It is a bumper bream bonanza
  |  First Published: July 2013

All my fishy contacts and keen angling mates keep talking about the numbers and sizes of bream from Lake Wellington right down to Lakes Entrance.

The whole of Gippsland Lakes and all its rivers are on fire and this massive estuary is right now fishing as good as ever. About 30 dolphins have moved into the Straits at Hollands Landing and Seacombe and were even hunting around at the mouth of the Latrobe River the other day. Amazing when you think just six months ago the water there was chocolate brown and full of carp but now is very salty water.

I really want to write about other species as well but I'm afraid all my bream news could fill five pages! Hotspots include the Metung jetties, Lake Victoria from Duck Arm right up past Loch Sport, Hollands Landing, the lower Tambo, the Nicholson River, all the jetties around Lakes Entrance and especially the lower Mitchell and the Silt Jetties.

Big fat nasty bream

I suppose I begin with the biggest fish first and that distinction goes to Lawrence and Donald Cameron who landed some classic thumpers down at The Cut in the Mitchell River. They were using glassies for bait and battled with bream from 42cm to a whopping 46cm. The amazing thing about their session was that the bream totally ignored other baits like sandworm or prawn and it's very interesting the bigger bream only took the fish baits.

Other anglers tossing lures in the area have nailed scores of bream around 40cm on hardbodied lures and they have even tricked a few with surface lures like the deadly Bent Minnow. The lower reaches of the Tambo is another hotspot for big bream and fish to 43cm have been schooling up and dining on blade lures and live shrimp.

Kayak action

Justin Dingwall invited me out for a kayak session on the bream in Lake Victoria after he landed over 40 bream the day before. He took me out into the lake and we fished the shallow edges at first light and he put me right onto a whole heap of good fish. Dinga scored six bream in about his first ten casts by working a Z-man motor oil grub. He also missed a heap as I looked on amazed at how he pricked fish with nearly every cast and his best fish were three 42cm models.

My second cast of the day saw a 40cm bream tow me into the timber but my 6kg leader quickly turned that scenario around! I hate busting bream off and heavy line is a must when working barnacle encrusted snags. We later worked blades out in deeper water and then just after lunch we pulled the yaks out and headed home having released 27 bream each. We have both put in more days since with the yaks and on each occasion we have released between 20-50 bream a session.

The best results have been with the Z-man grub for Dinga and sinking hardbodied lures for me. Right up on the shallow edge has been deadly at dawn and then out in deeper water towards lunchtime. The best results while bottom bashing in over 3m has been with blades that are ‘tea-bagged’ directly under the kayak. It's a nice little trick I showed another fellow kayak mate in Clark Wilson who not only nailed bream to 40cm but also horsed in some cracker EP while tea-bagging. He scored a new PB perch when he released a very fat and round 43cm EP. Clarkey was very impressed with my ‘Tetley Tweak’ technique and I'm sure he'll use it again because we ended up with 42 fish for the session.

Blades again

The best story for last and that goes to Mick Beaumont from Maffra. He asked me for a few tips on how to catch bream on blades, something he has always wanted to try. I gave him a few ideas to play with and he then headed off to Hollands Landing in his Hobie. He was on the water at the crack of dawn and started hooking bream straight away with a lure he still doesn't know the name of: some $3 blade he found in a tackle shop specials box up at Merimbula.

He lost count after about 30 bream landed and said at times it was a fish a cast. That's the beauty of deep bottom bouncing to schooling fish, you can really stack an impressive tally.

I take my hat off to Mick because he not only mastered the right technique without seeing how it was done by another angler, but he scored some very nice bream close to 40cm and repeated that effort the very next day! To sum it all up, right now is some of the best fishing in this area in over five years so rig up and get on the water.

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