With the holiday season behind us, and a lot less traffic on the water the local fishing scene is set to really fire up. With a wide range of species caught locally, it is a very exciting time to be fishing in East Gippsland.
The local jetties around Lakes Entrance have been a little slow during daylight hours, but after dark the bream and estuary perch have come out to play. Fish the shallow jetties of North Arm with shallow running minnows to 60mm on a super light leader to seduce the more cagey fish, anglers have reported full bags achieved within a few hours of the sun going down.
The bream higher up the Arm have been a lot more cooperative on the shallow banks for the bait fishers with some very healthy bream boated. Fresh caught local prawn has been the gun bait, though a few fish have fallen to a pilchard intended for the flathead that have been soaking up the sun in the early mornings. The flathead fishing has improved and some very nice fish up to 3kg have started to be reported by anglers who wade the shallow flats.
The bottom end of Cunningham Arm to the walk bridge has been the best ground to find a frog. Toss bright coloured deep diving lures such as the Aussie made StumpJumper that kick up plenty of sand to do the most damage, however plenty of fish take plastics in the same areas. Prawns are still in the system and it is shaping up to be a late running season for these tasty crustaceans. This run could continue until after Easter, providing yet another option for local and visiting anglers for a while to come.
There is enough pinkie snapper on the local reefs to fill the big boat bags very quickly, but the larger fish we usually see have been few and far between. The boats that venture out to find some under-fished ground are pulling the better fish but many miles are being done to locate them. The sharks have been steady, with a good number of gummy sharks caught on a wide variety of baits. They seem to be right up the coast and not too far from the beaches, which makes these fish accessible for even the smaller boats when the weather permits.
The big salmon finally showed up this month with 3kg fish taken from Bunga, Tyers and Pettmans Beaches. Crabs have been thick, but the anglers rigging two surf poppers and doing away with the bait altogether have had the best results. With some thumping double headers on offer, the sand can provide some of the most exciting fishing East Gippsland has to offer. Sharks have been a trickier, but the anglers working on them are sure it’s the abundance of crabs that steal the bait before the shark can hunt it down that is the cause, not the lack of fish – persistence is the key.
I have found it hard to fish anywhere else this month, with huge numbers of bream hunting the edges of what seems to be almost every bank on the Lake. The sight fishing over the past weeks has been as good as it gets. We catch a lot of bream tossing 40mm shads such as the infamous Eco Gear SX40 then slow rolling them back to the boat with little to no action required. You will have to work for the larger fish, but with the amount of attention your lure will receive it is a great time to brush up on your technique or even land your first bream on a hardbody. The flathead have been fantastic in the main Lake but if you are chasing a photo opportunity with a trophy flathead head high up in the Nowa Nowa Arm and start fishing!
Last week while surface fishing for bream in the Trident Arm in the early morning we managed to pull three flathead over 70cm – very exciting visually and a welcome by-catch with some heart stopping moments using a 4lb leader. If you are yet to fish at Lake Tyers make sure you add it to your places I must fish list, close to town plenty of camping spots and enough fish to keep the most experienced fishermen keen you will not be disappointed. Well that’s about it from Lakes Entrance this month but with so many options available to anglers this time of year it is a great place to spend a few hours or even days with family and friends hunting a few fish.Reads: 456