The eastern estuaries of Gippsland have been on the mend after huge rain events that have semi flooded and open many to the sea. While the water may still be dirty and discoloured the fishing can still be excellent. The area down at Marlo has been one such area, with plenty of fresh water still heading downstream in the snowy keeping the system discoloured. The fishing has still been good however, with a little more effort in locating fish but they are generally biting fairly well.

Customer Neil and family fished the region recently and had some fun even though the action was a little slower than normal. Youngster Nelson was fairly keen to get amongst the local bream and flathead on lures and he had plenty of fun amongst the hits and misses. There were some lovely bream and luderick caught fishing the lower section of the estuary in some deeper, saltier water however.


Back around Lakes Entrance there has still been some variety on offer. While the overall fishing has slowed down a little, the keen anglers putting the time in are still getting amongst them. Customer Ryan has been fishing slightly back up the system from Lakes and has found enough action to get a nice varied feed of fish happening. Fishing the shallow weedbeds and deeper sandy drop offs with pipi and squid has still been producing some nice King George whiting amongst the flathead and pinkies. The area should start to slow a bit as the water cools off a lot but at present there are a multitude of species on offer. 

 

Lakes Tyers continues to be a hotspot with many anglers, with the Easter weekend providing some excellent weather and fishing the those on the lake. The lake has been producing large tailor and some excellent bream, with some very good flathead fishing on offer also. Anglers fished the lake's flats and shallow sandy margins are being rewarded with some very nice bream, many of which are around 40cm. Customer Paul managed fish around the 40cm fishing shallow running hardbodies over the flats over the weekend. 


The large flathead are the main drawcard for anglers fishing the main lake basin and inlets. Fishing with larger lures is the main technique in attracting the larger flathead out of ambush. Swimbaits, glidebaits and large soft plastics are the main lure choices that flathead-savvy anglers have tied on. Fish well into the 90cm mark have been caught around the shallow flats and hunting ledges, with that benchmark 1m fish lurking somewhere in the lake's confines. 


Customer Dan fishes the lake regularly and catches his fair share of fish. Dan has caught plenty of solid flathead on swimbaits and soft plastics but has recently trialed some large surface lures and crawlers - with good results. Dan has been fishing surface lures in the 100mm to 170mm size range and slowly working them over any likely ambush points in the shallows, with some of the large fish really belting the offerings. Dan's latest session on the lake using this method produced 4 fish between 75 and 90cm in one morning. It pays to experiment sometimes! 

 


The estuaries around Lakes Entrance have been fishing well for bream and flathead, along with King George whiting. Lake Tyers has been fishing well for bream and flathead, with the flathead really providing anglers with some action. Anglers fishing larger plastics and swimbaits are connecting with sold fish from up in the shallows out along any drop offs and ambush points.

Customer Dan fished with Jarrod from the Compleat Angler head office after some nice flathead on larger lures. The standout lures were Biwa swimbaits and large Yakamito plastics fished slowly along the likely territory, with flathead in the 70cm mark landed. 


Staff member Dylan fished the lake also in search of some larger model flatties, but lucked out with plenty of fish from 50 - 65cm landed but no monsters. Swimbaits in the 170mm size range were the best lure choices, especially when rigged with chin weights to run deeper along the ledges and gutters. 


Around Lakes Entrance and Metung there has still been prawn activity. Staff member Dylan collected around half a kilo under a full moon recently, covering no more than a 15m stretch of bank. Over the next new moon the prawns should be even more active and worth targeting. Amongst the prawn activity there has been a load of whiting caught. The region from Kalimna through to Tambo bluff has been the main area of interest, with plenty of school sized fish caught on mussel, prawn and pipi. 


The rivers of the Gippsland lakes have been fishing well for bream recently. With fish spread out widely through the rivers, the lower sections seem to be producing better numbers compared to higher reaches. Customer Paul fished the Nicholson river over the weekend and found smaller school bream aplenty along the edges of the river below the boat ramp. Paul found the best success on amber coloured grubs fished on light jigheads. 


Staff member Dylan also fished the Nicholson river last week for a few hours on the way home from Lakes Entrance. With strong 25 knot winds ripping through the river the upstream reaches provided more cover. Bream to 1kg were caught on a mixture of 80mm UV coloured plastics, and deep diving crankbaits. Most of the fish were found sitting out from the edge along the back of the first drop off, in small schools. 

