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TIME FOR AN APRIL ADVENTURE

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Autumn kayak tips • Part II: SUP adventure time •

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April, 2018

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APRIL 2018, Vol. 13 No. 6

Contents WEST COAST West Coast

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Portland 14 Warrnambool 16 Apollo Bay

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Cobden 17

CENTRAL Geelong 18 Port Phillip West

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Port Phillip North East

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Port Phillip North

24

Mornington Peninsula

26

Western Port North

28

Western Port South

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Phillip Island

34

EAST COAST Lakes Entrance

35

Marlo 35 Gippsland Lakes

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Corner Inlet

36

Bemm River

38

NSW SOUTH COAST Bermagui 38 Eden 39 Mallacoota 39 Merimbula 40 Narooma 40

VICTORIAN FRESHWATER Horsham 54 Robinvale 54

From the Editor’s Desk... There’s an old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. I’m talking about the amount of ‘screen time’ that we are exposed to on a daily basis. It’s a global thing. In the last year I’ve seen the same scenes in China, Japan, Australia and the USA. Busloads, cafes-full, streets full of people totally engrossed by what’s on their phone rather than what’s going on around them. I suppose it’s a symptom of our exposure to this new technology - until we become desensitised to this constant stream of information, we’ll wade into it and see how it feels. In the meantime, how are we reaching these people? We’re broadcasting fishing into their information streams. It was only a year ago that we decided to give

Live Streaming from boats fishing in a tournament a try. It was BassCat’s Craig Simmons who twisted our arm to do it after USA-based Aussie bass pro, Carl Jocumsen, was getting real reach delivering content live from his boat. It was an instant success, although clumsily done, which led us to refine what we do. A year on, we’ve just finished delivering coverage of the ABT’s Franklins Australian Open – Australia’s toughest bream fishing tournament that’s held on Sydney Harbour and the Hawkesbury River. From those clunky beginnings, we’re beginning to deliver action through your

screens that you’ve never been able to access before. You could pick one of several boats who were live streaming – or even watch all three at once if you had a big enough screen (and data plan)! There were more cameras on other boats that recorded the action, these were edited down into 5-minute highlights packages (for those of us who aren’t as fanatical and only want the juicy bits). If that wasn’t enough, you could watch the starts and the weigh-ins live as well. You want screen time? At least we’ll deliver you something more relevant than watching cats jump into the air when you put a cucumber behind them. The technology is cool: we use waterproof, Garmin VIRB cameras that can run all day off the power in the anglers’ boats. These are capable of recording

the information, rendering it to a size for streaming and getting to a Live YouTube event in less than 30 seconds. We’ve come a long way in just a year. I’m looking forward to what we can do in 2019. So, please stay glued to those screens and let us deliver you the action live from the water, because we know that’s where you’d really rather be. Or, as you’ve done already, grab a copy of Victoria and Tasmania Fishing Monthly and take some time away from your screen. You know that we take away all of the clutter and give you a product that never runs out of power, costs $6.95 instead of $1,695 and is proven technology that’ll endure through any blackout or internal crash. True story.

Yarrawonga 55 Jindabyne 56 Wangaratta 58 Shepparton 59 Ballarat 60 Eildon 62

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Crater Lakes

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Central Gippsland

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TASMANIA WRAP

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BOATING AND KAYAK

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Trade and Services Guide

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Fishing Diary Angler: Paul Lennon Date: May 15th 2016

Location: Port Stephens Conditions: NE 5 kts, on changing tide

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Marvellous Mallacoota and its fishing options a good move to travel nine hours to your destination and simply hope you find a few fish. Unfortunately for us, the reports were not great. Mallacoota (‘Coota) had not been fishing overly well on the lead up to our trip, however we were still determined to give it a red-hot crack and

SWANSEA

Jason Scerri coloratolures@hotmail.com

Mallacoota is a long drive from home for my family but a place we love to visit. Recently we set off on our third trip to Mallacoota and hopes were high that it would also be our most successful fishing wise, as our previous attempts had seen problems of one kind or another that let us down on the fish front. PAST EXPERIENCES Several years ago we hit Mallacoota with our Hobie kayaks. Although it was a fun trip, Mallacoota is a large waterway to fish effectively in kayaks. Sure there are pockets, but to make the most of this place we needed a boat. We returned two years later and this time we ventured there with our Gale Force in tow. Again, this trip didn’t go to plan and motor problems saw the best part of the trip sitting in the drive fixing the engine issues. After a few more years had passed and we have a new boat in tow, the decision was made to pack the gear and make the nine-hour trip south along with our Stratos boat and see if we could finally find some good vibes in Mallacoota. ABOUT THE TOWN Mallacoota is a lovely destination on the far East Coast of Victoria and only about a one-hour drive south of Eden on the NSW Far South Coast. Admittedly, Mallacoota does not have a great range of restaurants to offer, however there is enough there to get by and as I mentioned, with Eden just an hour north there are plenty of eating options there to please the whole family.

Bella with her 29cm bream that couldn’t refuse an Asakura lure. Mallacoota’s fishing scene is obviously heavily about bream fishing in particular, but in saying that there are also some of the best beaches you will come across, and more often than not you’ll have these beaches all to yourselves. There is also a huge number of off road tracks for those who enjoy a little four wheel driving,

and in the town centre itself you will also find a sweet little putt-putt golf course, which is great fun for the family. Before any trip away like this, I put a huge effort into researching how the location has been fishing. I touch base with mates that have fished there recently and try to put a game plan together for the trip. It’s not

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APRIL 2018

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gave the vibes a good run with no results. Back at base with our tails between our legs, we set a new game plan for day two on the water and decided to work some locations that had produced a few fish on our previous trips. With the wind up again but predicted to drop by the afternoon,

our afternoon session chasing the bream. With the boat refuelled, new knots tied and a variety of lures again rigged and ready for action, we were soon back on the water, but this time we concentrated on fishing a number of different flats throughout the top and bottom lakes. This proved to

The author’s best pair for the trip. Coming in around the mid to high 30cm range, they’re great fish and extra fun on the flats. see if we could produce the goods. OUR TRIP Joining me again this time for the trip was my wife Caroline and daughter Bella. Both love their fishing and get as excited as I do as the thought of some chunky black bream on lures. Unfortunately, not only were the fishing reports not great, but the weather reports were looking equally depressing. The first three days in ‘Coota were uneventful on the fish front due to the strong winds and rainfall. Of course, this is the ideal time to take advantage of some family time by exploring, and we had a great time doing just that. For us, no trip to ‘Coota is complete without our round of putt putt golf, so we managed to fit that in as well before the weather came good and we could get out and start the hunt for those bream. Day one was spent exploring the Gypsy Point area and did not go to plan. We threw a variety of lures and worked a range of water depths and could not find the fish. We worked soft plastics in the snags along the edges, then tried some deep-diving hardbodies out a little deeper, and also

the decision was made to have good brunch at the local café and do some kite flying on the beach before

be a great move and it didn’t take long before the fish started firing. We worked a number of different lures,

Caroline with one of many mid 30cm fish that fell to deep-diving offerings.


CREATE YOUR ADVENTURES

The results of a quick afternoon session before the weather cut the trip short! but the most effective option was hardbody lures that dived to around the 1.6m mark. Working these slow-floating lures did the trick over the flats and we soon had the whole family into the fish. The first few fish landed were not huge by any means, with the average around 30cm. But I didn’t mind, as this was good enough to keep us entertained and sticking at it, and we didn’t have to

wait too long for the better fish to turn up. As a rule I opt for more brightly-coloured lures in the overcast conditions and with the dirty waters we were faced with, but as much as we tried we could not pull a fish on them. I made the decision to switch to deep-diving Pro Lure D36 and also Asakura DD Hornet lures, and went for more subtle, natural colours and that was the turning point

not only for this session, but for the remaining trips during our visit. It was a bit of an odd bite, with most fish not striking the lures until the retrieve was basically over, with the fish hitting the lures literally a few metres from the boat. We had planned our trip to take place outside of the school holidays, which meant boat traffic was not an issue. We could hit a school of bream and simply

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Mallacoota offers very good launching options. Good ramps are available throughout the system and offer good amenities including cleaning tables and toilets. spot lock with the electric motor and with no other boats zipping around, this allowed us to pull a few fish from the schools, as we came across them before they would lose interest. We would then simply continue the drift until we

located more fish willing to take our offerings. Although not a big day on the water at around three hours, it was a nice little session with plenty of fish landed. This certainly lifted our spirits and had me itching to get back out

there for another crack in the days to come. The next day I was back on the water, but this time for a solo session. I again opted for an afternoon trip with strong winds forecast for the morning.

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From page 9

Unfortunately, the winds did not drop as expected, but I don’t mind fishing the wind too much, so I stuck it out. The session proved less successful than the previous days, but I still managed a few more quality black bream. I was really struggling to get the hooks to stick this time, and dropped some nice ones, but it kept me hopeful. With such strong winds I found a different tactic more effective this time, and concentrated on the banks that the winds were hitting. I basically hit the spot lock on my electric motor and sat a couple of boat lengths off the bank. This allowed me to sweep this section of bank and really pepper it with casts, and most of the fish came from tight structure on the bank in the form of fallen trees. Again, I didn’t land any of the big bream that ‘Coota is renowned for, but with solid mid 30cm fish and from the structure they were in, it was still exciting fishing and enough to get me keen enough to start planning my return trip to Mallacoota to try yet again to tempt some big ‘Coota black bream. A MUST-VISIT For those that may be

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interested, Mallacoota is not only popular with bream anglers; it often produces some fantastic big flathead

and mulloway as well. Mallacoota is also quickly becoming the go-to location for Victorian game

One of the better fish of the trip, which measured in the high 30s and fell to a ProLure D36.

fish anglers chasing the mighty broadbill swordfish and marlin in big numbers. Only recently has this come about and already the results are sensational, and Mallacoota has very quickly become a must fish hot spot for game fish crews from across the state. Many boats are now hitting multiple marlin in a day’s session, with up to five fish per trip not uncommon. It is also one of

the very best locations for day time broadbill fishing. It is still a very new fishery on this front and there is plenty more exploring to come over coming seasons which I suspect will only strengthen Mallacoota’s reputation for the latest trailer boat game fishing hot spot. So make sure you do your research before heading this way, but know that there is plenty to do for

the fishing family in this beautiful part of the world, even if the fishing is slow.

A bass style tournament boat is a great tool to get the most out of your Mallacoota trip, however it’s not essential.


The lowdown on soft vibes NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling www.starlofishing.com

The family of ‘hybrid’ lures known as soft vibes has become extremely popular in recent years. Today, soft vibes represent one of the fastest growing lure styles on tackle shop shelves… with good reason!

yonks. The original Frenchmade Floppy (a classic bass lure when I was a kid) and its less famous cousin the Sossy, were early examples of this group. So was the Burke’s Little Big Dig from America. However, the hybrid concept dropped from prominence for many years before finally being re-kindled over the past decade or so, thanks to a

Transams. These classy (and expensive) Japanese lures kick-started a new wave of interest in hybrids, and also spawned a rash of look-alikes from other makers, both international and domestic. The Jackall brand, from Lake Police, is better known for its hardbodied lipless crankbaits, rated by many as the finest representatives of that lure family. TN Jackalls

A collection of modern soft vibes, with the FLT Transam 95 in front. Other lures in this line-up are from Jackall, Atomic, Shimano, Threadybuster, Fuze and Fish Candy, but plenty of other companies also offer quality soft vibes these days. The majority of modern lures can be defined as either ‘soft’ or ‘hard’, but there’s also an overlap between those groupings. Lures in this intermediate zone are referred to as ‘hybrids’. Hybrid lures have actually been around for

wave of new contenders from Asia, America and Europe. Today, there are again excellent hybrid soft/hard lures on the market, most notably the so-called soft vibes: a family of lures epitomised by the likes of the Jackall Mask and FLT

The Lake Police Jackall Mask Vibe has become a genuine ‘go-to’ lure in many angling scenarios, especially when chasing bass and golden perch.

launched a lipless crank bait (LCB) phenomenon here in Australia during the first decade of the new millennium — and it’s far from finished! Mask Vibes are the hard-bodied Jackalls’ lesserknown stable mates, and while they mightn’t have created as much fuss in local circles as their hard siblings, Masks quickly won the hearts of many keen anglers. A little later the larger, fishshaped FLT Transams joined the Masks, also becoming a major hit, especially amongst barra specialists, as well as anglers chasing threadfin salmon and mulloway. With their strong-butsoft, stretchy ‘elastomer’ bodies and internal wire frames, Masks and Transams are basically soft, chewy lipless crankbaits. They have a tight but reasonably subtle vibrating action when cranked, jigged or ripped and a seductive flutter on the drop, combined with a tendency to stand briefly on their chins or noses on the

bottom when paused. This style of hybrid lure can be worked using a variety of presentation strategies, from a fast, steady burn to a slow roll or a subtle lift-and-drop or double-hop along the bottom. They’re also effective when jigged in mid-water to target suspended fish and they can even be trolled. This versatility makes soft vibes an ideal choice for targeting barra, bass and golden perch or yellowbelly in man-made impoundments, but they’re also highly effective in rivers, estuaries and billabongs, as well as offshore. In fact, vibes work really well anywhere that the species named (and many others) are found, especially if those fish are hanging in the lower half of the water column. Soft vibes are a particularly good choice when the fishing’s tough and the bite is slow, but they’re also effective searching lures, especially in deeper water. Anglers using them typically identify suspended or bottomhugging ‘shows’ of fish on their depths sounders, then stand off a short distance and cast their soft vibes beyond the fish. The lures are allowed to sink to the desired depth (often the bottom) before being worked back to the boat or kayak using a mix of stops and starts, or lifts and drops, interspersed with spells of steady cranking or slow

The author with an average impoundment bass, hooked while jigging a Jackall Mask near submerged timber. rolling. It pays to experiment to discover what’s working best on the day. While the action of soft vibes isn’t as crisp as that of a hardbodied plastic or metal vibe (and doesn’t provide as much feedback through the line), it’s still discernible and can easily be felt it if you’re using low stretch braid. Interestingly, it seems that this quieter, less well-defined vibration may actually be a turn-on for less active fish. The fact that those fish also get a mouthful of soft, chewy material when they bite seals the deal. As a bonus, commercial scents and attractants stick very well to soft vibes. The downside of these lures is the fact they don’t

Jackson ‘Jacko’ Bargenquast hooked this lovely saltwater barra on a Storm SFX 70 soft vibe while targeting threadfin in 8-10m of water at Hervey Bay. Soft vibes can be highly effective, versatile lures, especially in deeper scenarios.

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‘play well with others’. The elastomer compounds they’re made from react badly with PVC-based soft plastics, hardbodied plastic lures, painted surfaces and even other elastomers. For this reason, these lures should be stored separately in the compartments of a quality tackle box or, better yet, kept in their original packaging. On their day, soft vibes can spell the difference between a blank session and a red-hot bite. For that reason, few experienced lure fishers hit the water these days without at least a few of these sneaky lures tucked away in their tackle trays… They’re just too deadly to leave behind!

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The fish are feeding up well WEST COAST

Brett Carson

During April on the Glenelg River the water is clear, there is bait galore and the fish are feeding. This time of year the larger daylight high tides make for some cruisy hours on the fishing front and the gap between cricket and footy seasons will see plenty making the most of the spare time. With the salt water now way upriver, there are so many places to try your luck and if you have a boat. You can always find your own piece of serenity on this beautiful river. The mulloway fishing has been going gangbusters. It’s hard to remember a recent summer being so good, especially with the constant numbers of decent size fish, with a lot of 70-90cm fish and some even larger fish coming to the lucky few. The mouth has been open all summer and anglers are

really benefitting from the masses of bait attracting hungry schools of mulloway into the system. Hopefully this lasts all season and let’s hope that the 50lb fish that cruise the coast at this time of the year drop in for a visit. As usual live mullet have been the best bait accounting for some heavy bags. You can troll them super slowly or sit and fish them in one spot. Using berley doesn’t hurt to attract the schools and trigger a feed, but don’t use all the berley at once. The trick is a constant trail, otherwise you risk the problem of your berley drifting away with the tide and the fish with it. It doesn’t hurt to try one bait under a float and another on a running sinker on the bottom. This presents a bait to the fish high and low in the water column and gives you the option to swap to what is working best. The big high tides are a good time to chase bream, especially down in

the estuary where the water rips over the sand stirring up worms and crabs that the bream and large mullet will be hoovering up. A podworm or crab presented on a running sinker cast into the flooded flats will be deadly in that stirred up food chain and will look irresistible as they waft around in the current. Up river the banks have been fishing well, but don’t be frightened to move on if an area is quiet; just because you caught bream somewhere yesterday doesn’t mean the same spot today. Mix it up; if the reed beds are a bit quiet, try a rock wall, the upstream end of a mud bank, the downstream end, the insides of bends, outsides of bends and snags. Just keep trying different things until you get results. Plastics like worm imitations and natural-coloured minnows have been working as well as anything for the lure fisho, and hardbodies cranked into the edges are taking fish too.

The beauty of fishing lures for bream and perch in this river is that often in a day’s fishing you will have a tussle with a mulloway as a by-catch. I’ve caught some of my biggest mulloway like this on no more than a 6lb leader, making for a great fight that requires a fair share of patience for a win. Estuary perch are playing the game all over the river, but the best fish are coming from the higher reaches. At this time of the year they are targeted on surface lures around the heavy snags on those still nights and mornings. Plastics and hardbodies will take them deeper in the water during the day as will a small live bait. Perch love something that looks alive and will only very rarely take dead baits. Modern lure fishing means we can all have a shot at these awesome predators that were once only targeted by a select few who knew the secrets of live baiting for

A good selection of bream and perch caught on fly by local Gordon Jeffrey. them. Local Gordon Jeffrey flyfishes for them with flies he makes himself and does very well. The flies look so lifelike, it’s no wonder the perch and bream lap them up. Some good-sized mulloway are coming from nearby surf beaches while gummies and schoolies are the main prize in the discovery bay area. There are numerous deep gutters to be found in Discovery Bay at the moment with the constant shifting of the sand on these heavy surf

beaches. Places like Ocean Beach, Nobels Rocks, Swan Lake and Lake Monibeong are all great spots. • 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.

Anglers get ready for the annual SBT run PORTLAND

John Johnstone

As we move into autumn and the weather settles our attention turns to the annual run of southern bluefin tuna. These fish can be found anywhere from the shelf to straight behind the rock in shallow water. The size can be anywhere from 10kg to over 100kg. Albacore will be on the shelf waters for those venturing out to chase them. The only difference will be the size; albacore from 2-25kg are available. Small skirted lures and deep divers are a tried, true and proven method for catching these fish. The best colours include blues and purples, but any colour can work on any given day. While trolling on the shelf it’s worth having a deep drop for some deep sea species. Even though the fishing is slowing down, some good catches of blue eye, ling, gemfish and grenadier are still being taken. The waters inside the shelf continue to provide great fishing for flathead, snapper, morwong, gummies and school sharks – even the odd Tassie trumpeter. A fresh bit of squid and a paternoster rig are best for chasing any of these species. It’s always worthwhile to have a game rod on board, as you never know when a mako might come swimming up. This area is known for makos big and small; not only are they 14

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great fishing sharks, they’re also not bad eating. Coming inshore a little to the Bridgewater area, good catches of gummy and school sharks and flathead have been taken in anywhere from 50-100m.

The beaches have had snapper, whiting, salmon, sharks and mulloway taken regularly. The beaches from the Fitzroy River mouth to the north shore and as far as Swan Lake have all had good catches of the species mentioned.

Hugh Johnstone with last year’s winning tuna, which weighed in at 59.6kg.

Craig Todd with two SBT destined for the plate. Coming into the bay area good catches of whiting and snapper continue to feature in people’s bags. There are plenty of salmon about to keep the kids occupied too. These are great fighting fish and are good fun for the kids. Those wanting a bit more of a challenge, the kingfish season is drawing to a close with kings up to 16kg caught this year and plenty of rat kings also caught. The Lee breakwater continues to fish well with snapper, whiting, sharks, barracouta, salmon and even small kingfish being caught.

Perhaps the highlight this month will be the annual Hooked On Tuna Competition being run over this month with over $12,000 in prize money on offer for the heaviest tuna. There will be guest speakers, raffles and a foreshore event

on the opening weekend. The competition starts on the Easter long weekend and runs for the next four weekends. Last year a 15 year old won $5000 with a 59.6kg tuna. There is also $500 on offer for the heaviest tuna on each weekend, so

The author’s sons headed up to Bermagui and caught this nice striped marlin.

come down and enter – you never know your luck. • 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.


Get in on the early tuna action WARRNAMBOOL

Mark Gercovich mgercovich@hotmail.com

April is perhaps the peak of the local southern bluefin tuna season. As it coincides with the Easter holidays, many keen game fishers make their way down to the South West to tackle the tuna.

on the inshore grounds between Port Fairy and Narrawong. In the past, big numbers of inshore tuna aren’t seen until May and June. The fish have been around the prolific schools of small baitfish. Like inshore tuna on small bait often are, they can be a little difficult at times, but some days they have bitten their heads off

keep jumping on the tuna lures and you are trying to get to the tuna school ahead of you. Like the extending tuna season, gummy and school sharks continue to be an all-year event. With the tuna being around early there are plenty of frames and offcuts that make a brilliant bottom bouncing bait. April to May always was a good time to target gummies, as it usually throws up some calmer seas while we make the transition out of the summer weather pattern. The Hopkins River has been fishing very well in the past few months. Plenty of bream have been up feeding on the edges and surface providing plenty of action for lure casters. Mulloway

catches had seemed to drop off a little but just last week a few 75cm fish were taken in the lower reaches. The Easter full moons were always a good mulloway time, so hopefully that will prove to be true this season. The freshwater section of the Merri has also been producing some excellent bream as well. It’s a strange feeling sight casting to free swimming bream in areas I’d always usually associate with trout fishing. April should also be a good time to start looking seriously for a good trout. As the spawning urge beings to creep in and that big, cautious and wily brown might make the mistake you’ve been waiting for.

Salmon often grab lures intended for inshore bluefin.

Fishing looks set to improve APOLLO BAY

Wayne Diffey

The edge bite for bream in the Hopkins has been superb of late. However, once again someone forgot to tell the tuna when they were supposed to arrive, and we have had a solid run of inshore fish all summer. Schools of fairly decent fish in the 16-30kg range, have been showing up

with shelf numbers being clocked up. Many other fish such as snook, slimy mackerel, salmon, kingfish and ‘couta have also been encountered around these large bait schools. It can be a little annoying when some of these species

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The weather has been a little all over the place lately, so it has been a case of if you can get out for a fish, do it! Salmon off the beaches have been patchy, with just a few fish reported caught off Wild Dog Creek Beach and Marengo. Out wide there are still some good snapper and big flatties about. Local charter operator Matt recently did some two-hour flatty trips while the Seafood Festival was on and they averaged 60 fish per trip in an hour and a half of fishing. There were some very happy customers indeed. The kingfish are still hanging around the bay, with schools spotted cruising out off the harbour breakwater fairly often. Out off Cape Otway schools of kingfish have also been seen, but they have gone off the bite a bit, as have the tuna. There are still good gummies being caught out off Cape Otway, as well as a couple of small makos up to 40kg. Fresh salmon fillets and whole fresh squid are always good baits to throw out to attract these to your line. The local rivers and streams are still fishing pretty well for bream and a few good trout have been caught higher up. One angler and his mate were telling me recently that they had caught some nice bream up to 37cm, as well as several estuary perch, using small hardbodies and scrubbies. They released all they caught.

The results of a two-hour flatty trip. Apollo Bay Harbour has also been fishing well on the incoming tide, with plenty of King George

whiting being caught. The calamari have also started to show up in bigger numbers, with some decent

Andy Orchard’s great Apollo Bay calamari.

size ones caught. Andy Orchard recently got four good calamari on a pink Yamashita squid jig. With autumn here, we should see some more stable weather, and the fishing should generally improve. Although the smaller fish have already appeared, the bigger southern bluefin tuna won’t be far off, so now is the time to go through your gear and make sure it’s all ready to go. Service your reels and check your guides for wear, your line for any defects, and any lures for problems with hooks, sharpness and so on. We don’t want any failures to happen at the wrong time, do we? • 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.


It’s mid-autumn and prime time for anglers COBDEN

Rod Shepherd

Many anglers agree that autumn is the prime time of year to get out there and wet a line. This is especially pertinent to South Western Victoria. Those onshore southerly winds have abated, as has the heat and – besides the Easter break – the crowds. The weather is generally at its most stable at this time of year and that allows many to get offshore to chase a plethora of species. Some good bream have come out of the Curdies in recent times, however the fish are spread out and it can take some time to find them. However, this hasn’t put off anglers. Many are willing to try their luck. One popular spot that seems to be consistent is the lake. Bait anglers are catching a few using bait such as shrimp and greyback minnows. On the right day, packet prawns and river whitebait can work. Soft plastic and hardbodied lurists are working the banks in the

river from where it joins the lake way upstream past the Curdievale (Boggy Creek) boat ramp. The mouth has been closed for some time now but the water levels are up somewhat and should stay that way from now until late autumn and winter when the rains fall again. The tannin-stained, snag-ridden upper reaches of the Gellibrand River above Princetown have seen some locals bagging lovely river blackfish in excess of a kilo. Chapplevale scrub worms and small

yabbies have been the baits to use. Dusk has been the prime time. The larger pools are holding some wild brown trout to 700g, while the stretch of river accessed via the Old Ocean Road has seen the a few estuary perch responding to surface poppers in low light conditions. These perch are hardy critters indeed and get around. Normally no one would expect them to be so far up in the river but they are. Maybe they’re not in large numbers but where you catch one of

The Curdies River looking downstream from the Boggy Creek boat ramp.

A brace of Curdies bream taken from the ‘aquarium’ where the river joins the lake.

THE FUTURE

these social, schooling fish you’re sure to find others. The offshore scene has been solid with gummy and school sharks available in 30-50m depths. Along with these there are small pinkie snapper, morwong, nannygai and leatherjackets. Squid and pilchard continue to be the most frequently employed baits. Speaking of squid,

there are plenty about and they make the freshest bait and are fantastic on the tooth. Reports are filtering in of yellowtail kingfish to 11kg being taken just offshore from Boat Bay at Peterborough. Slightly further out the odd mako or thresher shark has turned up to nibble on any surface baits presented under a

party balloon out the back of the boat. The odd school of southern bluefin tuna has been smashing bait schools on the surface. Fish to 32kg have been caught right along our coastline from Warrnambool through to Apollo Bay, and not that far offshore either, so you don’t need a big offshore craft to access these beasts.

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Take advantage of the last of the warm weather GEELONG

Neil Slater slaterbunch@optusnet.com.au

It has been a heck of a warm season with massive kingfish and the odd tuna caught in and around the Rip and Bass Strait. Each year seems to get marginally better, so things are looking awesome in the very near future as far as the tuna and kingfish go. April is often the last gasp for kingfish, so get out there if you can before we get a cold snap. Try slow trolling strips of fresh squid in 10-20m of water on a downrigger or line weighted with a bomb sinker out off Collendina and Ocean Grove. Southern bluefin tuna have shown up along Victoria’s West Coast but have proven very difficult to catch. Most fish have been from 12-20kg with a few over 30 and some approaching 50kg spotted sipping stuff on the surface like a trout. There have been masses of Australian salmon in the Rip with most fish around the 1.5kg mark, give or take. There have been some honkers over 3kg that come through every now and then.

Land-based fishos keen on a salmon or pinkie snapper should try the Surf Coast beaches with Bancoora and Jan Juc Beaches being the pick recently. Stewie Turner took his son Charlie down to Jan Juc for a surf fish last month. Using raw chicken for bait, Charlie caught three pinkie snapper while dad, using a lure in hope of a salmon, lucked out. St Leonards and Portarlington piers have been producing whiting, trevally, salmon and squid around dawn and dusk while Queenscliff Pier has produced quality calamari on baited jigs just on dusk. Pinkie snapper have made their presence known inside Corio Bay with fish from 35-45cm caught on bait and soft plastic lures. The Spoil Grounds around Stingaree Bay and those off Curlewis have produced fish on first and last light with pilchard fillets, squid and other fish baits working well. Berkley Gulp Turtle Back worms and other minnow imitations worked dead slow and close to the bottom have also done very well. Most fish have been caught in 3-6m of water and a few have come from the

Limeburners Breakwall as well as St Helens. If you find a weed-free stretch of water, trolling deep diving lures should work on the snapper. If not, you may lock up on a few pike that have also been kicking about. Ross Winstanley had a crack early recently and says the whiting have been scarce inside Corio Bay, so

he decided to target pinkie snapper. Ross fished the Spoil Grounds near Stingaree Bay with high tide at 5.50am around first light. Between 6 and 7am the pinkies were on and he had 10 fish of 31-40cm, along with Yank flathead of 36, 45 and 48cm. Ross says he left them biting and it took longer to fillet them than catch them!

Ross noted that he tried switching from calamari and pilchard baits to fresh salmon fillets and the pinkies love them! Some of the bigger pinkies came up with both hooks in their gobs they enjoyed it so much! Another session a few days later saw similar results with Ross and a mate bagging a dozen fish in quick succession.

Check the Spoil Grounds around Corio Bay for pinkie snapper. Photo courtesy of Ross Winstanley.

Ross says he saw six boats fishing southern Stingaree Bay and the one bloke he spoke to had also caught five pinkies there with his mate but no whiting. Garfish have also been thick inside Corio Bay. They only need a bit of berley to get them keen and they make great bait and taste awesome too. Chook pellets mixed with a bit of tuna oil and seawater should get them excited. Use small hooks, squash a bit of split shot up the line and pop a float on above that. Whiting have been caught in Corio Bay’s outer harbour out off Curlewis and the Leopold Hill. There have been no bag limit captures but you can get a decent feed of 10 or so 35cm whiting. The best bait has been pipis and squid. In close around Clifton Springs anglers have caught King George whiting around the 35cm mark throughout the day on pipis and soft squid portions. Mick Allardyce says the cold currents have played havoc with those chasing kingfish and tuna down the West Coast. Mick notes that Cape Patton has been the go-to hotspot but has slowed down this month.

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Queenscliff Pier has been fishing well for calamari with some rippers around the 600-800g mark falling to garfish under floats just on dusk. Smaller models have been caught on jigs throughout the day. Inside the Queenscliff Harbour there have been silver trevally to 38cm caught on pilchard fillets and motor oil singletailed grubs fish low and slow when the tide allows. Indented Head and St Leonards have been fishing well for flathead and gummy sharks out into the deeper water while the shallows have continued to produce calamari and King George whiting. You need to work for them. Clifton Springs is also producing whiting in the shallows but they are mostly around the 30-35cm mark. Anglers fishing Portarlington Pier have enjoyed flathead, salmon and silver trevally with the best times being dawn and dusk. Raw chicken has worked here as have pilchards and pipis. If the easterlies keep up, head out to Wurdee Boluc Reservoir near Moriac. Easterly is offshore wind near the main wall and comfortable fishing. There have been a few redfin around 35cm caught here – it hasn’t set the world on fire. It’s always worth a look there though.

Charlie showed dad how it was done with three pinkie snapper from the surf.

The Barwon River is running pretty clear, which is good news for lure enthusiasts and bad news for redfin. A few reddies have been caught by anglers using both soft plastics and minnow divers near the weed beds, while those chasing carp have had a ball on fish up around 5kg. Carp love a ball of bread squashed over the hook, garden worms and sweet corn kernels bunched up on the hook and are great fun on light gear. Leopold Angling and Aquatic Club are hosting a Corio Bay Net Free Celebration Day on Sunday 15 April at the clubhouse from 12-5pm. All members of the public are encouraged to attend the event, which will be attended by Fisheries, club sponsors and members of parliament. For further information, contact the club on leopoldanglingan daquaticclub@gmail.com. • Catch a few around Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula or Surf Coast to Lorne recently? Send in a report to slaterbunch@optusnet.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).

Ben Iscara caught these cracker snapper in Port Phillip Bay off Carrum in 16m of water. The water temperature was 21°C and both fish were caught on the tide change using whole silver whiting on a snell rig.

APRIL 2018

19


Easter fishing frenzy will fire PORT PHILLIP BAY WEST

Alan Bonnici alan@fishingmad.com.au

April kicks off with the Easter long weekend and the change of daylight savings. For local anglers around Melbourne, this means that shorter fishing days and cooler temperatures are well on their way. Don’t let this news get you down; instead use the long weekend break as an opportunity to get outdoors and catch some quality fish. Snapper season for 2018 is almost finished; this means the big reds will head back into deeper water as part of their usual migration movements. You’ll still be able to catch a decent snapper or two, but they won’t be as easily accessible in the shallower areas schooled up in big numbers for another six months. It has been an interesting snapper season and most local anglers I’ve chatted with have expressed

very inconsistent catch rates this season. James Papas has been making the most of the season before it closes, hunting areas of Port Philip Bay. A few weeks back James was a very happy angler and landed a beautiful 8kg snapper on a full fresh squid. Mark Bonnici has also been doing extremely well

on the big reds between Port Melbourne and Mornington. Mark has seen the season out in style by landing some monster snapper and a few bag-out sessions. In closer waters, pinkies will still be around in decent numbers for a little while longer. Surprisingly this time of year has always been

Mark Bonnici showing off a quality red.

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one of my most productive while land-based or fishing on a small boat for pinkies, which are eager to take a soft plastic, strip of squid or pilchard tail. Snapper season generally closes towards the end of May, so hopefully we will still get some reports of the odd big red being caught around Melbourne. Don’t forget to send those pics to me when you do. It’s good news for local anglers as the squid fishing around Altona, Werribee and Point Cook in recent weeks has been improving. Targeting squid means you’re either in for a top feed or you’re chasing some high-quality fresh bait. I’ve had a few challenging sessions on the squid this month, requiring many casts and hours which were eventually rewarded with a great feed for the family. Brightly coloured squid jigs have certainly been the most productive with orange, reds, and pinks the current go-to colours. I had a lot of success using the unique looking Savage Gear 3D hybrid glitter jigs in the burnt orange colour. The key has been drifting in weedy areas between 3-5m in depth until you get a few bites then retracing productive areas. I’ve received reports in recent weeks from anglers who have been catching good numbers of whiting around Werribee and Point Wilson. It can take some time to find the school of whiting but when you do the action can be chaotic. Pipis on a paternoster rig or worm imitation soft plastics are trusted setups to catch plenty of whiting if you’re in the right area. Surface lures

James Pappas was happy with this big red. remarkably well. This has been part of an exercise to provide some instructional videos for many locals who messaged me asking for tips on targeting bream and pinkies, so make sure you check out the FishingMad YouTube channel for plenty of useful content and tips. Two fishing methods that have worked remarkably well during these sessions are bait fishing with scrub worms, yabbies and bread, and placing my baits precisely under boat hulls or within shady areas close to pier pylons. I will berley the same spot repeatedly with the intention of enticing fish out of the structure onto the line. I am amazed how many anglers fish without a strategy, targeting small fish like bream and mullet with big rods, large

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are also growing as a popular way to target whiting. These fish will happily take a popper, pencil, or shallow hardbody lure off the surface. Doing this with light gear is truly a fun technique to try. I spent a significant amount of time over the last month hitting the piers and jetties around Williamstown (Hobsons Bay) and doing

sinkers and heavier line. One local even had a 6000 size reel spooled with 50lb mono. I fish very light – little to no weight and thin line. A good setup is a 2-4kg rod coupled with a 2000 reel spooled with a 4lb line and 4lb leader. This setup has been catching many bream up to 40cm and pinkies up to 45cm. On many occasions, I have been the only

one catching because I have a strategy and gear suitable for the target species. The second method that has been very successful is flicking soft plastics and crab imitation lures right into the pylons, shadows, and boat hulls. This method requires patience and precision casting. Anglers willing to put in the hours and take some risks will be rewarded with a big bream or pinkie hiding within the structure. That strike is what it’s all about and why lure fishers get hooked on this method. April is also the start of term one school holidays, so make sure you lock in some time for fishing with the young ones before they head back to school. As usual Vic Fisheries will be playing a key role stocking trout and other species around Melbourne and regional areas, so make sure you jump online to check stock listings in an area close to you. The great areas to target around Melbourne will include Karkarook Lake, Berwick Springs, Cherry Lake, Yarrambat Lake, Albert Park Lake, and the Maribyrnong River with parks and playgrounds. I know I’ll be out there with my kids and hope to see you out there too. Even taking the kids to catch a few carp can be good fun – something that Jeremy Ang has been doing a lot of recently around Cherry Lake and Melton Reservoir. • That’s all from me this month. I’d love to hear about your recent fishing experiences around Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay. You can contact me by email on alan@fishingmad. com.au. Also feel free to check out my website – w w w. f i s h i n g m a d . c o m . au, Facebook – facebook. com/fishingmad.com.au, YouTube channel – youtube. com/c/fishingmad and Instagram – instagram.com/ fishingmad.com.au.


Squid numbers are finally starting to look up PORT PHILLIP NE

Wayne Friebe wfriebe@bigpond.net.au

A much more settled weather pattern has been the norm over the past month or so on the bay, although persistent winds have sometimes limited fishing opportunities, especially for boating anglers. As the water temperature continues to cool and we move closer to winter, some of the bay’s target species will really start to fire again, as they already have. For many anglers autumn is their favourite time of year and for good reason. As was the trend for the last few months, with so many other fishing options farther afield, local snapper reports have still been patchy. The dedicated few have still been getting amongst plenty of quality fish out wide from Mornington and Mount Martha, as well as some of the local charter operators. Most of the fish have been

Cuttlefish like this one taken by David Kramer down south have also been a common by-catch. in the 3-5kg range, and by all reports have been in top condition. I would expect this trend to continue for the next couple of months or so, and also the presence of

gummy sharks in the same depth range, which has been a real feature of the fishing in PPB this year. Reports of quality pinkie snapper and smaller school-

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sized fish have been coming in thick and fast over the past month, especially from the kayak anglers and those casting lures from drifting boats on the inshore reefs. I have also received a couple of very nice reports of 2kg+ snapper being taken trolling hardbodied lures around the Mount Martha mussel farm, and the surrounding reef areas. The exceptional kingfish fishing this year in the south of the bay has distracted many of the late season snapper brigade, and there have still been plenty of reports over the last month. The Rip and nearby headlands have been producing well, and there have also been a few fish sighted and hooked (but not too many landed) in the bay proper as well. The Mornington area seems to be the most consistent, as well as around Black Rock further north. Many anglers expect the kingfish action to continue for a while to come, and hopefully they’re right. Calamari numbers have heavily increased on the inshore reefs over the past month as well, which seemed to be a long time coming this year. After a few lean months in our local areas, big numbers of squid have moved in in recent weeks. Big numbers of smaller squid have been very active, especially around first and last light, and with new competition for food, there have been a few larger models reported as well. All of the usual and popular locations have been producing well, especially around Olivers Hill, Mornington, Mount Eliza and Mount Martha. Interestingly, black/red jigs and glow white/prawn patterned jigs have been very productive recently. Consequently, the piers and rocks have also been fishing very well too,

especially Mornington Pier, which has resembled Bourke Street on some recent calm nights! Smaller black, pink and glow white jigs have been best in 2.0-2.5 size. The various rock platforms along the Mount Martha Coast, as well those farther north towards Frankston have also been producing well, especially around first and last light and on a rising tide. Local whiting reports have increased over the last month as the water has cooled down. Although the size of the fish seems to be smaller than last year right now, the numbers have been very encouraging. Fresh squid strips and mussels have been the best baits, and last light has definitely been the best time to cash in. Patterson River has been really turning it on over the

last month as well, with some ripper bream coming to the hands of both lure fishers in the canals and bait fishers in the main river system. Topwater lures and plastics have been the choice of most in the canals, as well as the ever-reliable Cranka Crab. Prawns, freshwater yabbies and scrub worms have been the baits of choice for anglers fishing the canals. Don’t forget as the water cools beyond Easter, reports of mulloway should become more frequent in the Patto as well. I’m looking forward to the next couple of months on the bay as we move closer to the cooler months. For many anglers this is the best time to cash in on the bay. Stay tuned in the coming months of VFM, and keep the reports coming in.

