Bream around the jetties
  |  First Published: August 2008

The Gippsland Lakes bream fishing is now reaching its seasonal peak and the bait anglers are cleaning up. The real feature is the terrific run of fish landed from the various jetties around the lakes. Frozen prawn is by far the standout bait.

Strangely the rivers are not fishing nearly as well, so check with shopkeepers where the latest hot spots are when you buy your local bait. If you are into flicking lures, then get hold of the latest steel bladed vibes for the best results, as they are the latest big thing in hooking bream.

Paynesville and Raymond Island

I spent a weekend at Raymond Island recently and shared a bed and breakfast accommodation with my better half – clocking up a few brownie points in the process. A quick ferry trip back to the mainland at Paynesville kept us in touch with the local pub and bakery, and also enabled me to chat to anglers working the jetties. Most were hooking some stunning bream on frozen prawn with a lot of fish pushing 1kg.

There does not seem to be a standout jetty or rock wall to fish from, it’s more about setting up a few rods and putting in the time. I was told of one lucky angler who at the tender age of five landed a ripper fish just prior to my visit. Zali Beck got her dad to help land a 1.2kg bream, also caught on prawn.

Some of the keen locals who dangle a line almost daily told me there’s hardly a day when a big bream isn’t caught in the area.

At the local takeaway food shop the assistant showed me pictures of flathead to 65cm he’d caught, and told me of some big bream as well. He is a land-based angler who has no trouble finding good fish on most trips, so even non-boaters get into the action down there.

Our weekend visit was a real eye opener to the fantastic fishing on offer in this scenic part of the Gippy Lakes. The ferry over to Raymond Island is a bit of fun for the kids and, while there, you get a chance to look at the wild koalas easily spotted in the small manna gums.

Wattle Point AND Loch Sport

The fishing has also been very productive at Wattle Point where mullet have been on the chew, with a run of average-sized bream and flatties as well. The sand flats in the area hold fair numbers of duskies. The bream are provided cover by the discoloured water and are also hanging in the shallows. I got an interesting report from the Loch Sport Marina where quite a few bream to 38cm have been caught on shrimp and prawn.

The rivers

The Tambo is usually on fire at this time of year but it looks like big numbers of bream have yet to move into any of the local rivers. Expect them to show up on their spawning run soon.

The lower reaches of the Nicholson have seen a few bream landed but the going is very slow. It’s the same story at Hollands Landing at the minute, where I put in half a day trying to catch flatties and bream on lures but failed to turn a single fish.

Two boats were out on the water while I was there, fishing with baits of prawn and shrimp, and they managed to land only three small bream between them. My message here is when boating, head out of the Straits and the rivers and get into the margins of Lake Victoria where the fish seem to be holding at the moment.

Golden Perch?

Here’s an interesting story that raised a few eyebrows recently. One of the professional netters working in the lakes system made a surprising catch recently. He came across a big golden perch while targeting mullet and bream. Photos were taken and when this fat fish was put on the scales it went 6kg! Quite a catch when you consider that the brackish estuary water is certainly not their normal habitat. Other surprises have shown up too, with rock cod and good sized whiting coming in.

CompETITION fishing

Just a quick word on the latest bream comp at the Gippy Lakes. The lure fishing was super tough with many teams failing to weigh in a single fish and other bags fairly light on. I’m sure the green murky water has a lot to do with the fish being unable to see the lure. I take my hat off to the perseverance of those who did manage to land a few.

Spending two or three days flogging every lure in your box and failing to hook a fish can be demoralising! Fishing slow and deep was again the stand out method for those who got their head around where and how to target fish. The deadly lures were once again small sinking vibes.

Bream are taking steel bladed lures fished slow and deep.

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