Perseverance Pays
  |  First Published: December 2011

Cranky bream have once again tested the patience of the best anglers dedicated to the challenge of tricking them.

The general talk amongst those anglers has been all about how tough it has been to find willing fish but with perseverance a bag of bream will often be the end result. Spring and early summer has historically always been a testing time for anglers in the Gippsland Lakes but die hard anglers seem to always get results.

I have received many emails from keen anglers recently on their exploits in the Gippsland Lakes, and as you will see, heroic efforts are sometimes required.

Justin Dingwall from Sale who recently fished Paynesville, Metung, Tambo and Mitchell Rivers reports that he spent a few days lure fishing with his mate Joel. The pair first fished the Mitchell River but found it very disappointing. Their usually very productive spots yielded nothing. So following a theory that fish were holding on the 2nd drop off they subsequently tricked six small bream, which while welcome wasn’t exactly what they were seeking. So at lunchtime they went to Metung.

Catching just one bream there and with a lot of dolphins around in the lake they decided to try the Tambo River the next day, but sadly they found nothing on the sounder in their favourite areas and failed to get a fish.

The next stop was Paynesville in a desperate attempt to find some bream. Joel eventually caught a good fish to 33cm by using a red aniseed scent on his lure. Armed with this, they drowned their vibes with this and got action straight away!

During the next hour they landed 15 bream to 34cm and watched new schools move in under them on the sounder.

The guys had a ball and it was just one after another all afternoon. The bream were coughing up crabs that the vibes were possibly imitating. Plenty of fish up to 40cm were caught and some of these weighed nearly 1.5kg and were very fat.

It does show that persistence does pay off, especially when things are tough.

Talking to commercial fishers

I regularly speak with commercial fishers who work the Gippsland Lakes. Gary Leonard is one such professional who works the Gippsland Lakes and he rang me recently for another chat about all things fishy.

I always look forward to catching up with Gary as he is a wealth of knowledge and often puts me right onto where the fish are hiding!

He told me about how healthy the bream stocks are in the system and said the recruitment of young fish is as good as ever. He made comment on the prodigious numbers of 20-24cm bream around as well as perch and flathead.

Gary also informed me about some algae build-up starting in the lakes and this is the second confirmed report I’ve had this week on a bloom.

As much as I would like professional netting in the lakes to stop, I also believe that the commercial sector give us an interesting read out as to how the fish stocks are going: almost like a health barometer in terms of numbers and sizes of the fish in our waterways.

He assures me that big bream are also still around in good numbers and this is certainly backed up by lure and bait anglers I talk to, as we have all caught impressive tallies at certain times for the last four or five years now.

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