Prawns galore
  |  First Published: April 2014

As summer ends most people are packing away the prawning gear until next year, but things are just starting to get going!

Cunningham Arm and the main channel around Bullock Island and Kalimna Jetty are firing on a run-out tide after dark, with majority of the prawns being kings between 5-9”. Walking the banks is the easiest way to catch them with a dip net and light, but anchoring outside the main channel on the shallow sand banks and dipping them as they swim past is also effective. Just be aware of other boat users and commercial operators who will be working in the area too.

With prawns comes the predators, and the lakes system seems to be alive! Reeves Channel has been fishing extremely well for big luderick on green weed. The weed has been a little hard to find but some of the locals have been collecting theirs from Lake Bunga or as far away as Marlo, but the results are well worth it with some huge blackfish to 55cm. The majority have been around 32-37cm but there's plenty of bigger fish mixed in amongst them.

Further up the channel along the deeper weed beds the whiting have been patchy so you have to move around a few times to locate them but, once found, stick with them. Peeled prawn, live shrimp or mussel is the best bait on a simple running sinker rig. As always a couple of hours either side of the tide change is best for the whiting. Plenty of small salmon, yellow-eye mullet and the occasional big yank flathead have found their way into anglers bags too.

The Cunningham Arm has been fishing well around the jetties for big silver trevally and flathead on pilchard fillets and large prawn-style soft plastics like the Zerek Live Shrimp in the natural colours.

Walking the sand banks has been excellent lately for flathead and some thumping yellowfin bream. Again soft plastics are fairing well but of late I've become a bit of a crankbait fanatic and have been doing well on the Atomic Deep Crank 38 and the new Savage range of crankbaits in the yellow prawn colour. Slow rolling these hardbodies along the drop-offs and reefy structure is a really addictive and it is a great way of covering more water.

The north arm has been fairly quiet but some nice luderick and bream have been caught under the highway bridge on live shrimp and sandworm fished on slack line. A few fatties have been caught behind the footy oval on whole pilchards and live garfish, which have also been caught on sand worm under a float.

Lake Tyers has been patchy due to large amounts of floating weed in the bottom lake. Some good bags of flathead and large bream have been taken from Trident Arm on live prawn, which have been in huge numbers. The upper reaches of the Nowa Nowa Arm have been fishing well for garfish and the occasional estuary perch on sandworm. Bream have been taken from the snags on live prawn fished under a small bubble float.

The surf beaches have been fishing well with some thumping big salmon and tailor being caught on the roughest of days, as they love the white wash caused by heavy surf. Whole pilchards on a paternoster rig is best, and spinning with metal lures is always a winner.

Some beautiful gummies have been caught during the day too in the deeper gutters and even the odd elephant shark and big flathead are coming in as well.

The LBG crews have struggled lately with the surf conditions and reports of big bronzies have been minimal, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. Whole tuna and salmon fished under balloons are the chosen technique.

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