’s amazing what a bit of rain can do – and a healthy stocking program, thanks to the Victorian fish stocking. This is a lake well
worth checking out over the next few months with trophy fish waiting for you. LAKE TOOLONDO Toolando is the home of the trophy trout. This lake is a special part of Victoria. It really is an anglers’ paradise, full of timber. Of course, it’s also home to some beautiful brown and rainbow trout, not to mention some XOS
That’s a solid english perch on a Vortex Spinnerbait.
A solid 49cm redfin from Lake Wendouree in Ballarat.
redfin. A really fun way to fish this lake is to work your way through the maze of timber with your electric motor and cast small soft plastics and hardbodied minnows into the structure. As the surface temperature starts to get cooler over the coming months this lake will really begin to fire. I can’t wait to get back down there and chase some big brown trout. It’s a ripper of a lake and worth exploring. LAND-BASED FISHING One of the best things about fishing down here for me is that I now don’t
have to worry about the crocs. Most of the lakes are well suited for a good, solid land-based session. Often I will leave the boat at home, fill a backpack and head off for a flick. Catching a fish from the bank is as good as it gets if you ask me and you are often in with a good chance of catching some cracking fish in Victoria. There are so many lakes and rivers to try out, from the volcanic lakes like Bullen Merri and Purrumbete that are full of the fast-growing Chinook salmon and trophy trout,
to the Rocklands Reservoir that is teeming with redfin, trout and recently stocked Murray cod, bass and EPs. I have only been here for a few months and I’m super excited as there are so many beautiful lakes in Western Victoria to explore and the fishing is only going to get better as the cooler weather takes over. It’s an exciting time to be down this part of the country, that’s for sure. Yes, it’s going to be cold during winter, but there is no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing.
Swapping hands NSW STH COAST
Steve Starling www.starlofishing.com
Which hand should you crank your fishing reel with? It seems everyone has an opinion on this contentious
Just about every spinning reel or ‘eggbeater’ sold in America, Japan or Europe arrives in the store with its handle factory-fitted on the left side of the body. Most threadline reels that reach our shores are set up this way, too, although the majority
The author reckons that cranking spinning reels with his non-dominant (left) hand — and therefore not having to swap hands after every cast — has caught him lots of extra fish over the years, along with avoiding plenty of snags. subject, so let’s examine the underlying principles once again! Left or right hand wind? It’s an age-old argument in fishing circles, and one I’ve written about many times before, including in these very pages just a few years ago. However, the regularity with which the question pops up tells me that it’s still a hot button issue with many Aussie anglers, and also something that puzzles lots of newcomers.
of Aussie buyers quickly swap the handle over to the right-hand side after buying the reel. But if you watch video footage of overseas anglers in action, you’ll see that almost all of them crank their spinning reels with their non-dominant hand. In almost 90% of cases, that means their left hand. That’s right: it’s accepted practice in most other countries is to crank spin reels (and some other styles) with the angler’s non-dominant
hand. Kids learn to fish that way and it’s seen as a perfectly natural thing to do. I can’t tell you why it never really caught on here… perhaps because there was no YouTube when fishing started in Australia! I’m right-handed, but I changed over to using lefthand drive spin reels (along with fly reels and centrepins) 40-odd years ago. While I can still ‘switch-hit’ reasonably effectively these days when picking up a right-handed outfit, I’m much happier and more comfortable cranking left-handed on the reel styles described… yet all my baitcasters, overheads and Alvey sidecast reels remain right-hand drive. You may well ask why, and I’ll do my best to explain. For me, it all comes down to the mechanics of the
The preferred casting grip for most people using spin reels involves wrapping their dominant hand around the foot of the reel, with its stem emerging between a couple of fingers. So, why swap hands after each cast? makes great sense (to me and many others) not to go through the motions of swapping the outfit from one hand to the other to begin the retrieve
I reckon cranking with my non-dominant hand while holding and working the rod with my dominant hand when using spinning tackle has
Most spinning (threadline) reels ship from the factory with their handles on the left, while most overheads are right-hand drive. Have you ever wondered why?
overheads and sidecasts, where the ideal casting grip differs from the preferred retrieving and fish-fighting grips. A change of grip is generally required on these outfits, and this switch-over is most efficiently achieved (in my opinion) by smoothly passing the outfit from one hand to the other at the completion of the cast, or even while the lure or rig is still in the air. However, none of this is quite as important as some people would have you believe. In the final analysis, there’s really no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to hold a particular style of outfit or to crank your reel. You’re probably better off sticking with what feels good and works best for you. That said, every angler I know who’s bitten the bullet and put up with the couple of days of clumsy, uncoordinated discomfort that’s generally
casting process. Most of us cast our spinning outfits by wrapping our dominant hand around the reel seat, with the reel’s stem emerging between two of our fingers: usually the pointer and middle finger, or the middle and ring finger. Whether we then go on to cast single-handed (with light outfits), or bring our non-dominant hand in to play on the butt end of the rod to perform a two-handed cast, it
The author still prefers to wind baitcasters and overhead reels with his dominant (right) hand… Go figure!
Lots of excellent anglers fish very effectively while using their dominant hand to crank their eggbeaters. The choice is yours. 12
or fight a fish. The stronger, more dexterous dominant hand (the right, in my case) can stay exactly where it is after the cast is completed, while the non-dominant hand instantly comes up to perform the relatively menial task of turning the handle. Over the past 40 years,
caught me a whole heap of fish I would otherwise have missed, as well as avoiding quite a few snags, especially in shallow water. Once mastered it is simply a faster and more efficient technique. Things are a little different with other reels such as baitcasters (plug reels),
required to switch their brain and muscle memory from dominant to non-dominanthanded reel cranking with their spinning gear has said they would never, ever go back. As I wrote here a couple of years ago, and will go on saying, it’s definitely something worth thinking about…
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Some unstoppables are being caught by locals WEST COAST
We’ve just had a taste of the cooler weather and the fishing is still better than average. Some early big swells have lashed the coast and driven the salt water way up the river on
The upper reaches will quieten right off now with the Easter school holidays behind us, so if you like serenity there’s no better place than the mighty Glenelg. The lead up to the full moon has as usual been fishing well on the mulloway but fish are still coming from all over the river at any time
Mikey wrangled his biggest mulloway all by himself. Chris Doorman has taught him well.
Tommy Purcell had this bream smack his surface lure – there’s nothing better than a surface strike. those bigger tides. During a recent big swell, the green sea water was seen up as far as Dry Creek. When this happens it’s not uncommon to start catching odd things in the river like garfish or trevally.
of the moon. Live mullet has been the main go-to with plenty of fish in the 70cm+ range being the norm. Local river legend Jack Kerr caught a super healthy 15lb fish in the lower reaches on a mullet. The fish headed
straight for the shallows and put him around some nasty rocks. After some nervous moments Jack won out with some fish, you wonder how you lost them, others you can’t believe you get – it’s part of the thrill that keeps us coming back. Don’t think you’re out of the mulloway hunt if you don’t have a boat; berley hard from a landing and fish live mullet or pilchards back into the trail. Plenty of fish are caught using this simple method. Bream have been firing again with the sand flats of the estuary holding good numbers of large fish. Shallow diving hardbodies are deadly when worked over the sand with that little puff of sand when they erratically crash into the bottom, often attracting the strike. White bait, pod worms
and crabs have worked a treat for the bait fisho. Don’t be afraid to pop the crab a bit to let the juice out once it’s on the hook; the scent release might just be the trigger. Bream have been firing best in the area between Sapling Creek and Dry Creek, but that can change overnight; the best bream fishers aren’t afraid to try new spots. The bream and perch are right through the system and up into the fresh, so there’s always a hungry fish somewhere. Perch are playing the game, as is always the case for this time of the year. Live baits and lures are a must for this fast-hitting fish. People get wrapped up in the thought that estuary perch are only upstream in the heavy snags – not so. Lure fisher Tommy Purcell had an awesome
session using bent minnow style lures down near the mouth over mud flats. The surf fishing has been going great guns on the local beaches. There have been plenty of gummy and school sharks, snapper and mulloway. No catch has been better than Dave Moulden’s monster 57lb mulloway. Like I said in the last report, it’s coming up to that time of year for those 50lb+ mulloway to cruise our coast, so I dare say there will be more. Lauren Veale who does some amazing research into the species recently showed how a tagged mulloway swam from the area that the 50lb fish came from along the
coast then way up into our river system. Some credible anglers of late have talked of ‘unstoppables’ and you never know – it might not be long before someone else joins the legend status. • Good luck and feel free to come and see us at Nelson Boat Hire for the latest info, we have the local ‘live bait licence’ meaning we stock live mullet, crabs and podworms along with all the frozen bait, tackle and lures you need for the area. We’ll do our best to give you some local knowledge and get you on the fish quicker. Remember you can hire any of our boats without a boat licence, including our very popular houseboat.
Dave Moulden’s 57lb mulloway taken from the surf not far from the river mouth.
Inshore and offshore, Portland looks great PORTLAND
As we move further into autumn the run of SBT continues with most anglers managing to get a few of these fish. Tuna from 10-25kg have been taken regularly with the odd 100kg+ fish mixed in as well. The tried and proven method of trolling skirts and hardbodies is having the most success and another method that is having success is casting stickbaits and poppers at schools busting up; this can be a good method to catch them if the tuna are proving hard to catch. Further out on the shelf, albacore and tuna are available and the size is generally bigger than the inshore fish. Albacore anywhere from 3-30kg can be taken on small skirted lures and deep divers are proving the best method to catch these fish. Also out on the shelf there are plenty of mako sharks; these are a great alternative to chasing tuna and albacore all day. Bottom fishing on 14
Lachie Wombwell with a handful of whiting. the shelf has seen catches of blue-eye, pink ling, gemfish and blue grenadier feature in anglers’ catches. Coming inshore the Bridgewater area has seen good catches of flathead,
gummy and school sharks up to 15kg, latchet and snapper. Closer in the whiting grounds seem to have shifted from up around the rock and Point Danger to the north shore, with anglers finding more
fish on the north shore then up around the rock. The harbour has been fishing well for pinkie snapper, whiting, calamari, bream and flathead, with the trawler wharf and the boat ramp jetties being the best spots to try. Moving over slightly, the Lee Breakwater has seen good catches of pinkie snapper and the odd 5-6kg being caught as well. Whiting, barracouta, salmon, school and gummy sharks are also being taken regularly. The local beaches are starting to fire with the winter run of salmon starting to show up. A paternoster rig with either bait or a surf popper will produce the best results. Other catches from the beaches include sharks and mulloway. In all, Portland is again proving a fishing Mecca for anglers of all ages and abilities from the shelf to the shore. • Portland Bait and Tackle is family-owned and operated stoking fishing tackle, bait and marine accessories. They are open 7 days a week from 7 to 7. Portland’s one stop fishing tackle shop,
we cover everything from chasing redfin and trout in fresh water to blue eye and other deep sea fish over the continental shelf. The new owner John Johnstone has extensive fishing experience for both fresh and saltwater. He has fished most areas of Australia, from chasing trout
in the high country to the jumbo tuna down the West Coast – the chances are John has done it. To get the latest advice on what’s been caught call Portland Bait and Tackle on (03) 5523 5213 or drop in and see them at 111 Bentinck Street, Portland.
Shaun Roantree and Ben Johnstone with a decent bag of blue-eye.
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May has good options and plenty of variety WARRNAMBOOL
Mark Gercovich firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hopkins River has been producing some captures of quality mulloway recently and there’s no reason to assume they won’t still be around in May, unless we get some heavy freshwater flows. With the lack of
rainfall recently, that looks highly unlikely. Numerous fish in the 80-90cm range have made a few lucky anglers’ days. Both lures and bait have been successful, with the lower regions being the most productive. It’s really great to be able to go out and target mulloway in the Hopkins with a reasonable chance of success. If the mulloway doesn’t happen along your
lure, there have been plenty of bream by-catch to keep everyone amused. May is usually a time I look forward to, as the schools of bluefin come closer to the coast. This year however they were close all summer, offering plenty of opportunities to dash around chasing surface action in smaller boats, rather than your traditional tuna game boat setup. While the fish can
An example of the mulloway taken recently from the Hopkins River.
Tuna like this have been present inshore for months, so hopefully a fresh run comes through in May.
often be finicky when they are in close feeding on smaller bait, casting stickbaits, small soft plastics or metal slugs will produce the goods. If you are struggling to chase the fast-moving schools, sometimes ignoring the mayhem of jumping tuna around you and trolling between bust-ups can pick up a stray fish on its way. Gummy sharks are often a good May target for those sick of or not interested in the tuna. In fact, the tuna frames and leftovers make for some sensational gummy berley and bait.
With the change of season, wandering the local freshwater river reaches becomes more appealing. Not only do the browns start to stir as the water cools, but the estuary perch can also begin to be on the move as they prepare to head down to the estuary over the cooler months. There have also been plenty of bream in the lower freshwater sections of both the Merri and Hopkins, adding to the variety of what you may come across. Packing lightly and wandering along the river
banks flicking soft plastics or hardbodies is an enjoyable way to spend a session. The likelihood of snake encounters also diminishes as the days get cooler and shorter. The Warrnambool breakwater has been fishing well lately with schools of salmon and ‘Couta providing the main action, particularly to those throwing lures. Some of the salmon have been quality fish around 3kg. The odd pinkie snapper and King George whiting have been showing up as well if you are using bait.
Cape Otway is really turning up the goods APOLLO BAY
We’ve had some reasonable weather over the past month, with quite a few suitable days to hit the beaches and
streams or get out wide in a boat. The salmon off the beaches are still quite patchy, but there have been reports of a few fish up to 2.5kg. The far end of Wild Dog Creek Beach, also known as Pirates Cove, is still a favourite spot
for bait fishing or spinning with your metal lures. I’m still getting good reports of lots of gummies and some big flatties being caught around the 40m mark off Blanket Bay Reef and around the corner of Cape Otway. Matt from Hit-n-Run
Cape Otway gummies are in good supply lately.
A decent Cape Otway kingfish for a happy angler. 16
Charters has been finding the right spots and bagging out on gummies. Anglers have also been able to pick up a decent kingfish here and there, even though they have gone off the bite a bit. After the bluefin tuna were quiet for a while, they turned up very early again. A few regulars have told me that they have found some good
bait balls off Cape Otway with big arches under them down deep, but they just wouldn’t come up. They tried cubing for a while and attracted a massive mako instead. The local rivers and streams are fishing pretty well for bream and trout further upstream. The few showers we’ve had have freshened them up a bit and
got the fish on the bite. Unweighted scrubbies have been the most productive and small hardbodies are also catching fish. • If you’re coming to Apollo Bay for a fish, be sure to pop in to get all you bait and tackle needs, as well as an up to date report, or call us on (03) 5237 6426.
Hopkins River is at its best COBDEN
As a general rule of thumb for many of South West Victoria’s anglers, autumn is the best time of year to wet a line. We have cooler, more stable weather compared to summer and the only hiccup is the Easter school holidays. However, this year the southerly winds that often plague us in summer have continued into autumn. This has put a thorn amongst the roses, especially when it comes to boating. A distinct lack of rainfall hasn’t helped either, but autumn down here is known to be dry to begin with. We hope that decent rain comes our way before the weather turns more towards winter. Late March did see over 35mm fall on two consecutive days, which is more than we have had in the previous two months. It’s a start, but we need a lot more and sooner rather than later would be nice. The Curdies estuary and lake has been constant for bream recently. The mouth has been closed to the sea for some time now, but the
This is a good Hoppies bream was caught on the edges next to the institute jetty in the middle reaches. system, while not being full, has enough water to hopefully see it through until the early winter rains fall and hopefully reopen the mouth. Many bream are being taken in the lake near the township of Peterborough, which points to why many boaters are launching in town rather than further inland at Boggy Creek. More importantly the weed growth in this shallow lagoon hasn’t gone ballistic as it quite often can and this has advantaged the lure and
soft plastic brigade who can still work the water here by fishing shallow diving minnow lures or by slow rolling soft plastics. Plastic enthusiasts are still having success with prawn and shrimp patterns, with grubs coming in at a close third. Stick and jerkbaits that don’t travel below a metre are also attracting a fair bit of interest from the bream. Bait anglers are using local live shrimp and greyback minnows with success along with the flesh
from juvenile salmon cut into strips with the skin left on. Even packet frozen prawns work on a given day. Nearby the Gellibrand River has once again seen some problems, with yet another (albeit small) fish kill occurring due to a small outbreak of black water, which occurred upstream in the estuarine section. As the river was full, the people in control decided to open the mouth to allow welloxygenated saltwater to penetrate and push upstream. This manoeuvre has risks attached to it, such as causing another fish kill, but it appears in this case to have worked well. Hopefully by the time this article goes into print the general fishing should improve to no end, especially in the bottom reaches of the estuary. The Hopkins River is arguably at its best for big bream in years, with blue-nosed crunchers to 46cm being caught right along the estuary, with the upper reaches being favoured. Lures and baits have accounted for many fish. The key is to fish with light weight and extra long, fluorocarbon leaders.
A great effort by Declan who caught this mako shark near Wilsons Prom.
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The fish need a little effort to tempt a bite fairly widespread and once they found the better schools they anchor locked using a bow mounted electric motor and had a ball with them. The lads also managed to catch a great feed of flathead keeping 15 around the 45cm mark. I had a look around Curlewis recently and found a patch of salmon working the surface. I lobbed a few flies at them on 9wt gear and had a ball catching a few up around the 50cm mark on a white and chartreuse deceiver. Bendigo resident Neil Williams stayed at St Leonards where he and his wife enjoyed
Neil Slater email@example.com
Tom Nguyen has been fishing Wurdee Boluc Reservoir near Moriac and doing well on the redfin. Tom says that the standout lures were the 5cm Christmas beetle pattern Bullet Lure and the 14g black and gold Pontoon 21 Paco spoon. Tom said, “Fishing off the wall can be tough but if you’re prepared to rock hop along like a billy goat and put in the casts, you will find them. During the day a big long cast helps find redfin but when low light hits short casts can work too.” As the weather cools down, expect the redfin to drop in numbers, but increase in size. May is typically when we see a few southern bluefin tuna kicking about the Surf Coast and Bass Strait. Most are around the 12-15kg mark, with a few up to 30kg thrown in here and there. Recently schools of tuna around the 15kg mark had been spotted working the surface in 30-40m of water from Bancoora to
There’s been plenty of kingfish action along the Surf Coast. Australian salmon have been going well in the region. Good numbers of fish have been caught from the Surf Coast beaches, inside Corio Bay, with The Rip pumping out some whoppers to 3.5kg. There have also been salmon schools busting up off Barwon
Brett and his mates had a school of kings to themselves off Collendina. The Rip. They had been very hard to tempt. Anglers that approached the school carefully without driving through them hooked up on occasions while casting small white surface poppers. Larger fish can often be tempted by running a skirted lure a long way out the back of a boat when trolling.
Heads, but like the tuna, they are focused on something quite small and it’s very difficult to get them to bite. I was out with Hugh Hanson and Stewie Turner last month and we found a school of 1kg+ salmon on our way in, but they were too hard to tempt, so we called it a day. I did get one to bite at a small
surface popper, but it failed to hook up. The rest of our day offshore went okay. We dragged lures hoping for tuna or kingfish from The Rip to Torquay and back without luck, so we decided to try for a flathead, snapper or a gummy on the drift. We ended up with a few flathead and pinkie snapper in 35m and Hugh managed to land a 64cm kingfish on a 5cm strip of squid meant for a flathead! We also found big schools of arrow squid hanging close to the bottom in 40-50m of water early on. They were grabbing our flathead baits, so I sent down a few jigs and we had enough for bait and dinner later on. Brett Helling also fished out off Collendina last month where he and a few mates found a bunch of arches on the sounder in 40m of water. They sent down every jig they owned and ended up with 10 kingfish to 90cm! That’s not a bad day out! May generally heralds the end of kingfish in the region, but you never know if you find a patch of warm water. King George whiting
should come on the bite in and around the Surf Coast and Barwon Heads. Hit the shallow reef areas and use pilchard pieces, fresh squid and pipis for bait. The mouth of the Barwon River is a great place for small boats and landbased fishos to target these tasty critters. Further down the Surf Coast, Richard Boyd got stuck into a school of salmon to 50cm fishing from the beach and Moggs Creek. Richard said the salmon were in real close and hit the bluebait consistently over the middle of the day. Ross Winstanley has been fishing inside Corio Bay and catching plenty of pinkie snapper from 32-40cm. Ross says that pieces of Australian salmon have been the standout bait. Paul Mayer has been fishing the inner and outer harbour of Corio Bay and catching a few nice pinkie snapper on soft plastic lures. Fishing the spoil grounds off Curlewis Paul and his mate managed to boat quite a few pinkie snapper from around 45-55cm and many more in the 30cm range, which was great fun. Paul says that they were
May should see a few redfin hit the grass at Wurdee. a two-week fishing holiday. Neil says that King George whiting were difficult to locate and they had to work hard, moving around to find a school of fish. Neil says that the whiting they caught were around the 36-38cm mark and in excellent condition. Most of their whiting were caught in 4-5m of water on either mussel or fresh squid. Neil notes that the whiting they did
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find out deeper were mainly undersized. The husband-wife team found calamari were plentiful and a good size. They caught plenty around a weed patch just beyond the green pole at St Leonards, although anglers were catching them all over the place. When the going got tough on whiting, they drifted for flathead and were happy with some nice-sized fish. Rod Ludlow from Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head says clients have enjoyed good bags of King George whiting between Governors Reef and
Paul has done well on pinkie snapper. The lure of choice was the 3.75” Munroe’s paddle-tail soft plastic in motor oil rigged on a 2/0 1/4oz JigMan jighead worked slowly along the bottom.
the Prince George Bank both in close and on the edge of the deeper water on pipis and mussels. Both tides have been producing but it must be running to entice a bite. Anglers’ whiting catches have been up around 20 fish ranging from high 30cm to 43cm, so you don’t need many. Squid have been prolific with lots of Rod’s boats bagging out in one and a half hours with some squid up towards the 1kg mark. Some reasonable pinkie snapper are being caught both early and late between the Prince George Bank and Steeles Rocks near Portarlington. FISH HARD – DIE HAPPY! Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to email@example.com. au with ‘VFM’ in the subject field or give me a call on 0408 997 348. 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).
Corio Bay now net free All commercial net fishing ceased in Corio Bay on 1 April 2018. This delivers on a key commitment of the State Governmentâ€™s Target One Million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to grow participation to one million by 2020. Most commercial licence holders (33 of 43) exited the Port Phillip Bay fishery in 2016, well ahead of the expected eight year time frame. They caught 87 per cent of the commercial catch of fish targeted by recreational anglers. Thatâ€™s a lot of snapper, King George whiting, flathead and calamari now left for anglers to catch! Eight licence holders elected to stay in the fishery using non-net methods beyond 2022. Until then, they will continue to fish with existing gear including nets, under a strict catch cap and will then transition to long lines. Target One Million is investing a record $46 million, including $9 million from recreational fishing licence fees, to get more people fishing, more often!
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Unpredictable weather might just linger on! PORT PHILLIP BAY WEST
Alan Bonnici firstname.lastname@example.org
Mikic have spent some time out on the bay between Altona and Port Melbourne and have been sending me
Melbourne’s autumn weather sure has been unpredictable lately, and windy conditions have often been the major culprit of spoilt fishing weekends. Despite this, the fishing between Port Melbourne and Werribee continues to consistently provide a wide range of species to target and exciting opportunities for local anglers. Last month I reported that the annual snapper season around Melbourne was coming towards the end, but surprisingly the snapper fishing is still going very strong. I have received several reports recently around Port Phillip Bay that should keep your hopes high of landing a few late-season big reds. Good mates Jack Patterson and Christian
through regular reports. The boys have been fishing in depths around 12m, while spending extra time on the
sounder looking for any signs of schools. When they find some arches on the sounder, they’re quick to stop the
James Strangis has been spending some time fishing in his tinny between Werribee and Geelong. James has had several exciting sessions on the local pinkies, flathead and squid. James has noted that the pinkies have been going
The author with his trophy size 47cm reddy.
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motor and start flicking a range of soft plastics. The ZMan 4” Curl TailZ in the ‘opening night’ color have been a standout choice, and either jigging these on top of the schools of snapper or slow rolling them with some sharp lifts and the odd pause has been working. As the pictures show, the boys have had a few great sessions catching their fair share of quality reds. It’s worth noting that schools of salmon are once again busting up in big numbers on the surface, so it’s worthwhile having an additional spin rod ready to flick a metal or large soft plastic in there to get into the salmon action.
James Strangis has been loving the Werribee shallows and securing some tasty feeds. crazy in shallow areas in bursts, particularly in the evening during the early
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stages of sundown, and fishing in depths of around 3m has been working. James has been simply drifting during these times with the rods out and baited with small strips of squid on a paternoster rig. When he does pass a school of
Michael Smith has spent some time targeting big lizards around Williamstown.
pinkies, the action is frantic, with many undersize pinkies quickly caught and released. It’s an exciting way of fishing and working through the smaller model fish until you finally land a few bigger ones. Michael Smith and his brother Peter continue to frequently venture out into Hobsons Bay towards the surrounding areas of Williamstown in recent weeks. There is something special about chasing top table fish right on your urban doorstep, and that’s what Williamstown can provide. Michael and Peter have been targeting squid and flathead and the results have been consistently outstanding. They generally start their fishing session in the shallows drifting for squid, one rod in hand and the other drifting along in the rod holder. Michael and Peter will mix up the colours, but have noted that orange colour jigs have been the standout performer in recent times. Once the guys catch a good feed of calamari, they then head out
to slightly deeper waters and target flathead by drifting and flicking worm imitation soft plastics such as the ever-reliable Gulp Turtleback Worm. Flathead between 35-45cm are a very common catch and often the
action is red-hot. It often makes you wonder why we sometimes travel so far and wide when the fishing is this good is so close to home. As I reported earlier, the weather around Melbourne has been very unpredictable
This Altona snapper was caught by Christian Mikic on a ZMan 4” Curl TailZ.
recently. I’ve had multiple fishing and camping weekends cancelled or cut short due to this extreme weather, which usually involve strong winds above 50km/h. It’s that time of year when it’s difficult to have multiple days in succession without gusty winds ruining your plans. I have often headed inshore to several urban fishing holes to seek cover away from the wind. As many of the readers would know, land-based fishing with ultra light gear is a strong passion of mine. Last month I spent some time testing out the new Savage Gear LRF series rods. I picked the ultra light 1-3kg version in a 6’6” size, which allows me to target big freshwater and estuary fish with a fishing rod not much thicker than a toothpick. It’s the sort of stuff that certainly gets your heart racing and a great excuse to target some local bream and redfin away from the unpleasant weather conditions. My most notable catch last month on the new rod combo was a beautiful 47cm redfin, which smashed a UV Pro Grub the moment it hit the water. Landing a fish of this size with 4lb line and ultra light gear requires poise and patience. During
these moments, I focus on keeping in contact with the fish, which means leaving no slack line for the fish to spit the hook, but never pulling too tight, which would strain thin line to breaking point. If the fish wants to run, you simply let it run, but you do so with some level of control by steering the fish away from the structure as it runs. When fishing on your own, the trickiest part can be netting the fish, and it’s often in the last moments that many good size fish are lost. Again, at these times I let the fish take small runs until its calm enough to net. I lost what would have been close to a 50cm redfin a few months back by not having a net, so I always carry a small net with me now. Catching a trophy size reddy is always a great way to break in new gear. Next month is the start of winter, and we will continue to see the days become noticeably shorter and the temperature a little colder, so weekend anglers should look towards the local lakes and estuary systems to find comfortable fishing conditions. Hopefully we might get some weekends with low winds that will allow us to hit the bay and catch a some amazing fish that Melbourne has to offer.
Jack Patterson has his hands full with a pair of big PPB reds! • That’s all from me this month, but I’d love to hear about your recent fishing experiences around Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay. You can contact me by email at alan@fishingmad. com.au. Also feel free to
check out my website at www.fishingmad.com.au, Facebook at facebook. com/fishingmad.com. au, YouTube channel at youtube.com/c/fishingmad and Instagram at instagram. com/fishingmad.com.au.
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Good numbers of fish are set to get better cephalopods have certainly made up for it over the past few months with ridiculous numbers right along the eastern seaboard. Both landbased and boating anglers have really been cashing in at present, anywhere from Frankston to Safety Beach. The real honey holes at the moment for the boating anglers seem to be the inshore reefs around Mount Eliza and Frankston, and Mount Martha. For the land-based anglers, Mornington Pier has
PORT PHILLIP NE
Wayne Friebe email@example.com
Recent weather patterns have followed the trends of the previous summer months, leaving a prolonged period of warmer weather during the Easter holidays. This provided some ripper fishing and boating conditions on the bay, and consequently some great captures followed. We are still experiencing the kind of fishing that is usual for the late summer months, and while water temperatures are certainly beginning to cool down I would expect the good fishing to continue for some time. Plenty of school-sized snapper have been keeping anglers busy out from the normal summer wider marks from Carrum, Chelsea and Seaford. And while most fish have been between 1-3kg in size, they are about in big numbers and are biting for long periods of the tide. At this time of year the schooling snapper are great fish to get the family involved and for more inexperienced
and they can be effectively targeted in the shallows from an anchored boat or from the bank. Expect the whiting fishing to continue for the next couple of months. The lure and bait fishing in Patterson Lakes has been steady over the past month, but with little or no rain the educated bream population in the canals have been a little harder to tempt. Small lightly weighted soft plastics, and unweighted live baits have been productive. Expect the
There have been plenty of quality snapper about for committed anglers over the past couple of months, especially out wide from Mornington and Mount Martha. anglers to get a feel for a frantic snapper bite. The charter boats in particular have been putting groups of
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reported some nice flathead being taken on the drift along the beach gutters at present as well some nice pinkie snapper as well. It’s hard to go past a feed of flatties from the bay, and they are pretty good fun as well, casting baitfish style plastics into the gutters from a drifting boat. This can also be done very effectively land-based. Whiting numbers in our part of PPB have still been down on last year, but the average size of the fish
anglers onto plenty of fish and have also been tangling with nice gummy sharks and a few school sharks in the process. Further south, Mornington and Mount Martha have been producing some bigger snapper in the 4-6kg range. The wider 18-20m depth seems to be the most productive out from Mornington at the moment, and 17m is a good depth further south out from Mount Martha. Anglers are reporting that fresh quality bait is proving very valuable, especially squid, salmon fillet and garfish. Time spent gathering bait is certainly time well spent if you want to catch yourself some quality late season snapper at the moment. Continuing the trend of recent months, there have also been plenty of ripper gummies caught in the same areas, so it definitely pays to have a bigger bait out in the spread. The calamari fishing took a while to get going this season, but the good old
Anglers have come across some bigger snapper in the 4-6kg range recently. been a Mecca of late, and it’s practically black with squid ink. It’s worth noting that even though the squid have been in big numbers, planning your missions during times of low light early and late in the day will always provide the best fishing. This is also when you are more likely to catch the bigger more predatory models. And while the water remains clear on the inshore reefs, using natural coloured jigs in green, brown and red will produce the best results. Lure anglers have also
seems to be bigger, which is making up the difference for the dedicated anglers. Much like the squid fishing, times of low light are best for the flighty whiting around the inshore areas, and the use of berley helps as well. The only downside is that you will attract plenty of by-catch. I have found recently that the smaller fish (mostly undersized) have been biting before sunset and the larger models are showing up after dark but only biting for a short time. It’s still worth the effort though, I reckon,
fishing to change after we get some decent rain with more estuary perch and mulloway moving through the system. Moving inland, it’s great to see that the fishing pontoon and platform at Devilbend Reservoir has been upgraded and lengthened, allowing anglers access beyond the weed line. This will definitely increase the fishing opportunities for anglers chasing trout, estuary perch and redfin in the lake in the future, and is yet another improvement to this great local fishery.
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Fraser Dentry proudly displaying his new PB whiting at 45cm. While the numbers of fish caught in both bays have been down, the average size has been bigger.
Squid season is shaping up to be a bumper PORT PHILLIP NORTH
Lee Rayner firstname.lastname@example.org
Shorter days and colder weather means we are really slipping into winter, which has also seen the arrival of big numbers of squid along all the weed and reef areas between Mordialloc and pretty well up to the city. If the past weeks are anything to go by then we are going to have a bumper of a winter that will see everyone well fed on calamari. Add to this plenty of pinkies along the reefs and you have yourself a pile of fun to be found over the coming weeks. MORDIALLOC TO BLACK ROCK With the water cooling down it’s now getting to that time of the year when the creek begins to really fire with the big schools of mullet. The best way to catch them is with a fine float that is carefully balanced with split shot, then use small hooks in size 8-10 and bait with tiny pieces of peeled prawn, dough or bits of chicken. From there you will also need a fine berley of
small squid strips and this will only get better in the coming weeks and months. Out in the boats anglers are getting into good numbers of pinkies and squid at locations such as the Parkdale Pinnacles and up towards Ricketts Point. April will see the return of solid blue-spot flathead as they move into Beaumaris Bay. Drifting with a small paternoster rig baited with whitebait or small soft plastics bounced along the bottom is particularly effective. I’m unsure what makes the flathead come to this area at this time of the year but there are some great fish on offer and they’re often in reasonable numbers, so I would just ask that anglers show some restraint and not keep too many of the bigger fish to make sure there are plenty more for the future. Beaumaris Pier has had a few squid coming off it each evening but it should really fire up this month as the water will drop in temperature quite quickly, which they love. From Ricketts Point to Black Rock now is definitely pinkie season. Any reasonable evening sees a bunch of boats
Anglers are getting into good numbers of pinkies and squid at locations such as the Parkdale Pinnacles and up towards Ricketts Point. mashed bread or a fine brand and pollard-style powder mixed with tuna oil. The mullet will often be out off the pier itself and fishing with the same method should also see anglers getting into them, which have started turning up in good numbers over the past weeks. Late in the evening, pinkies are being caught on baits of half pilchards or
fishing the edge of the reef through here. Some anglers have reported that they have been finding fair numbers of fish around 45cm on bigger baits or 5-6” plastics and if the past weeks are anything to go by then this month should be great with good numbers of 30-35cm fish on offer. SANDRINGHAM TO ST KILDA There are plenty of land-
based options at this time of the year. Everywhere from Sandringham breakwall to the Hampton rock groynes and up off Brighton breakwall is a top location to set yourself up for some solid land-based pinkies. One of my favourite places is the end of the Sandringham breakwall, as it drops into relatively deep water and, on a southerly blow, the waves push everything around the end of the point and the pinkies tend to gather there. On the rough ground that runs all along this part of the bay it’s also a perfect time to fish for calamari as they are currently in good numbers. This will only get better as they increase in size over the coming weeks. One good tip in this area is to fish with larger lightly weighted jigs. Try brown and gold patterns or clear prawn colours during the day and dark red patterns during low light periods. Up at Brighton either off the breakwall or out in the boats the shallow reef areas are coming into their own on the pinkies with some solid fish to over 2kg being taken over the past weeks. On the inside of the breakwall a few anglers have been finding good success on trevally when they berley with a fine bran-style or just mashed up pilchards, then cast unweighted pilchard fillets or whitebait out and allow it to slowly sink through the water column. As you move further north this month you will see the local red mullet population becoming very active. The shallow reefs from Brighton through to North Road area are excellent areas to chase them. It’s also worth getting a good fine berley trail happening as there should be good numbers of garfish also around. ST KILDA TO PORT MELBOURNE Up at St Kilda it’s time to start looking for the bream that become active in this part of the bay at this time of year. The prime areas to look at are along the breakwalls, as the bream will patrol the edges where the rock meets the sand, and working these areas with small plastics or the Cranka Crabs, which can prove deadly on big bream. The other option is to berley with mashed pilchards
or crushed up mussel shell and use unweighted mussel as bait. This can be done also around the moored boats, where the bream love to hang around. Out in the boats the
extensive cunjevoi beds in the area will provide anglers with some big pinkies and even late season snapper for those anglers willing to fish into the evenings. And if the water stays clean there
should also be some good numbers of garfish available over the coming weeks and months for both boat and land-based anglers fishing off the Lagoon and Kerford Road piers.
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Wild weather brings some species in closer around the turn of the tide. BLAIRGOWRIE AND SORRENTO The piers have been fishing well again this month for squid. Late night seems to be the best around Sorrento. Black and dark red
We have seen some fierce autumn days leading into winter, but it’s not all bad, as such wild weather brings certain species in close for the avid land-based fisho to target. Amongst these days we always see some great boating weather in the mix to get out and wet a line or two. MORNINGTON AND MT. MARTHA As we know, snapper over the last few years have become more and more popular for land-based fishers to chase and although your best times to land one are during the worst days of the year, for these fish they are the best days, as they make their way into more sheltered areas such as Mornington and Mt. Martha right through to Black Rock, Mordialloc and other areas around the city. Whether you’ve targeted these fish before or you’re a first timer wanting to give it a good crack, here’s what I’d recommend. First off start with fresh baits. Squid
Fresh barracouta are a prime snapper bait and easily available. these autumn/winter snapper are around the deeper and rocky areas that provide cover from rough weather; they are also prime spots for these fish to feed. Mornington Pier has always been a hotspot, as it’s surrounded by rocky outcrops and ledges that drop
foreshore around McCrae at night has rewarded anglers with the odd bream while fishing for whiting – an unusual by-catch but a welcomed one. A couple of local anglers who got word of these bream have been chasing them using plastics
foot under a float. Make sure to berley up hard and keep it trickling as you fish to keep the bite going. Good catches of whiting have been reported around Rosebud – the best times have been when the tide flow isn’t as heavy. There have been a few gummies taken along Rosebud Reef and out the back of the Fort and towards the Hovel Pile. Some nice snapper have also come in from this area
A decent bag of whiting caught land-based from McCrae. jigs have been the go to for most people. As the water starts to cool off, more trevally will
Some quality garfish. is one of the best and has so far been very easy to collect these last couple of months right along the peninsula. Second is barracouta, which you’ll easily find during the early mornings around the rocks and jetties. Casting small metals and 3” size soft plastic minnows will do the trick. The best areas to target
into water as deep as 10m just in front of the pier wall. You’ll find a number of spots around Martha rocks too with good access. Use a decent surf rod and either a Paternoster rig or running sinker rig, which will allow you to cast out far with ease. MCCRAE TO RYE Fishing off the
and hooking the occasional fish, which isn’t a bad effort given the location. Anthonys Nose has produced some good garfish on the high tide. These guys have been a little elusive through the year, but they are starting to make an appearance. The best baits are maggots and dough (salted) suspended about a
Every Saturday 4.30pm on 24
show up, which is great as these guys are good eating when fresh. You’ll even hook up the odd salmon if spinning lures. Just outside along the wall, expect a good mixed bag including, some excellent size flathead
This bream smashed a Sierra Slammer 2” swimbait.
that are around and salmon if you’re looking to troll some lures. The whiting bite has continued for most fishos around the Sisters at Sorrento and out wider around the top end of the Pinnace Channel. Pipis and squid have been the best baits and fishing the incoming tide and last of the outgoing has been effective. OFFSHORE Out the back of Sorrento around the 25-30m mark, there are still a number of good pinkie snapper to be caught while drifting. In closer you might be able to strike a few bigger whiting if you anchor around some reef. Expect plenty of salmon around the heads and towards Point Lonsdale. You may encounter the odd tuna if you’re lucky, as they are still being spotted from time to time. For any more info and week-to-week reports, drop into Rosebud Compleat Angler and have a chat to the staff.
