Lake Bullen Merri continues to fish well for both brown and rainbow trout.
Anglers trolling using leadcore lines and downrigging have been taking the larger browns to just over 3kg, however most of the browns are in the 1-2kg class. These larger fish are in excellent condition and prospects for next winter are for sensational fishing.
The rainbows are smaller on average, but some of this years earlier release are starting to push the 1kg size. Powerbait and live gudgeon fish from the shore has also taken plenty of fish if you don't have access to a boat.
With the warmer weather and water temperatures exceeding 16C the Australian bass should start to kick into gear with places like the North Caves, Potters Point and Whurrung Point worth a look with hardbodied lures and soft plastics. If you have a boat use your sounder to find the schools and then sneak up on them with an electric motor.
Although they can be fickle, if you hit a hot bite it will be some of the best bass fishing you could hope to have down this way as most of the fish are greater than minimum legal length and there are some fish there exceeding 1.5kg.
Make sure you don't skimp on your leader either, I suggest you use at least 4kg fluorocarbon if you want to hold onto the bigger ones.
The redfin have been biting well in Lake Purrumbete for anglers bobbing with soft plastics, Baltic Bobbers and the new Rapala ice jigs. Find the schools of fish on your sounder in 3-8m of water around the weed bed edges and either drift over them or set anchor and cast to them. If you are in the right spot you will know in a short time.
Most of the fish are in the 300-800g range although there have been some nice 1kg plus fish taken. If you are getting harassed by small fish simply move on until you find a better size class.
The redfin are excellent eating from this waterway and with summer approaching these fish should become more active as the water temperature rises.
It hasn't all been about redfin either as some anglers have found. Fishing with live gudgeon recently was Kevin Bond of Colac who landed a magnificent brown trout of 4.5kg, a genuine 10 pounder - well done Kevin! This just goes to show if you put in the time there are trophy fish to be landed.
For the first time in a long time a 4m boat can be comfortably launched without the aid of the rope! Those who have ventured out have landed redfin to 1.8kg and brown trout to 2kg, mainly by trolling winged and hardbodied lures.
Now the water has finally dropped and cleared there have been some good captures of brown trout to 2.5kg, mainly by anglers bait fishing with live minnow and casting bibbed lures in the freshwater section of the river.
The lower estuary has been producing some nice bream, the occasional estuary perch, plenty of small Australian salmon and mullet. If you like targeting river blackfish remember the closed season doesn't finish until midnight on the 31st December to give them time to breed in peace.
These fish are best fished for with fresh live bait such as worms at low light either at dawn, dusk and night time.
The bream have been on and off a bit, but some nice catches of fish over 1kg have been taken from the Boggy Creek area mainly upstream of the road bridge. As breeding season is a little late this year you can expect to find the larger fish schooled up still and you will often see them on the sounder.
This doesn't necessarily mean it makes them easier to catch though! Best results have come on soft plastics and live shrimp or grey back.
Surf fishing for gummy and school sharks is in full swing and some lovely fish to over 20kg have been taken at night from Clifton, Johanna and Princetown beaches fishing the new and full moon tides.
There has also been plenty of school-sized snapper and the usual run of Australian salmon in the mix as well. If you are planning to fish for gummies and schoolies try using a 8/0 Black Magic snapper snatcher baited with either fresh squid or octopus tentacles.
If the schoolies are causing problems I just upgrade to a Black Magic grouper grabber in 8/0 size. These rigs have 200lb droppers and circle hooks and give you plenty of time to land a good schoolie before he bites you off, without having to use wire and miss out on all the bites from the other tasty surf species.
Kevin Bond of Colac who landed this magnificent brown trout of 4.5kg, a genuine 10 pounder!Reads: 1996