It seems Gippsland can't quite break the shackles of this continuous wet weather that has persisted now for about 18 months.
I keep saying the rain is doing more good than harm here in Gippsland but I have to say I'm sick of pushing my lawn mower around every week. With some parts of the Gippsland Lakes catchment getting totals yet again of well over 100mm the rivers were again flowing hard. The fresh water is a valuable lifeblood to the system but I just wish we could get a break from the heavy rain events and enjoy some quality fishing.
We need the rivers and lakes to settle down and clear up a little for a prolonged period so that the fish stay on the bite. Another flush of dirty water turns the fishing on its head and puts anglers on the back foot for a week or two. At least the cool wet weather has put an end to the algae problems.
One thing you can always guarantee, bream go crazy after a rain event and it looks like we’re heading into a busy autumn and winter.
Now that the rivers are settling from the latest downpour the first people to cash in on the bream are bait anglers. Historically the Tambo always produces a run of big bream after a flush and the reports I'm getting support this once again. In fact it cleared nicely to also produce some great lure fishing as well.
Some really tidy models to 1.5kg and 43cm have been landed using a variety of traditional baits and a few good old boys told me they once again used garden and scrub worms. I put my lures away during one session recently and tried some bait fishing with frozen prawn and I had a ball.
It's been years since I tried that and I quite enjoyed it because it wasn’t long until I ran out of bait, that’s how busy it was in the Tambo.
The Mitchell also cleared with clean fresh water right down to the Silt Jetties and has fished well for weeks. The Nicholson remained fairly coloured and very few bream showing up in the higher reaches past the bridges. The real hot spots are Newlands Arm, Duck Arm and the Mitchell Flats. This brings me to the last Vic Bream event back in late March where those three locations featured heavily.
Congratulations to Aaron Dyer and Graeme Deer for another comprehensive win; with all the rain just before the event you can forget about them having any local advantage.
Many of the anglers were unsure about just how muddy the lakes and rivers were going to be and it looked like being a tough proposition to catch a good run of bream. But top comp anglers always find fish and some real thumpers were weighed in with the two biggest fish going 1.79kg and a whopping 1.88kg.
Stevie Wheeler and Gary Lockyer deserve special mention with a cracker day two bag of 6.12kg and only Tassie bream beat that sort of a total. I’m so proud of my local waters fishing as hot as they are and some of the teams were catching massive numbers of bream in a session.
A couple of mates shared with me a deadly way of using blades in very shallow water and they caught heaps of bream in the skinny shallows. In fact they were getting huge numbers of fish a session as well; this is top sport when fishing in a bream tournament.
All we do is fish the blade like a hardbodied lure and I find it out-fishes the hards nearly every time. Give it a try if the bottom is snagless, sandy or weed free and you may be shocked at your catch rate even in water 30-45cm.
In fact I maintain that blades are much better in open skinny water than all the hardbodied lures I’ve used over the years and you can work them surprisingly fast and aggressive. You get to cover much more water and it’s a deadly way of tricking shut down cranky bream.
Many bream anglers dismiss blades as a boring ‘floggers lure’ and that maybe the case in deep water schooling fish but I mostly use blades like a superior shallow water hardbodied lure now.
A lot of flatties have shown up over the last month and they should continue on into winter as well. Craig Greenhalgh and his son Blair have had a ball with some big flathead caught on soft plastics at Metung with their biggest going 78cm. Justin Dingwell also stacked up a heap of flatties around Chinamans Creek and the run flatties have been a lot later this year than others.
I think it has more to do with the summer algae situation that may have put anglers off when in fact the duskies were always there to be caught.
The average size of these flatties will really impress you because the main run of fish are 50-65cm. Don’t forget that blades will also get you more flatties (yes in shallow water again) mainly because you get to cover a lot of country, but a large 120mm soft plastic is your best bet for a 80-90cm croc.Reads: 4302