Something different for the land-based angler
  |  First Published: April 2017

This month’s article focuses on options for the land-based fisho that are by no means a secret, but are often overlooked: tidal suburban lakes. These lakes are dotted around our local area on this side of the border and just to the north, and they are well worth a look. They can produce some of the best light tackle sportfishing around.

I can think of at least six of these waterways within 10 minutes of my house, and they all hold a range of species and a variety of ways in which to target them. Generally they all hold a massive amount of bait, the tidal run is reduced and the water temperature can be 2-3°C warmer than the main river. All you need to do is adjust your usual game plan to suit the conditions.

I spend most of my time working the inlet/outlet pipes where there is tidal flow, as the bait tends to get pushed around here and the predators are usually in waiting. Like a dam, you will also find that the wind will push bait to different sides of the lake, so it pays to take this into consideration too.

One of my favourite things about these lakes is the ability to scale down your main line and leader size, grab a bream weight outfit and a small box of lures and tangle with species such as giant herring and tarpon, trevally and mangrove jack, and your usual bread and butter species as well.

Throwing surface stickbaits like Bassday Sugapens or Atomic K9 Bulldogs is a really exciting way to get into some lake dwellers. Small, lightly weighted soft plastics can also be dynamite when the sun’s up. Even the humble slug gets a run from time to time, accounting for plenty of catches over the last ten years or so that I have been fishing the lakes.

A slightly bigger offering such as 4” paddle-tails will get the attention from the red fish. When one belts you on the light line, you will well and truly know about it. Without the structure from their more natural environment, you can take your time and enjoy the fight without locking up and dragging them out like you would in the main river. Twitching suspending minnows can rack up a few catches too, so be sure to have a couple in your tackle box.

The bream fishing at times can be insane, so I like to cover ground when targeting bream in the lakes. Some 2” grub-tails are probably the place to start. If I find the fish are playing the game, I’ll usually try a small Bent Minnow to get them fired up and fighting over my lure. Smaller crankbaits work really well over the flats too, and you can often sight cast to these fish, which is also super exciting.

April is a great month for fishing and it’s a bit more comfortable during the day. These lakes can provide some great entertainment, without the jet skis or wake boats. With Easter on this month, they might be just the answer to get away from the crowds.

Please be safe and courteous out on the water over Easter.

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