Squid are finally turning up in decent numbers.

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Squid numbers have heavily increased over the past month as the water temperature has decreased along the eastern seaboard.


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Plenty of options to grab yourself a fishy feed PORT PHILLIP NORTH

Lee Rayner info@fishingfever.com.au

I don’t think anyone could deny we had a great summer. With plenty of good spells of weather and plenty of heat, it certainly made time on the water very enjoyable. However, April is possibly my favourite time of the year, with shorter days and cooler weather. April heralds the onset of winter but, before the cold winds and short days really kick in, the following eight weeks or so often provide those spectacular autumn days with cold, clear mornings and temperatures that make a day on the water totally enjoyable; add to this the fishing, which can be quite spectacular with the cooler water temperatures seeing some of the bigger fish turn up. It also heralds the start of the change of season with the winter species starting to turn up and the summer species getting in the last big feed before heading off to do whatever they do during winter. For the most part, April usually provides anglers with plenty of choices, and by the way February and March fished, it looks like this April will be really good with already great numbers of squid on the inshore reefs and some quality whiting kicking around. One really exciting

thing has been the quality of the pinkies that anglers were catching throughout March, with fairly consistent reports of fish in the 2-3kg bracket coming in amongst the smaller pinkies.

to see garfish being taken during the day and at night. The cover of darkness has been providing anglers with a lot of the bigger ones. For shore-based anglers, this fishing should only get

great squid fishing continue all along the shallow reefs and piers such as Mordialloc and Beaumaris. With the cooler temperatures, it’s time to get serious on the pinkies and if

There’s still some eating size pinkies getting about for those after a feed. MORDIALLOC TO RICKETTS POINT Dry conditions saw the Mordialloc Creek fish quite well last month, with anglers using live yabbies at dawn and dusk reporting some lovely bream. This month with the water cooling off we will hopefully see a few mullet starting to move into the creek. Out on the pier it has been a real mixed bag over the past weeks with calm weather seeing a fair load of squid being caught of an evening. Adding to these it has also been really good

better with some really good fishing over the coming weeks happening along the beach between the Horse Statue at Parkdale and up to Mentone. The trick here is to fish the areas where there is some rock or reef that you can cast towards, and the best way to suss this out is to take a look at the area when it’s calm to work out your landmarks of where you need to be positioned. Come back in rough weather or at night and you will know where you need to be fishing. Out in the boats this month anglers should see the

the past weeks are anything to go by then April could be amazing, as the past weeks have been producing good numbers of 30-40cm pinkies. The big surprise has been the good number of 2-3kg fish mixed in amongst the smaller

pinkies, and best of all there has been quite a spread of them being reported from Mentone all the way up to and off Black Rock. Finally for this area, the other species that always makes an appearance is the big flathead that move into Beaumaris Bay and offer up some great fun and food for anglers fishing with small soft plastics or drifting with whitebait on paternoster rigs. SANDRINGHAM TO ST KILDA It’s now time to grab a jumper and a jacket and get down to this part of the world of a morning or afternoon, with plenty of great land-based fishing off Sandringham breakwall and the Hampton rock groynes. All the way up to Green Point there are good number of pinkies squid and garfish on offer. A bit of rough weather this month will also see a few bigger snapper on offer for land-based anglers. Up between Green Point and North Road the squid have been in good numbers with plenty of bigger models pushing up into the shallows in the calm weather and at dusk.

ST KILDA TO PORT MELBOURNE As the days shorten in this part of the bay, fishing will slow down in some ways as summer fish move off, and then in others really heat up as the winter species move into this area for the coming months. Pinkies begin to fire up on the cunjevoi reefs out the front of places like Kerford Road Pier and up towards Station Pier, so for land-based and boat anglers it means that these areas are well worth fishing late in the afternoons and into the nights. Another great option for lure anglers is to cast plastics around the old pylons of the now broken-down Princess Pier, which will hold good numbers of big bream and trevally at this time of the year and over the following months. If bait fishing is more your thing, then anchoring up off the pylons and berleying with mashed pilchards then fishing with unweighed baits can see everything from bream and trevally to snapper and even mulloway getting in on the action. It’s just a matter of stopping them before getting busted off.

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Mornington Peninsula isn’t too crowded to fish MORNINGTON PENINSULA

Julian Frank

We are now at the start of the Easter holidays and it’s a great time to hit the Mornington Peninsula for some of the best fishing on offer before we come into winter. As it’s not the busiest period, there are plenty of species to target before we get into the cooler months and focus

most of our attention on the beaches. Before we get into that, here’s what you can expect for April. MT. MARTHA AND ROSEBUD There are a number of good reports of punters catching salmon out the front of Martha Cove. Trolling outside the mouth has been a great way of finding the schools, then swap over to a soft plastic to keep the bite going. This

makes for some great fun when the fish are schooled up and on the chew. The flathead have been in good numbers over the last couple weeks with some ripper fish around at the moment and they should continue to be caught through April. ROSEBUD It’s the perfect time of year to be out the front on the reef fishing for flathead and pinkie snapper. A

A couple of decent calamari caught amongst the Portsea moorings.

Pinkie snapper like this aren’t usual for the surf but they are a welcomed by-catch.

Yes, we do survey boats! Local fisho John got onto this hot bite of whiting amongst the moorings at Blairgowrie.

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This bag of fish was taken just inside of Rye wreck off Rosebud.

number of local anglers have been absolutely smashing the pinkies; all fish are well over legal size and make for excellent table fare. The whiting reports over the last few weeks have started to flood in from Blairgowrie and down towards Portsea. Fishing around 4-6m of water out from the marina and the Sisters has been fishing very well for good bags of fish. Portsea has a number of good fish on offer both land-based and from the boat. There are still a heap of reports of smaller squid being taken from all the piers and bigger specimens are starting to show up too; expect to hook the odd bigger one coming into May. The back beaches are fishing well for salmon in the afternoons. The best method has been using whole blue bait and throwing the odd lure has worked well too. The salmon run will start to pick up a lot more from here on out and well worth targeting during autumn with bigger fish around as well. Some fish have been up to 3kg. We have also seen quite a few pinkies on the chew during the early mornings with the odd silver trevally amongst them too, mostly around Rye Back Beach. These have been caught on pilchards.

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Check out this solid flatty taken around the shallows.


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Is Western Port’s winter bite coming on early? WESTERN PORT NTH

Adam Ring

I’m going to keep it real with everyone and just say straight off the bat, the last month of fishing through the top end of Western Port would have to be one of the toughest I have

with the consistency that we are used to. While there are still some very nice fish coming, there is a lot of time spent between catches. LAND-BASED I will start with one of the more promising reports and believe it or not, it’s a land-based report. Daniel

Anglers have been getting onto some very solid whiting like these! seen in a very long time! I wish I knew the reason for it, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening

Vanderzwart spent a few hours at Lang Lang off the beach and got into a few nice little gummies during

the day. Banana prawns from the local supermarket were the gun bait and if there was any silver lining to the tough conditions, it’s that I would expect the land-based hotspots from the eastern side of the port to be really quite good over the coming months. Most places like Lang Lang, Jam Jerrup and Grantville Pier are best fished around the high tide and should see some fairly good action in the coming months. The gummies will always be there and we will see the introduction of the elephantfish very soon; that always gets the landbased anglers fired up, as they can provide hours of non-stop action. KING GEORGE WHITING The whiting season has been tough at best, but there have been some decent catches lately and I would expect it to improve as the water temperatures slowly begin to drop, especially up on the shallow banks. Local legend Joe fished up on the Quail Bank on his latest outing and found some exceptional models, with the bigger fish measuring into the low 40s.

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Joe worked hard and proved that the rewards are there if you want them. He moved in excess of 20 times to find those feeding schools and sometimes that’s exactly what it takes. He ended up closer to the top end of the Spit than he did Quail Bank, but it just had to be done. Pipis laced with a little strip of squid were the bait of choice. Local charter operator Shaun has been all over the place looking for a whiting and his best results have come from both the Tyabb Bank and the Middle Spit. Shaun has learnt that both dawn and dusk have been consistent bite times for the whiting in recent months and just may give you the edge on your next trip. He also had to move plenty of times to find the fish and the results speak for themselves. With the current state of the season, you basically need to go all in or be

prepared to struggle. Use plenty of berley and plenty of moves if you need them, and don’t be afraid to try plenty of different fresh baits to find what’s working on the day. Pipis, mussels, squid and live Bass yabbies are all ridiculously good baits and I would be taking a little sample of all of them to try and piece together some sort of picture of what the whiting want to eat on that particular day. Jason Quirk has been finding some really nice fish in 5m of water off the Middle Spit. With a consistent berley trail and a pipi and squid cocktail bait, Jas has been at least taking home a feed on most trips. The bigger fish have been nudging a very hardy 45cm too! PINKIE SNAPPER The pinkies are still schooling up nicely and though the average size has dropped a little bit, there are still plenty there.

Stan and his old man have been finding them right throughout the top end of the port, and as you are moving between spots just keep an eye on the sounder, as you can often sound them up schooling around any structure or drop-off. Stan has been finding that most of his fish are sitting around that high 30s to low 40s mark, which is just perfect for a feed of the freshest snapper in the world! Try not to be too put off by the tough fishing lately; April is typically a time of year where the fishing can be quite tough. As the water temperatures slowly drop, a lot of the species will feed up for the next stage of their annual migrations, which means we should get a little bite window before the cold of winter starts to set in. Thank you to everyone for your reports and good luck on your next outing!

INDUSTRY NEWS

Making seafood easy The FRDC’s new and improved website, fishfiles. com.au, has a wealth of information for anyone who loves eating seafood. The site covers 100 commercially caught Australian species, and guides you through selecting, handling and cooking your seafood in an easy-to-follow format including images, video tutorials and recipes. FRDC General Manager for Trade and Marketing, Peter Horvat, said the site aims to answer the key questions seafood consumers are asking. “To help design the Fishfiles website we surveyed over 2000 consumers,” Peter said. “Some of the questions raised that we are addressing include: • How do I determine the freshness of seafood? • How do I make seafood better value for money? • What is the best way to story seafood in the fridge? • How do I cook seafood without the smell? • What’s the difference: fresh versus frozen or tinned? • What should I buy and where did it come from? • How do I select and prepare seafood? • How do I make it easier and faster to prepare meals? • How do I minimise the mess of cooking seafood? A key change to the site has been to link the species profiles to the Status of Australian Fish Stocks Reports. This helps to highlight why Australia’s fishing industry

is ranked amongst the most sustainable globally. Interviews with fishers, fishmongers and chefs provide a unique behindthe-scenes experience into the world of seafood and for each species, the website features comprehensive nutritional information. Seafood is an important part of the Australian diet and culture, providing an alternative protein source to meat, plus often supplying essential nutrients such as Omega-3 oils.

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation is a co-funded partnership between the Australian Government and the fishing and aquaculture sectors. It invests in fisheries research, development and extension (RD&E) activities in Australia and it has a significant responsibility in ensuring that research is undertaken to assist in the management of the fisheries and aquaculture resource for ongoing sustainability. – FRDC

The blue mussel is one of the species featured in fishfiles.com.au. Image courtesy of Randy Larcombe.


Industry News

Costa launches their ‘Store in Store’ in Australia FMG

Peter Jung pjung@fishingmonthly.com.au

Florida-based company Costa Del Mar produces arguably the world’s best polarized sunglasses. Established in 1983 by Ray Ferguson, the Costa brand has always been at the cutting edge of polarized lens technology

a few. Their message is as clear as looking through their glasses; they wish to “Support causes that contribute to the preservation of our watery world,” so everyone is able to go out and enjoy it. Australians, with our love for the outdoors and for quality products, have welcomed the Costa brand. Australia now represents one of their highest growth markets in the world.

It’s the first in Australia and only the third of its kind outside the US; the concept store was officially opened on Friday 23 February and Fishing Monthly was there. As you would expect Michael is stoked with how it all looks and even happier that it will further enhance his love of the Costa product and what he can offer his customers. The Store in Store display gives him the ability to offer

With room for nearly 200 pairs of sunglasses, apparel and additional stands for all things Costa, the ‘Store in Store’ concept is an impressive one.

The concept store is a great reward for all the effort that Hooked On Bait and Tackle has made to establish the brand over a number of years. and continues to strive to improve its lenses, so the end consumer is getting the best of the best. Costa is also all about giving back. They are involved with projects like OCEARCH and the Kick Plastic campaign, just to name

Enter Hooked On Bait and Tackle in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria. Owner of Australia’s number one Costa retail store, Michael Felsovary was offered the opportunity to have a concept store within his shop and jumped at the chance.

the full range of glasses that suit Australian conditions. Michael explained to us that it is great to know that the quality of the glasses reflect the floor space he has given them in the store. “The glasses have exceptional image clarity

Damien Kerves from Rapala VMC Australia, the distributor of Costa sunglasses in Australia, also attended the opening. “What a great way to represent the brand here in Australia. Australians love Costa sunglasses and this is a great reward for Michael and his team for all the hard work they have done establishing the brand with their customers,” he said. When prompted about whether it’s likely more concept stores will be set up in Australia he said, “It would be great to have a concept store in each state to show off everything Costa has to offer. Watch this space.” Congratulations to Michael and his team. The store looked fantastic and the addition of the Costa concept store is just another reason to drop into the store. If you want to see the Costa ‘Store in Store’ concept for yourself, Hooked on Bait and Tackle

and come in a great range of frames that cover every face shape and size. Once a customer puts them on and sees the difference for themselves, they just won’t wear anything else,” Michael summarised. Most importantly he said you need to try them on to ensure that they are comfortable to wear, because if they are not, you won’t wear them. Michael explained Costa also has a great range of lifestyle products. “Costa is all about embracing the

The latest 580 high definition lens from Costa is unparalleled in its ability to cut glare and enhance your view of the outdoors.

The Costa concept store in Hooked On Bait and Tackle is the first one in Australia and only the third outside of the USA.

The concept store is all about promoting the lifestyle that is Costa. There is a great range of accessories and clothing to complement your sunglass purchase.

outdoor experience, so they have a great range of T-shirts, caps and technical apparel as well as cleaning products and other items for the glasses. The Store in Store concept allows our customers to experience everything Costa.”

is at 174-180 Old Geelong Road, Hopper Crossing, Victoria. You can contact Michael and his team on (03) 9748 3811. To see the full range of products and find your local Costa dealer you can go to www. costadelmar.com.au. APRIL 2018

29


Western Port still producing despite the cool WESTERN PORT STH

Jarrod Day jarrodday@iprimus.com.au

Isn’t it funny how a waterway can go from an absolute high to an ultra low? I guess that’s what you get when everyone is back to work after the holiday season.

Despite the fact that many of us are back into the daily grind, the only reason the Port is lacking in fishing reports is because of the reduction of boats on the water since the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, but if you are heading out, there are still plenty of tasty treats to set your hooks into. To kick off, there has been no shortage of whiting

throughout the Port with some of the biggest caught thus far coming from the North Arm. I have fished the area on a few occasions and have found them in pretty solid numbers. That is, if you put the time in and you’re willing to fish with some substantial weight to hold up against the current.

They might not have the most attractive features, but on light tackle elephants are a lot of fun to catch.

Most of the fishing I have been doing has been in the deep just south of Buoy 20 and 22. In these areas, the depth is around 15m and the current does run extremely hard if you get the timing wrong. Ideally, two hours either side of a tide change are when the fishing becomes a little easier, but you will still require 6-8oz weights to hold. Berley is essential to bring the fish in but don’t overdo it, otherwise you’ll have the school spooked as stingrays and other unwanted species will move in. Ideally, the best berleying technique is to use a stainless-steel berley pot with a good 15-20 pilchards tossed into it. These can be mashed up, but not too much; you want them to stay in the pot and just ooze out their oils rather than chunks of flesh. If the berley is too fine, you’ll overfeed the school and have to lift the pot and put more in throughout the course of your session. Local charter operator Shaun has had memorable whiting sessions with his clients on the Port in recent weeks. Shaun has been fishing both in the deep as well as along the southern end of the Middle Spit with

STRAIGHT TO THE

P

exceptional results. Since netting was banned in the Port thanks to the Bracks government back in 2006, the whiting fishing has gone

from strength to strength each season. Still, you do have to know where to look. At the end of the day, providing you use berley and

There has been no shortage of whiting throughout the port, providing you know where to look. Photo courtesy of Shaun Furtiere.

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towards the cooler months of year and with that, an influx of salmon, silver trevally and calamari will enter the port. It won’t be long before we see the first signs of salmon making their way in with schools thousands thick. Most of the schools can be found in the Western Entrance where they usually push up to Buoy 15 and the Cowes areas. Anglers wanting a bit of sportfishing action can easily motor about in these locations looking for birds dive-bombing the bubbling schools of fish. Casting small metal slugs is very effective as are 70mm soft plastics. April is a very productive month before the water really begins to cool, so get out there and make the most of the magnificent weather that we have while we have it.

AN

roll, tangling themselves in the leader and erecting their dorsal spine, which cuts the leader. Over the years I’ve tried dropping back to 15 and even 12lb leader to no avail. On another note, elephants only have a small mouth so don’t be in a hurry to use supersized hooks. Ideally, a light 3/0 circle will see it out. If you are keen to give them a shot, head to the elephant triangle; the area between Observation Point, Corinella and Rhyll. This muddy area is their favourite haunt to sniff out tasty morsels in the mud and where they lay their eggs. While this report features the main two species to target this month, there are still plenty of other critters worth seeking out throughout the port. We are now heading

•A

Fishing the deep can lead to some very good quality whiting. Photo courtesy of Shaun Furtiere.

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fish with a good selection of baits including pipis and mussels, you should catch a fair quarry. One location that gets very little notoriety as a whiting haunt is the top of the Rhyll Channel just south of Observation Point. This area is often kept a little quiet amongst locals, mainly because it can only accommodate a good half dozen boats at time, but it’s worth a shot. The bottom is mostly mud but there are weed and sand patches about. Finding them requires the use of a good sounder and once you locate an area, the whiting are usually in fair numbers. There’s no need to use berley here as you’ll attract a lot of unwanted species; just a few rods with pipis cast about should see results. Anglers fishing around Dickies Bay have also caught plenty of whiting and the fish in this area will continue on for some time to come. Brad King has been having a few sessions around the area and has caught some nice whiting, garfish and leatherjackets on the edges of the weed beds. Whiting aside, it’s time to get set for the annual elephant season and despite their appearance, they are a lot of fun to tangle with on light tackle. Sure, a lot of anglers seeking other prized species get sick of them and regard them as a pest, but they really are an underrated species. If you are in for some light tackle fun rather than the typical skull-drag style of fishing, grab out your whiting rod and give it a shot. Elephants are quite easy to tackle despite their weight; you need to up the leader strength to at least 20lb. This isn’t because they’ll rub you off on the weed or bite through the leader – it’s because once hooked they

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Try a trip to the Torongo CRANBOURNE

Mitch Chapman

Located in the hills of Noojee lies this pretty and picturesque stream that is a lot smaller than its surrounding streams. A feeder stream to the Latrobe River, the Torongo River offers some top shelf fishing for all ages and levels of experience, using a wide variety of techniques. Although the fish are not big, it’s the surroundings and sights that will keep you coming back for years to come. PRIME TIME This special little river can be fished all year round, except during the trout closed season. February and March are prime times, as this is when the local population of grasshoppers are about in full force. With daylight savings in full swing, and with the days lasting longer, getting on the water late in the afternoon can see some incredible dry fly fishing.  THE GEAR For the lure anglers, a light graphite 1-3kg spin rod matched up with a quality 1000-2500 spin reel is ideal for tackling these small stream trout. Light fluorocarbon leaders are a must, as the water can be crystal clear and will aid in not spooking fish. For the fly anglers, anything up to a 5wt outfit is best suited with light 4lb tippet. If you want to have some fun, then use a 3wt outfit and dry flies. It’s hard to find anything more enjoyable than this. THE RIG When fly fishing, it

always pays to run a dry fly with a nymph trailing about 6” behind. The dry fly (generally something buoyant) acts as a strike indicator, but also catches its fair share of fish, so keep your eye on the fly, and if you see it disappear and get pulled under, most of the time a fish has eaten the nymph that is sub-surface. BAIT AND LURES Go-to lures for casting are small streamlined floating lures. Lucky Craft

presentation looks at its most natural when worked in this way and trout at the best of times can be picky. If they sense something is wrong with your lure, chances are you will not catch that fish. MOTHER NATURE In the peak of summer, always be keep your eyes open for snakes. They can be seen basking in the sun close to the river bank or hiding in the long grass. It doesn’t hurt to make a bit of noise when

No matter the size of the trout, they are always pretty. FlashMinnows are ideal, as they can be worked in fast flowing pools, and when paused in the deeper water will slowly float up and avoid snagging.
 Fly fishers find it hard to go past old proven flies. Royal Wulff, elk hair Caddis and hopper patterns are a must in any fly fisho’s tackle box. BEST METHOD The best way to fish not only this river but any Victorian trout stream is to always work your way up river and cast up stream, working your fly or lure back towards you with the current. Your

walking, but once your down on the water, be as quiet as possible. HOT TIP Don’t forget to pack your waders. Waders are crucial in your success, as you can really get down in the water and work areas a whole lot better than what you could do standing on the river bank. You are also lower, making you harder to spot for the fish sitting in crystal clear water. Lastly, you may be required to cross the river or get lures out of snags and without waders this would be very hard and very, very cold.

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Doug Badrock recently fished the Mitchell River over in Gippsland at the mouth on the rocky reef. Using a Shimano Stradic 2500 reel with a 13 Fishing Muse Gold rod. He caught several bream using a suspending Jackall Chubby in brown suji shrimp and 2.5” ZMan GrubZ in motor oil on a 1/16oz jighead. His best went 36cm to the fork. APRIL 2018

33


Hard-to-find fish are out there PHILLIP ISLAND

Craig Edmonds

King George whiting! They have a unique pattern of spots and an elongated shape. They’re a much sought-after table fish for recreational anglers. I thought I had better add a description of whiting this month because most of my customers have forgotten what they look like. Those in the know – experts – forecast a very poor season for the whiting as part of their breeding and migration cycles. It has been the same forecast for the last couple of years but this season it seems they have it correct. Before Christmas the whiting weren’t anything special, but much of that was to do with the weather and not a lack of people catching them. Since then they have just gone, and you have as much chance of catching a tuna or kingfish as you do of finding a bag of whiting. While it sounds a bit doom and gloom, and there are some very frustrated fishers, we have still had customers finding the whiting; they have gone away from tradition and are trying anything. Thankfully the offshore season has just got better and you can actually go fishing and expect to come home with

a decent feed. The flathead seemed to be small one minute and bigger the next – search around now and you will find some very good schools of tiger flathead, which will continue well into the start of winter. All season the flathead reports have come from under 40m of water and even in as shallow as 20m. The makos have slowed a bit; as the water warmed up through summer they spread out and it has taken more effort

to find them. Now you might find the odd one out wider. We have had the occasional report over the last few weeks, but most have been focusing on other species and not drifting for sharks. It has been one out-ofthe-box offshore season and we are finding that, due to the poor season in the bay, more anglers are fishing offshore but not knowing where to go, so they are trying different areas and finding fish. While the

Noel has only just started fishing offshore and after his recent successes he is hooked!

flathead have been excellent, the other species have made it an exceptional season. While it doesn’t help our bait sales, there are acres of bait generally with the schools of salmon, kings and couta and you can fill up the freezer without too much trouble. It’s not often you can’t find a calamari or arrow squid either in the bay or offshore, the problem is everyone gets set in their ways and only fishes a few places for them. Everywhere you fish in the bay or offshore you should have a squid jig out, even in the deeper areas. What you need to do is alter how you set up the jig; there are as many different ways as there are colours. One method anglers don’t use enough in the bay or offshore is a jig on a paternoster style rig fished off the bottom. We find this to be the most successful method offshore, especially in the deeper water. Try a paternoster rig with one or two droppers, a brightly coloured jig and a heavy sinker. Drop it to the bottom, wind it up a turn or two and let it bounce around in the rod holder. If you’ve got nothing after about 10 minutes or so, wind up a few turns and keep going until you find them. You don’t need a $300 rod and reel. We just use an old reel and a broken rod we have re-tipped. While this is a good method offshore, give it a try in the bay as well – even shallow. You’ll be surprised with the results you get. For land-based fishers things have been inconsistent, however the San Remo Jetty has been good and over the next month or so we should see some of the bigger models being caught. It has been difficult to beat the early morning or late evening for the best catches. The beaches at Ventnor and Woolamai have been slightly different and produced the best results on the last of the high tide,

There is no reason the kingfish won’t stay around. regardless of the time of day. Whiting and other species this year have been found in unusual places at times that are normally not successful. Many anglers thought the water was just too hot and have chased their whiting in the deeper water where they have been finding success. Some have even ventured into the channels in 10m+ and found them there. The other time of the day when we have had reports of whiting has been after dark. With the reports we have had it makes it very difficult to give advice and really all you can do is start in your favourite spot. If you find nothing, change depths. Being a territorial type feeder, chances are they won’t be far away. Over the next month or so you can expect mixed bags of fish from a day on the water, offshore or in the bay. Through April and May we often get reports from customers catching anything up to 6 or 7 species – they’re

not all keepers, but generally some good table fish. We also see that run of good-size gummies, both the boats and the beaches from those fishing on the moon phases. We are seeing the last of the pinkies now and the elephants will slow down. Once they are gone we start to see a few of the resident large snapper caught and those willing to put in the time at night will find some mulloway. Many are hoping as the bay cools we will start to see the whiting come back on and they’ll be back to the normal frustrating fish that they are. Offshore the flathead, gummies and snapper will continue but there is no reason the kingfish won’t stay around and even the bluefin don’t mind a bit of cooler water. So, if one of those perfect late autumn days with no wind and no swell comes along, grab the box of lures and a few live baits and head offshore to have a look – you might be surprised what comes along.

Live bait and squid strips are the secret to catching the kings off Phillip Island; the right gear and ability to turn a fish quickly also helps.

MARLO

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21 Marine Parade MARLO VIC

The offshore season has just got better. You can actually go fishing and expect to come home with a decent feed.


Challenge at the lakes LAKES ENTRANCE

Steven Pryke

Over recent weeks the lake system has been a challenging and changing place with different shades of green water throughout. Anglers have found the best results when seeking out clean water. Locally the channel rock walls have continued to produce quality luderick. Areas such as North Arm Bridge and Bullock Island have been the centre of the action and provide ease of access. Recently the scattered rock walls and wharfs around the entrance have been the focus of many local bream anglers with the ABT Gippsland round nearly being won off these rock walls. These areas are tricky to fish but creaturestyle lures have been the most consistent performers.

The biggest trick is to keep consistent bottom contact through the tidal cycle; this sometimes calls for added weight to help keep tight to the cover. Along with bream this area is full of all kinds of fish with bluethroat wrasse, drummer and luderick frequently working these rocky walls in search of food. LAKE TYERS The higher reaches of Lake Tyers continue to produce with areas such as cherry tree holding good numbers of bream of varying sizes. Large bream have been taken recently and schools of 35-40cm+ bream have been seen free swimming downriver. Consistent results have come from lightly weighted baits, such as peeled prawns and live sandworms. These offerings have been cast up tight to cover with slack line, allowing these spooky fish

to play with the bait and feel very little resistance. The topwater fish has been reasonably productive late in the day. Small topwater lures such as the Atomic K9 Pup and other small walkers are extremely productive on these sometimes spooky fish. The Nowa Nowa Arm has been productive and the step timber edges have been the centre of the action with bream and flathead holding up tight to the edges. Non-weighted soft plastics have been the pick of lures. Casting is critical, especially when the bright sun is full over head. 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.

This solid Nowa Nowa bream was taken on a Gulp Crabby fished tight to cover.

Bait keeps action going MARLO

Jim McClymont mcclymont@net-tech.com.au

The happy times are still here, and the fishing is in full swing. The prawns are still in good numbers in the shallows along the Marlo foreshore that run all the way from the jetty to Frenchs Narrows. Along the same sand flats plenty of dusky flathead are in big numbers feeding on the schools of prawns before they can run to the ocean. With the abundance of food many other species of fish can be found throughout the whole system. Several reports have come in of anglers getting good-size bream in the Snowy River above the township of Orbost. The father of one local boy told me his son and his friend caught nine bream well over the size limit on frozen prawns above the highway bridge at Orbost.

Other reports say goodsize bream are being caught well up the Brodribb River, also on frozen prawn. Schools of mullet are throughout the whole system with the best results on sandworms. Luderick are schooling along the rock groins that surround the islands and river banks; the best results come from using sandworms under a weighted float. Estuary perch are in big numbers but most reports are of undersize fish, so hopefully some bigger EPs will come into the system. Salmon and tailor are also in good numbers and can be found down towards the entrance on the incoming tide. For the best results try trolling or spinning with metal lures. The surf beaches are fishing well as usual with plenty of salmon, tailor and flathead on the chew. Anglers have reported getting some big salmon using blue bait accompanied with a popper, while others reported doing

well using squid, pipis and pilchards. The anglers who prefer to use light tackle are getting good results spinning with metal lures. Reports are also coming in of anglers getting decently sized gummy sharks fishing late afternoon and into the evening. The best results have been on squid legs, eel or fresh salmon fillets. Fishing offshore from Cape Conran is producing good bins of flathead, gurnard, squid, barracouta, pinkie snapper and gummy sharks. The kingfish are here in good numbers but are very fickle – on the bite one day and nothing the next, making it a bit frustrating for the anglers targeting kings. A few marlin have been caught so far and hopefully there will be a few more. The swordfish are still being caught out on the shelf but local anglers are waiting until the weather settles and makes it easier for small boats to venture out so far.

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This bream season started off with a big bang GIPPSLAND LAKES

Brett Geddes b.geddes@bigpond.com

I’ve got three words for you to sum up this month’s report – it’s bream time! April right through to the end of September always seems to produce the largest bream and the biggest bags. Lure and bait anglers will both share in the fun and already some hefty bream are turning up. LAKE WELLINGTON TO LOCH SPORT Back in late January the saltwater was pushing right up towards Marlay Point with the jellyfish and dolphins moving in as well. These are the first signs that bream are also not far behind. Then right on cue some very big bream turned up about four weeks later. And we were waiting! One of the first to find them was Warren Bertram from Maffra and he took his favourite bait (live shrimp) with him to Hollands Landing recently. Fishing land-based right at the wharf, he got a few little bream at first but then the big girls started to bite. His two best fish in the end went 42 and 44cm and they were also very fat and round fish. The fish had bellies full of black shells. Another bait angler was there a few days later also land-based and his best two bream went 42cm caught on live spider crabs. Boat anglers also caught a lot of smaller fish on sandworms and prawns. All types of bait were working even though the numbers of fish were down a little.

Armed with all that info I headed down there to chase those bream on lures. I was almost shocked to find them easily right at the wharf and, even better, the bream were biting flat out. I used the Sting and Vibz blades in the Hurricane range and fished them in 3 or 4m of water with a slow twitch. I had braid line of 6lb breaking strain and a rod’s length of 10lb fluorocarbon leader. About five hours later I was loading up the kayak having released around 60 bream. There were mostly bream around 28-32cm but at least 15 of them were each side of 40cm and healthy stout 1kg fish. It was some of the best bream fishing I’ve had in about five months. A few days later I returned with Matt White but this time the bream were less than obliging. Whitey had three ripper bream on board from 38-42cm before I’d hooked my first. I made up for it a little while later with a 45.5cm thug of a bream and three others around 36cm. The bream bite seemed to only last a few hours after daybreak and the fish were totally shut down by 9am. We returned just 12 bream that session and once again they were all caught on blades. This gives you an idea of the hit and miss nature of chasing bream at the moment. I have a feeling things will get even better towards the end of this month, just like the last 10-15 years. That’s when we shift our efforts towards snag fishing in the area with hardbodies and soft plastics. The biggest bream always seem to push into the shallower

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edges while the smaller fish school up out wider in the deep. I can’t wait. PAYNESVILLE AREA The jetties have been very quiet over the last couple of months and this is fairly typical for the time of year. If you want to explore the town jetties, use a small soft plastic grub or a crab-style lure and drop it down hard against the pylons. When the lure hits the bottom fish it as slow as you can with short twitches. Your first cast will be your best and if there’s no immediate bite, quickly move on. Don’t waste time flogging the same structure and 20 or 30 seconds per pylon is plenty. The same goes for bait anglers; cured or fresh worms are the best enticement right now. The shallow flats in Duck and Newlands arms are probably a better option for now and the first lure of choice will be a surface bent minnow-style lure. They are lethal at this time of year, especially at first light. Back in February, when two bream competitions were held, visiting anglers tried different areas of the Gippy Lakes and discovered a few big yellas. Since then a few more have been caught around Metung and Duck

CORNER INLET

Will Thompson allwaysangling@bigpond.com

Over the past month, the winds haven’t been very kind to us down in South Gippsland, but on the days that we can get out offshore, we have seen the best kingfish fishing in recent times. It’s hard to talk about any other sorts of fishing, as chasing our premier sportfish, the yellowtail kingfish, has been the main target species when launching from Corner Inlet. This season has seriously been the best season in recent

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arms. Interestingly some big yellowfin bream to 44cm have also been caught down in the Port Albert area as well. THE RIVERS The Mitchell is still the star of the show when it comes to which river to fish at the moment and once again bent minnow-style lures will provide the most exciting lure sport, especially down at the entrance and out onto the flats or the ‘Cut’ area around the snags and river edges. Bream will often hit or slurp at a surface bent minnow-style lure and with

their small mouth they tend to not hook up. The trick to improve your hook-up rate is to let the fish have plenty of time with the lure. In other words, don’t strike as soon as you see a bream hit the lure; more often than not you’ll just pull the lure away from the fish and spook the hell out of it. Wait until the fish has turned away and then gently strike so that at least you have a chance to pull the hooks into the fish and not away or out of the bream. And when you try to lift

the fish with a very gentle strike, there’s less chance of spooking it if you miss the hook-up, and then the bream will hit the lure again. Often they will hit the lure three or more times and the real trick is to let them almost hook themselves. The biggest mistake I see anglers make when fishing with surface lures is striking with ridiculous force and way too soon when a bream first appears to eat a lure. It’s pretty rare that a bream boils on a bent minnow-style lure and is hooked immediately.

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Bream are happy to hit blades at the moment, just like this 45cm horse.

times, and perhaps the best in memory for sheer size of the kingfish! We have been absolutely spoilt when its comes to the kingies, as there have been big amounts of fish caught that are over 10kg. This has all been happening despite the horrible weather, and we have only been getting one to two days a week to even get offshore to target the kingies, but the fishing is that good now that most anglers are opting to just head out wide and search for kings instead of staying inside and chasing other species. For this reason, the snapper and whiting reports have been a bit lacking, however I can tell you that the whiting switched on briefly over the past few weeks for the first time all season. Anglers were actually catching their bag limit using Bass yabbies and pipis when fishing the Lewis Channel. Port Albert even started producing some modest numbers of whiting around the Basket Beacon as of a few weeks ago, which are the first decent reports I’ve heard since last season. Back to Welshpool, the entrance has had another run of snapper around buoy 6 and buoy 4, and the fish have been solid sized at up to 6kg. The Franklin Channel has produced some healthy models at around 65cm and a lot of

Mitch Chapman with a big kingfish over the metre mark caught on a 150g slow pitch jig. pinkies to 35cm, mostly during at the end of the run-out tide and the end of the run-in tide. Back to the kingies, and as I said, there’s been sessions where there are no fish under 90cm and fish have been taken well over a meter long. These bigger kingfish have been caught trolling live baits or squid, jigging with 150-200g knife jigs, slow pitch jigging, and a few bigger ones have been caught trolling small skirted lures as well. There have been large schools of smaller kings around too, it just depends on what school of fish you happen to find at the time. If kingies aren’t your thing, drifting the reefs in 20-25m

of water is producing pretty good numbers of pinkie snapper to 45cm, and their numbers will only increase over the next two months as the water cools a bit. There’s also stacks of gummy sharks that can be caught on the drift in the same areas, especially around the slack tide. Just use big baits if you want to target the gummy sharks, as this will keep the smaller flatties away. • 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.


First stocking of Kings Billabong We have stocked Kings Billabong, near Mildura, for the first time with 80,000 native fish. Minister for Fisheries Jaala Pulford released the first of 20,000 Murray cod, which were complemented by 20,000 golden perch and 40,000 silver perch. These fish will take three to four years to reach catchable size and will provide improved fishing opportunities in this very scenic spot that is popular with kayakers and nature lovers.

New jetty at Yarriambiack Creek Your fishing licence fees have funded a new 13.5 metre jetty on Yarriambiack Creek Weir Pool. The 3.3 wide jetty has been custom-built for anglers and fishing boats and is situated in front of the Warracknabeal Angling Club, which managed the project. The jetty features three seats, two bait tables and solar lighting, along with fenders and cleats so boats can tie up safely. The creek has been stocked with more than 34,000 golden perch since 2015.

Better fish habitat for King River Fish habitat on the King River is on the improve thanks to the King Valley Tourism Association and the North East Catchment Management Authority. Hardwood timber and large granite boulders are being placed in the river to create diverse flow regimes and deep pools, and bankside tree planting will improve shade in the years ahead. The work is funded by fishing licence fees and the State Governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $222 million â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Water for Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; plan to improve waterway and catchment health.

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Bream are still biting well BEMM RIVER

Robyn Sturgess

Bream are biting well on hardbodied lures and frozen prawns in the middle of the inlet and towards the mouth of the river. There have been reports of a few flathead and luderick getting caught, although they remain relatively quiet compared to previous years. The entrance has remained closed recently. The channel has also been a popular spot for catching yellowfin bream, although the warm weather did slow the fishing down a bit. The surf continues to produce salmon when the weather permits, with one angler recently catching 50+ salmon in one morning all around the 50cm mark. We have only had one report of perch being caught

While the warm weather did slow the fishing down a bit, anglers have still been catching fish.

between the river mouth and the mouth to Swan Lake. They were caught on hardbodied lures. Another successful Hobie competition was held in early February, which saw a record number of entrants compete over two days with some excellent catches. The Hobie series then headed west last month and will be back to Mallacoota in late November for the final qualification. The Australian championships will be conducted in February 2019 at a venue to be announced, hopefully Bemm River. • 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.

