Here come the fishy months of autumn and everything looks spot on for anglers: day after day of lighter winds, cooler weather and hungry fish.
The algae blooms have for the most part stayed away and this is the time of year I reckon fish are at their hungry best. Clean salt water is pushing well into the estuary and is already reaching Lake Wellington. This all adds up to really exciting times ahead and a welcome change from the muddy water scenarios of the last two years. Meanwhile the summer whiting have proved a challenge for most but you can expect even more prawns to show up this month during the new moon.
Don’t be put off by the slightly murky water at Hollands Landing because bream are in the area and taking lures and bait. In fact the water has cleared up significantly and I managed a couple beautiful 40cm bream on a blade recently, at the mouth of the Straits. Mick Bennett and his mate Morris were anchored up in the same area and got a handful of bream on cut crab and sandworm.
The fishing was hardly red hot but my tip is that we are in for a very big bream season ahead. The early signs are very impressive and even the dolphins are back and have been spotted at Seacombe as well. I also reckon flathead will return to the area over the next month or so because the same salty, clean water conditions are developing just like back in 2006. That year saw some of the best fishing in the area for over a decade.
It’s been a busy time for those who love their lure fishing for bream and flathead. My son Jack and I put the kayaks in at Raymond Island recently and we got six bream to 32cm and four flathead to 65cm on blades. The area east towards the Mitchell River has also been very productive for good-sized bream in the shallows to 34cm and a few flatties about 45cm, using suspended hardbodied lures or poppers.
The bream and flathead are also back on the Mitchell flats and quite a few whiting are also turning up. Bream are taking all sorts of lures in the lake there, between the Silt Jetties and the Nicholson River. The best times to work that area is when you get a good chop on the water and the fish are less spooky. Chad Aumann is a very keen bream angler who knows the value of surface lures and he has caught impressive numbers in the Mitchell and Nicholson Rivers recently.
Justin Dingwall joined him recently and said the bream went crazy over a top water lure called a “bent minnow”. Incredibly he watched on a few occasions three or even four bream climb all over the lure at once. Dinga said all other poppers or hardbodied lures were totally ignored so keep a lookout for these mad looking bent minnow surface lures.
They are over 70mm long and have the craziest action you have ever seen. They dart in all directions and will even turn almost backwards on themselves or porpoise up and out of the water. Mark my words these lures will be very hard to find over the next few months as the word gets out.
A lot of people are now turning into night owls and putting in big hours even into the dark of morning chasing prawns. I’m getting mixed reports with some people finding a good bag while others come home weary and disappointed. The best tip I can give you is to make sure you plan your trips around the new moon because the darker the night the more you will see. Those walking the shallows have been very impressed by the numbers and sizes of flounder so it may pay to pack the spear for your night out. Apparently a few people are stumbling across some huge flathead as well and Richard from Bairnsdale told me about some very big duskies in many areas of Lake King. The best places to look for prawns and flounder over the next month will be anywhere from Kalimna to Metung.
The section of the Mitchell River around the township of Bairnsdale is really firing for bream at the moment and this should continue and really hot up into the next month or two. I fished there recently and was quite surprised at how crystal clear and salty the water was. I watched a squillion little bream follow each of my lures in and only managed to hook four of the little guys to 22cm. I looked deeper below the schools of little bream and spied on their much larger fish to 40cm looking up but not at all interested in giving chase. I suspect these bigger fish will come out and play at dawn or dusk but the real problem will be keeping the smaller fish at bay. The numbers of tiny bream in the river is truly amazing. If you search the deeper edges and bridge pylons in the Mitchell then expect estuary perch to show up as well.Reads: 1431