Bring on the bream
  |  First Published: November 2010

A good old fashioned spring flush – that’s how the local anglers have described the recent seasonal weather and rain.

The only unusual thing was how a few farmers were herding stock off flooding paddocks on the Mitchell River and watching the cattle kicking up dust. They called it a sunny flood, where all the rain was dumped in the hills and pushed water down to areas where the locals around Bairnsdale got less than 1mm of rain during the same time.

One thing for sure though, fish populations will flourish with the continued stream flows. And with this weather warming up now, all of us are getting very toey for some serious hooking. The stand out fishing news for this area at the moment is to simply get to the Tambo because the bream are running hot.

Big flows

There were only two rivers that really went into flood mode recently, the Mitchell and Latrobe. So much water came down the Mitchell that it pushed dirty water backwards right up into the Nicholson. An enormous volume of flow came down the Mitchell via the Thomson River and then into the Latrobe so expect the Straits to remain quiet for at least another month or two.

The Mitchell has now received a nice snow melt flush and this beautiful clean water should clear things up nicely. The Nicholson has also cleaned right up now and will have a few bream lurking in the lower sections.

Bream time

By all accounts bream have spawned early this year and no doubt the rains have kicked them into gear and they have been schooling up in big numbers.

They might be easy to locate but I’ve found them fairly grumpy when it comes to eating lures. The hotspots have been the lower Tambo from the boat ramp down to the mouth and just upstream of the highway bridge. In fact the Tambo is now fishing as good as it ever has and it’s very nice to see it getting back to some of its former glory days.

Many big bream have been landed (and some returned) that have gone 1.8kg. Metal blades and hardbodied vibes are accounting for nearly all the bream on lures and good old frozen prawn the stand-out bait at the moment. Move around and use your sounder to locate fish and work the area slow and hard.

If you’re bank fishing keep an eye on the general area where all the boats are anchored up because they’ve done the sounding up for you. Right up the river from the Blue Hole onwards will be where a lot of bream are caught from now until Christmas. Lure anglers are also hooking a few luderick on blades and they are good fish around 35cm.

Raymond Island and Paynesville

The whiting are now making a mark in the area of Raymond Island and you don’t need a boat to target them. Take the ferry and enjoy a quick trip across to the island from Paynesville and find plenty of good fishing spots within easy walking distance. The best bait for whiting is a semi-dried out mussel that is a lot tougher and will last longer than a fresh one. You can also fish lures for bream and slowly worked sinking hardbodied lures will be the go. Try soft plastics in the shallows of the lake and a few flathead should turn up.

Looking ahead

Towards late November and into December is when the prime flathead season starts and the lower sections of the Gippsland Lakes is where the duskies will be caught. Every year they come down for the breeding season.

After the muddy water clears up around the mouth of the Mitchell, this all-year-round fishing hot spot will again start producing big numbers of fish.

Don’t forget that the prawns are not far away so get your gear ready for what should be another bumper season.

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