The Gippsland Lakes area is well known for its fighting fish, and currently there is great opportunity for keen anglers to get out on the water and chase down some big ones.
At Lakes Entrance, the jetties and rock walls have not produced the expected run of bream and luderick that has normally been seen at this time of year. As a result anglers have turned their attention to other species such as silver trevally a fish that has been prolific on the incoming tide. Bullock Island jetty has been the platform of choice and the best results have come from local prawn, fished under a running sinker or small metal fish Patten vibes worked slowly along the bottom. Yellow eye mullet have been haunting Cunningham arm and have been easily located with the help of working birds. These fish have been readily taking sandworm fished under a float, giving locals and visitors alike hours of entertainment. With the weather warming up it will not be long before the annual dusky flathead run.
With the introduction of the 55cm slot limit, good numbers of large female flathead up to 5kgare caught and released over the spring and summer months every year. Anglers in the know have chosen to use large prawn imitation lures - worked over the sand flats - to successfully catch flathead. However, a well presented fresh bait will also tempt any sunbaking dusky in the warmer shallow water.
Local beaches have been a reliable option with good numbers of salmon up to 1.5kgworking the bait schools close to shore. The later stage of the rising tide has been the most productive giving anglers the opportunity to tackle these fish on ultra-light spin gear with ease. Many anglers are choosing to leave the long poles at home, opting to toss small metal slugs to 25g. With their spin rods fishing as light as 1kg anglers are proving salmon is not only a challenge but also a great sports fish from the sand.
Reports of gummy shark caught at dusk from Pettmans Beach certainly roused the fishing community’s attention and it won’t be long before the capture of these fish becomes more consistent. Fresh salmon fillets or squid will see you tangle with a local gummy shark but if the crabs are thick tougher bait such as cured eel may be required to keep that bait in the water long enough for a shark to sniff it down.
Lake Tyers has recently opened giving schooling fish the opportunity to make their way up the arms of the Tyres system for their annual spawn run. Most notable is the recent but irregular captures of estuary perch in the system. It has been well over a decade since these highly sort after sports fish has been in Tyers in numbers and it has locals buzzing for the upcoming spring. Targeting these elusive fish can be tricky in any system, but a well presented plastic on a weedless rig fished deep in the structure is a great place to start searching for this Gippsland icon. There has also been some great captures of black bream to 1.5kg reported by anglers working the weed edges in the Nowa Nowa and Trident Arms. Local prawn, spider crab, as well as deep diving minnows such as the Diawa Double Clutch or Strike Pros Bass X in natural colours have been a deadly way to target these fish that patrol the weed edges of the lake’s many drop offs.
Cold water has not stopped large female flathead to 3kg being landed by the unsuspecting bream angler in the same areas. This has provided a welcome side catch and some great photos for the album before the release of these breeding fish to go on and fight another day. With the lake opened, the water level is low and care should be taken navigating the system, there are many sand and mud flats that should be avoided to save that long wait and embarrassing tow off the flat.Reads: 425