With Christmas now upon us it’s definitely time to get out and have a fish. That shocking algal bloom we experienced is all but gone, the weedbeds have grown back and the water is crystal clear – just like it used to be.
Lakes Entrance seems to be firing on all cylinders, regardless of what you’re chasing. Around the rockwalls the luderick have returned in large numbers. Their size has increased dramatically, with fish of 35-45cm being about average, and several already taken over the magic 50cm mark.
These fish have been caught the traditional way, using green weed under a float. If you’re unsure on how to set yourself up for this kind of fishing, the best way to learn is to go and have a talk to the guys catching the fish. It is a very addictive style of fishing.
The run-out tide is, as usual, the most productive tide to target the luderick. Caution must be taken though, as the rocks are either slippery or razor sharp, and have caused more than a few twisted ankles and cuts and bruises.
Another species that has finally made its return is King George whiting. Good numbers have been taken from the weedbeds around Kalimna and Barrier Landing on pipis, prawns, shrimp and mussel. Some exceptional fish are there for the taking, with most 30-45cm.
Flathead have also been about in good numbers and the bigger crocs have been caught right up in the shallows. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times. Soft plastics 3-4” long have been the standout way to target them. It has also been great to see most of these big fish being released to continue breeding. A photo of a live trophy fish being released looks much better than a big dead fish any day.
As the weather warms, don’t be surprised to see boats with their lights in the water of a night, as word has it the prawns are starting to appear. The odd sleepless night is on the cards, but then again a feed of fresh prawns is well worth it!
Lake Tyers has been fishing well too, with plenty of good bream been taken along the edges. We've been having a ball casting small surface lures up at the banks and working them slowly around rocks and weed beds. Sessions of 20-30 fish have been common, and most of the fish have been over 36cm.
Anywhere from the Trident Arm down to the Number 2 Boat Ramp is worth a shot. Unweighted peeled prawn will also do the trick.
The flathead have started moving down the system again and have started showing up around the Glasshouse area. To date I have only heard of one thumper of 85cm, but hopefully by December there will have been a few more caught.
The big tailor are still around and can be caught trolling metal lures. Unfortunately for us lure junkies the jumbo choppers also have taken a liking for our expensive little bream hardbodies, so if you’re chasing bream and get broken off without warning then tailor are probably the culprit. Some of these have been up to 80cm, so watch out for those teeth!
Offshore fishing has been weather dependant, but the guys getting out before the easterly winds pick up have been bagging out on pinkies and, closer in, scoring a few gummies and flathead on bluebait, squid and soft plastics. A few early reports of schools of striped tuna have filtered through, as have reliable reports of some solid bities, namely large threshers and mako sharks up to about 80kg.
The surf beach has been equally productive as the salmon are returning from their migration. It’s heart-racing stuff to see a huge black school of salmon drifting into casting range. They have been taken on the normal baits of pilchard, bluebait and white grubs, and have been terrific sport for the light tackle lure casters.
Most of the fish have been around 1.4kg, but plenty of much bigger sambos are mixed in with them, and the next 3.2kg fish I hear of won’t be the last.
The gummies have also started showing up and have been taken on squid and salmon fillets.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take care on the roads and I'll see you on the water.Reads: 1232