The bream and flathead fishing both around the Gippsland estuaries has been very good recently for both bait and lure anglers. Whether you're going to nick down to one of 'The Big 3' rivers around Bairnsdale or Lakes Entrance or you're keen to drive further on out towards Mallacoota the fish have been going well. 

Friend of the shop and local Marine Accessory Distributor Trevor sent us a photo of one of his relatives with some nice bream from Lake Tyers. The bream were caught land based on a mixture of baits, with crab and worm being used.

Around the same area customer Jordan has been catching some solid bream on hardbodies. Jordan has found that the fish have slowed off a bit from shallow running lures and surface offerings, but are still very keen to smash a deeper running hardbody like the Daiwa Spike or Yakamito Devil Edge. Both of these lures will 'crash dive' to over 2m so they can be held right down where the fish are feeding.


Most of the fish Jordan has been catching have been in the mid 30cm size range, with a few nudging the 40cm mark. Deeper running hardbodies or soft plastics will gather more and more attention from the bream in the rivers as the days get cooler. These lures are perfect to slowly bump along the rock edges in rivers such as the Tambo or Nicholson.


Staff member Chris has just returned from a trip a bit further afield around Bemm River and Tamboon inlet with mates Bill and Colin. While Chris had shocking weather with gale force winds and rain while he was away, as soon as he got back to the shop the weather cleared (We'd like a dollar for every time that happened). So as the usual story goes, Bill and Colin had plenty of fun catching a good amount of dusky flathead to over 80cm while Chris was back at work.


There were plenty of excellent sized flatties caught from Tamboon and Bemm River using a variety of soft plastics. The main killers were the 'Bungee Baits' paddle tail shads which are ultra durable, which helps in the mouth of a big angry flathead or tailor.

 

There have been a few customers out fishing the estuaries of East Gippsland over the last few weeks, with the common theme being bream and tailor. The bream fishing will start to slow down as the weather cools off, but instead of numbers of fish we can expect better average size, whether you're bait fishing or casting lures.

For the tailor numbers Lake Tyers, Bemm River and Tamboon Inlet have been the hot spots with some fish reported upward of 90cm. An average fish at the moment is around 45-50cm with fish to 2kg not uncommon. Most lures are attracting their attention, which is not good if you're casting a $35+ hardbody around for bream. Baits of fresh mullet or bluebait are also doing well.


Customer Brendan fished Bemm river just recently where he scored some solid fish in the lake. Brendan found local sandworm to be the most productive on fish to 40cm.


Customer Louis returned from a quick trip to Marlo where he was lure fishing. Louis was trying out some finesse soft plastics and small vibes while fishing land based in both the Snowy and Brodribb Rivers. While the bream were on the small side, he did find that the luderick were interested in both the vibes and plastics. Fishing both these lures slowly on the bottom with small movements he caught some nice luderick. The most effective soft plastic types were very small straight tail worms designed for catching yakkas in Japan, and these were deadly when fished on small lightweight jigheads right down to size 10.


Back around Lakes Entrance customer Bashir has been catching bream. Bashir has been fishing the Tambo river where the fish had been slow, but excellent size when they came through. He found that live shrimp and peeled prawn were the best baits with both black and yellowfin bream to 40cm taking a liking to them.

 


The bream and flathead fishing around the local and out of town estuaries has been excellent, even with heavy holiday crowds. The cooler water temperatures have got the bream at a comfortable level where they can feed in the shallows without the water being too hot, and the flathead can also ambush these shallow areas too.

Customer Morgan was down in Gippsland with mate Jinsu where they caught some nice bream on lures. Overcast and slightly breezy conditions made for some good fishing, with the fish eager to eat the lures. The most effective lures on the day were the Jackall 'spytail' jointed stickbaits. When these lures were fished with sharp twitches and a pause the fish would hit them ferociously.


Customer Shane has been out near Lakes Entrance over the break chasing the big flathead about. Shane ordered in some 'live prawn' soft plastics to give a good run on the big flatties and he has put them straight to good use. Shane has been catching good numbers of table flathead on these lures but also fish to nearly 70cm.


Working these live prawns with a sharp-hop-and-fall retrieve has been the best way to get the attention of the larger flathead, and being tear-resistant they seem to last well against the sharp teeth.


Customer Tony has been back to his old tricks, catching some nice bream in the Patto.Tony fished after some light rain using freshwater yabbies and landed 6 nice fish up to 42cm. Among these, 3 fish busted Tony off against the pylons and mussel encrusted poles, and that was on 10lb leader. The Patto will continue to fish well as we get some more rain during Autumn.

