Bring on the Bream
  |  First Published: April 2009

This is the best time of year for any angler as the calm autumn weather and mild to warm days make it a joy to be on the water.

The fishing has been pretty good right across the Gippsland Lakes system with flatties very active out in the lake areas and the bream really going well within all the rivers. Luderick and whiting are also on the menu now with garfish and mullet responding to worm as well. April usually sees the biggest prawns of the season and the last new moon of this month will be your final chance for a feed.


There are not a lot of really big bream stories of late, but plenty of fish 30-37cm have been landed by bait and lure anglers. Chris Burbidge has been snooping around his favourite bream haunts in the Gippsland Lakes preparing for the Vic Bream comp. Being such a swampy old customer, he was not giving up where he found the bream but he said the lure fishing within the lakes is now all go.

The Mitchell River continues to fish well and The Cut and river entrance are the ever-reliable hot spots. Black crab is the best bait for the bigger bream and don’t forget to try striped tuna baits as well.

In the Nicholson River the bream are biting on local prawn at the Car Bodies and further up stream lure anglers are finding the going a little slow but the few bream that get hooked are all solid fish.

The Tambo is such a fickle river at times with some days turning up plenty of bream and other sessions proving very tough. My suggestion is to be on the water at first light as I find the prime time for bream is before 9am.

Surface breamin

I’ve been playing around with my surface lures and again surprised to see so many local bream rise up and eat my homemade plappers (plastic poppers). I target clean, shallow waters and during my last three trips I’ve put tallies of 17, 23 and 21 fish landed. Better still, I watch nearly every bream cruise up and scoff down my lure. It makes for awesome sport fishing and is a very addictive form of targeting bream.

The real amazing thing is that I struggle to even get a bump while fishing hardbodies and plastics below the surface. Who would ever think bream would respond better to top water action than subsurface lures? Just about every tournament bream angler going these days!


What a great comeback the dusky flathead has made in the Gippsland Lakes.

It seems they have made a strong foothold now with plenty of smaller fish around 35cm being found over the shallow sand flats right through Lake Victoria. This means a terrific spawning event of two or three years ago has boosted numbers for the future.

Ritchie Eagan from Yarram way took the family on holidays to Lakes recently and hooked onto a run of flatties up to 65cm on soft plastics while out in the boat. He has hardly fished these waters before and so with a bit of homework over a few trips even bigger flatties can be expected.

Fishing around Metung is a good starting point and if you’re unsure where the fish are, drift over the shallows and see if you can spook a few flatties. This will give you an idea as to what depth and the sort of area they are holding in.

Other fish

Trevally and a few salmon are coming through the entrance and will push a long way up into the system with such little inflows of freshwater these days. It’s also that time of year that a few keen anglers look for the elusive mulloway. It’s only just a few years back that these estuary giants were netted by the commercial boys up to 30kg. They definitely live in the lakes but are hardly ever fished for and those who do catch them keep the story well under wraps. So there’s a call to anyone up for an angling challenge and be sure to get some photos for the proof. Just don’t tell anyone where or how you did it!

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