Floods fire up the fish
  |  First Published: August 2012

During June, Gippsland experienced massive scale flooding, and while it caused substantial damage to low lying areas there were a few benefits that came out of it.

One such benefit was the opening of Lake Tyers. As always after such an event; a few weeks later and the fishing has begun to fire. Schools of big bream have been found in the Nowa Nowa arm by anglers throwing crankbaits with loud rattles and larger jerkbaits.

A few of the standout lures have been Jackall Chubbies and Jackall 67mm squirrels, Daiwa Double Clutches and Smith Panishes, as these represent garfish which bream feed heavily on in Tyers.

Look for rocky banks and snags in deep water for the best results.

Some large trevally have been hooked and lost around the number 2 boat ramp, which is a great sign! It’s been a few years since a huge school of giant silver trevally have been in the system. Live shrimp, pilchard cubes and peeled prawn are good options for trevally, as are soft plastic grubs hopped along the bottom.

Some large Australian salmon have entered the system and can be found anywhere from Blackfellows Arm down to the entrance. Trolling or spinning with chrome slices is a great way of covering a large area and picking up a few good fish.

Lakes Entrance

The jetties around Lakes Entrance were producing good numbers of fish before the rain, with huge schools of luderick and trevally schooled up around the post office, Cunningham Pier and the Nautilus Jetty. Since the rain things have slowed but there are still plenty of trevally to 55cm around to keep the persistent anglers happy. Again live shrimp is great bait, although large numbers of small bream can be frustrating at times. The luderick have been caught on the traditional method; green weed suspended under a float.

Up towards Metung there are still a few whiting being taken on mussel around the Nyerimilang red peg, and the Barrier landing channel along the edge of the markers. Plenty of leatherjacket have been caught too and are always welcome in the bag! A standard long shank hook(size 6-8 is about normal) on a simple running sinker rig is the easiest method of catching these fish.  

In the north arm there have been large schools of mullet and small salmon around the skate park boat ramp on the run out tide. A simple paternoster rig with sandworm or pilchard fillets will put you in with a shot at getting a feed. A tuna oil/chook pellet berley trail helps keep the fish in the area.

Surf beaches

The surf beaches have cleared up since the rain and the winter run of salmon has been incredible! At this time of year there are some absolute thumpers around on their annual migration, and the biggest I have seen personally so far hit just on 4.6kg, or 11lb. There’s not many places in Victoria you can say the average salmon is between 3-4kg and on any gear these are awesome sport fish in the surf.

For the bait angler, a paternoster rig with a whole ganged pilchard on one hook and either a green/blue/ yellow or black surf popper is a must. I’ve also done really well using a 5” DOA jerkshad in both the Stark Naked and Glow Pearl colours instead of the pilchard. This way there is always a rig in the water when the school passes through and the crabs leave it along.

For adrenalin addicts spinning with bream weight gear and a 25-50g Lazer or Spanyid metal slice covers a lot of water and some of the strikes nearly rip your arms out! Use 6-14lb braid and 15lb leader for this style of fishing. One handy tip is to replace the treble hooks on your metal lures with a single 3/0 spinnerbait stinger hook. These work a treat and because the hooks are straight they wont twist the lure in the water like other styles of single hooks will.

A few of the keen locals have still been spending a few cold nights on the beach and catching the occasional gummy. Squid tentacles and salmon fillets are scoring some nice sharks, but the cold weather is turning most anglers off.

It just shows that persistence pays off!

Frank Milito with a cracker Lakes Entrance trevally taken on a 3inch DOA bloodworm curl tail grub.

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