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Thereâ€™s no shortage of whiting and calamari WESTERN PORT NTH
Jarrod Day email@example.com
There has been no shortage of fishing reports coming out of the top end these past few weeks. However, it has felt like winter at times, with the wind and rain belting down, but at the port, solid reports have been coming though when anglers have been making the most of the breaks
Port, you just need a good understanding of its layout and of which direction the weather is coming. Even though the water temperature is cooling, there has been no stopping the whiting from biting. There have been consistent reports from the Tooradin Channel, Charing Cross, Irish Jack and Lyalls channels. Although the rain run-off has made things a little dirtier than usual these past few weeks, remember
Of course, this is where the whiting are, so just get up on the edge of the bank, find some good grass beds and get to it. Keep in mind that the whiting in these areas can be quite wide spread, so it does pay to use berley in order to attract them to your location. Sometimes you can over berley, which in turn can attract a wide range of species including salmon, silver trevally, gummy sharks and of course, a variety of stingrays,
Flicking artificial jigs around the weed beds should see many calamari caught.
Although you might not get your bag each time, you can still catch a good feed of whiting in May. in the weather. In saying that, wind, hail or rain, there is always somewhere to hide in Western
that this is surface water run-off and below the fresh the salty water is still clean on the bottom.
which can spook schools of whiting. As well as keeping your berley concentration to the
There will be many magnificent days in winter that provide spectacular views like this. 26
right amount, plan also on getting to your location around an hour before the tide change. Using a Secret Weapon berley dispenser, youâ€™ll put just enough on the bottom to attract them. Then, every thirty minutes or so, drop some more and repeat the process until the tide strength is too strong to get to the bottom. Whiting rigs can also make a huge difference in the top end. Because the bottom is mostly mud with few weed patches, either using a paternoster or extended paternoster rig will be suitable. Ideally, if you are fishing over weed, the paternoster rig is
recommended. Another productive location for whiting has been just inside the entrance of the Yaringa Channel. This location fires during the last two hours of the run-out tide and in the blink of an eye can be all over. Along the edge of the Tyabb Bank can be shallow, so you really want to position yourself right on the edge between the channel markers. Although we are in the last month of autumn, winter is nearly upon us and with the whiting in the top end still going strong, the calamari fishery is starting off with a bang
as well. The Quail and Tyabb banks are the most popular locations to be fishing and can become quite over crowded with boats on weekends. Still, these banks do cover a lot of ground, so providing you get your drift right, youâ€™ll have no problem in catching some. In saying that, the area is quite shallow, with an average depth of about of 2-3m, which can make it difficult to cast and retrieve jigs without being snagged up constantly. Another alternative to using artificial jigs is to use a squid jag with a silver whiting threaded onto it.
The Secret Weapon berley dispenser enables the right amount of berley to be used in the top end of the port.
This is then suspended under a float where the depth can be set so you do not snag up. The float can drift back with the current and while at anchor, you can lightly use a blend of mashed pilchards on the surface, which will attract calamari to the source. Of course, they’ll smell the silver whiting and
get hooked when trying to eat it. At this time of the year, hoards of Australian salmon are also spread throughout the port, and if you are looking for a little sport fishing action, kitting yourself up with a light 7ft spin rod and a handful of metal slugs and soft plastics can be very
entertaining. During the approach to a tide change, salmon schools are often lurking around Crawfish Rock and Bagge Harbour where the water tends to be quite clean. Often, you’ll spot the birds before finding the fish, and once you do, launching a tirade of casts into the area can result is a lot of fun.
Every weekend, it is common to see multiple boats working the Tyabb and Quail banks for whiting.
Another location not to disregard at this time of year is the Middle Spit. Often thought as being a summer only location to catch whiting, it actually boasts some amazing calamari fishing year round. In fact, many anglers tend to focus on the Hastings/Stony Point side of the North Arm in search of calamari, yet the Middle Spit is always left alone. Maybe this is why it is so good, because it doesn’t get the fishing pressure as other locations. In being successful along the edge of the Middle Spit, you do have to get your timing right. The last two hours of the run-out tide seems to be the desired time, and this is when the force of the current slows and it makes it much easier in getting jigs down to the weed beds. If you get your drift right, you can work just out from the drop in 6m casting into 2-3m where the calamari will be working the edge of the bank in search of something tasty to devour. Unfortunately, next month we will all be battling the cold as winter sets in, but don’t let that discourage you from getting out, there is always something worth catching from around the port.
When the whiting are on, you don’t have to hold the rod – they can hook themselves with circle hooks!
Still some big fish on offer in Western Port WESTERN PORT STH
Jarrod Day firstname.lastname@example.org
Just when you thought snapper season was over, a blistering run of winter reds decided to make themselves known by scoffing baits from anglers in search of gummy sharks around the bottom end of the port! At this time of year, it is common to have a decent run of snapper throughout the port, with a lot of the
Specifically targeting snapper is possible, although many are just caught as a by-catch. Fishing in the areas aforementioned will give you a good chance at success. The most difficult thing about fishing for gummies or snapper at this time of year is the constant battering of elephant sharks, sevengill sharks and draughtboard sharks which are quick to sniff out your offerings. Still, if you’re happy too persist, catching a sizeable snapper in winter is a pretty
putting in effort around the port, putting his clients onto some very impressive fish. On several occasions, Shaun has guided his clients onto some very solid snapper, gummy sharks and line -stripping sevengill sharks. The Western Entrance and surrounding area is a haven for schools of salmon, just before they enter the surf along the Phillip Island coastline and Kilcunda. When they are in the port, they are in plague proportions and you only need to spot the birds dive
Matthew with a solid winter red that took a yakka chunk bait during a night session. Photo courtesy of Shaun Furtiere.
action coming from the southern end of the North Arm, East Arm and the Western Entrance. Some top locations are around Buoy 15 and the SP Buoy, and these are both quite reliable locations. The better fishing is usually two hours either side of a tide change, however, I personally favour the last two hours of the run-out tide. If you can anchor yourself near the edge of a shallow bank, both gummies and snapper are a common catch as they work their way down with the tide.
special feeling. Winter fishing is also heavily focused on gummy sharks for those fishing in boats, and while the Western Entrance is a challenge to fish at the best of times due to the current strength, it is very profitable. Once again, those run-out tides seem to be the most productive, just make sure your anchor is secure and you’re fishing the edge of the channel. Oily baits are the key and like always, fish the lead up to the full moon for best results. Shaun Furtiere has been
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bombing from above to be able to locate the school. When you do, it can be on in a big way. Casting metal slugs and soft plastics is the best tactic, but try to keep your distance. Driving into the school can easily spook them and then you’ll have to wait until they show up somewhere else before trying to hit them again. Aside from the main assailants, there are many other nooks and crannies along the southern side of the Western Entrance, and Phillip Island’s coast has an assortment of species worth
targeting. In the confines of Ventnor, garfish, calamari, salmon, yellow eye mullet, silver trevally, whiting and flathead are always on offer. A little bit of berley can get them going and then it is a matter of casting some pipis or pilchard fillets into the berley trail and you’ll be into the action. Although many of those species can be undesired amongst anglers, calamari are certainly a favourite. The entire coastline from the Cowes Pier to Cat Bay supports a very healthy population of calamari yearround, and providing you get a break in the weather, working within the shallows can lead to good catches. After heavy rain the water can be dirty and makes fishing difficult, but if the water is clean, working size 3.0 sized jigs about the weed beds will lead to success. The same goes for the other side of the port too, especially around Balnarring and Somers. Although it can be a challenge to get large boats into this area due to having to navigate across the Middle Bank, smaller-sized craft and those anglers fishing from kayak can easily work the area with good results. There are many weed beds to find calamari, and the area is also quite sandy, which provides whiting will a good location to hang out. In fact, some of the port’s largest whiting have come from this area and it will often continue to produce good fish throughout the winter. In calming conditions, this area also produces good fishing for gummy sharks, with the odd sevengill shark caught too. Mind you, as productive as Balnarring
and Somers are, the same fishing can be had right down to Flinders. LAND-BASED FISHING Winter is also an amazing time to hit the shoreline around the port, especially if you can’t get
hours either side of the low tide change. It can be a little snaggy, so make sure you have enough terminal tackle to keep re-rigging. Lastly, of course, is the forever productive Flinders Pier, and there are always
Robert Coillet found some lovely whiting while working the shallows. the boat out. There are many areas to fish, which includes piers. Night winter fishing around Balnarring and Somers can lead to some good gummy shark captures and it is just a matter of fishing the moons with good quality oily baits. Somers in particular fishes the best on the lowest of low tides, so if you’re fishing from the rocks, check your tide chart and fish two
calamari on offer, however it is better if you fish the high tide. Casting lagersized jigs in the 3.0 and 3.5 size is recommended. For best results, fish first and last light. Despite the cold, May is a great time of year, with plenty on offer. I know it is hard to pry yourself from the confines of a warm lounge room, but once you’re out there getting amongst the action, it is all worth it!
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Winter is a great time to be out on the port searching for gummies, but you have to be prepared when big gillers come along! Photo courtesy of Shaun Furtiere.
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Tough season has seen better results offshore PHILLIP ISLAND
This season has been one of the strangest and hardest to predict in the 12 years we have been in the shop. However, it has been the best offshore season we have seen in the last six years and, when you throw in the pelagic species, it has been the best-ever! The bay has seen one of the worst seasons. It’s been hard to give customers advice with no patterns for most species. Some of the locals who have fished for whiting for up to 40+ years are saying they can’t remember a season as bad. Having said that, there are still some who are falling on top of the fish and coming home with a bag, or at least a feed for tea. Land-based fishing has also been all over the place and frustrating at times, especially for those chasing salmon off the beaches. Customers have told me that they have been fishing on the beach, watching huge schools of salmon swimming in the breakers and have been
unable to catch them. Boating offshore has been a bit that way with so much activity creating a frenzy where the fish seem to be more concerned with selfpreservation than feeding. Chalk this season down to the fish! One thing you can be
out, with good quantity and variety of fish around. The mako catches have been steady, and the bread and butter species, like flathead, have been plentiful for all size boats. It has slowed a little, as expected, but the flathead should continue right
Gummies, makos and squid have made the trips offshore worth the effort this season.
A great gummy caught recently. assured of is next week, month and season will be different. The offshore fishing saved the season with some perfect weather for the smaller boats to head
through the winter months – you just need to rug up a bit more. The schools of large salmon have slowed considerably and headed out a bit wider. It would
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seem the kingfish have followed them, because they have gone a bit quieter along the coast. The run of offshore pinkies and even some snapper have been very late – or maybe extremely early – and the best they have been for some years on the reefs and rough bottom off Kilcunda. The big arrow squid, some up to 50cm (hood), have shown up again. This is another species that hasn’t been around in numbers for a few years and they’re probably why the makos were here. It takes a bit of technique to catch them as most of the time they are on the bottom. A simple paternoster rig, a couple of brightly coloured jigs and a heavy sinker dropped to the bottom will do the trick. Every 10 minutes or so give it a couple of winds of the reel until you find what depth they are in. While the whiting fishing has been nothing to get too excited about, the latest reports are a little more promising – not for the fish being caught, but for the hundreds of small whiting anglers are finding in the top end of the bar around Bass River and Maggi Shoal. With the temperature considerably lower now, the whiting reports are coming from more traditional shallow areas and from times when you would expect to catch them. It has been a little difficult with the wind not always playing its part, pushing the boat sideways from where you need to be. Dickies Bay, Cleeland Bight and off Ventnor or the Cowes Boat Ramp have been the best lately. A few have also been caught from Boys Home Channel and off the banks at Rhyll. I have been getting plenty of reports of elephantfish, but they aren’t coming from in the bay – they are coming from the commercial boats who are seeing them wide of the island. They certainly
have been a bit quiet in the bay for a number of years now, which some are very pleased with because at times they were in plague proportions. To add to the strange season, I have had a couple of reports of elephant fish being caught off the surf and rocks towards Kilcunda. Calamari have teased all season when you
weed that the winds stir up. Customers are telling me the best area for the boats and kayaks has been Cleeland Bight towards the entrance and near the moored boats during a lot of the tide when you can drift slow enough or anchor up over the change with a bit of berley, a mixture of artificial and baited jigs. The San Remo Jetty fishes best and is also the easiest to fish with the weather while the odd one has been pulled from Cowes Jetty. The beach at Ventnor has been tough to fish so most have driven over to fish at Woolamai. All the landbased areas have fished better on the change of light in the evening. It’s getting to that time of the year when everything gets put into the corner of the shed and forgotten about for the next few months. The problem is it does get forgotten about and when you jump in the boat for the first rip of the season you remember that
Calamari have been around in the usual numbers, but not the cracker runs we’ve had in recent seasons. compare their numbers to the last couple of years. They have generally been quiet and just when they improve and you think they are back, they disappear just as quick. Over the last couple of years we have been spoilt and they fished well all year round, but it would appear they are back to the more traditional autumn and spring seasons. It has improved as we are moving towards winter; the main thing stopping anglers catching them is the weather, especially the
last time you used it the reel broke or you found a cracked guide – and you get your first good hook-up when you remember the line needed changing. Do yourself a favour and sort out your gear before you put it away. With everything that needs repairing, drop it off to your local tackle shop. They can then take their time and do the repairs while they are quiet, and you will be guaranteed to have them ready to go when the fish come in.
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It’s time to search for bream and mullet GIPPSLAND LAKES
Brett Geddes firstname.lastname@example.org
We are now into those magic months where the weather calms down and the water really cools off, triggering the bream and especially yellow-eye mullet into action. When it comes to the bream deciding on which lure or what type of bait method seems to matter little because they are out looking and eager to feed. From now right through to the middle of August is definitely the best part of the year to land stud bream. Sandworm is your best bet for the mullet with both cured and fresh worms working the same. During the last three months the rivers have run very clean and the lake areas were looking to be a little algae affected; now it seems we have avoided a major bloom. There are also a few flathead and tailor around as well. BREAM TIME AGAIN It can be argued that catching bream in the Gippy Lakes is a year-round proposition. While that may be true, take it from me there is no better time than right now, so start looking for better quality fish and be prepared for improved numbers too. Already I see catch rates starting to soar, especially with bait anglers using humble old frozen prawn. Local angler Justin Brown said his niece Sophie
caught a stonker 42cm bream on prawn while landbased fishing from a sandy beach area at Metung. “I think I will be keeping my best fishing secrets to
big trevally, pinkie snapper and even a few ling. Jackie Dingwall caught a tarwhine there – a very rare catch for the Gippy Lakes and a nice fish.
Jason Deenan has been getting in on the local bream action. Foggy mornings usually herald a day of calm, crisp and sunny weather. myself from now on! Sophie pulled out the smallest prawn bait in the bag and caught the biggest fish. It’s such a joy to see the kids out loving the lakes,” Justin said. The larger Metung area has been fishing rather well over the last few weeks, including right down to Kalimna. Some big yellowfin bream are also in that area and are proving hard to tame. Some interesting by-catch has been turning up for bream anglers including tuskfish,
THE RIVERS The Mitchell River from the Cut to the Grassy Banks is where your first river stop should be and is accessible by boat or bank. All sizes of bream will be caught along the entire length of the silt jetties and down towards the mouth. Owen Pierce caught 14 bream to 38cm there recently all on hardbody lures. He also told me the mullet schools were impressive and once again this winter it seems their
numbers are well and truly on the rise. The Tambo bream can really fire from now on and it will pay to first search the river lower down at the entrance snags. Lures should be worked at first light close to the bank and also along the rock walls. Further upstream near the Blue Hole is also worth a look amongst the better river snags – just get there early. This edge bite usually stops around 8:30-9am, so make the most of that 2-3 hour window from dawn and beef your leaders up because even a 1kg bream or perch will shred 8lb tackle. The Nicholson River is still high on the agenda for boat and kayak anglers and it might hold fewer fish but they are very often some of the biggest. Anglers are telling me that the best hardbody methods for bream at the moment are to retrieve lures with short pauses or use a slow rolling action. Shrimp has always been a deadly live bait option but I also see many anglers successfully using dead and frozen shrimp that was saved from a previous outing. I mention this after getting asked by a few readers about whether they should keep shrimp for the next trip. The answer is definitely yes. Everyone knows fresh is best but it’s not always available. There are plenty of carp still lurking around in the upper parts of all the rivers and some of these ferals will push 5kg and some! Hollands
Landing is also an option at the moment and I watched keen anglers land modest numbers and sizes of bream along with a few luderick there recently using prawn from the wharf. The very fast flowing water at Hollands or Seacombe requires specific angling techniques and it’s never an easy place to fish. Heavy sinkers for bait fishing are a must and lure enthusiasts require fast sinking hardbodies, blades and soft plastics. FLATHEAD Mark Ramsay and Mick Gned from Traralgon spent a morning between Metung and Nungurner but for that trip it was fairly slow going. They were looking for more kingfish as their main target
but they were hiding well on the day. The duskies are still there and they eventually bagged a nice feed of 45cm fish and the water clarity had a slight green colour about it. I suspect one reason the flathead catches in that area have been down of late is they have already moved up into the rivers and the western extremes of the Gippy Lakes early this year. If you want to target flatties this month, then try Wattle Point, Loch Sport, Hollands Landing or the mouth of the Tambo and Mitchell rivers. Use large blades with bright colours in deeper water and you should pick up some big duskies. Thank you to everyone for sending in photos and reports – I wish I had room to include you all!
Sophie Brown proves that big bream are happy to eat frozen prawn baits like this one at Metung recently.
May looks good with warm weather still here MARLO
Jim McClymont email@example.com
With the warm weather still about the fishing is excellent. Prawns are still here and so are the fish, making this month ideal for fishing. With little rain about, the Snowy and Brodribb rivers have not had much water flowing down to the estuary. This has allowed the salty tidal water to creep
up further into the freshwater than usual, resulting in bream being caught up the Snowy River well above the highway bridge at Orbost, up the Brodribb River past Lake Curlip and in the old Brodribb River to the highway bridge and further. Plenty of mullet are throughout the system and well up both rivers. Luderick are schooling on the rock groins and mud banks. Salmon and tailor are coming into the estuary on the run-in tides
and can be found in big numbers down towards the entrance. The best results are coming for those either trolling or spinning metal lures. Estuary flathead are still plentiful along the shallows all the way down to Frenchs Narrows. Anglers have reported plenty of action on all the surf beaches in the area. Salmon and tailor are being taken on metal lures with some salmon over 3kg and tailor not much smaller. Bait fishing is also producing good captures of
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trolled lures, jigs and soft plastic lures. The kings can be found from Tamboon Reef all the way down to Marlo Reef, and there’s plenty of ocean to troll up a few between
both reefs. Anglers fishing offshore for our bread and butter fish are getting good-size bins of flathead, gurnard, barracouta, squid, pinkie snapper, morwong and gummy sharks.
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salmon, tailor, flathead and gummy sharks. Offshore anglers are still getting plenty of action, with kingfish up to and over a metre. These fish have been taken on live baits,
The kings can be found from Tamboon Reef all the way down to Marlo Reef and in between.
Winter patterns take over in Lakes Entrance LAKES ENTRANCE
With the cold winter days beginning to take over, the Gippsland region has slowly begun to move into its traditional patterns. Locally our town wharves have begun to see some action. Anglers have been finding reasonable silver trevally and bream by working tight to cover throughout the Cunninghame Arm. Places such as the Myer Street Wharf have been the most consistent. Recently Metung has been full of activity with large schools of pinkie snapper being found in Bancroft Bay. The Metung Yacht Club has been extremely productive; this area is commonly full of white bait and other baitfish in big numbers, and all this bait has brought the snapper and
all manner of other predator species into the area, with anglers regularly catching dusky flathead and tailor and seeing the odd kingfish slashing through the bait. Soft plastics have been the best recently. Minnow-style soft plastics are extremely productive offerings matched
with light jigheads that allow the plastic to slowly sink through the bait schools, appearing as white bait that has died. These will quickly be taken by aggressive hunting fish. LAKE TYERS Over the last month Lake Tyers started to produce some
Grubs have been extremely effective lately, especially for bream hanging on the deeper edges. This one took a liking to the Atomic Plazos Fat Grub.
very big flathead before they disappeared for the winter months with multiple fish over 80cm. Ray Coles was lucky enough recently to land a flathead that was just shy of the magic metre mark. With all these large flathead on the move, Lake Tyers is earning itself a name as the place to be if you want to catch a trophy size dusky flathead and this will only continue to improve over future years. The lower lake has been the centre of attention. Throughout the main lake there are heaps of points and these are great areas to start when you’re in the search for large flathead. Points often have large sand flats with sudden drop-offs, which make for an ideal hunting ground for flathead. These steep drop-offs allow flatties to lie in wait and ambush helpless mullet that get too close. Soft
Autumn fishing fit for a king CORNER INLET
Will Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s so much to talk about this month, from massive kingfish to a second snapper run, and not forgetting the best gummy fishing we have seen in years! Let’s get started. It was a tough month to get out offshore in South Gippsland due to constant high winds. It actually ended up as a bit of a 7-day weather cycle, with every Saturday morning being fishable for the last 6 weeks and then the rest of the week being terrible and unfishable. But, when those winds did ease, everyone has been heading straight out wide to chase these monster kingfish that we have been lucky enough to have in our area. It’s meant that it has been pretty crowded out around the islands, but there has been plenty of kingies to go around. There have been plenty of kingfish around the 9-10kg mark and some well in excess of that as well. The top methods have been slow trolling or drifting with live baits or whole squid and squid strips and also jigging. The weather hasn’t been prime for topwater, as there has always been a bit of wind and choppy conditions out there, making surface fishing tough, but there have been a couple of opportunities to cast stickbaits and poppers around. The best part of the tide has been mid tide during high flow, especially when jigging or trolling skirted lures, but the livies and squid
baits have been very effective close to the tide changes. In other news offshore, the pinkie snapper have been going good, and the reefs are chockers with pinkies to 40cm and are being caught on squid and pilchards on Black Magic Snapper Snatcher rigs or flasher rigs. On some of the days, the fish have been finicky and you need to use small hooks such as size 4 through to 1/0. Inside, the gummy sharks have been the main target, with the entrance plagued with undersize gummies, but if you persist you will get a few eater sized gummies. For the best gummy fishing, offshore has shown us the best gummy fishing we have had this year, with anglers bagging
out on good-sized gummies averaging 1.2m in length, and even some big six footers. In close, in Whale Bay out the front of Port Albert has been good, but other hotspots have been offshore Port Welshpool in 20-26m, and there’s been heaps of gummies caught out the front of Manns and McLoughlins Beach entrance in close in 18m all the way out to 22m. Drifting is fine, especially on weeks when there hasn’t been much tidal movement, and with baits such as squid, salmon, slimy mackerel and trevally, you will be sure to catch a few. If you head back inside the inlet, the gummies are going good up the Franklin, Middle and Bennison channels around the tide changes.
Stu Tennant with a cracking kingfish that nearly hit the 1m mark. It was caught on a 250g knife jig.
Some other good news was the recent snapper bite we have had over the past couple of weeks. There’s been some big models caught in the entrance around buoy 6 through to buoy 2, with some of them around the 80cm mark. However, the Franklin Channel has been very consistent with snapper to 65cm, especially at first light or the last two hours of sundown. Another fish that hasn’t been showing itself too much this season is the humble King George whiting. It’s definitely been one of the hardest seasons for them in a long time, but we had a flurry of reports from the Lewis Channel over the past few weeks and the run-out tide seemed to be the best, with Bass yabbies and pipis being the best baits. Manns and McLoughlins beaches have been the only consistent spot for whiting this season, and it has continued to produce half a dozen to a dozen whiting for most anglers targeting them each trip. As for the Ninety Mile Beach, it’s been fantastic when the winds haven’t been too bad. The elephant fish just turned up over the past few weeks, but there are still plenty of good-sized gummy sharks to 1m getting caught, as well as a stack of tailor and some good-sized salmon and even another run of snapper to 80cm and a few 45cm pinkies! Yes, snapper land-based! And all in the past couple of weeks – it doesn’t get much better than that! • 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.
Lucky angler Ray Coles with a monster flathead caught at Lake Tyers that was just shy of the magic metre mark. plastics are the best for this. The combination of plastic and jighead allows you to alter your presentation and allow you to work the whole water column from the shallowest of flats to the deep water. The higher reaches of the Nowa Nowa Arm still consistently produce reasonably-sized bream. With winter on its way and the water temperature dropping these fish have begun to pull off the shallows and frequently work the edges of drop-offs in
water depths around 1.5-2.5m deep. Soft plastic grubs have been best recently in natural green colours. Blades and deep hardbodies have accounted for plenty of fish, too. HAVE YOU BEEN FISHING? If you have been out for a fish lately and have a great pic, please send it to stevenprykefishing@gmail. com with a short description and you could be in the next edition of Victoria & Tasmania Fishing Monthly.
Local keen angler Craig Bishop with a lovely 46cm snapper taken off the Metung boardwalk. Photo courtesy of Lucas Smith.
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Rickets Point: hidden Melbourne gem CRANBOURNE
With so many species on offer and located in the northern part of Port Phillip Bay, Rickets Point is one of Melbourne’s hidden gems when it comes to sport fishing. Large numbers of snapper and salmon are the main targets here, so it isn’t
ideal outfits used when sportfishing the inshore reefs around Rickets Point. There are plenty of rocks and reef for pinkies, salmon and bigger snapper to rub you off on, so 8lb+ leader is a must. THE RIG If you’re bait fishing then a light running sinker rig is best used when chasing pinkies and snapper. Half pillies and squid strips work
surface. Small 70mm and 85mm soft plastic stickbaits are a popular choice for most anglers who prefer to chuck plastics. MOTHER NATURE Before fishing the area just make sure you are up to date with the current rules and regulations. There is a marine park that is clearly marked by marker poles, which you are not allowed to fish in. Also it
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Bigger snapper are often caught while targeting pinkies off Rickets Point. hard to see why this is a popular fishing destination all year round. PRIME TIME Some of the best fishing can be had in the months of winter when abundant schools of salmon and pinkies inhabit the reefs and patrol the water in search of food and shelter. It’s not uncommon to catch pinkies cast after cast once a school is located, from keyring size to 45cm. Don’t be surprised if you hook onto something a little bigger and boat a 4kg+ snapper. THE GEAR Use light 2-4kg spin outfits spooled with 6lb braid for the light stuff and 3-6kg outfits with a bit heavier braid like 10lb are the two
really well here with a small size 1 ball sinker and a single 2/0 hook. Trolling metal slugs around with a short 15lb leader is a good way to find the salmon if you can’t see them working the surface. BEST METHOD Drifting in 3-10m of water and using your sounder is essential in the shallows. Drifting covers a lot more area and makes it easier for you to find the fish, rather than anchoring up and casting lures. If you see a school of salmon on the surface, do not troll through them. Cut the motor short of them and cast into them. This will stop the salmon from spooking and going down below the
is a nursery for small fish, so make sure you know the size and bag limits of fish you are targeting. HOT TIP The use of a marker buoy can be the difference between catching a few fish and a lot. A marker buoy is a plastic buoy with 20m of line with a sinker tied on the end. When a school of fish is located on the sounder throw the buoy over and it will unwind until the sinker hits the bottom. This will make things a lot easier when on the drift and you can continue to drift over the same patch of fish casting towards the buoy, instead of drifting off them and guessing where those fish were next time around.
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Mornings have been productive BEMM RIVER
Bemm River has been living up to its reputation. The fishing has been pleasing to the anglers who get on the water early before the easterly winds whip up of an afternoon.
This has probably one of the best and longest seasons that Bemm River has had with quality fish in the last 15 years since we have been here. Recently the entrance was closed and the water level was high. This astounding estuary always amazes the angler, because
they are never sure of what they are going to catch. Reports have come in of leatherjacket, sole, and the odd small mulloway
There have been a few perch caught around the mouth of the river, the Swan Lake entrance and the Mud Lake entrance.
The fishing has been good for anglers who get on the water early.
Bream from the river have been mostly undersized this year, but anglers are still finding some great fish.
as by-catches for the unsuspecting bream angler. Soft plastics have been popular with flathead, but be prepared for some very hungry tailor that will rip your gear off. Some of these fish are weighing in at 5kg.
This year the river has been relatively quiet with mainly undersize bream. The surf has been producing some great catches of salmon, especially on those warm sunny mornings on the incoming tide.
With flathead coming on a chew a bit recently, soft plastics have been a good addition to the tackle box. • For on the spot and up to date fishing reports check out Robyn’s website: www. bemmaccommodation.com. au or ‘like’ us on Facebook
– Bemm River Holiday Accommodation Phone: (03) 5158 4233/Mob. 0427 584 233 Email: bemmaccomm@ bigpond.com.
Quality fish available inshore EDEN
Kevin Gleed firstname.lastname@example.org
With all the rain that has fallen in NSW over the past month, it has missed the far South Coast. All the rivers are in need of a bit of a flush to liven things up for the coming months. Despite this, the good weather has seen the town busy, with more visitors to the area enjoying the fishing. Good fishing has been reported on the local beaches with good numbers of salmon being caught. The fish are up to
2kg and have been caught on both lures and baits. The water temperature has been up and down as we head towards winter with one day around 20°C and the next as low as 16°C. Yellowfin bream and sand whiting are also being caught with fresh bait. Beach worms and prawns are good choices of bait. The high tides around dawn and dusk have been the best conditions to catch fish. Fishing into the night at this time of year you’ll have a good chance of encountering a mulloway. The salmon are in the same gutters through the day and it’s worth fishing for them
around the top of the tide at night. Anglers have had good fishing from the local headlands, with drummer and luderick being caught. The odd yellowfin bream will also turn up in the berley trail. The inshore reefs have been fishing well for snapper. The average size of the fish has been around 1-2kg. Sand flathead and tiger flathead are also being caught with some good fishing reported down around Disaster Bay and to the north up around the Pinnacles. Fishing for gummy sharks has been good lately and at its best around the full moon. Out
wide there have been reports coming in of mahimahi being caught along the shelf. Plenty of bait has been hanging around and as long as the bait is there, striped marlin won’t be too far away. Yellowfin tuna should also make an appearance over the coming months. In the estuaries the water is still warm enough to see the dusky flathead biting well on both bait and lures. Good fishing has been had in the front sections of the river, with sand whiting and yellowfin bream being caught on a variety of baits and lures. Around the new moon prawns are still being caught
The snapper are starting to get bigger. This one went 30cm. with each moon seeing the prawns getting bigger. The next dark will see the end of prawning as we head into winter. The freshwater
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sections of the rivers are still seeing some good bass catches. With little flow the rivers are in need of rain to liven things up.
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CUSTOM QUINTREX EXPLORER
Get out and have a go BERMAGUI
Darren Redman email@example.com
After a great marlin season, can the yellowfin follow in their footsteps? Marlin are still hanging around in sufficient numbers to warrant targeting and things are shaping up to be a good tuna season, so now’s the time to get out and have a go. Trolling is a way to start looking for tuna with a good spread of both skirted and bibless lures raising fish; starting this way will also give you a chance at a billfish. Tuna can be widespread, so it often pays to set your lures close to shore and work your way out to the major grounds like the Twelve-Mile Reef, along the continental shelf out to and beyond the 1000fathom mark. There are plenty of striped tuna and a few albacore, with the odd mahimahi also taking a liking to lures. Once the tuna have been located and signs show they are concentrated within an area try cubing; this can bring the fish to the
boat where the excitement intensifies with screaming reels going up a notch or two in the absence of motor noise. The added bonus of this style of fishing is the chance of a shark. A big mako is on top of the list, so have some wire handy if it’s not already deployed in the water. While it has been the best season for marlin in recent years, the kingfish action around Montague Island has been fantastic and is sure to continue for some time yet. This season anglers arriving at the island soon
after daylight have bagged out most days by 9am. These fish have been of reasonable size. With the water cooling expect some large fish. With winter approaching, this is good news for anglers wishing to pursue snapper. Already they are starting to show in reasonable numbers around the coast on the shallower reefs where they are being captured by drifting with the common paternoster rig or by berleying, bringing the fish up through the water column. Those other common bottom dwellers are also
Bermagui is famous for its garfish, however the river still produces stud whiting.
An adrenalin rush for an angler is a tuna coming up from the depths. on the chew in the form of morwong, ocean perch, nannygai, both species of flathead (tigers and sandies) plus the odd gummy shark. Most of these species are also being found out wide on the Twelve-Mile Reef while further out those with electronic reels are reaping the rewards of deep water fishing in the form of hapuka, mulloway, blue trevalla and many other oddballs. Calm conditions with slight seas are allowing anglers access to the rocks where there is action aplenty. Lots of those small pelagics are providing good lure fishing for those in the mind to use them. Most commonly caught are the bonito, salmon
and tailor with the odd kingfish providing a pleasant surprise. As the water cools both drummer and groper are making their presence felt with increasing numbers. Berleying with a little bread as the shadows creep over the ocean – afternoon is the best time. You can also expect to see a few bream or trevally reacting to the berley. The estuaries in and around Bermagui have been sensational this season and should continue to be. Wallaga Lake to the north has been the highlight with some fantastic lure fishing for flathead in the main lake and the occasional mulloway, small snapper and plenty of tailor ranging in sizes. Live
mullet have also produced these species within the lake for those who wish to relax a little. The highlight has been the bream fishing between the bridge and the entrance; here there are plenty of sand flats where nippers and squirt worms call home. As the tide moves over these flats the floodgates open, where bream, luderick, mullet and whiting swim shoulder-toshoulder with each other to the better feeding zones. These zones are often in very shallow water, so when you can bounce your boat into them or even wade and sight fish, be there to experience some of the best exciting shallow water fishing on offer.
Cool weather ahead for Mallacoota anglers MALLACOOTA
Kevin Gleed firstname.lastname@example.org
The past month has seen the water temperature start dropping as we leave summer behind. The town usually starts to quieten down once the Easter holidays are over, but at the time of writing there are still plenty of visitors around. Fishing off all the local beaches has seen plenty of good-sized salmon caught, and they are being caught on both lures and
bait. Finding fish has been easy, with plenty of good gutters on all the beaches, and fish to around 2kg are not uncommon. Offshore the fishing for flathead, both sand and tiger, has been good, with good numbers of quality fish being caught. The fish are definitely out there, with some boats coming across fish regularly, but some others are missing out completely. A few boats have been chasing kingfish, but there’s been very little to report on over the past month, but at some time over the coming month the fish should put
in an appearance before the water temperature drops right off, putting an end to the offshore fishing. After last months excellent game fishing experienced out over the shelf, there has been little to report. The few boats that have ventured out wide have not encountered the striped marlin, but with the water temperature still good there is every chance the fish could put in an appearance before winter rears its ugly head. Fishing in the lake has still been good. It’s hasn’t been as easy as it has been in the past months, but the rewards are there if you put in the effort.
With no rain to speak of, the lake level has dropped due to seepage and evaporation, and this means care needs to be taken when travelling, as you just might run aground where you least expect it. Good size prawns are still about, and this means the fish are well fed, making them difficult to catch. One of the advantages of the lake being closed is the number of pinkie snapper that are trapped inside, and with no way of heading out to sea
they just keep on. There are plenty of fish to around 32cm, so it won’t take long before these fish get to around the 40cm mark. Dusky flathead are still showing up, but they are starting to spread out and finding fish in numbers can be tricky. Black bream are on the bite, and with the water temperature cooling down it is a bit more to their liking. Once again, finding numbers of fish can take a bit of time.
The past month has seen a few more mulloway caught on live baits, so putting in the time at night is the way to go. The full and new moon is the best time to see some action. The tailor that are trapped in the lake are getting bigger with plenty of food such as whitebait. It won’t be long before some really big fish get caught. There are some big fish available now, but most encounters end with a bite off.
