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Flathead are pretty much everywhere – and big!
  |  First Published: December 2012



What better place to start this months report than with Lake Tyers.

It doesn’t seem to matter where you decide to fish, nor the technique, the flathead are absolutely everywhere! Cricket score catches of flatties in the 40-55cm range are becoming regular, and it’s a pretty slow day if you manage any less than half a dozen. Bait anglers using live prawn, peeled prawn or pilchard fillets are getting into some of the better flatties and also some beautiful bream near the glasshouse and long point, and lure anglers seem to be smashing the duskies!

DOA prawns are once again proving they are a dynamite flathead lure and are best fished in the shallows using a slow twitch and pause retrieve. Shad-style plastics are scoring plenty too, as are grub/wrigglers fished on light jigheads. Bloodworm, pumpkinseed and pearl/watermelon colours are the pick of the bunch, although reaction colours like nuclear chicken and glow can be deadly too.

 Good numbers of bream have been taken on the flats by anglers throwing hardbodied lures and surface walkers. This style of fishing is very addictive especially when the water is clear and you can sight cast at feeding fish. Some of the lures that have been doing the damage have been the pontoon 21 Crackjacks, Jackall Chubbies and Flats Fry, and some of the newer lures from the DUO stable, the Ryuki 50- a sinking minnow that can be fished in deeper water(similarly to a vibe) and my new favourite the Realis 80 minnow. These are a shallow running suspending minnow that look like a whitebait in the water and the bream certainly don’t hesitate hitting them! Some of the better sand flats are around the glasshouse area, mill point boat ramp and around the island above trident arm.

Those wanting some close-quarters fishing should head up the Nowa Nowa arm, as the snags are loaded with bream and luderick. Sandworm or shrimp fished slack-lined is a fun way to fish but those snags are covered in barnacles so expect to be shredded by a few! Some of the locals have this pretty well covered, using 15lb mono with a locked up drag. It may not be pretty but its effective!

Lakes Entrance is once again under the attack of that filthy blue green algae, which understandably the water quality is extremely poor, making prawning extremely difficult. There are good numbers of prawns around but some areas of the lake visibility is low making it difficult.

Those who know the area fairly well have been getting some solid bags of whiting up to 47cm on baits of pipi, prawn and mussel. Sandworm is also producing some good fish but seems to attract a lot more smaller fish like toads and mullet. Kalimna has been fairly quiet but barrier landing has been the best option up past the second jetty on the edge of the channel markers. First and last two hours of the tide change is best.

The surf beaches are producing salmon during the day and of an evening the gummies are coming out to play! The first decent reports started coming through in mid-October and started shaping up to be a cracker of a season! This month will see us starting to paddle out larger baits off the beach in search of some big land-based toothies.

Austraian salmon have been taking pilchards on ganged hooks and Lazer lures (silver or blue) while the gummies are taking squid legs or fresh tailor strips. While salmon and tailor make great bait for the gummies the downside is those big dinner-tables called skate absolutely love them too and can be a nightmare, and while some nights they break the boredom between bites they can give you a real workout! Just remember if you do happen to catch one unless your going to eat them let them go. Last year it was extremely disappointing to arrive at our local spot and find eight huge skate dragged up on the beach and left to die.

Offshore

Offshore is starting to fire with snapper on the wide reefs up to about 6kg. Squid and pilchards are gun baits, but with large schools of barracouta hanging around, ‘couta heads make great bait for bigger snapper. Some anglers are even dropping plastics to the reef and scoring a few quality fish but again the ‘couta make short work of the lures.

Squid have been prevalent on the 4 and 6 Mile Reefs and also in close on the flathead ground. Always have a squid jig rigged up in the boat as they make great bait and even better on the plate!

Drifting around the pines has seen good numbers of sand flatties and a few gummies taken on squid and Jig ‘em rigs. Look for bait schools in between 15-25m of water and start your drift from there. Anglers have reported a few hammerheads in the same area so keep your eyes out for them. Mako sharks have been reported around the 50m line around schools of slimy mackerel. A good berley trail is essential for chasing makos. It shoudn’t be long now until the striped tuna arrive and are great sport on spin tackle.

I’ll end this month with a tribute to my grandad who passed away in late October. A keen surf fisherman who loved nothing more than chasing salmon along the Ninety Mile Beach. We spent many a morning doing pre-dawn starts and watching the sun come up along the coastline, and days like that any fish was a bonus. R.I.P grandad.

Some thumping flathead have been on the agenda at Lakes Entrance.

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