Hang onto your hats; here come the windy months of spring. The next ten weeks or so provide anglers with the biggest challenges of the whole year.
Westerly blows can gather much steam during this tempestuous season and keep us off the water for days on end if not weeks. For me I usually find a river to hide in and just as well this coincides with the spawning bream run.
The top of the Mitchell River and Tambo become prime targets for those looking for big stud bream but be prepared to do a lot of searching.
Just as winter was winding down another significant rain event has recently topped up the already over-flowing Gippsland Lakes. With the surrounding hills full of snow still yet to fully melt and set to also add to the volume of fresh water, I reckon our rivers will be high and dirty for a little while yet.
These conditions will favour bait anglers, mainly those bream specialists who know the value of garden and scrub worms during early spring. This should not deter lure anglers though and loud vibrating metal blades will still appeal to bream and a few flathead even in coloured water. But let it be said I think all of us have seen enough rain for now and the droughts of the last decade or so are now well and truly quenched.
What we really want now is a prolonged period of time without any major rainfall but just a sprinkle here and there to keep farmers happy.
September is a real transition time where fish of all species can seem shut down for long periods. Many of the Gippsland Lakes fish are either in spawning mode or still lethargic in the chilly waters. Recent reports from anglers doing it fairly tough reflect the very conditions I’m talking about. The Mitchell River down at The Cut has been producing the best bags of bream for the lucky but a lot of anglers are also coming home without a fish.
The Nicholson River can be a real shining light at this time of year because it tends to clear up fairly quickly compared to the other big rivers. If by chance the weather warms up quickly over the coming weeks and the water also clears up then lure anglers should be on the look out for bream taking surface lures.
Over the last few years I’ve found quite a few bream in early spring are more than happy to rise up and crunch a slowly worked popper.
If, or when we get a window of good weather and clearing waters then the spawning bream should provide some terrific action particularly in the upper Tambo around the Blue Hole area. There is plenty of access from the bank up in that section of the Tambo so no boat is needed to fish the area. The key is to keep moving around and trying to locate where the big schools of bream are hanging out.
It was this time last year I had a few e-mails come in from people discovering better fishing out in the lakes. This year I’m getting reports again from those same areas where a lot of trevally and a few big luderick are getting caught.
Flathead captures have also been steadily rising over the last couple of weeks and the best places to target these species are around the Metung area. Bait anglers have been having the greatest success using frozen prawn, shrimp and bluebait. You want to fish the tidal salty water that is pushing in from the entrance and meeting the fresher river waters moving downstream.
This may require you to fish all the way down close to Kalimna and Lakes Entrance with the cleanest water probably going to give you the best results. Keep in mind that some dusky flathead will already be making their way to this area getting ready for their summer spawning grounds. Early spring is when some monster flatties can turn up out of the blue so gear up accordingly.Reads: 3042