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Estuary at its best MERIMBULA
It’s been a busy month around the Merimbula region with the Easter school holidays, but for those anglers venturing for a fish, some great action has been had. Offshore boaties have seen some great weather of late, making the trip to the shelf and beyond that much more enjoyable. To make things better, the marlin action is still in full swing, with most crews getting multiple opportunities to catch a billfish or two.
tuna season thus far. A little closer to shore the FAD in 70 fathoms has seen stacks of mahimahi to a meter getting caught. They’re responding well to live yelowtail, although a floating un-weighted full pilchard seems to be getting a few of the bigger fish, which is interesting. There’s also been plenty of kingfish holding deeper under the mahimahi, and dropping down jigs in the vicinity of the FAD has also seen some great action. The kings are not big, at around 70-80cm, but on the right tackle they’re still awesome fun. With the
on Merimbula Main out the front of the airport. Use a mixture of pipi and beach worms with a little berley, you should be able to get a nice feed there. For the rock hoppers, salmon have been around in good numbers. Some big black backs to 4kg have been caught with quite a few tailor thrown in too. What has been quiet on the rocks is the bonito. We usually see good numbers throughout this month, but their absence is a bugger. There’s the odd one being spun up, but definitely not in the numbers that we are used
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Some crews are getting 6-8 shots a day on stripes, especially when a bait ball is found with marlin on it. Slow trolling a live mackerel has seen plenty of action, and if you’re in the right spot at the right time, pitching baits to several fish has occurred. This is crazy fishing when you can see four or five marlin around the boat, and you can almost pick out which fish you want! Yes, this isn’t the norm, but when it happens the deck becomes alive with excitement and usually mayhem as well. Most of the stripes are averaging 80-90kg, which is not huge, but still a stack of fun. A few boats have still done okay while trolling a mixture of skirts, and these same boats have encountered a few school yellowfin tuna to 30kg as well. One local boat got four yellowfin around this size, and saw a few bigger fish on the surface jumping, so all looks good for a solid
water still around 21-22°C, I can’t see this changing anytime soon, and if the temperature charts remain the same, we should see quality fishing for the next few months. On the beaches, the salmon action has really picked up, and it has been quite slow over the past month. We’ve seen a lot more swell, with better gutter formations forming on most local beaches. This has really helped the fishing, with Tura Main, North Tura and even Merimbula Main all firing at present. The sambos can be targeted on shiners, larger soft plastics and paternoster rigs, with salted pilchards being the best bait. The mornings seem to be best for consistent results, but a lot will have to do with what tides you have for when your fishing. If you’re after a feed, the bream and whiting have still been good, particularly
to. Both Tura Head and the main wharf in Merimbula Bay are the go to spots for the pelagic species. In the estuaries it’s been excellent. Merimbula Lake has been a standout with bream, trevally, flathead, whiting, tailor, blackfish and flounder all chewing at certain times. The flatties in the top are in solid numbers, with a dozen or more fish per session the norm. Smaller softies are working a treat, with bait anglers doing it a little tougher. There’s still the odd big girl getting caught, with the best I’ve heard of lately going 94cm, which is a cracking fish. The lower sections of the channel is fishing the best I’ve seen it for quite a long time The place is loaded with fish, with stickbait presentations the go to method. The draining tide is perfect for this type of fishing, as the water dirties up a little in the usual To page 39
NSW South Coast
Fishing fantastic despite heavy pressure NAROOMA
Despite the increased boat traffic that the Easter holiday period brings, some exceptional fishing is still available, especially in the estuaries. Both Wagonga Inlet and the Tuross Lake system continue to fire for a myriad of species using a variety of different techniques. Anglers using a range of soft plastics, blades, surface walkers and fresh bait have all done well at certain times. Those fishing the low light periods of dawn and dusk have fared best when the traffic is at its lowest. Even though both these systems are quite big, the fish do become spooky when you put 50 or more boats on them. Up at Tuross, the lower sections from the 8-knot speed limit sign downstream on the draining tide have seen mulloway and some crocodile-sized flathead being caught. These species have been good on soft vibes, with mid range soft plastics from 80-100mm catching plenty too. Using a slow methodical lift-anddrop approach is the go when it’s busy, and you can expect the bites to be light. There’s been a few mulloway to 11kg caught From page 38
crystal clear water. We have had bags of 20-30 legal fish there in recent weeks, and it should
with quite a few others lost as well. Anglers fishing fresh squid baits and live tailor after dark have also done well, with angler fella I know catching three in a night session, which is exceptional fishing in anyone’s books. This action should continue as long as the conditions remain the same and the bait stays there. Further upstream, the snags have been very good for EPs and a few bream. Not every snag is holding perch, but when you locate one that is, you’re in for some fun. The majority of EPs are 30-33cm, but there is the odd bigger fish amongst them. Try using lightly-weighted grubs or wriggler style plastics in 65-80mm for best results. Up At Narooma, the channels between the highway bridge and main charter boat wharf have been excellent for bream, trevally and flathead. Both bait and lure enthusiasts are catching plenty, with the draining tide fishing better. Again this area can become congested with boats, so it’s not for everyone, but the fish are there. On the beaches, things have been a little up and down depending on what you’re targeting. If you’re after salmon, it’s been great, with anglers having a ball on most local beaches.
Casting chromed lures has been effective on lighter outfits, while fishers using bait are getting bigger fish. A whole pilchard rigged on ganged hooks has worked well, with surf poppers in red and white producing fish as well. Some of the salmon have been huge, with fish to 3-3.5kg common, but most are around 1.5kg, which is still a nice. It’s great to see these salmon back in
continue as we head further into the cooler months. This type of channel fishing will be the same in Pambula River, so it too is
worth a look. I know the shallower section near the mouth has fired nicely, with trevally and bream being the main species caught.
Estuary perch are a favourite, and the Tuross River system is loaded with them. numbers, as they provide great sport and you can generally rely on catching a few of them. There’s still good number of bream and whiting on most beaches, with Brou just north of Dalmeny being a standout. Fishing the close in gutters or rockier sections on this beach with fresh
black crab are great baits, with berley a must for consistent results. Expect these species to really fire up with the cooler water approaching as the month progresses. For the anglers who target pelagics off the stones, this month is ideal. Bonito, mac tuna, kingfish, salmon and northern
for months now and that should continue. The close in reef at Brou fires up at this time of year, with fresh squid or cuttlefish the best baits to use. The cuttlefish run is in full swing, so those bigger snapper have come in close to feed. Anchoring up here and using berley will help and with the tougher baits being used, the pickers shouldn’t become a problem at all. Don’t be surprised to see a few kingfish come from this same reef, as every year there’s a few around at this time and with most deep water headlands seeing a few kings, they might just be on this piece of reef as well. At Montague Island, kingfish have been plentiful with all techniques working. Jigs have been dynamite, with fish around the 70cm the most common. There’s been the odd better fish pushing a meter, but most of these have been caught on live bait. The kings are widespread, with the Southern Pinnacles and Fowl House reefs holding plenty. Mixed in with the kings are loads of bonito, with striped tuna schools also thick at times. I’ve heard of a few black marlin hooked at the rock,
Nice feeds of whiting and flathead are on the cards if you’re fishing Tuross and surrounds.
Casting a range of smaller soft plastics will see a quality feed of flatties for the pan in no time, as Will found out.
beachworms or pipi will see some quality fish caught. Off the rocks, drummer, blackfish and bream will still call the suds home, but a lot will depend on conditions as to how they feed. Fishing a ledge with white water is ideal; the rocks at Dalmeny are perfect for this, especially if the seas are calmer. Fresh cabbage, cunjevoi or cut up
bluefin tuna are all possibilities with lures and live bait the best methods. Throwing ganged pilchards a long way out and slowly retrieving them will also pay dividends. Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma would be the pick, but the rocks at the golf course are worth a look too. Inshore, the snapper have been going great guns
mainly as by-catch when targeting kings on live bait. It would be good to slow troll a live stripy out the back like the old days, but unfortunately the seals would make it almost impossible to do. It might be beneficial to troll a range of mid-sized skirts if there’s a few blacks around, but you would probably have more success fishing wide if targeting a marlin. MAY 2018
Delights from the deep WESTERN PORT STH
Jarrod Day firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past decade, the run of southern bluefin tuna along Victoria’s western coastline has certainly put some of
appearing annually. Aside from tuna of that size, school tuna in the 10-30kg are now a year round option for anglers as we know, and as fun as they are to catch, on occasion, it is nice to explore other targetable species just to switch it up
kingfish, sharks, calamari and plenty more delectable species are available in depths ranging 2-50m, however, it is way beyond this that anglers can catch some of the more favourable species the ocean has to offer! EXPLORING THE DEEP Along the West Coast, there certainly is a lot of water to explore, however by reading up a little on the variety of some of the species that are available to catch, you’ll also work out what depths they can be found at. For instance, Tasmanian trumpeter are common and tend to be found in depths ranging 80-120m, while blue-eye, gemfish, knifejaw, ling, frost fish and a host of
Blue-eye are typically found in depths of 400-500m. your baits will not reach the bottom. In an ideal world, when fishing in 400m of water or
pays to deploy a drogue or sea anchor to slow the drift down. Any higher and getting baits to the bottom
Waiting for the catch to come up can be tiring work. the western coastal towns on the map. There is no doubting that the southern bluefin fishery is now world-class, with tuna of over 100kgs
from time to time. Being so close to the continental shelf, there are many different species worth targeting aside from tuna. Whiting, snapper,
One of the main reasons for using 400lb leader line is that everything has big teeth down deep!
Frost fish are quite unique and can also be caught at great depths. 40
others can be caught in depths ranging 200-500m. Exploring the deep is certainly exciting, as during any drop, you really never know what species you’re going to bring up next. Although many people love to wrap their lips around a nice steak of fresh tuna, devouring a fillet from a blue-eye or gemfish is very hard to beat. Some say that flathead are the most tasty table fish around here, but once they try a fillet from a fish of the deep, I’d doubt they’d continue to repeat that statement. WHERE DO YOU BEGIN Fishing the deep really isn’t that hard, however you do need everything working in your favour. Of course, there is no way to anchor your boat to concentrate on one area, so drift fishing it your only option. Drifting allows you to cover a wide area, but you do need the weather in your favour, otherwise
so, a day when the wind is around the 5-10knot range with a 2m or less swell will allow a slow and constant drift, and even then, it
can be extremely difficult, causing you to use more weight than necessary to get to the bottom. Nearly all anglers have
a GPS and or mapping unit on their boats these days, especially those who target tuna regularly, and it is the maps that can provide you with locations to head if you are going out blind without marks passed onto you by another angler. Zooming in on the continental shelf using a GPS map will show you the seafloor contour as it drops off into the deep. At some points, the contour lines are spread wide apart while other really close together. The closer they are together, the steeper the bank decline. Blue-eye, ling, gemfish and a host of others tend to be found more regularly on the steep declines and providing you get your drift right to work along the edge maintaining a fairly consistent depth, you should be able to get a bite. RIGGING UP Getting a setup for deep sea fishing does require an entire new rod and reel, there’s no doubting that. However, if you have a mate on board that wants to try dropping the deep for his first time, you can always get him to do it by
The deep sea is a world of its own, and the fish that come from these depths can look quite frightening!
hand for a laugh. On a serious note, dropping a bait in 400m of water is certainly no fun, which is the sole reason for using an electric reel. Electric reels make fishing
the bottom much easier and although there is a small minority of anglers who say that using an electric reel isn’t fishing, watch them change their tune when they attempt to wind
While this is a small model, blue-eye can grow to a staggering 40kg in weight, but most are in the 5-15kg range.
up a 5-10kg fish plus 1-3kg of sinker weight by hand! Most electric reels these days can hold around 800-1200m of braid, and if you are going to spool one up, look no further than 80lb. You’ll also need a good rod too – something that can easily handle the pressure of constantly being buckled with that amount of weight. While there are specially designed rods made for this fishing style, a 37kg bent butt game rod with customised swivel tip will make it easier, as well as prevent any line damage when bringing the fish up. Making rigs is also a vital part of the setup and due to the depth, it is imperative that the rigs made can withstand a high amount of abrasion due to running over the seafloor. Rigs made from a length of 400lb main leader with a 200lb loop in the bottom for the sinker threaded onto it is a good start. The reason for the lighter poundage loop is so if you snag up, you only lose the sinker and not the entire rig. On this rig, you can either crimp on a dropline swivel to attach your 400lb dropper containing a 12/016/0 tuna circle hook or instead of crimping to the main leader you can rig
Baits need to be firm and stay on the hook. Squid and tuna are the best. the hook to a 20cm length of 400lb leader with a shark clip attached. This enables the hook droppers to be clipped on and off
the mainline. Although you can lose rigs from time to time, you can always use pre-made rigs, which are
quite inexpensive and are specifically made for this type of fishing. Because of the depth fished, there’s barely any light down there for the fish to see, so on the top of the rig, it pays to clip on a deep sea light, as fish at this depth are quite inquisitive and a flashing light will attract their attention. Lastly, you’ll need a good supply of sinkers as these can be easily lost. Sinker weight all depends on the drift speed caused by wind and current, and sinkers designed for this purpose are not easy to come by in tackle stores. You can tape 32oz snapper leads together, but they can be bulky and the sink rate can be impacted by the current pressure. Anglers who regularly deep drop tend to make their own by pouring lead into a thin cylindrical shape in weights of 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3kg. GO DEEPER! While it is a lot of fun to head off the West Coast in search of tuna, when the conditions are flat, more often than not the tuna are finicky and hard to get on the bite. It’s days like these that having a back up plan to go deep dropping can turn a slow tuna bite into a crazy deep dropping session!
The focus of the hunt changes in the winter WEST COAST
Much has happened over the last month. The days have become noticeably shorter and the seas have become noticeably cooler; this heralds the onset of the cooler months and a changing of our focus when it comes to our hunting.
diving. I am usually only too happy if that person is happy to go where and when I like to go. Lately I am noticing a bit of a worrying trend. Those who ask are more and more frequently touting that they are ‘experienced’ divers because they have completed a free diving course of some description. People want shortcuts, people want recognition.
species. He was followed by up-and-comer Kim Adair with 12 species. Current title Murray Petersen rounded out the top three, also with
side was calm and relatively clear. The western side was very clear, but decidedly uncomfortable due to steep and confused wind-driven
Anglers worked hard for the competition over the two days.
New junior champion Cam Fitzpatrick with a cracking boarfish.
Watto and John with crays during the competition. The water is still warm but the mornings are crisp and the urge to leap out of bed into a darkened morning is somewhat stifled. No longer are our reports to be filled with tales of kingfish and tuna. The fish
Some divers mistakenly believe that a free diving course gives them the golden ticket. It doesn’t. Be aware, these courses are simply an introduction to the underwater world. Because you have conducted a single
your stamina, resolve or breath-holding capabilities. Only being familiar with the ocean can make you relaxed in the ocean. If you do a course then ask your instructor to allow you to carry your gun, tow your float and lug around a GoPro and all the other necessities of a hunting dive. This is the only way it will have any true relevance to a spearing or competition situation. The complexities of drag take on new significance. Make sure that your instructor is aware of your ultimate goals prior to course commencement. I am seeing too many divers coming away from free dive courses with an overinflated and unrealistic opinion of
their abilities. Be careful. SPEARFISHING CHAMPIONSHIPS Recently the Southern Freedivers Spearfishing Club hosted the Victorian Spearfishing Championships. The Mornington Peninsula was this year’s location. Heat one was held at Koonya Beach in very agreeable conditions. The visibility was a slight let down but the sea conditions remained good for the entire day. After a six-hour swim the competitors made their way to the car park for a BBQ and the weigh-in. Rob Torelli, a multiple national and state champion, led the day with an impressive 13 eligible
12 species. The top fish for the day as deemed by the scorer belonged to Brendon Waller with an enviable King George whiting weighing in at 710g. Heat two was conducted
Scott Kelly about to enter the fray. the following day at Cape Schanck. The weather was a little less kind but the beauty of this place is that the cape itself can take the sting out of any swell or wind coming from the west. While the wind was strong, the eastern
Some of the competitors ready to go. are still there, but in far less abundance. Crayfish, scallops and whiting will now ascend the list of desirables. Thicker suits will be dusted off. Holes will finally be repaired. I love this time of year. I hate crowds. I often get asked if I can take people out spearing and
dive to 20m during a course, does not mean that you are now a 20m spearfisher. A course is great for learning safety protocols and maybe mystic insights into a particular breathing routine or equalisation regimen, but nothing replaces time in the water for building
The author made a new friend on a dive.
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wave action. After another hardfought six hours the competitors worked their way to the top. For the older legs, the seemingly never-ending ascent up the
Cape Schanck boardwalk was a special kind of torture. This torture can be accentuated even more with the added burden of weight belts, diving gear and many kilograms of dead fish. All came back safe and sound and the weigh-in began. The day was won by Murray Petersen with a staggering 18 species. Rob Torelli came in 2nd with 16 species followed by Nathan Watson with 14 species. The most notable capture was Murray’s 1410g sea sweep. The big day at the Schanck was enough for Murray to overhaul Rob’s first day lead and claim another Victorian title win. Congratulations to all competitors, especially Cameron Fitzpatrick who secured the junior title and Kaylah Charles representing the ladies.
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Inland Fisheries Service
Tasmania’s trout fishery heads to London IFS
Over a few weeks, we worked with Tourism Tasmania to gather high quality footage and photographs of our inland fishery. Some of this material went to the London Fly Fishing Fair later in March. With the World Fly Fishing Championship coming to Tasmania in December 2019, Tourism Tasmania and the IFS are increasing and improving promotional content on our world-class fishery. The footage represented all of Tasmania. Filming took place on the East Coast at Coles Bay, rivers in the north of the state and the South Esk River. A beautiful sunny day was spent in the Western Lakes and quality fishing time on Penstock Lagoon. The west coast and a few more central plateau lakes were also on the agenda. The footage will be used to produce a quality production, promoting our fishery at this year’s World Fly Fishing Championship in Trentino in the Italian Alps. RIVER SURVEYS During early April,
we started our annual river surveys. So far, we have surveyed the South Esk and Meander rivers. The Russell River and Mersey River were to be completed during late April. Three 100m reaches on each river are assessed by backpack electrofishing. This involves working through each 100m section three times with the aim of capturing the fish present. The trout from both the Meander and South Esk rivers were in outstanding condition. We found good numbers of native fish with many blackfish and eels present in both rivers. Three sites were assessed between Meander and Deloraine, with 53 trout sampled. Of these fish, 34 were takeable (greater that 220mm in length). The largest fish captured was 422mm, with the average size of the takeable fish roughly 330mm. To date, two sites on the upper South Esk River have been assessed. Lots of trout were present at the Upper Esk Road Bridge. There were 113 fish taken from this stretch, mainly fry, showing that the future of the South Esk River trout fishery is looking bright, and 20 fish were greater than
220mm (takeable size) in this short section of river. Griffin Park was the other site we assessed on the South Esk. Here we found 20 brown trout – 17 were of takeable size with the largest being 324mm. Both the South Esk and Meander rivers are at good levels for fishing, and our river surveys show there are plenty of fish there to catch! This time of year you can’t beat using grasshoppers for bait, and Celta lures are also a good option. Fly anglers will do well with nymphs, dry flies or grasshopper imitations. LAKE CRESCENT REMAINS CARP FREE! The annual Lake Crescent juvenile carp survey took place during March. This survey aims to make sure carp have not made their way back into Lake Crescent, and to look for any signs of new recruitment. Carp have not been seen in Lake Crescent since 2007, but surveys are still carried out every year. We focused on areas that carp are known to favour. These habitats include rocky or sandy shores and areas with lots of underwater vegetation. Around the lake 14 areas were surveyed using backpack electro-shockers for
a minimum of 10 minutes. Short-fin eels and golden galaxias made up the majority
of the catch. A couple of wellconditioned rainbow trout were caught in the shallows.
Thankfully, there was no sign of carp of any size in Lake Crescent.
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Go Behind the Scenery
Winter on its way to the Apple Isle TASMANIA
As Jon Snow keeps telling us, winter is coming. Tasmania is a state that can shut down over the
winter months… but only if you let it. It is still only autumn here in Tasmania and the fishing continues to be very good in May. If you are wandering around the house telling yourself it’s time to put the fishing
TUNA SEASON STARTS NOW I still use the word ‘season’ but as I have written before the seasons and the fishing in and around them here in Tasmania have been turned on their head. The traditional timings of fish and when they come through or turn on are all over the place. They have been early, they have run on later and I really think that we have a southern bluefin fishery that spans the entire year. Yes, of course there are times when they are thicker and the chance of encountering them are greater. May is a month when it usually fires right up and looking at what happened in the latter half of March it’s looking like a cracker. The bluefin come on and so do the really large albacore. This season the albacore have been solid in and around the two Hippolyte Rocks and out on the shelf down at the Neck. There have also been plenty of good size albacore off Bicheno and Schouten Island. The big supersize albys seem to be at the Neck and can be found anywhere on any given day. They can be found in close to the cliffs, in the mouth of Fortescue Bay or out wide. You just have to cover the ground and keep an eagle eye on the sounder and water surface. There are some lures that over the years have accounted for more than their fair share of albacore. The southern blues have thickened up and gotten bigger. This is interesting, because May is the month where a lot of anglers get jumbo fever. This is a condition that has sufferers watching their phone screens for weather windows and going to tackle shops getting heavy leader and a few new lures. Friends and family often can diagnose this condition early. The sufferer will combat any questioning with mutterings about the fish of a lifetime and a bucket list item. Have a look at line and doubles and feel them for knicks or abrasion. If in doubt, pull 5m off and recheck and retie doubles. When you repack your boat make sure you have a good couple of gimbal belts and check all the harness bits and pieces are there. 44
The jumbos are indeed on their way. There were a few days in March where they came up and were caught already. These big fish will thicken up and the boats will march to the Neck to try their luck. Luck does play its part in this, but you have to also make your own luck. You must check your gear and go through all your rigging. Why go to the trouble and expense of hooking the fish of a lifetime to lose it to an old trace or poor quality swivel clip? If I had a trip on the cards I would go through all the lures I thought I would run and check them over or rerig them. Jumbo season calls for heavier leader than you might run during the rest of the year – 150lb leader is light in this domain and some people will argue that you need 250lb. If you have lures rigged lighter than that, I would think about changing them up. Always take care of your crimping – it’s always important, but never as much as having your jumbo in hand on the leader and dart to go under the boat. You can’t let go, as the line could touch the boat or be wrapped around the rod tip. You must hang on and hold a lot of pressure on that fish until he comes around in a slow arc and you get another chance to gaff him. Your gaffs need to be a lot bigger than for the everyday fishing, too. When it comes to the gaff shot it is important to be confident and not try to be too fancy in your placement. Quite often the person on the gaff is the least experienced and it can be harrowing with orders being barked at you from every direction. Quite often the skipper will say one thing and the angler will be screaming something entirely different. The most important thing is that everyone just relaxes. I see this all the time and from some very experienced anglers. Once a fish is hooked people lose their minds. Excitement levels go through the roof and the orders mount up. A great deal of fish are lost at the side of the boat because of the panic we create. Everyone needs to calm down and control the things that they have control of. When that big jumbo hits you need to clear the other rods as you would any other strike. It is normally
gear away, you best get in front of a mirror and have a long hard look at yourself. Go and buy some new woolly socks and a cool new fishing hoodie and harden up. The fishing is really
good and we have lots to look forward to. Get some mates together and hit up a beach or rocky point and throw some bait or metal slugs in the water. Watch the weather and make hay while the sun shines.
mid-way through clearing the other rods that it’s obvious that this fish is special. This is normally where the heightened levels of excitement take over and rods are stowed hastily and messily while there is a mad scramble for the harness bag. Just clear the rods swiftly and smoothly and store them with good thought of a long battle. If the angler can’t handle the rod for 15 minutes or so without the harness then it’s time to take up something else instead. By now the skipper has done their job. He or she has tracked off at idle keeping away from the fish as the deck is cleared. The skipper’s only job now is to keep the boat down-sea and downwind of the fish. This allows the boat to wash off the fish not onto it. Nothing is worse than having any fish in under the boat on an acute angle, especially a jumbo bluefin. Kick away on the outboard when you have to open the angle up between gunnel and the line. The line should be off the rear of the stern by about 45° or so. This will allow the angler to get into the corner of the boat and lock a knee or a bit of thigh in for stability. You might pay some line out while taking position or
kicking off the fish but it is far better to do this than rub the line on anything. Once the deck is clear of anything that could cause a trip or a tangle, the harness bag is out ready for an opportunity to put it on. The angler will let you know when to get it on and fitted correctly. All you have to do now is settle in the fight and work as a team. Everything should be cool calm and collected. More often than not the person asked to gaff this fish of a lifetime is only told this detail two minutes before the job. The best idea is to let them know now. Talk them up, give them a few tips and let them play with it. Get it out of the gunwale and get a feel for it in hand. Have a few dummy swings at a pretend fish over the side in the water and get a feel of that. Then put it in a spot where it can be put to hand quickly while also on the trace. This is often under the knees in the gunwale where you are going to take the fish. If you have someone else on the boat just show them where it is and when you hold your hand out get them to put it in your hand relay baton style. Heck, you can even practice it if you have room. Even the slightest familiarity with
These Zacatak small skirts are deadly on jumbo Australian salmon and yellowtail kings. a role will give you all a better chance of success than finding out minutes before the tricky task. Once the fish is getting close to the boat the panic and rushing becomes pretty wild. Relax. You have everything covered and the fish has been hooked for quite a while; if it falls out now, it’s out of your control. Work the fish to the boat gently and smoothly. Once the decision has been made to handle the leader, do that smoothly as well. There’s no need to stir the fish up with a big jerk grab and rush to get it to the boat. That will wake it up and possibly inspire another powerful run at the wrong moment. Tuna will do big lunging circles when tired, so use that to your advantage and don’t fight against them. When the fish presents itself for a gaff shot have the angler step out of the way and hit the fish firmly and get its head alongside boat. Now is the time for another gaff to go in. If you have a pair of gloves, grab the mouth, the gills – whatever you can and then work together to get the fish in quickly. If you have a firm purchase on the head, resetting a gaff low in the body helps with hauling it in, then it’s just a matter of one, two, three – lift!
Now in the bottom of the boat should be a wonderful and shiny blue and grey piscatorial missile. The high fives will rain down. The jubilation is great and the celebration fierce, but if the fish had been lost at the boat the misery and frustration would be just as great. Avoid that. Keep cool and be relaxed and control what you have at hand. The bait at Eaglehawk Neck has been thick and in most of the usual haunts. When it is like this the fish can tend to herd the bait and break a section away from the reef cover and eat them off the back of the Big Hippo to the south, out in the middle of Munroe Bight and along the cliffs from the Thumbs back to Waterfall Bay. Keen eyes and keen crew are needed to spot the feeds early. Anglers who watch the weather and have quality gear in the water in good condition will reap the rewards. Big fish come through in May and I think they are getting bigger each year. There are a group of migratory tuna that come through at this time of year and if they have missed the hooks and nets for 12 months, they are going to be that much bigger than last year. Get out and find one!
BROADBILL The broadbill are going mad. When there is a weather window that suits deep dropping, one or two fish will be caught. The crews are moving away from the localized areas where these awesome fish were found early. These patches have copped an absolute flogging but they still seem to produce fish. There are a lot of anglers waking up to the fact that they are all along the shelf and you just have to find a bit of food they might like to eat then you’re in with a chance. The great news is these big gladiators of the sea will eat everything. All manner of fish are food for them, so find some gemfish or blue-eye trevalla and that’s a good starting spot. Naomi Wisby and Brody Corbet have been chasing a sword for a while and had become quite frustrated. A lack of hook-ups on good days and pulled hooks on fish were adding up. They kept trying and doing all the
right things. Finally Brody caught a fish that pulled the scales down to 193kg. Now addicted, Brody wanted to get his long-time girlfriend onto a swordfish. With more pulled hooks and dropped fish the frustration was again mounting. The pressure went skyward when Brody said he would put a ring on it if they caught Naomi a swordfish – a ring on Naomi, not the swordfish. One fateful day, they found another one. “It was a big battle,” Naomi said. “We headed out early and the weather was pretty good. Baits were pre-rigged at home (my fridge is very smelly) and were on the way to the bottom quickly. This was hit halfway down and we hooked an estimated 120kg mako shark. This was a warm-up I didn’t need. We quickly released the shark to set another bait. “The second bait was only To page 45
Naomi Wisby had a day on the water that ended up perfect! Photo courtesy of Marilla Glover.
Tasmania From page 44
in the water 15 minutes and we had another solid enquiry. The reel paid out some line and drag and it was game on.” An hour into the battle they confirmed it was a swordfish, and almost
an hour after that Naomi managed to beat the sword. “She popped the surface belly up, backwards. I had beaten Xiphias gladius, the broadbill swordfish, but only just.” Naomi was using 15kg
drag and 37kg line with a 60kg top shot. The fish weighed 205kg – more than three times Naomi’s bodyweight. She said, “I’m pleased to say this gives me bragging rights over Brody’s fish from last year.”
CREATE YOUR ADVENTURES
Brody just did all the easy bits while Naomi battled the monster. Photo courtesy of Marilla Glover. NORTH WEST Up on the North West Coast the fishing is travelling well. There are plenty of people heading to the far North West and doing very well on the kings and snapper. The flathead fishing in Stanley is also very good at the minute. Stanley is a sweet little seaside village with plenty to do other than fishing and plenty to see. The fishing however is boss. It’s more famous for the run of snotty trevalla and the mad, hectic wharf fishing, but it’s a solid location for a number of other species. All the big names can be had at this time of the year, from the shore in and around the inlets and also from the sea. The boat ramp in town is pretty reasonable but you must take care at low tide or you will be after a bit of paint for the skeg and a tightly adjusted shifter to straighten. To find the flathead is pretty simple. Just head out from the boat ramp, swing out around the Nut and find a spot to drop a bait. The place fishes really well for flathead and if you don’t get a bite in five minutes, haul ‘em up and head a short distance then try again. A depth of around 25m is a good start. Use baits that have a bit of movement in them. By that I mean use bits of squid that have a bit of length or, if you’re using fish strips, thin them down. This allows the baits to move and flutter on the drop and also while in any current on the bottom.
Movement attracts interest. Interest will have them come over and then the smell of the bait will have them bite! The Ulverstone breakwall has been offering some good fishing for the land-based angler. Those that have been willing to put the time in and use a bit of berley in May will find fish. The species that have been encountered are of interest. Along with the usual suspects of flathead, mullet and barracouta there have
been some silver trevally and tailor. These fish aren’t known to be the best eating fish, but they do fight well and are a lot of fun on light gear. You can find them with bait and they are very susceptible to soft plastics. Be prepared to lose a few plastics to the tailor if you are too light in your leader material. They have a serious set of teeth that gets bigger as they grow. The trevally are sensational fun and fight To page 46
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Glen Saltmarsh loves his Abu Garcia Salty Fighter rod for bringing snapper unstuck in the Forth River. MAY 2018
Go Behind the Scenery
Tasmania From page 45
very well. Some of the fish have been of very good size – something you might expect to catch in Georges Bay down at St Helens. I have never taken one to eat, so if you do, get on the net and look for a recipe. Most fish eat okay fresh if they’re looked after post-catch. Devonport has once again come good for snapper. These
fish have been fishing well all summer and look to be going well into autumn. We don’t know very much about these fish or their habits as yet and we won’t know if we stop fishing for them. Glen Saltmarsh, Nathan Williams and Harry Murfet found some nice snapper recently off the Forth River mouth. They were initially looking for some big salmon
DEEP SOUTH The south of the state continues to fish well and has plenty to offer in the month of May. Thomas Crawford is in the thick of it down there and runs The Fisherman’s
Shed down in Kingston. I had a chance to ask him his thoughts on what we can expect down his way in May and this is what he shared. The Gould’s squid (more
Johah Yick found some stonking albacore around the big Hippolyte Rock.
to play with, but didn’t find any schools. The lads then decided to have a go at some snapper and sounded up some likely bottom. There are a few schools of thought with snapper and what bottom is best; more and more are caught and the information is confusing. The general consensus is that you need to find some reef and anchor off it a bit. I have had
some good success doing this, but have also seen some good fish come off shale bottom or off plain old sand. This is frustrating and awesome news all at the same time. What it tells me is that these fish are far more widespread and in greater numbers than what we may have first thought. A little change up of techniques and fishing at anchor raises the
commonly known as arrow squid) have slowed down a little bit recently. In North West Bay and the channel however there are plenty of calamari to be caught. The shallow weed beds around Howden, Dennes Point and Blackmans Bay have all been producing some healthysized specimens. The 2.5-3.0 size jigs in either orange or green have been the standouts amongst local anglers. Remember to let your jigs sink down and keep them close to the bottom when targeting calamari as this is where they will usually be found, unlike the arrow squid, which can be caught anywhere from the bottom to the surface. The flathead continue to fish well. As they were last month, the locals are still getting stuck into some good fish and finding a good amounts of flatties in shallow water. In and around Taroona, Bull Bay and Electrona are great spots to prospect. Betsey Island is always a little hotspot to try, but there are so many areas to try your luck. Soft plastics on 1/4oz jigheads have been working well. Hop these on the bottom and then pause and leave them
still. You can leave them for a minute or more as the fish have seen them and will come over for a look. A little hop and another pause will often get the bite. The gummy sharks have really come on in late April so May should see them continue to fire. Bull Bay and Betsey Island will be the go-to spots for those chasing a nice feed of flake. Some healthy gummy sharks well over 1m long have been caught over the last two weeks. Whole pilchards or strips of ‘couta and squid have been working best. When chasing gummies a berley trail will always increase your chances and fishing with the lightest sinker possible for the depth you’re fishing will also help. Big elephant fish are still being caught as by-catch and they are hard-pulling, great eating fish! Australian salmon were plentiful and big in late April. These salmon will still be
chances tenfold. Add in a little berley and you are in the box seat for success. I have said before that failure at the first hurdle should not mean that you quit on a spot. You should persevere with a spot at least three times around a couple of tide movements before moving to the next spot. Be systematic about your movements and don’t just move randomly. If you start
Ashley Hallam caught this nice gummy shark. about this month. You will continue to see them busting up in massive schools all throughout the Derwent. Look for them in the normal haunts in the channel, North West Bay and the outside of Bruny Island. Just keep an eye out for birds hovering over the surface as this is usually a good sign of salmon close by. Trolling a spread of lures such as minnow-style soft plastics and hardbodies is a great way to search for these fish. A salmon well over
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Snapper in Tasmania bring out the smiles and man hugs. WEEKEND GETAWAY TIPS Tasmania has a great deal to offer when it comes to boating and getting away with mates on boats. It might not be the Whitsundays, but there are some fabulous overnight or weekend getaway options. The areas in and around Schouten Island and Maria Island on the East Coast offer some fabulous anchorages that offer a safe haven from most
weather angles. If you get your head around the BOM and Willy Weather apps, you can be sure to pull the trigger on a safe and fun adventure. The south of the state also offers some very picturesque and safe places to hold up and have some fun aboard your pride and joy. You don’t have to have 55ft of fiberglass glory to get involved either. There
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out deeper, move in slowly to the shallower grounds and vice versa. There’s no need to move too far or all over the shop in a mad rush to do no good at all. If you have some success, make sure you note the time of day, the tide and what rig and bait you used. Over a short while you will have enough detail to make some sort of sense of the puzzle that is snapper success.
60cm was recently caught in the lower reaches of the Derwent too, so be prepared to encounter some very solid fish! The yellowtail kings are still about causing continued king fever here in the south. They are still being caught consistently by anglers fishing in and around the Derwent. A solid location to try is North West Bay and the channel. Poppers, stickbaits and micro-jigs are working great. Kings will usually hang around places where there is good structure and food for them. Rocky points, shellfish leases, moored boats and salmon pens are all great places to try. Jerkbaits are a superb offering for this style of fishing – the more erratic the retrieve, the better. It drives the fish mad and they strike. Trolling a spread of small skirted lures, soft plastics and divers is also a good way to search for them and cover an area. is nothing at all wrong with getting out in your smaller trailer boat and making it comfortable for a night or two. With a little forethought and a bit of ingenuity you can have a great time relaxing, fishing and barbequing with kids, partners and mates. This month we take a few tips from Adrian ‘Mozza’ Morrisby on his vessel the good ship Rocket Science. To page 47
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Go Behind the Scenery From page 47
Rocket Science is a deep vee aluminium vessel built by the very proud people at Surtees Boats in New Zealand. The boat is easily recognised with a big graphic and name up the side, and Mozz is always up for a chat and a few fishing tips, so if you see him on the water, hit him up on the radio or at the ramp. Adrian also loves a trip away in his pocket game boat and talked about his last trip. It had been a few weeks since we had a getaway and I thought it was about time we did. There are so many options in and around the Derwent River. There are many launch and retrieve options and places to hide in bad weather. I am an avid planner when it comes to overnight trips on trailer boats, having grown up spending weeks on end away on the family cruiser, and I am well versed in what can go wrong. For two weeks before I watch the weather patterns and work out where to anchor for best comfort and escape plans if there is a turn in the weather during the trip. Leading in it was looking good until the weather took a turn for the worst, mid-week. We decided to change our plans from Maria Island (Tassie East Coast) to the Lower D’Entrecasteaux Channel approximately 100km further south. This still left us a little venerable to the impending wind, but a lot more comfortable if it turned up early or was worse than forecast. The weekend away started like any other trip. There are always plenty of early laughs and a bit of banter from all skippers and crew. The kids just have a ball checking out the wharf or jetty structures and looking into the water for life. This allows the adults to make one last check of the car for any items left behind and we are away.
The boats on beautiful clear water, ready for a weekend getaway. It was an awesome day, catching flathead at a furious pace. The fish seemed to like a slender piece of squid or, if fussy, a soft plastic like the Gulp Nemesis. The kids were having a ball with the first few going in the livewell. The Surtees has a glass front live tank and the kids love it – their own mini aquarium. At one stage we were catching flathead on soft plastics and selecting which fish we wanted to catch, because the water was so clear. We were fishing in 4m of water in the southwest corner of Great Taylors Bay. Pretty soon the tummies were rumbling so we anchored up on the trusty in about 2ft of water. The kids swam and played as the burgers and snags cook on the hotplate. The benefits of having an electric anchor winch really come into play when you’re away on a trip like this. They are great for fishing duties, but really shine when pulling up for lunch or for the evening. You can do multiple drops getting to your spot and lay back just right. If you had to pull it up by hand, you would probably suffer an inferior anchor set. The more I use it, the more I think they are a
boating must! While the feast was being consumed, deck hand and top bloke, Pete checked the weather and the impending storm had moved forward and was now expected in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I made the call to head over to the mainland side of the channel and find a safe anchorage for the night with a lee wind for the run to the ramp in the morning and a beach for the kids to enjoy our pristine waterways. Verona Sands was a top spot for a swim and relax. The kids had a ball building sandcastles with awesome moats and drawbridges. Should the next generation suffer an attack from a medieval army, we are in good hands, but for now they were swimming and being proper kids. The evening was rolling in and starting to look rough. Luckily one of the guys with us had a stepfather who owned a mooring around the other side of the headland. It was a little more in the weather, however it was a better option than hanging on the pick all night. As we steamed up to the mooring we could see there was a dilapidated old pirate
ship tied on the mooring. We made a few phone calls, but no one had a clue whose it was or where it had come from. We decided to tie up to the side of it for the night with our two boats. The only worry was the bow spit had broken off the Pirate ship and the ropes where a mess around the front but we knew the mooring had been maintained well and all would be okay if it got wild! We spent the evening picking up a few southern calamari and mullet. We also found some Australian salmon, flathead and droughtboard sharks. The squid and the sharks kept the kids’ excitement at an all time high. We used some bright transom lights, a bit of berley and some stale bread. It wasn’t long and we had the bay fired up and on the chew. Did I mention that storm coming? It got wild. At 2am while Pete was on watch it came in at about 40 knots. The wind and slap on the chines had us all up, except the two youngest who slept through the lot totally impervious to the building storm front. As the gusts started to hit 50-60 knots I started to calculate our options. I knew
Tasmania we were in the safest place possible, but you still feel venerable in these situations. This feeling was doubled when in a moonless night the wind was picking up water off the surface and forming walls that came over the top of the boat. One of the senior men suggested we let go and head to the ramp, to which I said no way! If something goes wrong with rope around the prop or something silly then it could end in disaster and it was too risky. In a situation like this you need to reduce the amount of things that can go wrong. We were in the safest place. I issued all crew with a knife and said if that rope breaks then cut us loose ASAP. The rest of the night we took turns at having an attempt at getting some sleep while a couple kept an eye on the mooring and our lines. Well… the sun came up and the wind had dropped away bringing the rain. It was
time to get back to the ramp and load me up. The lads were still asleep so we woke the two young fellas and steamed around to the ramp loaded up and rolled home. The boat catch made that unmistakable noise of the pin firing and the boat being locked in and safe as houses. I let out a sigh of relief as the water spilled out of the ballast towing us onto terra firma, it was refreshing reminder that ‘Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.’ Always check and recheck the weather. Have a good stout anchor setup, have some good quality rope aboard and check the weather again. There you have it for another month; the fishing looks good. Don’t get the winter blues – get excited. There is a lot to look forward to; it’s only autumn, so rug up and get out there. As always be safe, watch the weather and have fun.