The bream are biting well around Bemm River.

Why not have a go with some livies this month? BERMAGUI

Darren Redman djsxstreamfishing@bigpond.com

Whether you fish offshore for gamefish, land-based from rock platforms or jetties through to the estuaries, try using live bait – it may produce larger fish and often results in anglers encountering more fish. There has been excellent fishing in most estuary systems as fish feed to put on condition for the cooler months ahead. Luderick are being encountered on cabbage weed near the bridges (both Wallaga and Bermagui) and around the breakwalls. Lots of southern yellowfin bream have moved into the estuaries and using nippers and striped tuna in berley trails is extremely effective. Recently live mullet have been producing some excellent flathead captures with some of these fish being of exceptional size.

The slower neap tides are best with livies where there is less run; when this happens baitfish will move around the systems more freely and this is when flathead find it easier to predate on smaller fish. Not only are flatties active in these conditions, other predatory species like tailor, mulloway, a stray salmon and kingfish are too. Calm seas, plenty of fish and mild weather are the order for the middle of autumn. Just about all forms of fishing are at their prime and this is my favourite time of year to fish. April usually means good sea conditions, allowing anglers to access a lot of offshore fishing. Gamefishing sees a crossover of different species; yellowfin tuna along with albacore and many smaller species are starting to appear in good numbers. Trolling or berleying will account for many tuna, although while berleying you may attract sharks like makos, blues and tigers. While berleying, don’t be frightened

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The marlin action has been great this season and is set to continue through the autumn months. to put a live bait out in a trail for marlin; use heavier traces to handle them. Conventional means of targeting marlin are also working well with plenty of fish on the TwelveMile Reef and along the Continental Shelf. Mahimahi are hanging around the fish traps and are providing plenty of entertainment, while Montague Island has its share of kingfish in various sizes.

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Good numbers of bonito are there to keep anglers busy. While trolling deep diving lures is a great way to catch bonito. Try trolling small live mackerel hooked through the nose for a better result. Sport and reef fishers have plenty of options in the calmer conditions. It’s popular to use soft plastics offshore and bouncing these artificials around is producing interesting results out of Bermagui. Fishing in around 15-20m out from the headlands and bommies, working from the bottom to mid-water, will effectively produce the best fishing. Kingfish, salmon, snapper and many other species fall to this technique. For many reef anglers this time of year heralds the start of the snapper season. Drifting over the reef complexes – Goalen Head is the prime area – or anchoring will produce good fish. Larger snapper are regularly encountered by anglers anchored up and berleying in depths of around 30-40m. Fishing baits like pilchards, mackerel and tuna

strips at varying depths will produce the better fish. Other reef fish are also in good numbers with morwong, flathead, pigfish and perch coming from the deeper reefs. Sand flathead are plentiful out from most beaches that surround

good deep water surrounding many of the rocky headlands. Tuna, kingfish, sharks and marlin are all on the short list. Lure fishing for salmon, tailor, bonito and the like is also very popular, while the drummer and groper fishing is also hotting up. Most beaches are fishing well with good numbers of salmon, tailor, gummy sharks (on the moon) and the occasional mulloway. Smaller species like bream and whiting are also around with beach worms, nippers and striped tuna accounting for most. Use fresh berley like tuna and mackerel to keep the bream schooling close to shore. Brogo Dam is starting to cool, making fishing more difficult, however live crickets are effective for those who wish to fish baits. Trolling lures around the

When bait fishing for flathead, circle hooks are easier to remove for a safe release. Bermagui. The beaches to the south are best. Flat seas allow anglers easy access to rock platforms, which will give them the chance to try different techniques. Live baiting for gamefish is one option with

weed beds that are starting to become exposed with falling water levels is most effective and producing good bass. Humid conditions will still allow flyfishers good fishing, again around the weed beds later in the evening.


NSW South Coast

Visitors are enjoying the South Coast fishing EDEN

Kevin Gleed captainkev@wildernessfishingtours.com

The far South Coast has been blessed with excellent weather over the past month with little rain and enough days with light winds to allow the boats to get offshore. With the great weather there are still a few visitors about enjoying everything the South Coast has to offer. Out wide the story is all about striped marlin. The fish are around the 110kg mark and there is no shortage of them. Once again the best fishing has been of Mallacoota with boats heading to the shelf of Eden then making their way south until they encounter the fish. The water temperature has been around the 21°C mark and there are plenty of schools of baitfish around. Find the bait and the fish won’t be

far away. When heading offshore for the day it pays to stock up on live baits, as catching them out there can sometimes be near impossible. On the kingfish front there has been little to report. My guess is they are further down the coast and they will make an appearance as they head north ahead of the cold water as it pushes its way back up the coast. Tiger flathead are also being caught along with sand flathead. If you’re heading offshore, get out early and you should be back with a feed before the wind gets too strong. Some good morwong and snapper are also being caught with fish caught on the reef edges. The snapper have been a good eating size from legal-size through to a couple of kilos. There has been good salmon fishing on the local beaches with decent gutters,

the recent swell has really stirred things up. Chasing the fish with lures has been the way to go, as it is easier to move from gutter to gutter and find the fish. The local estuaries are still fishing well with reports coming in of good catches of yellowfin bream and sand whiting from the estuary mouths with fresh bait prawns being a good choice of bait. Dusky flathead are still being caught on a variety of soft plastic lures. The size of the fish can be down to luck with the odd big fish taking the lure when you least expect it. Around the new moon period it’s worth taking a look for a few prawns, as the past few darks have produced prawns for those keen enough to search. Make the most of the more pleasant weather of April, because all too soon the South Coast will be bitterly cold.

Diane with a great dusky flathead caught on a lure.

Prepare for a quiet month around Mallacoota MALLACOOTA

Kevin Gleed captainkev@wildernessfishingtours.com

The town caravan park was busy with plenty of caravans and motor homes. This month the

Grant Shorland with one of many marlin caught from his boat off Mallacoota.

weather will turn pear shaped and they will head north to chase the warm weather. The town will be quiet once again. The game fishing out wide has been excellent with striped marlin around in big numbers. The pool of water that moves around with all the baitfish and life in it has been on the continental shelf east of Gabo Island. Find the schools of bait and that’s where the action has been. Slow trolling slimy mackerel and big-skirted lures has worked well along with switch baiting. An amazing number of fish have been raised and caught with plenty of boats getting in on the action. How long the fishing lasts will depend on where the pool of water moves to. In closer, the kingfish have been around with fish down around Ram Head. It’s fair to say the action has been quiet with boats coming across fish but very few actually being caught. Those fishing for tiger flathead have been coming home with a feed along with a few good-sized gummy sharks closer to shore. Sand flathead are also being caught. The boat launching facility at Bastion Point is still constantly silting up and requires constant dredging; this means there can often be delays launching and retrieving boats. The fishing from the beaches has been slow with only the odd fish

being caught. Salmon are about travelling along the beaches in small numbers. The lake is still closed and will stay this way until decent rains raise the lake level to a point where it opens and can drag the sand out to sea, creating a decent entrance that will once again silt up and close. That is the natural cycle of the Mallacoota lake system. With the lake closed there have been some good catches of prawns. Anglers are also having good prawning sessions in the Betka River. Dusky flathead are about and they are well

fed. This can make them hard to catch. Soft plastic prawn imitation lures have worked well along with baits of fresh prawns and whitebait fish are being caught anywhere from the front of the system through to the top lake and above. Big tailor are also being caught, along with a few salmon. These fish were trapped in the lake when it closed and they will only grow bigger over the coming months. Black bream and yellowfin bream are being caught. While the fishing hasn’t been easy, the key is to keep moving until

fish can be found. For those who have fished here for years, don’t expect it to be like it used to be, because it isn’t. Commercial netting has been banned for 20 years and relentless recreational fishing is taking its toll; with no total possession limits in force in Victoria, Mallacoota is under constant pressure with the second biggest caravan park in the Southern Hemisphere on its shores. Something needs to change for the fishing to improve but that is not on the cards for the foreseeable future.

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Offshore and estuaries turning up surprises marlin ate a fish on his line when bringing it to the boat – interesting stuff. Marlin aren’t the only gamefish getting caught; some cracking yellowfin

MERIMBULA

Stuart Hindson stuart@ausfishing.com.au

Easter is upon us, but don’t let that deter you from fishing, as some exceptional angling will be had. The last month has been excellent and I can’t see any reason why this will change in the short term. Offshore the gamefishing community have had their fair share of action, with striped marlin the main species being captured. Some crews getting are upwards of six shots a day, which is red-hot fishing in anyone’s books. Most fish are succumbing to trolled skirted pushers, though switchbaiting has been popular when you can get the bait. The beakies are 80-120kg and can be found from the 70-fathom line outwards, but don’t underestimate the inshore grounds as they too are worth a look, especially for black marlin. There have been a few reports of smaller fish with one angler getting a little more than he bargained for when he hooked a 60kg fish flathead fishing. Yes, he did lose it, but he also said the

Closer to shore the snapper have been good on some days and hard to find on others. Anglers fishing the shallower water have fared best with the bommies

but it’s certainly working at present. The deeper water off Horseshoe Reef has also seen a few snapper with the odd gummy shark and plenty of morwong. If you fish

Bream and trevally numbers are excellent in the channel below the main bridge in town.

Quality trevally like this fish are abundant in the lower sections of Merimbula Lake.

tuna to 80kg have been captured, with one boat getting two 60kg fish in the one outing. That’s great to see and hopefully a good sign that the yellowfin are coming back in numbers; let’s hope so anyway.

off Tura Beach and Hunter Rock getting plenty of action. Some of the reds are solid fish to 4kg, but the key to consistent results is to fish light with plenty of berley using almost unweighted baits. It’s not for everyone,

in 70-80m, there’s a good chance of bagging out on nice-sized tiger flathead; you may have to move around a bit but once you locate a patch happy days will be had. The beaches and rocks To page 41

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NSW South Coast

The sportfishing scene is now in full swing NAROOMA

Stuart Hindson stuart@ausfishing.com.au

The offshore sportfishing scene is in full swing with a host of game species playing the game over recent weeks. I can’t see that changing any time soon; in fact it should only get better. There have been plenty of marlin about – mostly striped. A few bigger blacks have made their presence felt too. I know of several around the 150kg mark tagged with a reported monster of 250kg lost at the boat after a three-hour fight. That’s hard to take after that amount of time but that’s fishing, as they say. The fish have shown up from the 70-fathom line around the traps right to the second drop, so it’s a matter of finding the bait then the fish. The water temperatures have fluctuated quite a lot with pockets of cooler water around 19°C; these areas have produced some decent yellowfin tuna for crews trolling skirts. It’s still worth a look when the tuna are 30-60kg fish – they’re not huge but a stack of fun. I expect this to continue as long as the conditions remain the same. At Montague Island it’s all systems go with kingfish plentiful and all techniques working. Jigs have been dynamite with fish around the 65cm the most common. There has been the odd better fish pushing 1m 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, and good-sized trevally schools are thick at times. If you’re after snapper, the eastern side of the island has been good. Be careful From page 40

continue to fish well for the pelagic species like salmon and tailor. Tura Head is still firing with locals having a ball on these surface speedsters. Casting chromed lures and throwing ganged pilchards are working with bonito and smaller kingfish. We may start to see some decent snapper coming from this ledge this month with drummer, luderick and groper all on the cards. Cunjevoi, crab and cabbage will all work, and fresh squid and cuttlefish are ideal for the snapper. If beach fishing is for you then North Tura and Haycock beaches have some great-looking gutters

where you fish with the sanctuary zones that are in place. The inshore grounds off Kianga and Dalmeny are good for flatties with the odd snapper coming from the deeper water off Potato Point. For the rock-hoppers after the pelagics, it has been happening for weeks now and this will continue. There have been bonito, salmon and smaller kingfish on most local platforms; the hotspots are Mystery Bay to the south and the golf course rocks in town. These species have responded well to chrome lures up to 50g wound flat-out back to the base of the rocks. A few of the kings have pushed 6kg, which is pretty good from the hard stuff and I’d expect the odd larger fish if you’re using live bait. Every season you hear of a few bigger kings busting up fishos and I reckon it will be the same this year. For those after a feed there will be the odd luderick and drummer in the washes but you may find them a little slow. I’d be concentrating on the southern end of the breakwall or Dalmeny headland if you’re after a feed. Fresh cabbage and prawns are the preferred baits and a whole black crab fished almost unweighted is ideal for a groper or two. The local beaches north of Narooma have been excellent for bream and whiting. Coila and Blackfellows are the places to fish. Casting lightly weighted baits like worms and pipis just past the shore dump will see plenty of fish caught. Look for those deeper gutters close to shore; the rockier corner at the southern end of Coila is a good place to start. There have been a few salmon and tailor caught with the odd mulloway and gummy shark but they have been a little tougher of late. While lately and are certainly worth a look. There have been a few school and gummy sharks caught from the northern end of North Tura too. Fish fresh tailor slabs after dark on a flooding tide with some moonlight and you may just be rewarded. In the estuaries some thumping tailor have made the top lake at Merimbula home with fish to 2kg and bigger possible. Casting metal shiners to feeding fish on the surface is the go with legal snapper, flathead, bream and the odd mulloway picking up the scraps underneath. Some of the snapper taken are up to 48cm – better suited to offshore than the estuary, but that’s fishing. These fish

the salmon have been okay on a paternoster rig, casting metal shiners and working the beach seems to be getting better results lately. In the estuaries Wagonga has been a little mixed, though the bream surface fishing is nothing short of awesome. Catches of 15-20+ bream and some solid fish to 1kg are a daily occurrence. With the water so warm, this won’t change in the short term. The fish are throughout the entire system with the weed edges certainly fishing better than the flats around the main bridge. Upstream from the 4knot zone is also fishing well on the flooding tide, and the back of the leases has extensive areas to fish. Some of this water is pretty skinny, so having a kayak in this situation can pay handsomely. You can expect the odd trevally, flathead and whiting. Most days you’ll get a few of each species, so it makes for great fishing. In the main basin the place is loaded with salmon and tailor. The diving terns are a dead giveaway as to where they are but some of the salmon are monsters. I know of a handful of fish over 4kg, which are big fish for the estuary, particularly when taken on light gel-spun line. There have also been a few kingfish in the system with a handful of fish around the legal size getting caught by those casting larger soft plastics for mulloway and big flathead. Anglers targeting the larger flatties have done okay with some excellent fish to 90cm+ falling to soft plastics and larger live baits. These fish seem to be in the deeper water of the main basin. Concentrate your efforts in the 6-9m mark on the edges of the ribbon weed that litter the foreshore of Wagonga Inlet.

The gummy sharks have been a fantastic option offshore for anglers wanting a feed of fresh flake, and who could complain about a tasty double up like this one? OCEAN HUT COMPLEAT ANGLER REPORT The outside fishing has been awesome, with bait everywhere. At the islands we’ve been getting kings every day for weeks, with most fish ranging from legal to around 90cm. They’re taking everything – jigs, livebait and squid. There are also mahimahi on the FAD, with sizes ranging from just legal to 90cm. Marlin are coming good too out at 12 Mile, and from Tuross Canyons to the Kink. They have been taking skirts as well as slow trolled livebaits. Lumo colours have been working really well. If you want to stop on the way home to catch some flathead, there are plenty around in the 30-33m depth range. Simple paternoster rigs with squid or spiny will do the trick. Not many people are bothering chase flatties though because there are so many kings and mahimahi around. Beach anglers are starting to catch salmon and tailor fairly regularly now, with most caught on paternosters

with a pilly on the bottom and a surf popper on top. For the lure die-hards, chromies from 20-35g will do. There are plenty of yellowfin bream on the beaches too, taking fresh beach worm, pipis, and even prawns. They’re moving in and out of the estuaries for spawning, and you’ll get them at the mouths and the front half of the estuaries. The bigger the school the lower the average size, but most are legal to around 35cm, with the odd 40cm fish mixed in. You can catch them on lightly weighted soft plastics or surface lures. If you’re using bait, don’t go any heavier than 4-6lb, and fish as light as you possibly can. There are a few flathead around in the lakes. You can catch them on soft plastics, but the guys using live poddies and live nippers are doing the best. You have to do the hard yards and stick it out, waiting for a tide change or another unknown bite trigger. On a recent outing we had nothing early in the morning, and didn’t catch a fish until the middle of the day. You just never know.

Some anglers have been getting amongst the salmon on fly towards the mouth of Pambula Lake, great fun.

Guys fishing the rocks near estuary openings are catching plenty of bream and the odd drummer on very lightly weighted mullet gut. You can also chuck poppers and metals for salmon and tailor, which should swim up into the estuaries soon. There’s the chance of a king as well, and we’ll hopefully we’ll see the bonito show up this month too. Looking ahead, I don’t see why the king fishing wouldn’t stay reasonable right through autumn. The marlin and mahimahi should stick around too, provided the water temp stays good for a while. The pros have seen some yellowfin way out wide, and hopefully the tuna will come within trailer boat range. For all the latest info on what’s biting and where, drop into Ocean Hut Compleat Angler Narooma at 23 Graham St, or give them a call on (02) 4476 2278. You can also find more into at www. compleatanglernarooma. com.au or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ OceanHutCompleatAngler. have been caught on soft plastics; you will lose a few to the choppers but you will also get some quality fish. Pambula Lake is still producing the goods with most fishos getting nice fish. Captures of 10-15+ fish are the norm and fishing the outgoing tide is the go. The main basin has been productive; concentrate on fishing the edges of the channels with plastics and blades for the best results. There have been some solid flatties towards the entrance too with soft plastics around 70mm being ideal. A few 60-70cm flatties have been caught, though there are also plenty of eaters to be caught. APRIL 2018

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WHAT’S NEW FISHING SAMAKI CAMO COD

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Camo Cod is as rustic as the true Australian outback! With shoulders covered in a khaki camouflage, you’ll blend into your surrounding environment easily. The big Murray cod launches from the depths to attack the lure, amid sharp sticks and logs lying atop the dam floor, surrounded by rockery and weed. The natural colours of the Murray cod are enhanced by detail in the design, the accurately speckled finish, the soft wispy fins and the needle-like teeth in that huge bucket mouth. The lightweight fabric is perfect for all outdoor elements, protecting you from the harsh sun with Samaki’s UV50+ resistant technology. The soft touch 100% polyester material is very comfortable, and has the added feature of being breathable, keeping you cool and dry. Samaki designs are brought to you by Australian anglers who love to design Australian species. Camo Cod shirts are available in adult, youth and kids sizes from a size 2 through to a 3XL, allowing the whole family to get in on the action. Price: SRP $59.95 (adults), SRP $49.95 (kids) www.samaki.com.au

ZEREK 120MM TANGO SHAD

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purchase at the SoftGaff website. Bulk discounts for tournament organisers and clubs are welcome. www.softgaff.com

SAMURAI 3-PIECE CRUISERS

Samurai has launched four new 3-piece 5’9” travel rods in two weight ranges in both spin and casting built especially for barramundi and cod. These are shorter rods for pinpoint accuracy, perfect for tight country, skinny creeks, mangroves and overgrown river spots. The 16lb and 25lb weights are perfect for heavier creek needs. Cruisers come in an indestructible travel case designed to fit into your luggage and be thrown about the ute with no worries. The travel package includes a spare tip, so if you’re unlucky enough to snap your first while trekking, there’s another in the tube to get you back in the game. Just like the existing Cruisers, the seamless joins makes these rods a joy to use, and high quality AAA cork and stylish aluminium parts make the new Cruisers a classy piece of artistry. For more information visit the Frogley’s Offshore website or go to facebook.com/ samurairods. www.frogleysoffshore.com.au

DEPS NZ CRAWLER

SOFTGAFF ACCUMAT™

SOFT MULLET AND AQUA SHAD

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APRIL 2018

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Japanese fishing tackle giant DEPS have become world renowned for their high quality, and truly unique lures. The NZ Crawler is no exception to this, and is the ideal bait for anglers targeting big freshwater predators. This crazy bait is unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s a wide-bodied, high-mass jointed lure which is constructed of resin, and it swims across the top of the water, attracting hungry fish with its distinctive swimming action and highly attractive colour combinations. The NZ Crawler features large stainless steel wings that move a lot of water and make a unique sound. There is also a blade at the back that creates a flash to further attract nearby predators, and two super-sticky treble hooks that produce solid hook-ups. If you’re looking for a big profile bait that moves a lot of water and gives the appearance of a distressed fish, frog, rat or bat, try a DEPS NZ Crawler. It’s available in Australia through Dogtooth Distribution. www.dogtoothdistribution.com.au

Housed in a heavy-duty canister, the UVstabilised, non-wrinkle SoftGaff AccuMat has been confirmed for accuracy by precision engineers, and is available in both metric and imperial formats. With a flip-up nose plate for big fish, the AccuMat allows for quick measurement of fish up to 150cm/60” long. Retracting smoothly into the canister after each use, it prevents the creasing and wrinkling inherent to other brag mats (which distorts the measurement), to deliver a precise measurement fish after fish. There is also a SoftGaff app to automatically record details of every catch. SoftGaff’s AccuMat is brainchild of father and son team Ray and John Callingham. “After years of research, development and rigorous testing, we believe the accuracy and quality of the AccuMat is unmatched in the industry,” John said. In particular, the AccuMat’s assured accuracy will be of great advantage to measurement-based tournaments. SoftGaff’s AccuMat is available for

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The 120mm Tango Shad was tested in the steamy jungles of Papua New Guinea, where black bass like to exploit any weaknesses in the system. During prototype testing, the very first 120 Tango accounted for 18 PNG black bass before succumbing to the sticks, and that was without counting the barra caught as bycatch. Trolling to 6m deep, the 120 Tango is constructed from tough ABS plastic in onepiece to ensure maximum strength. Internally there is a casting weight that drops into a slot during retrieve, helping to keep the nose down. The weigh is released to the tail of the lure during casting to provide more accurate casting and greater distance by reducing tumbling during the cast. Externally the 120 Tango is fitted with 4X trebles that are wickedly sharp, and all rings are overstrength to produce a lure that will not compromise in the field. Available in 10 colours, the 120 Tango Shad weighs in at 37g and is built for action. www.wilsonfishing.com

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PRODUCT GUIDE

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The popular Soft Mullet from JM Gillies now comes in three new colours. There are now six colours in the range: blue, gold, plain, bananafish, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Qantas. There are two sizes to choose from – 4” and 6” – and each size comes in all colours. These pre-rigged soft plastic baits have been tested by numerous guides around Australia, and have accounted for some impressive catches. Soft Mullets feel more ‘natural’ to an enquiring fish, and this means the fish will mouth it for longer, giving you extra time to set the hook. Another recent lure release from Gillies is the Aqua Shad range, which was launched last year. Aqua Shads have a special soft touch construction, designed to produce a lifelike swimming action and extreme durability. Each Aqua Shad has an embedded holographic effect in the body, as well as lifelike eyes. There are four proven colours in the range (pearl, fire tiger, gold fish and bunker), and they measure 8cm and weigh 14g. www.jmgillies.com.au

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visit www.tacklejunkie.fish for the latest tackle news - AS IT HAPPENS!

SCAN THE QR CODE!


PRODUCT GUIDE

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WHAT’S NEW FISHING NEW 55MM CODGER 7 COLOURS

PRO-CURE BUTT JUICE

Codger Lures are designed by Graham Saunders from Shepparton in Victoria. His lures are widely known by their upturned bib design and have been a favorite for all serious native fish anglers for many years, particularly around his home town and the cod fishing mecca that is Lake Mulwala. The small 55mm 10+ and 15+ lures have been around since the late 80s and Graham has recently added four new colours to the 55mm range. Like the recent edition of his new Codger surface lures, these new colours will be highly sought after by all keen native fish anglers, and will no doubt have the same success as the rest of the range. To find out more about these and other Codger lures, you can head over to the Trelly’s website or contact Graham Saunders directly on 0407 544 965. www.trellys.com.au

Pro-Cure Super gel combines the best of the laboratory with real ground bait to attract fish and trigger strikes. Pro-Cure’s famous Butt Juice, now available to Aussie anglers. A killer scent on bottom feeders, it’s an easy-to-use super sticky gel formula and a great gift for your fishing buddy. Tested and proven, it combines real ground bait with UV enhancement, powerful amino acids and bite stimulants to fire up the bite. All this combines to attract fish, trigger strikes and make fish hold on longer, in a super sticky formula that sees it stay on any lure cast after cast. The 2oz squeeze bottle offers excellent value for money and the flip up nozzle makes applying Super Gel quick, easy and mess free, with no leakage when stored, so there’ll be no Butt Juice leaking all over the place when you least expect. www.tackletactics.com.au

SAX SCENT WITH CARABINER

DAIWA DUCKFIN LIVESHAD

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There’s good news for lovers of Sax Scent, with their 30mL squeeze tubes now coming with a carabiner as standard. This is a win for convenience for all fishos, as your favourite scent can now be hung from your electric motor remote lanyard, belt loop or anywhere else that’s easy to reach. It will save you valuable on-water time, and also make it easier to keep Sax Scent on your lure and get your rod bent. The Sax Scent 30mL squeeze tubes are available now in tackle stores or from the Sax Scent website. The SRP is $12.95 per tube, or $55 for a pack of five, which includes one tube of each of their flavours: crab, goldprawn, wasabi, bloodworm and abalone. Sax Scent is an Australian made and tested product that is used by successful tournament anglers all around Australia. It catches everything from bass and Murray cod in the fresh through to saltwater species such as whiting, bream, flathead, mulloway and more. www.saxscent.com

The Duckfin Liveshad has an remarkably effective design, which delivers outstanding action that resembles the swimming movements of a real fish. By applying 3D design and modeling around the realistic natural baitfish shape, this premium grade soft bait is one of the most accurate lifelike shads available on the market today. Suited to fast and slow retrieves, the Duck Fin tail creates a strong rolling and swinging action. Combined with its enticing swimming action, the lure’s streamlined shape, fins and large tail make it a very lethal lure. Features include: realistic patterns; 3D eyes; UV active prevents fading; fins for stabilization; and large Duckfin tail. The special soft material is also tough, and can endure multiple takes from predators. There are two models, a smaller size that measures 150mm long and weighs 28g, and a larger model that measures 200mm long and weighs 64g. They are available now in tackle stores around Australia. Price: from SRP $19.99 www.daiwafishing.com.au

MUSTAD LIP GRIPPER

BLACK MAGIC ENTICER COLOURS

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Mustad has upgraded their MT21 Lip Grip with some new additions that make this great tool even better. For starters, the new cosmetics make this tool jump out with anodised blue and black the theme throughout. The grip arms have also been tinkered with, changing from a one arm operation to a two arm operation. The handle has also been toughened up to allow larger fish to be easily controlled. Add in the existing features such as coiled lanyard for securing the tool to your belt or boat, single-handed operation and a weigh scale to 40lb, and this tool is a great accessory whether you are fishing from the bank or the boat. Mustad is distributed by Wilson Fishing, and you can see their full range of tools at www.wilsonfishing.com/Products/ Accessories/Tools. For all the latest news and catch photos visit the Wilson Fishing Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ LWilsonAndCo. www.wilsonfishing.com

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Black Magic’s very popular range of Enticer spinners has been expanded with some new additions. There are now seven colour options to choose from in either a 7g or 12g weight, and the two newest colours are called ‘carp’ and ‘red belly’. Black Magic Enticers feature startlingly lifelike finishes, which imitate a number of juvenile fish species. This finish, coupled with the Enticers’ fluttering action, makes them particularly attractive to predatory fish. They are very effective for both trolling and casting from the shoreline for a number of freshwater and estuarine species across Australia. As you would expect from Black Magic, these lures are manufactured from high quality components including a chemically sharpened treble hook, strong split rings and a swivel to help prevent line twist. Black Magic Enticers are available from Black Magic dealers nationwide. For more information head to the Black Magic website, or look them up on Facebook at www. facebook.com/blackmagictackle. www.blackmagictackle.com

Please email contributions to: nicole@fishingmonthly.com.au APRIL 2018

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WHAT’S NEW FISHING TRLJA TROLLING SQUID JIG

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DTD are European manufacturer of high quality lures and squid jigs. Having taken out the top squid lure award for the past two years at the prestigious EFFTEX tackle trade show, DTD have built a reputation for innovation and ingenuity, and their Trlja Trolling Squid jig is a fine example. The Trlja features a diving bib, which allows the lure to suspend and dive to the desired depth, like a minnow bait. The jig can then be slowly trolled from a boat or kayak so it swims horizontally through the strike zone (usually just above the weed line). Unlike a traditional squid jig, which you jig in and out of the strike zone, the Trlja remains within the zone the whole time. The realistic swimming action, coupled with the bright fluoro colour combinations (which directly imitate rock cod and red mullet) entice the squid out from the weed bed as the lure passes over their heads. Strong stainless steel hooks, durable cloth body, and luminescent glow effect all combine to attract the squid and to then ensure the catch is effectively landed every time. The Trlja Trolling Squid Jig is available in two styles (Trlja and Trlja Platno) and in two sizes (90mm and 110mm). www.dogtoothdistribution.com.au

EUREKA PHANTOM 14 AND VIPER

Eureka Lures Australia has released a dynamic range of game lures this year that are certainly going to prove effective on species such as marlin, tuna, albacore and mahimahi. The Eureka Phantom lure is a short pusher that creates an amazing smoke trail, and can be placed anywhere in a lure spread. They feature a double skirt with an oversized eye and reflective prism head. The Phantom is 8” long and comes in six outstanding colours. The Eureka Viper lure is a Slant Head lure that can be trolled at faster speeds. It dives, pops and swerves and creates a short to medium bubble trail. The Eureka Viper’s weighted head allows it to handle rougher conditions. They feature a double skirt with a reflective prism head. The Viper is 71/2” long and comes in six outstanding colours. www.jurofishing.com

PENN CONFLICT II

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The runner-up for Best Combo at the 2017 AFTA Show was the Penn Conflict II and Regiment II. Incorporating a lightweight yet strong RR30 (Rigid Resin) body and rotor, the Conflict II can withstand the high pressures that braided lines and powerful fish generate, while being light enough to comfortably cast all day. Housed with the RR30 body are seven stainless steel bearings and a computercontrolled CNC gear technology system where pinion, drive and oscillation gears are individually machined to exact tolerances. HT100 carbon fibre drag washers provide smooth and consistent drag pressure under high pressure and heat. There are four models covering a wide range of inshore applications, such as snapper on plastics through to casting metals at pelagics. Gear ratios range from 6.2:1 on the 2500 model to 5.6:1 with 90cm of line retrieve on the 5000. Maximum drags start at 5.5kg in the smaller models to 11kg on the largest. Penn Regiment II rods are a new generation of super light but powerful 5-piece travel rods. With a long tip and short butt, these lightweight, low diameter, fast action blanks are fitted with special Fuji intermediate rings for the perfect compression curve. Other features include: SLS3 blank construction; BCRLTSG guides; aluminium reel seat; and Cordura Tube. There 44

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PRODUCT GUIDE

are three models, all 2.1m long, ranging from 10-50lb. www.pennfishing.com.au

FISH INC FLY HALF

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The Fish Inc. Lures Fly Half 80mm popper is built tough, with heavy-duty ABS construction and solid wire through body design, to punch above its weight, and comes fitted with HD Owner trebles. At 16g it casts like a bullet, and its unique keeled belly design and balanced weight allows it to be retrieved easily with a walk-the-dog retrieve, popped with a subtle pop, or popped more aggressively to move plenty of water and create more noise. As well as providing casting distance and balance, the internal weight also emits a low click when the lure is walked or popped, drawing fish in. The finish quality and colours are to the normal top shelf standard produced by Fish Inc. Lures, with either a chrome look finish or internal foil design that creates flash, attracts strikes and helps the fish to zero in on the surface presentation. This bite-size lure has already accounted for a stack of species, including jacks, barra, trevally, tailor and salmon. It’s currently available in eight colours, including blue ghost, tidal form, bronze sardine and sugar coral. Price: SRP $19.95 www.tackletactics.com.au

OCEA PLUGGER FULL 17 THROTTLE

Full Throttle is the name, and full throttle is how these specialised rods are meant to be fished! This Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) saltwater spin rod series from Shimano is being widely embraced by the Australian offshore fishing fraternity as the pinnacle in casting and fish fighting performance. Utilising Shimano’s exclusive nano alloy High Power X Spiral graphite blanks, Ocea Plugger Full Throttle rods can propel and then work surface lures like the Ocea Spouter or Rock Dive with ease, and then comfortably handle a 60° fighting angle once hooked up — which will happen pretty quickly. As befitting rods of this standard, every element is top of the line. PE 4-8 braid ratings, lure weights from 20-150g, heavy-duty Fuji DPS reel seats, Fuji Titanium guides with SiC inserts for minimal friction build-up, and twopiece design with the ferruling underneath the foregrip means that Plugger Full Throttle rods are designed with big pelagics in mind. www.shimanofish.com.au

VMC 7116 CB HOOKS

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The new VMC 7116 CB Saltwater Trolling/ Fly series has arrived. Incorporating a forged, octopus style, wide gape, nonoffset long shank, this range is ideal for rigging light game skirted lures or tying large saltwater flies. CB stands for the new Coastal Black finish, unique to VMC. It’s the ultimate combination of an innovative coating for extreme corrosion resistance and a premium hook finishing process for maximum sharpness, offering the longest lasting black finish in the saltwater market today. Chemically sharpened to perfection, the unique VMC Needle Sharp ground needle point design combines maximum resistance and sharpness for exceptional penetration. Available in 2/0, 4/0, 6/0, 8/0, 9/0 and 10/0 sizis, these hooks will assist in targeting many species including marlin, GTs, barra, tuna and golden trevally. www.rapala.com.au

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PRODUCT GUIDE

WHAT’S NEW FISHING

SoftGaff AccuMat – the ultimate in accuracy ™

TESTED

In today’s world of outstretched arms, clever camera angles and noses that grow like the fabled puppet Pinocchio, a brag mat has become more important than ever before when recording your catches, checking for a PB and, most importantly, making sure your fish is bigger than your fishing buddy’s!

That’s why we were so excited when the local postman dropped off a couple of perhaps the most technically advanced fish measuring tool to hit the shelves – the SoftGaff AccuMat™.

Brett Habener with a typical size barramundi from the trip north. This fish and many others hit the deck after falling for a Lucky Craft Pointer AU series jerkbait.

Developed by lifelong fishing tragics John and Ray Callingham, the AccuMat has been painstakingly designed and engineered to be the most accurate and efficient ‘brag mat’ on the market. In fact it’s so different from the competition that both the AccuMat and its accompanying smart phone app AccuLog™ have had international patent applications lodged.

WHAT’S SO DIFFERENT ABOUT THE ACCUMAT? The first thing you’ll notice is just how neat and tidy it is straight out of the box. I’ve only got a small 2000 model 4m Quintrex Hornet Trophy tinny to get me around on the water, and I like to carry too many rods, reels and especially lures so space is at an absolute premium inside my boat. With the AccuMat being able to be so easily wound back up into its own hard shell, it’s there when you need it but not in the way or flapping around in the breeze when you’re traveling. The outer shell of the canister is sleek, robust and bright yellow so it’s hard to misplace. The mat itself is very supple and won’t wrinkle, giving you a much more exact measurement of your fish. Manufactured from UV-resistant and mould/mildew-resistant material, the AccuMat has been designed to not fade, stretch or warp. No Metal, No Rust, No Worries AccuMat uses exactly zero metals in its construction so there’s no need to worry about rust and corrosion. This means you

can pull out the mat, wet it down to make life easier on your fish’s scales and wash the mat at any time without a worry. One mat will provide you with years and years of hassle-free use. DAD TALKS IN INCHES BUT I TALK IN CM Never fear, AccuMat are available in both metric and imperial versions up to 150cm/1500mm and 60”. THE APP Plenty of fishing-related smart phone apps have been released over the years,

but few of them have stuck around and not many worked – especially here in Australia. I have a feeling though that the AccuLog app will buck this trend and become a hit with us notoriously hard to please Aussie anglers. Available for Apple iOS and Google Android, the AccuLog digital fishing app helps you record dates, times, locations, methods and, with the help of your AccuMat, the size of the fish. I’ve had it on my phone for only a few weeks and a couple of fishing trips, but I’ve found it easy to use and navigate, as well as share pics to my increasing number of social media accounts. All your photos are kept in a neat gallery and it’s got a very intelligent and predictive list of species pre-loaded, so storing and accessing your data becomes quite easy. Each AccuMat has its own unique ID number right below where the fish’s nose goes, so it’s visible to the app and it uses this to recognise your account. We’ve had a little trouble getting this to work sometimes, but I suspect that’s a user error rather than a software or design error. THE PRICE Fishing gear is no different from any other purchase in life, in that you get what you pay for. The AccuMat isn’t cheap at a suggested retail price of $99, but with the way it’s put together this is probably the last brag mat you’ll ever need to buy. The AccuLog smartphone app is $2.99 from either app store.

WHERE TO BUY The AccuMat is still fairly new to the market, so while it is stocked in some tackle stores already, the network isn’t as large as I assume it will soon be. For now, if you can’t find it in your local store, jump onto www.softgaff.com and purchase it there.- RUPE

None of the fish caught on the weekend away testing the AccuMat™ were monsters but being 4 competitive young fellas you can be sure every one of them went on the mat to see who’s fish was bigger. Every millimetre counts!

APRIL 2018

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Victorian spearfishing kicks back into gear WEST COAST

Brett Illingworth

Isn’t it amazing the difference that a few months make? Three months ago, I was sooking relentlessly about how horrible the fishing in Victoria was. Now look at us. Victoria is now no longer the poor cousin when it comes to blue water hunting. Once again the focus on the current reporting period is wholly on the continued prevalence of southern bluefin tuna. Over the past month they have been spotted and shot almost everywhere between Wilsons Promontory and the South Australian border. The depth of water has varied from as little as 5m of water off Point Lonsdale out to the depths of the continental shelf. These have been fun times. It’s not often that kingfish or lobsters are pushed off the front page when it comes to warm water desirables off the Victorian coast. This is now the third good tuna year on the trot. May it continue forever. The Victorian southern bluefin tuna spearfishing record was also broken in this past month. The Southern Freedivers Spearfishing Club ran a tuna competition earlier this month. The third annual Bluefin Battle was run out of Portland and it was conducted as a pairs competition. Seven pairs signed on and seven tuna were actually weighed in. Peter Riddle and Stoj Pavlovski were the winning pair, weighing in two fish weighing 28.75kg and

26.70kg respectively. They were the worthy winners of a cash prize of $500. Pete Riddle also pocketed an extra $150 reward for weighing the heaviest fish in the official competition. Although not a competitor, Andrew Cutajar jumped in

and speared a beauty. After a short sharp fight ‘Cutters’ was rewarded with a new state record fish. The new record now sits at 32.75kg, smashing the previous official best by nearly 5kg. Some much larger fish were noted by many who

Kim was stoked with this decent kingy.

