Gippsland Lakes is suffering from an on again-off again algal bloom issue that seems to be really affecting the fishing.
For up to date status on the blue green algae situation please visit the DPI Fisheries website.
Apart from the blue green algae, the fishing has been fairly ordinary too, and lately we have spent quite a bit of time pre-fishing the area for an upcoming bream tournament and results have been poor to say the least. Some good flathead have been caught around Metung on both soft plastics and baits of prawn, bluebait and squid. Target the deeper drop offs and weed edges on the tide changes. We have really struggled to find the big flathead lately. We've done a few sessions in known big fish areas and sadly haven’t even spooked one of these huge fish.
The poor old Gippsland lakes are not in good condition.
The prawns have been thick but like the fish, are inedible while this algae problem is around. They are fine for bait though! Some of the better areas have been around Bullock Island, Kalimna jetty and the Cunningham arm in front of the resort.
On the upside, and only 5 minutes east of Lakes Entrance is Lake Tyers, and it has been fishing well!
The bream have been absolutely firing right through the system on a range of different tactics, from deepwater metal vibes and plastics right through to surface lures in the snags and on the flats.
There have been a few standout lures lately. The range of Cranka Cranks have been the pick of the bunch lately in any of the prawn colours. Another great lure is the Ecogear pink grub. This little paddle tail soft plastic is one of the most deadly surface presentations available and if rigged correctly on a worm hook can be cast into the ugliest of structure and come out snag free.
For bait anglers, live prawn (which can be readily dipped around the glasshouse and number 2 boat ramp after dark) is accounting for the better fish, along with some ripper flatties, trevally and even luderick won’t hesitate in nailing a small prawn.
Other productive baits include bluebait, pilchard fillets and sandworm, although softer baits like sandworm are known to attract smaller fish.
Another good technique is using cut crab; not only does this produce bigger fish but the smaller bream will pick at the crab, but still leave the main body for when a big fish comes along.
As always the Lake Tyers flathead have been on the chew on both soft plastics and live baits. The larger populations have been mainly above the Trident Arm up to Devils Hole. The water has been a little dirtier up here, so try lures that stand out (pinks, fluoro greens and browns are good colours) and fish water around 1m deep.
Some nice garfish have been around the bottom boat ramp too, and can easily be berleyed up with a fine breadcrumb and tuna oil mix. A simple fixed float about 60cm above a single number 10 long shank hook baited with bread or sandworm is the easiest way to target gars and are great fun (and very tasty meal) which the whole family can enjoy!
The surf beaches have been very hit and miss due to the extreme changes in the weather. The sharks have gone very quiet in close but a few have been caught out wider. The salmon haven’t disappointed though and haven been fairly thick from eastern beach up to Lake Tyers beach. Green poppers are again out-fishing bait.
Having a popper rigged on the paternoster rig is a must. Whole pilchards on a ganged hook have been accounting for some solid salmon and tailor to 3kg.
The top of the high tide is the best bet for these fish, and always keep an eye out for bird activity as this usually means the pelagic fish aren’t far behind.
Offshore the snapper have been going nuts, especially on the 6-mile reef and the famous pipeline near the grange. Some of the snapper have been up to the magic 20lb mark and have been taking baits such as pilchards, squid, striped tuna strips and live baits like yakkas. There have been some great gummies caught from the 20m line straight out from the grange. Squid heads are the gun bait here.
There have also been quite a few reports of mako sharks around the 4-mile reef. A good berley trail is essential for success on makos. Live yakkas and squid are mako lollies. Keep an eye out for birds working as this may indicate striped tuna, which the makos will follow.
Mark Smith with a 41cm yellowfin bream from Lake Tyers.Reads: 1519