The kids had fun fishing and enjoyed the cab while at anchor.
HYDRO TASMANIA WATER STORAGE INFORMATION Water Storage Information as at 13th April, 2018 Lake/Lagoon
Metres from full
Trevallyn Pond..................................1.06................................................................... Lake Mackenzie................................7.83................................................................... Lake Rowallan..................................7.05................................................................... Lake Parangana................................2.19................................................................... Lake Cethana....................................2.58................................................................... Lake Barrington................................0.45................................................................... Lake Gairdner...................................0.00.......................................................Spilling Lake Paloona....................................1.15................................................................... Lake Augusta....................................2.52................................................................... Arthurs Lake.....................................1.67................................................................... Great Lake........................................14.53................................................................. Little Pine Lagoon.............................0.91................................................................... Shannon Lagoon...............................0.16................................................................... Penstock Lagoon..............................0.22................................................................... Woods Lake......................................1.66................................................................... Lake St Clair.....................................1.62................................................................... Lake King William.............................6.10................................................................... Lake Echo.........................................8.60...................................................................
Dee Lagoon.......................................0.05................................................................... Pine Tier Lagoon...............................2.09................................................................... Bronte Lagoon..................................1.02................................................................... Bradys/Binneys/Tungatinah..............0.79................................................................... Laughing Jack Lagoon.....................6.93................................................................... Lake Liapootah.................................3.47................................................................... Wayatinah Lagoon............................1.21................................................................... Lake Catagunya................................0.96................................................................... Lake Repulse....................................1.27................................................................... Cluny Lagoon....................................0.00.......................................................Spilling Meadowbank Lake...........................0.40................................................................... Lake Burbury....................................5.38................................................................... Lake Margaret..................................2.85................................................................... Whitespur Pond....................................................................................... Unavailable Lake Newton.....................................3.42................................................................... Lake Plimsoll....................................2.82................................................................... Lake Murchison................................10.88................................................................. Lake Mackintosh..............................0.00.......................................................Spilling Lake Rosebery..................................0.00.......................................................Spilling Lake Pieman.....................................0.92................................................................... Lake Pedder......................................1.22................................................................... Lake Gordon.....................................24.67.................................................................
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 www.hydro.com.au/home/Tourism+and+Recreation/Lake+Levels.htm MAY 2018
WHAT’S NEW FISHING DAIWA TD SOL III BAITCASTER
With a combination of TWS, Air Rotation, Digigear, Magforce Z, SV Spool, CRBB and UTD, the new TD Sol SV TW is one of Daiwa’s highest performing reels. TWS delivers unparalleled casting performance and line control, a reduction in line noise and friction, and improved reel stability and balance. SV concept with its lightweight spool, and high precision design improves spool rotation. SV spool braking power automatically adjusts depending on lure weight, and the friction-free levelwind allows for the smooth release of line, drastically reducing backlashing problems. The ideal setting of the spool braking system is not too tight and not too loose. The Digigear design combines with the Air Rotation system to create a reel that is silky smooth and effortless on the crank, and flawless and refined under load. At the core is precision designed and machined gearing, which makes for buttery cranking and unrivalled smoothness. Daiwa’s Magforce Z magnetic cast control system offers anglers of any skill-level a cast control system to maximize casting ease, distance and performance. www.daiwafishing.com.au
GAMAKATSU EWG MONSTER
threadfin salmon and other species as well as flathead down south over flats. www.frogleysoffshore.com.au
SUGAR DEEP 90 BARRA TUNE
MUSTAD BIG EYE BUCKTAIL JIG
HOBIE BARNACLE + 5
The Hobie Barnacle + is a durable floating speaker with Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in microphone for taking hands-free calls, and the capacity to hold 1000 songs, so you don’t have to use your phone. It mounts to any smooth surface using an industrial suction cup base, and is perfect for the kayak, SUP or tinny. This new speaker is designed to go where other speakers can’t; it’s 100% waterproof, and can be submerged to a depth of 6ft for up to an hour. It also floats! No matter how it is dropped in the water, the Barnacle will always surface with the speaker facing up, keeping your tunes afloat and jamming. As well as being waterproof, the Barnacle is sand and dust proof. Its all-terrain design is sealed tight, and is engineered to withstand the most demanding elements. No matter how dirty your speaker gets, you can freely wash it off in water and you’re good to go. It also has built-in 4GB memory, produces surprisingly bold sound, and has a battery life of up to five hours. www.hobie.com
Japan produce some of the most lifelike lures in the world and the Bassday Sugar Deep 90 Barra Tune is no exception, except this time it’s been tuned for Aussie conditions. This realistic 90mm jerkbait is available in seven fish-attracting colours, covering everything from clear to dirty water, making them ideal for inland dams as well as rivers, streams and estuaries. The Bassday Sugar Deep 90 Barra Tune has heavy-duty construction and extra strong trebles. It has a life-like appearance and can be cast accurately, quickly diving to a depth of 2.5m. This versatile lure can be used with a slow, steady retrieve producing a sharp wobble or a fast erratic stop-start retrieve which will have the lure darting about, imitating a dying baitfish. It also works well in heavily fished waters or on days where the fish are timid, as its neutral buoyancy lets you pause it near structure and it will suspend right in the strike zone. The Barra Tune will be perfect for barra,
Shimano’s Nexave spin reels represent great value for money for an entry level series, perfect for newcomers and kids who need the right start in fishing. There are five models in this new FE series, from 1000 through to C5000, with the 3000 HGFE and the 5000 HGFE being of compact body design. The cold forged aluminium spool with AR-C lip promotes longer casting without wind knots, and smooth transmission through the stripper guide, which is important when using fine diameter braid. Varispeed II assists in this regard, as it ensures that line lay on the spool is neat and even. An XT-7 body keeps weight down, while three shielded stainless SS bearings and one roller bearing makes winding the single piece aluminium handle effortless, whether retrieving or hooked up. Gear ratios range from 5.0:1 to 6.2:1, and drag power is from 3kg on the 1000 size, up to 8.5kg in the 3000, 4000, and 5000. And despite all these features, the price will come as a pleasant surprise. www.shimanofish.com.au
Gamakatsu have added two new sizes to the EWG Monster worm hook range. The new sizes offer more versatility, and build on the popular 7/0 EWG Monster. A 5/0 and 6/0 now complete the range of the strongest worm hook on the market. The EWG Monster was designed for only the largest plastics, and features extra heavy-duty wire, an inline hook point and an impressive black nickel finish. Coupled with Gamakatsu’s chemical sharpening procedure, the EWG Monster has impressive hook setting power, which is crucial when throwing big baits for large fish. The EWG Worm hook allows anglers to rig their lures in the traditional way with the hook point well exposed, or weedless. This offers incredible versatility, and the hooks can be used effectively in areas of heavy weed or timber, which are commonly encountered when chasing iconic species such as barramundi. EWG Monster worm hooks are also perfect in shallower water for offshore species such as snapper and kingfish with a slow sink offered by the unweighted hook. www.gamakatsu.com.au
Mustad has released a range of bucktail jigs designed for fishing freshwater through to the deepest saltwater ledges. Built on the 32824NP-BN 2X strong hook, the Mustad Big Eye Bucktail Jig features two line tie positions to give the angler options. The nose tie lets you cast and retrieve the jig, mimicking a swimming action. The top tie lets you employ a more traditional jigging retrieve. But don’t think there are only two uses for these jigs – clever anglers are already fitting them out for trolling dead baits for mackerel and more. Featuring oversized 3D eyes, the Big Eye Bucktail Jig has hand-tied deer hair and crystal flash to give the jigs a lifelike appearance in the water. There is also a keeper wire located near the lead head so you can add bait or a soft plastic trailer. An epoxy finish gives the head maximum durability. There are eight colours in the range, and sizes range from a 3/4oz jig with a 5/0 hook, all the way through to 8oz with a 9/0 hook. www.wilsonfishing.com
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WHAT’S NEW FISHING SHIMANO STELLA FJ
8 9 10
It’s been 26 years since the first Stellas hit the market, and the innovation continues with the new FJ series. One of the latest features is MicroModule II. Unique gear teeth surface design makes the FJs even smoother and quieter, and with Improved Hagane Gear they’re now twice as strong and durable as before. The Long Stroke AR-C spool increases casting distance, and the line clip has been improved so light leaders aren’t damaged during storage. There’s also a Tangle-Proof Rotor design. SilentDrive reduces handle play and eliminates the clicking noise and feeling from the worm shaft when winding. EI Surface Treatment protects the exterior, while the X Protect labyrinth system keeps water and dirt at bay in key areas. All these advancements are housed in a Hagane Body with 12 SA-RB bearings and one roller bearing, with X-Ship bearing supported pinion gear, plus a G-Free Body where the centre of gravity is closer to the rod. There are five models, with drag power from 3-11kg, and gear ratios from 5.1 to 6.4:1. www.shimanofish.com.au
BLACK MAGIC BMAX 8 COLOURS Black Magic has updated their range of bibbed BMax lures by adding five new colours. For those who haven’t tried one, the BMax 60 is designed as a subsurface lure ideal for numerous freshwater and estuarine species across Australia. This lure measures 60mm long, is an ideal weight for casting, and is perfect for both spinning and trolling. The short bib lets the lure dive down to 1.2-1.8m, and ensures a very enticing swimming action. The BMax 60 is rigged with two strong, sharp treble hooks – one on the belly and one on the tail. It’s available in a range of 10 colours designed to suit a range of species and conditions. These lures are well priced and are available now from Black Magic stockists. www.blackmagictackle.com
OKUMA HELIOS SX SPIN 12
The new Okuma Helios SX is all about high end performance and cutting edge features at an affordable price, and it’s now available to Aussie anglers in a 20, 30 and 40 size. Okuma’s new C-40X long strand carbon fibre technology is substantially stronger than standard graphite material, and is also 25% lighter and 100% anti-corrosive. Combine this with Okuma’s TCA: Torsion Control Armor, a double-arm design in the reel stem that reduces twist and torque, while keeping internal parts perfectly aligned, and you have a lightweight, rigid reel that sees power transferred effectively. Other features include 8HPB + 1RB corrosion-resistant SS bearings for silky smooth performance, ALG: Precision Alumilite alloy main gear and oscillating gears, heavy-duty, solid aluminium bail wire, RESII: Computer Balanced Rotor Equalizing System, CBD: Centrifugal Disc Bail for smoother and easier bail operation, and Progressive Drag, a 1-K woven carbon fibre drag knob that reduces weight and creates a more progressive drag setting. Price: SRP $189.90-$219.90 www.okuma.com.au
WILSON NEOPRENE 10 WADERS Winter isn’t far off, and Wilson Fishing has released new neoprene chest and hip waders for the colder months. Featuring a 4mm neoprene construction that is welded and glued to a sturdy boot, these waders will go the distance. The Hip Waders feature adjustable Velcro straps that hold these waders in place with the aid of a belt. Internally, all seams are covered for comfort, and the boot is lined to provide the ultimate in comfort for your feet. The Chest Waders feature an oversized chest pocket for storage of tackle and the same internal construction for maximum comfort. The Chest Waders are also attached via Velcro straps that allow ultimate adjustability. The Wilson Neoprene Wader range is available in boot sizes from 8 through to 15, and you can find more information on the Wilson Fishing website. You can also see the latest news and tips on Facebook (www. facebook.com/LWilsonAndCo), and great catch photos on Instagram (@wilson_fishing). www.wilsonfishing.com.au
BERKLEY GULP 6” SWIMMING MULLET 11 The Berkley Gulp 6” is the big daddy Swimming Mullet. The Berkley Gulp Swimming Mullet’s ‘fat’ profile and flickering curl-tail is a deadly fish magnet, and is now available in 6” size for those big occasions. The swimming action of the large curltail, combined with an enticing ‘body roll’ at a slow retrieve, makes the 6” Swimming Mullet a slow roll specialist. Add in fish attracting Gulp Scent, with its powerful scent release properties, for a perfect cod and barra hook up. Gulp releases 400 times more scent than plastic baits, expanding the strike zone so you catch more fish. Made from 100% natural ingredients, Gulp is environmentally and fish friendly. The 6” Swimming Mullet comes in chartreuse, glow and pearl white. Price: SRP $13.99 Berkley-fishing.com.au
NEW FROM STRIKE PRO
Strike Pro has released two new colours (A68 and A93-CP) in the popular Bob N Spoon range. The Bob N Spoon is a new take on an old classic spoon; it is plastic with chambers that allow for features like inbuilt rattles to be included, and have transparent finishes. The Bob N Spoon has an erratic swaying action and it can be reversed to change its action. It is 5.5cm long, weighs 7.3g and comes with quality trebles. It’s proven to be very effective on trout, bass and redfin. Strike Pro has also released eight new fish-catching colours in its 1/4oz and 3/4oz Spinnerbaits. Many hours of testing have gone into producing these colours for the Australian market. These spinnerbaits feature the highest quality USA skirts that are rounded silicone silk cut to produce the ultimate pulsating action. They also feature holographic colour matched blades, quality ball bearing swivels and R-bend arms. Strike Pro Spinnerbaits are super effective on Murray cod, yellowbelly, bass and redfin. www.jurofishing.com
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WHAT’S NEW FISHING RHINO-RACK BATWING AWNING
TSUNAMI SOFT 13 VIBE SHADS
Rhino-Rack’s new Batwing Awning provides 270° of refuge, and comes with top quality brackets that have a high and low fitting position. Its integrated legs simply unclip from the storage position and drop into place, making it a oneperson job. The rare earth magnets, which click to hold the arms in place, allow for quick and easy storage, and there are thicker Velcro straps to keep the awning secure when packed in place. The lightweight, durable powder-coated aluminium poles have an easy grip handle to loosen and extend, up to 2.3m. If it’s windy, the moulded fittings on the end of each pole can accommodate two pegs through the base of the leg. And for extreme conditions, included with the Batwing are eight guy ropes with inbuilt hooks and 10 pegs that are easily stored in the new pocket. Made from heavy-duty rip-stop fabric, the awning is water and mould resistant, and rated to UPF 50+. It comes in a UV resistant PVC bag, and it’s compatible with existing additions like sidewalls, extensions, and tents. Price: SRP: $849 www.rhinorack.com.au
REDINGTON MINNOW COMBO
The 580 Minnow from Redington was designed and tuned to meet the needs of younger anglers. This 5wt rod is built with enough power to throw a wide variety of flies, but the shorter 8’ length offers less swing weight to make it easier for casters of smaller stature to make effective stops at the end of their casting stroke. Features of this four-piece rod include: easy casting medium action; supplied cotton rod sock, and alignment dots for easy rod setup. The combo includes a Minnow rod and Crosswater 4/5/6 reel pre-spooled with RIO Mainstream WF fly line, and a Cordura rod tube. This great looking rod is also backed by a 1-year warranty. For more information on the 580 Minnow, or any of the other rods and reels in the Redington range, visit the JM Gillies website. www.jmgillies.com.au
PLANO WEEKEND SERIES
For 2018, Plano’s successful Weekend Series includes three distinct, reimagined models that work as hard as you do. These models are called the Weekend Series Tackle Cases, Weekend Series Softsider Tackle Bags and Weekend Series Speed Bags. Each one is available in Plano’s popular 3600 and 3700 sizes to build – or integrate seamlessly into – any tackle management system. And they look better than ever in brand new, classy and clean tan or grey colour schemes. In addition to standout new aesthetics, these bags feature upgraded, no-fail zipper pulls and tactical-inspired MOLLE exterior webbing for easy attachment of fishing tools or accessories. Best of all, these handsome and durable standout performers are available at very reasonable prices that any working angler can afford. For more information on this and other Plano tackle storage solutions, visit the JM Gillies website. You can also get all the latest news and catch photos on the JM Gillies Facebook page at www.facebook. com/jm.gillies. www.jmgillies.com.au 50
Tsunami Soft Vibe Shads are moulded from supple, yet tough plastic that maximises action and enhances durability. The wirethrough design and sharp Mustad hooks add further strength to the lure, tipping the odds of landing big fish in the angler’s favour. The precisely balanced internal weights produce an enticing shimmy action that drives predatory fish into a frenzy. The translucent bodies, foil flash, natural colour tones and 3D eyes will even fool timid fish. Soft Vibe Shads are available in two sizes (60mm, 14g and 90mm, 20g) and five colour combinations (chartreuse/pearl/orange, sand eel, clear/gold/pearl, red head and golden bunker). The 60mm shad is ideal for freshwater native fish such as Australian bass, golden perch and sooty grunter, while the 90mm model will entice bites from barramundi, mangrove jack, mulloway, threadfin salmon and more. You can skip these lures along the bottom, drop them down weed edges, or roll them across the shallows to get the predators’ attention. www.jarviswalker.com.au
DAIWA TD HYPER
Rocketing onto the scene is Daiwa’s latest weapon – TD Hyper. Combining Daiwa cutting-edge blank design with striking looks and excellent value, the TD Hyper series is built to perform and destined to turn heads. The foundation of the TD Hyper series is Daiwa’s HVF Nanoplus graphite technology, with HVF combining precise resin control with unidirectional graphite fibre to produce a blank that is outstandingly light, crisp and responsive, while X45 blank technology further enhances rod performance eliminating blank twist and distortion to further increase rod strength, function, and sensitivity. TD Hyper’s hardware is equally top shelf, with Fuji Alconite O Ring guides, Daiwa’s famous RR (reduced resistance) guide design system and Surround Hold reel seats, and custom alloy componentry enhancing rod performance and style. Additionally, its matt green colour offers a unique look and swagger rarely seen down under. If you’re looking for performance, style and value for money, check out the TD Hyper at your favourite tackle store. Price: SRP $129 www.daiwafishing.com.au
GALAXIA MINNOW NEW COLOURS
The Strike Pro Galaxia Minnow was the first Strike Pro lure released in Australia, and over many years it has been extremely effective in both fresh and estuarine waters. The Galaxia Minnow has now been released in six hot new colours that are certainly going to be very effective on many species. This deep diving baitfish profile lure is 6cm long, weighs 7g and dives to approximately 9ft on the cast and retrieve and dives to 16ft on the troll. The latter technique in particular has been deadly on estuaries and has accounted for many species. It features a tight shimmy action and has a superb sonic rattle. The Galaxia Minnow is very effective on bream, bass, estuary perch, flathead, snapper, mangrove jack, trout and redfin, and these new colour are bound to rack up even more fish. www.jurofishing.com
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Phenix Rods – I saw, I purchased, a big thumbs up Phenix Rods are a US-based rod manufacturer which has had a couple of incarnations here in Australia. My interest in them was sparked by a conversation with Julian Frank, who is the new Australian importer of the brand through his Southbound Custom Tackle business. After a phone call with Julian, I had a good look through the US website for the rods, and I was immediately intrigued. One of the main headings on the page was ‘Trout’, with a dropdown box of a number of trout-specific rods. The Elixir series drew my attention – high modulus graphite rods based on traditional fast taper fly rods. I prefer fast taper rods for the majority of my fishing, but with my trout fishing in recent times I have had no choice but to use slower taper rods. This is mainly due to the lack of stretch in braided line, and a trout’s inclination to jump and spit lures. To avoid this you need to have a rod that absorbs the shock of these acrobatics, and to keep your leader intact. This focus on fast taper rods also had me looking at other options for the fishing I do here in Queensland. A big part of that is targeting flathead in the salt, and bass in our impoundments. The freshwater M1
The author’s first fish on the Elixir Trout rod was this quality brown trout caught in Lake Eildon.
Another feisty trout from the Eildon area. The Elixir FX701 has become the author’s favorite trout rod. series tickled my fancy, with its carbon fibre nanotube technology based blanks. Nano technology has become a big part of rod ranges for many manufacturers in the last five years, mainly due to the additional strength it offers under load (to avoid rod breakage) and power when fighting a fish. However, I would not put any of the nano rods I have seen in the fast taper category; they’re medium fast at best. I was so interested in the Phenixes that I got my credit card out and ordered two rods, the Elixir FX701 and the M1 MX72ML. I have now had eight months to thoroughly test them, and share my findings. ELIXIR SERIES RODS I don’t get to trout fish as often as I would like, and when I do get to go I want a rod specific for the task, rather than compromising with other rods.
Unpacking my Elixir FX701 was exciting, and I was amazed at how incredibly light it was. It is definitely a fast taper, but I wondered whether it would cast my favourite trout lures. Interestingly enough, my first chance to test this wasn’t with my own purchase. A trip to Lake Eildon working for the magazines provided the opportunity to trout fish, but I hadn’t brought my new rod with me. Fortunately, Gary Constantine from Eildon Bait and Tackle stocks the rods, and he kindly lent me his own Elixir that just happened to be the FX701. I needn’t have worried whether it would cast my favourite lures; it cast them easily and a very long way. I knew the ultimate test though would be how it would deal with the area’s feisty trout. Luckily for me it didn’t take very long to find out. Several decent browns came on the first morning from the lake, and a few rainbows followed from the Goulburn
TESTED River. The rod did exactly what I had hoped it would. There was plenty of power to fight larger fish, with the finesse and shock absorption to not pull hooks when using braid. It’s the perfect trout rod for me. M1 SERIES RODS The MX72ML was always going to be the rod of the two that got the most use. I went for the 7’2” version because I wanted to be able to cast lighter weights further, but still have the ability to comfortably throw the 3/8oz and 1/2oz jigheads I regularly use. As soon as I had unpacked the rod, I matched it with a 2000 size reel and 6lb braid, and was on the water the next day. Like the Elixir series rods, the M1s feel as light as a feather. My M1 MX72ML has some serious kahunas for a medium light rated rod, with plenty of hook setting power and plenty of grunt to stop larger fish on what is a light rod. The flathead may not have played the game that first trip, but some decent snapper did and I was a very happy camper with my new purchase. Eight months down the track and I still enjoy using the M1. It has done battle with a couple of nice mulloway in that time, as well as quite a few flathead. The mulloway certainly tested it, and the M1 won. Is it the perfect rod for what I wanted, like the Elixir? Probably not. In hindsight I think I should have purchased the 7’
Although purchased to target flathead, the M1 MX72ML has proven it is a quality rod on plenty of other species like this snapper.
This solid mulloway was no match for the Phenix MX72ML. Although only a light rod,it has plenty of power to deal with quality fish.
version of the rod, because 3/8oz and 1/2oz jigheads test the limits of what can be cast comfortably. Not so much with your standard casts, but when you want that bit of extra distance, the extra length and taper feels like the rod is being overextended. Vigorous hopping these same heads and larger plastics also works the rod tip a bit too much. Would it break? Absolutely not, but the slightly shorter version is most probably the way to go for my needs. CONCLUSION If you are a fan of fast taper, well presented and made fishing rods with quality components, then Phenix rods are well worth looking at. I am glad I have dabbled, and given the opportunity I will look at other options in the future. To find out more about stockists in Australia, check them out on Facebook on either the Southbound Custom Tackle or Phenix Rods Australia pages. - Peter Jung
Dedicated fishos get set for cold, hard casting If you’re walking the bank, be prepared for a hard slog along the tree-lined banks, take care with the steep and slippery ground and be sure to take plenty of spare lures and leader. Don’t let this deter you though; walking the bank here is a worthy option and has landed many anglers some true trophy fish. The
With a cold blast May is here signalling what the months ahead hold. The fair weather fishos are tucked away in hibernation dreaming of warmer times to come. This is the time of the year when the true adventure anglers get out on the local lakes chasing personal best and trophy-sized trout. As the temperature drops and the wind blows from the south it may seam like a lost cause, however this is the best time to chase that monster trout your mates talk about like it’s some kind of mythical beast. Dig out your beanie and fill the thermos – now’s the time to target your own trophy trout. Lake Toolondo has been a mixed bag in recent months due to floating weed. Some
Daniel Bolwell scored this ripper cod on a Spinwright spinnerbait. trout here can be done with a wide variety of lures. I’ve had greater success flicking longer profile bibbed minnows
The author fooled this trout with a Daiwa Wise Minnow in some skinny water. anglers have done well with both trout and redfin, where others have returned to the boat ramp with their tails between their legs. Targeting large
trout that call this lake home are well fed and fight hard. Rapala F5 and F7 in spotted dog and brown trout have a good name for themselves at this lake along with the old faithful StumpJumpers. If you’re targeting redfin, try jigging small metal vibes and micro curl-tail plastics hard in the timber. Just be sure to fish with a light hand,
like the Jackall Colt Minnow at shallow flats and exposed timber. This lure lends itself to a jerk and pause retrieve well. If you’d rather troll
hardbodies, look to the Daiwa Double Clutch or the Woolley Morsel in hues of silvers and purples. Plastics slow ripped through weed beds have been an effective method to land a few larger redfin. Look to plastics like the Berkley Gotam Shad or the Westin shadteez. I wouldn’t bother with a plastic smaller than 3” at this time of the year. Lake Fyans has been producing some solid redfin along with the occasional trout. Locals swear by using larger plastics on 9g jigheads fished deep in the weed beds, and with good reason too. This is without a doubt the most consistent method to catch a creel full of big reds from within the weed. If you would rather target the cleaner yabby flats, try using small chatterbaits or diving minnows to stir up the bottom. Imitating a yabby is the goal, and will essentially call in any cruising redfin or trout within the area. For the trout trollers, it’s hard to go past the ever-reliable Rapala XRap-4 or Daiwa Dr Minnow. Natural colours are always a safe bet at Fyans due to the water clarity. However, if you’re short on colours, don’t look past a pink or silver
finish. For the baitfisher, try minnows or worms under a float, set up a slow drift and cast 45° in front of your drift for a natural presentation. Try to set your bait height so it’s just passing above the weed beds. Lake Bellfield continues to produce solid brown trout and should continue to do so for the next few months. If you have a kayak or canoe then you’re set to fish this magnificent lake.
Justin Lodding nailed the monster bass in a late evening session.
Local gun angler Brad Osborne with a solid Fyans redfin.
otherwise you’ll be making underwater Christmas trees more than actually fishing. Lake Wartook has been popular with the fly anglers over the last month or so, but most have been tight lipped as to what patterns have been getting fish in the landing net. I’d suggest starting with a finding pattern like the Woolly Bugger and work from there. Bait fishing off the wall is always popular at this time of the year, as it’s generally sheltered from the wind and can be a very productive spot for both redfin and trout. It might be worth dangling a worm if you have a few hours to spare.
Changes spark cod bite ROBINVALE
Rod Mackenzie firstname.lastname@example.org
The chill of the pending change in season has me reaching for a jacket as the boat is backed down the ramp in the early morning light. The flicker of silver baitfish breaks the river’s mirrored surface like rain. Beneath the commotion, Murray cod wait in ambush, with the chance to snatch an easy meal often but a tail beat away. While the Murray cod season has been open since December, these iconic fish 52
are about to swing into full on feeding mode as the water temperature begins to turn and drop. It happens every season and the signs are there if you know where to look. The drop in early morning temperature is just the first sign. This in turn drives other events, as all of nature is in tune. On the roads, long lines of hairy caterpillars end to end snake their way on a journey to who knows where. Soon to become bag moths, these furry grubs so often caught in the vacuum of a passing car are scattered to the wind. Bardi grubs also begin to change to chrysalis form, soon to become ghost moths,
and they will hatch with the first of the season’s rains. This will in turn provide the Murray cod with a fat-laden winged package to be eaten from the river’s surface as many find their way into the water. These large moths are a substitute bounty to replace other meals soon to be lost. As the water temperature drops away, yabbies and shrimp become harder to find. A plentiful bait during the warmer months, their numbers will thin and their easy availability to fish will be gone. Native fish are in tune to this event and glut before they all but disappear. To page 53
Pip Clement matching his lure and shirt! The result was this nice Murray cod caught on a StumpJumper lure!
Mulwala is getting ready for the drawdown! YARRAWONGA
Tony Bennett email@example.com
The word on every Mulwala anglers’ lips of late has been ‘drawdown’. When will it happen, for how long and how much? In an official media release from the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) head of River Management Andrew Reynolds said “Lake Mulwala will be lowered by about 3.5m this winter to facilitate works around the lake foreshore and weed control. Lake levels will start to fall slowly from 30 April by about 70cm until mid-May when the irrigation season ends. Once we are sure that irrigation water delivery to customers is finished for the year, we’ll accelerate the drawdown until Lake Mulwala is 3.5m lower than normal – a level we expect to hold until mid-July when refilling will start. People will still be able to boat and fish in the main river channel that runs through the lake.” How will the lake fish in this time? If past drawdowns are anything to go by, the answer should be brilliant! As the lake recedes, all flats-dwelling cod retreat back into the deeper holes and the original river course itself. Resident cod tend to defend their home snag with vigour and this leads to some exciting fishing. Using From page 52
It’s these and many other events that stimulate the Murray cod bite, and for the next few months the best of the cod fishing is there for those who wet a line. Swan Hill tackle shop proprietor Jim Credlin says it has been a ripper season locally along the Murray River, with plenty of good Murray cod landed on both bait and lures. This past month, several large Murray cod over a metre have been caught, with the best section of water being from the road bridge upstream to Pental Island. Golden perch too have been a frequent catch, with most fish caught on bait. Scrub worms and small yabbies have been the best. A little further downstream, the section of Murray River between Wood Wood and Tooleybuc has also been fishing well for Murray cod on lures, with several metre plus models landed this past month. Boundary Bend is producing Murray cod to 70cm on bait and lures in the Murray River. Good numbers of golden perch are also being caught on bait and lures in this area. At
100mm+ hardbodied lures and larger profile spinnerbaits and chatterbaits will produce the goods. Last time we had a drawdown, swimbaits and the like were only talked about by those who were really switched on. I’m sure they will play a big part in many captures this time round. Don’t miss this great opportunity to have a look at the lake at this low level. I can guarantee you will get a greater understanding of structure, timber and drop offs, and it’s sure to influence your future fishing for the better. Launching in the lake does become difficult, with the ramp at the Yacht Club giving you the best access for the entirety of the drawdown. Looking back, reports of quality cod continued throughout March with the undoubted king being Nick ‘Gambie’ Gamble. Gambie has invested a fair bit of time into his fishing over the past couple of years. He was rewarded big time when his Jackall Gantarel swimbait was intercepted by a monster cod measuring 120cm. A few quick pics and this true Mulwala monster was sent on its way again. Great effort Nick! To mention all others who gave us reports over the last month would fill this magazine twice over! The 2018 Great Northern Cod Nationals took place mid March and proved an outstanding success. An impressive 66 of the finest
cod anglers descended on the country’s undisputed cod capital, Lake Mulwala! The ‘Cod Nats’ is fished over four days, with a varying fishing format each day. An outstanding 408 cod were caught, with 86 of them measuring in excess of 55cm. There were four that surpassed the magical meter mark, with special mentions going to Stephen Booth with his fish of 102.2cm, Luke Quarrell and his 102.9cm beast, Bryn Mathews, who cracked a 103.3cm fish, and Mick Beale
who landed the biggest for the comp, stretching the tape out to 104.4cm and taking home the Tonic Sunglasses big fish bonus! Finishing in a very creditable third place in the teams section was Team KD, a father son combo of Derek and Kade Blow. Runners up went to one of Australia’s premier tournament anglers Kris Hickson and partner Bryn Mathews of Team Minn Kota/Hummingbird. The Champion Team was taken out by Corowa
Robinvale, good numbers of golden perch and the odd small Murray cod have been landed on lures. It’s a similar story downstream at Wemen. There is finally a bit of good news further downstream from the
Murray around Mildura and Wentworth. At least two Murray cod over a metre have been landed on lures. These are the first sizable Murray cod reported by anglers at these locations for well over 12 months now. Hopefully, it’s just the
start and cod catches will continue as we head towards the winter months. All up, the fishing has been quite good in most sections of the Murray River and I would expect it to only get better as things continue to cool down.
Bryn Mathews with a magnificent 103.3cm cod from the Cod Nationals.
brothers Ian and Matt Rogers of Team Wilson. A consistent four days fishing saw them take home close to $10K in cash and prizes. Team Wilson landed 30 cod, with 11 of them being of legal size. This was a very popular win, as the Rogers brothers have been a big part of the Cod Nats since its inception eight years ago. Ian also took home the title of Champion Angler, with his total of 20 cod, six of which were legal. • 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.
LEAVEY LURES BIG COD CAN’T RESIST THEM!
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• Central VIC Pro Series • Central VIC Lure Casters Super Series Swimbaits have been working well lately, and this Murray cod took a liking to the 180mm Goodoo Bait.
For more information contact David Nelson 0418 378 944 email@example.com • www.cvlcss.com MAY 2018
Cod and perch catches feature MILDURA
Along the Murray River the fishing has been consistently good with a good assortment of both Murray cod and perch both being caught on both lures and bait. Anglers and fish alike have been enjoying the cooler temperatures and allowing for some excellent fishing. With the cooler months approaching many anglers are taking advantage of the lower water temperatures and targeting the fish holding higher up in the water, allowing for some great fish to be caught. With the water temperature dropping fish in the area are holding higher in the water and biting especially hard, creating for some excellent fights. Don’t expect this to last forever with winter fast approaching. I expect the fishing to begin to slow, but for the time being both cod and perch are biting aggressively on bait. There have been plenty of smaller cod being caught in the area around Hattah. These smaller cod have been being caught on baits such as the larger shrimp and
The fishing on the Murray River has been consistent for golden perch and cod recently, keeping anglers like this young fisho happy.
Cod like this can be caught all day long; early morning and late afternoon are the best times. grubs, but don’t forget the yabbies, as these have been great for catching cod and perch. Some good-size golden perch are also being caught on baits such as worms, grubs and local shrimp. With winter just around the corner, anglers can expect the fish to be feeding
and easy to target. They’re especially fun for younger kids and families. Carp are great for those who want to have some fun and don’t want to work as hard to target more
intensely before the cold winter weather really sets in. Anglers can expect to see the fish starting to move off the bite as the month continues to progress, so get out there and get them while they are really biting hard and fast. For bait anglers during this time, placement will become even
Decent-sized golden perch have also been falling to baits, like the cod. more crucial than ever, as fish will be holding around snags more and moving less. Don’t be afraid to give walking the bank a go. Don’t forget about carp; they are good fun to catch
preferred fish like cod and perch. Carp can be especially fun for more experienced anglers, especially on light gear as they fight well and can reach a decent size. Due to their abundance, European
carp are extremely easy to target. Worms are the most popular choice to target this species. For those willing to put in a bit more effort lures are a great resource to have. Noisy lures will be the way to go, so vibes, hardbody rattlers and spinnerbaits are a must. Spinnerbaits are a great option, because they’re extremely versatile and will bounce off logs, imitating something falling into the water and getting those great reaction bites from fish. With any lure, repetition is a must. Don’t be afraid to throw your lure in the same area, as the first cast or two may be missed and it doesn’t hurt to cast from a multitude of different angles either. Be patient. The key to success is targeting fish at the appropriate times; I’ve found that at this time of year early morning and late afternoon are great times to target cod, and you can work perch during the time in between, but both can be caught all day. Over the next month we can expect the fish to move less and hold more around the snags. While the catch numbers will begin to decrease slightly, they should remain consistent.
Ultralight Outboard Motors For kayaks, canoes and very light boats With a total weight of 8.9kg including battery, the Torqeedo Ultralight won’t limit your paddling performance, but when called on it can give you the right push against the current, against the wind, or be called on to save your tired arms. Technology that is clean and state-of-the-art Find your closest dealer: email: web: phone:
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Smaller cod have been caught mostly on baits such as smaller shrimp. 54
All prepped for the spawning season ahead JINDABYNE
Steve Williamson email@example.com
Welcome to May and the last month of autumn. Lake Jindabyne’s water temperature has dropped to a more comfortable level for the trout, and there is much better surface fishing happening now and they will soon be thinking about spawning. Remember, the Thredbo River rules change this month to allow only one fish to be kept and that fish must be over 50cm. All other fish must be released, no matter what species. The close of the rivers and streams to fishing occurs at midnight on the Monday of the NSW June long weekend. The rivers open to fishing once again on the Saturday of the October long weekend. Let’s look at what we should expect with the fishing over the coming month. This month is one of the best months for the bait angler fishing the edges of the lake. Big brown trout are cruising the edges looking for a feed before they head into the rivers on their spawning run. Worms teamed with artificial baits and fished off the bottom is a method that is working well at the moment on Lake Jindabyne. The best areas to try over the next couple of months will be Waste Point at Creel Bay, as this is where a lot of the trout will congregate in readiness to move into the mouth of the Thredbo River on their spawning run. Hatchery and Hayshed bays are also both worth a try. When trout move into the river on their spawning run they get very territorial, so if you are a lure angler, minnow lures are now best. The big trout love chasing away the smaller trout. Small lures like
StumpJumpers and Bullet lures are now starting to work best, but there are so many lures that you can choose from. Some anglers prefer bigger Rapala lures, and anything up to 11cm and even 13cm lures will attract an aggressive big brown to strike. Picking the right colour lure and getting the right depth can sometimes be the secret to success. Use sinking or deeper diving minnows when the river is high and stick to smaller lures when the water is low and clear. The Thredbo River is my river of choice from now until rivers close on the June long weekend. On the lake, the water is cooling down, so the lake spinning will improve, but lure colours will be important. Tasmanian Devil lures in
to try are Creel Bay, Waste Point, The Snowy Arm and for fish still actively feeding, try Curiosity Rocks, Wollondibby Inlet, Hatchery Bay and The Claypits area. Lake trolling is interesting in autumn, as some days the fish will strike out of aggression and some days they will be feeding. Knowing what the weather is about to do will help. If there is a cold front approaching, the fish will often get territorial and this is big lure time, so big jointed lures are well worth a try for big browns. The weed beds are close to the edge, so if trolling early in close, you don’t need any lures that dive too deep. The Rapala Pinkie is a good aggression lure. Even at this time of year, the day will often warm Julian Congues-Straub caught this rainbow while fishing with the author. It was one of four trout caught for the session.
