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Gippsland Bream Bite Back
  |  First Published: March 2006



The Gippy Lakes have turned it on again! We are right in the middle of the best fishing of the year and it’s great to see bream turning up in really good numbers with many anglers reporting some great catches.

It seems the bream are making some sort of comeback after many years of doubtful spawning events. It’s definitely a little early to declare a major recovery, but I think it’s important to at least recognise that bream catch rates have improved, and just maybe the new bag and size limits are helping.

I recently spoke with Errol Parmigiani, the Senior Fisheries Officer based in Traralgon, who was out in the field recently checking anglers’ licences and bags throughout the system. He commented on how most people were very pleased with the number of bream in their catch. He’s also found that most anglers were well aware of bag and size limits and very few people were breaking the rules.

I fished the Gippy Lakes with Mick Gned from Traralgon recently, and while I flicked my lures around in my kayak and failed to turn a fish, Mick absolutely cleaned up on sandworm. He returned well over 30 bream, with some of them over 40cm along with some handsome luderick as well. My frustration grew as my favourite lures failed miserably. In the end Mick gave me a handful of sandworms and one of his rods rigged with a light sinker. I caught some nice fish straight away, and got smoked by a couple of thumpers that shredded me in the snags! This is another reminder about how lurefishing for bream can be very tough at times, and just how deadly bait, and particularly sandworms, can be.

TAMBO, NICHOLSON & MITCHELL RIVERS

Flathead have again been the feature in all three rivers with better catches made at the mouth of each stream, but the duskies are also starting to push a fair way upstream as well. Bream have also been making a welcomed re-appearance and although size fish are hard to come by, the big numbers are a very good sign indeed. With the waters of all three rivers now running fairly clear, I expect the fishing to really fire up. The best tip I have for you, about fishing this time of year, is to be on the water before first light. Yes I know it’s a daunting task heading off in the dark, but give it a try and I’m sure you’ll get results.

THE McLENNAN STRAIT

Well the dolphins are back working in the strait and this usually means the fish are there as well. As I’ve mentioned before, most people think that the fishing shuts down when the dolphins show up. Unless they’re actively feeding, I think they have no impact whatsoever.

Some nice bream have turned up at Seacombe, along with luderick and even a few whiting, which seem to be turning up more often over the last few years. Sandworm has been the best bait and while talking to many anglers there recently, most bream have been over the legal size of 28cm.

Rick and Rob who run the Caravan Park and bait supply at Hollands Landing, have told me they are getting a handful of size fish on each outing, with the luderick turning up in surprising numbers. They say most people are getting a few bream, and even those fishing from the bank are doing alright. The flatties are still a little quiet but I’ve managed to find a few each time I get down there for a fish.

LAKE VICTORIA & LAKE KING

Word got around recently of a huge bream caught down at Loch Sport, out in Lake Victoria. The big girl was apparently measured at a staggering 57cm! I’m still trying to confirm the capture and chase a picture as well. If you have any news of this monster, forward the details to my email address above. It would certainly be one of the biggest bream I’ve ever heard of, probably nudging 6lb!

Some big duskies have been caught right up the North Arm down near Lakes Entrance with two flatties weighing around 3kg. Both were returned to the water.

Dave Morris flicked a few soft plastics around the Paynesville jetties recently, and watched with dismay as big bream turned their nose up at his offerings. With crystal clear water, the fish were slowly cruising around during the middle of the day under the jetties. Dave could see plenty of big bream over 40cm. I reckon these fish could be caught using the early morning first light tactics I’ve mentioned. Dave has had great success in the area before, pulling out plenty of bream from around moored boats using soft plastics. This area can hold a lot big fish at times. Be sure to check it out.

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