Baz with some good Prom kings.

A well-earned Point Lonsdale tuna for Steve.

attended, so we expect these records to keep tumbling as we Victorian divers further refine our methods for both location and capture of these iconic visitors. The Geelong Freedivers Club also ran a ‘normal’ boat competition this month. During the routine search for normal competition species one of the competitors, Steve, managed to land a cracking tuna of 22.39kg. Steve won the competition. With all the tuna action dominating the news, we had best not forget that we are slap dab in the middle of kingfish season. Good fish are still being taken at all of the usual haunts, the only impediment seeming to be in finding a good weather widow. Murray Petersen and Nathan Watson have both managed to secure fish in the 20kg category. These divers have both noted that they have spied much larger fish in the distance. We are hopeful to see a new kingfish record soon. That would round off a stellar month indeed. Lobsters, snapper, whiting and thumping salmon have also been plentiful, but who cares? Everyone has gone pelagic mad. This is a great time to be a spearfisher in Victoria. Get out and get amongst it. There are still a couple of months of this magic remaining.

Stoj with his tuna that put him into first place.

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Inland Fisheries Service

IFS support weed removal at yingina/Great Lake IFS

Tim Farrell

Last weekend IFS participated in an exercise to remove ragwort from Elizabeth Bay, Great Lake. This highly invasive weed has infested large areas along the eastern side of the Great Lake and an ongoing project by the Derwent Catchment Project aims to remove it from this region. With financial support from Hydro Tasmania, the Derwent Catchment Project coupled together personnel from IFS, AAT, Tas 4WD and private individuals worked to make inroads into the removal of the weed. The weekend involved contributors pulling the plant out of the ground and then removing the seed head and bagging it to prevent germination. A very large area covering 150-200 acres is now devoid of mature plants, which would have otherwise seeded over coming months. Many thousands of mature plants were removed and given that one mature plant can produce up to

240,000 seeds, the impact from the weekend is very significant. As well as contributing to the removal of the plants, IFS also provided boat transport for personnel from Boundary Bay and back each day and the provision of overnight accommodation at Liawenee Hostel. It is expected that the project will need to continue for several years to see the eventual removal of ragwort from the area. AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD FOR TROUT WEEKEND Trout Weekend recently received the 2018 Central Highland Community Event Australia Day Award. Trout Weekend has been running for 30 years in the Central Highlands. Central Highland Council and Community members celebrated the Australia Day Awards with a BBQ at the Bothwell Swimming Pool. Congratulations to Mrs Raylee Parsons, who was awarded as the Central Highland Citizen of the year, and to all other recipients of the Central Highland Council’s

Australia Day Awards. Trout Weekend returns in 2018. We hope to see you up at our Liawenee field station over Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May. NO FIRES NO CAMPING AT FOUR SPRINGS New signs have been installed at Four Springs Lake Reserve to remind visitors that Four Springs Lake Reserve is a day use only area. Camping and fires are prohibited within the reserve, including the car park and lakeshore. TROUT FISHING PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION Don’t forget we want your best Tasmanian trout fishing photos. Entries for the Tasmanian Trout Fishing Photography Competition 2017-18 will be accepted up until 5pm on Monday 30 April 2018. • There are cash and gear prizes on offer: 1st place – $500; 2nd place – a pair Fly ‘N Dry Neoprene waders; 3rd place – 12 lures from Hueys Lures. • Photos need to be taken by the person making the entry. •  Photos can’t be ones entered in 2016-17

Get your fishing photos in for the competition. Photo courtesy of Adrian Webb. • Photos need to be taken in Tasmania. • Photos need to be about inland fishing. •  Photos don’t have to contain a fish. •  Photos could be a favourite fishing spot,

artfully placed gear or fishing with family, friends or a mate. Entry is free and you can submit up to six images with maximum size of 5MB each. Images will be showcased and the

winner announced at Trout Weekend 2018. Download the Entry Form from www.ifs.tas. gov.au, fill it out, press the submit button, attach your photos and email it all to us at photos@ifs.tas.gov.au.

FISHING NEWS

Ghost gear attributed to declining fish stocks There has been renewed calls for the world’s biggest seafood companies to do more to stop their lost fishing nets killing millions of fish every year. An estimated 5-30% of the decline in some fish stocks can be attributed to ‘ghost gear’- abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear, which can take up to 600 years to decompose. The prevention of ghost gear is vital, as not only does it deplete fish stocks, it is also killing sea animals. Every year more than 100,000 whales, dolphins, seals and turtles become entangled in ghost gear.

The Ghosts beneath the waves report ranks the 15 biggest seafood companies on their ability to address the problem of ghost gear; with tier 1 being the best and tier 5 the worst. Only three of the 15 companies achieved ‘improver’ tier 3 status, including Thai Union, the owners of John West, a popular seafood brand in Australia. Not one of the world’s biggest seafood companies achieved tier 1 or tier 2 status indicating there is a long way to go to address this deadly menace. Worryingly, the report shows that 73% of assessed

companies do not have a clear position on ghost fishing gear or publicly acknowledge the issue. Ben Pearson of World Animal Protection, said: “Fishing gear is designed to catch and kill, and when it is lost or abandoned in the ocean it continues to do this, becoming the most harmful form of marine debris for sea animals. “It’s heart-breaking to know that animals caught in this incredibly durable gear can suffer from debilitating wounds, suffocate or starve to death over a number of months. “We hope to see the seafood companies at the bottom of

the ranking working hard to address this global issue in future years. Joining the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) is an important first step they can take.” The GGGI is an alliance founded by World Animal Protection in 2015, dedicated to tackling the problem of ghost fishing gear at a global scale with practical solutions. GGGI participants from the fishing industry, the private sector, academia, governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations play a critical role to play to mitigate ghost gear locally, regionally and globally. David Carter, CEO, Austral Fisheries – a member of the GGGI – said: “Austral remains committed to working with all parties to eliminate lost gear and reduce waste in our oceans. We have been strong supporters of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative since its inception and, as part of the Northern Prawn Fishery, we have been working with our industry peers, governments, Australian agencies and local groups in northern Australia to remove, and reduce, the amount of ghost gear in our waters. “By working together as industry members, we’re

able to see the benefits across northern Australia of healthy oceans and healthy fisheries, sustainably managed into the future.” The report further illustrates the need for the Australian Government to accelerate the introduction of its Threat Abatement Plan for the impacts of marine debris on Australian sea animals. The draft Threat Abatement Plan contains a number of actions to address ghost gear in Australian waters, but it is not clear when the

Australian Government will finalise and release it, nor whether the specific actions will be funded. Given ongoing inaction from global fishing companies, it is even more urgent that local actions are undertaken. “It seems the government’s plans to protect Australian sea animals from ghost gear and other marine debris is a victim of entanglement in bureaucratic processes,” Mr Pearson said. – WAP APRIL 2018

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Go Behind the Scenery

Tasmania

Tasmanian fishers look to winter tactics again TASMANIA

Kelly Hunt

Yes, it’s that time of the year again in Tasmania where you have to have the hotline for Beyond

Blue saved in your phone for when you need a bit of a pep talk. The daylight hours are reducing and our wonderful daylight savings is gone for another year. The ambient temperature

is falling as people start to mention the ‘w’ word – winter. But hey! Let’s look at some of the positives and not get hampered by a few cold fronts and the early darkness. The early

fall of light and sunset can also be a godsend for those anglers that like to mix tides with falling light conditions. The early access to sunset for beach fishing can also mean that you can clean your catch

and be in bed before 11pm. The same can be said for those anglers that like to look for a few flounder in the dark hours with the aid of a light. There are also some species that seem to fire

NORTH WEST Autumn is well and truly upon us here in Tasmania and on the North West Coast. The days are still reasonably warm and the water temperatures still have the fish quite mobile. The weather is quite mild actually and some very still and calm days can be had. This is great news for any fisher – not just for those with a boat who hate the talk of any wind chop. Mild and settled conditions are also a godsend for the land-based angler. There has been a big increase in people fishing from rocky headlands and also the beaches along the coast from Wynyard to Port Sorrel. The interest has been growing along with the number of species that can be encountered at this time of year. The Australian salmon are abundant around the rocky features and will be brought undone with a long cast and fast retrieve. Look for these around Boat Harbour Point, Doctors Rocks and the rocks to the east end of Preservation Bay. Flathead are being caught on any beach you could name. Just getting out and having a crack at the right time is the key.

Find what works best for what beach. Some fish best when there is a bit of green water over the deeper sections around rocks with bait, like at Boat Harbour. Others fish best on the low tide when the receding water exposes and allows access to some of the weeded areas between sand sections like out at Moorelands Beach. The King George whiting continue to create some keen interest and there have been some really good fish caught. The estuary out at Port Sorel is a very good place to have a crack at these delectable fish. That’s a fancy word for super yummy! The interest in this species has grown and grown and the occasional advent of a 60cm specimen fuels the fever. This is great news for Tasmanian anglers and an indication of just how amazing our salt water fishery is down here, particularly on the East Coast. I am now regularly having interstate visitors exclaiming that Georges Bay at St Helens is one of the best estuaries in the southern half of Australia, and when I tell them they can also catch King George whiting they are just amazed. The King George has a

pretty wild scientific name that will have you knotting your tongue up to pronounce – Sillaginodes punctatus. The KGW can grow to a length of 72cm and 4.8kg in weight and is easy to tell apart from other species of whiting by its pattern of spots. These little fish are pretty wily and can be tricky to trip up. You also need to take care on where you place your baits and fish light. There is no doubt in my mind these fish

are a great many places in and around our waterways but we miss them by not targeting them properly. Port Sorrel has a number of areas that are worth a try and hold good numbers of fish. You will need to find two things for success: a weedy edge adjacent to a big sand patch and some tide movement. These fish are foragers and the water movement of a strong tide stirs the bottom up and

exposes food for these fish to plunder. The baits you need are a little different, although the main staple of squid is often used. Make sure you cut this into thin strips that can often look like a worm in the current. These fish love a worm, yabby or prawn type bait, so they are susceptible to soft plastics as well. The Berkley Turtleback worm and Gulp Fry profiles are deadly. Bait rigs need to be super

light with small long shanked hooks. The use of a coloured bead at the eye of the hook is very popular. A key feature of a good rig is the ability to be able to quickly change sinker weights to the tide conditions. You can tie your own and look on YouTube for those details or buy commercially-made rigs. You don’t want to anchor your rig and baits to the bottom, but ideally have the baits move a little naturally with the flow. Watch your rod tip like a hawk and be ready to strike immediately. Don’t rip its head off but set the hooks with a rod tip rip rather than a massive lift. This is a good reason to use a slightly longer rod at around 7’4 with a soft supple tip. The super supple tips mean the fish won’t feel any resistance and have the confidence to grab a mouth full of your bait and take off. Reels can be 2500 in size or smaller. Talking to whiting anglers, you will start to find the zones and areas to cast your baits and hitting them more often will result in more bites. Around 1-2ft off a weed edge is the right area. Too much closer or in the weed and you will pick up by-catch. Go too far out and you will be slow to get bites.

to take advantage of some awesome calm days at the end of March and smashed the striped trumpeter. Don’t forget when looking for these fish off this coast that a bit

of water movement is a great advantage. The tides are not the same as in many parts of the state. The tides on the west have less sea surface fluctuation, so they don’t have the same body of movement as the North West Coast. The fish

are attuned to it and any water movement can turn a slow day into a good day. Make sure you have a selection of baits on hand, as I have said before. Squid is a favourite and some defrosted tuna belly flaps and couta are worth having on board.

They were also surrounded by a massive school of southern bluefin at one stage and caught fish after fish on jigs and surface lures. This just means that you have to be prepared for a little of anything down off the west. Those looking to find

some crayfish are still doing well and both pots and rings are accounting for their fair share. Always look at the weather when going west and make sure your safety gear is all in great shape and working well. It’s isolated and it can get rough in a heartbeat.

WEST COAST The wild stretch of rugged coastline continues to fish well when crews and anglers get some good weather. West Coast locals and visitors alike managed EAST COAST BICHENO Ever since Australia Day long weekend, I have had a great deal of people asking about Bicheno and how we managed to find so many fish and such a varied species list. The train of thought is that we had a big flash boat with a heap of super fancy electronics and a heap of fishing gear worth a fortune. This could not have been further from the truth. The boat we fished out of was built in 1980 and we had no sounder at all. We only had five rods on the boat in total. We had three large spinning 48

APRIL 2018

up at this time of year in Tasmania, so for now while we still have the autumn weather on our side, let’s have a look at the April fishing and what we can expect around the great state of Tasmania.

rods suited to all duties, an electric fishing rod for the deep bottom fishing and a big Penn 80vsw just in case it glassed out on the shelf. We didn’t have a ridiculous amount of gear on board that we didn’t need and we didn’t over-cater for food and beverages. This was a fish hunting trip and we were focused. Yes, we were at Bicheno, but the plan of attack we used will work out of any of the coastal towns on the East Coast. You can come out of Burns Bay Boat Ramp at St Helens, the Gulch at Bicheno or the awesome new ramp at Swansea; the basic playbook

The Penn Clash and Ally rod are super versatile and super strong. The author had a great time fishing offshore from Bicheno.

is the same. The very first thing you must have is a favourable weather report. You have heard me bang on about it before and for good reason. It’s not just for safety reasons. Understand the weather on the day and what it’s likely to do in the afternoon as the day wears on, because you must have good weather to maximize your fish-catching probability. It also pays to work out your plan of attack as it’s much better to come home in a following sea. Getting the weather pattern locked away in your mind then get on the Navionics app and have a look at where you want to start your bottom dropping To page 49

Gemfish are as prevalent off the East Coast and they are toothy.


Go Behind the Scenery We dispatched those and reset the spread. We only just got up to speed when the rods went off again. This was a four-way hook-up that involved two southern bluefin tuna as a nice surprise. Soon we had our bait sorted and off we went. We zigzagged up the shelf to see what we could find. The hope was for a yellowfin tuna, albacore or maybe even a marlin – sometimes you can’t win them all. We found some good-sized albacore and put a waypoint down straight

From page 48

session later in the day. I say later in the day, as the early daylight hours and setting-sun parts of the day are tuna time. Good weather and a flat sea aren’t conducive to great tuna fishing, so getting that done early is key. We didn’t have a sounder in the boat so the use of the Navionics map was crucial. I just looked at a likely spot on the map and put a waypoint down that we would fish our way to, using the electric reel to prospect the bottom. We had an X marking the spot and, due to weather analysis, a direction of approach and return. We were right to put down a plan and stick to it. The first thing was to find some striped tuna for bait as the belly flaps off these little skipjack tuna are deadly on anything. The back straps also make great mako baits, so that was ticked off. Once we had found a few of these we wanted to pull the lines in and head out closer to the shelf, towards the mark we made. Getting some albacore tuna was the plan here. We set a spread and trolled up and across the shelf as we made our way north. Once we got to the mark

Tasmania away, so we could come back to them later. We had a head unit that was still good for plotting waypoints but no transducer on the transom, rendering the sounder functions useless. When you find fish and mark a waypoint, remember that it’s just reference point for a hook-up and the fish are in a current running north to south, so it doesn’t make much sense to re-approach that mark from the north. I always circle down and travel past the mark to the south and swing back up

through it. The fish are going to be swimming wherever they want but it makes sense to try and find them again from the south moving north. We kept moving north until we had arrived at our chosen starting point, collecting albacore on the way. We now had a good amount of blood in the bilge from bleeding fish out, so it was time to put some berley in the water as we set about getting the electric reel set up. The To page 50

Anything from the deep has big googly eyes, just like Ashley. the hope was to have some albacore on board and start a berley trail while we set up to fish the 500m mark with the electric. We would take a small amount of berley and then break down the fish frames as the day went on, drifting along and looking to raise a mako as we hit the bottom up for some tasty deep water species. We decided we would hit the water quite early

and run out of the gulch. The good thing is we have phone service all the way out to the shelf off Bicheno. Once we got out to the 80m line we set out a three lure spread looking for some striped tuna. We stopped on a promising patch of birds milling about and looking hungry. It wasn’t even ten minutes before we had a double hook-up on the little skipjacks.

This man knows the power of a skipjack for bait!

DROP IN TO YOUR LOCAL QUINTREX DEALER! TASMANIA Lewis Marine

273 Kennedy Drive, Cambridge TAS p 03.624 8222 www.lewismarine.com.au

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49


Go Behind the Scenery

Tasmania

the blue-eye and drift back over. As we were only going to be just in gear we could leave the berley out and still try to raise a mako. It decreases the probability and is not the preferred method to raise one, but it’s not out of the question. I have been out off the shelf a number of times with lines and fish coming up and a mako has turned up out of the blue with no berley at all. This would be our modus operandi for the rest of the day. We would drift from 500m into 250m, head back out to 500m and start again. As well as the blue-eye trevalla we managed to find a nice hapuka, gemfish and some Rays bream. We even managed to spot some bluefin at the rear of the boat in 10m of water and used some jigs to catch them, until we couldn’t catch any more. I nearly cried when I took the pliers to my Owner

From page 49

trick is to get a trail going and hit the bottom up with baits until a mako shark turns up. We started in 600m and then drifted along or back into the shelf as it came up to 200 and 120m. We had only been drifting 10 minutes when I had the first drop with four baited circle hooks going to the bottom. I hooked one and pulled it up a metre, waited, then hooked another. It was time to bring her up and see the wild googly-eyed beasties we had hooked – two blue-eye trevalla. We quickly gaffed them and rebaited. A little while later we had more bites for one more really good-sized blue-eye trevalla. Happy days! After some discussion we decided to change our plan a little. Instead of laying out a trail and drifting, we decided to trundle back over the spot where we caught

Drifting is where it’s at.

SOUTH The fishing has been excellent down south and doesn’t look like slowing at all. The main staple of course, the humble flathead are in great numbers. The local anglers are still getting stuck into good amounts of flatties in the shallow water around Taroona,

Bull Bay, Electrona and Betsey Island. These are just some of the hotspots to try. Soft plastics on 1/4oz jigheads have been working extremely well. Just as they are around the whole of the state, Australian salmon are on fire in the south. Salmon have been busting

cutting point jig assist hooks to flatten the barbs for better fish release. We decided to head back in and clean and dress the fish down before it got too late. The weather had turned to the north-northwest as it was forecast and we had a great run home with the wind and swell pushing from the rear. The old Cruise Craft Hustler took the sea on the nose beautifully and we were back at the ramp in no time. You don’t need to have the best of everything to have a great day on the water. A little planning will have you find fish. Don’t be scared to change the plan slightly if you come across something of interest, but don’t just chop and change all day like I see most anglers do. If you stick to your guns and work the conditions with the know-how you have picked up in the past, you are sure to find fish.

up in massive schools all throughout the Derwent River, the channel, North West Bay and 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 slices, minnowstyle soft plastics and hardbodies is a great way to search for these fish if they

The crew on Off Duty were very happy with their broadbill catch.

Locki Miller (8 years old) fought a swordfish for an hour before loosing it.

SEASON

5

IS HERE!

Every Saturday 4.30pm on 50

APRIL 2018

aren’t showing themselves on the surface. A salmon well over 60cm was recently caught in the lower reaches of the Derwent too,

so be prepared to encounter solid fish. The squid have been out of control lately. The arrow and southern cals have

been on the chew. The arrows have slowed down a little bit in North West Bay and the Channel, To page 51

OUTDOOR & FISHING SHOW

Listen on 5am-6am Every Saturday


Go Behind the Scenery From page 50

but there are plenty of calamari to be caught. The shallow weed beds around Howden, Dennes Point and Blackmans Bay have all been producing some healthy specimens. The 2.5-3g jigs in orange and green have been the standout jigs amongst the keen local squid anglers. Remember to let your jigs sink down and keep them close to the bottom when targeting calamari; this is where they will usually be found, unlike the arrow squid, which can be caught anywhere from the bottom to the surface! Gummy sharks are about, but remember there are a lot of shark sanctuary zones in this area. Bull Bay and Betsey Island continue to be the go-to spots for those chasing a nice feed of flake! Some really solid 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; these fish pull hard and are also a great eating fish! Kingfish fever is still running strong with a great deal of anglers succumbing to the sickness. The kings are still being caught consistently by anglers fishing around the Derwent, North West Bay and the channel. Squid soft plastics are working great as are poppers, stickbaits and micro-jigs. 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. Trolling a spread of small skirted lures, soft plastics and divers is also a good way to search for them. Fish like

BROADBILL COMPETITION Tasmania is very quickly getting a name for itself nationally and around the world as being the place for large daytime broadbill swordfish. It has been pioneering stuff from recreational anglers like Leo Miller, Mason Paull and skipper Josh Hammersley that have driven this amazing fishery. There have been a number of others who also managed some amazing captures and Jamie Harris from Burnie is one that comes to mind. These anglers have honed their craft to the

point of encountering a fish on nearly every trip they make out to target them. They don’t always have fish to the side of the boat, but they get bit and tight on fish very often. Their techniques and methods have spread to the majority of anglers around the state and many have been keen to have a go themselves. Weather is a crucial part of any deep water offshore fishing trip and it’s no different here. Deep dropping for swords is best done when the swell and wind is next to nothing.

Tasmania

kings are stubborn feeders at times and a lure with an erratic action can trigger the feeding instinct and bring them on the bite. March has been known as the game fishing month in Tasmania but, with the seasons all over the shop, so too is April. Eaglehawk Neck is still fishing very well. While the albacore have slowed down a little bit, there are plenty of bluefin about with a few striped tuna mixed in. The tuna have been caught both in close around Tasman Island and out wide on the shelf. There are still quite a few makos about too and the swordfish are really starting to fire up. Deep sea fish such as Rays bream, grenadier, blue-eye and gemfish are all fishing well too! The days are indeed getting shorter and winter is fast approaching, but as we have mentioned, it’s not all bad. We have some really good fishing to look forward to and it won’t be too long before

it’s jumbo tuna time. The ambient air temperatures will start to drop, but water

temperatures will hang in there for April. Get out and make the most of all the

great fishing and enjoy the awesomeness that Tasmania has to offer.

The fish don’t care either way, but the process of preparing and presenting a bait down 600m or more is best done in a calm sea with little or no wind. This month is perfect as the autumn days can offer up some very still weather conditions and you can find the sea very flat and calm offshore. This coincides with the general consensus that they start to thicken up at this time of the year. The Sports Fishing Club of Tasmania agreed and held the inaugural Tasmanian Broadbill Swordfish Championship in March. This was the first time that a competition

of this nature has ever been held in Tasmania. The event attracted 20 vessels full of keen anglers willing to try their hand at raising a big swordfish. This was a great turn out for an event in its first year, given the sporting and events calendar at this time of year. The competition was held in the waters of Eaglehawk Neck is the state’s southeast in some reasonable weather. The event was held over three days, allowing the weather window to be quite wide to help in getting at least one ideal day for sword dropping. It must have been okay, as there was

plenty of action and the radio was alive with people calling in hook-ups. There were plenty of fish caught and battled, but these fish fight hard and have immense power, so there were several lost. The first fish caught was on the vessel Off Duty skippered by Wade Wheeler. His angler Craig Scarfe hooked and fought a sword that pulled the scales down to 167kg. The winning fish however was caught by the team on the vessel Chief skippered by Danni Suttil. The angler was Antony, Danni’s son, who fought the fish for over five hours on a 37kg outfit. This fish

went 208kg on the scales and was a very good angling effort. This event had a sensational vibe about it with teams coming to help each other when needed, showing great camaraderie. Skipper of Black Magic Josh Hammersley cut his fishing short to go and help the crew on Chief and dropped a crew member on board so they could help capture young Antony’s fish. The event looks to be even bigger and better next year with early commitment from mainland crews and also some international guests. Watch this space for more information as we learn more.

Jarvis Wall found a nice tench in a local river.

HYDRO TASMANIA WATER STORAGE INFORMATION Water Storage Information as at 8 March 2018 Lake/Lagoon

Metres from full

Comment

Trevallyn Pond..................................1.15................................................................... Lake Mackenzie................................7.95................................................................... Lake Rowallan..................................4.19................................................................... Lake Parangana................................0.94................................................................... Lake Cethana....................................1.54................................................................... Lake Barrington................................0.62................................................................... Lake Gairdner...................................11.46................................................................. Lake Paloona....................................0.63................................................................... Lake Augusta....................................2.84................................................................... Arthurs Lake.....................................1.42................................................................... Great Lake........................................14.47................................................................. Little Pine Lagoon.............................0.76................................................................... Shannon Lagoon...............................0.19................................................................... Penstock Lagoon..............................0.18................................................................... Woods Lake......................................1.58................................................................... Lake St Clair.....................................1.74................................................................... Lake King William.............................6.00................................................................... Lake Echo.........................................7.94...................................................................

Dee Lagoon.......................................0.05................................................................... Pine Tier Lagoon...............................1.52................................................................... Bronte Lagoon..................................0.81................................................................... Bradys/Binneys/Tungatinah..............2.00................................................................... Laughing Jack Lagoon.....................5.23................................................................... Lake Liapootah.................................0.63................................................................... Wayatinah Lagoon............................0.60................................................................... Lake Catagunya................................0.59................................................................... Lake Repulse....................................0.84................................................................... Cluny Lagoon....................................0.00.......................................................Spilling Meadowbank Lake...........................0.66................................................................... Lake Burbury....................................4.50................................................................... Lake Margaret..................................5.10................................................................... Whitespur Pond................................7.91................................................................... Lake Newton.....................................4.77................................................................... Lake Plimsoll....................................1.01................................................................... Lake Murchison................................17.39................................................................. Lake Mackintosh..............................5.84................................................................... Lake Rosebery..................................0.30................................................................... Lake Pieman.....................................0.98................................................................... Lake Pedder......................................1.42................................................................... Lake Gordon.....................................23.73.................................................................

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 APRIL 2018

51


Do you clip or do you knot? WESTERN PORT STH

Jarrod Day jarrodday@iprimus.com.au

I’ll probably cop a bit of flack for this comment, but while I get older and rounder as the years pass, some things in fishing become a little more challenging – not that I’m that old and sure the mind might still think like an excited eighteen-year-old, but the fingers just don’t get into place like they used to. Removing any naughty connotations from that sentence, I mean tying complicated knots, because as you age can start to become a little more of a challenge. Shaking hands, fading eyesight and not being able to understand how to tie specific knots makes it much more difficult and can be off-putting to some people. In today’s era of technology there are many more options for anglers than just tying complicated knots, especially if you’re not confident in tying one securely. A lot of anglers these days are quite apprehensive about their knot tying ability and I guess a lot of it comes down to not wanting to lose a fish let alone a fish of a lifetime. Knot tying takes practice and unlike learning something important for your main income earning, mastering a part of something for your hobby really doesn’t seem that important a lot of the time. This is totally understandable, and this situation can be broken up into two categories: those that dangle and those that angle. If I was to go along with the saying ‘10% of anglers catch 90% of the fish,’ then you can understand that those who put more into the sport, get more out of it. Anglers

who fish on the odd weekend here and there tend to be less confident in their own tying ability. Learning knots can be frustrating at the best of times for anglers of all levels of experience and for a few reasons. Firstly, braid, monofilament and leader material don’t stay still for you, especially when it’s windy or the diagrams in knot books are hard to understand, let alone if you’re trying to keep up with a pro on a YouTube clip as they tie some far out, whiz-bang knot in around ten seconds! Sometimes it just gets too hard. In saying that, if you can at least learn one knot, then the rest will all fall into place.

BASIC KNOTS Amongst the plethora of fishing knots, when to use them and how to tie them, I really believe we often overcomplicate fishing. Don’t get me wrong, I have caught and tangled with some of the country’s most brutal GTs, kingfish, barra, Murray cod, trout, snapper, samsonfish, tuna and the like, but I’m not one for looking into breaking strains of lines and what knot will hold for a particular species and so on. I use the KISS approach – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Fishing is fishing; if you look too far into it, you lose the fun and excitement. I still remember being 10, sitting at the Portsea Pier during the September school

APRIL 2018

You know the rigging and clips are strong when you catch two solid reds on the one rig.

The Yakamito Lure clip is high in its strength rating for its size and is ideal when targeting hard-fighting fish. Changing lures often? Use a Mustad Duo clip to prevent tying knots each time.

Anglers targeting calamari often change jigs to find a colour that they favour. Mustad’s Fastach clip prevents you having to retie the jigs simply by clipping one off and a new one on. 52

holidays. The grass whiting were in plague proportions then, and after my mate and I ran out of bait, we were threading on dried seaweed that was on the pier to use for bait and in one instance moulded a small piece of tin foil we found in the pier’s crack around the hook and continued catching them. Rex Hunt was on the pier that day filming – it must have been 1988. He came up to me and showed me a knot; I think at the time we used granny knots to attach the hook to the line. I still remember the ‘blood knot’ and as a young grasshopper, learnt the locked blood knot, which held better. In my teens I began targeting larger fish and lost a few with the end of the leader coming back with what looked like a pig’s tail – the classic sign that the knot had slipped. This made me rethink my knot tying ability and

I quickly learnt the threeturn uni knot. To this day, the three-turn uni knot is still my most reliable knot to tie and I haven’t had it slip. Along with this and the introduction of technology, today I have limited myself to just a few knots that I have 100% confidence in as well as specialised metal clips in many situations that I know won’t fail. USING A CLIP Despite the constant barrage about knots and knot tying, other alternatives are available in the form of metal clips. You still need to know a few knots to be able to connect the chosen clip to your leader or mainline, which is why I suggest learning the three-turn uni knot. This particular knot doesn’t slip and still retains the highest amount of the original line or leader’s strength when twisted up. Adding to this, you can tie a uni knot in about four seconds, after practice of course.

Once mastering this little beauty, you can easily use it to attach a clip to your mainline or leader firmly and securely knowing full well you have confidence in the knot you just tied. There are many different clips on the market and each has its own unique quality, which can be used in different fishing situations. Sometimes when we think of clips, the old brass barrel with a snap quickly comes to mind but this particular clip is a big no-no, because it’s very weak and the barrel doesn’t twist fast enough. You end up with twisted line and, if the fish is big enough, a clip that has stretched open and subsequently lost the fish. Barrel swivels with attached clips are best on the end of fishing rigs such as paternosters to attach a sinker – that’s about all. They are cheap and they also lack quality. Regardless of the fishing you’re doing, the next time you’re in your

local tackle store, check out the vast array of clips and grab a few to suit your fishing styles. WHICH CLIP TO USE WHEN Yakamito Square Clip This clip is in the heavyduty range of clips; the Yakamito Square Clip has been designed to be fished when targeting tough, brutal species on lures. The design of the clip resembles a paper clip but once a lure is clipped onto it, won’t stretch, bend or buckle under pressure. These clips are very popular with anglers targeting Murray cod. They’re available in two sizes: M (45kg/99lb) and S (35kg/77lb). Yakamito Lure Clip Yakamito’s Lure clips are designed for anglers using smaller sized lures for bream, bass, trout, salmon, trevally, calamari and the like. Larger sizes are strong enough to combat snapper and big flathead. Made from a fine wire, the clip has a unique


construction; once it’s pried open and the lure clipped on, the little metal hook locks into place, preventing the clip from stretching, unless under a greater deal of pressure than its strength rating.

smaller sizes make excellent clips for lures, the larger sizes are ideal for lure fishing and to attach hooks directly to pre-tied jigs containing hooks. There are many different uses for this clip; you just have to

clips on the market for its size and diameter. Designed specifically for lure fishing applications, the Duo Clip is undoubtedly one of the most universal, due to its strength capabilities. Smaller

Brutal species such as Murray cod can cause knots to break under pressure. Yakamito’s XTS Square clip is up to the challenge.

a rolling swivel at one end and a fine wire clip at the other, this clip’s designed strictly for lure fishing. Retaining a high strength rating, it is the ideal clip for spinning with metal slugs and casting spoons or spinners to trout. It’s available in sizes 0 and 1. Breaden Snap The Breaden Snap, designed by Breaden Japan, is specifically for Eging. Breaden Snaps are small enough to not spook squid or fish, while allowing the angler to easily change between lures without retying knots, and they don’t impair the action of the lure. The unique thing about the Breaden snap, unlike other snaps, is that you don’t need to manually open the snap to attach a lure. Doing this will weaken the strength of the clip, so just push the tow point of the lure onto the small wire tag and rotate the lure around; it simply clips securely, never to be opened. These are available in four sizes SS, S, M and L

The Mustad Duo clips ready for action.

The Mustad Fastach clip is one of the more versatile clips on the market.

Learning knots can be challenging at the best of times but with pre-tied rigs and strong clips, clipping rigs on and off is made a lot simpler with the Mustad Fastach system.

Mustad’s Duo Lock Snap has been specifically designed for anglers who love to flick lures. This clip is available in three sizes: 000 (5kg), 00 (7kg) and 0 (11kg). Mustad Fastach Clip The Mustad Fastach Clip is very unique in its design. While it resembles a pig’s tail, the Fastach Clip is extremely strong and has been designed for many uses. While the

think outside the square for the desired rigging requirement. These are available in six sizes: 5 (83kg/150lb), 4 (55kg/100lb), 3 (41kg/75lb), 2 (28kg/50lb), 1 (14kg/25lb) and 0 (8kg/15lb). Mustad Duo Lock Snap The Mustad Duo Lock Snap is one of the strongest

clips with strong strength ratings allow anglers to fish lighter tackle for bigger species with the confidence of landing that fish of a lifetime. Ideal for all estuary species, snapper, calamari, tailor, salmon, trevally and tuna can all be caught using these clips. These are available in four sizes: 00 (44lb), 0 (58lb), 1 (88lb), 2 (121lb) and 3 (146lb). Owner Micro Snap Swivel The Owner Micro Snap has been around for a number of years but can be hard to track down in tackle stores. Incorporating

100% CONFIDENCE Strength aside, the one thing you can guarantee is that the connection to your lure gives you 100% confidence that the fish you hook is the one you land. That is if you have attached the clip to your leader with the one knot that is easy to tie and that you’re confident in tying securely. Using clips instead of learning fandangle knots you might not be confident in tying could leave you with a sour taste in your mouth should you lose a fish but with clip its as easy as clipping on a lure or hook for that matter and casting out.

Yakamito’s Square clip is the ideal choice when targeting species such as barramundi and Murray cod. APRIL 2018

53


Anglers enjoy cool mornings and warm water floating weed. Many anglers have been driving right by it in a rush to get to Rocklands Reservoir to fish the weedfree waters. However, anglers who persisted with the weed have generally been rewarded with some reasonably sized trout. It’s not quite trophy season yet, but you can almost see it on the horizon. For the bait fishos try catching some minnows and dig a few worms from the garden, then bust out the bubble floats and rig a drogue for a slow drift. For the lure anglers a good starting point will be the Rapala XRap 4 or

HORSHAM

James Perry

Cool mornings are here and the big trout and redfin that call our lakes home are on the move. Schooled fish have had the time to feed up and increase their average size. It’s hard to go wrong in the Wimmera region at this time of the year. Cool mornings and typically warm days make for enjoyable times on the water. Lake Toolondo has been a tough gig to fish in recent times due to the volume of

Gage Wright tricked this Wimmera yella with a spinnerbait.

Daiwa Dr Minnow in natural colours. As for soft plastics the new generation Squidgy Bio Tough is a solid option along with the ever-reliable ZMan Slim SwimZ in motor oil colour. Rocklands has continued to produce cricket scores of redfin on all styles of baits and lures, and is the pick of the lakes this month if you’re after big numbers. Jigging has by far produced the most consistent results. Simply tie on your favourite sinking lure – be it a blade, jig, plastic or bibbed minnow – and twitch and jig to your heart’s content. Try drifting waters in the 2-4m range and when you find a hot bite mark the spot and hold your location. When the bite slows, resume drifting until you locate another school. If you’re more interested in targeting trout, get out early and try trolling longer profile bibbed minnows like the Jackall Colt Minnow or Daiwa Double Clutch. Shades of purple and pink seem to be the reliable choice here. Lake Fyans has been fishing exceptionally well and many anglers are going home with a feed of both trout and redfin. If you’re after size over quantity, this is the lake to fish at the moment. As usual soft

BIG COD CAN’T RESIST THEM!

ROBINVALE

Rod Mackenzie

The Jew Lure

codmac@bigpond.net.au

Along the Murray River, anglers are enjoying some first-class angling action. Swan Hill has had a boom in cod captures this season and remains a favourite location for local and visiting anglers alike. Murray cod to 108cm have been caught on lures and

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plastics are the most reliable method to land a few redfin. Jigheads in the 6-9g range will help you get down in the weed beds and a larger plastic will help minimise the hook point catching on the weed. Don’t be fooled though – you will spend a fair bit of time removing weed from your hook. If you prefer trolling, Choose lures that will sit above the weed. Flat lining Tassy Devils or Celtas is a smart choice if you’re targeting trout, however small hardbody minnows will give you a better chance

at a redfin. For lure choice I would start with a selection of StumpJumper Finesse lures and EcoGear SX40s. The Wimmera River is still fishing well for yellowbelly, but I imagine this will begin to slow down as more cold days pass and the water temperatures drop. Don’t discount a session walking the river though, For lure anglers, noisier lures and vibes will be a better option. For bait anglers, placement of your cast will become more important, as fish will be travelling less and holding their location on the snags.

Spinnerbaits are a great option due to their ability to bounce over snags without fouling up as much as other types of lures. Quad blade spinnerbaits will add enough flash and vibration to entice a fish from its snag. As for bait, it’s hard to go past the humble scrub worms rigged in a bunch and fished from the bottom. Over the next month we will see overall numbers of redfin catches reduce, but the size and condition of the fish increase. Who will be the next to score a 50cm redfin and from what lake is anyone’s guess.

