Winter has hit us hard, with cold days and colder nights dropping the water temperatures. Good news is that the fishing has not gone cold. There are still plenty of opportunities to be had, if a little bit of thought goes into the time you spend on the water.
The local jetties have been the focus this past month and there has been some cracking fish caught from them. Early mornings have seen some trophy bream taken from the structure by both bait and lure fishers, especially if you can match dawn with a rising tide. Fresh local prawn and spider crab fished un-weighted and floated down the structure has been the go-to method for success – but be prepared to be smoked, as often as you land these big fish, they are very cunning and know how to avoid the net.
Upgrading your line is not the answer as these fish have ignored most bait in the very clear winter water unless fished as light or lighter than 3kg. It’s a case of hook-up, hook-in and pray they don’t wrap you around the jetty, it’s real heart in the mouth fishing. Micro vibes or lightly weighted plastics have seen some great fish landed, but can be quite expensive. Once you have lost a handful of lures to these turbo charged fish it is really a case of fortune favours the brave! I wish you luck.
Last month I reported Lakes Entrances first recorded swordfish, and I thought this would be the story of the year for the deep blue crews – but I was wrong. Last week a crew fishing beyond the oil rigs landed a bluefin tuna on a bait intended for a sword and it was a real barrel. This capture has sparked interest from not just local anglers but the entire game fishing community of Victoria.
It’s amazing, I never thought our humble town would ever be a viable game fishing port but the way things are shaping up I am sure these fish will become more common than not. Being a lot closer to Melbourne than other options we are sure to see more boats leaving Lakes for their chance to tangle with marlin, swords and now tuna. This is great news for Lakes, as it will bring in some much needed tourism dollar.
The sand has finally started to turn on some hot fishing with the cold weather we have received. The salmon have turned up on all the local beaches and those who brave the cold have landed some nice fish to 2kg on both bait and metal lures. Two hours either side of the high tide fishing with blue bait and surf poppers on a paternoster rig has seen the best of the fishing, although the better fish have come from metal lures fished a lot closer to the shoreline.
This great local lake never ceases to amaze me. The fishing out there has been steady, but it’s the variety of big healthy fish that has caught most people’s attention. Some great bags of leatherjacket have taken in the main lake on peeled prawn and metal vibes. The bream have started to school up in the deeper water of the arms and fishers using metal vibes have started to report cricket scores of fish to 40cm fished in 12-16ft of water.
A good sounder is almost essential to locate these fish as they move daily, but once located, a full bag is all but assured. The tailor in the lake are out in force and some of these fish are true green backs. Local anglers have reported fish to 72cm, that have made a mess of the unsuspecting angler more often than not. Tailor are underrated as a table fish, but they are a great chew and a much more sustainable option than bream or perch when prepared properly, bled and cooked fresh on a BBQ.
There have been some great perch to 40cm caught in the snags and off the weed edges of the Nowa Nowa arm lately on plastics and hardbodies intended for bream. Although perch have become a common capture in the lake, it is still advised to take a quick photo of these fish and release them back to the lake so their future is assured.
That’s it for Lakes Entrance and surrounds this month, and if you are planning a trip to the area I suggest you rug up and stock up on tackle as there has been some great fish caught. Things are shaping up for a great winter; so don’t let the cold weather put you off. Rather, get excited and be prepared to tangle with some real trophy fish.Reads: 259