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Bream and perch respond to lures
  |  First Published: April 2012



Here come those dreamy months for anglers of calmer weather, cooler days and hungry fish.

Already the early signs are looking good with a terrific run of estuary perch making a welcome return to our rivers this year and bream numbers are up again on past seasons. Flathead tallies however, are way down this year and I can never quite work out their cyclical ups and downs. It was only two years ago the lakes were in a dusky boom cycle but expect them to bounce back in the future.

Hollands Landing

Don’t be put off by the green algae water in the Straits because there are still plenty of bream being caught at the Hollands Landing wharf on bait. A couple of handfuls of live shrimp or a packet of frozen prawn is all you need and expect size bream from 28-34cm and plenty of throw-backs down to 20cm.

The last time I fished there I also saw a lot of good-sized garfish and small mullet swimming near the surface and no doubt plenty could be caught after setting up a berley trail.

Hot lure action

It’s been a busy time for those of us flicking lures into the snags and terrific scores of bream and perch are in the Tambo River and bream in the Nicholson. They are very mobile within these systems and it will pay to search them out using a sounder or look for bream close to the surface.

Owen Pierce with his mate Max put impressive bags of fish together and could sight cast to cruising bream and even found perch out in the middle of the Tambo, which is almost unheard of.

Owen called it some of the hottest action he has encountered for many years. Max discovered that bream were holding deep in and under the shade of riverside trees and his lures were snaffled up with accurate casts even during the middle of a hot sunny day. After three days of busy searching the boys had released heaps of bream and perch to 38cm. The biggest bream were in the Nicholson where they also found a pile of monster carp.

Perfect planning

Fellow V&TFM scribe Mark Gercovich rang me recently and said that on his way to the Mallacoota bream comp, he planned to stop over and invited me to fish the flats of Lake Victoria and Lake King with him. I was tied up with work and suggested he instead try some of the hot river lure action.

I love it when a plan comes together and Gerka got onto some great fish with bream to 39cm fork length and perch around 35cm. It’s a nice feeling and a relief to put a mate onto fish because so often hot tips can turn cold. What’s more after launching in the Tambo he eventually discovered a huge school of bream and said his sounder was thick with fish for over a kilometre.

Even more impressive was Gerka tempting a few of both species with surface lures.

Looking ahead

The algae should start to be less of a problem now and so the shallow margins of the lakes will come into play for bream anglers. The lower sections of the Mitchell River should also fire because it has been almost barren of bream over the last few months when normally it was a real hotspot in years gone by.

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