Plenty of perch are around

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Jake Marshall fooled this trout with a curl-tail grub.

bait along the Murray from the road bridge upstream to Pental Island this past month. Surface lures are also claiming a bit of cod action with several cod landed to 96cm off the top recently. I expect the cod fishing to really get going as the pending change of season kickstarts a very hot bite. Golden perch have also been on the chew in the Murray around Swan Hill with most fish taking baits in the deeper holes. Scrub worms and local river shrimp have been the best baits and the larger of these perch have stretched the tape measure out to 50cm. While it is cod season, it seems someone forgot to tell the perch, as anglers are enjoying one of the best bites seen for many years. As you make your way down along the Murray River, Boundary Bend, Robinvale and Wemen are all reporting good numbers of golden perch on bait and lures. It’s a similar story around Mildura where golden perch catches are the norm amongst those wetting a line. In truth the bite continues downstream into South Australia where local anglers can never remember the

perch biting so well. Anglers fishing the Murray River near Renmark have reported catches of up to 20 perch and the odd Murray cod in a single

month. On my first visit I intended to soak a few baits but the excellent water clarity had me scratching around the tackle box in search of a

Anglers can expect to see more cod captures in the Murray River around Swan Hill as the season starts to change. day’s fishing. Most of these fish have been caught on lures with small minnow patterns working well. I also took advantage of the perch bite and wet a line from the bank at Wemen on several occasions this past

lure. As luck would have it a small StumpJumper with rust-tainted hooks provided an opportunity to cast the many bank side snags. Second snag in the small lure plopped down behind a To page 55


Cod catches blooming in weed YARRAWONGA

Tony Bennett codclassic@bigpond.com

Conditions are nearing perfect as the summer sun eases, and it’s time to be hitting the home of the Murray cod, Lake Mulwala. The word on everybody’s lips at the moment is weed. Vast amounts have flourished in recent times. The weed has brought on concentrations of cod, and some big ones From page 54

log out of the main flow. A few cranks of the handle and the small lure wobbled out of sight only to be smashed hard by a good-sized perch. This happened several times

at that. The most successful anglers have been fishing either faces of weed beds or small pockets around timber. Spinnerbaits and hardbodied lures have been producing a plethora of smaller fish while larger surface and sub-surface lures have generally accounted for the bigger models. It may be your last chance for a year or two to fish this type of structure, as the drawdown will hopefully kill it off for a while. For those who haven’t

seen a Lake Mulwala drawdown, this is about to happen in early May. This creates a unique opportunity to get out on the lake and have a look at the vast amounts of structure and find where the cod live. To witness what lies on the lake floor gives you a whole new perspective on how and where you could find fish once it’s full again. The lake fishes extremely well during this time. Don’t miss this opportunity that only comes around every four years or so.

over the next few hours as the perch all but lined up to engulf the small lure. Most snags I cast at would produce at least one bite if not a fish. It’s not uncommon when casting lures for golden perch

for these fish to flick or short strike the lure and this happened quite a few times. This can at times be very subtle and may be dismissed as light contact with a twig or other structure. If at any time during your retrieval, you suspect there may have been a show of interest from a fish, cast back to the same spot. It’s amazing how often that small tap turns into a solid fish. As the mornings begin to cool and the demand for irrigation drops away the fishing in our local waters will only get better. There are still no serious cod reports from Robinvale, Wemen, Mildura or Wentworth that can be verified. Maybe next month will be better.

This chunky golden perch took a small StumpJumper lure cast from the bank at Wemen on the Murray River.

Looking back, there has been plenty to talk about when it comes to who’s catching what. Local gun footballer Brad O’Connor laid claim to a magnificent 113cm cod on a cast spinnerbait. Steve ‘Big Gun’ Cannon was another to lose a bit of string to a healthy cod; this time it was a 91cm cracker that took a liking to his spinnerbait worked across the top of the weed. Big cod specialist Craig Leehane had a magnificent pre-fish day before the Da$h 4 Ca$h pulling a 96cm then backing it up with a 110cm on the same day; unfortunately he went a bit hard too early and couldn’t find the same fish during the competition! While on the Da$h 4 Ca$h, 140 anglers gathered mid-February to fight it out for the $11,000 worth of prizes. Throughout the three sessions, 65 legals were caught. The longest for the weekend went to a very excited Darryl Keirl who boated a magnificent 102.8cm specimen – a great cod to catch in any competition. Saturday morning’s 1st place team was Brendan Hawkes and Brad Everett; 2nd – Mathew and Peter Pejkovic; 3rd – Dave Adams and Justin Rees. Saturday arvo’s 1st place team was Mike Bressan

Adam Trembath with a healthy 85cm Murray River cod caught on a Bassman spinnerbait. and Mick Massier; 2nd – Lance Curry and Zac Jury; 3rd – Derek Davis and Tony Hayward. Sunday morning’s 1st place team was Col Hyland and Simon Weir; 2nd – Lance Curry and Zac Jury; 3rd – Mike Bressan and Mick Massier. Below the weir, fishing has been outstanding with huge numbers being caught with some monsters mixed in amongst them. The recent Native Fish Challenge saw the lucky winner land an absolute giant measuring 122cm on a surface lure. Local fella and all-round nice guy Adam ‘Elvis’ Trembath was another to have a bit of fun recently landing a healthy 85cm on a spinnerbait along with a handful of others for the afternoon. I would like to pass on the condolences of the

whole fishing community to the family of Dave ‘Grizzly’ Adams. Dave was a great fellow who loved his family, fishing, fossicking and motorbikes. He excelled at competition fishing and took home plenty of cash and prizes, even at the recent Da$h 4 Ca$h. Unfortunately his life was cut short in a tragic motorbike accident. Rest in peace, ‘Team Grizzly. • 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.

APRIL 2018

55


Cooler water brings on aggressive spawning trout JINDABYNE

Steve Williamson steve@swtroutfishing.com.au

April is the month that we start to see a reduction in the surface temperature of the lake, which seems to spur a few trout onto an early spawning run and some trout will start trout moving into the Thredbo River. You can now really feel the mornings getting cooler and the water temperatures are dropping now.

and with cooler nights comes better spinning on the lake as the water edges cool down. You may find the best spinning will be early and late in the day and fishing where there are steep dropoffs with plenty of rocks will be the best. Bays like Rushes, Hatchery and Creel all fish well. The best areas have been down at the South Arm or near Banjo Patterson Park but as the month progresses Waste Point and the Snowy Arm will start to fire.

Cameron Webley has been enjoying some great stream flyfishing, with hopper patterns working best. For the lure anglers, the Thredbo River will only improve as the month goes by and the best lures will be jointed minnows as the brown trout start to become really aggressive and territorial. Other lures like spinners are certainly a must in your lure box. It has been a long, hot and dry summer this year

When the water temperature gets to about 16°C we will start to swing into the use of pink and orange winged lures this month as the fish also move into spawning and aggression mode. For now green and gold Tassies like the Willys Special and maybe the Canberra Killer Tassie will be good. In shallow bays I like to use some of the small soft

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plastics like the Strike Tiger in spotted brew colour or vodka and orange. Even pink is a good colour to try. Flyfishing on the rivers and streams has been okay with the mountain streams still producing lots of small trout on dry flies and this is heaps of fun, especially if you are just getting into the art of flyfishing. Try a small Hopper pattern, Royal Wulff or Royal Humpy. A caddis moth fly is also not a bad option. The Thredbo River still has a little dry flyfishing to offer on some days but we will be swinging into the nymphing season very soon. As the month goes on and more early spawning brown trout move into the Thredbo River you might start trying a black nymph and if we get that heavy rain and a rise in the river, we might see a switch to glowbugs and nymphs. Flyfishing on the lake is still best at night. Try any of the streamer patterns such as Craig’s Night Time or a black Woolley Bugger. Olive green nymphs and shrimp patterns are also worth a try. The South Arm, Creel Bay and Hayshed Bay are all great. Overall fishing on the lake over recent months has continued to be very good and now that the lake water temperature is cooling down to the trout’s comfort zone, they are happier to move in close to the edges of the lake and this makes the fishing a little better for anglers who don’t have a boat. Autumn is a great time to go trout fishing. The trout are feeding up in readiness for winter and are often easier to catch. I would expect that the great shore-based angling will continue right through the winter months like it did last year. Boat trolling in the shallow water will improve again this month now with the cooler water temperatures and early morning surface fishing can be quite productive.

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The best way to attack the fish is to start off the morning by surface trolling lures and maybe a lead core line at two colours out so the lure is about 3m deep. Later in the morning you can still target some of the browns by fishing close to the bottom in deeper water with the aid of downriggers. I find about 20ft of water is a good place to start. This is the time of the year that we sometimes start to move into pink or orange colours. It’s also well worth running the bigger minnow lures in brown trout or spotted dog. Some of the better trolling areas this month will be Sids Bay through to Rushes Bay. Also try Waste Point or Creel Bay for downrigging, as there may be a few early spawning brown trout about. They will mostly be deeper at 20 or so feet. AUTHOR’S OPINION Let’s ban treble hooks in NSW trout waters! Let’s also close the tributaries of trout

A minority group at the meeting were trying to make changes while more than half of the SLTSWG committee were absent. Now, what I am talking about here is NOT about banning treble hooks or

Well, Cameron, let’s hope that you stick to the statement above, because there are some people out there in the fishing community that don’t understand that anglers just want to have fun and go fishing.

APRIL ROUNDUP – THE BEST OF THE BEST! Best method..... Surface trolling early and then using lead core lines 30m out Best depth........ Trolling at 25ft deep or 35ft for the middle of the day Best lake lure... Tasmanian Devil number 111 or Y82 Best lake area.. Hayshed Bay and Waste Point. Best dry fly....... Parachute Adams or black cricket Best wet fly...... black weighted nymph Best river.......... Thredbo River above the Diggings closing streams to fishing for longer periods – this is about correctly running a meeting that abides by the NSW Government regulations where it would not be possible to spring a controversial item into an agenda without first being placed into the agenda prior to the meeting, so there could be some open discussion

It is my personal opinion that if we keep going down the pathway that the management of the NSW Snowy Mountains trout fishery is heading, we won’t have a trout fishing tourism industry in a few years’ time! In other news, Steve Morgan questioned in last month’s Editor’s Desk

Michelle Martin and Beth Dias from Broadbeach with a brown and a rainbow – just two of the trout caught downrigging on the lake at 45ft deep over February. spawning streams in NSW to all methods of fishing until 30 November each year! That was the recommendation put forward at the Snowy Lakes Trout Strategy Working Group (SLTSWG) meeting held at Gaden Trout Hatchery last December. While I was able to stop any new changes for the time being, over 18,000 anglers shared their thoughts on our Facebook page. The recommendations were to be put to the Recreational Fishing New South Wales Advisory Council in late March for the committee to discuss and to review. We should find out more about the outcome of that meeting shortly and may common sense prevail. So what happened at the SLTSWG meeting?

before the item was tabled at the general meeting! I am not interested in certain people’s private agendas; this is about letting the public also have their say as to what rules should and shouldn’t be changed so that anglers can enjoy the sport they love. Here’s a statement made by Senior Fisheries Manager Inland for NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Cameron Westaway in another fishing magazine last February; “We will continue to base our management decisions across all our freshwater fisheries on quality science and input from the angling community in the recognition that recreational angling is a great contributor to the social and economic health of regional NSW.”

why we don’t have public days at our Fishing Trades Association Tackle Show. If the general public can’t get to see what is new then how do you expect tackle shops to be able to sell the new products? Many years ago when the trade shows were in Penrith in Sydney, there was a public day when anglers could check out new products. They couldn’t purchase anything, but they were offered discount vouchers to use at their local tackle shops. • If you want to know more about the latest in fishing conditions, just give me a call on (02) 6456 1551 or check out my website at www.swtroutfishing.com.au. Until next month, hope you catch the big one.


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Trout are feeding to put on condition for winter WANGARATTA

Robbie Alexander

Welcome to one of my favourite months of the year – April. April in the Wangaratta region offers some superb weather and there are usually some decent fishing opportunities around as well. TROUT April can be one of the best times of the year to

catch trout, and can also be a great time of the year to catch the larger, more cunning wild river brown trout. By April, the water in the region’s creeks and rivers has usually cooled enough for the trout to start feeding actively again. After laying low for the summer months and even parts of March, the stream trout are usually quite active as they try to regain some weight lost over the summer months in preparation for

their annual spawning run upstream, which also usually begins in April. During the first half of April, try fishing with live crickets, or anything black, as there are still a lot of crickets in the ecosystem at this time of the year. Black bladed spinners, small black soft plastics, black flies – they will all work. Around mid-April, as the cricket numbers dwindle and the water starts to get

A redfin caught on a Strike Tiger soft plastic in Lake Buffalo recently.

Murray cod will be hit and miss in the Wangaratta area during April. Anglers that persevere are most likely to be on the water when the fish switch on.

A nice feed of Lake Buffalo redfin caught in April last year. Hopefully this April is as good.

very cold, try switching to fluorescent coloured lures. Bright orange is best, but anything fluoro is a good idea. I love the Strike Tiger nymph soft plastics in orange spawn colour. Another great lure is the Rooster Tail bladed spinner in fire tiger colour. As the trout start getting into spawning mode, they can become quite aggressive. They also feed on other trout eggs later in the autumn, which are red and orange. I think it’s a combination of the fact they feed on orange eggs, and the bright colours standing out better in the water and resulting in an aggressive strike, that makes these colours work well in

the second half of autumn. Another great tip is to try using small minnowtype lures. Long skinny shallow diving minnows work particularly well as the aggressive male trout will often chase small trout away from their chosen female, so don’t overlook minnows such as Wildbait and Rapala. REDFIN April is my favourite month of the year to target redfin in both Lake Buffalo and Lake William Hovell. Both lakes have fantastic populations of redfin. The redfin are usually quite small in both lakes, however both lakes also have a few larger redfin. I find it easier and more consistent to catch a feed of redfin from Lake Buffalo than I do Lake William Hovell. In saying that, I have caught my largest redfin in Lake William Hovell. Last April we experienced some amazing redfin fishing in Lake Buffalo. We were catching 80-100 redfin in half a day’s fishing and keeping around 30-40 of them. We didn’t get any monsters, but we did get quite a few around the 30cm mark. I really hope that the same thing happens this April. Bladed spinners, small soft plastics and diving

minnows all worked well. Already Lake Buffalo is producing great numbers of redfin. I fished it recently with my dad. We caught around 50-60 small redfin, keeping the biggest six, which were still not very big. Hopefully we see more larger redfin during April. MURRAY COD The Murray cod fishing can be very hot and cold in

fish fantastic for cod. Last year I had a few really good sessions on the Murray cod around Wangaratta, and at the same time I had a whole lot of fishless trips where I couldn’t even get a strike. Brett Corker and I had our most memorable fishing trip for the year in April last year, catching two 80cm Murray cod five minutes apart. This

Terry Alexander fished Lake Buffalo recently and hopes the redfin go nuts in Lake Buffalo again this April. the Wangaratta area during April, and can also be reliant on the weather. An autumn deluge can render the river unfishable, however it is usually the complete opposite during April when the water is at its lowest and clearest for the entire year. The Ovens River always looks fantastic during April, however it doesn’t always

is typical April Murray cod fishing around Wangaratta. For consistent fishing during April, your best bet is to go to Lake Mulwala or the Murray River. Beware of submerged obstacles in the Murray River – once they stop releasing irrigation water from Lake Hume the Murray River can become quite low and dangerous.

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A brown trout caught in late February in a small tributary of the King River on a Strike Tiger Micro Minnow.


Shepparton fishing hasn’t slowed down at all SHEPPARTON

Nick Brown teamriverrats@hotmail.com

It has been a very dry period leading into autumn, which hasn’t affected the fishing in the Shepparton region one bit. There have been plenty of reports of legal-sized Murray cod and yellowbelly being caught in both the Broken and Goulburn rivers. There has been a bit more of a flow through the Goulburn over the past month and this has really kept the fish on the bite. There has been no standout baits or lures. Trolling Old Mates and Codgers around the deep bends in the Goulburn has worked well in the heart of Shepparton and baits such as cheese and worms have worked well towards Toolamba. There have been more reports of fish caught around the Toolamba area with many more locals searching for the perfect spots for the Toolamba Fishing Classic. There have been plenty of yellowbelly caught around the faster shallow waters with cod holding around the deeper bends upstream of the bridge.

Buzzbaits have been working well in both the Broken and Goulburn rivers on the surface and there have been some reports of cod around the 70cm mark being caught on the new large Jackall Pompadours. Other options are running hardbody lures slowly across the top of timber with plenty of pauses along the way; Trelly’s team member Ross recently used this technique perfectly using the small Barra Classics in local waters. If the warmer weather sticks around, we should still see good surface action in the Broken in April. If we do get some autumn rain, I would be heading out on the Broken either casting spinnerbaits or bait fishing in the backwater pools. KIALLA LAKES There have been plenty of reports of good numbers of fish being caught in a session recently with 4-5 fish a session being the standard for Kialla Lakes. There have been a lot of yellowbelly around the 25-35cm mark being caught at the lake mostly on worms and spinnerbaits. The water clarity has been great recently with silvers, greens and golds

working best for lure colours. Baits such as worms and shrimp have worked well floated around the edges in about 3ft of water or weighted and cast under the willow trees. If the water gets dirty in coming months, switch to darker colours and add plenty of scent to both your lures and bait. Slowing down your retrieves will also be an advantage as the weather cools off. WARANGA BASIN Drifting soft plastics, vibes and ice jigs was working very well towards the end of February and in early March in the Waranga Basin. Slowly drifting with or without an electric motor and bouncing lures off the bottom has been the best technique recently for lure fishers. Those fishing with bait have done well with a very similar technique just drifting baits around a foot off the bottom in around 12-15ft. Every now and then lifting the rod up and down to make the baits more lifelike seems to get a bite. Scented baits and lures have worked well, so grab some scent and lather your lures or bait in it to really fire the fish up.

CRAIGMUIR LAKE Smaller redfin and yellowbelly have been reported in recent times in Craigmuir Lake. The fishing has been tough with all the weeds in the lake, but if you can find a pocket of clear water, you will manage to get smashed on both lures and bait. Rigging lures weedless with doubles (not trebles) has been helping to keep lures weed free for longer. LOCAL CHANNELS The trend of not catching good numbers in the main eastern continued in the late summer months. There have

been 20 cod caught to one redfin in the larger water bodies, but the smaller offshoot channels have produced more redfin. The cod seem to be holding on the bridges and drop bars from Pine Lodge to Karramomus and the redfin are being caught around the Channel Road area Orrvale. Surface lures are now being used more regularly in the channels and the fish seem to be very active at night. MOOROOPNA LAKE I haven’t reported on the small lake at the footy

Ross Threlfall with a small cod caught on a Classic Barra 120.

ground for a while now, but I had a couple of fresh reports of redfin and carp being caught on bait and small Slider grubs around the weeds. It’s a nice little lake to take the kids fishing and if it keeps producing fish, it will continue to feature in coming articles. SHEPPARTON LAKE Fishing with bait around the grass hill has been the best method for chasing trout and silver perch recently. Floating or lightly-weighted baits have worked well; anglers using heavy sinkers have had less luck. Trolling spinnerbaits in the middle has been the best method when chasing cod and yellowbelly recently. You still need to keep your rod higher than normal to keep the lures out of the weed. In late February the local fishing community lost a true gentleman and very accomplished fisher in Dave Adams. Those who have fished with or against Dave in many local and interstate fishing events had the utmost respect for him. My thoughts and prayers go out to Dave’s family and friends and to all of those in the fishing community who have been affected in Dave’s passing.

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Anglers are all about the autumn temperatures BALLARAT

Shane Stevens

Anglers around Ballarat and the Central Highlands region of Victoria are only too happy to say goodbye to the long, hot summer as we move into one of my favourite fishing times of the year – autumn. The change in the season brings us cooler nights and beautiful days with light winds. It’s a perfect time to wet a line. The cooler water temperatures are favourable to the trout in our local waters. Instead of sitting on the bottom and sulking, they change up a gear and start feeding freely once more. The change of season in the region also brings changes to the insects that hatch, which anglers really look forward too. The mayflies will hatch throughout April and the trout will feed on them when the conditions are right for them to hatch – overcast days and drizzly rain are perfect. I know the flyfishers around the state are chafing at the bit for this to happen. We feel a bit cheated, as the hatches were only very brief during October and November last year due to the hot weather. I have a simple philosophy: food up, fish up! You might wonder what am I talking about. Over the years I have noted that when the mayfly or other insects are hatching, the fish will start feeding; whether you are flyfishing, bait fishing or casting lures, your chances of catching one are certainly increased. Around our district many of our waters are currently being used for irrigation. This happens

every year so it’s nothing new. The levels are well down now, a lot of weed is exposed and fishing areas are reduced because of the irrigation. This is a negative but on the positive side it gives us anglers a chance to have a look at what we are normally fishing over. The experienced anglers

reports coming in from the region. I think that over the next month this will certainly change. Lake Wendouree is top of the tree once again with excellent catches of trout and redfin like in previous months. I have fished Wendouree with a few of my fishing mates over the

Brian Rivett with a lovely golden-coloured lake Wendouree brown trout.

Ben Young landed this quality Wendouree redfin on an Ecogear Power Shad soft plastic. will take note of where all the little gutters, drains, nooks and crannies are. When the water level is high the fish will feed along these areas; they also cruise in from the deeper water through these channels. The smart anglers will place their flies, baits, lures or plastics in those areas and reap the rewards, so next time you are out and about take a mental note in your head and plan where you are going to fish when the water is high. You will certainly increase your catch rate. Fishing reports have been slow once again over the past month with few

past month. I can tell you I’m very excited by what results we have had and the fish we have been following lures and plastics. On one of our recent trips Brian Rivett landed a lovely goldencoloured brown trout on a Bent Minnow lure. On the same day I landed three smaller brown trout and put hooks into another six. Action like this has really got me excited and the better fishing is still to come. I fished with Ben Young on another occasion casting lures and plastics out of a boat. The fishing was a bit quiet until Ben nailed a lovely 40cm+ redfin that ate

WATER STORAGE LEVELS Dam............................... % Full

Dam............................... % Full

Jan Feb Mar

Cairn Curran

72

Jan Feb Mar Mulwala (Yarrawonga) 91 96 91 Newlyn 84 72 60 Nillahcootie 97 87 78 Rocklands 40 37 35 Taylors 74 68 62 Tullaroop 68 65 61 Upper Coliban 98 98 95 Waranga 60 46 26 Wartook 85 74 64 William Hovell 99 92 79

69 66

Dartmouth 89 89 89 Eildon

74 70 66

Eppalock

83 79 72

Fyans

76 71 65

Greens

67 64 59

Hepburn

82 64 54

Hume

68 60 51

Lauriston 91 89 86 Malmsbury 45 31 15

(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.) 60

APRIL 2018

extremely well that night. After Ben nailed the redfin, we changed location into the rowing channel and it was game on. The trout started to bite with Ben and I landing five trout in no time casting whitish-coloured Bent Minnows, and several other trout followed the lures as well. Shane Jeffrey loves to cast lures and is very good at it. He has been getting amongst the redfin on Wendouree by casting small hardbodied lures. Shane has targeted the main rowing channel and the edges of the larger weed beds with excellent results. Damien Keirl who I have mentioned quite frequently has a knack for catching some real quality brown and rainbow trout from Wendouree. Damien likes to fish mudeyes suspended under bubble floats and does this well. Recently Damien scooped the pool in an interclub competition between the Ballarat Anglers and Lakeside Anglers Clubs, Damien landed the two heaviest fish for the competition; one was a brown that weighed in at 1.8kg. Damien has been focussing on the newly created ‘artificial reefs’, as we call them. Areas of weed normally cut by the weed harvesters that have now been left to grow and created these new areas to fish. He anchors up right on the edge of the weed beds and fishes his mudeyes out into the open clear water with excellent results. As I mentioned earlier, like others who like to flyfish, I’m looking forward to the mayfly hatches. They will hatch on the following local waters over the coming month: Lake Wendouree, Hepburn Lagoon, Newlyn Reservoir and Moorabool Reservoir. There are certainly exciting times ahead for the flyfisher. At Lake Burrumbeet there have been a few reports filtering in from

anglers catching lovely rainbow trout up to 6lb on salted white bait (glassies) or blue bait and PowerBait. If you try worms, all you will catch is European carp (really big ones) or eels. Moorabool Reservoir has been rather quiet over the past couple of months. I have mentioned that the redfin should be showing up in numbers. I haven’t heard of many reports at all, so I don’t know if anglers haven’t been out chasing them or the numbers of trout

and redfin to be caught. For anglers chasing trout, cast mudeyes out over the weed beds with bubble floats and wait for the cruising trout to come along. Early mornings and evenings or overcast days will produce the best results. If you’re chasing the reddies, small yabbies or worms on a running sinker rig cast over the weeds will do the job. Anglers casting plastics and lures should wade through the weed and cast into the open water – you will reap the rewards.

Shane Jeffrey snagged one of Wendouree’s finest table fish, the redfin, casting hardbodied lures out a drifting boat. Photo courtesy of Shane Jeffrey. that have been released over the past couple of years has reduced the redfin numbers. Over the coming month the trout will come back on the bite with water temperatures falling. They will once again move into the shallows to feed again. Anglers using worms on the bottom or mudeyes under floats should do well again and the flyfishers will catch their share on the overcast days when the mayfly hatch occurs. At Newlyn Reservoir the water level is down and lots of weed is currently showing up. Don’t let this put you off, as there are plenty of quality brown trout

Tullaroop Reservoir – now here’s a water that will really fish well for the next few months for both trout and redfin. Anglers targeting redfin should fish the deeper banks with yabbies, worms or local minnows and gudgeon on a running sinker rig. If you like to chase the trout, target the shallower areas with flies, lures and bait. It will be interesting to see how well the trout have grown over the past few months since spring, especially the feisty rainbows. Hopefully they have grown up to nearly 3lb by now. We have very exciting times ahead at Tullaroop.


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Trout time starts up and cod are munching EILDON

Daniel Piazza

Lake Eildon in April can be the start of the annual pesky brown and rainbow trout run. The trout are stocked into Lake Eildon in good numbers but most of the big ones have been cunning enough to last a long time without falling to lures or baits. The places where this annual migration takes place is the main arms that lead up the feeder river such as Delatite, Jamieson and Big River. Still keep your lures at depths of at least 6m of water, as surface temperatures are still warm. We will see the temperatures cool off pretty quickly and when the first lot of big rains come into play so will the trout. Start moving lures up the water column and when the temperatures get to 10°C this is when the trout will all be paired up and ready to spawn. With this in mind, don’t disregard other species like Murray cod and yellowbelly, as they need to fill their bellies before winter. Winter doesn’t shut the native fish stocks down – it only makes them more active on the right winds and barometer. They move higher in the water and fight a lot harder than in the summer months.

Cod are still the target of many anglers and reports are coming in from the dam wall of cod falling mainly to spinnerbaits, and there are also a lot of reports of success on the bigger plastics that are flooding the market lately. For the novice Lake Eildon fisher, start off around Fraser National Park; it’s a bit more accessible and there are a lot of fish that I’ve put back for the next person to catch. I like to stay 50m of the shoreline and run some hardbodied lures around 5m. You never know what will attach itself to your line. Most likely you’ll get a cod or a big redfin, which are in good numbers

around the north shorelines. There are some good casting timbers that get blown in over the months, so take note and get familiar with your surroundings for your next outing. I’m always searching for new spots that have that potential metre Murray cod hanging off them. The yellowbelly or golden perch haven’t really done much this summer but it’s also a good target if you want to have a baitfish and just take in the ambience of the lake with the family. Find a good cluster of trees. In earlier years I’ve done pretty well on the way into the Big River Arm on the RHS. Natives are found all over

April is stilll a great time to target cod. Photo courtesy of Trevor Holmes.

Cod are still the target of many anglers. Reports are coming in from the dam wall of cod falling mainly to spinnerbaits. Photo courtesy of Trevor Holmes.

the lake and where small redfin and trout spawn, you with find other fish feeding. Remember to be prepared for winter conditions as the lake can get very cold, windy and wet. Keep your emergency supplies well stocked and always prepare for the worst that can happen. I’m a big advocate of boat safety. With more fishing activity and less

leisure boating we are all there for the same reasons; if you see someone in need lend a hand, give back to the fish gods and good karma will come your way. The couple of photos for this month were supplied by top dog Trevor Holmes. He has been on the lake guiding people lucky enough to snag a spot aboard the lifesize Tupperware container.

Sorry, Trev – I had to say it. Also, they were taken on my handmade spinnerbaits, and it makes me happy to see them being put to good use. Thanks for the photos, mate. I’d love to hear from the readers of your days on the lake; even send me your photos. Who doesn’t want to be famous? At least for one month. Email primalspinbaits@gmail.com.

Some tough conditions

EILDON Bait & Tackle

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hours for no result – we all know how finicky Eildon can be. A few locals have been getting some good reddies up past the bridge towards Maindample amongst the trees. Good-size fish up

and the water temperature slowly dropping will be a good thing for all the folks coming up targeting trout. It won’t be long before the bigger models come up in the water column and start taking

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62

APRIL 2018

David Munn with a chunky 75cm cod. amazing. However the last month or so has been very quiet indeed, with truckloads of anglers putting in long

to 45cm have been caught in fewer numbers over summer; I think that pretty soon things will pick up as the water level starts to rise

flat lined Tassie Devils and other shallow running hardbodies. With the lake a tad To page 63


Local trout are happy and hungry right now EILDON RIVERS

Gary Constantine

The Goulburn River was running around the 4200ML mark recently, with a temperature between 11-14°C, which kept the trout very active. In the coming months when irrigation demand starts to slow we will see the flows back off marginally. Still, fishing close to the banks where there are overhanging ledges or trees is the way to go

key thing to remember when fishing the pondage is when the water level is rising, it’s best to use your lures, and once it seems to have peaked use

and regardless of what some anglers may think, it’s well worth fishing. Drifting lightly or unweighted scrub worms between Eildon and Thornton, one angler managed to land 22 rainbow and two brown trout. All were returned to the river and a couple were close to the 2lb mark as well. Other areas to target near Thornton are the lower Rubicon where it flows into the Goulburn, Gilmores Bridge and close in to the willows at McMartins Lane. The Acheron, Steavenson,

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Luke with a 6lb brown trout from the Eildon Pondage caught on a Kroc lure.

Dave from Blue Gums Caravan Park with a Goulburn River brown trout, which he caught on a small hardbodied lure.

Col from Alexandra with a 5lb brown trout he caught in the Eildon Pondage on a Kroc lure.

and Little rivers are flowing; they’re a little low but fishing well for small rainbow and brown trout for anglers using small hardbodies and bladed lures. Flyfishers have been having success with bead head nymphs, hoppers, black crickets, mudeyes and caddis pattern flies on both the morning and evening rise. Floating no. 5 or 7 Rapalas in spotted dogs, rainbow trout lures and size 1 Vibrax lures in red, fluoro orange and yellow has been picking up small brown and rainbow trout in the Rubicon, Big, and Taponga rivers. Maggots, meal worms and scrub worms also work well throughout the smaller rivers in the system as well. Murray cod are being picked up in the Goulburn River near Jamieson on yabbies, scrub worms and surface lures of an evening

From page 62

quieter than usual a lot of punters have gone back to concentrate on the Goulburn River with a load of success. I had a quick trip down the river myself and I can’t remember the last time it looked so healthy and clean. The fish getting caught back up the quality of this great fishery. Lots and lots of greatconditioned browns are being caught and released all the way down to Molesworth with a couple of 4-5lb bucks and plenty of 2-3lb fish as well. Don’t forget about the Lake Eildon Fishing Challenge charity event raising money for the Variety Bash charities held at Jerusalem Creek’s Cafe 501; for details email lakeeildonfishing challenge@gmail.com. Get behind it – it’s for a great cause.

the baits in the areas that are normally shallow or exposed as the trout move about quite a bit in the pondage in search of a feed.

right on dark and to an hour or so after dark. The Eildon Pondage has been a little hit and miss lately, but when it’s been firing anglers have been landing brown trout up to 9.5lb, on gold and crab pattern Kroc lures and black and gold soft plastics. The rear of the Eildon Pondage Caravan Park is the place to fish when using these lures. The local dough is still the pick of the baits, with PowerBait being a close second but mudeyes and scrub worms are also picking up a few as well. The best areas for the bait angler to target are down Riverside Drive, the football oval, Burke Street and the bank area near the floating jetty. The odd 5lb rainbow trout is being caught amongst a few smaller ones that are getting about and anglers that are fishing mornings from 7-10am have been doing the best. For the fly flicker in the pondage, Woolly Buggers, mudeyes and hopper patterns work well in Nursery Corner and up near Cemetery Point. The other

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APRIL 2018

63


Anglers looking forward to the cool change BENDIGO

Roger Miles codhuntertours@bigpond.com

The Bendigo region has had a long, hot summer. I know, like most anglers, I’m going to appreciate the change in the season and the cooler temperatures that accompany it. During the autumn months we will see change in the weather patterns. Over the next couple of months we will see large slow moving high-pressure systems on a regular basis. These high-pressure systems provide some ideal fishing conditions with more days of reduced wind and more days with favourable barometer conditions. LAKE EPPALOCK The fishing in Lake Eppalock is still good. Redfin continue to make up the majority of anglers’ captures. The best concentrations of redfin can still be found in deep water. The depth range of 10-12m has been where I have been finding the fishing the most productive. Trolling deep diving hardbody lures such as the Custom Crafted Basshunters has been a productive technique.

If you do find a good concentration of redfin, then casting soft plastics and hopping them across the bottom has also been working well. Anglers need to be prepared to hunt around a lot in order to find a good concentration of redfin. The productivity in the native fishing continues to be average. Small numbers of golden perch are being caught; the majority of these are being caught by anglers bait fishing around the edges of standing timber. Small numbers of golden perch are also being caught by anglers trolling mediumsized hardbody lures in depth ranges around 8m. The occasional Murray cod has also been caught. Trolling large hardbody lures and trolling heavy spinnerbaits have been the most productive techniques for the Murray cod. Unfortunately water levels have been dropping at a steady rate; this is not helping the productivity of the fishing and unfortunately water levels look likely to continue to drop over the next couple of months. CAMPASPE RIVER The productivity in the fishing in the Campaspe River has slowed down over the last month. This is mainly

due to the increased volumes of water being released from Lake Eppalock. When there are increased flows this water is often cooler and has a negative effect on the fishing. We can also see a reduction in the water clarity created by the increased flows. If the flows are maintained at a steady rate, the fish will get used to the change in conditions and the productivity should pick up again. Golden perch have been making up the majority of anglers’ captures. Casting lipless crankbaits and hardbody lures has been the most productive option lately. The numbers of Murray cod being caught have been low. The best lure options have been spinnerbaits during the day and surface lures and swimbaits during periods of low light. CAIRN CURRAN Water clarity is still below average at this location. The water clarity is still very tannin and there is a lot of algae in the water. Despite the average conditions the fishing hasn’t been bad. Redfin are making up the majority of anglers’ captures. The majority of redfin are getting caught in shallow water. Depths of 3-6m have been producing redfin. Bait

This quality redfin was caught as a by-catch while casting spinnerbaits for golden perch. fishing with worms and yabbies has been working. Casting and retrieving soft plastics and bladed lures have also been working on the redfin. The numbers of golden perch being caught have been low. The most productive lures for the golden perch have been brightly-coloured lipless crankbaits. The most productive colours have been chartreuse and pink. Most of the golden perch have been caught around standing timber and to a lesser extent around the rocky shorelines.

LODDON RIVER The productivity in the fishing remains good. The water clarity has been varying a lot in the Loddon River this season. In some sections the water clarity is very good then a flush is let down the system and the water clarity deteriorates for several days; in other sections of the river the water clarity has remained only average. Golden perch have been making up the majority of captures here. Most of these golden perch are measuring

between 37cm and 40cm. The most productive fishing continues to be during those periods of reduced light. The first two hours and the last couple of hours of daylight are when the majority of golden perch are being caught. The fishing has been slow during the middle of the day on most days. For those anglers chasing a Murray cod, night fishing has been the most productive with surface lures and swimbaits being the most productive lure options.

The pre-spawn stream trout are fattening up WST/STH GIPPSLAND

Steve Haughton steve@habitatcreations.com.au

Winter is creeping up quickly now, but the oftenbeautiful April weather won’t hold anglers back from targeting trout in the streams of West and South Gippsland, or chasing an array of freshwater species on Blue Rock Lake. Remember that this month we say goodbye to daylight savings on April 1. Strolling or wading a trout stream set amongst a magic backdrop is a great way to spend the weekend. Brown and rainbow trout are lively at this time of year as the quest for food helps them pile on the body condition they need to make the journey upstream for spawning. Catching and releasing these exciting stream sportfish on light gear is a lot of fun. Techniques vary, but often a simple setup is all you need. When using lures like soft plastics, spinners and hardbody minnows, use a 6-7ft rod with a line class of 1-4kg fitted with a 1000-2500 class reel. This is a great versatile combo that you can also use to 64

APRIL 2018

drift live baits downstream, fish baits under a float or fish baits off the bottom – all of which are productive techniques for catching and releasing pre-spawn trout. This same outfit is also ideal for fishing Blue Rock too. Trout are aggressive feeders, so anything presented well in their feeding zone is fair game. Every tackle box should have small spinner lures. They are cost effective and are up there with the most dependable lures for attracting attention from a stream trout. Many stream anglers have begun their quest for trout on these, because they are inexpensive and they work. A spinner blade rotates around the shaft mimicking an insect or small fish moving in the water. The smaller the blade, the better it will work in faster moving water. The heavier larger spinners are ideal for deeper stretches of water. Hardbody lures are gold for small streams and rivers in the West and South Gippsland region. My preference would be a 3-5cm floating minnowstyle lure. Minnow hardbodies have a great action in the water and the real advantage is that the lure floats, allowing you to

retrieve amongst snags and other obstacles. Another advantage is you can let the lure drift into trout feeding zones before retrieving; this allows you to master the art of sight fishing. Small soft plastics have great action in a flowing stream and the texture of

favourite is a grub with a wriggling tail, as it provides the best action in a flowing stream and resembles a tadpole or small fish. Fishing with live baits or artificial baits is another popular technique for stream trout. Artificial baits tend to be a hit for

excites a trout post-spawn. Live baits such as garden or scrub worms are the most common for catching stream trout and are still an exciting technique for any trout angler of any age and skill. Let baits drift downstream into feeding

Dan Moore caught this very healthy rainbow trout recently in the Latrobe River on a Strike Tiger Nymph soft plastic. He had a good session catching and releasing a few more rainbows and browns. the lure often encourages trout to come back for a second strike if you missed out first time around! My

anglers after the trout season has reopened, as the baits have a hormone attractant, which still

zones and slowly retrieve them to get attention. Unweighted is best to present a more natural look,

otherwise use a small split shot above the hook when using lightweight baits like singular garden worms, cockchafers or grasshoppers. Fishing baits off the bottom or under a float is the most relaxed method and often the most popular for a family day out. Flyfishing is the pinnacle of skill and patience for stream trout fishing. As the stream flows begin to increase with more rain, many fly anglers will be nymphing using the everpopular black bead-head nymph. Attaching a dry fly indicator with a bit of flare and colour has also helped anglers have a productive day out on the streams. Blue Rock in April should be a bit of fun as trout become more active on the surface. Bass are still being caught, but they’ll start to become a bit harder on the surface, so fishing deeper for them will be the way to go as the water temperature drops. Feel free to send me a report or photo, particularly if you have any success stories fishing over the Easter break and please email me any questions. Happy fishing!


Trophy trout turning it on for avid anglers CRATER LAKES

Rod Shepherd

While it continues to be dry, autumn has really turned on the freshwater fishing and Lake Purrumbete is currently the star in the Western District. Most anglers are working depths from 10-15m and coming up trumps with all species on offer in this

measuring 78cm and weighing 8.4lb. Various smaller trout and redfin were also boated for the day’s outing. I have no recent reports of trophy Chinooks being landed but no doubt that will happen soon, as they are certainly out there waiting to be caught. I also stuck my nose out onto the lake not long after the boys paid a visit. I was mainly chasing a feed or three

cricket score numbers of fish, however many were small. This is usually the case early on; as the temperature drops, it seems the larger ones come out to play – not this time though. I initially couldn’t locate a school on the sounder (they appear as a cloud rising up from the bottom), so I dropped anchor and took pot luck. Within minutes I was on, but what I thought was a solid reddie turned

A pan-sized Purrumbete rainbow that responded to a Snatchbite shad jigged at 13m.

