Winter bream and flathead at Coota
  |  First Published: July 2005

Winter water temperatures are well and truly here, and even local surfers seem to be avoiding the green-looking water. As there has been no rain to speak of, the entrance is starting to look like closing at low tide. You can walk across and hardly get your feet wet. The big seas of late have pushed a lot of water into the lake and raised its level, but as the seas drop, this water will run back out to the ocean.

Before the cold water arrived, flathead were still being caught in the northern facing bays of the front lake. Black and yellowfin bream are still being caught around Goodwin Sands but not in the numbers experienced a bit earlier in the year.

Snapper around 30-35cm were being caught in the front lake and in the narrows with fresh bait the best option. Fishing is starting to slow up for these fish and if the entrance closes, they will only get bigger.

For the next three months the focus on the fishing in Mallacoota will be at the top end of the system around Gypsy Point, with flathead and bream the mainstays of the fishery.

Estuary perch are another fish that will make its way to the front of the lake looking for the right salinity to spawn in.

With rain and river rises, bass will make their move to the brackish water zone, also in preparation for spawning. These fish are very slow, cold and nearly impossible to catch (as anyone who has made a trip to nearby Brogo Dam in the middle of winter will tell you). However, as soon as the water warms, it’s a different story.

A noticeable difference at this time of year is how sluggishly bream and flathead fight when hooked; even big bream just shake their head in disgust as you wind them to the boat, while flathead give a slow doggy fight. The good thing though is these fish bite well when located at this time of year, with mid-morning through to mid-afternoon often bringing about the best bite.

On the beaches, salmon were being caught prior to the last big blow, but now seem to have disappeared. When they will turn up in numbers is anyone’s guess, but it shouldn’t be long. Good fishin’ – Capt Kev.

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