Traditionally cold winter temperatures see a decrease in fishing activity around Lakes Entrance with only the keenest anglers braving frosty morning in search of piscatorial pleasure.
I have heard reports of good-sized salmon up to 2kg being taken while fishing a rising tide using whitebait, pilchards or poppers around the local beaches with the odd tailor also on offer.
Good bags of garfish have also been reported in the Cunningham Arm or North Arm using sandworm under a float. If there not taking the bait stationary try a slow retrieve, as it usually works a treat.
Plenty of small spotty salmon are being caught around the edge of Bullock Island on small metal lures such the ever popular 10g gold Halco Twisty or silver wobbler.
These are not only excellent sport on light gear and great fun for the kids butt also very tasty if bled immediately after catch and put straight on ice.
Lake Tyres have provided mixed reports in the last month with most bream and flathead being caught on local prawn around the higher reaches of the Nowa Nowa arm and Mill point in the Toorloo arm.
The water in Tyers is still crystal clear in the lower reaches, making the bream flighty and shallow water lure fishing very challenging.
The possibility of winter rains would make a big difference to alleviate the extreme saline conditions that the lake has endured through this extended drought.
Major flooding would be required to open the Lake Tyres entrance and return salinities to normal estuarine level.
About now we usually see the end of the dusky flathead run around Lakes Entrance for the year with the fish migrating to the top of our three major rivers and the McLennan Straights into Lake Wellington for their winter slumber.
Strangely enough, good bags of decent size flathead are still being reported with 12C temperatures in these locations on 3” Gulp minnows, 100mm Squidgy Wrigglers or 3” DOA Shrimp, and for the bait fishing fraternity local prawn has been working a treat.
We can only assume that the increased salinity levels in this location due to the drought have seen an extension in dusky flathead activity.
Small catches of just-sized estuary perch are being caught around the structure in the mid section of the Tambo and Mitchell rivers on small 40mm bibbed minnows or soft plastic 2” shrimps.
July, pending rainfall, will see increased activity for the EPs as they make their way further up the rivers in search of fresh water to relieve parasites and gain condition for spring.
The black bream have started schooling in the mouths of the Tambo and Mitchell due to decrease temperatures and salinity. Local tournament anglers report catch and release sessions of 50 fish, with some of my own charter customers enjoying similar results on Ecogear, Damiki or Stiffy vibes fishing mid stream or using Gulp 6” Camo Worm or 2” Banana Prawn along with Ecogear SX40 in natural colours for best results along the edges.
Weather pending this style of fishing activity should continue well into the spring.
Sand worm, cut crab and peeled prawn are also producing good bags in this location for bream, trevally and tailor.
For anglers seeking live bait in East Gippsland, the two shops that seem to have it on a regular basis is Maria Milito at the Swan Reach service station and Lee Sands at the Johnsonville Garage.
Frank Milito operates East Gippsland Charters, which provides a professional guiding service on these very productive waters. Frank can be contacted on 0400 564 032 for all charter bookings and enquiries.Reads: 3037