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The search for Dusky Flathead
  |  First Published: February 2011



Lower than average water temps at this time of year has seen a much lower catch rate for big dusky flathead around Lakes Entrance.

With temps of around 23C last December we are only now experience 17-20C which has a big impact of the feeding habits of big cold-blooded creatures like large female dusky flathead.

So for the month of January it has been the lowest reported catches in 4-years, which is a little depressing for those of us that enjoy chasing the big dusk ones.

I have found that the bite usually happens around daylight for an hour or so and it shuts down fairly quickly once the hustle and bustle of the jet skis and water skiers flying around most of the gun flattie spots.

Looking forwards, I’m guessing that the warmer days are on the way so the duskies may take a more concentrated late run in February.

But for those of you looking for a challenge we have been catching the odd monster dusky around lakes entrance at knight using DOA glowing 3” shrimp in the 305, 308, or 309, nite glow colours.

You can charge these little beauties up with your torch and make them glow brilliantly for 5 minutes or so before they need a recharge.

King George whiting

The Reeves channel at Kalimna right through to Nungurner has seen good bags of 30-40cm king George whiting.

When in search of a good whiting spot look for the clumps of green seagrass on the bottom either visually or by using a sounder, find the edges and anchor alongside and fish on the sand edge as close as you can get to the weed for best results.

I prefer to fish the run-out tide early in the morning but good bags of fish have been reported on both tides, however the run-in tide can create a lot of red weed movement and make it very difficult to hold bottom.

Fresh mussel is the absolute stand out bait of choice as Gippsland Lakes whiting love it; mussels are easily found around jetty pylons and rock groins.

When removing the flesh from the shell, use a butter knife as it is easier to remove the flesh using this method and more importantly if you misjudge you won’t cut yourself. For the lure angler Gippsland Lakes King George whiting respond aggressively to well present small soft plastic worm.

Obviously it’s a lot more difficult to fish soft plastic in a high tidal location like the Reeves channels so a bit of creative though needs to go into the presentation and rigging techniques.

I’ve been having great results rigging small soft plastic worms on Texas or running style rigs casting the lure across tide and letting the lure tumble back down-tide before slowly retrieving it.

This method can be highly effective when fishing the berley trail and can out-fish bait.

If you interested in learning how to fish for whiting on soft plastic or any other fish on lures contact East Gippsland Charters on 0400564032 or go to www.australianfishingcharters.com/eastgippsland .

Prawns

Prawn season is now in full swing with good reports of medium-sized prawns being dipped along most of the shallow sand banks around Lakes Entrance right through to Paynesville.

The Cunningham Arm at Lakes Entrance is a great prawning location as it’s very convenient for the land-based angler as no boat is required you can just drive straight to the spot and walk 20m with you prawning gear and straight into the action.

The footbridge in Lakes Entrance or the Newlands arm at Paynesville are two great places to start your prawning adventures.

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