Two boaters on Purrumbete down rigging lures around 15m in the hope of hooking up to a big one crater lake. Perhaps the only exception is brook trout, as captures appear to be a tad on the quiet side. Recently Michael Evans met up with Tim Beusmans on the lake and between them they managed three trophy trout for the day: two bucks measuring 75cm and weighing 8.4 and 9.8lb respectively caught in 10-15m, and a hen brown

of tasty reddies, as this is the time of year when these fish become very sociable and school up in their hundreds and thousands. Right through into winter the redfin can be found in huge numbers in depths from 10-15m and when they switch on they can be pulled up from the bottom one after the other. Last year was a great year for anglers catching

out to be a 41cm rainbow. This is common, especially when it comes to rainbow trout and Chinook salmon. They come in all sizes and weights including the trophy specimens. It took a further half an hour to land my first redfin and only due to a mobile school moving under my boat and giving themselves away on the sounder.

They didn’t stay for long but it was enough time to hook and boat several fish. Thankfully they kept coming back at least eight or nine times during the morning, so I’m glad I played the waiting game and stayed put. Lake Bullen Merri continues to produce Chinook salmon to 3kg as well as the odd rainbow. Simply anchor up in 10m+ and bounce baits such as cut pilchards just off the bottom. Berley certainly helps in attracting fish into your strike zone. Water levels continue to slowly drop in the southwest as a distinct lack of rain continues to plague our lakes. Lake Elingamite is now out of bounds to all boats, and only kayaks have any chance of launching. With the water surface temperature remaining high

Purrumbete redfin caught on soft plastics jigged up from the bottom. One went 40cm with most averaging out between 32 and 36. the trout have certainly quietened down here. Only the redfin are responding. Deep Lake at Derrinallum has suffered some minor fish kills due to high water temperatures and receding water. The

fish are mostly rainbows, as they are the predominant fish stocked here. Hopefully the slowly cooling daytime temperatures associated with autumn and some solid rainfall should put a stop to this.

Cooler water is the go MELBOURNE METRO

Dylan Brennan

As autumn really starts to set in, local freshwater anglers will start to notice a bit of a change in fish behaviour. Cooler air temperatures influence the water temperature and the fish act accordingly Fish like Murray cod and yellowbelly are still readily available for anglers who specifically target them, but from around Easter onwards the cooler weather generally slows them down a little. Locally, stocked urban lakes have been producing a few rainbows for keen young anglers using suspended PowerBait and coarse style rigs, with Casey Fields and Karkarook being the pick of places. Remember to use a pellet berley mix when

targeting these trout, as it will help to keep the fish around for longer, and could turn a zero fish day into a good one. The odd perch and trout have also been caught by lure fishers working the edges of the lake casting small soft plastics and hardbodies. The lake margins are mainly mud and weed, so there isn’t too much to snag on; standard jighead rigs are fine. It is a similar story down at Devilbend Reservoir on the Peninsula. The lake has been producing the odd trout for anglers fishing amongst schools of redfin and perch. As we get deeper into the cold conditions the trout will start to cruise the shorelines and make their presence known. Early mornings and overcast skies will provide premium conditions to hunt for the large brown trout that frequent the margins between the windswept banks and the weed edges. Blind casting

yabbies or insect-imitating soft plastics around these areas will put you in with a good chance of hooking a trout. Just be sure to work the bays and coves slowly as these fish are super flighty right up in the skinny water. If you are looking for a spot to target redfin in hope of snagging a larger fish, your odds are higher across at Bittern Reservoir. The lake is shallower and consists of the same mud and weed substrate as Devilbend. Fishing the same sorts of lures as you would at Devilbend will provide the same results, but the main difference here is that the weed pockets are not as clearly visible. Weedless-rigged soft plastics around 3” are a good starting point. Bright UV-enhanced colours stand out and catch the attention of the larger reddies. There’s also a heap of dams and wetlands further back

Redfin like this are typical of most dams around the Mornington Peninsula and southeastern suburbs. Photo courtesy of Donald Smith. towards the southeastern suburbs that are chock full of redfin, and while some can be tricky to fish they can hold some super-sized fish.

• 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. APRIL 2018

65


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Industry News

JV Marine grow with Mercury JV Marine World, Australia’s largest boating retailer, has joined forces with Mercury Marine to better serve its huge customer base and keep ahead of its rivals. JV Marine World will now sell and service Mercury’s outstanding range of outboards and sterndrive engines. Established more than 40 years ago, JV is well known to boat lovers across Melbourne and Victoria. Its flagship outlet in Braeside covers more than 10 acres, with its other showroom in Laverton North spreading over three acres. “We’re always looking at the market, and we believe Mercury’s lightweight 4-stroke outboards are the motors that are revolutionising the industry,” said JV founder and Managing Director, John Stav. “More and more, these powerful and clean engines are what customers want, especially at the higher horsepower end of the range – so the decision makes a lot of sense. “JV Marine World has certainly been successful but we’re not sitting on our laurels – our competitors won’t let us. We’re still very much growth-orientated and we want to make sure we can offer our customers the best,” he said. Specialising in boat sales, JV Marine offers a range of quality craft from small tinnies and runabouts through to larger cabin boats, bow riders and offshore fishing

JV Marine will now sell and service Mercury’s outstanding range of outboards and sterndrive engines. boats. They have a large service centre and spare parts department staffed by experts with decades of experience. A true family-owned business, John’s son Mark is General Manager. “A partnership with Mercury Marine will mean our boat-motor-trailer packages will be more flexible and more competitive,” Mark said. “Looking beyond the engines, Mercury has a fantastic management team that we trust and will be working closely with. “Of course, that’s not just going to benefit JV Marine – it’s going to be good for our customers as well.

Specialising in boat sales, JV Marine offers a range of quality craft from small tinnies and runabouts through to larger cabin boats, bow riders and offshore fishing boats. “It’s a new opportunity going forward, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Mark said.

For more information, visit www.brunswick.com or www.mercurymarine.com.au. – Mercury Marine

Boom times ahead for whiting Fisheries surveys of the Port Phillip Bay area have recorded some very big numbers of baby King George whiting for the second year in a row, and this is great news for whiting stocks and recreational anglers who hold the species in high regard on the table and as a sportfish. Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Fisheries Authority Travis Dowling said anglers could expect sensational fishing from 2019 to 2021 when juvenile whiting detected in 2016 and 2017 will have grown to catchable size. “Scientists have conducted annual surveys of small juvenile whiting in the bay’s seagrass beds since 1998 to help forecast the abundance of stocks and manage the fishery sustainably,” Mr Dowling said. “Two very strong years in a row is wonderful news and will get more people

fishing, more often, which is at the core of the State Government’s Target One Million plan that’s investing a record $46 million into a suite of projects to grow participation in recreational fishing, including bringing an end to all commercial net fishing in Port Phillip Bay by 2022. “The survey results from Port Phillip Bay also provide an indication of what can be expected in the years ahead in other Victorian bays, including Western Port and Corner Inlet.” Mr Dowling said that adult whiting reside in coastal waters and the tiny whiting larvae drift eastward from spawning grounds, most likely off far western Victoria and eastern South Australia, for approximately three months before entering our bays and estuaries during spring when scientists conduct the surveys. “Westerly winds help drive the currents that bring the whiting larvae into our

bays, where they take about two years to reach the legal minimum size of 27cm. “At about four years of age, most whiting have left the bays to complete their adult life in coastal waters. “Because whiting only reside in the bays for a few years of their life, these fisheries naturally fluctuate depending on the number of tiny larvae that entered the bays several years prior.

“People fishing outside the bays along the coast can expect increased catches of larger whiting during the early 2020s, as maturing fish move out to coastal waters.” Victorian anglers are reminded that there is a daily bag limit of 20 King George whiting applies per person and they must be landed whole or in carcass form. – DEDJTR


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South Coast Mighty Bonanza has moved its dates! Lock in 13-15 April on your fishing calendar and prepare for a huge weekend of fishing fun to be enjoyed by the whole family. Tens of thousands of dollars in prizes will be up for grabs and there’s also cold hard cash to be won in the $2000

Kingfish Shootout. TV and print media personality Rob Paxevanos has graciously accepted our invitation to come be part of the festivities. Kids, come say hello to rob and maybe you will get a special prize! The first 150 juniors registered as part of a family entry receive a free

Register online to be part of the fishy fun.

There are plenty of categories to enter into, so you can catch your favourite fish.

Garmin shirt, Shimano hat and face buff valued at $130, and the following 100 juniors registered as part of a family receive a show bag valued at $80. Early bird gets the worm – or prize! Let’s beat last year’s competitor numbers –

enter your family, friends and fishing buddies. For more information and to get your online early bird registration go to www. scmb.com.au or visit us on Facebook www.facebook. com/scmbfc/. – South Coast Mighty Bonanza

TOURNAMENT CALENDAR

The South Coast Mighty Bonanza is an event for the whole family.

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2018

APRIL JULY

7-8 Apr Jul 4-11

24-27 Aug Sep 14

ANSA Victoria State Championship Evans HeadHeads Fishing Classic Port Phillip EHFCC - 0448 881 414 ABT BREAM Series Round 5 BETSCoast Bream R6 Gold Chris Gates - 0413 795 382 Round 4 Hobie Kayak Bream Series Metung Gamakatsu TS R3 South GTS - 0459 401 612 ANSA Victoria State Championship Apollo Bay Kayak BREAM Series Daiwa-Hobie ABT - (07) 3387 0888 ABT BREAM Series Round 6 Swan River, WA ABT BREAM Series ABT - (07) 3387 0888 CVLCSS Round 3 Lake Mulwala Gamakatsu Bream Round + Kayak GTS - 0459 401 612 ABT BREAM Series Round 7 Hawkesbury River North Round + Kayak Gamakatsu Bream GTS - 0459 401 612 ABT BREAM Series Round 8 Lake Macquarie Daiwa-Hobie Kayak BREAM Series ABT - (07) 3387 0888 CVLCSS Round 4 Mildura Daiwa-Hobie Kayak BASS Series

www.ansavic.com.au Evans Head ansavic@bigpond.com www.evansheadfishingclassic.com.au abt.org.au Sydney Harbour www.betsbream.com.au www.hobiefishing.com.au St Georges Basin fishingcomps.com.au/gts www.ansavic.com.au ansavic@bigpond.com Georges River www.abt.org.au abt.org.au Clarence River www.abt.org.au www.cvlcss.com David 0418 378 944 South Nelson West Rocks fishingcomps.com.au/gts abt.org.au Ballina fishingcomps.com.au/gts abt.org.au St Georges Basin www.abt.org.au www.cvlcss.com David Nelson 0418 378 944 Toonumbar Dam

27 Oct

CVLCSS Round 5 Lake Eppalock

www.cvlcss.com David Nelson 0418 378 944

19 Nov

ABT BARRA Tour Round 1 Kinchant Dam (evening event)

abt.org.au

20 Nov

ABT BARRA Tour Round 2 Teemburra Dam (evening event)

abt.org.au

21 Nov

ABT BARRA Tour Round 3 Peter Faust (Night Championship)

abt.org.au

21-22 Apr Jul 6

AUGUST

5-6 May Jul 13 5-6 May Jul 14-15 5-6 May Jul 26-27

AUGUST JUNE AUGUST SEPTEMBER

19 May Aug 10 2-3 Jun Aug 24 11-12 Aug Sep 13-14

ABT - (07) 3387 0888 www.abt.org.au 13-14 Oct Round 7 Hobie Kayak Bream Series www.hobiefishing.com.au Hopkins Add your tournament or competition to this list by emailing jthomas@fishingmonthly.com.au or calling 07 3387 0800 in office hours. 13-14 OctJust ABT BREAM Series Round 9 and a telephone number and abt.org.au supply a date, venue, tournament name contact name. South West Rocks

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

Add your tournament or competition to this list by emailing jthomas@fishingmonthly.com.au or calling 07 3387 0800 in office hours. Just supply a date, venue, tournament name and a telephone number and contact name. 68

APRIL 2018


Chen kicks off the Hobie Kayak Bream Series The 2018 Hobie Kayak Bream Series 10 started off in style on 10-11 February with 102 anglers entering round one at Bemm River in Victoria. Anglers from all over Australia competed in the two-day competition at the bream fishing Mecca in East Gippsland. On the Friday pre-fish day anglers hit the event arena and a reasonable number of them reported pulling in solid bags. JONATHAN CHEN TAKES THE WIN Day One Chen started off the competition on day one by heading to his marks near the mouth of Bemm River, beginning with a 3ft deep flat. The water was crystal clear with no wind, and finding the fish a bit spooky, he only managed a few small undersize bream on a Greedy-guts 66. “My patience wore thin having the lure fowl up on loose weed nearly every cast,” he said. “To help avoid this, I switched to a Damiki Armor Shad 3” plastic in skin blue and began searching the area for legal-sized bream.

42cm bream. “The fishing was quiet. Changing to a Damiki D Grub on a 1/12oz jighead then casting at a small drop-off, I was rewarded on the drop. After a few more casts, each time leaving the plastic

a green Spike It pen,” said Jonathan Chen. Chen ended the day with a 2.85kg bag and the lead going into Day Two. Day Two “The weather was bad due to the wind, but it was all go

weighing in six fish at 5.18kg and moving to the top of the leader board, then David Shanahan knocking off Tony with a 5.22kg bag, I was unsure what my total would be and was very surprised to see my bag tip the scales at 5.26kg. It was a great weekend and one that will be remembered for some time. The top five positions were very close for sure!” Bogdan was using a Miller Custom rod, Daiwa Exist, Steez and Certate reels, Sunline 3lb fluorocarbon line and 5lb

winner was Dale Baxter from Victoria with a 1.29kg bream. Neil Hutchins from SA was the Mortgage Corp Monster Mover. DIVISION WINNERS The Youth division (16-20 years) was won by Jack Gammie from NSW. Michelle Gamble (Vic) took out the Women’s division. The Master’s (60-64 years old) was tied, taken by Lex Court from NSW and Gary Hanson from Vic. John Ellis from NSW took the Grand Master’s division and the Pro Angler

WINNING TACKLE Rod: Miller Bream Buster Reel: Shimano Stradic C14 Line: 3lb fluourocarbon straight-through Lure: D  amiki Amour Shad, skin blue, Damiki D Grubb and Juro Firebait Kayak: Hobie Pro Anger 1a4 EVENT STATS Total fish day one:................. 256 Total fish day two:................. 236 Total fish:................................ 492 Total weight:........................... 333.44kg Average weight:..................... 0.68kg

Jonathan Chen took the victory in the first round of the 2018 Hobie Kayak Bream Series 10.

“There were a few hairy moments where the fish would take a big run while I was trying to net it,” said Jonathan Chen. “At 9:30am, drifting over patchy weed and working my plastic faster over the weed, I quickly managed to fill my bag with three 37cm bream. With a good bag already, I decided to keep moving, leaving the spot for the next day to find a new area holding fish for day two.” About 100m from his main location, Chen scored himself a good upgrade – a

bit at a time.” After upgrading his bag a few times, it was back to his original location. “The wind was really blowing now – to my advantage I started casting into the wind, allowing the lure

sitting on the bottom for 10 seconds, Chen upgraded another fish from 37cm to a 39cm specimen. “With the wind blowing harder, I decided to do a long drift heading towards Bobs Bay and making long casts into the wind. I had another small upgrade of 50g on the Damiki Armor Shad in baby bass re-coloured green with

The competition started off in style with 102 anglers entering round one at Bemm River in Victoria.

for the tournament. I headed straight to my first spot and they weren’t there. Moving just 10m and a tad deeper – 4.5ft – I managed to get two undersize bream in two casts on the Damiki Armor Shad in baby bass and coloured UV green. Deciding to slow down and fish the area thoroughly finally produced my first legal – a 40cm bream. “Switching to a shad-type lure produced another legal. The media boat arrived for a few happy snaps while fighting the fish. There were a few hairy moments where the fish would take a big run while I was trying to net it. Managing to get the fish in the boat, my second legal was a 37cm bream. A short time later, switching to a Damiki Armor Shad in skin blue, a 30cm bream was added to my bag. I moved to another drop-off, catching bream after bream for about an hour, all being around 31-33cm, upgrading a

to move slower in the water column. With casting into the wind and changing the jig head to a 1/8 I finally managed to get another good upgrade on a grub. “Hoping I had enough to keep me up at the top, at 12pm I decided to head back to the flats out the front of the launch spot, as the wind was bad and I didn’t want to risk being late. I landed a couple of good fish but no upgrades. It was a nervous wait as anyone had the chance for a massive 3kg+ bag. Weighing in last, my bag went 2.71kg. It was enough to keep me on top and take out my second win at Bemm River with a total of 5.56kg.” BOGDAN ZISU TAKES SECOND Bogdan Zisu from Victoria had a great weekend and almost pulled off the round win. “With Tony Pettie

Varivas Braid. His go-to lures were a Daiwa Spike, Jackall Chubby in brown suji shrimp colour and a ZMan Grub in motor oil. He fished out of a Hobie Pro Anger 14 kayak. The Atomic Big Bream

17 Tandem (Teams) division win went to Jamie Bowdon and Tammy Arnold, also from NSW. Matthew Lang (SA) was the winning First Time Competitor. – Hobie Cat Australia

ANSA Victoria

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

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS: Lake Purrumbete - October 21/22 Port Phillip Bay - November 25/26 Portland - February 3/4 Genelg River - March 3/4 Port Phillip Heads - April 7/8 Apollo Bay - May 5/6

www.ansavic.com.au ansavic For more information email ansavic@bigpond.com

APRIL 2018

69


Mario jigs Geneo for victory Victorian breamer Mario Vukic kick-started the 2018 Costa BREAM Series in grand style with the 2017 runner-up claiming victory in the opening round of the tour, the Costa Mallacoota BREAM Qualifier held on 13-14 February. Proving that he’s the angler to watch when the Costa tour comes to town, Vukic went one step better than his runner-up title in 2017 to claim victory in the opening round of the 2018 Costa BREAM Series. Fishing the Genoa rock walls for the event Vukic keyed in on a 100m stretch as the pick of the areas to fish and it was here that he fished a deepwater soft plastic and Cranka Crab approach to catch his fish each day. “My game plan was to find a location that would produce numbers of fish.

STORM

Mario Vukic with a brace of Mallacoota winning bream. lure,” explained Mario. The approach paid dividends with Vukic catching 25 legal fish on day

BIG BREAM Glen Sturrock claimed the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize with the BREAM tour veteran picking up the $500 winning fish on day one on a super wakasagi coloured OSP Dunk crankbait. Caught off a snag on the edge it was Sturrock’s only fish for the session. For more information on the Costa BREAM Series head to www.abt.org.au. – ABT

Then it was a matter of picking through them and catching the occasional bigger fish – the fish that you want to have in your bag

one and another 20 legals on the shortened day two, his limit coming by 12pm on day one and by 9am on day two.

While the ZMan was Mario’s bag filler it was a 3” Gene Larew Baby Hoodaddy and a light Cranka Crab that delivered him his upgrades for the tournament. On day one it was the Hoodaddy that delivered the upgrade magic in a technique that was a mixture of aggression and inactivity, Mario explained. “The key with the Hoodaddy was to give it a series of aggressive flicks then deadstick it and allow it to sink back down on slack line. It looks just like a prawn coming back down to the bottom when you work it this way.”

Glen Sturrock caught the standout fish at Mallacoota claiming the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize with his day one kicker fish.

Visit www.abt.org.au for entry forms. For general enquiries phone ABT on (07) 3387 0888. 70

APRIL 2018

when you deliver it to the scales,” explained Vukic. Vukic’s go-to lure first up each morning was a motor oil coloured 2.5” ZMan GrubZ rigged on either a 1/16oz or 1/12oz jighead. Its presentation involved casting it tight to the edge then hopping it down the rock slope and back to the boat. “The bank dropped off into about 15-20ft of water and it was as I hopped the lure off the slope and just as it was about to hit the bottom that most of the fish bit the

On day two it was the Cranka Crab that proved the hero with Vukic catching a kicker fish on it. “After catching my limit on day two the plan was to move to the shallows but I decided to tie on a Cranka Crab and it paid off. I caught a 1kg+ fish which anchored my bag, and in the end it was this fish that helped me claim the event win,” explained Mario. The kicker fish in his 3.59kg day two limit it was enough to enable Vukic to leapfrog Dan Mackrell into 1st place to claim his maiden win on the Costa BREAM Series, on a waterway that carries much personal significance. “My parents brought me to Mallacoota when I was a child, and now as a parent I bring my kids here as well. It’s a place that is dear to myself and my family, so to win my first event here is very fitting and further adds to the specialness of the win and our love of ‘Coota,” explained Mario. For his win Vukic cashed a $3200 winner’s cheque and pencilled his name in as a qualifier for the Costa BREAM Grand Final in Victoria in November. The victory also cemented his name as one of the anglers to look out for when the Costa tour comes to Victoria.

TOP 10 BOATERS Place Angler

Fish Weight (kg)

Payout

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 10/10 8/10 10/10 10/10 10/10

$3,200 $1800, Duffrods Big Bag (3,76kg) $1300, 1st Mercury Bonus $1150, 2nd Mercury Bonus $975, 3rd Mercury Bonus $800 $650 $500 $500 $500

Mario VUKIC Daniel MACKRELL Jarrod HEALEY Tom DEER Cameron WHITTAM Jesse ROTIN Tim VICKERS Clint VOSS Brad ROBERTS Braddley YOUNG

7.11 7.10 6.29 5.87 5.86 5.70 5.69 5.44 5.32 5.21

For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au


Mack attack at Coota Dan Mackrell compiled two solid days on the water at Mallacoota to claim 2nd place in the boater division to punch his ticket for the Costa BREAM Grand Final and head home $1800 richer for the weekend. Fishing the Narrows area for the tournament the Frogleys Offshore sponsored bream pro, like many anglers in the field, chose a soft plastic approach to catch his fish, namely a 2” motor oil colour curl-tail grub rigged on a 1/20oz Seeker jighead. Working areas of varying

depth from 50cm on the edge out to the secondary drop-off in 2.5m, Mackrell fished tight to the bottom. “The fish were positioned tight to structure regardless of the depth so it was important to keep the lure in touch with the bottom,” explained Dan. It wasn’t solely a soft plastic approach for Mackrell, especially on day one, as the Victorian breamer fished the shallow flats with a 65mm Atomic Seekerz jerkbait in Tim’s prawn colour. “The key with the jerkbait

was the pause; you wanted to let it sit motionless for a long time to get the fish to eat it,” explained Mackrell. Out in the deep fishing his jighead rigged soft plastic, Mackrell found plenty of baitfish with tailor and bream sitting underneath them looking for an easy feed. While Dan could find the bream and the bait, it wasn’t until later in the day that the bream started to play. “They didn’t really fire here until mid-morning so I spent time fishing other locations while I waited for them to turn on,” explained Mackrell. When they did turn on the action was fast and furious with Dan catching 30 legal fish for day one and a dozen on day two. It was a late start for the bite to turn on day two and it wasn’t until the last hour and half of the reduced four-hour session that he caught his first fish. “My non-boater had four

DUFFRODS BIG BAG Event runner-up Dan Mackrell secured the Duffrods Big Bag for the tournament, with the Atomic-sponsored angler claiming the prize for his 5/5, 3.76kg day one limit. The standout limit for the tournament, Dan’s XOS sack was enough to give him the lead heading into day two, but unfortunately wasn’t enough to hold off Mario Vukic for the event win.

BREAM SERIES

Dan Mackrell found the big fish at Coota, falling 10g short of claiming victory. fish and I had nothing, so I was starting to get a little worried. I reminded myself to stay focused, and the fish eventually came, including my limit and a few upgrades,” explained Mackrell. Weighing in a 3.34kg

limit for the session Mackrell unfortunately didn’t have enough weight to hold off eventual winner Mario Vukic, falling 10g short of claiming victory. “To lose and to lose by that little definitely

hurts,” explained a heartbroken Mackrell. The tackle Mackrell used included Samurai Reaction rods (models 101 and 181), Daiwa Ignis reels, 8lb Unitika Aorika and X4 braid and 3lb Unitika fluorocarbon leader.

Badrock bags out for Coota non boater victory Doug Badrock punched his ticket for December’s Victorian Costa BREAM Grand Final with the Bright-based tournament gun claiming a comprehensive non

Zman Grub on jighead

boater victory at Mallacoota. Fishing with Robert Lee on day one Badrock started his day fishing the northern side of Goodwin Sands, throwing a brown

suji coloured Atomic Jerk Minnow, and twitching and pausing it above the weed beds. “The lure and technique paid off and I caught my first fish for the session. We then

Cranka Crab

15-20’ deep

TOP 10 NON BOATERS Place Angler

Fish

Weight (kg) Payout

1

10/10

6.07

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Doug BADROCK

Costa Prize Pack, 1st Hobie Bonus Simon JOHNSON 10/10 5.27 Tonic Sunglasses, Prize Pack Bowan JOINER 9/10 4.96 Atomic Arrowz rod, Prize Pack, 2nd Hobie Bonus Blair BRYANT 7/10 4.30 Daiwa LT Exceler reel, Prize Pack, 3rd Hobie Bonus Grant OLIVER 7/10 4.07 Prize Pack Stuart WALKER 7/10 4.06 Prize Pack Michael THOMPSON 6/10 3.83 Prize Pack Ben SHUEY 6/10 3.64 Prize Pack Paul LANGLEY 6/10 3.44 Prize Pack Chris HEAD 6/10 2.94 Prize Pack For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au

moved and headed to the southeastern side of Goodwin Sands,” explained Badrock. Fishing water 0.9-1.3m deep, the pair keyed in on an area that had plenty of weed and, most importantly, sand patches scattered throughout. “This is where I caught all my legals for the day, and just like the fish I caught earlier they fell to a slow-rolled, twitched and paused Atomic Jerk Minnow. The slower, the better was definitely the key when it came to the retrieve,” explained Badrock. Badrock’s two go-to colours for his Atomic Jerk Minnow were a brown suji and a brown colour. While the Goodwin Sands’ bream loved Badrock’s Jerk Minnows and choice of colours, they did make him work for them and it wasn’t until the last ten minutes of the session that he caught his fifth fish for the day. Sitting in 5th place at the end of day one and paired with day one leader Dan Mackrell for day two, Doug was feeling positive about what day two had to offer. With angling time a premium on day two due to the reduced session, Badrock wanted to get them and he wanted to get them early, and that’s definitely how it played out. Fishing in 1.5-3m of water the pair spot locked on a particular location, targeting fish feeding on baitfish in the area. “The bream were sitting bellow the baitfish and it didn’t take long to get them to bite. I caught four fish in the first 40 minutes – the fourth was fat 39cm yellowfin,”

Doug Badrock claimed a solid victory in the nonboater division at the Costa-presented event. explained Badrock. Doug’s fifth fish proved hard to catch and it wasn’t until the last 20 minutes of the session that he caught it. His gun lure was the bloodworm and motor oil coloured 2.5” ZMan GrubZ rigged on a variety of jigheads, ranging from 1/12-1/8oz in weight. “The 1/8oz was the go-to when the wind really got up because you could cast further and keep the lure in contact with the bottom,” explained Badrock. While Badrock and Mackrell caught fish throughout the session the bites came in 10

minute windows. “The bites came in waves and we found as the day progressed the quicker hops and twitches would draw the best reaction from the fish,” explained Badrock. Badrock weighed in a 5/5, 3.35kg limit to claim victory and secure an 800g win over Simon Johnson in 2nd place in doing so becoming the owner of a new pair of Costa sunglasses, securing a berth in the Costa BREAM Grand Final, and claiming his first win on the Costa BREAM tour.

WINNING TACKLE Rod: G.Loomis TSR 862-2 Reel: Daiwa Steez 2004 Line: 10lb (0.6 PE) Sunline Castaway PE Leader: 3lb Sunline FC Rock Lure: 2.5” ZMan Grubz in motor oil rigged on either a 1/16oz or 1/12oz jighead, 3” Gene Larew Baby Hoodaddy and an olive coloured light Cranka Crab. Shrimp flavoured Pro Cure scent was also added to the lures. APRIL 2018

71


Cam crushes field for Gippy win

STORM

Cam Whittam added another BREAM trophy to his mantel piece at round two of the Costa BREAM Series with the gun Victorian breamer compiling a 10/10, 10.37kg limit to claim victory in the 2nd event of the Viccy Tour, the Atomic Gippsland Lakes BREAM Qualifier on 17-18 February. Calling upon his extensive knowledge and experience fishing the vast Gippsland Lakes fishery, Whittam fished two key areas to claim the win. On day one he focused on the Mitchell River flats and on day two the Mitchell River flats and the shallow reef at the mouth of the Tambo River. Fishing the shallow reef on the Mitchell River flats – an area that many boats in the field were fishing – Whittam found the fish, but found getting them to bite wasn’t always easy. “I was fishing in 3-4ft of water and picked up

Atomic Gippsland Lakes victor Cam Whittam holds aloft a pair of his tournament-winning bream. sitting in 2nd place at the end of the day. Returning to the Mitchell River flats at the start of day two, Cam once again found the going hard. At 10.30am, with only two fish in the

DAIWA J-BRAID BIG BREAM Wayne Hamilton claimed the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize at Gippsland Lakes with the Gippsland local securing the $500 prize on day two for his standout fish caught in 3ft of water at the Mitchell flats on a hardbody. The tackle Hamilton used to catch the prizewinning fish included a 2-4kg Duffrods Broken Bones rod and Daiwa Ignis 2004 reel.

Visit www.abt.org.au for entry forms. For general enquiries phone ABT on (07) 3387 0888. 72

APRIL 2018

and pinpointed fish with my Humminbird Helix sounder; getting them to bite however proved more challenging. The bite was ultra timid and I missed 8-10 fish each day, because they weren’t really committed in their bite,” explained Whittam. Fishing the Mitchell River flats on day one Whittam threw a two-lure punch, throwing a deep brown suji shrimp Jackall Chubby and a 2.5” ZMan GrubZ – the latter was used to catch his kicker fish. “There was plenty of algae in the water which greatly reduced the visibility. The Chubby was the perfect lure for these conditions because of the combination of rattle and UV, particularly when the sun was low and there was less light penetration into the water,” explained Whittam. The presentation for the Chubby involved a slow retrieve, bumping the bottom and walking the lure over structure as it swum through the water. The timid frugal bite proved challenging on day one with Whittam only catching five legal fish and a couple of undersize fish for the day. What he lacked in numbers he made up for in size with Cam weighing in a 5/5, 5.26kg limit to be

well, he pulled up stumps and changed location, heading to the mouth of the Tambo River in search of more productive water. Whittam also made a change in lure, swapping to an OSP Dunk in a variety of different colours. Cam’s changes paid dividends, finding fish at the Tambo that were more eager to eat than the timid fish at the Mitchell. “The fish at the Tambo were far less pressured and were more committed to eating the lure; getting them to the boat however was the hard part at times. I got

dusted by at least six fish for the day,” explained Cam. Within 30 minutes of arriving at the Tambo Whittam had filled his limit, his eventual bag weighing 5.11kg anchored by two 38.5cm fork-length fish. Weighing in two 5kg+ bags for the tournament Whittam claimed the victory in a canter, winning by a 2.16kg margin over event runner-up Jamie McKeown. In victory Whittam added $3100 to his career earnings and additionally value added his rewards with the $250 Mercury Bonus.

The big fish came out to play at Gippsland with Wayne Hamilton securing the Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream Prize.

TOP 10 BOATERS Place Angler

Fish

Weight (kg)

1 2

10/10 7/10

10.37 8.21

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Cameron Whittam Jamie McKeown

Payout

$3100, 1st Mercury Bonus $1700, Duffrods Big Bag, 2nd Mercury Bonus Warren Carter 10/10 7.96 $1200, 3rd Mercury Bonus Brad Hodges 10/10 7.27 $1150 Christian Wardini 10/10 6.49 $950 Kris Hickson 8/10 6.42 $800 Grant Kime 9/10 6.08 $600 Mario Vukic 9/10 5.76 $500 Mark Cribbes 7/10 5.59 $500 Brad Roberts 7/10 4.95 $500 For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au


Yellow fever for podium finish Queensland Breamer Jamie McKeown made the long trip from home on the Gold Coast to Victoria for the opening rounds of the 2018 Costa BREAM Series with the 2017 BREAM Grand Final runner-up fishing like he was still at home chasing yellowfin bream rather than the black bream of the south to claim a top two at the Gippsland Lakes event. Fishing for the rarelytargeted yellowfin bream of Gippsland Lakes McKeown keyed in on the rock walls at Lakes Entrance during the pre-fish and it was here that he fished during the event. “After I found them

during the pre-fish I was confident that I’d have them to myself during the tournament because guys rarely target them down here. I perhaps wasn’t so confident that they would last for the whole tournament,” explained McKeown. Hitting the ground running on day one, McKeown went straight there from the start and started fishing. He worked water and walls in the 2-9m depth range. “The key was to look for walls with plenty of current flow and cast into the eddies. Sink your lure down to the bottom and if you could get it there, the

DUFFRODS BIG BAG Queenslander breamer Jamie McKeown picked up the Duffrods Big Bag with the Gold Coast tournament veteran catching the tournament’s standout bag on day one, a 5/5, 5.62kg limit of yellowfin bream caught from the rock walls at Lakes Entrance.

bream would generally eat it,” explained Jamie. The lure that he used was the lure that delivered him so much during last year’s Grand Final – the Cranka Crab. McKeown threw the 5.9 and 9.5g models in spotted and brown colours. “It was hard aggressive fishing. In many ways it was like jack fishing on the Gold Coast – super aggressive bites followed by a strong tussle to stop the bream finding its way home,” explained Jamie. The action was fast and furious from the get-go on day one with Jamie filling his limit by 9.30am. Upgrades followed throughout the session, and when McKeown dropped a 5.62kg limit of yellowfin bream on the weigh-in scales back at the Metung Hotel he turned heads and made plenty of people sit up and take notice. “Black bream have always dominated our events

in Victoria. There’s yellowfin down there but they rarely get considered as a viable option during a tournament. To see Jamie bring a bag of them in – and a bag that size – is something that’s never been done before,” explained ABT Tournament Director Simon Goldsmith. Day two however was the real challenge with a change in current flow and line breakage issues plagued McKeown’s day on the water. “The current wasn’t running the same, so it was more difficult to get the lure down to the fish. I also lost a few key fish because I’d run out of my main leader material and I had to use something else that wasn’t as robust in rocky situations. While Jamie found the quality of fish he’d been on the two days prior, regretfully he only managed to put two fish in the well. Weighing in a 2/5, 2.59kg limit for the

we moved out and fished the shallow reefy main flat,” explained Joiner. The bite when fishing the timber was anything but subtle with a pause of his lure followed by an aggressive hit. On the shallow flat, however, the fish were a bit more reserved with the

bream giving a slight nudge of the lure before Joiner would set the hook. The approach was exactly what the fish wanted with Joiner catching 12-15 fish for the session, including five legals and three upgrades. Weighing in a 5/5, 4.19kg limit on day one Joiner was

BREAM SERIES

Event runner-up Jamie McKeown zigged when many anglers zagged, catching yellowfin bream on the rocks walls at Lakes Entrance to secure a podium finish. session McKeown slipped from 1st to 2nd to head home with thoughts of what may have been and growing plans for redemption in the 2018 Gippsland Lakes event.

The tackle McKeown used for the event included Samaki Zing Extreme and K2 rods, Ecooda Hawke II reel, 8lb Samaki braid and 6lb leader.

Joiner grubs and cranks to maiden victory Mallacoota breaming wunderkind Bowan Joiner once again showed his angling prowess with the talented East Gippsland angler claiming victory in the non-boater division of the Atomic Gippsland Lakes BREAM Qualifier.

Fishing the Mitchell River flats on day one Joiner and his boater target flooded timber in 3-10ft of water and finding bream holding tight to the base of the timber. “We worked through the area and once we fished all the timber we could find

Deep Jackall Chubby

OSP Dunk

Zman Grub on Jighead

Victorian young gun Bowan Joiner claimed the non-boater title at the Atomic-presented event.

Weedy bottom

Rocky bottom

TOP 10 NON BOATERS Place Angler

Fish

Weight (kg) Payout

1

7/10

6.52

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Bowan Joiner

Costa Sunglasses, Prize Pack, 1st Hobie Bonus Tomas McIntosh 8/10 6.46 Tonic Sunglasses, Prize Pack, 2nd Hobie Bonus Wayne Hamilton 7/10 6.04 Atomic Arrowz Rod, Prize Pack, Daiwa J-Braid Big Bream, 3rd Hobie Bonus Peter Breukel 9/10 5.89 Daiwa Reel and Prize Pack Glen Sturrock 8/10 5.47 Prize Pack James Morgan 6/10 5.25 Prize Pack Grayson Fong 5/10 5.18 Prize Pack, Simon Johnson 8/10 4.90 Prize Pack Craig Johnson 7/10 4.64 Prize Pack Jason Sellings 7/10 3.97 Prize Pack For full result listings, see www.abt.org.au

sitting in 1st place heading into day two. A different boater and different location greeted Joiner on day two, with the Mallacoota local fishing the jetties at Paynesville. With a jighead rigged ZMan GrubZ tied on Joiner would skip his offering in under the structure to the waiting fish. “The fish were holding on the structure waiting for the current to deliver them food. The key was to skip the lure as far back into the shade as you could, let it sink to the bottom, then give it a

series of small hops and jerks as you worked it back to the boat,” explained Joiner. It was hard fishing with Joiner only catching two legal fish for the session, the first coming at 10am and the second at 2.20pm. Despite falling short of weighing his full limit for the session, Joiner had just enough to hold off a strong finishing Tom McIntosh for the win. The tackle Joiner used to catch his tournament winning fish included a Millerod 2-5kg Brawler rod matched to a 2500 Shimano

Stradic reel spooled with 6lb Sunline braid and 6lb Sunline FC Rock leader, and a Millerods 1-3kg Twitch Freak rod matched to a Daiwa 2506 Luvias reel spooled with 4lb Sunline braid and 4lb Sunline FC Rock leader. The lures he used included an OSP Dunk 48 in H-23 colour regularly smeared with S Factor, and a 2.5” ZMan GrubZ in motor oil and watermelon red flake colours rigged on 1/24oz Nitro jigheads.

