Mitchell River Bairnsdale is a bream home base
  |  First Published: February 2017

Just three hours from Melbourne and only a short drive from the centre of Lakes Entrance is one of the most iconic bream fisheries in the state – the Mitchell River. It’s home to some of the best bream fishing in the country and countless people, fishing clubs and competitions are held here all year round.


The Mitchell can be fished with great success any time. Bream fishing is exceptional in the winter months when the fish start to school up for pre-spawn. Cricket scores of fish can be caught during this time of the year and can make for some top-notch fishing.


Like most estuary fishing, a light 2-4kg graphite spin rod with a 2000 size reel is best when chasing bream and flathead. A reel spooled up with 6lb braid and a long 4-6lb fluorocarbon leader is ideal for casting lures at bream. You might want to bump it up a little if you fish the snags. Light leader doesn’t last long around barnacle-encrusted snags.


A couple of go-to softies for bream are the bloodworm Wrigglers in 80 and 100mm. These are the first plastic to tie on and cast out. Lucky Craft Chinu 55s are excellent for deeper water and Flash Minnows work for the flats. These are two deadly lures on both bream and perch in the river.


Targeting bream in the winter months, a quality sounder is essential. Locating schooled up bream in open water or along rockwalls and casting small blades to the fish is by far one of the best methods and most enjoyable ways to spend time on the water.


Dusky flathead rules and regulations have recently changed, so remember that the size limit for dusky flathead is now 30-55cm and the total possession limit is five fish per angler. Letting the bigger fish go will ensure stock levels of fish are maintained and the breeders are left to do their thing. Fish for the future.


It’s important to adjust the drag on your reel to suit the environment that you are fishing. When fishing for bream in snags you want to have it locked up making it easier to pull fish from the timber and not get busted off. Fishing in open water for bream and flathead having the drag backed off is best. You won’t pull as many hooks from fish, as you won’t be required to pull them from timber in a white knuckled affair.

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