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No yawns when it comes to prawns!
  |  First Published: February 2016



The weather has heated up in East Gippsland over the past few weeks and opened up a wide range of fishing opportunities for both the holiday anglers and locals alike. With so many options available you may find it harder to choose a spot than to catch a feed.

Lakes Entrance

Fishing around Lakes has been steady for a few weeks now with good numbers of large black bream feeding on the influx of prawn the system receives over the warmer months. With the extra boat traffic on the water a lot of these larger fish have sought food and shelter in the quiet secluded bays and backwaters in both Cunningham and North Arms. Anglers sourcing their own prawn locally and fishing the shallow banks have achieved the best results. Fishing live fresh prawn before both the sun and boats hit the water will work wonders.

The whiting have slowed down considerably but anglers have still been finding the odd fish in and around the channel at Kalimna. Fresh mussel or peeled prawn has been the bait of choice, and fishing in a berley trail will only increase your chances as these fish have seen a lot of pressure in the past few weeks. The prawn run is now in full swing, and plenty of people have taken full advantage of the easily accessed sand flats Lakes Entrance has to offer. Taking the kids out prawning in the shallow warm water over the summer is a great way to show them what life is about in the Lake, and you can gather a feed for the family at the same time.

OffShore

Offshore has really started to fire up, with good numbers of gummy and school shark caught both out wide and in close to the sand. Oily baits like eel or bonito have seen some great catches, although the humble pilchard has accounted for a good number of fish. The snapper have been good out on and around the 6mi mark, and fishing the top of the tide with fresh bait will see the best results. There has been a lot of whale sightings lately off Lakes Entrance and one vessel almost come to grief after running into one of the large mammals – so please take care navigating out in the deep blue.

Beaches

The sand has not seen a lot of fish caught of late, but the quality of these fish is more than making up for the lack of numbers. Fish between the 2-3kg mark have shown up in the close gutters on most local beaches. Both bait and lure fishers have relished the late run of big buck salmon they thought they might not see this season. Matching up the turn of the tide with sunrise or sunset will increase your chances out on the beach, but if in the event of an overcast day, the fish hang around for longer periods of time.

Shark off the beach has been less consistent, however anglers putting in the time have been getting results eventually. With so much coast line in East Gippsland the sand can sometimes be the only quiet place over the holiday break.

Tyers

The bream fishing has been fantastic up high in the Nowa Nowa arm, and a good number of fish have taken up residence in the vast amount of timber that lines the banks. These fish are easily spooked, but the cunning anglers with light feet and lighter leaders have produced the goods. Small stick baits to 40mm have accounted for the majority of large bream, although light weighted prawn style plastics have seen big numbers of smaller fish landed. Bait fisherman are finding it hard to fill their bag if they are not prepared to move around, but plucking a fish or two off a snag then moving along to the next set of structure is proving a deadly and fast way to fill your bag.

Prawn has been the bait of choice, but more and more reports have emerged of anglers using chicken strips with great success. It’s not just the bream that have anglers attention on the lake, there has been large luderick haunting the drop-offs and weed edges in the main body of water. Peeled prawn fished under a light running sinker has seen fish to 2kg work anglers over – proving to be more than some anglers can handle with multiple bust-offs a session! Flathead in the lake have slowed down dramatically but can still be found in numbers with a little effort. We have been catching a few large flathead on surface lures intended for bream on the shallow sand flats. Having a large female flathead explode from the sand and engulf your lure off the top is one of the most exciting visuals you will ever experience fishing East Gippsland and if you are yet to experience such a strike you should consider giving it a red hot go. These fish have been taking lures such as Lucky Crafts Sammy 65, OSP Bent Minnows and Austackle’s Slinky Minnow.If you are holidaying in East Gippsland and want to keep up to date with local reports be sure to check out East Gippsland Fishing Reports on Facebook.

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