What a Season
  |  First Published: December 2011

To say Lake Tyers has excelled in the past month is a huge understatement.

It seems that the flathead have well and truly woken with the warm water and are eating basically anything thrown at them! Some exceptional fish have been caught in the past few weeks with dozens in the 60-80cm range and the odd fish pushing close to the magic metre mark.

It’s great to see so many big fish being caught and released as these are our breeding stock for the future. If you’re after a feed there are more than enough flatties in the 40-55cm range to keep everyone happy.

The whole lake system is producing numbers of flatties but there are a few areas that are more consistent. Camerons arm, the Nowa Nowa arm and the Glasshouse are known flathead haunts and are living up to their standards. Sessions of 30-40 flatties are nothing unusual once they are located. Best lures lately have been baitfish and prawn patterns, like 80mm squidgy fish in natural colours, and the old favourite 3 inch DOA shrimp in clear, glow, or pink.

Hardbodies have been producing plenty of fish also, like the Stiffy Minnow, Lucky Craft Tango, and, even under the right conditions, surface lures have been scoring some awesome flathead. This style of fishing is great fun as the hits are extremely violent and even if you miss the strike don’t panic as the fish will still be sitting under the lure waiting for it to move.

Bait anglers have been doing well using peeled prawn and bluebait, with early morning and late afternoon being the key bite periods. Using a running sinker or unweighted bait will see a few fish landed. Fishing around the mud banks, sand flats and drop offs is where you will find the fish.

The bream fishing has been much the same as the flathead. Anglers have been enjoying a sensational run of bream on a whole range of techniques, from unweighted baits in the snags, to hardbodies on the flats and edges. Frank Milito has been running his charter business in Tyers lately and has been having some great sessions with up to 30 bream landed on a regular basis. Stiffy minnows have been a great shallow water lure, as are the new Pontoon 21 Crackjacks and greedy guts lures. Most of the bream have been ranging from 30-45cm, and have been fighting like demons!

Some huge tailor have been caught too, especially in the Toorloo arm. Keep an eye out for bird activity and schools busting up schools of bait. Trolling silver wobblers is a sure-fire way to get into a few of these great sportfish and if bled straight away and kept on ice they are pretty good on the plate if eaten that night.

Lakes Entrance has been a little quiet due to what looks to be the beginnings of an algal bloom. The water is still fairly cold at the time of writing but there are a few options available. Bullock Island has been producing big numbers of small salmon around 30cm long with the occasional bigger fish being taken.

Pilchard pieces fished on a paternoster rig has been the standout method, but small soft plastics like Berkleys 3” Power Minnows and 70mm Squidgy Flick baits fished on a 1/16th jighead is also a sure-fire bet if the fish are around.

The Cunningham arm is starting to show signs of life with trevally and bream being taken from the jetties on live shrimp, peeled prawn and mussel fished under a float or unweighted. Small soft plastic curl tails also produce a few fish. It shouldn’t be too long now before the big resident flathead start to fire up along the edges.

The surf beaches have been fishing extremely well lately with salmon being taken during the day and of an evening the gummies are showing up in good numbers, especially Lake Bunga beach. Some of the gummies have been around 1.2m long and are best targeted a week either side of the full moon on a rising tide. Squid legs are the standout bait, but pilchards, silver whiting and salmon are a good option if things are quiet.

There have been good numbers of elephant sharks showing up too as an added bonus. For the salmon, a paternoster rig consisting of a pilchard tail and a green surf popper is about as good as it gets, as is spinning the wash with 25-75g green/silver Lazer lures.

Offshore has been fishing well also, with good numbers of flathead and gummies taken in close around the 15-20m marks. Areas such as the Pines, (about 5km west of the Entrance) are good areas to drift around for a feed. Pilchard and squid are standout baits. Further out on the reef systems the snapper have started to fire with some ripper reds up to 7kgs already taken. The 6 mile reef is a consistent producer of quality reds, as is the 4 mile reef. Pilchard and squid again are great baits, but fresh ‘couta, flathead tails and silver whiting  can score bigger fish. It can even pay to have a live yakka rigged too, as you just never know when the kingfish are going to show up.

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