Julian with a decent brown trout. colours that have a bit of orange and pink are always regarded as aggression colours for when the trout are in spawning mode, but other colours that are consistent are holographic and also number 48, or the red nosed brown bomber. It’s also worth trying some bigger jointed Rapalas as well, and 11 and 13cm is not too big for aggressive brown trout. Good spinning areas
up and the fish will still go deeper. Lead core lines and downriggers will still be very useful over the coming month. Remember all the photos in the magazines of big fish caught off downriggers with big minnow lures trolled slowly? Duel Depth Tasmanian devil lures rigged through the side hole to troll deeper to 4m will also help during he middle of the day, but make sure you
don’t troll too fast when this lure is rigged in the deep dive hole. Lion and Cub islands always fish well in autumn for rainbow trout and as the brown trout move to the end of the lake ready to spawn, Creel Bay and the Snowy River Arm are well worth trying. The fly fishing on streams and rivers will still have good days even this late in the season. You will possibly still even find that fish will still take a well presented dry fly. Over recent weeks, however, most fish have been taken on brown or black nymphs out of the running water. As the rain comes, and more trout move into the Thredbo, anglers’ minds will change to chase big trophy fish and fly anglers will have the best success using Glo Bugs and nymphs. Black and brown nymphs in about a size 10 or 12 are good, just make sure you have some weighed flies for when the river is flowing hard,
as you need to get the fly down to the fish before you will see them. Lake Jindabyne will fish better this month as the edge water cools down. Water temperatures have a big effect on how close to shore the fish come, but it’s
during the late evening! • If you would like some personal guiding, I will be available over the coming months for fly-fishing tuition and lake trolling trips. Lessons can be booked from 2 hours’ duration, and trolling trips
MAY ROUNDUP – THE BEST OF THE BEST! Best method: Surface trolling early and then using lead core lines at 30m out Best depth: Trolling at 10 feet deep in the deeper middle of the day Best lake lure: Tasmanian Devils in pink or orange and big Rapalas up to 13cm trolled very slowly Best lake area: Creel, Hatchery and Hayshed bay Best fly method: Glo Bugs and nymphs on the Thredbo River Best River: Thredbo River cooler now and the fishing is much better and will continue to improve as the water cools even further. Flies to try over the coming months will be the purple/ black Woolley Bugger and Mrs Simpson. Don’t forget the Williamson’s Gold Fish around the creek inlets
from 3 hours to a full day. If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions, just give me a call on (0264) 561 551 or check out my website at www.swtroutfishing.com.au. You can also see our daily Facebook updates at https:// www.facebook.com/LJTFA.
n Trout Hatchery e d a G
Gaden Trout Hatchery
Gaden Trout Hatchery See how premier sport fish are bred and raised! Closed Anzac, Christmas, Boxing day.
Guided tours 10 am and 2 pm.
Self-guided tours on selected days. Small admission fee.
To round out the day, Julian also managed a lovely brook trout on a Steve Williamson Jindabyne Goldfish fly while casting from the shore of Lake Jindabyne.
leaping fish * 4 species * aquaria, ponds, AV show * beautifulbreeding picnic–BBQ * smoked trout for sale area * find out about kids fishing workshops. *
Open 10 am–4 pm daily.
Gaden Rd (off Kosciuszko Rd) Jindabyne. 02 6451 3400 www.dpi.nsw.gov.au MAY 2018
Tips to work around hit and miss fishing in May WANGARATTA
May is a lovely time of the year in North East Victoria. It’s lovely if you like cold weather anyway! Mild days and cool to cold nights make for fantastic camping opportunities, however you may wish to pack that extra couple of blankets.
one or two this May, however it’s not the greatest time of the year to target them in this area – far from it in fact. To be honest, unless you are a local with plenty of time to spare for persevering, I think your best bet to catch a Murray cod in May is to head downstream to Lake Mulwala which usually still produces quite a few cod during May, including some monsters.
spawning around mid to late May each year. If you’re trout fishing in streams during May, your best bet is to either use a lure that is a fluorescent colour or a long skinny minnow of some description. The reason for this is because the trout are in the mood for making love and not lining their stomachs with food, so they’re likely to attack a larger minnow shaped
The Murray cod fishing slows right down in the Wangaratta region during May but there are still a few cod to be caught by anglers who persist.
Small minnows such as this WildBait Minnow can work very well on trout during May. The Murray cod fishing in the Wangaratta area is usually very hit and miss in May, with miss being the more consistent outcome. I have caught Murray cod in May, and likely will catch
The trout fishing can also start to become a little bit hit and miss during May as the brown trout enter their final stage before spawning. In some streams in North East Victoria brown trout begin
lure, which may pose a threat to them. In May, it is very common to have large trout follow your lure. They are simply escorting your lure away from their chosen
spawning ground, or away from their partner. Just like a swooping magpie, trout too have protective parental instincts. If your lure is getting followed by trout and not struck at, try using a suspending minnow. Quite often if you pause the suspending minnow and allow it to remain motionless
worth fishing for redfin. If you are bait fishing, try using small yabbies or freshwater shrimp. Freshwater shrimp can be caught in the Ovens and King rivers in Wangaratta, however they can be hard to catch as the colder weather arrives. In both lakes, try bobbing a soft plastic
are usually eager to hit your lures early in the morning or late in the day. Over at Lake Buffalo the trout fishing is quite poor. I wouldn’t waste my time trolling for trout at sunset. On the other hand, Victorian Fisheries have stocked a large amount of both golden perch and
Fluorescent coloured bladed spinners can work very well on trout during May. This fish took a liking to a fluorescent orange Rooster Tail spinner.
The Ovens River upstream of Bright will be a great place to try your luck on some wild trout during May.
like a greenie up a gum tree, the angry trout will strike it out of aggression, resulting in a hook-up for you. If this doesn’t work, then perhaps try a fluorescent coloured bladed spinner or soft plastic. Just be advised that during May sometimes absolutely nothing will work and other times everything will work. During May, Lake Buffalo and Lake William Hovell will both still be
directly underneath your boat or kayak. If you are bank fishing, try casting and retrieving a small brightly coloured soft plastic or bladed spinner. In Lake William Hovell, towards sunset try trolling a winged lure such as a Tassie Devil around the shaded western edge of the lake in search of a trout. Lake William Hovell has a healthy population of trout, which
Murray cod into Lake Buffalo in recent years, so rather than trout you might pick up a by-catch of a different kind at sunset if you are lucky. I would try trolling a deep diving lure for redfin in both lakes. The only difference would be that I would leave it on my line at sunset in Lake Buffalo rather than changing to the abovementioned winged lure.
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CONTACT GRAHAM SAUNDERS – 0407 544 965 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 56
Another lovely autumn brown trout caught on a fluorescent coloured bladed spinner.
Native fishing strong email@example.com
accessible by boat and kayak. In previous months it has been almost unfishable, but the removal of weed gives us some corridors to troll small lures through. Those fishing from the bank will still have trouble with weed, but if you can land your bait or lure in a patch without weed you should be able to land a fish. The stocked silver perch are still very active around the grass hill, with worms or PowerBait working best. As the water starts to cool off, I think the trout action will heat up, with some signs of trout rising early in the mornings at the start of autumn. Hopefully by the time this article is out they should be very active. LOCAL CHANNELS The local channels will again be dropped this autumn and into winter, and this will make it a bit tougher to fish,
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We have had a warmer than average start to the autumn months, with some days in April hitting 34°C. This has kept water temperatures higher and the fish have continued to stay on the bite. There were heaps of reports over the Easter break of cod and yellowbelly being caught up and down the Broken and Goulburn river systems. There were a heap of reports from the Toolamba area after their fishing competition, with plenty of legal fish entered into the event. Down the other end around Undera, it was a similar story, with plenty of fish ranging from 30-70cm being caught on both lures and bait. It’s a real positive sign that the river has fought back
WARANGA BASIN The wind seems to drop right off this time of year and that makes for perfect conditions at Waranga. The ski season has shifted from the water to the slopes, so there is next to no boating traffic, which makes holding on a school very easy. The redfin seem to be up on the edges a lot more at the moment, with fish being caught anywhere from 6-10ft of water. Casting small spinners or plastics and slowly retrieving has worked for those using lures. Those trolling are using spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits and going nice and slow. Bait fishing has also been successful, with reports of 20-30 fish being caught in an afternoon session on worms near the caravan park. Something that has been different lately is mussels
Mel Mifka with a feisty little nighttime cod taken from the Broken River on a Jackall Pompadour. from the devastating black water event that happened over just 12 months ago. If we do get our standard cooler temperatures this month, we will see the high numbers of fish being caught drop off, but there will still be good-sized fish landed in the area, and if you upsize your gear come the cooler months, you will upsize your catch. The Old Mate Lures and Balista Lures will be on the end of my rod this winter – they are both designed locally and they just seem to get better results. Casting big-bladed spinnerbaits deep into the timber works a treat at this time of year as well. Bait fishing can be tough, but if you can manage to get some live yabbies, I would be using these in both the Goulburn and Broken rivers. I have found the crayfish will eat grubs and worms before yabbies, so it just ensures your baits stay in the strike zone for longer. The surface action was still going strong in early April, with reports around Dookie and the weirs coming in regularly. The Jackall Pompadour has been the standout surface lure this year, along with the 4D Buzz Baits.
latching onto lures as you slowly retrieve them back to the boat. Shepparton youngster Josh Spewseps reported 10 muscles grabbing a hold of his lures on a recent trip. If you’re using bait on the bottom, expect that the crayfish will start taking your baits as they will become more active in the colder months. KIALLA LAKES The warmer early April temperatures have been perfect for Kialla Lakes, with the yellowbelly consistently being on the bite. Trolling small hardbodies or casting lipless cranks or spinnerbaits has worked well in April. The smaller sand bar areas have produced a lot of fish, with some fish following the lures all the way to your toes. If the water gets dirty and cools right off this month, slow your retrieve right down and go dark with your lures and smother them with some scent. Fishing can be tough in Kialla, but using this ‘go-slow’ technique you can still catch good numbers of fish in the cooler months. SHEPPARTON LAKE With a lot of the weed removed in previous months, the lake has been a lot more
but the fish will still smash lures and baits all year long. The water seems to pool under the bridges and with the extra structure you will find a lot of fish holding in those areas. The Karramomus and Pine Lodge bridges have always produced good numbers of fish. Small blades and lipless crankbaits work well in the lower water, otherwise you can downsize to small spinnerbaits, which will still draw reactions from natives and redfin. TOOLAMBA FISHING CLUB 12TH EASTER CLASSIC The Toolamba Fishing Club yet again ran a cracker of a competition over Easter this year. The event has a big focus on family and it’s a credit to all those involved in the event that everyone who attends leaves very happy. Junior entrants are the future of fishing and events like these keep the kids keen. So there has to be a huge congratulations to all the sponsors and volunteers involved and who have supported the Toolamba Fishing Club. The event seems to get stronger every year, and it’s now the premier fishing event in our area.
BASS TRACKER 389
For more information or to find your nearest Stessco dealer visit
www.stessco.com.au MAY 2018
The next generation is getting into fishing BALLARAT
It’s great to see lots of our future anglers out hitting the local waters with their parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. It gives us the opportunity to pass on the knowledge that we have learnt from others over the years – not just the fishing, but camping, bush walking, hiking and life skills in general. Hopefully these young anglers will then pass on this knowledge to their kids.
The fishing around the Ballarat District has just started to fire up a bit over the past month, like clockwork. I mentioned last month that with cooler nights and lower water temperatures the fish in the local waters will once again be in the mood to start feeding again; the reports have proven this to be correct, and they’ll only get better. I mentioned last month that Moorabool Reservoir would start to fire up and it certainly has. Tom Nguyen has been hitting Moorabool with excellent results. Tom likes to walk the shores
months the fish in most of our waters will start to feed predominately on smelt. This is due to the colder weather and fewer insects hatching. Anglers need to take that on board and think about what lures, plastics and flies we use, as they need to represent these small baitfish. I have received other reports of brown trout being caught from Moorabool up to 5lb on fly, just on evening and early morning. The fish have been feeding on midges, which normally hatch at those times. The midge feeders can be very rewarding and also
Thomas McNeight landed a true trophy 50cm redfin from Wendouree trolling lures in the main rowing channel. Photo courtesy of Rod McNeight.
Will Stevens wrestled this magnificent 56cm brown from Lake Wendouree on a Bent Minnow lure. I know that I love to take my boys fishing as much as I can. It’s now that I’m really seeing them grow up and reap the rewards; maybe they even listened to something I taught them along the way. Many of us get as much if not more enjoyment out of seeing the kids catch a fish. I don’t know who has the biggest smile – the kids or me.
casting lures, especially the wobbler-style lures. The fish in Moorabool like to feed on small baitfish called smelt and the wobbler style lures represent them very well. Tom recently bagged some lovely brown trout up to 1.5kg on a Wasabi Spoon lure; he used a slow roll retrieve and this proved to be the most successful. Over the coming
frustrating as well, especially if they’re feeding on single midges. First light and early morning are the best times to catch the midge feeders, as they’ve normally been feeding on them throughout the night. The fish come right into very shallow water to feed; then as soon as the sun comes up they move into the safety of deeper water. Stealth mode is required to catch
DAM LEVELS Dam............................... % Full
Dam............................... % Full
FEB MAR APR
Malmsbury 31 15 14
FEB MAR APR
Dartmouth 89 89 88
70 66 57
(Yarrawonga) 96 91 91
79 72 65
71 65 69
Nillahcootie 87 78 67
64 59 55
Rocklands 37 35 33
64 54 45
68 62 57
60 51 36
65 61 55
89 86 85
Upper Coliban 98
changed up another gear on Wendouree. Whether you fish lures, cast plastics, flyfish or bait fish, the fish are on the chew. I have been fishing Wendouree a lot over the recent month with some
some lovely browns casting Bent Minnow lures. Will landed a magnificent 56cm brown trout much to his and my pleasure. Rod McNeight is an angler who religiously takes
Jakey Young nailed this horse of a redfin casting soft plastics with father Ben and brother Hayden on Wendouree. Photo courtesy of Ben Young. excellent results, mainly casting surface lures out of a drifting boat; the amount of hook-ups and follows I have been having is unbelievable. This keeps me going back with the anticipation of catching some of these big browns that are lurking. On one of our recent trips my sons Will and Zach nailed
72 60 51
(All levels correct at time of going to press. Dam levels can change at any time, so please check with local authorities to ensure safe boating and fishing.) 58
these feeding fish. At Lake Wendouree the fish are on the chew. I don’t think they ever stop biting. I’m sure during mid-winter they will definitely slow down. I mentioned last month that we were looking forward to the return of the late season mayfly hatches – now they’ve started. Recently a few fish were feeding on them. More overcast, cooler conditions will see bigger hatches and the fish will really chow down on them. For the novice flyfishers I suggest you have these mayfly patterns ready for when you are going to tackle the mayfly feeders: brown nymphs, possum emergers, Barry Lodge emergers and shaving brush flies. Using these flies should give you a very good chance of catching one. Robert Haines has been flyfishing Wendouree for the mayfly feeders; he reported that on a recent trip, while fishing out of a drifting boat, he latched onto something big that he thought was a nice big trout as he was fishing some nymphs. It turned out to be a thumping big 48cm redfin, which isn’t a bad bit of by-catch. Robert was certainly very happy with his capture. The trout and redfin over the past month have
Robert Haines with a bit of Wendouree bycatch, a 48cm redfin caught flyfishing for mayfly feeders. Photo courtesy of Jason Rothe.
his boys fishing whenever he can. On a recent trip to Wendouree the boys were trolling lures in the main rowing channel when something grabbed young Thomas’ lure after a few tentative minutes of Thomas wrestling the fish. They finally brought one of Wendouree’s finest – a 50cm redfin to the net. Young Thomas was one happy chappy and the redfin was destined for the trophy cabinet. Jakey Young has been out fishing with brother Hayden and dad Ben on Wendouree. Ben takes the boys out whenever he can and they certainly know how to catch some quality trout and redfin. On Jakey’s most recent trip he managed to fall 0.5cm short of a true trophy 50cm Wendouree redfin. He caught his fish casting a soft plastic in the rowing channel. I’m sure there will be other opportunities for Jakey to nail the big one.
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May is the month to catch better quality fish BENDIGO
Roger Miles firstname.lastname@example.org
May is definitely my favourite month of the year. The footy is back (the Tigers are having another crack at winning a flag) and there’s nothing better than listening to a great game of footy while trying to catch some quality fish. This month is often a very productive month, with some exceptionally large fish being caught. A number of locations fish well, with a variety of species being caught. The weather is often perfect, with cool mornings, nice afternoons and days of minimal wind being a common occurrence. Water levels stop receding in our impoundments, water flows reduce in the river systems and water clarity is usually fantastic. This means there are so many positive factors, so while the great conditions last anglers should get out as often as they can and make the most of the opportunities. LAKE EPPALOCK The productivity in the fishing at Lake Eppalock has slowed down a lot over the last month. This has been mainly due to
the consistent releases of water. Lake Eppalock has been dropping at a steady rate of between 1-2% most weeks. The irrigation season finishes on 15 May and hopefully after this date the water releases will be reduced and water levels will become more stable. Redfin are still making up the majority of anglers’ captures. The numbers being caught are currently significantly lower than earlier in the season. I have had several reports from some very good anglers that have had a day chasing redfin and failed to catch any keepers. Anglers are again encouraged to hunt around lots of different areas in order to find a good concentration of redfin. The best concentrations of redfin are still being found in deep water; depth ranges greater than 10m have been the most productive. The numbers of golden perch being caught continue to be only small. There has been the occasional capture of some large golden perch measuring up to 60cm and only the occasional Murray cod has been caught at this location. CAMPASPE RIVER The fishing in the Campaspe River continues to be average. Golden
This quality Murray cod was caught on a Bassman spinnerbait using a slow rolling retrieve. perch are making up the majority of captures and the average size of these fish has been 38-43cm. The most productive lures for the golden perch have been lipless crankbaits and mediumsized hardbody lures. As
the water temperatures start to cool down over the next few weeks we will more than likely start to see a reduction in anglers’ catch rates; however, even though the numbers of fish being caught will reduce, we will start to see a few
larger fish – both golden perch and Murray cod – being caught. For those anglers chasing Murray cod in the Campaspe River the most productive lures have been spinnerbaits, surface lures and swimbaits during periods of reduced light. CAIRN CURRAN The productivity in the fishing has only been average The water clarity is still poor and water levels have continued to recede. Redfin are still making up most of anglers’ catches. The redfin being caught at this location are still being caught in shallower water, with the depth range shallower than 5m being the most productive. Casting and retrieving soft plastics and blades has been working on the redfin. The numbers of golden perch being caught have been low. Small numbers of golden perch have been caught by anglers trolling hardbody lures. Small numbers of golden perch are also being caught by anglers casting around the standing timbers and along the rocky shorelines. On a positive note there have been a couple of quality Murray cod that have been caught at this location lately. The majority of
the Murray cod have been caught by anglers trolling large hardbody lures. LODDON RIVER The productivity in the Loddon River has been up and down and this can be directly related to water flows. When there have been larger releases of water from Cairn Curran and Laanecoorie the water clarity has deteriorated and the productivity in the fishing has reduced. During this month the water flows will be reduced and we should see a good improvement in water clarity at most locations along the Loddon River. Recently, small golden perch measuring from 35-40cm are still making up the majority of captures. Over the next couple of months the numbers of golden perch being caught will reduce, but we should see some larger golden perch being caught over the next month. The numbers of Murray cod being caught in the Loddon River during daylight hours has been low. The most productive time for the Murray cod has been during periods of low light and during the night. We will see small numbers of large Murray cod being caught in this system over the next few months.
Catch and release before stream trout season ends WST/STH GIPPSLAND
Steve Haughton email@example.com
May is our last full month of stream trout fishing before the trout season closes on midnight Monday 11 June. The
season reopens midnight Friday 31 August so it’s a long wait for those who love their stream trout. Remember, stream anglers, to catch and release trout, particularly at this time of the year – the streams and rivers of the West and South Gippsland
0428 462 397
region aren’t stocked with trout and rely solely on natural spawning. As the attention shifts from stream to lake, Blue Rock turns on the trout action in May. Stream trout may start shutting up shop as they shift their attention from feeding to spawning, but the lake fish are still on the prowl. Trolling by boat or yak is by far the most popular method, followed closely by flyfishing with ideal land-based access providing anglers with opportunities to target trout feeding close to the banks. Trout feeding out deeper are being targeted by fly anglers by boat, kayak or canoe. As the month goes on, stream trout become more difficult to entice with lures. Many catches late in the season tend to be trout aggressively protecting their territory rather than the need for a feed. As they back off actively feeding, well-presented live baits and natural fly patterns or nymphs will outfish your traditional spinner blade or hardbody lures. As an angler who appreciates trout for the sport of catching, spotting spawning fish can be enjoyable – just watching as
they go about their business. There are other options for stream fishing too. Eels and blackfish are still good targets in all of the streams around West and South Gippsland and provide a lot of fun for anglers of all ages using light gear. River blackfish are an exciting winter target species in streams and can be caught using the same techniques for targeting eel. Simply use your trout spinning rod and fish in much slower
moving water. Both blackfish and eels tend to hang around the bottom of the streambed in and around stream structure like fallen timber and rocks, so ensure your bait is presented within their feed zone. Eel in these streams commonly grow to up to 70cm. Blackfish vary in size greatly – don’t be surprised if you pull a big one out of a small stream or a small area. Both species are often targeted late in the afternoon
into the evening but can be targeted all day if there is little sunshine about in the hills. The best bait by far for both species is live garden worms. Put as many as possible on your hook. Feel free to send me a report or photo, particularly if you have any success stories over the Easter holidays with the family. Please email me any questions. Happy fishing!
Caleb Rumble (14 years old) excitedly holds up a huge 6lb brown trout caught in the Tarago River. Photo courtesy of Wally Ronalds.
Bullen Merri is a safer option after fires CRATER LAKES
Recently we were under several emergency fire warnings as three fires bore down on my town of Cobden. The fires were started by lightning strikes that occurred at the nearby townships of Terang, Garvoc and just north of Lake Bullen Merri. No lives were lost, which was fantastic news, however at least 26 houses and thousands of livestock were destroyed. As this is mainly a dairy farming area the losses
have been dreadful and will effect overall milk production in the short term. The fires burned right down to the water’s edge at both Bullen Merri and Lake Elingamite. Elingamite has substantial peat deposits around the lake’s fringes and these are still burning and will continue to do so for some time. The lake’s level has dropped due to a dry summer and autumn and only kayaks can access the water at this stage; but I recommend avoiding the lake as the smoke is poisonous and will make you very sick. Bullen Merri is business
Less than 30m from the boat ramp at Lake Elingamite, peat was burning with vigour so these’s no fishing here for the time being.
The redfin are beginning to school up and clouds of fish can now be easily located hugging the bottom using a depth sounder in and around depths of 15m. Jigging remains the
mode because of the South Western Victorian fires, finally some welcome rain is beginning to fall. A very dry summer and autumn has plagued us down here and much needed moisture from
This Purrumbete reddy snaffled a Snatchbite minnow plastic in 15m. as usual. The Chinook salmon are just beginning to move into the shallows and are quite available to the angler, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. During the day working depths around 6-8m is the go. Flat line trolling medium to deep diving lures has worked well for some. Bait anglers have been doing well bottom bashing with baits such as cut pilchard mainly from an anchored boat. These anglers have landed Chinook salmon and a few rainbows that are coming on board in all weights and sizes. Those fishing from the bank are experiencing some solid results in low light conditions using locally sourced minnows
as well as PowerBait either fished lightly-weighted on the bottom or suspended under a bubble float. Lake Purrumbete has been very reasonable for large browns and when I say large, I mean fish coming on board weighing in around 10lb in the old scale. Work shallow to medium diving minnow lures towards the weed-encrusted shoreline or troll in depths of around 10m, presenting lures down deeper than normal. Some anglers are still downrigging, especially if the sun is high in the sky. Quite a few rainbows are also being caught as well as the odd Chinook salmon – some of which are fast approaching the size of the browns.
Larger Purrumbete redfin, such as these two, are now becoming a more common catch. number one way to catch a feed or two of redfin and presenting 2-4” soft plastics just off the bottom has certainly produced the goods. Even though we are well and truly still in recovery
the skies is needed to put out any smouldering fires and to green up the countryside before it gets too cold. Also our lakes could do with another top up before winter hits us in earnest.
Plenty of action on trout and redfin for anglers MELBOURNE METRO
This month in Melbourne it’s all about trout and redfin! As we edge closer to the cold grip of winter it normally means one thing for freshwater anglers – trout fishing! Speaking of trout, the Yarra River will be off limits soon enough, so get out and start casting! If still water fishing is more your thing, Karkarook Park Lake has been fishing well for little rainbows over the last few weeks. School holidays normally mean a top up for this waterway, which gives kids a chance to catch a few. Two main methods have been best here: suspending
dough baits like PowerBait about 60cm up off the bottom by using a fine gauge treble and fishing maggots under a lightly-weighted coarse float in conjunction with a berley trail. By mixing some aniseed oil or many of the pheromone scents on the market into your berley mix, you will increase the strike rate of fish in your trail. Rainbow trout to 400g have been taking a liking to both of these presentations in the lake lately. Devilbend Reservoir will begin to hit its straps this month, and some lovelysized trout will start to feed up before winter. Land-based lure casting has been the most effective method here, as it allows you to cover a lot of water and put your presentation in front of a fair few fish.
For the bigger browns, larger hardbodies around 70-90mm are a good option, as they resemble a decent meal for the trout in preparation for winter. Some of the better lure options for land-based casting are the Duel Hardcore Minnow 90F, Rapala Xrap8 and Ecogear MW 72F. If you’d like to try and score yourself some unfamiliar and lesser-fished waters, you can open up Google Maps or a Melways map and find a local dam or wetland in just about any corner of the outer city suburbs of Melbourne, and most of these will hold fish. A lot of the wetlands and retarding basins fill up with a good dump of rain, or after local creeks flood, and quite often this carries fish from one to the other.
For keen fishers wanting somewhere close to go to test out a new outfit or lures, these can be perfect. While the main species of fish between
them would be carp and eels, redfin would be the next fish in the list. Redfin are able to make their way from system to system and in some of the
Slow floating hardbodies are very effective on suburban wetland redfin. Photo courtesy of Donald Smith.
wetlands they grow quite large, gorging themselves on frogs, tadpoles and aquatic insects. These fish are perfect to hone your skills on, as they will take a wide variety of lures and baits – just make sure to pack some weedless-style jigheads and hardbodies, as a lot of the dams and wetlands have lots of reeds and weed under the surface that will foul your lures up. • For any of the latest metro reports and information, pop into Compleat Angler Dandenong at 241-243 Princes Highway, Dandenong, give us a call on 03 9794 9397 or jump on to the ‘Melbourne Metro Freshwater Fishing’ page on Facebook.
Bass are still the main target CTL GIPPSLAND
Will Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to the dry conditions the main target species have still been Australia bass and this will continue until we get more rain to raise the level of our streams. Over the past month the weather has brought on cooler conditions, lowering the
temperature of our lakes and making the bass fishing tough. It seems the bass are starting to move to deeper water where they are schooling up a lot more. In Blue Rock Lake, this has slowed down the topwater bite and anglers are starting to use ice jigs, soft plastics and spinnerbaits fished on the bottom. The humble worm fishing is an extremely good method in these cooler
water temperatures and is accounting for a lot of big bass at the moment. The main rivers being fished locally are the Tanjil, Tyers and Thomson rivers and tributaries, mainly because these streams have maintained a healthy flow over the past month. Here brown trout to 35cm have been caught regularly on Mapso spinners and our fly anglers are doing extremely
well on bead head nymphs. Blue Rock has started to produce a lot of trout on the troll over the past month due to a drop in water temperature and the main lure of choice has been Tassie Devils. • 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.
Paul Landmeter with a typical Blue Rock bass of 32cm caught on a Smak Spinnerbait. MAY 2018
The fish at Eildon are feeding up this month EILDON
Easter break is done and dusted and now it’s time to talk everything trout. In my recent articles I’ve spoken about the good population of brown and rainbow trout that call Lake Eildon home and they are about to fire up. While launching from any of the many well-maintained boat ramps around the lake, be sure to have your game plan in order. Set up your rods prior to getting on the water. There is no need to blast off from the 5-knot area and head to that favourite section of the lake. Get your lures in the water at your first chance. I should mention I always swim my lures beside the boat just to make sure my trolling speed is correct. Pink or white colours work best for me, but I’m sure that a lot of other colours in the massive range have the same effect. For trout trolling I use a very light-tipped rod so that I get all the action that the lure has to offer. With a Tassie Devil or winged lure dancing all over the place be cautious when doing any sharp turns, as your lures will sink and
The cod are out looking for a feed at night this month. snag up or get tangled with each other. Keep your eyes peeled for feeding fish. Trout will mainly be feeding within the top 3m of water. This early in the season I like to fish in the middle of the arms as the fish are spread far and wide. When you start picking up fish on your trolling runs make note of the start points and keep running over the same patches. Also try trolling off and toward steep
points. This is what I call fishing in the wind rows – it is highly effective for finding feeding trout. Wind rows occur when the wind passes through a steep bank and creates a food line that is very distinct; don’t run your boat through the middle of it, as you might
disturb the feeding trout. At this time any part of the lake is as good as the other, but head towards any of the feeder rivers and you will have a chance. It’s worth putting out your favourite cod or yellowbelly lure, as these predatory fish are all out to feed as well; it’s not uncommon to snag a big Murray cod while trolling for trout. There are still redfin by the thousands all over the lake. Start on a good cluster of trees in around 10-15m of water. Worms, yabbies, corn and soft plastics in white or motor oil colours are a must. Have the bail arm open straight to the bottom half a wind up and use very small jigs. If you want the bigger ones for a feed you have to take out the first five small ones to get the attention of the bigger models. I have two main spots where I target redfin and they are near the pines in the Fraser arms and on lone standing pine tree in the Big River arm. I always talk about the
dam wall after dark. If you want a cod, this is the easiest and most fool-proof approach to Murray cod fishing at Lake Eildon. Spinnerbaits and surface lures are my go-to lure selections. Work your way slowly up and down
There are still redfin in the thousands all over the lake. Start on a good cluster of trees in around 10-15m of water. the wall. I’ve heard curl-tail plastics also working, but I’ve never tried this method here. Remember your warm clothes, as I have a feeling that this winter will be one that breaks the record books.
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to my favourite spot for trout where few dare to take their boats and where the size of the trout is second to none. Victoria’s trophy trout water list may put Eildon in the top ten.
Falling lake makes fishing tough BONNIE DOON
Relax and enjoy delicious food and warm hospitality.
Boat safety and maintenance are a must and in winter there isn’t a massive number of boats out on the lake, which is a good thing, but also a bad thing if you find yourself in trouble. Next issue I’ll take you
The plan was to let more water out of the lake late last year, which was intended to minimise the flow rates throughout March, April and May. Unfortunately the extraordinary dry run we have had all year has given the powers that be no option but to really ramp up the outflows to provide badly-needed water downstream to the food bowl that puts the vegetables we all eat on our tables. The adverse effect to this amount of water going downstream is the fact that the water level is dropping at a rate of 8-10cm per day, which is not a scenario that we as anglers want to see, as it really shuts the fish down. Generally at this time of year, the water would usually be maintaining its level, or
The author with a nice Eildon brown trout. slowly starting to rise. Early April was very, very quiet indeed, with loads of fishers hitting the water
around Easter and the school holidays with not a great deal to write home about. Eildon can be quiet, but the last 6-8
weeks has been super quiet. On the bright side, the water level will have to start going up soon, and when it does it should really kick things into gear. I think the trout will really be good this year, and it’s about this time of the year we start to do a bit of flatline trolling. As I’ve said before, for all you trollers who love the tree line, I will recommend that you try about 10-20m wider than you would have at Eildon 3-4 years ago, as it seems a lot of trout are staying on the outside of the tree line with the explosion of the native population. So let’s hope May fires up, because there are a lot of frustrated fishers who have put in some serious time on the water for almost zero return.
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Daron worked hard for this little cod on a falling Lake Eildon.
Eildon Pondage is worth pondering in May EILDON RIVERS
Eildon Pondage is one of those bodies of water that anglers really need to understand when having a crack at fishing it. It basically stabilises the flow from Lake Eildon to the lower part of the Goulburn River.
small hardbodies and drifted unweighted scrub worms are the way to go. The other thing to remember is while the Goulburn is running hard the smaller feeder streams are backing up where they meet and trout can be found in these areas looking for an easy feed. The Rubicon, Steavenson, Little and Acheron river’s flows will soon be increasing with the seasonal change, but they are producing small and very healthy trout at the moment. Flies, smaller lures, worms and soft
PowerBait and the doughs made from their feed pellets work so well. The best time to use these baits is when the pondage is either filling or has peaked. It’s best to try areas away from the main river course that flows through the pondage. Spider mudeyes are native in the pondage and after a period of adjustment, trout in the pondage feed well
plastics gently worked on the edges of the deeper pools are what you need. The rivers above the lake are in a similar condition, however the lower sections of the upper Goulburn River have seen a couple of nice cod over the metre mark picked up on spinnerbaits and small StumpJumpers. Further upstream in the Goulburn, Taponga and Big rivers some small and healthy brown trout are being taken on Vibrax, blades and scrubworms as well. Catch you next issue.
“Over 250 patterns to choose from”
www.adrenalinflies.com.au Lauren Terry with her first rainbow trout on fly from the Steavenson River.
Tristan Tynon with a 6.75lb rainbow trout they caught in the Eildon Pondage on PowerBait. The reason for this is that Lake Eildon is used for irrigation and for generating power, so demand can vary greatly at different times of the year. The pondage holds around 5200ML of water and this year due to a dry spell the demand peaked at 9700ML. The pondage is never actually drained completely, so as you can imagine the water level was up and down twice a day – this causes some frustration to anglers. However, if you know what to look for and how to approach the varying conditions, it will increase your chances of catching a trout or two. The pondage is a stocked family fishery with both brown and rainbow trout, from very large ex-brood stock to the smaller readyto-catch trout around the 200g mark. The majority of trout are released from the hatchery, which is why the artificial baits such as
on these, especially when water levels fluctuate. Mudeyes seem to move about quite a bit when this happens and this makes them an easy target. Trout become more aggressive when the pondage starts to fill, possibly due to an increase in oxygen levels; this is when small hardbodied
lures come into their own. Soft plastics and Celta or bladed lures are also worth using. As I said, mudeyes are native in the pondage and therefore a similar fly pattern also works well in the reeded and shallower areas of the pondage. With all that being said, the Goulburn River has been running very high but will be backing off as demand slows over the next couple of months. In the meantime anglers have still been having success over the grassy flats with flies in nymph, hopper and ant patterns. Close to the banks of the faster flowing sections
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The Rubicon, Steavenson, Little and Acheron rivers are producing small and very healthy trout at the moment. MAY 2018
A home base for exploring Eildon on holidays
TENT CON RA
Pondage Holiday Park. As the name suggests the park is set on 30 acres of the shoreline of the Eildon Pondage. Park manager Ray
pleasure craft. This huge body of water is recognised as the second most used waterway behind Port Phillip Bay
Welcome to Eildon Pondage Holiday Park.
RE ONLINE MO
There are plenty of reasons to spend time in Eildon. The lake is of course the main drawcard for anglers, water skiers and a huge flotilla of
said the history of the location and the opportunities that lay ahead are a huge driving force for them as they continue to evolve the park. CABINS AND VILLAS A large proportion of the park has permanent sites that sporadically come up for sale. It is fun to walk around and check them out. In many cases people have put plenty of effort into making their little piece of the park their home away from home. Outside of the permanent sites there are 18 cabins and villas available that hold from 4-7 people depending on the style that you decide on. There are newer luxury villas, demountable cabins and the original cottage that was used when they were building the dam wall. I have had two four-night visits, staying in the cottage and one of the demountable units. Both were clean and comfortable and the cottage was perfect for a family or larger group of anglers. The cabin was spot on for a
DE FOR EX
There is plenty more to do and see in the area: wineries, bush walks, camping and even the snowfields. From an angling perspective there are a number of iconic Victorian rivers that hold trout and of course our native Australian species, if the lake isnâ€™t your thing. The ideal base to explore Eildon is the Eildon
Eildon Pondage Holiday Park is a 30-acre property that backs onto the Eildon Pondage. out at the end of a long day. The cabins and villas definitely offer this as well as cooking facilities, a fridge and areas to enjoy a cold one and the views that the park offers. POWERED SITES There are 40 powered sites scattered throughout the park that are ideal for either a camper or caravan. Ray was busy through the winter
months last year increasing the number of sites including some that have magnificent views of the Pondage and the dam wall behind. These sites also offer plenty of shade, with larger drive-through sites mixed amongst them. CAMPING There is an impressively large grassed area available for camping. It has 150 unpowered sites within
the area, with a couple taking pride of place right on the Pondage. Ray took us through the area and explained that they have had large groups use the entire area. There are a number of covered common areas/ camp kitchens that service the camping area as well as two toilet and shower blocks. In total there are three toilet and shower blocks and three
The park has a huge grassed camping area with 150 unpowered sites as well as 40 powered sites including some new additions with pondage views. in Victoria. It is one of the few places I know that even with a gaggle of boats on the water, your can find yourself a secluded spot somewhere and feel like the only person on the lake.
