The Pelican's Pick

This is your best ever fishing form guide, straight from the people who love fishing as much as those people out every morning this week on Eildon in a kayak. You know the ones! Sub 4 degrees…..trolling Tassie Devils, casting cod lures. Never losing hope, knowing they’d rather be nowhere else!

The Pelican’s Pick is your Friday ‘where they are biting’ report from your Fisheries team. We’re tapping into our network of fisheries officers who are talking to recreational fishers every day (don’t worry, we won’t give out your secret spot if you don’t want us to).

You can get first crack at The Pelican's Pick via our Facebook page.

We’ll be back every week with the spots, the fish that are on, unusual catches and family-friendly spots if you just want to take the kids and have fun.

Friday, 3 July

It’s school holidays and there are plenty of options to get the family out fishing. We’ve received lots of reports from kids who’ve caught cracking fish this week. The highlight was young Harry Goldie who caught a tagged Murray cod in the Ovens River near Lake Mulwala on a piece of chicken fillet. It measured 114cm! Nice way to join the metre cod club, Harry!

Our fish stocking trucks were kept busy in the weeks leading up to the school holidays, delivering ready-to-catch rainbow trout across Victoria. 30,000 trout into 80 waterways including Albert Park and Lillydale lakes, and regional ones too like Heyfield Racecourse Lake, Dunkeld Arboretum and Merriwa Park Lake in Wangaratta. Check out the full list here

Mr Percy’s tip for clear water is to cast a small lure like a Countdown Rapala or Celta. If the water’s dirty then try bait fishing with a small size 8 hook and some worms suspended 40cm below a float. Alternatively, a running sinker rig with one or two Powerbait nuggets is effective too.

Land based and jetties

The garfish around the bays remain our top land-based pick this week. They are widespread along the coast so it’s a good chance to catch a delicious feed or put away some big baits in the freezer. Try any of the coastal jetties. Get a good berley trail running and fish with a small long shank hook suspended 50cm beneath a float.

Aussie salmon are biting along 90 Mile Beach with a surf popper at the top of a paternoster proving effective. The usual baits are all working with fish or squid strips a good option. Lures are a great way to target salmon off the ocean beaches too, with flashy silver metal slices around 40 grams the go. The salmon are in good numbers this year and are spread right along all our coastal beaches. Good reports have come in from South Gippsland near Kilcunda and along the West Coast.


It’s gummy shark time now right along the coast. If targeting them offshore, try anchoring in 20-30 metres and drop  down a berley pot to the bottom to bring them in to your baits. Drifting can be good too but don’t bother with the berley pot. Speaking of baits, fresh is best for gummies. Catching your own is preferred with chunks of wrasse or salmon always reliable.

Good numbers of gummies have been coming in from Port Albert, Port Welshpool and Western Port, and offshore. Pick your days weather-wise with little wind ideal. Mixed bags of delicious southern bluefin tuna, gummies and reef fish have been taken off Warrnambool and Port Fairy on calm days this week.

Trumpeter have been landed out from Portland and school bluefin are still about in good numbers particularly from Port Fairy to Portland. Try small green skirts! The barrels are still around Cape Bridgwater too!

The Curdies River has been producing some superb bream.

Around the bays, good sized calamari are getting caught, particularly around the Tyabb Bank in Western Port and St Leonards in Port Phillip. We’ve also seen good bags of whiting in Port Phillip. Best bets are near Mud Island and Clifton Springs.

Lakes Entrance is still producing in whiting in Reeves Channel and bream are on the chew in the Mitchell River.


Redfin at Lake Purrumbete have been taken this week, also at Tullaroop Reservoir, which has big schools of small redfin the best of which  are going 700-800 grams. Whispers of a stonking 49cm specimen are doing the rounds.

Lake Bullen Merri near Camperdown has been producing plenty of small Chinook salmon. 30,000 were released in November 2019 averaging 3 grams each. Looks like they’re growing well!

The lower Goulburn River is up and flowing below Goulbourn Weir so an alternative is to take the kids to Victoria Lake in Shepparton. It received 750 rainbow trout for the school holidays, all catchable size.

It’s big Murray cod time of the year with some cracking fish caught in the usual haunts. Lake Eildon is always worth a try. It can be hard work and big cod are called the fish of a thousand casts for good reason. The best lures are big swimbaits or large spinnerbaits worked slowly along the drop-offs.

Lake Dartmouth has quietened off a bit this week but is still a great option for trout on trolled Tassie Devils. If they’re not taking flat-lined Tassies, get down a bit deeper with 3 colours of leadline or a downrigger between 30 and 45 ft. That can be effective during high sun too on cloudless days.

Trout fishers have been getting good fish from the Hopkins and Merri rivers this week casting shallow diving lures. These rivers are not subject to the seasonal closure and are open year-round to trout fishing!

Please stay safe this week. For those living outside the restricted postcodes we hope you get a chance to take the family fishing for the school holidays. If you live in the restricted postcodes, there are only four reasons to be out (shopping for necessary goods or services, care or compassionate reasons, exercise, and work and study if you cannot work or study from home). Remember, if you feel unwell, stay home and get tested.

- Mr Percy