 


If you're planning a trip out towards Gippsland for the coming long weekend or maybe Easter you will be pleased to know that all of the estuaries along the coast are still producing some good fishing. The water temperature is hovering around perfect at moment and will remain good until about Easter when we normally get a couple of cold snaps. The bream will still be active in the cooler weather but fish like flathead will slowly start to shut down and reside into Winter mode.

Customer Peter just returned from a successful trip away to Mallacoota where he caught some nice bream and flathead. Peter persisted with some soft plastics under staff recommendation and caught flathead to 48cm using them. Fresh shrimp fished on fine gauge hooks worked well on the bream, with fish to 1.2kg coming aboard.


Customer Ange was down at Lakes Entrance recently. Ange spent a bit of time in locating the bream and working out the best way to target them, and after a bit of playing around he started getting fish. Ange found that live baits were the best way to go, with prawn and bass yabbies best - and fishing them unweighted was a must. Fishing tight to structure the fish were most active around the top of the tide early in the morning, with plenty of white knuckle battles around pier posts and pylons on 4lb line.


There were also plenty of other species active around Lakes for Ange. Loads of small salmon and tailor happy to eat a soft plastics like the Zman motor oil grubs, with some bigger fish in the gutters out on the beaches. Prawn numbers have been slower than around Christmas but there still have been enough for the keen anglers to net a good feed's worth. Tambo bay and around Metung have been good around the new moon.


Ange also noticed reasonable numbers of King George whiting around Lakes Entrance with many school fish in the high 30cm bracket. Late afternoon was the best bite window on the whiting with mussel, pipi and prawn all producing fish when fished on a paternoster rig. The jetties around the Cunninghame and North arm have been good areas to try for whiting, along with the deeper edges further up towards Kalimna.

 


The estuaries out along the east Gippsland coastline are fishing well at present. The holiday crowds have quietened off and water traffic is back to a minimum and the fish are eating. The Gippsland lakes themselves have been quiet however, with some rumoured blue-green algae present. Lake Tyers has been producing fish for anglers keen enough to be on the water early and late, and move about to find the fish. Customer Shane was down at Tyers just recently where he landed this ripper flathead that measured 92cm. The monster flattie took a 5'' prawn imitation, which needless to say Shane has stocked up on again.


The bream have been actively feeding around the margins of the lakes and creeks in the area, with shallow diving minnows and surface presentations getting the most consistent results. A common theme recently has been the use of brightly coloured lures to 'shock' the bream in to giving a 'reaction' bite. Where natural or ghost colour patterns may go unnoticed the brighter contrasting colours key in to the fishes inquisitive nature and the only way for them to test is by using their mouth!


Customer Ryan with some average Gippsland bream caught using small brightly coloured surface and subsurface lures, with overcast and slightly choppy conditions favoured as being the most productive.

 

If you are out towards Lakes Entrance or anywhere in East Gippsland and are thinking of chasing the bream then right now the fishing is excellent. Most of the estuaries are running warm and full of food items such as prawn, shrimp, garfish and other small baitfish - and this abundant food has got the bream biting. You can certainly catch a few fish by bait fishing from either the shore or in a small craft, but the lure fishing is simply too good at the moment to pass up. Many anglers have been reporting crazy sessions where 50 fish on lures isn't uncommon - but there are certainly some tricks to help boost the bite for you. Firstly, you MUST use a light and responsive graphite rod. This sort of fishing is all about control and feel and simply, with a fibreglass rod you have none. Light braided line will help you with the feel factor, as it will indicate any subtle bites or taps on the lure, and it will also get the lures to swim better - which results in more bites! 

Customer Russ tried his hand at lure fishing for bream for the first time down at Bemm River. Russ did well landing some chunky black bream in the lake, with Luckycraft 'flash minnows' and 'bevy shads' getting the job done for him. Russ looks stoked and will probably continue on board the lure fishing train now.


Victorian Tackle Representatives Gez and Mitch were also down at the Bemm doing the same thing on the bream, and they report that the bream are really going well. Using 'bent minnows' and other surface pencils along with shallow running 'jerkbaits' like luckycraft flash minnows, Gez and Mitch report that in some areas they were going a fish a cast, with many double hookups on nice size fish. Again finesse tackle certainly helps, as these fish are cruising along shallow clear flats and can be spooked easily.


Staff member Dylan also fish out in Gippsland over the weekend, with a bit of variety of fish landed while targeting the bream. Fish like this 37cm yellowfin bream were crunching surface poppers and stickbaits, with every fish for the trip taken on a surface lure. Big amounts of small prawns in the estuary really got the fish hitting the surface aggressively.


Customer Jordan with a nice 39cm yellowfin bream caught on a surface pencil from the weekend. Small lures that fit the profile and natural colours of a school prawn got belted when they were cast into the right areas. 

