Better off at Bemm
  |  First Published: July 2017

Bemm River is situated in East Gippsland along the shores of Sydenham Inlet, which is only a short 5-hour drive from Melbourne. It is famous for its exceptional fishing in both the lake and the river, where anglers target big bream and estuary perch along with tailor, salmon, trevally, luderick and some very big and healthy flathead.


The warmer months from November through to March offers very good lake and river fishing for most species that you are likely to encounter. The bream push up into the shallows and can be caught on a variety of methods.

As the weather cools and the icy cold mornings approach in winter, this is when the fishing really heats up. Large numbers of bream school up in the lake that can make for some exceptional fishing up there with the best in the country.

The large number of salmon also patrolling the surf beaches and the mouth of the inlet push weights in excess of 4kg, which sure gets anglers forgetting about the cold and the heart rate going.


With the large variety of species on offer a standard bream/estuary type outfit will be more than capable of getting the job done. A light 2-4kg rod with 6-10lb braid will knock over anything that's lurking in the lake and the river.


Depending on what species you want to target, the rig will change ever so slightly. A rod length of 4-8lb fluorocarbon leader tied to your braid with a double Uni knot is a very good start to ensure best results. All you have to do now is tie your ‘go-to’ lure on, and cast away.


All fishing methods work well at Bemm River. While sandworm and live prawns are gun baits, which can be collected there, the lure fishing is what has really taken off in the past decade. Lucky Craft Bevy Shads are deadly in the lake and down the front, as well as bent minnows in the shallows. The ever-reliable 80 and 100mm Squidgy Wriggler in bloodworm is still the all time best plastic at Bemm River.


Drift the lake and channel and cast vibe style lures into 2-4m of water and work them back to the boat with a slow lift and drop retrieve. Fishing the flats, work the edge’s and cast soft plastics and hardbodies and work them back to the boat with lots of pauses. Trolling in the channel is a great method if you want to chase tailor and salmon.


Remember that some of the bream and perch in the system may be older than 40 years of age. So put the big breeders back and take a few smaller fish for the table to preserve future stocks for years to come.


Always fish the wind blown banks as the bream and other species tend to be not far away, taking advantage of an easy meal that has blown into the shallows.

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