Luderick reappear at Bemm
  |  First Published: February 2009

There is plenty of great fishing on offer here at Bemm River, with the lake, river and surf all firing. Over the past six months or so we had seen a gradual decline in the numbers of luderick caught, but I’m happy to report that it looks like another big school has entered the lake.

The luderick have spread pretty much throughout the whole lake and can be readily caught using sandworm fished either under a float or on the bottom. The average size is around 1kg, with the biggest specimens weighing in at around 2kg. They are great sport on light tackle and are really at their best around the boat, where they can wrap themselves around outboard legs, poles and anchor ropes.

With all the luderick around, the bream have found it hard to get a look in, but anglers that have been prepared to move and try different baits have been rewarded with some excellent catches of quality fish. With the warmer water it’s a good time to target the bream up on the shallow sand flats. This requires a bit of stealth to keep noise to a minimum. A bit of ripple on the water is preferable, with still sunny conditions making things pretty tough. You can use bait or lures to target these fish, with small shallow-running hardbodied lures a good option.

There also seems to be a fair number of bream up in the river. These are more likely to be caught using lures than bait. These fish are schooled up in around the snags but will journey into open water and mix in with the schools of poddy mullet. Once again hardbodied lures are working well, with a few also caught on soft plastics with resin heads.

The flathead have been a bit disappointing although there have been a few good ones of 4kg landed. I’m not sure what makes one year better than another, but it would seem that the flatties are in better numbers down the channel when the entrance is closed from December to March. The big females are usually full of roe and I presume spawning at this time. Maybe the entrance needs to be closed to provide the right conditions for them to spawn. Walking around the shallows of the lake I have seen very little sign of them either, so I really don’t have any answers as to where they are.

The shark fishing off the beaches continues to be excellent with plenty of gummies caught in the past couple of months. There has also been some good-sized school, seven-gilled and bronze whaler sharks landed, as well as plenty of bite-offs reported. Cured eel is still my favourite bait with squid heads and fish fillets coming a close second.

Circle hooks have proved really popular for this type of fishing and in my experience they are providing above average hook-up rates. The most important thing when using these hooks is to let the fish hook themselves. If you miss a bite it is usually because you have picked the rod up too soon or your bait is too big.

I still believe that the three or four nights leading up to and just after the full moon are the prime nights to fish, however over the past couple of months there has been good catches reported at all phases of the moon and with varying tide conditions. At the end of the day the more time you spend with bait in the water, the better your chances are of catching gummies.

It doesn’t look like we will get too many prawns this year, with only a few small ones about so far. We probably need the entrance to close and lock in the prawns that are in to have any sort of a chance at a prawning run.

A big school of luderick has entered Sydenham Inlet. Most are around 1kg, but fish to 2kg can be encountered.

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