The great fishing of early winter has come to a grinding halt. Windy days have not helped the situation, although there are still plenty of anglers trying their luck. Most of them have caught very little.
In other news, the Fishcare program recently celebrated its tenth birthday. Members from all over the state attended a conference at Lakes Entrance. I was fortunate enough to be invited and participate in one of the many workshops. There were other speakers from various fishing related backgrounds, both commercial and scientific. Keith Bell, who has created a very successful business by harvesting carp, gave a fascinating rundown on how he markets these feral fish to ever-increasing local and overseas markets. Keith mentioned that his small team is able to harvest about three tons of a carp a day. Nice work!
Also having a big impact on the group was senior scientist Paul Brown from the Snobs Creek campus of PIRVic. His topic was on habitat management and recreational fishing. He showed us underwater footage from down amongst the many snags of the Tambo and Snowy rivers. There were plenty of bream milling around the sticks, as well as a few eels and the odd estuary perch. By far the two most dominant species spied on were flathead gudgeon and, quite to our surprise, huge numbers of luderick. Paul also told the group an interesting story about filming in the Tambo. He was watching for several hours, as a group of anglers failed to raise a fish. When the group finally packed up their rods and headed home, Paul decided to drop the camera down into the area they’d been fishing. Surprisingly, there were heaps of fish, big and little, happily swimming around. If you ever thought our Gippsland rivers were short on fish, then think again. Maybe we just have to find better ways of catching them!
There are still a few flathead turning up in the Tambo, right up to the Blue Hole. Bream are taking lures in the first hour of light. During the day, smaller fish are being hooked on worm.
I fished the Nicholson recently, above the railway bridge, and found the going tough. I fished lightly weighted plastics into some really good structure and only landed one 28cm bream. I encountered only a few boats while on the water and everyone was finding it hard to find any quality fish.
Mullet have saved the day in the Mitchell, but by all reports they have been a little hit and miss. The bream and flathead have been even harder to find.
Times are really tough down at Hollands Landing and Seacombe at the moment. Chris Burbidge from Melbourne was one of about a dozen anglers who fished there recently, chasing bream with lures. Sadly, all parties failed to turn a fish. This certainly backs my theory that this time of year can test the patience of even the best anglers in this area of the Gippy Lakes. Not withstanding this, Tom’s Creek is still producing a few size bream and flathead.
A surprise for most anglers fishing these lakes has been good numbers of whiting up to 40cm. Fishing off the jetty at Wattle Point is worth a try.
Scores of garfish are also in the area. Sandworm under a float is the best option. Although plenty of flatties are around, they’re basically ignoring baits and are even reluctant to chase soft plastics.Reads: 771