It has been an unusual year so far this year as the weather has been all over the place. There hasn’t been the usual run of warm weather, however it doesn’t seem to have effected the fishing too badly.
March is recognised as a great month in the estuaries. The peak holiday period has passed, reducing traffic on the water and extending the bite periods for those keen anglers getting out on the water.
Key target species in the estuaries will be luderick, bream, whiting and there are generally some stonking flathead around as well. There are a few key areas to target luderick; the many jetties around Lakes are hotspots as well as Bullock Island and the rock walls at Kalimna.
Bream can be targeted in the same areas and fresh local baits are always the best. Shrimp, prawns, live Bass yabbies and sand worm will all produce the goods.
Whiting have been a little harder to find, as they tend to be in the areas that receive the most boat traffic. Try around the tide changes, fishing the weed edges and drop offs in the main channel and around the footbridge. These are also great places to pick up the odd flathead, so be prepared.
A good option when targeting these bread and butter species is to set up a berley trail. Chicken pellets mixed with a bit of tuna oil, pilchard pieces and any fish scraps you may have can make the difference between a quiet session and taking home a feed. A bonus with a berley trail is that you are almost guaranteed to attract garfish to your areas and these can be a great feed in themselves and great fun to catch, especially if you have kids on board.
As mentioned last month, the prawn run is at its best now and should continue through March, so take advantage of any warm balmy nights and give it a try.
The beaches will continue to fire throughout March. There are plenty of target options as well and there should be plenty of big salmon around plus gummy shark with the odd bronze whaler. Fresh strip baits and squid are the gun baits.
The offshore fishing has continued to improve, with snapper numbers improving and the size of the fish have ensured a nice feed for the angler.
Gummy shark are also out and about and can be a nice by-catch when targeting the snapper. West of the pipeline on the shallow reefs is always worth a try and the best baits will be whole pilchards, squid and salmon strips. These areas are also great to drop a soft plastic for snapper. It gives you the option to use lighter gear and can again result in a nice feed.
It pays to be prepared, as the odd kingfish can be found at this time of the year, so have a heavier rod rigged with a stickbait or a popper ready to go if these bruisers turn up.
The Lakes Entrance Flathead Classic is on again this year. It runs over the long weekend in March and is a great fishing event. It has something for the serious angler or the family just wanting to go out and have a fish. For details contact the Gippsland Lakes Fishing Club.Reads: 320