Luderick, Flathead and belligerent bream
  |  First Published: December 2011

The good news from 2011 is that enormous estuary waters of the Gippsland Lakes have been revitalised and this should set us up for a cracker 2012.

Already bream are on the chew, some enormous flatties are being released with whiting and luderick also on the go.

Metung, Nungurner and Kalimna.

These are a few destinations that should feature heavily during your holiday fishing over the next month because the flatties are already on the go and plenty of mullet, whiting and little pinkies are to be caught as well. There is also a by-catch of luderick, bream, trevally and the odd salmon or tailor on the cards as well.

Your first option if chasing flathead is to flick a few lures around at first light for a chance at a monster dusky. Or try a large mullet live bait in about a metre of water but what ever your method, use a short 10kg leader because you never know when a 3ft long flathead will show up.

An early start is the real key to your flatty success and I’m talking about setting the alarm for 4.30am or earlier. You want to be on the water and set up ready to fish just before dawn. If that coincides with a rising high tide all the better. Usually the flathead bite goes quiet around 10am although smaller duskies out in the deep will feed for most of the day. Key locations are on the northern shore of the Reeve channel from Bell Point to Kalimna jetty, Bancroft Bay and around Baxter Island.

Bream and flathead captures on the up

I spent a day with Chad Aumann recently and he really has his fishy finger on the pulse so invited me out to sample some bream and flathead lure fishing. Chad runs a terrific guiding service out of Bairnsdale and takes clients all over Gippsland touring and fishing out of kayaks. Chad lent me one of his Hobie craft for the day and boy was that fun! Even with winds up to 35km out in the open lake, we still stayed dry and caught fish.

We used Jackall Chubbies and home made blades in the shallows chasing bream but the flathead were ravenous! Nice chunky fish with some to 50cm but most of the duskies going 35-40cm. Finally Chad pulls in a nice 37cm bream on a plastic vibe and he then put me over a school of bream showing up on his sounder in about 4m of water. We tried everything to catch ‘em but all we got were bumps and pulls from fish that were obviously shut down or fussy.

Shortly after I spied on a mob of bream cruising the shallows and tricked one at 39cm into eating my lure and then got a slightly bigger bream to the yak shortly after but lost him at the net. All up for the morning we returned about 30 fish and not bad for a session where the fishing was generally rather quiet. Chad has called his guiding service Full To the Bream.

Luderick and whiting on blades

One surprise catch showing up more often these days are luderick on blades. Recently I braved the dirty waters in a desperate attempt to get a fishing fix in what looked unfishable muddy water. I didn’t expect to be fishing for long but often when you expect a dud trip, strange things happen. The Tambo and Mitchell rivers can at times produce luderick when using bait but increasingly these fish are turning up on lures.

I caught four of them recently all on blades twitched fairly slowly with long pauses and they were nice a scrappy fight on lures for fish around 32cm. I also tricked five bream to 35cm on a blade and then eight small perch on un-weighted soft plastics, as they noisily slurped down tiny baitfish from the surface.

What looked like being a hopeless case of wasting a few hours on the water turned into a terrific session swimming lures in water like chocolate milk. Oh and by the way don’t be shocked if you turn up another surprise on the end of your blade because it was about this time last year I landed 40cm King George whiting while on a flatty hunt. The unexpected is another reason we are all so addicted to fishing hey!

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