Yanks in King and Victoria
  |  First Published: April 2006

With little rainfall, all of the rivers are running very clear. April is a great time to be out because it usually brings some of the best weather of the year with mild days and little wind.


The Mitchell has seen scores of anglers lining the bank right up to Bairnsdale, mainly chasing garfish. Flathead are also still on the go further downstream near the mouth. The bream have been patchy.

The Nicholson has some big bream snooping around in the clear water. My mates tell me they refuse to eat any sort of lure. If you want a real challenge and fancy catching a few of these fish, be prepared to do battle with bream to 3lb. Even those fishing bait say that these bream are seldom caught.

The Tambo is still the place to target small flathead around 35cm. Most anglers are getting their bag limit of five duskies. At the Johnsonville boat ramp, some huge bream have been spotted by those launching boats but these fish have also been very difficult to catch.


Down at Hollands Landing things have been very frustrating lately, with more of those wily black bream up to their normal tricks. Plenty of anglers report seeing some nice fish down there in the shallows, but as usual, they’re proving nearly impossible to hook.

I spent six hours there recently casting hard bodies, and although I landed two bream around 35cm, dozens of other fish simply wandered over and watched my lure or just followed it along for a while. It was a nail biting session that, in the end, left me totally exhausted. Watching so many fish rush up to my lure, only to turn away again at the last second wore me, and my patience, out.

There have been some strong easterly blows that have pushed dirty water up as far as Seacombe. This has definitely slowed the fishing right down. There’s still no sign of flathead and last years run of duskies are certainly taking their time to show up. Let’s hope they do soon.


Lake Victoria has seen anglers chasing luderick and garfish, while the odd mullet has turned up as well. I recently talked to commercial fisherman Matt Jenkins and he told me that some of the luderick he’s been getting are very thick set, fat fish. He predicts that anglers will have a ball with these fish over the next few months. Dusky flathead are again a stand out catch, although they can be patchy so move around and search likely areas.

Further east in Lake King, small whiting are about in huge numbers with most fish under 26cm. Take care in releasing your undersize catch.

I had a report of some large yank flathead turning up in the lakes. It’s easy to distinguish them from duskies because yanks have only one single dark spot on their tail fin. Duskies have several such spots. Refer to page 28 of your 2005/2006 Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide for an illustration.

Tale of a Tiger

The following is a brief description from Bruce Robinson about an unusual event that occurred down at Lake Victoria recently.

Big garfish have been around the Gippsland Lakes in good numbers after an absence of 20 years. My dad and about 15 other blokes were fishing for these elbow slappers from the jetty at Wattle Point. A guy sitting next to Dad saw a 1m tiger snake swimming about 50m from the jetty and brought it to everyone else’s attention. He pointed out a large black cormorant that had also spied the tiger snake.

The cormorant, probably not knowing what he was about to get himself into, started his approach. The gar fishing ceased while all watched with anticipation, wondering what was about to unfold. The cormorant dived and soon came up directly under the snake, which no doubt got the fright of his life thinking Jaws had just attacked him. For about 20 minutes a battle ensued with the cormorant finally coming out the victor. Once he got the snake’s head into his mouth the tiger was swallowed within a minute. With a shake of his head and a drink to wash the meal down, the bird then went about his business as if it was just another day!

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