Bright took over running the Holiday Park with his wife about 18 months ago and is loving the challenge of making it even more visitorfriendly and getting to know the intricacies of the area. Ray
couple of anglers with a boat looking to hit the lake. For this humble author, there is nothing better than having a comfortable bed, a hot shower and somewhere to look forward to chilling
Above, below and below left: There are a number of cabin options available, from the Cottage, to more modern cabins with deck or demountable units.
common areas through the park. It was easy to imagine this area buzzing with activity during busy times; it would be a great sight to see. FAMILY ORIENTATION As much as water
active. The activities include a kid’s playground, large chess board, jumping pillow, mini golf, a tennis and basketball court and another winter project of Ray’s – a swimming pool.
outdoor movies and the highlight is the bird feeding. There is always an abundance of sulphurcrested cockatoos around, but the king parrots are everybody’s favourite. Ray
component of the park and is looking forward to making further improvements during the upcoming cooler period. FISHING Eildon Pondage is a unique fishery. Victorian Fisheries has a great initiative of stocking it just prior to each school holiday period with yearling fish from the local Snobs Creek Hatchery. A number of the hatchery brood stock are also released periodically into the Pondage, so there is a very good chance that you will have some success fishing it. The park has pondage frontage the entire length of the park and access is
the fishing happy snaps on the wall are anything to go by, you may never have to leave the park. BOAT PARKING AND SECURITY The holiday park has a dedicated boat storage area as well plenty of parking for trailers and boats around the various accommodation sites. Ray explained to us that if people have storage requirements, they can just contact him prior to their visit and he is happy to assist wherever possible. Boom gates are in place with a key code for people entering and leaving the park for added security.
You can also grab fresh baits and pick up a few lures while you are there. I know coffee is a big part of my morning and the Eildon Bakery Café makes a mean coffee with a smile. It is also a great place to treat yourself to a morning off from cooking breakfast. I highly recommend their bacon and eggs. If you need to launch a boat the Alliance Boat Ramp is five minutes away or you have the Lake Eildon Marina or Jerusalem Creek ramps not too far beyond that. Other things that are worth exploring are the Snobs Creek Falls. They
Above: Ray the park manager was a busy man during last year’s winter period, adding several new caravan sites to the park. Below: Is there anything better than coming back to somewhere comfortable after a long day? The living space in the cottage was a great place to chill out.
Boom gates provide extra security and privacy for those people using the park.
activities will be a major component of any stay in Eildon, weather and a need for variety are always factors (keeping the kids entertained as well). The park itself has plenty of activities to keep everyone
Ray said it was fantastic to see the pool being enjoyed during the summer holidays; it made all the hard work during last winter worthwhile. During the holiday periods they also have
said that they will come and land on your hand. They really interact with the people staying in the park, instantly putting smiles on faces. Ray said he was acutely aware of the family
exclusive to people staying on the property. When the water in the Pondage is up the entire foreshore is fishable and as the water level drops a few areas become less fishy, but there are still plenty of spots to choose from. If you are unsure Ray is always happy offer some assistance. If the taxidermy fish behind the office counter and
EVERYTHING IS NEARBY The proximity of all the services and attractions is another absolute positive of the park. Eildon township is a minute down the road. Fuel, groceries and other essentials are available and Gary at Eildon Bait and Tackle is a great source of information on where the fish are biting.
are only a 15-minute drive away and a short walk and an unexpected highlight to find in the area. There is also a lovely drive that winds its way from Eildon through to the Fraser Park. On the fishing side of things, if the lake and Pondage are being unkind, check out the Eildon Trout To page 66
There are plenty of activities to do in the park, whether you’re an adult or a kid. They include a children’s playground, a jumping pillow, mini golf, a large chess set, fishing and the latest addition – a swimming pool. MAY 2018
From page 65
A U S T R A L I A
Farm. They have several ponds stocked with fish that you can catch and purchase as well as some other local produce. It is a great outing for the whole family. The smoked trout there is one of my favourite things. One thing I didn’t realise, which Ray pointed out to us, is that the
Victorian alpine region is only an hour or so away – definitely within day trip range and something many visitors do during the winter months. CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF Lake Eildon should be on any angler’s bucket list of locations to go and fish. It is almost the southern
angler’s ideal freshwater mixed fishery. Brown and rainbow trout as well as golden perch and Murray cod are all available in good numbers. Add to that the many family activities also available and you have plenty of reasons to go and check it out. Eildon Pondage Caravan Park is in an ideal location
to provide a home base to explore the area and offers plenty of activities and things to do, other than relaxing of course. You can contact the park on 1800 651 691 or check out their website at www.eildonpondage.com for more information. I know I’m looking forward to my next stay.
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There are three shower and toilet blocks and three camp kitchens/ common areas throughout the park. Each has great facilities. FISHING NEWS
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Everyone’s invited to open day If you love freshwater fishing and want to learn all about how stocked fish are produced, then get along to the free open day at Snobs Creek on Sunday 3 June. Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO, Travis
fishing licence fees and the State Government’s Target One Million plan, which in investing a record $46 million to get more people fishing, more often. “Snobs Creek has played a huge part in stocking more
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A U S T R A L I A
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Dowling, said the open day was the perfect opportunity to get behind-the-scenes and talk directly to expert staff about how they grow trout and native fish, which are released throughout the state to improve inland fishing opportunities. “The Snobs Creek hatchery is pivotal to our annual fish stocking program, growing species that are popular with recreational anglers such as brown trout, rainbow trout, Chinook salmon and Murray cod, alongside trout cod and Macquarie perch which are of conservation significance,” said Mr Dowling. “The hatchery’s operation is funded by recreational
than five million fish over the last 12 months, which delivers on a flagship commitment of Target One Million. “The open day will
include free tours of the hatchery, during which visitors can learn about its 70 year history and see first-hand how fish are bred, fed, sortedand loaded onto customised stocking trucks for delivery. “The day is a familyoriented event with prizes to be won and free activities for kids of all ages including
a jumping castle, face painter, balloonist and fishythemed photo booth. “Food and coffee will be available for purchase from vans and stalls onsite.” The event takes place from 10am-2pm on Sunday 3 June at 455 Goulburn Valley Highway, Eildon. Learn more at www.vfa.vic. gov.au/snobsopenday. - VFA
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Pirtek remains world’s biggest fishing comp The tenth annual PIRTEK Fishing Challenge, which attracted almost 9000 participants, has been recognised as the world’s biggest competition for anglers. With entrants from every Australian state and territory, the event also raised funds and awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and the Peter Duncan Neurosciences Research Unit. Australia’s unique landscape was subject to an equally varied range of weather conditions for this year’s challenge, which produced an endless list of tales and interesting images loaded to the event’s official website. There were some mighty fish caught including a 112cm barramundi in Queensland,
Murray Cod over the magic metre mark and some big top-end trevally. The southern states produced great results with flathead over 90cm, cracking snapper and a 77cm brown trout from Tasmania. There were 157 individual prize winners across Australia all sharing in the $210,000 prize pool. PIRTEK provides $90,000 divided between 25 mystery length target fish, providing all entrants the opportunity to win big without necessarily catching the biggest fish. One of the highlights of the challenge is the On The Water prize draw and this year’s major winner was Chris Rossetti from Charlestown (NSW) who won the $29,000 boat/motor/ trailer package thanks to Stacer and Evinrude.
John Didge with a winning bream.
Fishing Challenge was something that all his company’s staff, suppliers and franchisees could be enormously proud of. For further information
Parker Strickland won the 2nd place Junior category-winning flathead in Victoria. Other major prize winners included Dale Cooper and Patricia Johnson, who won Snap-On Tools tool kits valued at $5000, Wayne Gibbs who won a Lowrance Hook2 12” FishFinder valued at $2149, Ken Osborne who picked up a $2000 tackle pack thanks to ABU Garcia and Berkley, Todd Pickering who will be adding to his tackle box thanks to a $1700 BCF gift card and Nicole Wicks who took home a $500 Valvoline care pack. Tournament Director Michael Guest was delighted with another recordbreaking year. “I was very proud to see so many keen anglers
supporting the challenge and our charity partners in this year’s challenge,” said Guest. “It goes to show what a bunch of dedicated anglers can achieve when we all get together for a good cause. “I know conditions were tough in some parts of the country, especially in Darwin while battling cyclone Marcus and the fireravaged area of Tathra in southern NSW, but it didn’t slow too many fishers down with thousands of photos uploaded to the website across the country.” PIRTEK Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Dutton, said that the success of the PIRTEK
about the PIRTEK Fishing Challenge and more results, visit www. pirtekfishingchallenge. com.au and check out their Facebook page. – PIRTEK
VIC/TAS RESULTS VIC RESULTS Place/Category Angler Length (cm) Bream (all Species) 1st John Didge 43.2 2nd Samir Soloman 43.1 3rd Justin Mason 42.2 Junior 1st Jacob Farley 39.3 Junior 2nd Brock York 39.0 Mystery Length 37.5cm Kirk Lawrence 37.7 Flathead 1st Peter Kenny 92.1 2nd Joel Whelan 89.7 3rd Cody Hartley 53.8 Junior 1st Harley Finn 43.5 Junior 2nd Parker Strickland 40.4 Mystery Length 67.0cm Peter York 55.4 TAS RESULTS Place/Category Angler Length (cm) Trout (brown or rainbow) 1st James Bracken 77.5 2nd Shane Saville 68.8 3rd Jayden Banfield 65.1 Junior 1st Samuel Glowacki 45.0 Junior 2nd Roman Jopson 40.1 Mystery Length 43.0cm Mat Dayton 43.6 Australian Salmon 1st Craig Harris 56.3 2nd Michael Graham 46.2 3rd Neville (Nick) Crawford 39.6 Junior 1st Callum Smith 51.6 Junior 2nd Josh Medwin 50.0 Mystery Length 50.0cm Cindy Cockburn 47.2
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Add your tournament or competition to this list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07 3387 0800 in office hours. Just supply a date, venue, tournament name and a telephone number and contact name. 68
Round two of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 10 The Rhino-Rack, JML and Hobie Polarized round two of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 10 saw anglers from all over Australia compete in the two-day competition at the oyster lease and rack fishing Mecca of Forster – a coastal town north of Sydney and next to Tuncurry. Pre-Fish Day on Friday saw competitors return to the event arena with a reasonable number having pulled in solid bags from the famous Forster racks as well as the flats the system has on offer. The forecast for the competition over the weekend was spot on with both days seeing wind blowing in from the south to southeast across Wallis Lake. Saturday was the windier of the two days with the wind peaking at 27km/h around 1pm, while on
Kris Hickson took the win in round two of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 10, as well as the Atomic Big Bream prize. out to their preferred location. FORSTER RECORD SET In the past Hobie Fishing Series tournaments have regularly featured in Forster, however, this weekend 86 anglers entered the tournament
EVENT STATS Total Fish Caught on Day One........................ 173 Total Fish Caught on Day Two........................ 169 Total Fish..........................................................342 Total Weight of Fish................................ 156.16kg Average Fish Weight......................................460g Sunday things started off in glassy conditions with wind reaching a maximum strength of 12km/h. Anglers took off from the Power-Pole starting line one kayak at a time, using the Order of Entry format. The first angler to enter the event was the first to leave the start, and as the Tournament Director counted down, competitors would pedal off until the final angler headed
the win. Hickson’s day one bag (three-bream bag-limit each day) was the clear standout of the event at 2.71kg and with the day two bag he brought back to the weigh-in – although much lighter at 1.66kg –his six-fish aggregate of 4.37kg was enough to snatch the win. Hickson took home a sizeable cash payout of $2500 for his weekend on the water in his Hobie Revolution 13. “With the wind forecast to be south-southeasterly, I
was hoping but not confident of being in the top ten, but I was absolutely stoked to take out the event.” Hickson was using a Daiwa TD Sol 701L rod with a Daiwa Exceler LT 2500 reel, J-Braid 8 and 6lb leader. His lures were a Megabass Dog X Modena Bone and an OSP Bent Minnow. He fished the event from a Hobie Revolution 13 kayak. ALLEN – MR CONSISTENT Glenn Allen took out second place with consistent bags each day. Day one’s bag of three bream was 1.98kg, while his day two bag was 1.90kg, giving him a total of six fish for 3.88kg. “I found big fish on pre-fish day on Friday at the top of the lake in Charlotte Bay. However, it was a two-hour journey each way, so four hours of my day was just getting to and from my spot was a lot to ask. But I made the call early on Saturday morning to head back up there and it paid off! The same for Sunday, I did the miles to get the smiles,” said Allen.
topping the previous record of 71 entries set back in 2016. The excellent turnout follows the amazing 102 anglers who competed in round one of the series at Bemm River (Vic) at the start of the season. HICKSON TAKES THE WIN Port Macquarie-based angler Kris Hickson was the only competitor to move into the 4kg+ range over the weekend which saw him take
bait on a 1/28 jighead and a Bassday SugaPen. Kris Hickson was the Atomic Big Bream winner with a 1.21kg fish. James Kilpatrick won the Mortgage Corp Monster Mover prize. The division winners were: Youth (16-20 years old)
– Jack Gammie, Women’s – Tameika Purnell, Master’s (60-64 years) – Gary Hanson, Grand Master’s (65 and over) – John Ellis, Pro Angler 17 Tandem (Teams Event) – Jamie Bowden and Tammy, and First Time Competitors – Sean Muxlow. – Hobie
Top: Kevin Boese came third in the competition. Above: Glenn Allen brought in consistent bags to come second.
Hickson with a handful of his tournament-winning bream.
Tameika Purnell took out the Women’s division.
made the decision to head into the wind first and enjoy the slow drift back to the event weigh-in site. I mainly fished in shallow water over the flats using topwater lures most of the day to secure my bag limits,” said Hickson, who had not been feeling well coming into the tournament. He thought his lack of preparation might have seen him out of contention. “The way I was feeling I
Allen was using a SAMAKI C12 Gen2 7ft light rod matched to an Ecooda 2500 reel with Samaki 6ld braid and 6lb leader. His go-to lures were a Samaki avocado boom bait grub on a 1/16oz jighead, green Juro
ANSA Victoria is the peak body for Sportfishing in Victoria and encompasses all the needs of the beginner as well as the experienced angler. It represents recreational sportfishers through various affiliated clubs across Victoria. BENEFITS OF CLUB AFFILIATION: Able to claim IGFA records Able to claim ANSA Australian records Able to claim Victorian records Participate in ANSA State Championships - with Club awards, team awards and individual awards We offer - Line class awards, length only/catch and release
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The forecast for the event was windy and this proved to be accurate. MAY 2018
Crompton goes wire-to-wire
The Franklins Australia BREAM Australian Open (5-7 March) delivered in spades with a big field, big weather and big limits, combining to make it an action-packed event with Daiwa and Hobie Fishing sponsored tournament pro Mark Crompton claiming victory in the prestigious event. Australia’s only boateronly bream event, 29 teams hit the start line on the opening day of competition at Drummoyne Sailing Club, with Sydney Harbour and the Hawkesbury River set to challenge their bodies, boats and mental toughness over three gruelling days of competition. For event winner Mark Crompton it was a wire-towire victory with the Southern Highlands breamer grabbing the lead on day one courtesy of a 4kg limit then not letting go as he powered to a comprehensive open win. Fishing with a renewed focus
day of competition, Crompton was the only angler to drop a 4kg limit on the scales. His effort provided him with the reward of leading the field out on day two. Hitting the launch site at Bayview Park at Pittwater on day two Crompton was greeted by near gale force winds – weather that made him reconsider his day two Hawkesbury River tactics. “I had planned on running a long way upriver and throwing Cranka Crabs into the nasty rock sections of the Hawkesbury, but when I saw the wind and the conditions when we got Bayview I thought let’s scrap that and go hit the flats instead.” And that’s exactly what Crompton did heading to the famous ‘car park flats’ at Palm Beach. With his Cranka Crabs replaced for Juro Firebaits Crompton would make long wind assisted casts across the flats then work the lure back to the boat with a
A calm and collected Crompton heads off on the final day of competition.
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and mindset, Crompton went into the event with two goals: chasing numbers of fish rather than more purposely seeking out big fish, and fishing the event expressly to win. “In the past I’ve fished with the goal of catching big fish; this time I tried something different and simply went about catching plenty of fish with the hope that the bigger fish would simply come along as I put fish in the boat,” Crompton said. Fishing Sydney Harbour on day one Crompton adopted a hard bait approach crankbaiting boat hulls, shallow flats and heavy structure. The key to the success was current flow, as Crompton explained. “The fish were very much keyed in on water movement, with the best fish holding where there was tidal flow. If you have flow you often have food and the bream knew that.” Crompton’s cranks of choice were two main choices a Cranka Shad and Zipbaits Khamsin, with a slow rolling retrieve his go-to for enticing the harbour bream to bite. Crompton’s approach was spot on with the Australian Open champion filling out his limit by 8am and catching 20 fish for the session. Weighing in a 4.02kg limit for the opening
slow roll interspersed with sharp twitches. “The fish were really on the chew and they would nail the Juro off the top as it was skipping through the choppy surface. I had only planned to fish here for half an hour, but then I caught a 38 and 36, so that was it. I stayed a fair bit longer and when I felt like I’d caught all I could from here I headed upriver and fished Cranka Crabs,” explained Crompton. The rapid-fire early action saw Crompton catch his limit by 8.30am and land 10 legal fish for the session. Weighing in another 4kg bag for the tournament Crompton not only retained but also extended his lead heading into the third and final day of competition. Crompton’s win was anything
The Franklins Australia BREAM Australian Open winner Mark Crompton with a brace of Open-winning bream. but a fait accompli with the Daiwa tournament pro fully aware of what can transpire in this event, on this waterway and in a field of anglers of this calibre. “The Open is the hardest tournament there is and you need to catch a quality bag each day. You need to be on your A game every day to win. If you’re not, these guys are going to smash you and when you’ve got Ross Canizzarro hot on your tail heading into the final day you know full well that you can’t rest easy and that you’re going to have to catch them, and catch the big ones, to win,” explained Crompton. Back on Sydney Harbour for day three Crompton fished similar locations to day one; the lure the fish wanted however was different. “I thought the fish were primed for a Cranka Crab assault but they didn’t quite want them today. Instead it was the motor
oil colour 2 1/2” ZMan GrubZ that did the damage,” explained Crompton. The standout retrieve to trigger the best response from the bream was a quick roll punctuated with a series of double jerks. The lure and technique saw Crompton catch his limit by 9am and land 30 fish for the session. Crompton was conscious of what his competitors could deliver to the scales to derail his fairy tale win and then he lost a key fish. Crompton explained, “I dropped a really big fish today; it came out, looked at me and started shaking its head, spat the hook at me, then swam off. It was a good 40 fork fish and I thought right there, that’s it – there goes the Aus Open.” Crompton’s suspicions proved unfounded and his 3.58kg final day limit was enough to deliver him a comfortable wire-to-wire Frankins Australian BREAM Australian Open win.
WINNING TACKLE Rod: Daiwa Zero 701LXS and Daiwa Zero 701ULXS Reel: Daiwa Exceler LT 2500 Line: 6lb Daiwa Evo 8, 3.5lb Sunline FC Game (crankbaiting) Leader: 4lb FC Rock Lure: Cranka Shad in blue gill, olive and cockle Cranka Crabs 65mm (Hawksbury) and 55mm, custom colour (Sydney Harbour), OSP Bent Minnow 76 (pink belly and orange back), Juro Firebait Longtail Minnow (colour 05), ZMan GrubZ (motor oil, bloodworm and gudgen colours), TT 1/16 and 1/20oz jigheads, Berkley Nitro 1/32oz jigheads.
RESULTS Place Angler 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Mark Crompton 15/15 11.76 $5000 Ross Cannizzaro 15/15 10.71 $3000 Kris Hickson 15/15 10.37 $2500 Peter Cook 15/15 10.15 $2000 Denis Metzdorf 15/15 9.98 $2000 Liam Carruthers 15/15 9.94 Steve Morgan 15/15 9.65 Daniel Bonaccorso 15/15 9.62 Michael Colotouros 15/15 9.55 Christian Wardini 15/15 9.46 For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au
Cannizzaro comes close again One of the anglers to watch in any event on Sydney Harbour or the Hawkesbury River, Ross Cannizzaro once again brought the big bags to the scales in the Open to claim another podium finish. Cannizzaro fished west of the Harbour Bridge hitting hardcore unforgiving structure like old wharves and poles in the main channel. “I looked for water 10-15ft deep and when fishing water this deep with
current flow it’s very difficult to let your lure sink to the bottom, so in the morning when the tide was strong I targeted the suspended fish in these locations,” explained Cannizzaro. Later in the day as the sunlight increased and the shade took over the hard to reach crevices and holes, Cannizzaro fished lighter, downsizing to a 1/32oz jighead for his camo Gulp Crabbies and presented them tight to the poles and jetties.
“The fish are used to the waterway traffic and commotion on the harbour, so they’ll sit high and tight to the structure waiting for a feed,” explained Cannizzaro. Cannizzaro would spot hop for the first hour to fill his limit before slowing down and fishing deep and tight to the nastiest country he could find, hoping to find the bigger fish he needed to anchor a quality bag. “I’d fish a lighter outfit to begin with each day – a
Ross heads into battle on the opening day of competition.
6’8” ABU Garcia Stage 1 rod and Revo reel spooled with 4.4lb Fireline – before upgrading to a heavier outfit – a 7’3” ABU Garcia Veritas 3.0 rod and Revo MGX reel spooled with Fireline Ultra 8,” explained Cannizzaro. Cannizzaro’s approach paid dividends allowing him to weigh in a 5/5, 3.63kg limit on the harbour on day one and a 5/5, 3.22kg bag on day three on the harbour. Fishing the Hawkesbury River on day two, Cannizzaro followed a similar approach as he did in the harbour. He fished nasty country for the biggest fish he could find, and this time he opted for a crankbait to catch his fish. “I fished upriver between Spencer and Bar Point and targeted natural rocks walls with Berkley 3B cranks. The tide was important though and you needed flow for this approach to work to its best, so early in the session when the tide was low and the flow wasn’t there I fished docks and boats in Berowra to fill my limit,” explained Cannizzaro. Ross’ plan paid off with him catching his limit by 8.30am. With the tide starting to flow at 10am Cannizzaro hit the rockwalls with his crankbaits, with the
Ross Cannizzaro once again shone in the open, finishing second yet again. bite improving as the tide rose and the fish moved into the flooded rock country. “I didn’t get the big bites that I was hoping for but I caught plenty of 32cm fork fish,” explained Ross. Just as he did on the harbour Cannizzaro used a two outfit approach to catch his fish – a light and heavier outfit. His crankbait outfit comprised of an ABU Garcia Villain rod and ABU Garcia Revo MGX 3000 spooled with 6lb Berkley Ultra 8 mainline and 10lb Toray
fluorocarbon leader. Post-victory Cannizzaro was content with his result, but hopes to go one better in 2019. “To win an event, especially a marathon event like the Open you need everything to go right and very little to go wrong. Hopefully next year is the year for me when that finally happens and I can hold the Franklins BREAM Australian Open trophy aloft,” concluded Cannizzaro. – ABT
The 29 boats waiting patiently on Sydney Harbour for the Franklins Australia BREAM Australian Open to kick off.
Crompton delivered 4kg limits for two of the three days of competition to claim a wire-to-wire victory.
Quality fish were brought to the bump tubs and scales in the Open. MAY 2018
Shane Ling shines at St Helens Shane Ling has tapped into his years of experience on the always-challenging waterways of St Helens to take out his maiden ABT victory with 10/10 fish for 10.6kg. With challenging wind conditions greeting the anglers over the course of the tournament Ling knew it would take a well-planned approach for the tournament to take the win. “The fish at St Helens can be hard to tempt and very susceptible to pressure, but when you find them the fishing can be some of the best,” explained Ling. Starting at the back of the field on day one Ling knew that many of his first choice locations would already have anglers on them and he would need to rely on his knowledge bank to find some clean water.
Shane Ling dominated at St Helens to claim victory in the Mercury-presented event. session and found a good number of fish holding in Moulting Bay. Ling finished day one with 5.35kg, a small
“I was sight casting to the fish but I still needed to impart an erratic short twitch followed by a 5-10 second
Shane Ling was all cashed up with his St Helens victory.
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“During the Tas Classic series I found a few good low-tide spots where I thought there wouldn’t be any anglers targeting, so I headed there to start the tournament,” said Ling. His key starting location was an area known as ‘Horseshoe Flats.’ Within the expansive area Ling targeted the larger fish holding on the drop-off from the main flat. “The key was to find the deeper holes on the edge of the flat and work the lure slowly across the area, giving the fish plenty of time to look at the lure. I would twitch the lure moving it the least distance possible and follow with a five-second pause. My aim was to keep the lure in the strike zone and move it sideways,” said Ling. With his limit filled on the flats, Ling switched into pre-fish mode for day two, spot hopping around the area looking for a productive areas that wouldn’t be affected by the wind change that was due to come in overnight. During his searching Ling continued to upgrade throughout the
lead and confidence heading into day two. Haunted by the memory of failing in previous ABT events on day two Ling stayed with his plan and targeted the flats in Moulting Bay. With the fish holding shallower Ling adjusted his plan slightly and downsized to the shallower running Zip Bait Riggie 56, again in his favoured 650 colour (chrome with orange bottom).
pause to tempt the fish to bite,” Ling said. It didn’t take Ling long and he had filled his limit and the nerves began to settle. “Once I filled my limit the schools of fish became skittish and I decided to move around a few spots and see if I could get a couple of upgrades,” Ling said, “I moved through a range of flats and oyster racks, but really just spot hopped for the rest of the day.” With 5.25kg hitting the scale Shane Ling showed supreme consistency over the two days and won the event by over 1kg. “It feels great to get the first win and even better to see Tassie anglers take out the top three spots in the event. I also need to thank Mad Keen, Mark Wilson at Zip Baits and Benny from BK Custom Rods for all their support.”
DUFFRODS BIG BAG Shane Ling took the Duffrods big bag thanks to his day one bag of 5.35kg, which he caught on the dropoffs in Horseshoe Bay with a Zipbait Rigge 70F.
WINNING TACKLE Rod: BK Custom S Ling custom Reel: Shimano Nasci 1000 Line: 10lb Sunline Siglon PE8 Leader: 6lb Sunline Shooter FC Lure: Zip Baits Rigge 56f and 70f
TOP 10 BOATERS Place Angler
Weight (kg) Payout
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Adam Crick 10/10 9.18 Josh Williams 10/10 8.63 Steve Morgan 10/10 8.59 Mario Vukic 10/10 8.57 Warren Carter 10/10 7.96 Charlie Saykao 10/10 7.83 Leigh McKenzie 10/10 7.83 Michael Alexander 10/10 7.81 Liam Carruthers 10/10 7.63 For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au
$2,600, 1st Mercury Bonus ($250), Duffrods Big Bag $1900, 2nd Mercury Bonus ($150) $1250 $950, 3rd Mercury Bonus ($100) $630, Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream ($500)
Crick twitches into second place Launceston-based angler Adam Crick started his ABT Tasmanian Tour with an impressive 2nd place with 10/10 fish for 9.18kg. Playing to his strengths Crick headed to the flat near the mouth of the system in search of clear water and active fish. Starting in the area known as ‘Stockyard Flats,’ Crick targeted fish holding in the deeper holes off the main flat while waiting for the flat to become covered by the tide.
“I knew the start would be tough down near the mouth and I was just waiting for the water to push up on the flat,” Crick said. Once the flat filled Crick was able to cast his Ecogear MW62 in 309 colour across the flats and work it over the edges between the grass and sand with short erratic twitches mixed in with pauses of 2-5 seconds. “I really tried to give the lure the most action while moving it the least distance and also
targeted the edges of the weed and sand,” Crick said. For this presentation Crick opted for a ‘crank and twitch’ JML Alliance Perfection Series rod matched with a Daiwa Luvias 2504 reel spooled with 6lb Suline Siglon PE8 braid and 6lb Yamatoyo Chinu Harris FC. Once Crick had exhausted his first flat he then spot hopped towards the entrance targeting flats that held a combination of broken weed beds, rubble and sand before finishing the day in the oyster racks for one final upgrade. “I only got six fish on day one but they were all the right size fish,” explained Crick. With the wind changing direction Crick decided to change his starting location and targeted the town flat at the start of day two. “The flats
near the entrance tend to shut down under pressure so my plan was to fill my limit on the town flat which is home to better numbers of fish.” While he started with one fish early the flat failed to produce the result Crick wanted and he returned to his day one honey hole. The return to the front proved to be fruitful with Crick repeating his shallow twitch and pause presentation for another quality limit. With a great result at the tour opener Crick was heading into his preferred Derwent River event full of confidence. “It was a great way to kick off the two events. I really have to thank Tony from JML for all his support and the products that helped me get the result over the weekend,” said Crick.
Adam Crick fished shallow jerkbaits to finish second behind Shane Ling.
Hodge holds on for St Helens win Adam Crick with his second place winnings.
DAIWA J-BRAID BIG BREAM Mario Vukic claimed the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream at St Helens with the 2018 Mallacoota BREAM Qualifier winner securing the $500 prize for his 1.41kg kicker fish caught on a ZMan GrubZ rigged on a 1/12oz jighead.
Victorian black bream specialist Mike Hodge has converted his first 5kg single day bag into another tournament win with 9/10 for 8.39kg. Fishing with Mark Alexander on day one, Hodge started the morning fishing the town flats putting one fish in the well early while his boater went to work filling his limit. “Mark had a well thought-out plan for the day, so I started the day full
Zipbaits Rigge 70F (650)
Twitch and roll retrieve
of confidence and knew we would be on for a good day’s fishing,” said Hodge. The pair then moved to Alexander’s second location, which held a good amount of broken weed beds with a distinct line of thick weed 2m from the edge, which proved to be the key hunting ground for Hodge. Once in location Hodge would cast a Cranka shallow minnow in jolly tail over the thick weed line and work the lure with a
Zipbaits Rigge 56F (824)
slow draw and pause routine. “I would draw the lure down slowly and pause it for up to five seconds. For most of the fish you would feel them rattle the lure and it was just a process of leaning back on the fish and letting it load up,” explained Hodge. His go-to outfit for this presentation was a Penn pinpoint 6’10” 2-4kg rod matched with a Fin-Nor Affinity reel spooled with 6lb Berkley Nanofil and 4lb Sunline FC Rock leader. While Hodge had filled his limit there was still one small fish sitting in his limit, which he was keen to upgrade. “I had a productive time on the second area we hit but it wasn’t until we hit the town reaches of the system late in the day that I was able to upgrade my 26cm for a 34cm fish,” said Hodge. That final fish proved to be all the difference at the end of the day with Hodge cracking his first 5kg+ bag with 5.2kg. Day two saw Hodge paired with Daniel Homes. The pair headed down to the flats near the mouth of the system to target the dropoffs from the main weed flats. It was a fast start for
Hodge who managed to put four fish in the well early in the session. He again used his favoured Cranka Shallow Minnow in jolly tail, casting it on top of the weed bed before drawing it off and allowing the fish to cruise up and take the lure. “I had four fish in the well early but the bite really shut down and it was a long end to the session, but I really have to commend Daniel who tried his best to get me my five fish. He really went above and beyond trying to guide me onto that last fish,” said Hodge. When asked about the event Hodge went on to say, “I really enjoyed coming over to Tasmania. The fishing and the people really make the trip worth all the effort. To have both my boaters go above and beyond to help me catch fish shows how great the people are down here.” With the first of two Tasmania events run and won, attention now turns to Hobart’s Derwent River system. For the results and story of that tournament and any other event near you head to abt.org.au.
TOP 10 NON BOATERS Place Angler
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Weight (kg) Payout
Costa Prize Pack, 1st Hobie Bonus ($200) Roan Van-Berberg 10/10 8.29 Prize Pack, 2nd Hobie Bonus ($100) Brendan McNamara 9/10 7.03 Prize Pack, 3rd Hobie Bonus ($75) Stuart Walker 8/10 6.30 Prize Pack, Jesse Rotin 8/10 5.90 Prize Pack Jordan Armstrong 9/10 5.56 Prize Pack Shaun Egan 6/10 5.28 Prize Pack Bernard Kong 6/10 5.22 Prize Pack Peter Mazey 9/10 4.41 Prize Pack Neil Chegwidden 5/10 3.95 Prize Pack For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au
Mike Hodges claimed top honours in the non-boater division. MAY 2018
Crick cracks the Derwent code
Adam Crick has proven that there are consistent tournament-winning fish in the big fish haunt of Ralphs Bay at the Costa Derwent River BREAM Qualifier with a 10/10 limit for 11.03kg taking his maiden ABT event with over 1kg on his nearest competitor. Coming off a strong showing at St Helens, Adam Crick was full of confidence heading into the Derwent River event and with the confidence in his key location he knew he was in with a shot. “I have spent a lot of time working out the low tide pattern on Ralphs Bay. It is high risk and high reward, but I felt I would fish to my strengths,” said Crick. On day one Crick headed down to hit his milk run of shallow broken reef flats dotted throughout Ralphs Bay. In each area Crick would cast an Ecogear MW 62 in 309 colour across the broken rubble before imparting a short erratic twitch mixed with pauses ranging between 2-10 seconds.
To target these shallow fish Crick would cast the same Ecogear MW 62 tight to the edge and twitch the lure with his rod held up high to work the lure out over the structure. With two key upgrades late in the session Crick ended the day with 5.9kg and headed out on day two with the lead. With a cold front pushing through overnight Crick was concerned Ralphs Bay would fail to fire and decided to stop at a rock point at Howrah to fill an early limit. “It can be hard to fill a limit at Ralphs Bay, so I used a productive smaller fish point at Howrah to fill a limit and calm the nerves,” explained Crick. With a calm mind he then headed to his day one honey hole. There wasn’t the same number of fish but Crick was able to find a couple of key upgrades to keep his bag weight climbing before returning to his milk run of spots in the Lindisfarne area. “It was a slow process of upgrading my bag throughout the session; it wasn’t until my
Adam Crick brought the big fish to the scales to claim victory on the Derwent. an angler to watch when ABT next returns to Tasmania. When asked about his win Crick replied, “It was a great feeling to win the event in the style of fishing
that I enjoy the most and I really have to thank Tony at JML for all his support. His lures have been the key to my success in the past two events.”
WINNING TACKLE Rod: JML Alliance Perfect Series Reel: Daiwa Luvias 2500 Line: 6lb Sunline Siglon PE8 Leader: 6lb Yamatoyo Chinu Harris FC Lure: Ecogear MW 62 (colour 309 and 328)
One of the fish that delivered Adam a 1kg average for his win.
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“The key was to get the lure to move erratically without it moving too far forward; to do this I would hold my rod tip up with slack in the line and only just come into contact with the lure,” said Crick. His tackle of choice for this technique was a ‘crank and twitch’ JML Alliance Perfection Series rod matched with a Daiwa Luvias 2504 spooled with 6lb Suline Siglon PE8 braid and 6lb Yamatoyo Chinu Harris FC. Crick fished the Ralphs Bay area until 11am and then changed tact as the tide began to run in. Returning upriver to the Lindisfarne area he targeted fish moving into the shallow edges. “On the run-in tide the larger fish tend to push right up on to the edge to feed,” Crick explained.
final upgrade five minutes before the end of the session that I felt like I had won the event,” said Crick. Crick took out the event with an over-1kg winning margin and that combined with his second place at St Helens will show him to be
Bernard Kong secured the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream prize at the Derwent.
TOP 10 BOATERS Place Angler
Weight (kg) Payout
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Josh Williams 10/10 9.88 Warren Carter 10/10 9.83 Charlie Saykao 10/10 9.77 Alan Lister 10/10 9.62 Andrew Krushka 10/10 9.54 Mark Crompton 10/10 9.38 Mario Vukic 10/10 9.37 Steve Steer 10/10 9.27 Cameron Whittam 10/10 9.20 For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au
$2,250, 1st Mercury Bonus ($250), Duffrods Big Bag $1600, 2nd Mercury Bonus ($150) $1100, 2nd Mercury Bonus ($150) $800, 3rd Mercury Bonus ($100) $500
Josh fires for second In only his second event as a boater Josh Williams showed his skill when it comes to black bream fishing with an impressive 10/10 fish for 9.88kg. Williams started fishing near the start/finish areas of Bellerive in an attempt to fill his limit early as the tide dropped. The key area for Williams during this section of the tide was the deeper edges of the quickly draining flats. He would cast
a Daiwa Presso Minnow in sushi prawn up onto the shallow flat holding his rod tip up flicking and twitching the lure out over the drop-off before moving his rod tip down and ripping the lure down into the depths. With his limit filled early Williams then moved up to the middle reaches of the river working similar rocky drop-offs waiting for the tide to start moving in. Once the tide had
Josh added $1600 to his bank balance with his 2nd place win.
DUFFRODS BIG BAG Adam Crick took the Duffrods big bag with his day one limit of 5.91kg, which was the perfect start to his Derwent River event. The key to his day one bag was his Ecogear MW62 in 309 colour.
shifted Williams moved up into the shallows behind the entertainment centre in search of fish moving up into the shallows. He then cast a Daiwa Presso Minnow in creeping iwashi tight to the edge before ripping it down into the structure and allowing it to slowly float up out of the structure. “The fish would hit the lure as it came clear,” said Williams. His tackle of choice was a Nordic Stage Sharpshooter 1-3kg rod matched with a Shimano Twinpower 1000 reel spooled with 6lb Platypus P8 brain and 4lb Platypus Stealth FC. Day two proved to be a slower start for Williams who started the day at the golf course stretch of the Derwent, which proved to be successful for his non-boating partner, but it wasn’t until the tide started pushing in that Williams started to fire. With a stronger wind pushing on day two and a distinct dirty water line forming in the back of the entertainment centre bay, his day one location fired. The added wind allowed Williams to make longer wind-assisted casts and cover more water with each cast, “I slowed my presentation down on day two and used a 7m leader to get more bites,” said Williams. This change proved fruitful with his day two bag hitting the scales at 4.78kg.
Josh Williams brought his good form from St Helens to the Derwent to claim second in the boater division. “I really enjoyed stepping up as a boater for both rounds and encourage any other
Tassie anglers to get out and give it a go,” said Williams, “I also need to thank Platypus
Lines for all their support and products that helped me over the weekend.”
