Snow melt run off gets bream spawning
  |  First Published: September 2012

This time of year is well known for the bream spawning season and this spring looks like being a ripper.

After heavy snow dumps all winter the run off from the mountains will be widespread as the days lengthen and heat up. The Mitchell River in particular will flow hard with its crisp clean water surging down from its vast highlands and feeder streams.

The Gippsland Lakes are alive and well because Mother Nature is doing what she does best and providing the huge estuary with live giving fresh water. This is all adds up to excellent fishing so make the most of the calm cool weather because the winds of Spring are just around the corner.

The Nicholson River

Some of the biggest schools of bream have been moving into the Nicholson for over six weeks now and although most of the fish are a modest 28-32cm, they make up for it in numbers. Mid-water blading has been yielding big tallies and no doubt live shrimp or prawn baits will do the same. The bream seem happy to school up in depths of 4-5m and are not yet pushing up into the shallows at all. Look for snag action and rock wall opportunities later in the month as a few post spawners go feeding higher in the water column.

For now though, you will be better off dropping blades down on the schooling bream out in the middle of the river in its lower reaches and try tea bagging them for a better hook up rate.

For those who really tune into the Nicho there are some thumper bream to be found. They are cagey and elusive but I often score my biggest bream in this river and you only need a handful of trucks to 43cm to make it a day to remember. The key to these bigger fish is to be on the water at first light.

Tambo River

This ever-reliable fish filled stream is once again the shining light of the Gippsland Lakes and the weekends have and will continue to be very busy with bait and lure anglers alike. Big schools of bream are now as high up as the Blue Hole well above the highway bridge and another hot spot is down below the boat ramp all the way to the river entrance.

Luderick and perch are still turning up alongside all the bream but fish over 32cm are rare. As usual metal blades are accounting for most bream but as I tipped some months ago, hard plastic vibes are now the ‘go to’ lure.

In fact plenty of anglers will argue that they never moved off the radar but if you are new to these sorts of lures then try a Cranka Vibe and let me know what you think. As with all lure fishing bream will eventually screw up their nose to blades that turn the water to foam so be prepared to experiment outside your comfort zone and tie on new lures.

A lot of lure specialists are telling me bream are slowly but surely seeing way too many metal blades of the same colour and size, resulting in fish plucking or pecking at the lure once and then leaving them well alone.

In my experience this means going back to your tackle box and dig deep! Just try different brands that will often have a completely new action or colour and your results should improve.

Mitchell River

This mighty stream is the real powerhouse of all the Gippsland rivers these days and don't the fish know it. It is fed by the Wonnangatta and Wongungarra that in their own right are impressive streams that are incidentally now full of plump trout to 1.5kg. These rivers continue to produce the best brown trout numbers for over 25 years.

The estuarine waters of the Mitchell start below the rock barrier not far out of Bairnsdale and it's here that estuary perch can be found and this year they will continue to thrive as we experience yet another wet year. Perch have shown up as far down as The Cut recently and the bream are also stacked up around this area.

The middle section of the Silt Jetties is getting the most attention from anglers either from the bank or in boats. Live shrimp baits are so deadly at the moment in this area and bream to 42cm are turning up with surprising regularity. In fact most of the bream have been between 35-40cm but they won't be there forever so get chasing them while the going is good.

For lure anglers try the good old Bloodworm Squidgy wrigglers and hard plastic vibes worked slow with extra long pauses.

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