Water slower to cool
  |  First Published: June 2006

Like many of the region’s estuary systems, Mallacoota Lake and the Betka River are now closed off to the ocean after prolonged lack of rain and plenty of big seas.

This means the water will cool down slower within the lake than when the system was open to the ocean because the cold water from Bass Strait won’t push in.

All species of fish will be caught anywhere in the system. Unlike other years when there can be a distinct change of water temperature, the temperature should be uniform and therefore fish should remain spread throughout the entire system.

Years ago it was uncommon for a big estuary like Mallacoota to be closed off to the ocean but now it is a common occurrence.

The fishing of late has been good with plenty of legal flathead to 45cm caught in the deeper water in the Front Lake with good catches around the John Bull channel marker. Big schools of whitebait are present right through the system, making whitebait a good choice of bait and any lure that imitates a whitebait a good selection.

The bigger flathead have been caught in the shallower water around the margins of the lake. Bigger lures like the Firebait Excel Minnow in colour No 22 have been catching plenty of bigger fish.

Yellowfin bream have been caught around the weed beds of the Front Lake with nippers and lures both working. Hard-bodied lures, such as the Strike Pro Pygmy in the yellow-bellied model, have been working exceptionally well.

Plenty of smaller black bream are being caught. The bigger fish have been a bit scarce of late but the rivers and creeks are holding plenty of these smaller fish.

Estuary Perch are being caught from the usual snags but, as is typical of this species, they are on one day and shut down the next.

Salmon are being caught along the beaches with plenty of good gutters to choose from. Metal lures and pilchards are both working well.

Rowan Johnston with a yellowfin bream caught on a pumpkinseed Baby Hoodaddy

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