While the weather has been nothing short of sensational, the fishing has slowed as the water temp drops and the fish head for deeper water.
Starting with Lake Tyers the bream have made their way into the deeper sections and now is the time to start throwing metal vibes and drop shotting plastics into the schools. From the Glasshouse to Camerons Arm have been best, in depths around 3.5-5m for the most consistency.
Some huge trevally have been found around Camerons Arm and are taking slowly fished soft plastics, like Gulp Worms and Squidgy Critters on light jigheads. Some nice flatties are being taken in the upper reaches of Toorloo Arm and the Nowa Nowa Arm on soft plastics dragged slowly along the muddy drop-offs and weed edges. Savage Prawns and Zerek Live Shrimp are a good option as both are designed as weedless lures and can be dragged through some nasty timber and weed without fouling up.
Garfish have been in good numbers around the Nowa Nowa boat ramp and are easily caught on sandworm or bread fished under a float. Around the glasshouse there have been huge schools of tailor, with the majority being between 50-65cm which are awesome fun on bream weight spin gear! It’s not hard to find the schools just look for birds diving and fish tearing up the surface. Casting metal slugs, shallow diving minnows and even soft plastics into the schools and cranked back are a sure bet to hook some thumper tailor.
Lakes Entrance has seen good numbers of big silver trevally, salmon and tailor widespread throughout the system. Most of the action is taking place from Bullock Island to Nungurner Jetty, where schools of fish can be easily spotted tearing up schools of whitebait on the surface.
Trolling with small metal lures, shallow running minnows or clouser type flies is a fun way to catch them, especially if you have kids. Bait fishing with whitebait or pilchard is the other best method. Some good size pinky snapper and large numbers of blue spot flatties have been caught around Nungurner too, and surprising numbers of the large bulleye gurnard are being taken in the lake too.
The weed beds around Kalimna are still producing whiting in patchy numbers, at its fair to say it has been a pretty dismal season. A few leatherjacket have been caught along the rock walls on squid strips and peeled prawn. Luderick have been a little slow around the rocks but there have been a few starting to show up around the town jetties on green weed and live shrimp.
Rumours had been filtering through of several mulloway being caught locally by dedicated local anglers who have been fishing all night using live baits. Mulloway are the ultimate prize in the estuaries and these guys have been working extremely hard for their fish, and have landed them this season up to 110cm.
Live salmon, tailor or slimy mackerel are as good as anything. Look for deeper drop-offs with tidal eddies, which offer the mulloway a prime ambush point, and focus your attention on the main tide changes.
Another surprise in the lake has been calamari. While not in huge numbers there have been a few caught along the weed beds in Cunningham arm. It pays to have a few squid jigs in the box just in case you find a patch, as they will quite often attack a soft plastic but fail to hook up. Look for weed beds in the 1.5-3m depth and you may be surprised!
The surf beaches have been fishing well, the odd gummy is still being caught in the early evenings on salmon strips and squid legs, and good salmon and tailor are being landed on bluebait. Some days the red weed has been an issue but generally it has been pretty good.
Again spinning with metal lures and large poppers on calm days will fire up a few salmon. Fishing with light estuary outfits and using pipi or sandworm for bait on a running sinker rig should see you catch some big mullet. These are great fun and taste fantastic when eaten fresh. They can generally be seen cruising the waves and can be a great way to spend a morning on the beach.
Offshore has been good along the 6 Mile Reef for school size pinky snapper and morwong. A few nannygai have been in the mix as well, and some thumping winter gummies in around 30m of water have been taken.
The coota have been thick in spots, some days making it impossible to get a rig to the bottom as they attack anything that moves. That said though, coota has been the pick of the baits for gummies while the snapper and morwies have been caught on pilchard and fresh slimy mackerel.
A few boats have been running out to the shelf in search of a jumbo bluefin but so far have drawn a blank. Some smaller makos have been hooked around the Horseshoe, but general reports are things have gone quiet out wide.
The rivers have really fired up with the fish moving well upstream and into the deeper pockets. Some good fish are still being caught along the edges but most are being encountered on the secondary drop-offs and deeper snags and rock bars.
Sandworm and peeled prawn are providing the best results for the bait anglers, while metal vibes and lightly weighted soft plastics are doing well for the lure gurus. One technique worth trying is drop shotting plastics in schools of bream. A basic drop shot rig is similar to a paternoster rig and the idea is to suspend the plastic in the schools; it can be deadly on the right day. Creature Baits, like the Damiki Monster Miki and Berkley Bulky Hawgs are perfect for this style of fishing. So get out and give it a go!Reads: 775