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Wild predictions sure to fire
  |  First Published: March 2014



It is not often I stick my neck out with wild predictions, especially about fishing, but I'm going out on a limb here by saying that the next few months will provide the best bream, mullet, perch, bass and flathead action we have seen for a long time.

There, I've said it! I have probably put a curse on it all and floods will soon arrive, but so far all the signs are looking just perfect.

Clean bill for Gippy Lakes

Just a quick answer to a few emails I recently took about water quality. First of all there is no sign of any algal blooms this summer and weekly monitoring by the authorities show all common species of algae are at very low levels.

Secondly, because of decreased flows in the Latrobe and Thomson rivers, the salty clean water has now pushed right up into Lake Wellington. This is when things really start to hot up when the brackish waters encourage big bream to the mouth of the Latrobe River and the shallow margins of Lake Wellington.

Hungry bream and flathead

Hungry bream have come along with the clean warm water and I've been following them up into the western part of the lakes over the last two months. At first I found them around the shallows of Raymond Island and Mason Bay then they moved up to Storm Point. Other hot spots have been Newlands and Duck Arm and the Mitchell flats.

Right now the bigger bream are pushing up into Lake Wellington and also the upper reaches of the Nicholson and Tambo rivers. It is the shallow water lake fishing that has been very exciting for lure anglers and it will get even better.

Josh Morgan from Stratford is the real star at the moment with 17 bream one morning near Wattle Point. He was using a Z-Man Grub in motor oil and searched the vast sand flats in his kayak. His first five bream in order went 43, 40, 44, 45 and 43cm! Luring for bream does not get any better so I went for a look soon after and managed a modest 13 bream with my best six around 41cm, all caught on a Micro Max hardbody in very skinny water.

My next trip I searched the edges and deeper areas of Bull and Bandin bays. I got my first bream, which went 44cm, on a sinking hardbody. I ended up with 29 bream and 7 flathead for the session and I got most of my fish using blades in the shallows with a quick ‘hop and rip’ retrieve. The best thing about this method is you can cover vast amounts of water quickly and, apart from an increased flathead by-catch, you also establish where the bream are hiding and at what depths.

Speaking of the duskies, they have now started to really fire up and I'm finding most of them between 40-50cm. I have also found huge numbers of tiny flathead about 8-10cm, which seems to suggest a major spawning event last year.

The waters right across the Gippy Lakes have cleaned up now and the carp have nearly all retreated into the upper rivers. These are the cues that make me realise the fishing is really going to hot up from now on. Bring it on!

Tailor in the Mitchell

This nice report was sent to me and demonstrates an effective, easy and enjoyable way to get on the water and fish.

A family of four, Matt and Jayne in one double kayak with Gemma and Damian in another, decided to troll the lower Mitchell River between the Silt Jetties. They set themselves a target to get a few tailor for dinner that night. They paddled away quietly with soft plastics out the back and eventually landed a good feed of fish with tailor to 32cm. The family persevered and battled wind and rain so it was a good effort indeed.

Metung

Another worthy mention is the Metung area where big schools of pinkie snapper have invaded the region. If you work the deeper waters around the jetties with small blades or soft plastics then expect to catch one with nearly each cast. Great fun for kids and even keeps mum and dad occupied.

A lot of yellowfin bream are also lurking in the same area but proving a little harder to trick. We have seen schools of them sitting under moored boats all around 28-30cm, but will not take a lure. I have found that getting on the water at first light is the key to getting bream in this area and it's also the best time to work the shallows for big flathead.

Bass

I have to also pass on the news about the ever growing numbers of stocked bass being caught. Lake Glenmaggie seems to be the hotspot at the moment although Blue Rock Dam is still getting its fair share of attention.

Even more exciting is that all the rivers that pour into and out of these impoundments are now producing big numbers of bass to 38cm, but most of them are around 25cm. These are exciting times as this bass fishing gains momentum because even new chums to the sport are getting up to 20-30 bass on their very first try.

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