Egan mixes it up for win Shaun Egan has taken another ABT Non-Boating victory with 10/10 fish for 8.44kg, showing he has consistency across any bream waters around Australia. Fishing with Tony Robinson on day one Egan fished the middle reaches of the Derwent along a range of rock walls and drop-offs. While his boaters targeted the hard edge Egan opted to target fish sitting wider with a slow rolled OSP Dunk in ghost colour. “I thought there would
Dunk and managed to fill his limit quickly, taking the pressure off and allowing him to mix up his presentation to find bigger fish. While the pair moved around before the tide change Egan was able to pick up key upgrades on the rock walls and gravel patches near Mona before the tide began to turn. Once the tide started pushing in the Egan changed
2000 Daiwa Sol reel spooled with 6lb Daiwa J-Braid and 5lb FC Rock. When asked about his win Egan was quick to point out the key to his result was to think outside the box and not just replicate what his boater was having success doing. “I always try to look past what my boater is doing and try to target fish they are missing,” said Egan. He was
Ecogear MW62F (328 and 309) Twitch and pause retrieve
Shaun Egan was a happy man with his non-boater title win.
TOP 10 NON BOATERS Place Angler
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Weight (kg) Payout
Costa Prize Pack, 1st Hobie Bonus ($200) Jesse Rotin 10/10 8.14 Prize Pack Roan Van-Berberg 10/10 8.04 Prize Pack, 2nd Hobie Bonus ($100) Jordan Armstrong 10/10 7.75 Prize Pack, 3rd Hobie Bonus ($75) Suzanne Siranovic 10/10 7.52 Prize Pack Paul Siemasko 10/10 7.26 Prize Pack Stuart Walker 10/10 7.07 Prize Pack Wally Fahey 10/10 6.95 Prize Pack Neil Chegwidden 10/10 6.82 Prize Pack Brendan Ayers 10/10 6.77 Prize Pack For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au
be fish sitting wider that my boater wouldn’t be targeting, so I decided to cast the lure wide of the drop-off and slow roll the lure back, mixing it up with a slight pause,” said Egan. His go-to tackle for this presentation was a Shimano T-Curve Flight 7’2” 4-6lb rod matched with a 2000 Daiwa Sol reel spooled with 3lb FC Rock. Day two saw Egan paired with Josh Williams. He again started the day fishing wide of his boater with an OSP
his lure to an Ecogear MW62 in 309 colour and cast his lure tight to the edges of the entertainment centre bay. Much like his boater, Egan worked his lure across the shallow flat with his rod tip up in the air imparting short, sharp twitches mixed in with pauses ranging from 2-10 seconds allowing the fish to hunt the lure down. To extract the fish from the shallows Egan used a Shimano T-Curve 7’2” 4-6lb rod matched with a
also quick to thank his travel partners Danielle and Mark Crompton, “It makes it a lot easier traveling when you have a good group to travel with and I can’t thank them enough for their support,” said Egan. With the Tasmanian Leg of the Costa Bream Series run and won, attention now turns to the next event on the Gold Coast, to get involved with this or any other ABT event head to abt.org.au.
DAIWA J-BRAID BIG BREAM Bernard Kong cashed in on the Derwent with the ABT tournament veteran claiming the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize for his 1.53kg fish caught on day two on a Daiwa Double Clutch. MAY 2018
The home tournament ground advantage SUNTAG
One of the fun parts of being involved with the ABT is in watching the coverage. As I wrote this it was Tasmania’s turn with tournaments in St Helens and Hobart, and truth be told I was enjoying the warmer climate in Queensland while Steve
time on the Fitzroy. Having said that, anecdotal doesn’t always translate to reality, so data in hand I set about establishing if there is an advantage and if so, just how big is that advantage. HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE With that in mind, I thought I would dive into the ABT data and see if there is anything to the home field advantage. Most sports have a definite bias to the home field, so why not
a dataset as you will find. Still, I didn’t want to waste time if there was no smoking gun. Running a couple of summary queries, I noticed a pattern: in each year some fishers compete in one or two events only. A reasonable explanation for this would be that some anglers choose to fish in events nearby to home but skip the rest of the circuit. With that in mind, I extracted the number of boaters and non-boaters that have won and fished three or less events (<=3) vs. the
events per year rack up more victories than anglers that fish more often. Wins from fewer tournaments fished is evidence that there is a home-field advantage, as I would expect fishers that fish more tournaments would win more often, after all, they should be most used
a significant difference in performance across all the events that they competed in between these two groups. If the local advantage is real, fishers fishing fewer tournaments should end up with a lower average placing overall. Based on Figure 2, that
they compete in the regions they know. The results were again consistent for boaters and non-boaters, with the gap wider for non-boaters. LOOKING INTO THE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE With that established, I spent the day coding up Figure 4
Morgan was in his rain gear live streaming to the world. This year I had my first insider’s view of the live weigh-in, despite the
fishing? Before I decided to dive too far into data, I wanted some evidence of a home river edge. First, I needed to decide on how to
number that has fished more than three events (3+). The result is in Figure 1. There is a definite pattern there. Fishers that fish fewer Figure 2
to the ABT system and rules. The surprising thing is that the non-boaters had a much more material difference. That was enough to convince me to clean up the data, but first I wanted one final confirmation, in this case, if there was remote location, which was an exciting experience. I didn’t realise how the adrenalin starts to flow the closer you get to the final result! In Hobart, a local took out the first day by a healthy margin, and with only three odd kilos to take the event out, I was pretty confident he had the win even before his final day 5.12kg bag came in. That got me thinking, as you do, about how much of an advantage it is to be a local in fishing? Anecdotally from events like the Rocky Barra Bounty, I knew local knowledge did play a role – nobody has won the bounty without spending a lot of 76
assess what defined a home field advantage and for simplicity sake, victory is the best measure. Wins are simple enough to calculate, but the ABT database doesn’t have a neat dataset that links victors as locals. Before I went through the exercise of mapping out the winners to their origin, I wanted to see if I could use wins alone. First up, how many events were available? Excluding grand finals and kayak events, I ended up with 111 tournaments since 2005 covering all states. Given that the rules have been consistent across that time, this is about as good
indeed looks to be the case as fishers who fish fewer events and win end up with a better average than fishers that fish more often. In other words, they aren’t getting blown away in the other tournaments they are fishing, which suggests
In the 2017 BASS Pro Grand Final, the top three boaters were all familar with the area.
which winners were local for boaters and non-boaters. Establishing exactly who was local took some detective work and some of the results swapped around from the previous result because fishers who fish the whole tour do still win on their home patch. Figure 3 is the resulting chart. The result is pretty clear, there is a homefield advantage in fishing, so much so that over time, local boaters have a 33% advantage and local non-boaters end up with more than a 300% advantage. It doesn’t pay to be a visiting non-boater it seems! HAS IT CHANGED? With a clear answer that locals do have an advantage, I was curious if that has remained true over time. In other words, is there still an advantage? First, I ran the time series for boaters, which provided something of a surprise. It seems that the visitors are at parity with
the locals now in a trend that has been heading in favour of the visitors since 2010. Check out Figure 4 for the long-term trend. Note, 2014 only had three valid events, and locals won all of the tournaments against the longer trend. I think that is an outlier due to the specific circumstances that year and with a small set of events, I
develop skills, you know that pretty much each time you turn up you will be facing the best locals. That presents a serious hurdle to jump over. Based on all known athlete development, if you are the kind of person who is up for a challenge, solving the problem of taking them on will make you a weapon.
at competition time, so the development of knowledge of local conditions would be limited. In any case, for both boaters and non-boaters, WA is an absolute fortress. Checking out boaters first, the most surprising one is Tasmania, which I picked as being the next most likely fortress – wrong! If you are a visitor, Tasmania
blunted the local advantage. Victorians have also had success at home in keeping out the invaders. I wonder if, in a year where there were a lot of events in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria, would Victorians to dominate nationally?
pulls its socks up with the non-boaters restoring some state pride and keeping out the invaders. Victoria, interestingly enough, is even more of a fortress for non-boaters, and WA once again is the hardest place of all. Just like every non-WA
of Origin? Granted, there are more events in NSW (cue the excuse-making), and so NSW has less to do to maintain the invader advantage. I am sad to say as of 2017 that they have the bragging rights by a whisker. Queenslanders Figure 8
believe it’s better left aside. I am open to suggestions as to why the visitors have been improving since 2010. One obvious answer is that the visitors have competed enough times at each venue that their local advantage has been nullified to a degree. However, there may be a technical fishing reason that one of my readers may observe – feel free to let me know! If the boaters spending more time in other regions is
In fact, as crazy as it might sound, if you are lower down on the boater section, you may well be better off going non-boater and progressing through those ranks first. HARDEST STATES TO CRACK? With that out of the way, even if I feel a little unsatisfied that I understand what is going on with the boaters, I thought I would look at one last question: which states are the
is the one place you might chance your luck. I did some digging into the data as to why that might be, and it appears that Victorians are the biggest reason for the difference. I take this to mean that Victorians don’t mind visiting the Apple Isle, which the tourism people should take note of. The other conquered state is South Australia. Again like WA, SA has hosted less events, but like Tasmania, it’s the Victorians that have
The ABT BARRA Tour is a tournament circuit where locals almost always take the win. the cause, I would expect the trend within the non-boaters to be steady because looking at the individual records it seems there are a lot fewer non-boaters that compete on the entire tour than boaters. Looking at Figure 5, this turns out to be the case, over the last 12 years the locals have held an unassailable advantage. The bottom line is, if you aren’t a local, your chances of winning the non-boater section fall off a cliff. From a developmental point of view, this represents an opportunity. If you are a non-boater wanting to
hardest to crack. Figure 6 has the breakout by state of the % of local winners across time – not quite the result I expected. I predicted that less visited states would have a higher percentage of local winners, which is at least partly right, but just as in life, things are a bit more complicated than that. WA is the one state you don’t want to visit, because the locals dominate, partly because of the limited number of events run in that state, and also partly because non-locals would visit only
The other surprise among boaters is that Queensland is the second biggest fortress state. I am not too sure why that would be, as I expected that fishers from Northern NSW would regularly compete in Queensland. New South Wales, on the other hand, suffers from the twin invaders from the North and South. Figure 7 shows the picture for the non-boaters, and again some exciting results. The NSW-Queensland axis reverses somewhat with NSW being a better fortress for local fishers than Queensland. Tasmania
AFL team to visit the sandgropers, there is little joy to be had on the field, so best be taking advantage of the local tourism options while you are there. Either that or spend the trip in the pub… STATE OF ORIGIN – WHAT’S THE SCORE? Us Queenslanders like the State of Origin, mostly because we have dominated for a long time. Despite all the collective hand-wringing over sandpaper and balls in the last month, we Aussies do love a winner. So as the last exercise, how do we stack up in the ABT State Figure 6
have won 20% of NSW events, while NSW has taken out 23%. All I can say is, our fishers need to get onto Youtube and reacquaint themselves with the immortal words of Billy Moore: “QUEENSLANDER!” THE WRAP UP I have to say that despite the 1 am session analysing data this particular exercise was one of the most fun I have had in a long time. All things being equal I have more questions than answers particularly when I look at the dynamics of individual states. I chose the ABT Bream series because there aren’t too many National competition series to look at, but I would love to have a different style of fishing to compare. If you have any ideas let me know. What I can say is that the home field advantage is real. Even if you allow for the evening up of the results for the boaters you are still on pretty safe odds with one event in two going to a local. So over to you - any ideas on how you overcome the local advantage or is it just a case of sucking it up and make them pay when they come onto your patch? MAY 2018
Powerful Volkswagen Amarok hits the mark BRISBANE
Wayne Kampe firstname.lastname@example.org
My first car was a Volkswagen Beetle, back in 1965. It was a cheap and cheerful little buzz box that provided economical and reliable transport. There were some fascinating specs in the handbook, including a top speed of 116km/h, but unfortunately there were no autobahns nearby for me to test the theory out. These days Volkswagen is a giant among motor vehicle manufacturers being involved with the likes of Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche, Audi, Skoda and some other well regarded European auto manufacturers. Heritage of this standard readily comes
output to 189W and 580Nm for around 10 seconds – long enough to overtake with the boat or caravan on the tow bar. And with a 3.5t (braked) tow capacity that boat or van can be a big one at that! I found the Highline offered a useful mix of chunky ruggedness on the exterior with definite luxury on the interior. The Amarok is big – very big – and that’s both inside and outside. The rear carry tub, with four tie down points and an optional liner, is the widest of any of the work utes on our market with some 1222mm between wheel arches so the ads you see on the telly are correct; it will indeed take a full pallet in the back while other makes can’t. The tailgate, with a special low-effort lift leverage arrangement, can also take 250kg weight if
The sure handling and powerful Amarok made extremely easy work of towing the author’s Galeforce centre console rig.
Impressive styling is a feature of the Amarok. to the fore when the Amarok is closely examined as there’s a standard of finish and plethora of features that carry right across the two engine, two gear box, Amarok range. TWO ENGINES – MANUAL OR AUTO In a nutshell there’s a 2L four-cylinder turbo diesel outputting 132kW and 420Nm linked to either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed ZF auto gearbox or, in the upmarket Amarok Highline (all auto) model reviewed, power is courtesy of an incredibly smooth and powerful 3.0L V6 turbo diesel outputting some 165kW of power and 550Nm of torque at just 1500rpm. The same engine also pumps the ponies under the bonnet of the Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne. ALL WHEEL DRIVE AMAROK HIGHLINE VW refer to the Amarok Highline as the TDI 550 4 Motion. The model has permanent 4WD via the same ZF 8-speed gearbox and pampers occupants with seamless changes plus some awesome flexibility from the engine and gearbox combination. And while the powerful bi-turbo diesel V6 seems to have effortless power in any situation, it actually has an over-boost function which elevates from 165kW/550Nm 78
necessary. Although quite at home at a building site the Highline is dressed up with LED daylight running lights up front, side steps and a neat roll bar behind the wide cabin. There
others, subtle contrast in colour tonings with a few hints of chrome here and there plus a leather wrapped wheel. There’s a degree of practicality that is pleasing, even if it does take a few
you’re moving in behind the wheel for the first time. This I liked very much. Following surgery on my left knee a couple of years back I have come to terms with the fact that the skin there is as
that fragile area. I found that the very agreeable range of steering wheel adjustment plus the sheer roominess of the Amarok’s driver and passenger compartment were just so good – there was no chance of a bump or scrape whatsoever. Rear seating is fine for three generously sized adults, although some others in the market niche might have more legroom. But more head room? That I doubt. Central on the dash is a big 6.33” colour touchscreen with reversing camera, Apple Car Play and Android
connectivity while audio connects to a six-speaker sound system with radio and CD player, Bluetooth connectivity and voice control. There is also dual zone air, auto levelling and cornering headlights and an easy cruise control system on the left stalk. Front and rear parking sensors are also standard fare. This is a smart vehicle; when the fuel level was reduced almost to the reserve area after two country runs and two lots of boat towing (at a brilliant 8.8L/100km on my fuel calculator) the
There’s no shortage of room when entering the Amarok; note the ample space between wheel and seat.
A test on a section of riverbank revealed that the Amarok can indeed climb loose ground without the need for a low range gearbox. are also projector headlamps to make night driving as safe as possible. Inside the cabin there’s a passenger car ambience highlighted by classy materials that offer a lot of soft touch in lieu of the hard plastic we see in some
minutes to come to terms with the fact that the indicator stalk is on the left, not the right. Power sockets were in abundance, switches and controls were easily identified and the interior is huge. This is especially noticeable when
weak as wet blotting paper from follow up radiation treatment. In the boat I wear a kneepad (it’s mandatory) and when moving into different vehicles from time to time I need to be very, very careful how I enter for fear of bumping
Seen here with an optional tub liner, the Amarok features four tie down points in the rear cargo area, and a tailgate that can cope with a 250kg load.
touchscreen displayed that the car was nearly out of fuel, and asked if I would like advice regarding the nearest service station? Twenty were displayed. THE DRIVE To drive the Amarok is to love it. The ride’s a class leader given there are leaf springs in the rear linked to a live axle (as we see in most other work utes) but
slickest of changes from the ZF eight shifter is a real treat when you’re sitting behind the Amarok’s steering wheel for the first time. There are wheel-mounted paddles if you want to play with the engine torque but with full-time 4WD taking the power to the wheels most drivers will let the gearbox do the changes. On the highway I saw
I’ve driven. Comfort levels were definitely large SUV standard. A 3-hour stint at the wheel didn’t cause me even the slightest discomfort or any wriggling around en route to seek a better driving position. Seating was superb – end of story. NO LOW RANGE? The Amarok doesn’t have low range, simply fulltime 4WD and lockable, very
Power and economy seldom go hand-in-hand but the Amarok’s twin turbo V6 diesel seems to have rewritten the rulebook.
The dash layout is sophisticated and offers plenty of easy going quality – a definite cut above a standard work ute. VW have positioned these springs outside the chassis in the manner that trucks do to optimize ride quality. It certainly works as body roll was negligible and there was minimal rear rebound no matter how severe the surface. In truth bumps can still be felt at 100km on some of our patch-on-patch single lane highways but they are never as harsh as expected. Smooth, effortless engine power linked to the
off-road travel. There’s a self locking centre diff plus a rear locker that doesn’t cancel the traction on the front diff when engaged, so you can simply select low or second gear and let the engine and gearbox do the work of getting the 18” rubber, aided by extensive wheel travel, to the ground in the rough stuff. Other useful off-road features include the Hill Descent System, which
automatically brakes individual wheels as required, plus a Hill Start system to prevent back roll during steep incline starts. The approach angle is 28°, while departure is 23.6° with a wading depth of 500mm. It can handle some creek crossings as well. There’s also an off-road ABS system which, when activated, was tailored for use on gravel surfaces. And let’s not
100km/h with 1800rpm on the tachometer; around town the ZF box shifted into eighth gear at 80km/h, which was very good. Also VG is a standard of grip, sureness of handling and overall stability that is far more akin to a family SUV than a workhorse. Overall the impression I formed was that the suspension setup – front to rear – was by far the best I’ve experienced in any unladen work ute
Safety first with the Amarok. No matter where you are parked the message comes through loud and clear – is it safe to move?
Dual zone climate control air-conditioning made a country run on a hot day a pleasure.
low ratios in first and second gears. This, coupled with the very high stall rate of the ZF unit’s torque convertor can – according to Volkswagen – provide the sort of traction that low range gearing might do in competitors. Testing this proposition on a loose side bank of the upper Brisbane River I was impressed to see just how effective that locked and loaded first gear was. With all four wheel driving and first gear engaged, the ute climbed up and out of the loose stuff with impressive ease – not one bit of wheel spin! My view is that a boat being hauled up a wet ramp would be a non-event, thanks to the efficiency of the system. Mind you, the Amarok is not without some fruit in the basket when it comes to
overlook the trailer sway mitigation system either. SUMMING UP The Amarok utility as we know it has been around for several years but there are some minor styling changes to both the front and rear for 2018. That’s the exterior, but the real big news has been the adoption of the potent 3.0L V6 under the bonnet plus the new 3.5t tow rating. The Amarok’s braked trailer rating is 750kg. To say I was impressed with the Amarok might be an understatement given the smooth and powerful way the ute towed my 4.5 Galeforce with its 75 Evinrude on the transom, and the enjoyment of 3-hour runs. From my experience driving work utes, the Amarok is so far ahead of the nearest competitor in its market segment when it comes to easy performance, ride quality and genuine levels of comfort. A 3-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 3-year roadside assist package applies. The driveaway price is currently around the $60,990 mark, but remember, there is a lot of driving pleasure and refinement for the money.
There’s the proclamation – a V6 linked to all wheel drive sets the Amarok apart from contenders in its market niche. MAY 2018
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Size: 120mm, Weight: 50 grams
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(03) 5155 1323 ♦ 0418 516 555 ♦ 35 Roadknight Street, LAKES ENTRANCE
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Pro Red Fishing Charters 0421 442 775
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FUN PAGE AND COMPETITIONS FISH SPECIES ABCS
ABBOTTS MORAY AMBERJACK ANGLERFISH BARRAMUNDI BEARDIE BICOLOR BLENNY BIRD WRASSE BLACK MARLIN BLIND SHARK BLUE MORWONG
BLUE TREVALLY BROWN TROUT BUTTERFLY PERCH CARP CLOWN TOBY COBIA COMET CORAL COD CORAL TROUT CROCODILEFISH
Valley Hill Rocketeer Slicer
The first correct entry at the end of each month will win the prize pack. SEND ENTRIES TO: VIC Find-a-word Competition, PO box 3172, Loganholme Qld 4129
VIC MAY 2018
BARRA COUNTRY by Brett Currie
The Rocketeer Slicer from Japanese tackle giant Valley Hill is a real feat of Japanese design and engineering. The Rocketeer Slicer has a unique metal plate at the nose of the jig, which lets you secure line in two places, and ensures a superior swimming action even through debris. In addition, its tail system lets you cast more effectively into the wind. The Rocketeer Slicer is available in two sizes (3.0 and 3.5) and 13 different colour combinations. It has proven to be highly effective on Australian squid. www.dogtoothdistribution.com.au
GEORGE & NEV by Michael Hardy
Congratulations to Lorraine Murray from Sale, who was last month’s winner of the Find-a-Word Competition! Monthly winners receive a sponsor prize. Prize delivery can take 8 weeks. – VFM
The subscriber prize winner for March is J Howell of Horsham, who won a Tonic sunglasses and watch. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – V&TFM
Carrol of Euroa, P Cobb of Berrigan, E Forrester of Merricks, I Lovel of Bealiba, P Gigliotti of Coburg North, W Henley of Park Orchards, S Andrighetto of Inverloch, M Williamson of Alexandra, R Waters of Temora, W Fearnhead of Skipton, M Lewandowski of Langwarrin, B Rafferty of Maryborough, D Fitzgerald of Coldstream, M Lea of Caramut, J Brumby of Nirranda, M O’Borne of
Colac, P Stevens of Capel Sound, S Scheibl of Weymouth, G Bell of Mernda, B Walpole of Warrnambool, M Fryer of North Balwayn, C Kelly of Cranbourne, N Bryant of Nth Albury, S Andrews of Warrnambool, F Weber of Corrack East, K Scott of Gawler, J Laszczyk of Newborough, K Morrison of Moama. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – V&TFM
LAST MONTH’S ANSWERS
FIND THE GAMAKATSU LOGO
The answers to Find the Gamakatsu Logo for March were: 9, 12, 16, 26, 30, 42, 50, 52, 55, 56, 62, 76, 80, 90, 92. – V&TFM
This month’s Guess the Fish Answer: Rainbow Trout
The Find the Gamakatsu prize winners for March were: P Wight of Selby, L Zinga of St Helena, G Ball of Tatura, J Hines of Leopold, R Moroan of Dingley, N Sanders of Irymple, B Howieson of Wrattonbully, R Batty of Brighton, R Barnes of Kyabram, R Meaney of St James, H Kirk of Hadspen, K Carter of Shepparton, C
GUESS THE FISH?
boats & kayaks
In the skipper’s seat
Sea Jay Aluminium Boats has been family owned and operated for over 25 years, and the name has become renowned for strength, quality workmanship and customization with the angler in mind. Whether you’re fishing in fresh or salt, inshore or offshore, Sea Jay will provide you with a model to suit your boating and fishing needs.
Sea Jay specialises in boats for sports anglers, offering a stable fishing platform and plenty of storage.
Editor Steve Morgan takes the Sea Jay 460 Velocity Sports powered by a Mercury 75hp out for a run in Raby Bay. Check it out on page 90!
86 Kampey’s new rig: one year on
Wayne Kampe reviews his 4.5m Galeforce CC after a year of non-stop fishing and travelling all up and down the coast.
88 KISS kayak fishing
Sometimes it’s nice to just go back to basics – let Justin Willmer show you how he puts this theory into practise from his kayak.
92 Horizon Scorpion 485 Editor Steve Morgan climbs aboard this brilliant entry-level rig with Yamaha’s Will Lee.
WHAT’S NEW BOATING TOHATSU CELEBRATES
LOWRANCE OS UPGRADE
On the 11 January 2018, Tohatsu Corporation President, Mr Isami Hyuga released a statement that “the manufacturing plant in Japan – reached the cumulative production of 4 million units of outboard motors. It is a great honour to be able to celebrate this moment of such achievement”. This sort of achievement can only happen with support of distributors, dealers and customer’s throughout the world, to whom Mr Isami Hyuga passed on his appreciation. Manufacturing outboard motors since 1956, Tohatsu is known as a pioneer in the Japanese Outboard industry and today they continue to expand their product range and distribute to over 100 countries worldwide. With some of the most advanced new technology, class-leading products being developed and offered to the market, Tohatsu felt that a new era had begun. For more information on the new products including the class leading MFS15/20E fuel-injected four stroke, visit Tohatsu’website. www.tohatsu.com.au
Lowrance, a world-leader in fishing electronics since 1957 — announced recently the release of a new software update for HDS Carbon™, HDS Gen3 and Elite-Ti displays that includes sonar enhancements and improvements for C-MAP charting. At the heart of the release is FishReveal™, an exciting new sonar feature that makes fish easier to see on DownScan Imaging™. FishReveal is a massive leap forward in fish finding technology that allows anglers to quickly and easily discover how fish orient themselves in and around cover and structure, with clearly defined fish arches. Unlike traditional CHIRP, FishReveal™ smart target viewing blends the best data from both technologies, eliminating the need for splitscreen viewing and interpretation. The upgrade also includes significant enhancements to StructureScan® 3D and StructureScan HD; plus, a new, easy-tointerpret C-MAP navigation palette. For more information about the Lowrance software update, HDS Carbon, Elite-Ti or other Lowrance marine electronics, or to locate an authorised Lowrance dealer, please visit Lowrance’s website. www.lowrance.com
YAMAHA BLUE CARD
NEW SCOTTY RELEASES
Yamaha Motor Finance (YMF) is pleased to announce one of the most exciting products to be launched in the 15-year history of YMF – the Yamaha Blue Card. The new Yamaha Blue Card is a line of credit with similar features to a normal credit card – but with significant advantages and only for use in Yamaha dealerships. Customers can finance everything available from a Yamaha dealer – including servicing and insurance premiums – up to a maximum of $5000. One major advantage of the Blue Card is that once you are approved for finance, there is no need to re-apply. So Yamaha Blue Card offers the ultimate in quick, easy and convenient finance. Plus the card comes with a 90-day interest free period on all purchases made before 31 May 2018. Visit your local Yamaha dealer to apply for a Yamaha Blue Card, or call Direct Sales on 1800 123 100.
MINN KOTA ULTREX
Now available in Australia, Minn Kota’s Ultrex™ gives anglers the control and responsiveness of a Fortrex, plus effortless Power Steering and i-Pilot features, like Spot-Lock. Paired with Steering Lock, which allows you to take your foot off the pedal without losing motor heading, Ultrex will change the way you fish. “We continue to set the bar high for breakthrough innovations to help anglers catch fish, and Ultrex is no exception,” says Shaun Clancy, Minn Kota Product Manager. “We’ve combined the reliability and responsive ‘wired-to-the-water’ feel of our tournament-proven Fortrex with the GPS technologies of i-Pilot, i-Pilot Link, and SpotLock electronic anchoring. It’s the best of both worlds.” The Minn Kota Ultrex product line-up will consist of numerous i-Pilot- or i-Pilot Link and US2-enabled combos, including 24-volt 80 lbs. thrust and 36-volt 112 lbs. thrust versions in 45”, 52” and 60” shaft lengths. Price: RRP from $4,599 www.bla.com.au 84
The new #282 spinning and baitcasting rod holder from Scotty is a versatile rod holder for any angler. This combo comes with the 438 Gear Head track adapter which quickly slides into place and locks down to any Scotty rod holder and accessories. This allows the user to quickly change the rod holder position with a simple twist. Also included in the combo is the new Scotty 440-4 low-profile track, which is quick and easy to install on any watercraft, including kayaks. In addition, Scotty’s most popular 12V electric downrigger model is now available in a compact version. The new #1099 Compact Depthpower features a 24” boom arm, supplied with a #1023 tilt up mounting bracket, a #358 rod holder and a Power Grip Plus line release. For more information on the Scotty range of rod holders, downriggers and accessories visit the JM Gillies website or look them up on Facebook. www.jmgillies.com.au
RAYMARINE LIGHTHOUSE 3.3
Raymarine’s new Lighthouse 3.3 software update offers increased functionality for Axiom and Axiom Pro users, as well as Raymarine eS and gS series users. This update provides numerous enhancements and an even more intuitive user experience. Owners of Raymarine eS and gS systems who upgrade to the latest LightHouse 3 operating system will experience faster performance and streamlined operation. They can also network eS and gS-Series MFDs with Axiom and Axiom Pro. The feature set and operation is identical regardless of whether you have an Axiom, Axiom Pro, eS-Series or gSSeries. eS and gS Series users will now be able to view RealVision 3D display data if there is an Axiom or Axiom Pro on the network. Axiom owners can get the update by connecting their MFD to Wi-Fi or a mobile phone hotspot. You can also download Lighthouse 3.3 via Raymarine’s website. Owners of eS and gS systems will need to download it from raymarine.com and install it with a microSD card. www.raymarine.com.au
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Galeforce 4.5m CC with 75 E-Tec after extended use BRISBANE
Wayne Kampe firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s hard to form a true lasting impression of a boat in only a short time of ownership. The glow surrounding any new rig is just too brilliant for you to detect things that could have been done differently or better. Everything is shiny and new, and when initial sea trials seem to justify your choice, the rosy glow about
plank, reversed outer chines and decent freeboard are the same format as the 4.8, 5.5 and even 6m Galeforce models. Accordingly, the 4.5 sees less hull in the water at any given time, which must have had some effect on issues such as stability, overall performance and other things. We’ll look at these and other factors later. One thing was always certain – there was never going to be the same amount of fishing room in the 4.5 as the 5.5 that preceded it. However, I knew that 99% of the time
the smaller single console? Our requirement for plenty of storage space within easy reach for cameras and other equipment plus a decent dash area to set up a big screen sounder sealed that deal. A generous rail on the console has also made it very safe to go forward to fish or attend the waterproof – note, waterproof – hatches within the deck. So while things are a little tight skirting the console, for us it works. LOVE THAT SOUNDER The Lowrance Carbon 12
There’s no denying the 4.5 Galeforce is a small boat but it certainly fulfils a number of roles with ease.
The high bow and generous freeboard mean that this small craft can handle less than ideal conditions quite well. the craft just seems to get brighter the while. Time spent in different boating conditions can change this perspective. Sometimes you’ll get an increased appreciation for certain aspects of the boat, while at other times you’ll wish you’d done one or two things differently. In this article I will outline exactly what almost a year of ownership of our 4.5 Galeforce centre console has brought to light. But first, some background. THE EXPERIMENT WORKED Our 4.5 Galey was a newby – a boat never previously laid up in a mould, yet with a heritage that meant the experiment was unlikely to fail. In essence, I wanted a craft I could move about the place by myself at home or elsewhere, that could be used in Moreton Bay and surrounds and in any impoundment or other place along the east coast where I could get the hull off the trailer. Since last June I have fished everywhere from Luggage Point to Lucinda and several freshwater dams in between, really putting the boat through its paces. Some notable fish have been welcomed aboard: a 1m+ barra from Peter Faust, some big mulloway from the Brisbane River and a 121cm thready from the same area. As a fishing boat, it certainly works! So what is the 4.5? It’s precisely the 4.8 with 30cm removed from the stern. The deep vee format, Delta 86
these engines provide. The choice of a 75 E-Tec has been a good one given the design of the little fibre glass hull; with it’s 21° Vee the rig sits well down in the water at rest (thus providing a lot of stability) and I wanted plenty of power to get the hull up and on the planing plank. The 75 E-Tec was the lightest low emission 75 on the market, yet as a fuel injected 2-stroke the engine has serious grunt, lifting the deep vee
resonance is not as silent at idle as some engines, but it differs little in decibel level at 3000rpm and above compared with most other outboards on our market. MOTORGUIDE XI5 Along with the Lowrance
Proserpine and Lucinda, and inland to fish Cania Dam as well. This strong and reliable trailer has proved its worth every metre of the way. THE FINER POINTS OF THE DASH LAYOUT I opted for I-Command
The author’s eyes under the water – two fish are in sight, so how many others are also there?
In this photo you can get an idea of the space between the console and side deck. the only people aboard would be me and my wife Denise, and I reckoned we could live with this prospect fairly easily. And as the previous owner of both a 4.8 and a couple of 5.5 Galeforce models, I’m in a good position to note the changes brought about by such a reduction in hull size. A SUCCESSFUL LAYOUT In setting out the needs and wants with Galeforce Boats of Maryborough, I opted for the normal cast deck up front for best storage capacity. Time off the trailer in an entirely open boat has shown this was a smart choice. Everything I needed out of the weather has been easily stored, plus there’s a full width-of-boat insulated icebox ahead of a full-sized centre console. The icebox has a sloping floor and bung to port, great for a clean out. The console choice was difficult: in such a small craft why take up so much room with a full sized console? What would be wrong with
has been simply brilliant once I understood that this very high tech bit of kit was as much a computer as a sounder. All systems need to interface on the Carbon 12 and once they do it’s game on! I’ve learned to distinguish mulloway from threadfin in the Brisbane River and bass from tilapia and golden perch in the southern stocked impoundments. Barra in the northern dams? On the sonar section of the screen these are red runways of motion, and on the structure scan they’re shiny grains of rice. In retrospect, that Carbon 12 has been one of the best investments in fishing pleasure I’ve made. THE 75 E-TEC In a boating era dominated by 4-stroke outboards one might wonder why I opted for a 2-stroke, albeit a leader in ultra low emission output, on the transom of our boat. For a start, I have owned five Evinrude E-Tecs and fully understand the power, reliability, and economy that
shorty up onto the plane in around three boat lengths. Additionally, it will run all day at over 30kph (3000rpm) with a fuel consumption of 13L per hour. I can go much faster, but I have little need for speed and like the low revs/low fuel consumption combination. Telling it as it is, I concede the E-Tec with its distinctive
Carbon 12 sounder, the MotorGuide Xi5 55lb thrust electric motor has been a great asset for virtually every aspect of our fishing. The Anchor Lock, GPS tracking, and the small increments of adjustment available for precise fishing work have been the big attractions for us. DUNBIER SR4 MULTI ROLLER TRAILER The trailer turned out to be another good choice for our fishing lifestyle. The Dunbier SR4 has been under the boat on a trip to Tully in north Queensland via Lake
The Evinrude E-Tec 75 has proved a great investment in power, with ample power and pleasing fuel economy.
dials as my primary information source. Along with engine rpm, these multifunction instruments provide me with everything from engine temperature on warm up to fuel use per hour, plus fuel used since the last fill up of the 60L under-floor tank. This last aspect I treasure; it’s brilliant to know that there has been, for example, exactly 18.8L used over the last couple of excursions. Resetting the fuel usage gauge is a ten-second job once the tank is refilled. AND NOW FOR THE HULL Coming to terms with the entire Galeforce 4.5 package was an interesting business. As mentioned, the 75 E-Tec kicks the craft onto the plane very rapidly, seconds after the throttle lever moves hard forward, but once the ride levels out the next move is always to back power off rapidly to avoid heading towards top speed regardless of conditions. There’s obviously a very favourable power-toweight ratio here! Moving from a 5.5m Galey I noticed that the 4.5’s hull can be influenced by wave action when travelling briskly in cross chop or swell simply because
there is – when compared to the larger Galeys – far less boat in the water to counter this type of wave action. Mind you, I’ve been in other similar sized and even larger craft where this situation occurs, so it’s not unusual to have some helm input to keep on track in these sea conditions. The next observation was an eye-opener. Despite its smaller size, I found the ride of the little 4.5 to be as good as the other Galeys I’ve owned (sometimes better) when travelling into short, sharp chop – the sort of stuff we see with wind versus tide. Don’t get me wrong on this; I’m not talking about bar crossings or wild bay waves that are so widely spaced that the hull drops fairly off one green one into the base of another. I’m referring to the sort of short, close-spaced stuff that fresh breeze kicks up on dams or estuaries. I’ve found
Denise likes to fish up front against the lean post, which an excellent brace point. that instead of slackening off it’s always fun to pack on some power, marvel at the ride quality and grin at the way displaced water is kicked well aft and away from the hull. As with the other Galeforce rigs I’ve owned, if you’re travelling with strong wind on the quarter and in a paddock of white horses as far as the eye
An exact record of fuel usage is a highlight of an Evinrude I-Command gauge. Along with other useful information, the Evinrude I-Command gauges provide useful engine warm up data at start-up.
can see, you need to wear your spray jacket. This is an open boat, remember – there’s no half cabin for protection. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Interestingly, I found the 4.5’s hull was inclined to be weight-sensitive underway. As the Mercury Xi5 and the large deep cycle battery to power it were both located to port of the hull’s centre line, the craft tended to lean underway, much the same as side console runabout can do with just one aboard. I corrected it by extending the cables and moving the big battery from the forward port hatch to the starboard hatch – half an hour’s work. The big questions remain: what’s the rig like to fish out of? Are there shortcomings? As planned, it’s a two-person
fishing boat, or three, if they all know what they’re doing. Having said that, the rig can certainly handle the rated four persons with one seated on each side of the console if necessary. The 75 E-Tec has the juice. When onto fish I remain aft of the console to keep an eye on the Carbon 12 sounder. Denise fishes up front against the lean post, which really is one of the megastars of our boat. It’s handy to the electric motor and makes a fabulous brace point. Typically, we tuck in behind the console seats underway and then, when it’s time to remove rods from their side holders, Mrs Catchem goes forward while I fish aft. Sometimes I choose to remove a pedestal seat to make more room (usually when flyfishing) as the seat stem slips into or out of the floor spigot with ease. This is a very simple method of providing more workroom in a jiffy. Shortcomings are simply that the room that we were used to has been reduced. If you moved from a smaller rig up to the 4.5 Galey, things would obviously feel different. Stability-wise there are no shortcomings. We move about freely within the rig as necessary without any drama, thanks to the rail on the console. And when locked onto a big fish it’s surprising
Here’s some idea of the space between the console and side deck. how easy it is to move or position things to counter the actions of the fish, or to lead it to the outstretched net. As an all-round small craft for a two-person team, I believe this boat will take a lot of beating. Other potential owners might opt for a smaller console to enhance workroom, maybe fit a smaller motor,
but this little unit does thrive. The things I’d regard as very important, regardless of the budget, would be the console grab rail, the lean post up front and the movable pedestal seats, which can rapidly provide more workroom and an easy clean out. What would I change if I were to order another one? Nothing.
n o e b o t Want 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? Well, we think that too, and are offering you 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 (Steve Morgan and Matt Drinkall) 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 (photo must be taller than it is wide). Leave enough room for a magazine masthead at the top of of the image. Leave enough room for the bottom banner and bar code area. 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
And then email your image to: email@example.com 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 www.goo.gl/uRv1nG
KISS kayak fishing BRISBANE
Justin Willmer Find me on Facebook at Yaks On
The ‘KISS’ principle, or ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’, is referred to often and in relation to many aspects of our lives, with fishing being just one of them. When the rudder cable on my pedal kayak snapped in the lead up to the Easter long weekend, I decided to
happening until I heard a noise and then the kayak turned aggressively to one side. Once I felt that the hand lever that controls the rudder had gone completely slack, I realised what had happened. Being only half a kilometre from the ramp and just 50m from shore I wasn’t in any danger, however with a gusty breeze and reasonable chop, it was the perfect opportunity to learn to handle the kayak with a broken rudder cable.
