Lake Tyers is experiencing the best fishing in a decade.
Since the removal of commercial fishing 11 years ago the system has become somewhat of an anglers paradise.
The water has warmed to about 21C and the flathead have been going ballistic! While most have been around 40-55cm there are plenty of other exceptional fish being caught (and released) on lures and live baits. Most of the bigger fish have been taking soft plastics but many are also falling to hardbodied lures by anglers targeting bream with live prawn or mullet working well too.
The bream fishing has been the best I have ever seen for both quality and quantity of fish. It has been nothing unusual to score a dozen or more fish in a couple of hours averaging 38cm. The fish have all been in pristine condition and in shallow water they go like crazy!
Sight casting along the flats is something that makes a trip so special. Some of the better lures have been large jerkbait style hardbodies, surface walkers and surface plastics like the Ecogear pink grubs, depending on conditions.
The silver trevally have made an appearance in some of the deeper sections of the lake like Devils Hole and near the glasshouse. There have been large bait schools on the surface and the trevally and some giant tailor have been hanging under the bait. Pilchard cubes, bluebait and prawn are great trevally baits, as are small soft plastic baitfish patterns.
Around Lakes Entrance the fishing has started to improve, with reports of the annual whiting run beginning to filter through. As always the main areas include the Nungurner Jetty, Metung back beach, Kalimna jetty and barrier landing. Using fresh baits such as shrimp, mussel, sandworm or squid is normally preferred, but frozen bait such as prawn or pipi will work too, but like always- fresh is best.
Some large schools of Australian salmon are still giving the local baitfish a hard time and are best targeted on the run-in tide around Bullock island. Bluebait and metal lures are both salmon lollies and once you find one, you will find the mother load! A few nice flathead have been taken lately along Cunningham arm on the sand banks between the marinas, on soft plastic prawns and also on fresh prawn drifted along the drop-offs.
This technique also adds the chance of scoring some nice bream and whiting. Its the time of year too when the pinkie snapper move in to the lake system and there have already been a few legal pinkies caught. James Wickham and Glen Lord have been doing well using peeled prawn and also on Squidgy Wrigglers while targeting flathead around the North Arm (highway) bridge.
While on the snapper subject, some thumpers are starting to show up on the offshore reef systems. Paul Conn recently caught an absolute ripper while fishing one of the many reefs on a pilchard. There have been quite a few good ones caught in close too, such as a 6kg red caught from the surf at the barrier by an angler fishing for salmon.
The weather has been a little unpredictable of late so remember to take extreme caution when making the trip out.
For those who prefer to stay in close, there have been good numbers of sand flathead and gurnard in between 12-20m of water, with pilchard cubes, squid legs and Jig-em rigs working well. Some nice gummies have been caught too in the same depths, mainly on squid legs.
For the surf anglers, the gummies have been biting well a week either side of the full moon. All beaches from Corringle to the Grange have been producing gummies and some good sized seven-gill sharks on fresh squid or salmon fillets. The downside to using salmon fillets is the big shovelnose rays absolutely love them and can be frustrating while waiting for the main quarry to arrive, but remember that unless you are taking one home for a feed there is no reason to kill them. Everything has its place in the ocean.
Fishing into the night has been the prime time for the sharks, but during the day there are good numbers of salmon and tailor to be found in the deeper gutters in close to the break. Spinning with Lazer lures works a treat, but the old paternoster rig with a bluebait and a green popper is one deadly rig. A little berley can also help if the fishing is slow.
It’s that time of year again when the prawns have started their run and although the water is still a little discoloured there is still enough visibility to get a good feed of these tasty little treats.
Wading the flats with a light and dip net is some of the best fun you can have. If you’re unsure of an area it is a good idea to check it out during the day and see where the deep holes, mud banks, rocks and so on are to get a feel for the area.
The Bullock Island channel is a great spot for beginners as the prawns run straight past on the run-out tide and you can stand on the shore and dip them from there.Reads: 6006