April is the darling month of autumn. Water temperatures are just starting to drop away, windy days become a rarity and beautiful, mild, sunny weeks tend to prevail.
As if right on cue, the breaming scene is now starting to hot up just in time for my annual leave!
The flathead have all finished spawning and moving back into the rivers and maybe the mullet and tailor will also start firing soon.
There is plenty to look forward to and some recent rainfall has kept the Gippsland Lakes in very good order.
Here’s a ripper report from the local prawning guru Tony Cunningham
In a cracker night session recently he and a few mates stacked up over 60kg of fat, long, delicious prawns to the delight of their families back home. That’s one banquet I would like to have attended!
Tony said the prawns were as big as he has ever seen and they were running quite thick right down near the township of Lakes Entrance.
Don’t forget to have one last try for a feed of prawns around the new moon; prime time this month is about April 14.
It doesn’t take long for anglers to find big bream when they make themselves available and some stonker blue nose models have been turning up.
Robert Harvey threw lures at a mob of huge bream feeding over shallow sand flats not far from Paynesville and watched his hardbody disappear into the gob of a fish he said was easily 50cm.
After a brief hook up, the large bream shook its head a few times and casually crunched his lure in half and swam away.
Undeterred, he slowly tweaked another $30 lure into the mob but failed to get their interest.
A week later Robert returned to the area with another mate and this time they stacked up 35 bream in the shallow water.
Some of the fish had their backs out of the water while feeding and this sort of sight fishing is to die for. All fish were returned and the biggest went 44cm.
Soon after Dave Morris joined me in a search for big bream and we decided to try the Wattle Point area.
We fished some shallow water snags and hooked six bream but only managed to land three of them. My biggest bream went 42cm and took a fair bit of horsing in for a medium sized fish.
The other three totally shredded me in the mussel-covered sticks and I put every bit of hurt onto those big bream but they still found a way to cut my 8kg leader.
I was using Evergreen Micromax lures with W hooks and pink Squidgy 80mm soft plastic wrigglers on Spine jig heads.
I bumped into Clark Wilson while on the water as he was peddling around in his fully decked out Hobie, complete with sounder and live well.
He too found the big bream in a nasty mood and got smoked around the snags before he pulled in a decent 35cm bream on a floating Atomic Hardz lure.
I always enjoy catching duskies and they are such good sport when you find them in big numbers. Nobody disputes their eating qualities and they are easy to catch with bait or lures.
My tip for getting big flathead is to try using large soft plastics; 120mm is a good starting point.
I have seen 30cm flathead readily take these lures, so you still get a small flattie by-catch. But I have also seen large flathead only follow smaller lures without taking them, especially during slow retrieves.
Sometimes you need to stir big duskies up with a large lure and work them fast and aggressively with a fairly heavy jighead.
When bait fishing, use a whole frozen prawn on a 45cm running sinker rig and throw it out as far as you can. Do short but sharp turns of the reel and slowly wind the bait back.
This way, you take the bait to the fish rather than waiting for the flathead to eventually find the prawn which could take forever.
Remember to use at least 8-10kg leaders too.
The flathead hotspots for this month will be the lower Tambo and Mitchell rivers, Wattle Point and Loch Sport sand flats.Reads: 2036