Although the flatty catches have tapered off a little, the Gippsland Lakes are still producing good numbers of duskies. Of the 600 or so I’ve tagged in the last six months, some dusky flathead have shown incredible growth when recently recaptured. In one case, a fish caught at 39cm had grown 3cm in just seven weeks! Another dusky I tagged 12 months ago at 25cm measured a staggering 39cm when I recaptured it. That’s a growth of 14cm in one year, and the flathead are all very fat for their length.
All three rivers are really on fire at the moment, and I’m sure even more fish will show up through winter. Catches of small bream and mullet are keeping anglers busy baiting up with sandworm. Luderick and garfish are also biting well, and it pays to move around while trying to catch these fish, as they are schooling up in pretty big numbers. Flathead are still being caught right through the lower sections of the Mitchell River, despite the big number of anglers chasing them. Soft plastics are taking the majority of duskies, but don’t forget to try prawn or small whitebait, as you can then target bream at the same time.
Flathead and bream are pushing right up into the Nicholson River now, and plenty of anglers are finding fish well above the Junction and the Schools Road bend.
In the Tambo, some terrific bream have been turning up around the highway bridge, and a couple of perch have taken lures under the bridge itself. I also had reports recently of quite a few bigger flathead being landed in the Tambo, with some duskies over 50cm.
Hollands Landing and Seacombe have been very busy on the weekends. I counted around sixty boat trailers at both car parks recently on a Saturday, around midday. There was hardly a breath of wind and the sunshine had everyone in t-shirts – not bad for this time of year.
Needless to say all the talk was focused on flatties, and it was good to see everyone keeping to the five dusky flathead bag limit. My partner for the day, Paul Spehr, decided to try a few of the flathead on fly. He used a sinking line to reach the bottom in over 6m and before long, the hungry little duskies had no problems taking the slowly twitched fish pattern.
Some bream were also taking sandworm, while one clever angler was catching plenty of big luderick using soft shell as bait.
Adrian Line fished the Strait recently and returned over 40 flathead for the outing. He also used soft plastics to land bream around 30cm.
Again it’s the flathead taking all the glory in the lakes. A few brave anglers are ignoring the duskies and tell me the garfish are about in really big numbers. Try using breadcrumbs to get them on the chew, and before long yellow eye mullet should move in too. A few big trevally and smaller tailor are taking soft plastics for those keen enough to keep them off the bottom away from the ravenous duskies!
Luderick are still forming huge schools in Lake Wellington, with the fish all around 30cm. Only a few anglers are chasing them in the lake, and I am also guilty of ignoring the potential of this expansive untapped water. The best access into Lake Wellington is by putting your boat in at Marley Point, about twenty minutes drive from Sale. There are good parking facilities there, and an excellent boat ramp to cater for bigger boats or even large yachts.Reads: 650