Flatties Galore in Gippsland Lakes
  |  First Published: March 2005

There’s plenty to report on this month with the whole Gippsland Lakes system fishing better than it has for months.

The rivers are running clear, and the lakes are fishing well now that those roaring winds we were getting over the holidays have died down. Noticeably absent though are the prawns. I’m out with the flounder light at least twice a month over summer, and I still haven’t seen them show up in good numbers. While walking the flats at night, I’ve been dumbfounded at the incredible number of flathead spooking off in front of me; and as the water keeps warming up the bigger fish will continue to move in too.


The Mitchell has seen plenty of good bream move right up into the system and they are being caught all along the river and well past the highway bridge. Brett Clancy took the family out for a day, and watched his wife pull the first fish in, a 30cm luderick. They caught plenty of bream too, and although they were mostly undersize, he commented about how fit and healthy they looked. I’ve since heard that a good run of luderick are down near the cut and are taking worm.

The fishing is also hot in the The Tambo, and bank-side anglers are even pulling bream using soft plastics, proving that you don’t have to have a boat with a bow mounted electric motor to enjoy lure fishing. Small flatties are also moving in down at the mouth, and are taking worms and prawns intended for bream.

The Nicholson has beautiful clear water and bream are now showing up right along the river, with better numbers up past the highway bridge. Flatties are again surprising a few anglers – not only are they in good numbers but there are plenty of size fish too.


Seacombe is now starting to see clearer water as the summer easterlies push the salty water further towards Lake Wellington. I have fished it regularly over the last month and finally the carp have disappeared. This is when our native estuary species move back in. Bream, garfish, mullet, luderick and a few little flathead are all turning up for those putting in time and moving around to find the fish. Certain tidal movements can change conditions on a day-to-day or even hourly basis, and a slug of dirty water can slow the fishing down.

Holland’s Landing has seen a few big bream caught off the jetty on both worms and frozen prawns. I’ve tagged a lot of small flatties here and I saw plenty of boats parking around the woodpile area. I talked to anglers who had fished over in Tom’s Creek and they had all caught a few fish. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they returned a few bigger bream because these fish are better off left to breed for many years to come. This was truly music to my ears, and I’m sorry I didn’t get the names of those fellas. It’s those kind of people who will secure our fun for the years ahead. Dolphins are a regular sight in the straits and I wish they would leave my kayak and me alone! .


Lake Victoria still has flathead everywhere. Bigger fish over 45cm are turning up in very good numbers. Anglers who are taking it easy with a bit of trolling are getting plenty of tailor from 30-38cm.


The Avon and Latrobe rivers are again quiet and although water conditions have improved, fishing has been very slow.

Merimbula trip

I recently had a week in Merimbula, and spent a little time with Bushy, who lives up that way. We put in a day of fishing at one of his favourite haunts, using the squidgy “flick bait” plastics. Bushy had released nineteen bream, before I even landed my first! At the end of the day, after watching the master at work for hours, I was able to polarise the fish like him and cast to countless bream in the shallow clear water. My final tally was about 10 bream out of a total of 43 fish for the day. Watching bream to over four pound engulf or refuse to eat the unweighted plastics was heart stopping! Nearly every fish we caught was sight fished, and we also got flathead and a 46cm estuary perch. Bushy has yet again proven to be the undisputed guru of tricking bream with lures. Keep an eye out for his new squidgy video and a book he and Starlo are about to release.

Estuary perch are coming to their peak. The closer we get to Easter the more perch we should encounter on lures and baits.

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