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Whiting, flathead and prawns the target
  |  First Published: March 2011



The Reeves Channel around the seagrass beds at Kalimna has turned on some excellent whiting fishing.

Lakes Entrance angler Lucas Smith and I have had some great morning sessions on the run-out tide with bags of 20 fish not uncommon. Fresh mussel without fail is the ultimate whiting bait for Gippsland lakes. However with all the amazing lures technology available these days bait is now redundant for a high percentage of anglers with lures such as scented soft plastics really taking the spotlight when it come to shallow water whiting.

It takes practice and a big commitment to become a seasoned lure angler, but the rewards are worth it as I have bagged out 6 times on decent whiting this season alone using Berkley 2” Sandworm and DOA 2” shrimp.

Flathead

From my experience fishing soft plastics remains the most viable option for the flathead angler in comparison to hardbodied or vibe lures having a much higher individual cost.

A top brand packet of plastics with matching will set you back $20 and will certainly provide you with a weekend’s fun.

Blades traditionally are used for targeting black bream and on the right day when the fish are on the chew can be very effective especially in the lower reaches of the Tambo or Mitchell River. Bream are usually lip hooked on blades which make for easy removal of those nasty treble and allows healthy catch and release rates. But when flatties become a by-catch, I always revert back the plastics as they are just as effective and do far less damage to the big female dusky; something to think about when performing catch and release.

As always the shallow sand banks and drop offs from Lakes Entrance right through to Paynesville will produce flathead during summer and the bite has been very sporadic this season. We do share the lake with an active commercial fishing sector and flathead are a prized catch for them, and this year is no exception with reports coming in of higher than average commercial catches of mature breeding females.

Prawns

An old favourite for many East Gippsland anglers and visitors to the area is prawn season and this year so far has been a ripper.

Good catches of medium to large king prawns are being reported right through from Lakes Entrance to Loch Sport.

The prawns usually start the season as small bait-sized specimens appear on the new moon in October. They then spread across the shallow banks through the darkest nights of the month feeding and growing rapidly over the warmer part of the year in preparation for their run to the ocean once the days get shorter and lake temperatures starts to decrease.

This is the time when you will quite often see a mass of boats moored in the main channel near Bullock Island at night, dipping them on the way past in the run-out tide as they complete their migration to warmer northern waters for the year.

Standing on Kalimna hill at night looking down on this visual display is quite a sight and will usually last for a month or two from late February.

There are some reports of the tidal prawn run is about to begin at Lakes Entrance so it’s time to charge up those batteries and get the boat service as there is some great prawning to be had just round the corner.

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