The simple solution would have been to limp to shore, turn the rudder straight and then continue on my journey home. What if I was offshore? Or the water was cold and there was risk of exposure, making it difficult to access the rudder? I have always carried a quality paddle with me in my pedal kayak and would recommend other pedal kayak users do the same, just in case they may need to paddle home.
A solid little golden trevally on light gear to wrap up the long weekend.
Simple setups ready to launch for a Good Friday adventure. do some KISS kayak fishing, keeping it super simple. I only had a couple of short windows of time available over the break, so my smaller paddle kayak came down off the wall rack in the shed and I assembled a basic kit of gear for my adventures. Before we launch the little yak in search of a few fish, it’s probably worth mentioning the rudder cable breakage and the paddle home that followed. It’s important to have a backup plan when things go wrong and I always make the most of these opportunities to learn more about myself, my vessel and how to better manage similar scenarios in the future. The rudder cable breakage took me by surprise, and I had never even thought about this
The author hooked up to a golden trevally and enjoying the ride!
One of many flats bream that couldn’t resist a ZMan 2.5” Slim SwimZ.
It was very windy out on the chosen flat for the author’s Good Friday session. 88
It was impossible to paddle the kayak home, with the rudder at full lock, however I was able to pedal slowly and dig the paddle into the water on one side of the kayak to counteract the kayak’s desire to turn with the rudder. As I gained better control with the positioning of the paddle, I was able to increase speed using the pedals and was soon making good progress. I didn’t break any speed records, but it was pretty satisfying to overcome the breakage, come up with
a game plan and effectively execute. Next time something goes wrong that isn’t life threatening, take the opportunity to assess the situation and maybe explore a few different solutions. The knowledge you gain may come in handy if you find yourself in a sticky situation. Back to gearing up for some KISS kayak fishing, it’s refreshing to just grab the basics and hit the water. The setup and clean up is quick and easy, it’s an inexpensive way to fish, you can be on the water quickly
and in turn better make the use of short windows of time, launch pretty much anywhere, access harder to get at locations and enjoy the sense of freedom. BASIC SETUP My basic kit consists of a small, easy to handle kayak, a quality and durable paddle leashed to the kayak, C-Tug trolley that allows you to wheel the kayak long distances across varied terrain and an icebox strapped on the back with a couple of ice bricks, stored in a zip lock bag to make clean up easy. If the wind is blowing or the tide is running hard, an anchor is handy for holding position, with a Cooper 1kg poly anchor a reliable option. I didn’t have time to set up an anchor running rig, so I simply tied my anchor rope to the front kayak handle at the required length for anchoring and then
tied another short length of rope around the anchor rope, with a loop that slid along the anchor rope. I could then simply drop the anchor and when I wanted to retrieve it, pull this second rope, the loop would then slide along the anchor rope, pulling it back into the kayak so that I could grab the anchor rope and retrieve the anchor. Other basics worth attaching to your kayak and keeping within arms reach include a landing net, and mine is slid into the flush mounted rod holder behind the seat, a set of lip grips attached via a retractable gear tether, a ruler and a Boomerang Tool retractable line snip for rigging. I prefer to take several smaller bottles of drinking water, rather than one large bottle, just in case it is punctured or lost overboard. A dry bag, that can be
stowed or leashed wherever convenient, contains one tackle tray of jigheads, blades and a few other lures, along with some packets of soft plastics, leader, scent and sunscreen is also helpful. This keeps everything dry, can be rolled to lock in some air so that it floats and keeps all of the smaller items safe and out of the way. Once I am out on the water, the scent comes out of the dry bag and is generally stowed in the kayak drink holder. When it comes to rods and reels, I always carry two combos, even when KISS kayak fishing, as it is much
commenced a drift. Drifting down the centre of a large flat, we were casting 1/4oz 1/0 jigheads and 2.5” paddletail plastics, allowing them to sink to just above the bottom, giving them a couple of hops and then rolling them back with a steady retrieve. As the wind pushed us across the flat, we used it to make long casts across the flat and slightly ahead of the drift. By casting across the flat, rather than directly with our drift, I believe our lures are swimming across more varied bottom structure and water depths, while also hopefully being put in the
The C-Tug trolley makes transporting kayaks to and from the water easy. You can strap it on the back or stow it in your hatch. lightweight craft onto the C-Tug trolleys and rolled them the kilometre or so home on the bike path beside
sure I had an anchor in the kit, however the predicted wind direction would be directly against the tide when it turned to run-out, effectively holding the kayak back on a slow drift. Halfway along the flat and I was on! This was followed by another, and then a third in three casts. They weren’t big fish, but still plenty of fun on light gear. It was 2.5” paddle-tails again doing the job, rigged on a 1/4oz jighead and retrieved steadily across the flat. When I hook a fish, I try to make note of landmarks around me, be it beacons, crab pot floats, mangroves or bridges, water towers, unique trees and other structures that can assist me to return to where I landed the fish. A
school produced 14 bream before the tide dropped and the lack of water on the flat saw the school move on. Moving to the edge of the flat produced something different, a fringefin trevally, that was released after a quick photo. It had been a fun session and the basic setup hadn’t stopped me from getting into a few fish. I decided to call it a day, and as if on cue, an aggressive strike loaded the rod and I kicked back and enjoyed the sleigh ride. There was no doubting this was a trevally, it was just a matter of if it was a golden or GT. The fish turned and screamed across the flat with me in tow, a smile spreading across my face, while the 6lb braid cut through the
A less common capture in the author’s local waters, a fringefin trevally. easier to rig up at home than when on the water. It saves time if you are busted off during a hot bite, and it also allows you to have two different presentations rigged, such as a surface and subsurface, light and heavier weighted plastic, small and larger plastic, or two different colours such as a dark silhouette colour and lighter, natural colour. My wife Sheri and I hit the water Good Friday as we traditionally do, our basic rigs wheeled to the water in search of a fish for dinner. We battled the wind, paddled to our chosen location and
face of more schools of fish that were travelling with the current. Sheri had a couple of solid bites without hooking up before something started tapping on my plastic. When rolling plastics, I find it most effective to continue with the same retrieve speed even while a fish is biting and the bites generally continue until the fish find the hook. Sure enough, I eventually felt weight and the hook found its mark, the drag screamed and a solid bream took off across the flat. It was soon slid into the net and then dispatched into the icebox.
We generally don’t keep bream, preferring to keep a flatty or two for a feed, however strong winds and
Everything is within reach in the cockpit of the kayak, with two-rod combos rigged and ready.
What a way to finish the long weekend – a nice golden in the net!
The unlucky bream that scored an invitation to dinner on Good Friday.
rough conditions gave us the feeling that this may be our only keeper for the session. Strong winds forced us off the flat and into the shelter of the mangroves, where we landed one flathead that was just undersize and had a few more bites. Not keen to paddle home into the gusty breeze, we simply paddled into the bank, loaded our
the water. Simple kayak setups, a simple adventure, and a fish for dinner. I was keen for another quick and simple adventure on Easter Monday, so I planned to fish the last of the run-in and first hour or two of the run-out, targeting bream on the same flat we had fished a few days earlier. It was again windy, so I made
GPS or sounder with GPS is handy, however I was KISS kayak fishing and enjoying the simplicity, so I lined up a beacon with a crab pot to give me a basic idea of where the fish were schooled. Returning to the school, that was probably holding around weedy structure or in a depression on the flat, and it was fish on again! The
water and the little 6’6” spin stick doubled over. It was a great way to end the session, with a lovely golden trevally sliding into the net. It’s hard to beat the feeling of watching fish like jacks and trevally swim away, with the hope that they will eat a young anglers lure one day and spark the same passion that we have for the sport. Over the weekend I also had turtles, dugong and a couple of big dolphins swim within metres of the kayak, I saw a big bust up of fish and met a few other keen kayak anglers in my travels. One angler I met was a guy called Scott, who I met at the ramp and chatted about his new Bixpy jet motor setup on his kayak, allowing him to travel and troll for a couple of hours or more on a single charge. I love gadgets and think I need to investigate this cool little jet motor further. So that was our Easter on the water, KISS kayak fishing. I hope you managed to get out on the water and find a few fish yourself. Don’t forget that you don’t need to plan an epic adventure or have the most elaborate setup in the world to get out on the water. Enjoy this magic country and maybe even score a few fish. MAY 2018
Sea Jay 460 Velocity Sports with Mercury 75hp
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SPECIFICATIONS Overall.Length......................................... 4.74m Bottom ............................................4mm (5083) Sides ..........................................................3mm Beam..........................................................2.3m Depth .......................................................1.24m Floor.Ribs ...................................................... 11 Capacity ....................................... Five persons Hull.weight .............................................. 495kg Max.HP ..........................................................75 Rec.HP ...........................................................60 Max.motor ............................................... 175kg
Cruising at 4500rpm, the 75 Mercury delivered 2.4km/L at 46km/h. 90
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What do you get when you cross one of the proven Sea Jay Samurai hulls with a console of a 5.9m boat? You get this – the new Sea Jay 460 Velocity Sports. In Say Jay speak ‘sports’ means ‘side-console,’ so this is basically a Vision hull with a side-console. Based on the popular Samurai hull, the shell features a 4mm 5083-grade bottom sheet and 3mm side sheets. Samurais also have reverse chines, a heavy duty capped keel and a visually pleasing upswept bow that turns heads at the ramp and on the water. The 4.6m hull is also very beamy. In fact, the beam of 2.3m is exactly half the length of the hull, making it very stable in the water. Combine this with high gunwales and raised casting decks and there is a ridiculous amount of under-
As such, the boat more bounced than chopped the waves and we know that it’ll ride a lot more smoothly with some real-world weight holding it down. Powered by the maximum 75hp Mercury 2.1L 4-stroke, the Velocity jumped onto the plane and displayed best economy figures at 4500rpm, where it delivered 2.4km/L of fuel burned. That’s right in the zone of what you can expect from a rig this size. Drop the hammers and the speed went up a little and the economy drops markedly. We achieved 48km/h and
deck storage up the front. You can see in the images here (and in the Video Boat Test on the Fishing Monthly YouTube channel), that the biggest compartment easily swallows Rob Gaden Jr. There’s room up there as well for a couple of trolling motor batteries and of course there’s a fabricated mount for your choice of long shaft electric motor. With that 100kg or so of weight up there, the boat will feel a lot less flighty than it did on the test day. We rode this rig basically empty with a couple of 80kg humans on board as ballast.
Main: Sea Jay’s 460 Velocity Sports brings the features of the larger Velocity models into a smaller package. This one was powered by Mercury’s rock solid 2.1L 75hp 4-stroke. Above: With a beam of 2.3m and a length of 4.6m, this hull is half as wide as it is long. The end result is that it’s pretty stable. 48km/h at WOT. It was a bit rough to open the throttle fully on the test day. At full speed expect around 2km/L. The Sea Jay arrived at the ramp on a single-axle Sea Jay trailer, manufactured by local giant, Dunbier, to Sea Jay’s specifications. Like all Sea Jay trailers, they add a year to the boat’s warranty if they’re ordered on one. And, like all Sea Jay trailers, there’s a dearth of places for salt water to pool while at rest. They like C-Section or alloy I-beams which are easily washed down after use. Basics aside, the 460 Velocity Sports is a blank canvas that you can personalise to your own needs. Factory options like upgraded steering or a factory-installed wrap will help this boat reflect your fishing personality. Then, of course, you’ll
want to add electronics. The big-boy console can hold bracket mounted units up to 16” as well as all of the switches you’ll need to control the on-board accessories. The console also comes with a rail the full way over the windscreen, giving passengers and the captain something to hold onto in less than ideal conditions. Easily towable by the family car, the little sibling in the Velocity Sports family has
all of the big boat features at a small boat price – the test rig weighed in the low to mid $30,000 and you could drop the price even more with a 60hp motor. If you want more information, make sure you check out your local Sea Jay dealer or visit them on www. seajayboats.com.au. Like them on Facebook at Sea Jay Boats and you’ll be kept up-todate on all of the latest Sea Jay releases.
PERFORMANCE RPM........................Speed........................km/L 700 ................................. 3 .......................... 2.3 1000 ............................... 5 .......................... 2.1 2000 ............................... 9 .......................... 1.7 3000 ............................. 13 .......................... 1.2 4000 ............................. 38 .......................... 2.2 4500 ............................. 46 .......................... 2.4 5000 ............................. 48 .......................... 2.1
The rear of the cockpit is clean and clear with high gunwales and offers plenty of room to fish all around the back of the boat.
The console in the 460 Vision is the same as in the 590, so it looks big. The advantage is that you can fit the same electronics in the smallest Velocity Sports as you can in the largest one.
Above: We loved the all-round grab rail on the console and the multiple seat base points. Inset: The front deck is beamy and high enough to offer great vision (pun intended about the sister Sea Jay hull).
Did someone say that there’s plenty of capacity under the decks? This space holds at least one Rupe. And maybe also a swimsuit model, although we didn’t get to test the theory.
Supplied on a Dunbier-built Sea Jay trailer, this rig – and all rigs bought with a Sea Jay trailer – gets an extra year of warranty.
The 2.1L 75hp is the smallest horsepower in that configuration, so you know it’ll be underworked and over-performing.
The test boat was basically empty, so the boat more bounced over the waves than worked to chop them like the Samurai hull does. This will be fixed by addition of all of your fishing and day-trip essentials.
Yep – that’s a wide ass. It makes this rig really stable.
That’s the beast-mode console. Plenty of dry storage underneath and room for a 16” sounder on a bracket up top. MAY 2018
Horizon Scorpion 485 a great entry-level rig - SC
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Firstly, the rig is well priced. Scott James and his team at Horizon boats specialise in getting affordable packages on the
SPECIFICATIONS Length.........................................................4.9m Length on trailer........................................6.0m Height on trailer.........................................2.4m Beam...........................................................2.2m Depth........................................................ 1.16m Bottom........................................................3mm Sides...........................................................3mm Hull weight............................................... 510kg Max hp............................................................75 Capacity............................................. 5 persons a little boat testing, fishing and tubing on the Tweed River. And the question we set out to answer was this: does the Scorpion offer a good compromise between fishing, fun and family? The answer was a definite ‘yes,’ and let us tell you why. 92
water. As tested, the Scorpion came in at under $33,000, which is at the affordable end of family boating. Secondly, you don’t need to trade in the family car for a 4WD to tow it. With a dry hull weight of just over 500kg and an on-trailer weight of less than 1000kg,
you’ll move it around nicely with most family sedans. The added bonus of a light rig is that you can use a single axle trailer to tote it. Single axle trailers have inherent manoeuvrability advantages in small spaces and garages and an overall length of 6m means that it’s not impossible to fit in most spaces designed for cars. Thirdly, there’s abundant shade and areas out of the weather in the Scorpion. The cuddy cabin design’s open cabin pairs nicely with the added soft top to create a space out of the sun for anyone to chill out who has gone a bit hard early on. While travelling, the rear bench seat offers a smoother ride and folds away neatly for when the serious action takes place. There’s been a lot of thought put into getting the crew on and off the boat – a shallow draft means that
you can pull the boat to the beach transom-first and load through the duckboard and transom door. Not all boats are that easy to load. Step back to the power plant and the Yamaha
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Main: The Horizon Scorpion 485 can get a lot done with not that much boat. It has a big cabin, shade and enough grunt to easily tow a tuber, as well as comfortably fish in a hull length of less than 5m. Above: Yamaha’s Will Lee eagerly volunteered to do a few laps of the lower Tweed on the biscuit. The Scorpion ticks a lot of the boxes for fun family boating in a package that won’t break the bank, or your tow vehicle.
If you have a family and like fishing, you always seem to be confronted with a series of compromises. What may be the ideal fishing boat for dad may be totally unsuitable for mum, or vice versa. Add in a couple of kids with the attention spans of a small insect and compromise will be right up there on your radar. Horizon Boats’ Scott James is right up to speed on this situation. They manufacture and sell a range of boats that are both affordable and tackle some of these issues head-on. We recently got out on the water with the Horizon 485 Scorpion Cuddy Cabin – powered by a Yamaha F60 4-stroke outboard – to do
4-stroke F60 offers great fuel economy. Delivering 38km/h at 4500 rpm and 3.4km/L of fuel, the combination is definitely easy on the pocket when it comes to running costs.
test – just scan the QR code on this page or visit the Fishing Monthly Magazines YouTube channel. Fishing-wise, we eased the rig out through the Tweed Bar and found the
PERFORMANCE RPM Speed (km/h) Economy (km/L) 1000.......................... 5.3.......................... 4.0 2000.......................... 9.3.......................... 2.5 3000........................... 14.......................... 2.3 4000........................... 31.......................... 3.3 5000........................... 43.......................... 3.1 6000........................... 52.......................... 2.4 *Tested with a 12” pitch alloy Yamaha propeller. Of course, we had to answer the question of whether it was ‘tubeworthy.’ Yamaha’s Will Lee readily stripped down to the boardies and contemplated how fun his job was while sliding around the Tweed. You can see the vision of Big Willie in action in the video version of this boat
Scorpion seaworthy enough to easily take offshore on the good days. For more information, you can visit Horizon’s website at www.horizonboats. com.au, like their Facebook page (Horizon Boats) or look up your local Horizon dealer and have a chat. Packages start from $31,690.
Fancy a quiet fish? The Scorpion draws little water and the transom set up with door and ladder allows you to get in and out easily when you’re in or out of the water.
Powered by Yamaha’s F60 60hp four-story outboard the fuel economy was always going to be good. How good? At 4500rpm cruising at 38km/h, you get 3.4km/L of fuel – very frugal.
The transom door is a simple design, but it makes the boating experience for the family so much better. No more busting your nuts clambering over the bow rail!
You can access the anchor well through this for’ard hatch. The crew can, at least. It’s the unwritten rule that the Captain doesn’t have to pull up the anchor.
The fold-away rear lounge seats are a comfortable place to travel and stow away when the fishing rods come out.
You can feel the weight of the cabin on the hull – the centre of gravity is higher than similar hulls with different layouts.
It looks like a lot of boat, but the family car will have no worries towing the Scorpion/Yamaha package and with a single axle trailer, you’ll be able to manoeuvre it into tight garage parking situations.
The helm will fit all of the gadgets you’ll need to spend a day on the water. Larger units will need to be bracket mounted.
There’s a pretty big cabin in there for a 4.85m boat and the fact that it’s open means that it seems even bigger.
Whether you use the cabin for storage, relaxing or both, the design is simple and easy to maintain.
Ready to roll for under $33,000, the Scorpion is a logical step to a family boat from an open tinnie. MAY 2018
Victorian Tide Times
2018 2018 Local Time
POINT LONSDALE – VICTORIA POINT – 144° VICTORIA LAT LONSDALE 38° 18’ LONG 37’
JANUARY Time m MAY Time
Time 0416 0027 1046 0626 MO 1645 TU 1321 1858 0022 0112 0534 0710 TU 1157 1408 WE1757 1941 0124 0152 0645 0750 WE 1304 1448 TH1902 2019 0220 0229 0746 0829 TH 1405 1524 FR2001 2056 0313 0303 0842 0905 FR 1500 1557 SA2056 2131 0401 0338 0934 0942 1554 SA 1630 SU2147 2208
m 0.81 1.48 1.32 0.39 0.26 1.65 0.66 1.51 1.50 0.79 0.33 1.35 1.71 0.20 0.64 1.61 1.51 0.73 0.31 1.40 1.73 0.14 0.64 1.69 1.51 0.64 0.31 1.46 1.72 0.10 0.64 1.74 1.49 0.55 0.33 1.50 1.70 0.11 0.64 1.75 1.47 0.47 0.36 1.52 1.65 0.15 0.66
Time 0033 0533 0545 1245 TU 1152 1817 WE1813
18’ of High LONG 144° TimesLAT and38° Heights and Low37’ Waters Times and Heights of High and Low Waters MARCH FEBRUARY JUNE JULY Time m Time m Time m Time m
m 1.38 0.43 0.83 1.64 1.22 0.78 0.38
Time 0102 0117 0621 0719 TH 1246 1423 FR 1849 1953 0201 0156 0730 0759 FR 1352 1458 SA 1952 2030 0255 0233 0830 0836 SA 1451 1530 SU 2046 2108 0343 0310 0923 0912 SU 1546 1601 MO 2137 2145 0427 0347 1013 0946 MO 1639 1635 TU 2223 2220 0508 0426 1059 1018 1730 TU 1710 WE 2305 2256
0123 1.43 17 22 0035 0.79 1.48 170649 0624 1.24 0.33 1246 WE 1336 TH1904 1907 0206 0124 0742 0713 TH 1336 1424 FR1949 1954 0244 0211 0825 0800 FR 1422 1511 SA2030 2040 0318 0256 0905 0849 SA 1505 1556 SU2107 2126 0352 0342 0942 0938 1545 SU 1642 MO2141 2213
18 18 19 19
20 20 21 21
1.74 0.34 0.74 1.48 1.52 0.72 0.26 1.27 1.81 0.31 0.70 1.53 1.55 0.66 0.23 1.31 1.83 0.30 0.67 1.57 1.56 0.59 0.23 1.35 1.81 0.30 0.65 1.59 1.56 0.54 0.26 1.38 1.76 0.31 0.63
m 1.52 1.47 0.72 0.37 1.37 1.73 0.20 0.75 1.59 1.47 0.62 0.37 1.44 1.73 0.18 0.73 1.65 1.47 0.50 0.39 1.50 1.71 0.18 0.72 1.69 1.46 0.40 0.42 1.54 1.69 0.21 0.71 1.69 1.44 0.32 0.46 1.55 1.65 0.27 0.71 1.66 1.41 0.27 0.50 1.53 1.62 0.34 0.70
Time 0131 0055 0715 0645 FR 1311 1405 SA 1927 1930 0213 0147 0802 0739 SA 1402 1455 SU 2011 2020 0250 0239 0843 0832 SU 1448 1543 MO 2048 2111 0326 0330 0919 0924 MO 1531 1630 TU 2124 2201 0400 0422 0954 1015 TU 1613 1715 WE 2159 2253 0434 0519 1028 1103 1653 WE 1802 TH 2236 2345
16 16 17 17 18 18
19 19 20 20 21 21
m 1.38 1.52 0.73 0.25 1.23 1.82 0.39 0.76 1.44 1.56 0.65 0.23 1.30 1.84 0.37 0.70 1.50 1.59 0.56 0.25 1.37 1.83 0.36 0.64 1.54 1.58 0.48 0.30 1.43 1.79 0.36 0.60 1.57 1.56 0.41 0.38 1.47 1.74 0.37 0.56 1.57 1.52 0.34 0.48 1.50 1.67 0.40 0.54
m 0.75 1.43 1.30 0.40 0.34 1.68 0.76 1.44 1.45 0.67 0.41 1.36 1.69 0.33 0.73 1.51 1.45 0.55 0.44 1.45 1.68 0.31 0.70 1.57 1.44 0.43 0.47 1.53 1.66 0.30 0.67 1.61 1.43 0.33 0.51 1.59 1.64 0.32 0.65 1.62 1.41 0.26 0.57 1.61 1.60 0.36 0.62
Time 0521 0131 1139 1750 FR 0725 MO 1437 2004 0045 0227 0638 1246 SA 0819 TU 1525 1857 2058 0132 0321 0730 1343 SU 0912 WE 1610 1945 2150 0215 0415 0810 1431 MO 1000 TH 1654 2025 2241 0253 0515 0846 1047 TU 1516 FR 1736 2103 2330 0330 0616 0922 1132 1559 WE 1818 SA 2141
16 16 17 17 18 18
19 19 20 20
m m 0.80 1.56 1.18 0.24 0.55 1.80 0.64 1.32 1.60 0.72 0.26 1.24 1.80 0.53 0.56 1.39 1.61 0.62 0.32 1.34 1.78 0.50 0.49 1.45 1.59 0.52 0.40 1.44 1.73 0.47 0.45 1.50 1.55 0.42 0.49 1.53 1.67 0.46 0.43 1.54 1.51 0.33 0.59 1.59 1.60 0.46
Time 0109 0229 0559 1238 SU0827 1828 WE 1511 2101 0101 0308 0654 1335 MO0900 TH 1544 1919 2135 0146 0347 0740 1426 TU0933 FR 1616 2004 2209 0227 0429 0822 1511 WE1009 SA 1649 2045 2242 0303 0512 0901 1047 TH 1550 SU 1724 2121 2317 0337 0600 0939 1129 1627 FR 1801 MO 2157 2356
11 22 33
m 1.47 1.44 0.49 0.43 1.50 1.64 0.49 0.62 1.52 1.46 0.39 0.46 1.59 1.64 0.48 0.57 1.55 1.46 0.31 0.50 1.66 1.62 0.48 0.53 1.56 1.46 0.26 0.55 1.68 1.59 0.49 0.49 1.55 1.46 0.25 0.61 1.67 1.55 0.52 0.45 1.52 1.45 0.26 0.68 1.64 1.51 0.55 0.42
m Time m 0540 0.59 0313 1219 1.64 1.42 1807 0.34 0.66 MO0857 TH 1544 1.72 2131 0.35 0030 1.43 0406 0624 1.63 0.47 1311 0.41 1.54 TU0943 FR 1624 1854 1.68 0.63 2218 0.32 0115 1.48 0500 0705 1.59 0.37 1358 0.49 1.65 WE1026 SA 1702 1937 1.62 0.60 2301 0.32 0157 1.52 0553 0746 1.53 0.29 1443 0.57 1.72 TH1107 SU 1742 2019 1.55 0.58 2344 0.35 0238 1.54 0645 0829 1.47 0.23 1148 1526 0.66 1.75 FR1821 MO 2100 1.47 0.58
16 16 17 17
0317 1.54 0026 0.39 21 0912 0.21 21SA0739 1.42 1609 1.74
0.74 TU 1231 2143 1.40 0.58 1905 0359 0.44 1.53 0110 0956 1.37 0.22 0833 1653 0.82 1.70 SU 1319 WE 2226 0.60 1954 1.33
0415 1.73 1.44 22 0426 0626 0430 1.60 1.53 0507 1.61 1.38 22 0508 770447 77 0545 1026 1142 1016 0.40 0.40 221017 1152 1026 0.49 0.33 1052 0.25 0.56 22 1102 1734 1646 1.51 1626 1.40 1820 1.49 TH SU MO WE
0437 7 0531 1033 7 1104 WE 1714
1.60 1.40 0.23 0.63 1.60 1755 1.56 SA 2245 0.41 2344 0.59
0411 1.44 1.48 0407 0.43 1.55 70656 22 22 0016 1015 0.75 0.29 22 0959 1.47 0.27 22 7 0718 1215 SA 1701 1.59 TH 1640 1.63
0459 0542 0522 1.59 1.48 0553 1.54 1.35 0039 0451 1.69 1.40 880531 88 0622 1115 1051 1222 23 1115 0.44 0.42 1128 0.26 0.62 23 1138 0738 1050 0.35 0.45 23 MO 1740 1.48 TU 1705 1.40 TH 1911 1.43 FR 1817
0513 8 0623 1113 1147 TH 1756
1.56 1.39 0.22 0.70 1.56 1834 1.52 SU 2322 0.47
0443 0.45 1.54 0445 0.40 1.44 0441 0.49 1.50 23 0103 80041 230201 1037 1.44 0.22 1049 1.43 0.33 23 1040 1.35 0.26 8 0930 0817 0759 FR 1721 1.63 SU 1736 1.53 MO 1739 1.63
0532 0618 0134 0624 1.57 1.43 0010 0.51 0.69 0531 1.63 1.35 99 0025 990614 1124 1202 0659 24 0844 1205 0.40 0.52 0646 1.47 1.33 24 1216 1124 0.33 0.51 24 TU 1837 1.43 WE 1746 1.40 FR 1300 0.29 SA 1905
0546 9 0024 1149 0722 FR 1837
0519 0.48 1.52 0521 0.38 1.38 0528 0.52 1.45 24 0154 90134 240303 1116 1.43 0.21 1124 1.44 0.38 24 1126 1.35 0.33 9 1029 0915 0908 SA 1804 1.60 MO 1814 1.46 TU 1830 1.56
0104 0036 0606 0232 0617 0.41 1.30 0048 1.53 0.62 0054 0.60 0.66 10 0735 0655 1159 100006 25 10 0946 1200 1.56 0.58 25 0741 0.36 1.40 10 0750 1.39 1.34 25 0658 1340 0.34 1257 1248 0.33 1831 1.39
0620 10 0110 1225 0829 1917
0600 0.37 1.32 0623 0.52 1.40 0558 0.49 1.49 100239 250413 25 0250 1200 1.48 0.45 25 1215 1.37 0.42 1157 1.44 0.22 10 1125 1014 1020 1857 1.40 1930 1.49 1851 1.55
0121 0332 0039 0.52 0.74 0153 0.50 0.61 0145 0.68 0.62 11 260005 11 0147 110050 0737 0816 0642 1047 0713 1.48 1.27 26 0857 1.49 1.40 11 0901 1.31 1.38 26 0744 1333 0.35 1423 0.38 1344 1236 0.32
0036 11 0204 0656 0938
0026 0.34 0.73 0051 0.50 0.67 0022 0.50 0.59 110354 260515 26 0350 0645 1.54 1.26 26 0732 1.42 1.35 0640 1.46 1.44 11 1111 1129 1215
0430 0301 0.58 0.57 0244 0.76 0.56 0129 0.62 0.74 0213 120134 270049 12 0237 12 1144 1006 1.44 1.45 12 1012 1.24 1.46 27 0841 0819 1.39 1.26 27 0820 0904 0722 1656 1514 0.81 1515 0.91 1336 0.74
0115 12 0308 1047 0734
0112 0.31 0.77 0200 0.47 0.67 0107 0.48 0.65 27 0449 120510 270609 1204 1230 1257 0741 1.61 1.22 27 0857 1.47 1.34 0730 1.49 1.39 12
0407 0.66 0.52 0346 0.82 0.48 0227 0.72 0.71 0522 0318 130224 280138 13 0337 13 1111 1.39 1.52 13 1118 1.19 1.56 28 0953 0934 1.32 1.30 28 1235 1001 0907 0809 1629 0.84 1630 0.91 1443 0.80 1755
0159 13 0417 1153 0819 1704
0019 0045 0208 1.49 0.79 0319 1.35 0.63 0159 0.45 0.70 28 0543 13 28 0616 0653 1250 0849 0.28 1.19 28 1015 0.44 1.38 0830 1.53 1.33 13 1325 1.68 1333 1.52 1816 0.85
0505 0.74 0.47 0332 0.80 0.64 0450 0.84 0.39 0000 290234 140322 14 0452 1210 1.34 1.59 14 1046 1.26 1.39 29 1218 1.17 1.67 29 0610 14 1107 0959 0904 TU 1735 0.83 MO 1600 0.83 TH 1738 0.88 FR 1319
0250 14 0525 1252 0915 SA 1810
0121 0130 0319 1.56 0.77 0433 1.41 0.55 0304 1.35 0.72 29 0016 0715 0731 0630 14 29 1007 0.27 1.22 29 1125 0.43 1.46 0950 0.43 1.30 14 TU 1415 1.72 WE 1408 1.56 SU 1330 1.57
0437 0.84 0.54 0554 0.80 0.42 0549 1.32 0.31 0045 150432 300343 15 0042 1150 1.22 1.51 30 1300 1.31 1.66 15 1314 0.81 1.76 30 0653 15 0611 1055 1012 TU 1716 0.82 WE 1829 0.81 FR 1837 0.82 SA 1358
0357 15 0032 0627 1025 SU 1346
0218 0213 0440 1.61 0.69 0428 1.39 0.69 0535 1.47 0.46 30 0103 0808 0806 0713 15 30 1118 0.29 1.30 30 1116 0.42 1.32 15 1228 0.44 1.56 WE 1500 1.74 TH 1441 1.58 MO 1405 1.61
1702 1.61 MO2236 2244 0.22 0.68
TU 1739 1.55 2322 2319 0.31 0.70
WE 1818 1.50 2358 0.73
1730 1.70 TU2214 2300 0.34 0.62
WE 1819 1.63 2247 2352 0.38 0.62
TH 1913 1.56 2325 0.43
WE TH 1903 1.44 TH FR 1300 0.63 1938 1.38 2009 1.51
TH FR 1243 0.66 FR SA 1402 0.74 2039 1923 1954 1.34 1.40 2106 1.38 1.47
SU1317 0.30 SA1420 0.37 FR SA 2202 1.37 1.45 2050 1.32 1.37 2138 2022
MO1406 0.28 SU1513 0.40 SU SA 2258 1.37 1.44 2148 1.31 1.37 2237 2130
SU 1611 0.41 MO 1504 0.27 2349 1.39 1.44 2247 1.34 1.39 2336 2244
MO 1714 0.41 TU 1615 2344 1.43 2357 0035 0502 0638 1130 1345 TH 1735 WE 1913
0.27 1.44 1.46 0.79 0.38 1.32 1.71 0.24 0.78
1747 1.57 TH 2345 2331 0.42 0.70
FR 1827 1.53
SA 1211 0.70 2000 1911 1.38 1.48
SA SU 1301 0.78 2052 2000 1.32 1.45
SU MO 1403 0.86 2146 2055 1.29 1.42
TU 1515 0.43 MO 2154 1.27 1.42 2245
WE 1618 0.45 TU 2256 1.28 1.44 2345
WE 1730 0.45 2357 1.48
TH 1212 1.19 1834 0.43
1.56 1.47 0.29 0.58 1.51 1850 1.61 FR 2314 0.45
Time 0440 0127 1118 0733 1718 1432 2007 0038 0207 0604 0812 1237 1504 1838 2046 0138 0246 0715 0847 1345 1537 1942 2123 0230 0326 0815 0920 1445 1610 2036 2159 0317 0405 0906 0953 1538 1644 2123 2233 0400 0446 0952 1027 1628 1718 2206 2307
Local Time APRIL Time Time AUGUST m
1.53 0.53 0.26 1.45 0.70 SA 1242 1.50 2354 1939 0.50 1.54
1.49 0.53 0.24 1.45 0.80 SU 1336 1.47 2030 1.48
0.57 0.52 1.44 1.47 0.88 SU 1438 0.24 MO 2000 2123 1.43 1.44
0.65 0.51 1.39 1.50 0.92 MO TU 1547 0.26 2104 2216 1.39 1.41 0.48 0.72 1.55 1.33 0.92 WE TU 1441 0.29 2310 1.37 1.40 2217
0.45 0.76 1.60 1.30 0.89 TH 1553 0.33 WE 2331 1.39 1.40 0.43 1.64 1844 0.85
1.42 0.41 1.67 1928 0.80
1.51 0.55 0.25 1.40 1.50 1235 0.79 MO 2359 1.48 0.53 1919 1.45 0.51 0.29 1.43 1.44 SA 1331 0.86 TU 2011 1.44
0.59 0.46 1.38 1.48 1300 0.92 0.34 SU 1438 WE 2000 1.43 1.37 2109 0.41 0.66 1.55 1.31 1339 0.94 0.40 TH 1551 MO 2215 2048 1.43 1.32 0.35 0.73 1.63 1.24 0.46 FR TU 1422 0.90 2327 2144 1.46 1.27
0.29 0.79 1.71 1.19 0.51 WE 1516 0.82 2245 1.26 1.51 0.82 0.25 1.16 0.55 TH 1627 1.76 1908 2348 0.73 1.28
0.70 SU 1217 2220 1.53 0.47 1902
MO 1304 0.79 2300 1.46 0.50 1949
TU 1359 0.87 2341 1.39 0.54 2039
SU 1502 0.92 WE 2133 1.35
1240 0.93 0.25 MO TH 1614 1943 1.33 1.49 2230
1327 0.90 0.31 FR TU 1720 2326 2045 1.33 1.43
SA 1423 0.39 WE 2155 1.39
TH 1536 0.46 1904 2305 0.79 1.38
FR 1703 0.50 1946 0.73
1.46 TU 1845 2232 0.58
WE 1306 0.82 2309 1.42 0.63 1935
TH 1407 0.88 2346 1.39 0.68 2037
TU1521 0.89 FR 2150 1.39
TH 1417 0.87 2310 1.27 0.62 2050
FR 1530 0.89 2358 1.25 0.65 2152
WE1646 0.86 SA 2255 1.26
1238 0.84 0.51 SU 1312 0.80 0.52 WE1639 TH1751 SA 1947 1.42 1.34 2033 1.29 1.44 2309 2353
1325 0.74 0.59 MO 1421 0.72 0.61 SU TH1750 FR1842 2045 1.31 2137 1.42
MO FR 1423 0.65 1853 2148 0.63 1.30
SA 1537 0.69 1949 2248 0.51 1.33
SU 1702 0.69 2042 2343 0.42 1.37
0011 1.42 1.42 31 0147 0751 0551 0.42 0.61 1439 1.63 TU 1231 1.40 SA 2025 1823 0.67 0.50
CopyrightCommonwealth Commonwealth of of Australia Australia 2016, 2016, Bureau Bureau of of Meteorology Meteorology Copyright Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide Datum of Predictions is Lowest Astronomical Tide Timesare areininlocal localstandard standardtime time (UTC (UTC +10:00) +10:00) or or daylight daylight savings savings time Times time (UTC (UTC +11:00) +11:00) when whenin ineffect effect New Moon First Quarter Moon Phase Symbols Full Moon New Moon First Quarter Moon Phase Symbols Full Moon
TU SA 1543 0.67 1923 2239 0.63 1.43
SU 1701 0.69 2000 2335 0.55 1.45
MO 1806 0.68 2033 0.49
31 0253 0841
1.51 0.46 FR 1515 1.59 2107 0.43
Last LastQuarter 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. 94
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