WINNING TACKLE Rod: Duffrods Broken Bones BB 2852 and Titanium Series T8522 Reel: Daiwa Certate and Luvias 2506 Line: 12lb Sunline Castaway PE Leader: 4lb Sunline FC Rock Bream Special fluorocarbon Lure: Deep Jackall Chubby in brown suji shrimp, 2.5” ZMan Grubz in motor oil rigged on a 1/12oz jighead, and OSP Dunk in a variety of colours APRIL 2018

73


Mitsubishi ASX 2WD petrol a suprise package BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe wkff@aapt.net.au

The ASX is indeed a surprise package. It’s based on a platform that’s been around forever – the Lancer – yet sales of the eight-year-old ASX are as strong as ever. Given that the ASX was the strongest selling small SUV in Australia in 2017, you know there must be a good reason for this popularity. I gave one a test drive to find out. EXTERNAL CHANGES AND ADDED SAFETY This year’s variant of the popular ASX sees the design refined with changes to the front, including LED running lights, along with small changes to bumpers and tailgate design. You’d never confuse it with its competitors such as the Mazda 3 or Hyundai’s new Kona. The styling is pretty bold and designed to make the ASX look big: which it is! It’s larger on the outside, and has more room on the inside, than both the Mazda

3 and Kona. Everybody likes to get more car for their money, and this is a key reason for the ASX’s popularity over its more high-tech competition. The reviewed car comes with a five-year, 100,000km warranty, which is better than a lot of competitors as well. PETROL 2WD There’s a diesel 4WD ASX, but the model I tested was the 2.0L, 2WD 4-cylinder petrol. The LS petrol came equipped with the new Advanced DriverAssist Systems (ADAS). The new systems offer audible and visible Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Mitigation, plus automatic high beam in all LS and top shelf XLS models. Dusk-sensing headlights, an electro-chromatic (autodimming) rear view mirror, and rain-sensing wipers are also part of the package. ADAS relies on radar to monitor driving and road conditions. It activates the lane departure warning system or, in the case of the Forward Collision Mitigation

Attractive styling is testimony to the R&D work Mitsubishi have put into their 8-year-old ASX. system, it activates brake force assistance. If you don’t respond to this quickly enough and a collision is imminent, the FCM system will initiate emergency braking.

The ASX had no problems delivering the author to some New England high country water. The ASX has decently large front seats, and three adults can be seated behind them in comfort, as there’s no shortage of leg or head room.

The usual piano black and dark grey dash sections are highlighted by faux chrome, and there’s eye-catching red stitching on seats and gear selector.

The centre console has also had an upgrade, with a tray within the storage bin. The idea is that you sit your phone on the tray when it’s being charged via the port

Climate control air conditioning, wheel-mounted audio and phone controls plus a very user-friendly cruise control system are all at your fingertips.

The ASX has a very good reversing camera. 74

APRIL 2018

A very tidy interior with highlight stitching to catch the eye is a feature of this year’s Mitsubishi ASX.


in the bin. Storage is quite good all round, with cup holders in both the front and back, door pockets and other nooks and crannies ideally placed. There are two Isofix attachment points on the rear seats. The Mitsubishi’s infotainment system features Android Auto and Apple Car Play along with DAB digital radio, while the in-dash display features a very good rear view camera plus radio controls. With rear seats down the cargo room extends to 1143L, which makes it large enough to take a bicycle, and with rear seats upright there’s still 393L of space.

ENGINE AND CVT WELL MATCHED I found the ASX to be surprisingly good to drive. The 2.0L fuel-injected 4-cylinder petrol engine (110kW/ 360Nm) was peppy, and mated very well to the CVT auto system. I have a fair bit of experience driving vehicles fitted with Constant Velocity Transmission systems, and not all CVTs mate so well with their engines. There have been occasions, when accelerating, that I’ve seen the engine revving like a tiller control outboard in neutral, with the speedo struggling valiantly to keep up with the tacho. Not so the ASX. The tacho and

A U S T R A L I A

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$52,990 • 17’7” • Single axle Basscat trailer • 115 hp Mercury 4 stroke • 24v electric motor (Minn Kota or Motor Guide) • 2 x sounders (Humminbird 597cxi HD Di or Lowrance HDS 5 or Garmin 6”)

Driven sensibly, this 2WD managed gravel roads and light creek crossings with ease.

One of the good things about the ADAS safety system is that you can customise it.

speedometer seemed to be in perfect harmony to provide ample take off at the traffic lights, while the overdrive gearing in highway mode saw the little SUV travelling at 110km/h on 2000rpm.

With a 60/40 rear seat folding capability, the ASX has a large and useful cargo bay.

The ASX’s interior room eclipses many close competitors in its market niche.

ON THE GRAVEL The ride on both bitumen and gravel roads was excellent, with Macpherson struts/coil springs up front mating perfectly with the coil spring/multi-link set-up at the rear. Given that the ASX is classified as a small SUV, I was impressed with just how enjoyable it was to drive on the highway. The seating was comfortable, and there was excellent visibility from the ‘command’ driving position. With cruise control engaged, a great sound system pumping out a few decibels, good headlights and a welltuned suspension, I started to understand what makes the ASX a top seller. I had a few misgivings as to how the front wheel drive would fare on a gravel road, but as it turned out there were no issues. I didn’t push the ASX to its limits though, as I prefer to drive sensibly in areas where a roo could jump in front of you! The ground clearance was ample for formed dirt roads, and there was no tendency to bump steer on corrugations or for the rear suspension to rebound off bump stops, even though we had a solid load of camping gear in the back. GREAT TOWING SPECS Riding on 18” alloys, the ASX is a smooth performer. It has a 60L fuel tank, and a fuel consumption of around 8.0L per 100km on a good country run, which included a range or two. Its towing specs are impressive: 750kg for an unbraked trailer and 1300kg for a braked unit. In all, the ASX 2WD ADAS petrol would make a very useful small family SUV around the city, and take the family on country trips on the weekends. The list price is around $28,500 but I’m told you should be able to buy it for less than that.

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75


Swanfish – a comp with a difference SUNTAG

Stefan Sawynok

Over the past year we have been trailing catch and release tournaments run via our app. The benefits are numerous: we turn tournaments into data powerhouses, all the fish are released, we create documented evidence of fishers helping their fishery, and there’s less work for the administrators. Our event calendar is starting to fill. Recently I travelled to Perth to help out with the Swanfish event on the Swan River. Swanfish is as bread and butter as you can get, targeting younger fishers and families. The Swanfish format is simple enough – longest fish in any category, adult and junior categories and a random draw for the largest prize. This year they decided to innovate, going away from the traditional weight to go full virtual. To quote the Fisheries and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly, “This year’s new format shows the commitment local fishers have to conserving and understanding our marine environments.”

done. Taking the event to a full-blown virtual catch and release event with a citizen science edge was a risk, but a calculated one. Their passion convinced me to pay my own way over there to get involved. A CHALLENGING SETUP Photo-based events have been around for a while but full virtual means having a platform to capture the data and report back in real time with minimal human handling. We have been doing that in events for a couple of years – this year we want to take that to another level. One of the big innovations we introduced this year was for events to be able to have their own branded version of our standard app. This allows events to market themselves as having their own app and makes it simpler to get people registered. We expected to do this first in the ABT Tournament series but Swanfish got to the punch first and as such can rightfully claim to be the first fully virtual community event run. Nonetheless, there is a build time to do android and iPhone apps and approvals to be negotiated, so we need at least a month lead. In the case of Swanfish, we ended up with just under the month,

SWANFISH HAS A VISION I don’t need to tell you that going to app-based reporting with real-time scoreboards is a big change. At almost all the events I have run I have had fishers come up to me either at the beginning or end to tell me how shoddy they think it all is. Here I have to tip my hat to Recfishwest who embraced the concept and decided to go the full Monty. The reality is that with any format there is only one opportunity to be first and they took their chance. Recfishwest viewed the event as the perfect event for young fishers and families to demonstrate all of the great things fishing can be – fun, low impact and engaging to the wider community. Not every event has to embrace those values, but it’s a powerful message to those that have it in for fishing that we are going nowhere. A NERVOUS START I developed the app for fishing tournaments because I am a sports tragic. I always get a little nervous when any team I follow is on because as a supporter you always want your team to get off to a flyer. When I run a fishing event it’s the same. In most of the events

and we provided a video on how to use it to everyone. This was a group of family fishers who had done nothing quite like this. Would the fishers accept the change, or give us the royal digit and just text in their photos?

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so we had to work fast to make sure things went smoothly. Naming fish is one of the biggest challenges in fishing, especially in community events. Our general preference is to use the FRDC standardised names but that would have cause confusion. In this case we opted to load up a species list using local terminology (like ‘skippy’ for silver trevally) in the hope that fishers would have less problems identifying their catch. I planned to be in Perth a day ahead of the event but as things go, I was booked for a last minute workshop, then had a plane delay so ended up in Perth 11pm on the night before. Still, we were ready to go 7am the next morning.

we have run we haven’t had to wait long for the first catch to come in. This time around, I had questions on how the fishers would take to the technology. Normally we would do a briefing and demonstration but this time around that wasn’t possible. Over time we have simplified the app

length, weight (from a length-weight curve), counts, points, number of species and even some of our own secret sauce measurements. We also support multi-species and multi-class formats so juniors, women and men

The winning blue swimmer crab – blue swimmer crabs were measured pincer to pincer. Fifteen minutes later we had our answer as the first of many reported catches came in. Early on we had older fishers reporting – by older

An overview of the event. Here are some of the experiences and lessons I took away from the event – hopefully they might inspire some creative thinking out there in the fishing community. A LITTLE HISTORY Swanfish has been around for nearly 30 years, starting out life as a traditional catch and weigh event with a large participation, run by the Melville Amateur Angling Club. Swanfish was a popular event in its heyday, however as the world and community attitudes changed, the event and the originating club struggled to bring in new blood. Melville folded in 2017. Recfishwest believed in the potential of the event and recognised that without innovation, there wasn’t much that could be

room. That is one of the biggest advantages of a virtual event, the fishers are off doing their thing and you can be doing yours. Over 12 hours 170 fish were reported, which was a little under a fish every five minutes. That was more

I mean late thirties – but as the day went on the fishers became younger and younger. Families with young kids dominated in the afternoon, while the night belonged to late teenagers. Over the course of the day I processed catches in cafés, at the local mall, in the hotel restaurant and in my

than enough to keep me entertained as a spectator. The only species that was misidentified in the event was tarwhine, which was mistaken for yellowfin bream, which was easily handled by correcting the identification back at base before accepting the catch. Most catches took 30 seconds max to process, which involved checking the photo for length and species, updating if needed then hitting accept. REAL-TIME SCORING Real-time scoring was something that took us several goes to get right. The very first event was something of a disaster, the catch assessment process worked fine but the complicated scoring just didn’t happen and we had to put together another system on the fly. We ended up with realtime scoring, just not the way we intended. Over time we have refined that process to incorporate

The fish caught per hour.

can all be in their own divisions. In this case we ended up with 22 divisions (junior, senior and open) with multi-species categories such as ‘feral’ fish and even a non-fish category in blue swimmer crabs. That was a pretty good workout for the scoring system and it didn’t miss a beat. Many fishers have told me that you need to switch off the scoreboard at the end in order to maintain the suspense. I have always felt this is a hangover from the weigh-in days. My response has been the same each time: does the AFL turn off the scoreboard at three-quarter time? Do the cricketers turn off the scoreboard in the last innings? The answer is of course not – the fans would kill them or walk out in confusion. I understand it can be hard to wrap the noggin around the idea of fishing as a sport people might want to follow, but


in my experience they do. Purists have argued that knowing the score takes away one of their advantages in anonymity. My view, again, is that every sport has its tactical elements. Real-time scoring is just one of the additional tactical elements to navigate. Besides, if you are good enough on the day, you are going to win. Allowing the fishing public to see your progression won’t take that away. On the contrary, fishers might gain some new fans. There will always be plenty of events that do the scoring at the end. There is room in the calendar for new events that are more engaging for the public. I am sure that over time events will work out which format works best for them.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF REALTIME SCORING There is another advantage on the water to a real-time scoreboard, as demonstrated on the second day of the event. One of the categories that remained scoreless on the last day was the feral fish category. It wasn’t the sexiest category, granted, but a category that came with a decent prize. Unsurprisingly, one enterprising fisher took advantage of this gap and headed to different territory on the river to land a tilapia near the end – not a bad return. THE FINALE We headed to the meet-up point for the final test – how many people would turn up? There were a few last minute

things to attend to, such as helping one of the older competitors get the app setup. There were a couple of fish allocated to parents instead of children, which wasn’t something the kids were letting us get away with. All up there was about a 20-minute burst of tidy up – less than I was expecting. There was a decent crowd of around 200 that turned up and while they were used to having fish weighed in, the absence of fish didn’t bother the majority who were happy to jump into the handing out of awards. The scoreboard was online so those that wanted to were checking out the result on their phones. Blue swimmer crabs were measured pincer to

RESULTS FROM THE SWANFISH EVENT Species......................................Number Caught........................Total Length (m) Black bream.......................................... 60.......................................................16.14 Blue swimmer crab................................. 9......................................................... 4.92 Feral........................................................ 1..........................................................0.12 Flathead ............................................... 10........................................................ 4.24 Flounder ................................................ 2......................................................... 0.28 Herring................................................... 11........................................................ 2.71 Mulloway................................................ 2......................................................... 0.65 Pilchard.................................................. 1......................................................... 0.07 Skippy..................................................... 2......................................................... 0.58 Tailor...................................................... 23........................................................ 6.39 Tarwhine................................................ 14........................................................ 3.95 Trumpeter............................................... 2......................................................... 0.39 Western king wrasse.............................. 1......................................................... 0.35

The winning black bream. pincer, resulting in a young fella who, at 75cm tall, took out the division even though he was only 6cm longer than his 69cm crab. I swear you could have put him in the crab pot for bait and still have plenty of room to move. The largest black bream was a horse by my standards at 480mm to the fork and 515mm to the tail. It’s nice to know that these fish will be around for a while yet to participate in spawning.

All things being equal, the event went smoothly. Yes, there was the odd hiccup as you would expect but the overwhelming feedback was positive and the Recfishwest organisers managed to enjoy their weekend with their families instead of running around madly – something I was especially happy with. I want to make events easier to run. The Perth community embraced the change. The majority of the awards

including open divisions went to under 25s, and there was even one commenter on social media who left the Swanfish event when it was a dead weigh-in that was thinking he would come back. Playing our part in helping bring alive an event that was on death’s door was an honour and a pleasure. I am already planning next year’s trip to Perth; this event was a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see it grow in the years to come.

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If you have any other trades or services that you would like to see in this section please don’t hesitate to give us a call Email: pjung@fishingmonthly.com.au

ACE Fishing Charters, Bonbeach (03) 9773 4183 Adamas Fishing Charters, Barwon Heads (03) 5254 3320 Big Red Fishing Charters, Queenscliff 1800 805 587

CHANDLERY & ACCESSORIES Anchor Right (03) 5968 5014

Blue Magic Fishing Charters, Rowville (03) 9759 5301

Salt-away 1800 091 172 or www.salt-away.com.au

Calypso Fishing Charters, Tootgarook (03) 5985 8463

Techni Ice (03) 9783 1922

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FUN PAGE AND COMPETITIONS FISHING MONTHY STAFF FAVOURITE FISH

BATTERED

SALMON

CRUMBED

MAHIMAHI

REDFIN

CEVICHE

MULLOWAY

TROUT

BREAM

MURRAY COD

BASS

SNAPPER

THREADFIN

BARRAMUNDI HOOKED

FINGERMARK

GOLDFISH

CORALTROUT

NEMO

SMOKED

WHITING

Valley Hill Rocketeer Slicer

BIG

SOOTY GRUNTER SWEETLIP Name: Address:

P/Code:

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 APR 2018

Phone (day):

FINS SCALES & TALES by A. Both

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

SPOT THE

10 DIFFERENCES

GEORGE & NEV by Michael Hardy

ORIGINAL

FIND-A-WORD

Congratulations to Peter Gigliotti from Coburg North, 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

SUBSCRIBER PRIZE

The subscriber prize winners for February are C Yang of Point Cook, A Bourchier of Toolamba, M Hunt of Warrnambool and M Ting of Elsternwick, who won a Salt-Away kit voucher valued at $97.45. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – VTFM

Bay , K Voros of Korumburra, H Kirk of Hadspen, J Saunderson of Chelsea, T Mathieson of Patterson Lakes, T Sweeney of Emerald, L Murray of Sale, H Siesmaa of Ferntree Gully, M Fryer of Balwyn North, I Lovel of Bealiba, D Hill of Cranbourne North, P Cobb of Berrigan, D Robinson of Carisbrook, K Dowell of Highton, G Whinney of St Albans, T Kubeil of Euroa, P Reed of Wangaratta, D Hedley of Hamilton,

B Lewis of Brookfield, J Hines of Leopold, B Stokes of Morwell, P Geale of Georgetown, A Pollard of Darley, B Peeters of Colac, D Wyatt of West Wodonga, B Shelton of Romsey, M Williamson of Alexandra, J Laszczyk of Newborough, M Lea of Caramut, S Ward of Curlewis, D Kelly of Camberwell, R Cunningham of Horsham. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – V&TFM

LAST MONTH’S ANSWERS

FIND THE GAMAKATSU LOGO

GUESS THE FISH?

The answers to Find the Gamakatsu Logo for February were: 9, 16, 19, 20, 23, 26, 31, 34, 36, 42, 80, 83, 89, 93, 110. – VTFM

80

APRIL 2018

This month’s Guess the Fish Answer: Mangrove Jack

The Find the Gamakatsu prize winners for February were: A Melis of Reservoir, P Wight of Selby, W Henley of Park Orchards, D Charalambous of Morwell, R Parry of Stawell, H Skeer of Millicent, B Meaney of Tungamah, N Bryant of North Albury, R Buckley of Sunderland

Answer:


boats & kayaks

In the skipperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seat

Inside story...

At Anglapro they share their customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; passion for both fishing and boating. The hulls are built by a team that draw from this passion to provide anglers with a true fishing weapon. From estuary fishing boats to offshore angling machines, Anglapro have boats to suit almost every type of angler.

Made for...

Anglapro build tough boats for Australian conditions, and this is something they pride themselves on. The end result is a safe and great riding craft for anglers with a sense of adventure.

This month...

Peter Jung takes a look at the Anglapro Outlaw 434 PRO, powered by a Mercury 40hp. Check it out on page 90.

82 Yakking in the cold

Corey Gallaghar provides a checklist for the kayakers preparing for the onset of the cooler weather.

86 Exciting new Mercury technology Editor Steve Morgan visited the States recently to check out some new innovations from Mercury.

88 Brand new SUP

Justin Willmer has caved and bought his own SUP, and discovers even more about these fantastic crafts.

92 Quintrex 350 Outback Explorer

Wayne Kampe checks out the smallest member of the new Outback range from Quintrex.


Rug up and get your rig out MELBOURNE

Corey Gallagher

All good things must come to an end, or so it would seem. Many anglers who choose a kayak as their fishing platform and simply put the kayak away when the colder weather hits. Fishing certainly has its challenges in cold conditions in any open rig and kayaks are particularly exposed to the elements. However for those who are prepared to rug up and take on the weather the rewards can be huge with the added bonus of having your spots largely to yourself, as most anglers choose the comfort of a warm bed over a chilly morning on the water in the yak. THE GEAR Preparation is the key to success in all aspects of fishing; this sentiment couldn’t be truer than when you’re fishing out of a kayak during the cooler months. Anglers who are well prepared for all possible scenarios are far more likely to experience success and enjoy their time on the water.

your legs and feet dry if it’s raining or windy, so the third bit of required kit in a complete wet weather solution is a decent jacket. Here my personal choice is to go with a lightweight waterproof jacket. Again it has quality seams, and an incorporated hood and made out of quality, waterproof materials, such as Gore-Tex. It can get

get down to the fish and entice a reaction bite is often the key to success. Two lure styles will work very effectively in this scenario: weighted soft plastics and the humble vibe. Soft plastics have long been a favourite among anglers chasing all estuary species and bream are particularly likely to succumb to a well-presented

plastic market for decades. A grub is almost a coverall-bases approach; as it sits on the bottom and resembles a worm fleeing to the safety of the lake bed, but worked more erratically the grub resembles a fleeing baitfish. I will always have at least one rod rigged up with a grub when targeting schooled bream in the cooler months.

The humble ZMan GrubZ in motor oil has long been a favourite amongst southern bream anglers targeting bream in the deep.

As the water temperature drops southern black bream will move off the edges and shallows to school up in deeper holes. There are a number of different retrieves an angler can employ when working a grub. When the fish are more active a faster, erratic hopping retrieve can be successful. On those days when the fish are less active very subtle hops – almost keeping the grub on the spot – can be the undoing of a big bream. Of course, varying the retrieve to find out what is working on any given day is always a key

to experiencing success in any form of lure fishing for bream. Metal blades and vibes are another favourite of mine when looking to catch a bream school up deep. They are relatively heavy lures and can be cast a mile, making them excellent for searching large areas and looking for pockets of feeding fish. Blades and vibes come in many different colours and shapes. When choosing colours I almost always tie on a black vibe with an orange underbelly; the darker colour works well in deeper water and the UV reactive orange adds that extra bit of eye-catching bling. Working vibes is very simple and a great technique for beginners to use as they learn how to target bream on lures. A few keys to success when working vibes and blades are to work your lure back with any flow present, and allow your vibe to sink

with a belly in your line; this will allow the lure to present more naturally and sometimes fish will hit it on the drop. When retrieving, vary the length and frequency of hops and pauses to find what is working on the day. CONCLUSION Victoria and Tasmania are well known for their long winters as well as being home to some very large southern black bream and other estuary species. Winter can be a testing time of year to fish out of your kayak, but taking the time to be well prepared and protected against the elements will ensure that you enjoy being on the water and, just as importantly, score your fair share of big bream. As the water temperature cools the wellconditioned big spawners often show up, so forget the excuses, throw on your wet weather gear and get out there to get amongst some big deep water bream.

Make use of your electronics to find likely looking schools. Few would argue that the most essential bit of kit for kayak anglers fishing during the cooler months is good quality wet weather gear. Of course this type of equipment can be expensive, but when it comes to keeping warm and dry I will always choose quality over price. I wear a pair of dry pants with welded seams, an elastic waist (for added comfort when seated) and built-in waterproof socks, combined with a decent pair of water shoes. This setup will allow anglers to wade out in the cold water and remain dry, keeping launching options open all year round. Of course there is no point keeping 82

APRIL 2018

very warm under all those layers, even in the middle of winter, particularly if a long paddle is required. A light, breathable jacket will keep you from overheating and will allow layers to be added underneath if the conditions call for it. A less bulky jacket will also allow your required PFD to sit far more comfortably over the top. THE TECHNIQUES At this time of year our resident bream will often move off the edges and flats, preferring relatively deeper water. Here they will school up and become far less active, which makes tempting a bite a challenge at times. Choosing an appropriate lure that will

plastic. Once I have located a likely looking school of bream using my sounder I will rig up a jighead that will allow my plastic to slowly sink to the bottom. Current, wind and depth need to be considered when choosing the weight of jighead to tie on, however as a general rule of thumb 1/16oz is a great place to start. Make changes up or down in weight to suit the conditions. That sink rate can be crucial so taking the time to fine tune the jighead weight is well advised. Choosing a plastic is the next factor to consider; it’s very hard to go past the tried and tested motor oil grub – a standout plastic that has dominated the

The author’s best to date – a 2.2kg bream taken on the ever-reliable Strike Pro Cyber Vibe in the depths of winter.


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WHAT’S NEW BOATING HONDA V6 OUTBOARDS

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Honda Marine has just launched its redesigned and improved BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 V6 outboard motors. Targeting the heart of the boating market, the refreshed Honda ‘V6’ models mark the newest evolution in the company’s product line, integrating innovative design, a sleek new style, enhanced reliability, streamlined maintenance and an expanded number of rigging options for ease of use. Whether boaters are weekend cruisers or commercial (including government and law enforcement) users, these enhanced V6 motors deliver what every marine enthusiast wants— maximum time on the water. “With multiple rigging options and with Honda’s legendary durability and reliability as standard, these new Honda Marine engines will provide best power and performance from the initial blast to top end speed,” said Rod Day, Sales Manager at Honda Marine. www.honda.com.au

150 PRO XS FOURSTROKE

2

Building on the success of the Mercury 115 Pro XS FourStroke, Mercury Marine has created its new 150 Pro XS FourStroke – an engine which sets a new standard in the 150hp high-output category. Mercury’s new 150 Pro XS more than lives up to the legendary Pro XS reputation for superior hole shot, top-end speed, and durability. This new FourStroke is an ideal fit for performance-oriented boating; for recreational, fishing and competition applications. “The new 150 Pro XS is based on one of Mercury’s most successful and widely adopted engine platforms – the Mercury 150hp,” said John Buelow, Mercury Marine vice president of category management. “Building on this solid foundation, we’ve engineered the new performance-tuned 150 Pro XS to be the quickest, lightest and most advanced high-output outboard in its class.” The new 150 Pro XS boasts fast acceleration, light weight, large displacement, high torque, improved fuel efficiency, smooth performance, corrosion protection, and much more. www.mercurymarine.com.au

NAVIONICS+ REGIONS

3

Navionics, the leader in content and location-based services for the recreational boating market, have announced the release of Navionics+ Regions in seven coverage areas throughout Australia and New Zealand. At the affordable price of $165 AUS per region, Navionics+ Regions is a tremendous value that includes Nautical Chart, SonarChart 0.5 m HD bathymetry map and Community Edits. Daily chart updates and advanced features are included for one year. “For the vast majority of boaters and anglers, the coverage of one Navionics+ Region preloaded with Nautical Chart and SonarChart, allows them to take full advantage of the outstanding capabilities of Navionics+ at a more affordable price point,” said John McDonald, Sales Manager at Navionics Australia. Navionics charts are updated every day with official information, while SonarChart and Community Edits are continuously enhanced by regular contributions from fellow boaters. To keep their charts current, customers can download updates anywhere within the coverage area from the website. Price: SRP $165 www.navionics.com 84

APRIL 2018

PRODUCT GUIDE

COMPACT YANMAR 4 3JH40 Yanmar Marine International has launched the latest addition to its family of new generation common rail (CR) diesel engines: the compact Yanmar 3JH40 inboard engine. The 3-cylinder 3JH40 has been developed by leading manufacturer Yanmar as the marine industry’s smallest CR inboard diesel engine. With an output of 40mhp, it will enable a whole new category of smaller leisure boat owners and commercial vessel operators to benefit for the first time from the efficiency and performance advantages associated with the most recent electronically-managed CR fuelinjection technology. Offering minimal fuel consumption and exceptionally low noise and emission levels, the new Yanmar 3JH40 propulsion engine surpasses EPA Tier 3 and EU RCD Tier 2 emission regulations, for virtually smoke and odour-free operation. The 4-stroke, water-cooled 3JH40 is an ideal solution for new builds and repowering applications, such as small motor boats or light duty commercial craft. Weighing 192kg and with 1.642L displacement, the engine can be operated by either standard mechanical cable controls or the Yanmar VC10 electronic control system. www.powerequipment.com.au

MERCURY V6 FOURSTROKES

5

Mercury Marine is excited to introduce its allnew V6 FourStroke outboard family and the expansion of its SeaPro commercial line. Just unveiled at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show, the new engines include 175hp, 200hp and 225hp FourStroke outboards and a V6 200hp SeaPro commercial outboard. Precision engineered from skeg to cowl, all four outboards are built on Mercury’s new 3.4-litre V6 platform, which is designed to be powerful, light, compact and fuel-efficient. It employs a large displacement, naturally aspirated powerhead and proven mid-section and drive-system designs. “This new platform will position Mercury to advance product leadership in the 175-225hp outboard category, and deliver across the board on consumer needs,” said John Pfeifer, Mercury Marine President. “These new outboards address applications across recreational and commercial applications, strengthen our core product lineup by building off the success of our recent programs and delivering on the requirements of our global customers.” www.mercurymarine.com.au

RAYMARINE AXIOM UAV

6

Raymarine have just announced a marine electronics first at the Miami International Boat Show in the United States this year, with the introduction of the UAV integration with Axiom/Axiom Pro MFDs! This leading-edge technology now brings a hands-free, aerial view to the water, ushering in a new era of UAV control and video possibilities for anglers and boaters doing a lot of on-water filming. Not only does it make capturing video footage of fish catches easier, it also increases Axiom’s inherent fish-finding power to include aerial scouting capabilities while you’re out on the water. Currently compatible with DJI Spark and Mavic UAV drones, features include single button launch/track/record functions, GPS link for various ‘follow’ modes, and real-time video streaming on the Axiom MFD, to make filming with a drone even easier! Axiom UAV integration will be available in the spring of 2018.

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Mercury launch 3.4L V6 at Miami Boat Show FMG

Steve Morgan s.morgan@fishingmonthly.com.au

You know that Mercury is releasing something serious when you get bundled on a plane with a bunch of Aussie and New Zealand media for a global product launch at the Miami Boat Show. The last time it happened, Mercury released the 300, 350 and 400hp in-line, 2.6 cylinder supercharged Verados – a platform that has helped redefine what can be done with consumer level big boats and outboards. Indeed at the 2018 Miami

be coming from the maker: a brand new platform of 175, 200 and 225hp engines. With their current offerings consisting of the oil burning 2-stroke Optimax and versions of the superchargedyet-heavy 4-cylinder Verado, Mercury was due to release something lighter, cleaner, faster and more advanced in that market segment. After some exclusive access to the product on the water, it was pretty obvious that the futuristic-looking 3.4L naturally aspirated V6 was going to tick all of the boxes. Design-wise, the 3.4L platform is significantly

The main top panel covers the easy access to the dipstick, oil fill and cowling removal handle. show, there were dozens of big boats sporting one, two, three, four or even five Verados on the transom. Boat porn at its finest! We weren’t there for Verados though. This was obvious at the media launch the day before the show, where the world’s boating media were treated to an embargoed preview of the next big thing to come from the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin factory. As Mercury boss, John Pfeiffer and his Chief Technology Officer, David Foulkes slid the covering from the veiled engine, we saw what we thought might

different from everything in the product line except the new 15 and 20HP that were released a few months ago. An angular cowling is vastly removed from the 150 and 135hp 3.0L motors which sit just under these in the horsepower range. Initial feedback from consumers when shown the stand-alone motor was pretty harsh. It reminded me of when Daiwa upgraded their old logo a while ago to a modern looking iteration. It took some getting used to and now it never gets mentioned. These outboards will be the same.

The morning following the launch we saw single and twin rigs on a variety of boats in the water. Both the standard black and white and the colour panel accented Mercs looked great when fitted up. But let’s face it, it’s what’s under the cowling that counts, and that’s where the platform really impressed. QUIET AND LOW VIBRATION At the media launch, Mercury claimed that these motors were significantly quieter than both their previous offerings and their competition. Although we had no way to objectively measure this, let me just say that if there was no telltale ‘peeing’ into the water, it’d be difficult indeed to even know that they are running at all! Advances to the mid section and the naturally balanced design of the V6 has Mercury claiming a 50% reduction in vibration. Again, using the product makes this claim seem legitimate. They are very quiet and smooth. COWL ACCESS POINT When you see the clever cowl design and inspection hatch that gives access to an all-in-one cowl handle and an oil checking and filling point, you immediately wonder why this isn’t standard in all outboards. Previously, one had to remove a heavy cowling VIDEO The new Mercury 3.4L 4-stroke is a naturally aspirated, V6 motor that is set to replace their 1.7L 4-cylinder Verado and some of their OptiMax models. It is available in 175, 200 and 225hp.

Scan the QR code to see the David Foulkes technology video.

(with up to three external, salt collecting latches) to do simple maintenance like check and top up the oil. Cowl removal is elegant, with a pop-up handle both unlocking the internal latches and acting as the lift point for

No matter what the base colour or motor iteration, all of the 3.4L 4-strokes are customisable with a replaceable colour panel to suit your colour boat. There are four standard colour plates and a plate that can be customised if required. 86

APRIL 2018

the engine cover. We are sure that users and technicians will love the solution. You just put the cover down to a point and it pops up and open. You shut it by pushing it closed until the detent clicks. WEIGHT I suppose the whole challenge for designers of modern outboards it to load them with as much fuelefficient power as possible with your boss also saying that they have to be the lightest motor in class as well. These motors are, indeed light, with the 225hp weighing in at 215kg. Let’s compare that to the 231kg of my current 150hp 1.6L, L4 Verado or my 229kg 3.0L, 225hp OptiMax ProXS that I owned before that. Lighter weight naturally gives you better power-toweight numbers and that’s what we were super-keen to test out on the water. I chose a Robalo 206 Cayman bay boat that was fitted with a 200hp 3.4L – mainly because I’d tested this hull previously with a older 4-stroke outboard on it and wanted to see if the performance stacked up. The previous Robalo test took 5.6

seconds to get onto the plane. So we left the dock with sister magazine Editor, Great Dixon from NZ Fishing News, and set out to feel the power that the Mercury staff alluded to the night before. With Mercury staffer, Angel Melendez at the helm, I got to talk first hand with someone whose job it is to deal with all of the Florida boat builders that fit Mercury outboards to their boats. “We secretly worked with several boat builders while designing this motor and all of them are excited about what this power plant offers their hulls when it comes to performance,” he said. “Being light and fuel efficient with awesome power-to-weight means that their hulls perform better than ever.” With that he punched the throttle and we felt the mid-range torque for ourselves. The new 200 3.4L took half the time of my previous test and the power was evident. MID-RANGE TORQUE To be honest, it reminded me of a G2 E-Tec. In my opinion, the Evinrude offered the best mid-range torque in the business with its evolved 2-stroke power plant throwing you and whatever craft you’d cleverly matched it to up and out of the water with ease. The 3.4L delivered the same hole shot and ‘sit-down’ style punch in the 2,000 through 4,000rpm range that makes you smile and giggle. It’s a saying – ‘there’s no replacement for displacement’ – and the quad-cam design gets the most out of the naturally balanced and aspirated V6 design. Although I haven’t seen the torque to horsepower curves yet, the fact that the engine easily popped the Robalo onto the plane at 3,000rpm suggests that the 3.4L produces big horsepower way down the rev range. Often when doing VIDEO

Scan the QR code to see the launch night video for the 3.4L V6. economy tests, we will put a boat onto the plane at higher rpm and then drop back to 3,000 to get an accurate cruising reading. Not here! ECONOMY When we talk economy at Fishing Monthly, I like to refine the numbers down to kilometres travelled per litre of fuel burned, or km/L.


Generalising here, we see best numbers of 3-6km/L for small outboards, 2-3km/L for mid range outboards and 1-2km/L for big outboards. The 20’6” Robalo with the 200hp 3.4L delivered a maximum economy of 2.2km/L at 3,000rpm. I think that’s exceptional for a rig weighing 1300kg (boat and motor). Like all outboards, economy drops the closer you get to the maximum rev range and the table hereby shows that.

Continuing the theme from Mercury’s 2.6L Verados, the 3.4L platform is also available in white.

As with all boats, you can drive it for range or you can drive it for fun. The choice is up to you. ADVANCED RANGE OPTIMISATION How do Mercury present an outboard lineups with better economy each time? In the 3.4L, it’s called Advanced Range Optimisation. I caught up with Mercury’s Chief Technology Officer, David Foulkes, to ask why Mercury took the high-capacity path rather then use a supercharged engines like they had done with the Verados previously. “Basically we have an algorithm that works out which area of the rpm versus load engine map we could change to for the benefit of fuel economy, and we wanted to apply that in as wide a range as we possible can so that you get the biggest benefit,” David explained. “The secret is, however, to be able to switch between the standard mode and a leaner air-fuel mixture mode and for the customer to never know that they’ve made the switch. We’ve patented a series of algorithms to make that customer experience exceptional.” It makes sense. Customers want engines that minimise fuel burn and maximise performance and the Mercury walks this line wonderfully. We all have a fixed size fuel tank in our boats and we want to get the most out of them.

Cowl-off the 3.4L still looks mean. You’ll note that all external cowling latches are gone. PERFORMANCE 3.4L V6 RPM......Speed.....km/L 1000......... 7............ 2.2 2000........ 14........... 2.1 3000........ 34........... 2.2 4000........ 52........... 2.1 5000........ 67........... 1.3 5500........ 75........... 1.2 ADAPTIVE SPEED CONTROL I also asked David about Mercury’s Adaptive Speed Control, which had been converted from their Mercruiser inboard motors. “Normally when you use a control, you command a particular throttle opening, but in this case, you comment

a particular rpm, and that’s really important because when you lock that rpm, no matter what manoeuvre you perform, the engine will automatically add or subtract torque to keep that rpm,” David said. “For example, when you go into a turn, you’d add throttle into the turn because the drag goes up and then subtracting throttle when you exit the turn. Basically the control system does that for you now, which results in a better boating experience.” POWER OR HYDRAULIC STEER Now, some of you will be reading this and thinking, “that would be a great motor for me

to re-power my current boat.” You’re probably right, and Mercury have made it easy to do this in several ways. The 3.4L is compatible with any existing SmartCraft or VesselView gauges, which means that it will plug into all of your existing gauges and looms, and that includes your current hydraulic steering. Of course, you can get proprietary Mercury power steering for these motors at an additional cost, but there will be models available that plug into your existing hydraulic pistons. Got a 175 Verado? Unbolt and it will run on all of your stuff with Digital Throttle and Shift. Got an old OptiMax? It’ll work with that kit, too! NO JOYSTICK One of the features I did expect to be available with this platform is compatibility with Mercury’s Joystick Piloting that runs so well with multi-rigged, 6-cylinder Verados. Especially since these outboards are available with power steering. Alas, this isn’t so. If you want (the admittedly expensive) option, you’ll need to stick with the Verado L6 platform. COLOURS Mercury broke with tradition when they offered the 6-cylinder Verados in black and white colour options. It came as no real surprise, then, that the 3.4L platform was offered domestically in the USA in a black and three shades of white. White is the preferred colour of most saltwater boat manufacturers.

In Australia, we’ll likely see only black and one of the whites in stock, however, a full range of the four custom colour panels (plus a primed, ready-to-paint panel for boat manufacturers that like to colour match) will be available locally. The custom colour panels VIDEO

Scan the QR code to see the 3.4L V6 being tested on the water. run along the top and back rather than the sides of the outboards. MERC VS MERC So what does this mean for Mercury’s current line up? It looks like the 1.7L 4-cylinder Verados (150200hp) will be gone. You can also expect some OptiMax motors in that power range to be deleted. I know that there are lovers of these engines, but from what we’ve seen in Miami, there’s nothing to be scared of – these motors are light, quiet, fast, fun and innovative – and who wouldn’t want that on their boat! Make sure you watch some of the launch videos by scanning the QR codes hereby.

