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Tough time of year
  |  First Published: December 2004



When it comes to fishing the Gippsland Lakes area, this time of year has always been tough going for me – and that has certainly been the case again recently.

My fellow anglers are also really finding it hard to land a decent fish. Before I write up my report, I do a ring around to a few fishing buddies in the know, for any last minute and up to date info, and they have been very quick phone calls, indeed!

Every year, the early spring rain start to colour the local estuary waters and slowly this seems to push the fish further and further down into the Gippsland Lakes system. Over the past few years of drought, this event has been less pronounced and the fishing bounced back very quickly. This year, however, with significant rain feeding all the major catchments, the fresh has come down with force. With it, comes the very dirty water of the Latrobe River, that in turn ends up affecting McLennans Strait. Many other rivers in the system are also in high flow, with some running dirtier than others.

TAMBO, NICHOLSON and MITCHELL RIVERS

The Mitchell, at least, is running quite clean, but the fresh has had a big impact on the fishing. I did get news of some bream to 43cm down at The Cut, but many a baited sandworm was left untouched. On the Bairnsdale-Paynesville Rd, opposite Shadoof Lodge a few small bream have also fallen to bait, however many hours were put in to get results.

The Tambo, which usually shines at any time of year, is also proving a tough nut to crack. I briefly fished right up the river near the Blue Hole and found dirty water and carp. The absence of any bank anglers also told an obvious story. Right down near the mouth of the river, a few dedicated souls were finding the odd bream.

The Nicholson has been very quiet, even though it seems less affected by coloured water. Not as many people target the Nicho’, but I reckon it deserves more attention. I’m certainly also guilty of driving past the Nicholson too many times, and I still maintain it looks the ‘fishiest’ river of the area.

McLENNANs STRAIT

Seacombe has really been hit hard by very dirty water. Amazingly, I saw a few very small bream landed on sandworm there while I flicked lures into the snags. I failed to turn a fish. A few other boats were out with me, but between the jumping carp and constant drone of sandflies and mozzies, I think most of us were happy to head home.

Hollands Landing has also been super tough due to the muddy water, but with more anglers about, a few fish have been caught from the jetty. I put one morning in down there, fishing from first light until about 10am. Just on dawn I found two bream one at 38cm and a very fat fish of 45cm. Things were otherwise shutdown. I did see a couple of big mullet and a few small bream landed by some guys up towards the Woodpile, using sandworm. Toms Creek has been fishing a bit better, with reports of bigger bream.

LOCH SPORT

Loch Sport is one area that is fishing ok, with mullet there year round. A few nice bream are also turning up. Fishing anywhere along the lake foreshore, with a box of worm should find you a few fish.

LAKE WELLINGTON

If you’re into catching carp and eels, Lake Wellington could be the hotspot of the state! The rain is certainly a welcome thing, but when you’re an angler you just want the water to clear to bring the fish back. Then again, without these rain events, our Gippsland Lakes would suffer in the long run. Both rivers feeding the lake, the Avon and Latrobe have not seen many anglers.

This Toms Creek bream was caught on an RMG Scorpion hard-bodied lure. The fish was tagged and released, of course!

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