 


While there are still some crowds around the Gippsland lakes region, the fishing has been very good - especially if you can find a bit of quieter water. The whole region from Sale through Lakes Entrance and out towards Mallacoota near the NSW border has plenty on offer. Flathead, King George and sand whiting, luderick, bream, silver trevally, tailor, pinkies, salmon and prawns are all on offer at present if you're still out towards Lakes Entrance or thinking of heading down that way.

The beaches have been producing salmon and tailor around first and last light, with Eastern beach getting runs of fish to just over a kilo. The prawns have also been around in good numbers if you can find a quiet cove or bay to work, and we're currently just around the new moon so they should be easier to find. Cunninghame arm, North arm, Tambo bay and around Metung have all been good.


Customer Jordan has found lots of variety in his catch lately out towards Mallacoota. Jordan has been lure fishing with mostly 'crankbait' style hardbodies and surface pencils working the best, due to the large number of small 'school' sized king prawns in the estuaries. The sand whiting in particular have been really fixating on the surface lures when worked correctly, and most hits have turned into solid hookups after a few small modifications to terminal hardware. Big tailor to 60cm have also been blasting the surface offerings, along with deeper crankbaits worked through blue pockets and holes.

 


While the local bream fishing isn't going too bad at all, the Gippsland lakes is on fire for bream fishing. The fishing has been great, whether you're bait or lure fishing - but it is the lure fishing that has been very hard to beat. The warm waters of the gippsland estuaries have really geared up with lots of prey items for the hungry to chomp through, with shrimp, prawns and small gars all getting smashed. Lots of lure choices are working very well at the moment but the hardbody and surface luring has been 5 star. Anglers are reporting multiple hookups and not uncommonly landing 30 or 40 fish in a session. 


Customers Jordan and Josh fished from their kayaks recently and found that the bream were more than happy to hit their surface lures. Both the guys were fishing small surface stickbaits in the 60mm size range and they landed over a dozen fish each, with this session Josh's introducing to bream lure fishing! Surface lure fishing is very visual but there is certainly a knack to triggering the big bream to eat, and having refined tackle makes this a whole lot easier.


Now, if you've always thought bream on lures is a conspiracy, check out how much these fish wanted these 'bent minnows'. Customer John was out in the gippsland estuaries during the week where many bream like this were caught using these surface stickbaits. These premium quality lures certainly get the interest of many a bream, and now is the best time to be out using them.

 


It feels like at least half of Melbourne is away somewhere along the east gippsland or NSW south coast over the Christmas break, and rightly so - with this part of the country some of the best we've got (opinions may vary...). While the increase of angling pressure over this time does shut some of the fishing down there are still plenty of options for everyone, and generally always some fish to catch somewhere, no matter your skill level. Speaking of skill level, staff member Don is away along the south coast of NSW currently but as we expect, still getting a fish in. While not entirely a fishing holiday, Don has managed some time out to walk the local estuaries casting lures. Don has found bream, flathead, tailor, trevally and flounder taking a liking to his small hardbodies and plastics. Don said that he has been targeting the quieter sections of the estuaries away from boat and foot traffic and working slowly through an area, making sure the water is covered effectively.


Customer Jinsu has also been fishing along the east gippsland coastline in search of some decent flathead. Jinsu has well and truly got decent flathead covered with some smaller 35-50cm fish making it to the frypan, and this mega 90cm fish making its way back to the depths. Jinsu has found that 'squidgy' wriggler and paddle prawns along with 'bungee baits' paddletails doing all of the damage when slowly whipped along the estuary drop offs.

 

 

 

The holiday crowds are starting to build along the eastern coast of the state in places like Lakes Entrance. Staff member Dylan fished with some mates down around lake on Monday. The plan was to catch a feed of prawns during the night then work the flats chasing flathead and maybe the odd bream during the day.

With the amount of people around the shallow flats were fickle, with fish still about but a lot of people weren't catching due to sitting in one spot for too long. Remembering that these areas are a dynamic environment and always changing and using a mobile approach can mean the difference between no fish or a bag of fish. Many of the smaller channels and gutters held schools of silver trevally along with dusky flathead to 57cm, with larger fish up to 80cm sighted. Soft plastics accounted for a couple, but with slightly milky coloured water hardbodied minnows really did the job when crashed into the mud and sand bottom. Lure like Jackall squirrels, Daiwa double clutches and Zerek tango shads all worked well, with high UV colours the absolute standouts.

While not a red hot session, the guys managed a decent catch of prawns around Lakes Entrance at night. The prawns weren't really running as such, but they were around in large enough numbers to be caught. A good quality headlamp and prawn light were essential in picking up on the prawns as they sat around patches of weed and rock, and a decent length net handle also helped heaps in collecting the prawns from the slightly deeper water.


Jinsu Park also caught a chunky sea mullet from Lake Tyers on a Zman soft plastic which gave a good account for itself.