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Hot hook ups in the cold
  |  First Published: April 2014



The news is better than good. There is so much to report on I can't decide where to start!

To begin with, there are still no algae outbreaks within the lakes with populations at very low levels. It's a healthy system with massive schools of mullet, baitfish and tailor spread from Kalimna right through to Hollands Landing.

The bream fishing has been outstanding and will continue to please bait and lure anglers for the next few months. Exciting times ahead.

Monster dusky

Doug Jarvis has a holiday unit in Metung and invited me onto his boat recently to show me where good numbers of flathead were living from Chinamans Creek right down to Nyerimlang.

We quickly raised some nice flathead and a number of pinky snapper on soft plastics and blades. Doug caught a whopping 92cm flathead and told me he has waited decades to land such a trophy fish; he was one very happy angler.

Flathead have been a little sparse this year and I put that down to the boom and bust or cyclical theory. Every 3 or 4 years we see their numbers explode followed by a few slower seasons. At the moment tiny flathead 15-20cm are turning up everywhere I look so maybe we can expect 2016 to be one of the boom years.

To find good numbers of duskies during the next few months try the Mitchell Flats and the lower sections of the Tambo River.

Bream time again

To sum up the bream fishing in a word: wow! The next three months will be even better and bream anglers are in for a real treat; floods pending of course.

My favourite story comes from Bob Smith of Warragul who asked me where to take his two grandsons fishing for bream. Being land-based was of no concern and I suggested the jetties of Metung as their first stop. The two boys Mason and Kaden Famuina were delighted to pull in pinky snapper with just about every cast. Despite not being the target species, they still had great fun.

Their next try was the Upper Tambo and from the very first cast the boys were into bream for hours. More super fun but every bream was just a whisker shy of legal size.

Their last stop was the Hollands Landing wharf and Bob armed the boys with a box of sandworms for even more success. This time some better fish over 30cm kept the boys busy and left Bob very happy and proud. His mission was to introduce the kids to catching bream and even showed them how to prepare and cook the catch. Mission completed with three very happy campers and what a joy to hear young boys getting out for a fishing experience.

Sight fishing

Lure fishing for bream is really starting to hot up and I need pages to tell you just half of it. The highlight is that the bream will continue to work the shallows and hold up high on structure for months to come. This means plenty of sight casting to big fish and with gin clear water in all the rivers and most of the lakes. The sport has been extraordinary and it doesn't matter where you go.

Over five trips with different mates recently, we have all enjoyed some champagne fishing in the shallow edges of Lake Victoria and all the three rivers. To watch dozens of bream cruise up to a surface lure and slurp it down, leaves a grin a mile wide stamped on my face. The only down part about that method is the hook up rate; to land 2 bream out of 20 hits would be a new world record! It may be frustrating but you have to give this top water luring a go.

Bent Minnow lures are an amazing weapon and I still can't quite work out why they are so deadly, but you can have success with any sort of surface popper. We have also been throwing unweighted plastics while sight casting to bream, especially under moored boats or high up on jetty pylons and the rewards have been up to 43cm. It's nothing to see 30 or 40 bream crowding around one jetty or under a moored boat, but it's another thing to hook them!

Homemade crabs

Mark Ramsay from Traralgon has been making crab lures for about a year now and recently stacked an impressive 34 bream on them during an afternoon at Loch Sport with his good mate Scott Findlay. Of huge interest was their 10 yellowfin bream and it further confirms their numbers are on a steep rise.

Mark took me out for a day of ‘crabbing’ and all I can say is I'm hooked! We landed 20 bream and 22 flathead for the day and I can't wait to do it again. We launched at Paynesville and worked the huge expanse of the northern Lake Victoria edge right up to Storm Point. Yet again the sight fishing was a standout. Discovering new lures and methods of catching bream is what keeps all of us so addicted.

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