3.0L 150 ProXS lost in 3.4L V6 motor launch Believe me, there’s a lot of people in the Australian market that were waiting for the launch of the 3.0L 150 ProXS 4-stroke. Traditionally, the ProXS motors are tuned for maximum performance and it’s not just tournament anglers who appreciate a quicker hole shot and a few more km/h at the top end. In fact, Mercury Australia’s Nicholas Webb reported that around a quarter of the 115hp 4-stroke 2.1L outboards that Mercury sell are the ProXS build. With that in mind, Mercury’s engineers have taken the popular and reliable 3.0L 150 4-stroke and tweaked it. I caught up with a member of Mercury’s design team, Chandler Nault, to find out just where the advantages lie. “One of the things that I think people will really like is that we are 25lb (12kg) lighter than the competition,” Chandler explained. “The gearbox has a

higher (2.08:1) gear ratio and low water pickups which allows users to jack the motor up with a jack

end which lets the motor rev to 6,000rpm. But it’s the Transient Spark Technology, which came

acceleration curve that gives ups more power to get out of the hole and then backs off when the boat levels out. It gives you more oomph to get out of the hole,” Chandler concluded. After the success of the 115 ProXS, we know that Aussies will embrace the new 150 ProXS – whether you own a bass boat or not, because who doesn’t want more speed out of the hole and to go faster? VIDEO

The 150 ProXS gearbox is grey and has low water pickups so you can jack it up higher. The new Mercury 150 ProXS is an extension of their current 3.0L engine, but has a distinctive styling and gearbox, 200 more rpm at the top end and new spark technology that helps you get out of the hole quicker.

plate and get even greater performance out of it.” “Then there’s the 200 more rpm at the top

out of the Advanced Development Team, which sparks the engine at different rates during

Scan the QR Code to see Steve Morgan’s interview with Chandler Nault. You can see all of the specifications on mercurymarine.com.au or through your local dealer. APRIL 2018

87


Going on a fishing adventure in a new SUP BRISBANE

Justin Willmer Find me on Facebook at Yaks On

If you missed last issue you missed out on my tale of horror and then elation as I borrowed an SUP, (stand up paddleboard) and had my first crack at SUP fishing. I learnt that you need to pick your weather, know your limits and remember safety first, however I also caught some fish, had a ball and ended up buying my own SUP for future fishing adventures. Join me on my second SUP fishing adventure and the maiden voyage for my new vessel.

jighead, which enables long casts and has a quicker sink rate for prospecting deeper holes and sandy patches for flathead. I’ve also found the bream up on the flats to be quite aggressive as they move across the flat hunting bait, so they don’t mind a quicker retrieve. Make a long cast, allow the plastic to sink to the bottom or just above the bottom if it’s weedy, give it a couple of hops to attract the attention of the fish and then just roll it back above the bottom. If you’re hitting the bottom, lift the rod tip or retrieve quicker. If a bream taps the plastic, continue your retrieve at the same speed

Success! A flatty for dinner in the net. Flathead are a great target from an SUP. Flathead are one of my favourite species to target because they are readily available, love lures and you don’t need to spend a million bucks to chase them. They are also a fantastic SUP target, because they can be caught in calm waters not far from launch points, love feeding in the shallows and they’re relatively easy to handle – no big, sharp teeth thrashing around! Flathead were an obvious choice for christening my new board and when I awoke to a cracking Sunday morning and a run-out tide, it was game on. I like a run-out tide for chasing flathead as they move to the edges of the banks and channels, lying in wait for the baitfish and prawns that are forced off the flat with the dropping tide. With the tide still quite high though there was time to roll some 2.5” paddle-tail plastics across the flats in search of a few bream. When rolling the flats for bream I fish quite quickly, rigging the little paddle-tail on a 1/4oz 1/0 88

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and they will often continue to chase and bite the plastic until they find the hook and you feel the weight of the fish and the hook sets. It’s important to remember that this is what works for me; if it’s not working for you, mix it up. I am also a big believer in scent – whether it’s attracting fish, making them bite or getting them to hold on longer, I will apply scent every 30 or so casts and after landing a fish. The day was an absolute glamour. As I drifted the flat with the tide I landed a handful of bream and yellowtail pike. The elevated position on the SUP, whether standing or seated on the icebox, allowed excellent

Let the SUP fishing adventure begin.

This isn’t a bad way to christen the new SUP – get that rod tip to the front of the board when fighting these brawlers! visibility and quite a few of my fish were landed casting to disturbances on the surface or bait and prawns flicking as they tried to escape the predators that stalked the flats. A cast to flicking prawns followed by a slow roll with a few flicks and shakes almost guaranteed a hook-up. The bream weren’t monsters, but I had a ball

Working a mangrove edge for bream.

catching and releasing fish and it was all good practice for when I had to take on a larger species from the SUP. It’s definitely important to keep everything within reach, while also keeping the deck as uncluttered as possible. It’s a bit of a balancing act but it does make you keep things simple. After my last session

I decided to keep my lures, leader and tackle in a dry bag between my feet, rather than in the icebox. I also had my ruler and a water bottle on the deck, Boomerang Tool line snip attached to the icebox, scent in the centre carry handle and my landing net tucked into one of the straps that held the icebox to the deck. My rods were simply laid on the deck in front of me and they stayed dry, however I will be looking at installing a couple of rod holders on the icebox and would suggest that you sort some rod storage as most SUPs are not as wide, thick or buoyant as the model I chose. It was now time to focus on catching a flathead as the SUP slid off the flat and into a channel about 1.5-3m deep. I stuck with the same plastic and jighead, casting ahead of the drift so that I could better control the plastic, rather than dragging it along behind the drifting SUP. The SUP drifted quite well, without spinning or turning. I kept the paddle lying across the board just in front of my feet so that it was easy to grab if I wanted to adjust the drift or drift angle. I allowed the plastic to sink to the bottom, watching

When you opt to travel at the wrong time of the tide and get to wheel, float, drag and paddle home.


for the line to go slack and then retrieved the plastic with two hops up off the bottom and then a pause to allow it to sink back to the bottom where the flathead lay in wait. I repeated this hop, hop and pause all the way back to the SUP. It didn’t take long before I was hooked up, pointing the rod tip toward the front of the SUP to fight the fish, which keeps the SUP stable and tracking straight, before sliding a small flathead into the net. I smiled as I released the flathead back into the water and watched it shoot off toward the bottom. I was keen to take one home for dinner though, so I decided

amazing how little water it takes to float a SUP, with the fin being your major consideration. I watched stingrays cruising in less than a foot of water, fins breaking the surface as they swept across the bottom. They had so many colours and patterns, including a few leopard rays, with the odd big ray keeping me on my toes. I also saw small flathead shooting off out of the sand, mullet and gar cruising in schools and turtles popping up only metres away on the edge of the flat. The coolest encounter though was a large dugong that cruised and fed within metres of the SUP and I even felt like he was

a little murky following a lot of rain. The additional weight also meant the lure was getting down quicker, so I could cover more water and also better control the lure as the SUP was drifting faster in the main flow. Within a few casts I was hooked up solidly to the largest opponent I had faced on the SUP and moved the rod tip to the front of the SUP and enjoyed the ride! A few good runs and the fish was under control and I saw the colour of a decent estuary trevally break the surface. It’s important to keep your cool and don’t rush things or you’ll end up with a fish that’s still full

The author found some fun-size bream on the flats.

A keeper for dinner, but only by a couple of centimetres – the author caught this flatty from his new SUP. to keep drifting and casting. Approaching a patch of oysters I made a cast right into the shallows and hopped the plastic down the edge into deeper water, where it was met with a solid take. After a spirited fight I had a better flathead in the net, measured on the ruler and stowed in the icebox. This would have been a good time to head for home… but what a day! It was only another kilometre or so to another good spot that I could see in the distance, so why not? I continued with the tide, sneaking across what water was left on the flats. It’s

getting closer every now and then to check out my new vessel. The elevated position and low profile of the SUP definitely allows you to observe and appreciate so much more than when you are in a larger, noisier craft or lower to the water in a kayak. After reaching the next location and dropping the lure straight down to measure the depth (it was about 3m) I changed up my presentation to a 3/8oz 3/0 jighead and 3” paddle-tail. This presentation would have a larger profile and create more vibration and water movement in the deeper water, which was also

of fight beside the SUP and then diving aggressively back under the SUP. I played the fish out a little more, sat down, positioned the net in the water beside the SUP and guided the fish from the tip of the SUP back into the net. With a quick high five to the fish gods, I paddled into the shallows, tied the SUP to a mangrove branch so that it wasn’t rubbing on rocks and oysters and set up the camera for a couple of quick photos. I swam the fish in between pics and it swam away strongly for someone else to enjoy. I was hooked

The SUP tied up to a mangrove to avoid rocks and oysters.

on SUP fishing. The trip home was not ideal however and taught me a few lessons. I had travelled a few kilometres from home with the tide, and with the sky darkening from a possible storm and the wind picking up I opted to head home against the last of the dropping tide, instead of following through with my plan of travelling home with the incoming tide as it once again flooded the flats. I had fished myself into a position where I had dry banks between myself and home, so this also meant I had to traverse land and sea to get home. The things I do for an adventure. In short, I had the SUP back on the trolley to wheel it across some sandy sections until it got boggy, then back off the trolley. I dragged it backward across the shallows, lifting the fin so that it didn’t dig in. Soon I only had a couple of inches of water, so I removed the quick release fin and floated the SUP to the edge of the weed, before dragging it across the weed bed and launching into the main channel for the paddle home, without the fin fitted back in place! Don’t get me wrong; I was never in danger, only paddling shallow water and always having a backup plan. These good weather days are great opportunities to put yourself out of your comfort zone and test yourself and your craft a little. I had learnt how to manage the SUP and trolley on a variety of surfaces, how best to handle the SUP in the shallows, across the weed and without the fin. I took the opportunity to paddle the SUP the last kilometre or so home without the fin so that I could learn how it tracks and how best to handle it without

the fin, should something ever go wrong and I find myself finless. Overall it had been a great half-day session. I had landed plenty of fish, including my target flathead for dinner and a bonus trevally, seen a myriad of wildlife going about their daily business on the flats and channel edges and also enjoyed a bonus workout without even thinking about it. SUP fishing may not be for

everyone and you will still see me out and about in my kayaks and boat, however it does offer a different experience and is a great way to really immerse yourself in the living world around us. There are plenty of SUP hire places out there. Choose a good day, grab a large board, sit your icebox on there as a seat and just go for a play and a look around; you may find yourself with a rod in your hand on the second trip though.

The cockpit area is a balance with everything at your fingertips and not too much clutter. APRIL 2018

89


Anglapro Outlaw 434 PRO with 40hp Mercury

- SC

TENT -

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me this is an essential part of this style of craft and almost a must if you’re looking to cast lures in places like Eildon. In a nutshell the workspace of the boat was clear and well thought-out. The accessories added by Boats and More suited the style of boat. As

SPECIFICATIONS Length .......................................................4.3m Beam..........................................................2.0m Hull weight .............................................. 350kg Min hp ........................................................40hp Max hp .......................................................50hp Bottom and sides .....................................3mm Max people ......................................................4 quickly realised why Anglapro has a good reputation for producing fishing-orientated boats. The Outlaw 434 Pro is a side console configuration, with a large forward casting deck and small rear casting decks. It felt like there was a lot of room to move and the storage, including a rod locker, was large enough that all the decks could easily be kept clear and available to fish from. I liked the addition of the MotorGuide electric motor. To 90

APRIL 2018

a fan of painted boats, the Anglapro with its white colour scheme also looked pretty sharp to me. LAUNCH AND RETRIEVE Housed on a Dunbier single axle trailer, the Outlaw was simple to launch and retrieve. You have the capacity to drive it on and off if you prefer and launching it by yourself would not be an issue, as you would hope with a boat of this size. As far as towing is concerned, a medium-sized

car is all that is required and the Dunbier trailer with the package on board was a pleasure to tow. FEATURES AND ACCESSORIES The Outlaw 434 Pro has 3mm side and bottom sheets and a roomy 2m beam (hence the feeling of space). It comes standard painted inside and out and has a medium to large size console. The tested boat had a Garmin sounder mounted on the console and also had a switch panel and VesselView gauges flush mounted into it. All were easy to see and easy to get at. The seating behind the console was comfortable and there was plenty of room for all 6’2 of me. There was also some additional storage in the console for smaller items and things that you need to get your hands on quickly. As already mentioned there is good storage space under the forward and rear decks with the addition of a rod locker to store your fishing rods. The front deck also had an optional livewell fitted, which is

handy for those who are tournament-inclined or like to upgrade their fish during a day’s fishing. The electric motor and bracket was also an optional extra. ON THE WATER The ultimate test is always on the water and you couldn’t fault the Outlaw at rest or once you were up and running. It was an exceptional platform at rest and ideal for

DE FOR EX

Main: Once underway the handling and ride of the Anglapro 434 Outlaw Pro was impressive. It sat beautifully on the water and manoeuvred well. Above: The Anglapro Outlaw 434 Pro looked right at home at Lake Eildon.

CO

pjung@fishingmonthly.com.au

Anglapro has based their reputation around building fishing-friendly craft that are built tough with plenty of features. I hadn’t been in one for many years until the opportunity came up at Lake Eildon when the team from Boats and More in Shepparton and Echuca brought along the Outlaw 434 Pro to be tested. Matched with a 4-stroke 40hp Mercury, it was all about presenting a boat that would be ideal for the fishing on offer in Lake Eildon or the estuarine or river waters around the country. FIRST IMPRESSIONS Before getting the Outlaw onto the water I went about taking the photos of the key components of the boat and

all the casting you would do in a day’s fishing. It also had great manoeuvrability when using the bow mounted electric motor. Once on the plane and trimmed correctly the Outlaw was great to drive. It handled nicely and had a soft ride for an aluminium hull. We had beautiful conditions on the testing day at Eildon, so there were no waves or chop to deal with. It did handle the few boat wakes we encountered with ease. The Anglapro Outlaw 434 Pro has a minimum 40hp and maximum 50hp rating. The test boat had a Mercury 40hp 4-stroke on it and it has to be said that it felt a little underpowered. We were able to make a prop change on the day, which helped to improve the hole shot. In future I think I would lean towards a 50hp motor if I was looking at this hull. Please note that this was also the first time the boat had been on the water, so the team at Boats and More

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Peter Jung

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hadn’t had the opportunity to make any adjustments other than prop size to maximise the performance of the boat. FINAL WORD The Anglapro Outlaw 434 Pro is a beautifully presented boat and ideally set-up for casting lures in any lake, estuary or river situation. The stability at rest and fantastic handling underway are the key positives of it, as well as the well thought-out internal layout. The addition of a quality sounder and the MotorGuide electric motor further enhanced its fishability and the ease of towing and launching make this a great medium size package. The price as tested was $32,990 with a base starting price of $23,990. If you want to know more about this boat and the rest of the boats in the Anglapro range, you can go to the Boats and More website at www.boatsandmore.com. au or phone the Shepparton Store on (03) 5822 2108.

The Dunbier single axle trailer not only allowed for easy launching and retrieving, but was also a pleasure to tow.


Top: The foundation of stability at rest with good ride and manoeuvrability all come from a quality hull configuration. Above: The seating in the Outlaw was very comfortable, with plenty of space for the skipper and passenger.

The console was large enough to hold a largish Garmin sounder, all the boatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s switches and the Mercury VesselView4 system. There was also some general storage for your loose items.

The front casting deck of the 434 was big enough for a couple of anglers to fish from and had plenty of storage and a livewell underneath it.

Top: Stability at rest and the additional stealth of the Motorguide electric motor were key positives of the Anglapro. Left: The boat we tested had a large livewell that would suit those who are tournament-orientated or simply like to upgrade their fish during a dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fishing. Right: The rear deck had plenty of space for storage and to keep the batteries and other things neatly out of the way.

The test boat had the upgraded Mercury VesselView4 system. Inset: It provides all your diagnostic information in a very easy to see format.

Top: The 54lb thrust MotorGuide electric motor was the perfect add-on for the Outlaw and a must as far as this author is concerned. Above: They key to a sportsfishing boat is adequate storage to keep your fishing space free of obstacles. The front deck had plenty of underfloor storage.

The 40hp Mercury 4-stroke was not the maximum hp for the boat. Although it performed well, the author felt a 50hp motor would be the best option for it.

There way plenty of storage for all your gear as well as this rod locker to keep your fishing space clear.

One person can easily launch and retrieve the 434 with driving it on and off the trailer being an option. APRIL 2018

91


Quintrex 350 Outback Explorer with 15hp Evinrude

BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe wkff@aapt.net.au

The Outback Explorer series is a brand new range of boats from Quintrex, complementing the already well received Explorer range of punts. The emphasis on the Outback models is for lighter weight, enhanced dimensions and, best of all, affordability. There are three models in the Outback range –350, 370 and 390 – and there are some extra options available for each rig to cater for individual requirements. The new Explorers offer a wider beam and an enhanced freeboard, so even though they’re only small boats they provide a lot of bang for your buck. EXPLORER 350 The little 350 model is the smallest of the three new Quintrex Outback Explorer tinnies. This baby of the Outback range weighs just

81kg, and it’s sure to be well received by people wanting a lightweight, highly portable boat for a multitude of uses. To start with, it would definitely be handy as an inexpensive tender for a larger rig. Likewise, travellers wanting a lightweight boat to put atop the vehicle or a home away from home on the draw bar of the car will also find the 350 worth a serious look. Other likely owners could well be from the first boat buying fraternity, or those wanting to downsize from a larger rig to something far more portable and less of a hassle to use. A RANGE OF OPTIONS The little 350 Outback Explorer is a 4-person craft with engine ratings up to 15hp. Standard features include two bench seats with flotation underneath, an anchor locker up front plus a small front deck, grab handles and a glove box/ drink holder. Standard, also, is a surprisingly good ride!

SPECIFICATIONS Length...........................................................3.58m Beam.............................................................1.53m Hull weight..................................................... 81kg Persons................................................................4 Engines..................................................up to 15hp Engine fitted..........................Evinrude 15 4-stroke Fuel Tote tank...................................................20L Towing................................... family sedan or SUV 92

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More on this later. Options for the 350 ranged from a bimini to a carpeted floor, side rails, fuel tank rack, vinyl wraps to add bling, and last but not least a transducer bracket. Although standard construction of the 350 Outback Explorer sees 160mm alloy used throughout, Quintrex also offer an upgrade from 160mm bottom material to 200mm for those boaters planning for some heavier duty work for their rig. EVINRUDE 15 4-STROKE Stepping into the 350 from a pontoon, I was surprised by the inherent stability of this small, puntstyle craft. I also liked the overall rigidity; the floor and sides were obviously well braced within the unit, and for a small boat the 350 had a surprisingly solid overall feel about it. Power on the transom came from a 15hp 2-cylinder Evinrude 4-stroke outboard, which at 52kg was within the 58kg weight range suited to the rig. With myself and a Quintrex rep aboard, we carried out test runs in the Coomera River, which was a perfect, sheltered environment for the little tinny. I found that the Explorer 350 had a surprising turn of speed. With a light hull weight of just 81kg, I expected the Evinrude 15

would make the craft hum along pretty well, but did more than hum – it fairly sang! Planing was between 11.3km/h and 11.8km/h, and 30km/h was an easy cruising speed. With the Evinrude’s hand throttle control wide open it reached 37.3km/h, which was very good performance from a small rig under such modest power. When it comes to boat design, it’s pretty easy to build something that can go fast in a straight line. What’s less easy to achieve is brilliant handling of a little craft like this one. With a well formed waterline entry section up front and a slight amount of vee astern, this 3.5m punt amazed me with its tenacity in the corners. This is one punt that would make it fun to whiz up a mangrove creek to check the pots before the tide gets too low. With the absolutely amazing way in which the 350 cornered under near full throttle (it generated some very serious G-forces in the process) I’d reckon there would be little chance of skidding out of a sharp turn and ending up in the mangroves. The ride was quite good thanks to the work Quintrex have done with the Explorer range in general. The new Explorer’s F-section bow, plus the hull’s clever design, ensured that we could press over wash from other craft

Main: The 350 Outback Explorer may be small, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Above: This shot of the Explorer travelling fast shows the excellent entry area of the punt-style hull. without having to reduce speed. This is pretty much ideal for any small alloy craft these days. SUMMING UP The new 350 Outback Explorer is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for a highly portable but equally useful small boat. I liked the ride, the ease of handling plus the roomy layout within the Explorer’s hull. Rigidity of the craft plus a decent amount of freeboard were also much to my liking. With so many people wanting to explore the Top End’s fishing, it’s great to see that there

is an ideal craft for their requirements. The price of the rig as reviewed, ready to go onto the carry racks, would be around the $5490 mark as supplied by Surf Coast Marine on the Gold Coast. To find your local Quintrex dealer go to www.quintrex.com.au. • Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/ trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.


Hang onto your hat! This little boat does nearly 40km/h with a 15hp outboard on it.

This image displays the excellent side height of the 350 Outback Explorer.

Large boat owners would find the 350 Outback Explorer to be a great tender.

A shelf for the anchor, and seats with flotation underneath are just a couple of the features that make the Explorer such a handy craft. A drink holder and glove box are standard equipment in the little 3.5m Quintrex.

Modest beginnings in the Quintrex factory lead to a quality small craft on the water.

Maximum power is a useful thing in small boat, and the 350 Explorer handled the power very well. APRIL 2018

93


Victorian Tide Times

2018 2018 Local Time

POINT LONSDALE – VICTORIA POINT – 144° VICTORIA LAT LONSDALE 38° 18’ LONG 37’

JANUARY Time Time JANUARY m

Time m 0033 0.81 0033 0.81 0545 1.32 0545 1.32 TU 1152 0.26 1152 0.26 TU1813 1813 1.51 0123 1.51 0123 0.79 0649 0.79 WE 1246 0649 1.35 1.35 WE1904 1246 0.20 0.20 1904 1.61 0206 1.61 0206 0.73 0742 0.73 TH 1336 0742 1.40 1.40 1336 TH1949 0.14 0.14 1949 1.69 0244 1.69 0244 0.64 0825 0.64 FR 1422 0825 1.46 1.46 1422 FR2030 0.10 0.10 2030 1.74 0318 1.74 0318 0.55 0905 0.55 0905 1.50 1505 SA 1.50 1505 SA2107 0.11 0.11 2107 1.75 0352 1.75 0352 0.47 0942 0.47 0942 1.52 1545 SU 1.52 SU 1545 0.15 2141 0.15 2141

18’ of High LONG 144° TimesLAT and38° Heights and Low37’ Waters Times and Heights of High and Low Waters MARCH FEBRUARY m Time Time m Time MARCH m TimeFEBRUARY m

m 1.38 1.38 0.83 0.83 1.22 1.22 0.38 0.38 1.43 1.43 0.79 0.79 1.24 1.24 0.34 0.34 1.48 1.48 0.72 0.72 1.27 1.27 0.31 0.31 1.53 1.53 0.66 0.66 1.31 1.31 0.30 0.30 1.57 1.57 0.59 0.59 1.35 1.35 0.30 0.30 1.59 1.59 0.54 0.54 1.38 1.38 0.31 0.31

Time 0131 0131 0715 0715 FR 1311 1311 FR 1927 1927 0213 0213 0802 0802 SA 1402 1402 SA 2011 2011 0250 0250 0843 0843 SU 1448 1448 SU 2048 2048 0326 0326 0919 0919 MO 1531 1531 MO 2124 2124 0400 0400 0954 0954 TU 1613 1613 TU 2159 2159 0434 0434 1028 1028 1653 WE 1653 WE 2236 2236

m 1.38 1.38 0.73 0.73 1.23 1.23 0.39 0.39 1.44 1.44 0.65 0.65 1.30 1.30 0.37 0.37 1.50 1.50 0.56 0.56 1.37 1.37 0.36 0.36 1.54 1.54 0.48 0.48 1.43 1.43 0.36 0.36 1.57 1.57 0.41 0.41 1.47 1.47 0.37 0.37 1.57 1.57 0.34 0.34 1.50 1.50 0.40 0.40

0447 1.73 1.73 22 0426 0426 1.60 1.60 0508 0545 1.61 1.61 22 0508 770447 77 0545 1026 1142 1026 0.40 0.40 221017 1017 0.49 0.49 1102 1142 0.25 0.25 22 1102 1734 1646 1.51 1626 1.40 1820 1.49 TH SU MO WE

1.56 1.56 0.29 0.29 1.51 1.51 0.45 0.45 1.53 1.53 0.26 0.26 1.50 1.50 0.50 0.50

Time 0416 0416 1046 1046 MO 1645 MO 1645

11

220022 0022 0534 0534 TU 1157

1157 TU1757 1757 0124 0124 0645 0645 WE 1304 1304 WE1902 1902 0220 0220 0746 0746 TH 1405 1405 TH2001 2001 0313 0313 0842 0842 FR 1500 1500 FR2056 2056 0401 0401 0934 0934 1554 SA 1554 SA2147 2147

33 44

55 66

16 16

17 17

18 18 19 19

20 20 21 21

Time 0102 0102 0621 0621 TH 1246 1246 TH 1849 1849 0201 0201 0730 0730 FR 1352 1352 FR 1952 1952 0255 0255 0830 0830 SA 1451 1451 SA 2046 2046 0343 0343 0923 0923 SU 1546 1546 SU 2137 2137 0427 0427 1013 1013 MO 1639 1639 MO 2223 2223 0508 0508 1059 1059 1730 TU 1730 TU 2305 2305

11

22

33 44

55 66

m 1.52 1.52 0.72 0.72 1.37 1.37 0.20 0.20 1.59 1.59 0.62 0.62 1.44 1.44 0.18 0.18 1.65 1.65 0.50 0.50 1.50 1.50 0.18 0.18 1.69 1.69 0.40 0.40 1.54 1.54 0.21 0.21 1.69 1.69 0.32 0.32 1.55 1.55 0.27 0.27 1.66 1.66 0.27 0.27 1.53 1.53 0.34 0.34

16 16 17 17 18 18 19 19

20 20 21 21

Time 0440 0440 1118 1718 TH 1118 TH 1718

m 0.75 0.75 1.30 1.30 0.34 0.34

0038 2 0038 0604 2 0604 1237 FR

1.44 1.44 0.67 0.67 1.36 1.36 0.33 0.33 1.51 1.51 0.55 0.55 1.45 1.45 0.31 0.31 1.57 1.57 0.43 0.43 1.53 1.53 0.30 0.30 1.61 1.61 0.33 0.33 1.59 1.59 0.32 0.32 1.62 1.62 0.26 0.26 1.61 1.61 0.36 0.36

11

FR 1237 1838 1838 0138 0138 0715 1345 SA 0715 SA 1345 1942 1942 0230 0230 0815 1445 SU 0815 SU 1445 2036 2036 0317 0317 0906 0906 1538 MO 1538 MO 2123 2123 0400 0400 0952 0952 1628 TU 1628 TU 2206 2206

33

44 55 66

Time 0521 0521 1139 1750 FR 1139 FR 1750

16 16

m m 0.80 0.80 1.18 1.18 0.55 0.55

Time Time 0109 0109 0559 1238 SU0559 1828 SU 1238 1828 0101 0101 0654 1335 MO0654 MO 1335 1919 1919 0146 0146 0740 1426 TU0740 TU 1426 2004 2004 0227 0227 0822 1511 WE0822 WE 1511 2045 2045 0303 0303 0901 0901 1550 TH1550 TH 2121 2121 0337 0337 0939 0939 1627 FR 1627 FR 2157 2157

11

0045 1.32 17 0045 0638 1.32 0.72 22 17 1246 0.72 1.24 SA 0638 SA 1246 1857 1857 0132 0132 0730 1343 SU 0730 SU 1343 1945 1945 0215 0215 0810 1431 MO 0810 MO 1431 2025 2025 0253 0253 0846 0846 1516 TU 1516 TU 2103 2103 0330 0330 0922 0922 1559 WE 1559 WE 2141 2141

18 18

19 19 20 20

21 21

1.24 0.53 0.53 1.39 1.39 0.62 0.62 1.34 1.34 0.50 0.50 1.45 1.45 0.52 0.52 1.44 1.44 0.47 0.47 1.50 1.50 0.42 0.42 1.53 1.53 0.46 0.46 1.54 1.54 0.33 0.33 1.59 1.59 0.46 0.46

33

44 55

66

Local Time APRIL APRIL Time m

m 1.47 1.47 0.49 0.49 1.50 1.50 0.49 0.49 1.52 1.52 0.39 0.39 1.59 1.59 0.48 0.48 1.55 1.55 0.31 0.31 1.66 1.66 0.48 0.48 1.56 1.56 0.26 0.26 1.68 1.68 0.49 0.49 1.55 1.55 0.25 0.25 1.67 1.67 0.52 0.52 1.52 1.52 0.26 0.26 1.64 1.64 0.55 0.55

m Time m 0540 0.59 0540 1219 0.59 1.42 1807 1.42 0.66 MO1219 MO 1807 0.66

16 16

0030 1.43 17 0030 0624 1.43 0.47 17TU0624 1311 0.47 1.54

TU 1311 1854 1.54 0.63 1854 0.63 0115 1.48 0115 0705 1.48 0.37 1358 0.37 1.65 WE0705 WE 1358 1937 1.65 0.60 1937 0.60 0157 1.52 0157 0746 1.52 0.29 1443 0.29 1.72 TH0746 TH 1443 2019 1.72 0.58 2019 0.58 0238 1.54 0238 0829 1.54 0.23 0829 1526 0.23 1.75 FR1526 1.75 FR 2100 0.58 2100 0.58 0317 1.54 0317 1.54 0912 0.21 0912 0.21 1609 1.74 SA 1609 SA 2143 1.74 0.58 2143 0.58

18 18

19 19

20 20 21 21

0437 7 0437 1033 7 1033 WE 1714

0411 1.48 1.48 0359 1.53 1.53 0407 1.55 1.55 70411 220359 22 0407 1015 0.29 0.29 22 0956 0.22 0.22 0959 0.27 0.27 7 22 1015 0959 0956 SA 1701 1.59 SU 1653 1.70 TH 1640 1.63

0513 8 0513 1113 1113 TH 1756

1.56 1.56 0.22 0.22 1.56 1756 1.56 TH 2322 0.47 0.47 2322

0443 1.54 1.54 0445 1.44 1.44 0441 1.50 1.50 23 0443 80445 230441 1037 0.22 0.22 1049 0.33 0.33 23 1040 0.26 0.26 8 1037 1049 1040 FR 1721 1.63 SU 1736 1.53 MO 1739 1.63

0546 9 0546 1149 1149 FR 1837

0519 1.52 1.52 0521 1.38 1.38 0528 1.45 1.45 24 0519 90521 240528 1116 0.21 0.21 1124 0.38 0.38 24 1126 0.33 0.33 9 1116 1124 1126 SA 1804 1.60 MO 1814 1.46 TU 1830 1.56

0104 0036 0606 0104 0.60 0.60 0036 0006 0.41 0.41 0606 1.53 1.53 10 0735 0655 1159 100006 25 10 0735 1.39 1.39 25 0658 0658 0655 1.56 1.56 25 1159 0.36 0.36 10 1340 0.34 1257 1248 0.33 1831 1.39

0620 10 0620 1225 1225 1917

0600 1.32 1.32 0623 1.40 1.40 0558 1.49 1.49 100600 250623 25 0558 1200 0.45 0.45 25 1215 0.42 0.42 1157 0.22 0.22 10 1200 1215 1157 1857 1.40 1930 1.49 1851 1.55

0121 0050 0.52 0.52 0147 0.68 0.68 0121 0005 0.50 0.50 11 110050 260005 11 0147 0816 0737 0642 0737 1.48 1.48 26 0816 1.31 1.31 26 0744 0744 0642 1.49 1.49 11 1423 0.38 1344 1333 0.35 1236 0.32

0036 11 0036 0656 0656

0026 0.73 0.73 0051 0.67 0.67 0022 0.59 0.59 110026 260051 26 0022 0645 1.26 1.26 26 0732 1.35 1.35 0640 1.44 1.44 11 0645 0732 0640

0134 0.62 0.62 0049 0.58 0.58 0237 0.76 0.76 0213 0213 12 0237 120134 270049 12 0820 1.39 1.39 27 0722 1.44 1.44 12 0904 1.24 1.24 27 0841 0841 0820 0904 0722 1420 0.37 1317 0.30 1515 0.43 1441

0115 12 0115 0734 0734

0112 0.77 0.77 0200 0.67 0.67 0107 0.65 0.65 27 0107 120112 270200 0730 0741 0857 0741 1.22 1.22 27 0857 1.34 1.34 0730 1.39 1.39 12

0224 0.72 0.72 0337 0.82 0.82 0318 0138 0.66 0.66 0318 13 0337 130224 280138 13 0907 1.32 1.32 28 1001 1.19 1.19 28 0953 0953 0809 1.39 1.39 13 1001 0907 0809 1513 0.40 1618 0.45 1553 1406 0.28

0159 13 0159 0819 0819 1422

0208 0319 0208 0.79 0.79 0319 0.63 0.63 0159 0.70 0.70 28 0159 13 28 0849 1015 0830 0849 1.19 1.19 28 1015 1.38 1.38 0830 1.33 1.33 13 1423 0.65 1543 0.67 1423 0.39

0452 0.84 0.84 0322 0.80 0.80 0234 0.74 0.74 14 0452 140322 290234 1107 1.17 1.17 0959 1.26 1.26 29 0904 1.34 1.34 14 14 0959 1107 0904 WE 1730 0.45 SU 1611 0.41 MO 1504 0.27

WE 1730 0.45

0250 14 0250 0915 0915 WE 1516

0319 0433 0319 0.77 0.77 0433 0.55 0.55 0304 0.72 0.72 29 0304 1007 1125 0950 14 29 1007 1.22 1.22 29 1125 1.46 1.46 0950 1.30 1.30 14 SA 1537 0.69 SU 1701 0.69 TH 1536 0.46

0042 1.32 1.32 0432 0.84 0.84 0343 0.80 0.80 15 0042 150432 300343 0611 0.81 0.81 1055 1.22 1.22 30 1012 1.31 1.31 15 15 0611 1055 1012 TH 1212 1.19 MO 1714 0.41 TU 1615 0.27

0357 15 0357 1025 1025 1627 TH

0440 0535 0440 0.69 0.69 0428 0.69 0.69 0535 0.46 0.46 30 0428 1116 1118 1228 15 30 1118 1.30 1.30 30 1116 1.32 1.32 15 1228 1.56 1.56 1703 0.50 1702 0.69 1806 0.68 FR SU MO

1646 1.51 SU2236 2236 0.22 0.22

1626 1.40 MO2214 2214 0.34 0.34

1820 1.49 WE 2345 2345 0.42 0.42

1734 TH 2314 2314

0459 0542 0531 1.69 1.69 0459 1.59 1.59 0622 1.54 1.54 0542 880531 88 0622 1115 1051 1222 23 1115 0.35 0.35 23 1051 0.44 0.44 1222 0.26 0.26 23 1138 1138 MO 1740 1.48 TU 1705 1.40 TH 1911 1.43 FR 1817 MO 1740 1.48 2322 2322 0.31 0.31

TU 1705 1.40 2247 2247 0.38 0.38

TH 1911 1.43

FR 1817 2354 2354

0532 0618 0532 1.57 1.57 0025 0.51 0.51 0618 0614 1.63 1.63 99 0025 990614 1124 1202 0659 24 1124 0.40 0.40 0659 1.47 1.47 24 1216 1216 1202 0.33 0.33 24 TU 1837 1.43 WE 1746 1.40 FR 1300 0.29 SA 1905 TU 1837 1.43

WE 1746 1.40 2325 2325 0.43 0.43

WE WE 1248 0.33 TH TH 1831 1.39 1938 1938 1.38 1.38

TH TH 1333 0.35 FR FR 1236 0.32 2039 1923 2039 1.34 1.34 1923 1.38 1.38

FR1420 0.37 SA1317 0.30 FR SA 2138 1.32 1.32 2022 1.37 1.37 2138 2022

SA1513 0.40 SU SU1406 0.28 SA 2237 1.31 1.31 2130 1.37 1.37 2237 2130

SU 1611 0.41 MO 1504 0.27 2336 1.34 1.34 2244 1.39 1.39 2336 2244

MO 1714 0.41

TU 1615 2357 2357 0502 0502 1130 1130 1735 WE 1735 WE

31 31

0.27 1.44 1.44 0.79 0.79 1.32 1.32 0.24 0.24

FR 1300 0.29 2000 2000 1.38 1.38

SA SA 1340 0.34 2052 2052 1.32 1.32

SU SU 1423 0.38 2146 2146 1.29 1.29

MO 1515 0.43 MO 2245 1.27 1.27 2245

TU 1618 0.45 TU 2345 1.28 1.28 2345

TH 1212 1.19 1834 0.43 0.43 1834

1.49 1.49 0.24 0.24 1.47 SA 1905 1.47

0.57 1.44 SU SU 1257 0.24 2000 2000 1.43

0.65 1.39 MO MO 1344 0.26 2104 2104 1.39 0.72 1.33 TU 1441 0.29 TU 2217 1.37 2217

0.76 1.30 WE 1553 0.33 WE 2331 1.39 2331

1.60 1.60 0.23 0.23 1.60 1714 1.60 WE 2245 0.41 2245 0.41

1.51 1.51 0.25 0.25 1.50 1837 1.50 FR 2359 0.53 0.53 2359 1.45 1.45 0.29 0.29 1.44 SA 1917 1.44

0.59 0.59 1.38 1.38 1300 0.34 0.34 SU 1300 2000 1.37 1.37 2000

0.66 0.66 1.31 1.31 1339 0.40 0.40 MO 1339 2048 2048 1.32 1.32 0.73 0.73 1.24 1.24 0.46 TU 1422 0.46 2144 2144 1.27 1.27

0.79 0.79 1.19 1.19 0.51 WE 1516 0.51 2245 2245 1.26 1.26 0.82 0.82 1.16 1.16 0.55 TH 1627 0.55 2348 2348 1.28 1.28

1.63 TH 1640 2220 0.47 0.47 2220

FR 1721 1.63 2300 0.50 0.50 2300

SA 1804 1.60 2341 0.54 0.54 2341

SU 1851 1.55 SU

1240 0.25 0.25 MO 1240 MO 1943 1.49 1.49 1943

1327 0.31 0.31 TU TU 1327 2045 2045 1.43 1.43

WE WE 1423 0.39 2155 2155 1.39 1.39

TH 1536 0.46 2305 2305 1.38 1.38

FR 1703 0.50

1.59 SU 1653 1.70 SA 1701 2232 0.58 0.58 2226 0.60 0.60 2226 2232

SU 1736 1.53 MO 1739 1.63 2309 0.63 0.63 2310 0.62 0.62 2309 2310

MO 1814 1.46 2346 0.68 0.68 2346

TU1857 1.40 TU

1238 0.51 0.51 WE1238 WE 1947 1.34 1.34 1947

1325 0.59 0.59 TH TH1325 2045 2045 1.31 1.31

FR FR 1423 0.65 2148 2148 1.30 1.30

SA 1537 0.69 2248 2248 1.33 1.33

SU 1702 0.69 2343 2343 1.37 1.37

TU 1830 1.56 2358 0.65 0.65 2358

WE1930 1.49 WE

1312 0.52 0.52 TH1312 TH 2033 1.44 1.44 2033

1421 0.61 0.61 FR FR1421 2137 2137 1.42 1.42

SA SA 1543 0.67 2239 2239 1.43 1.43

SU 1701 0.69 2335 2335 1.45 1.45

MO 1806 0.68

0011 1.42 1.42 31 0011 0551 0551 0.61 0.61 1231 1.40 SA 1231 1.40 SA 1823 1823 0.50 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

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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