Every year at this time I point out the delight of autumn with light winds and we finally put the sting of summer's hot sun behind us.
I book most of my holidays for April or May because you can count on most days having perfect weather. The best part of course is that just about every species of fish goes on the chew during these months and that's exactly what's happening right now.
Just for a change it's nice to get something right in my previous reports. If you remember I declared that Metung would fire in March and become a real fishy hotspot and boy has it delivered! I took my better half away for a weekend of R&R and we settled on the stylish village of Metung. I even agreed to leave the fishing rods at home? I did however talk her into walking around the jetties where I could at least watch people fish and appease my addiction!
Anglers were pulling in bream, flathead and luderick without much trouble at all. I couldn't believe the amount fish we spied on while looking into the water. It was like an aquarium jam packed with big bream and we could also see luderick plucking and twisting on the underwater seagrass.
The first bloke I bump into is Michael Malone from Colac visiting for a week and he was working a soft plastic off one of the many jetties. We talked for a while as he pulled in a bream and told me about how he and the family had also caught flathead and big trevally. Michael declared it was by far the best fishing he's ever seen there in the last ten years.
He asked me if estuary perch live around the jetties and I told him to head up into the rivers if you want to find them. You wouldn't believe his next cast resulted in a bent rod and in came - you guessed it, a fat little EP! I really don't know who was more shocked because I would bet my entire wealth on him not catching one there in 20 years let alone his next cast!
Then I bump into Chad Aumann who had the same idea of spoiling the missus for a weekend but somehow he was allowed to fish as well. He told me stories of hauling in thumping bream from the jetty pylons using prawn baits and losing plenty more to the structure. If you have yet to experience this beautiful sleepy little hideaway town then drop in for a look. Apart from the amazing number of fish that live there Metung has other attractions like a Saturday crafts and produce market, stylish accommodation, a great pub overlooking the water with its own mooring jetty and the local seafood is cooked fresh.
It's nice to have the bream back on the go again after months of watching them refuse every lure in the box. Bait anglers are also really cleaning up especially down at Lakes Entrance and the highway bridge has produced some amazing bags. Reports tell me that the bigger bream are going 43cm. The trick is to drift unweighted prawn baits down among the structure, mainly around slack water during the change of tides. Hang on for a white knuckled brawl and keep your drag locked up.
As the tide picks up, use a little sinker to get the bait into the zone quicker and I also suggest you use at least 6kg line to turn these big fish. Heading upstream from the bridge right up into the North Arm has also been another hotspot with bream and luderick on all the channel markers along with flathead in the shallows. I have found plenty of bream taking lures out in the open lakes too, like the Mitchell Flats, Point Turner and right up to Wattle Point.
The amount of yellow eye mullet in the whole Gippsland Lakes just seems to grow and grow. There are massive schools now right up the Mitchell and Nicholson rivers and are easy to spot because they all cruise close to the surface. Even bigger schools can be seen around the shallows at Metung and Raymond Island as well as Point Turner and right up to Waddy Point.
This huge influx of mullet in the rivers and lakes has not happened like this for many years and a lot of them are fully grown big fish. If yellow eye mullet are your thing, then get your rods out and I can assure you they will not be hard to find.
Another feature this year is the return of estuary perch that have responded to all the freshwater during last few years of floods. They have turned up in their usual haunts but also a few captures in open lake water as well. Another very pleasing discovery is the tiny 15cm perch a mate discovered right up the Mitchell River near the barrier and also under the Nicholson railway bridge. This means successful spawning events have obviously taken place over the last few years as well.Reads: 3541