For the second year running there is a potential algal bloom starting to show up in the lower reaches of the system, especially around Cunningham Arm.
Hopefully things don’t get to the same stage of last year but early signs aren’t looking good, although the fishing is showing promising signs!
King George whiting have shown up and are in good numbers around Barrier Landing and Nungurner, and as far up as Metung. Fishing the run-in tide along the deep channels and weed beds on a variety of baits including mussel, sandworm, shrimp, peeled prawn and if you can find them live Bass yabbies will more often than not score the larger whiting.
Some big yank flathead are also showing up in good numbers and can be caught flicking big soft plastic shads or prawn-style plastics whilst fishing for whiting. Remember to use long shank hooks for the whiting, the local leatherjacket population have a nasty habit of swallowing hooks and biting through leaders!
The breakwalls have been fishing well for some luderick, and as usual early in the season there are some absolute thumpers being caught. Most have been around 500g but some of the bigger specimens have pushed well past the 2kg mark! Green weed under a running float is the best way to fish for them.
Surprisingly cabbage weed has been preferred lately over the traditional horse hair which is normally used by the local blackfish brigade. Catching luderick is a fascinating style of fishing, there’s something relaxing about drifting a float along the wall in the current waiting for down. And while it may look relatively easy, the guys who practise the sport are so in tune with their gear and the fish its hard not to just sit back and watch.
Some solid flathead have been caught around the footbridge on big soft plastics worked along the many sand banks and drop offs. DOA shrimp and curl tails in natural colours have accounted for some great fish, as have hardbodied lures in the 50-75mm size. Bream have been getting in on the act too and have no hesitation in hitting a larger lure. Just remember to keep an eye out for sign of fish, especially if working the flats. Look for schools of small mullet and whitebait, prawns or sandworm on the surface.
Also watch for what is known as ‘grey water’. This is where fish have been vigorously feeding in the shallow water and stirred up the mud. Prospect cast at every bit of grey water you can see as some of the biggest flatties may appear as a small dinner-plate size mud patch.
Pinkie snapper are starting to appear in the same area and can be caught by fishing a running sinker rig with a pilchard fillet in the deeper holes. It’s not uncommon to get a few nice fish in a couple of hours on the run-in tide.
Lake Tyers is flathead central at the moment, it doesn’t matter where you fish there seems to be duskies everywhere! Burnt Bridge is one of the better land-based areas and offers anglers a chance at some big flatties and quality bream on peeled prawn and soft plastics; just keep an eye out for snakes!
In the bottom lake plenty of flathead, bream and trevally have been taken on a range of baits and lures. The glasshouse is probably the pick of spots with plenty of shallow sand banks and weed patches which the fish love. Fishing the drop offs with peeled prawn, pilchard fillets and live prawns will put you in a very good chance of a few fish, as will fishing with soft plastics like bloodworm wrigglers and prawns in the shallows, especially early morning or late afternoon.
Mill Point has seen some great fish too and can be a handy spot to get out of the wind and has excellent launching area for boats.
Offshore, and the surf beach has been slow as the water still hasn’t warmed up enough yet to fire up the summer species, but once the bait shows up the predators wont be far away. Here’s hoping for a great season on the gummies and big salmon!
Keep an eye out for birds and dark schools in the water and hang on! Early season snapper should start showing up on the 4 and 6 mile reefs, and those running to the stockyards should see some thumper reds on pilchards and squid.
This 3kg salmon had no trouble engulfing a 30cm yellowtail and still chased down a green surf popper.