 


While many anglers are back from a long weekend getaway, those who regularly get out and target both bream and flathead in the eastern gippsland estuaries will be pleased to know that they are fishing exceptionally well at present. With intermittent rain falling into all of the catchments the systems are receiving much appreciated top ups of fresh water which bring food with it. The estuaries of Lake Tyers, Bemm River and Tamboon Inlet have been producing fish for mobile anglers, and especially those who are trialing a mixture of lure types. 


Customers Nick and Tony have been fishing both Bemm River and Tamboon and have had some good sessions over the past few weeks on bream and flathead. The bream have been active around a lot of the shallow weedbeds in both systems and have responded best to shallow running jerkbaits and slim prawn profiled soft plastics, especially when slowly 'popped' above the weed. For targeting the larger flathead a larger lure approach has been much more effective. Soft plastics and swimbaits in the 5 - 7 inch size range have been the best bet in triggering a solid strike from a larger fish while fishing around the same weed beds and drop offs.


Around Lake Tyers and Bemm River some of the large flathead have really been making the their presence felt when targeting them with the correct lures and methods. Customer Nathan and mates have landed some ripper fish to a round 90cm during recent trips, with the big bait big fish theory working pretty well. The medium to large lures that the guys have been using have excellent drawing power to the larger flathead and generally a better hook up due to larger trebles finding their mark. 


Customer Jordan has also been fishing the same waterways mainly chasing the bream on lures. Jordan has been finding good numbers of fish holding in flooded backwaters and ti-tree swamps and they have been best targeted with surface lures. Jordan has been finding that the average fish have been around the high 30cm mark with a handful over 40cm in the last couple of trips. While places like Lake Tyers are closed and high these techniques are perfect. 

 


The salmon fishing continues to provide entertainment along all of the beaches in the state, from local peninsula beaches through to south and east gippsland. While the gippsland beaches have been producing good quality fish, beaches like Gunnamatta have also had some sold fish running. For the Melbourne local beaches Gunnamatta and St Andrews have been good, with the east gutters along Gunnamatta producing better numbers of fish during the week. 


Some of the sections of the 90 mile in Gippsland have been fishing better than others, with Loch Sport being one of the more productive. Staff member Don fished the area recently and found plenty of salmon to about 3lb. Don predominately fished twin paternoster rigs with a mixture of bait and artificial offerings, and also spun metal lures as well. The bait that was most productive was bluebait, with surf poppers and 'bungy' baits on the top hook taking a lot of fish also. Berleying up the area you're fishing is critical when on a busy beach also, as confining the fish to your area will see a lot more landed.

Customer Reg fished the same area with some mates recently also and found good numbers of fish taking pilchard and surf poppers. Just be sure to rig your surf popper on the 'top' hook, as it will float up and away from your second hook and away from the crabs. 

 


Many anglers have been aware of the tuna activity along the west of the coast, and have been making the most of these fish again this week. There have been fish stretched from Portland and further west right across to offshore from Westernport and Inverloch. There have been fish inside both bays but they have been flighty and hard to come across, but they have been there to be caught.


Customer Billy has been catching some nice bluefin just offshore from the heads on small skirts. He has also landed a couple of fish in the 20kg range from inside the bay, with both skirts and deep diving hardbodies working well. The fish inside the bay have been moving about a lot, but the 'rip' section has been where the fish have been pushing through mowing down schools of pilchards. Customer Jason has also been landing fish offshore from the heads and further down towards Phillip Island. Jason has been landing fish on small 5'' skirts, and a few fish on surface poppers cast around the schools.

Customers Izzy and Bruno have been getting into the tuna also. Izzy fished out from Torquay during the week and found fish to 25kg. Skirts in the 5'' size range were the most effective on the fish, with the fish being attracted up to the surface from the commotion of deep running hardbodied lures. While the fish around Torquay and Barwon have been good there have also been some nice fish coming from Portland and Port Fairy. The fish have been cruising inshore in water depths of 15 - 50m and have been responding to the same methods - with stickbaiting and popping also very productive.


Among the tuna out west there have been schools of rat kingfish hanging about. The inshore reef around Portland has been the best holding ground for the numbers of these fish, with Izzy and Bruno catching some while down at Portland. Stickbaits and small surface poppers have been effective when the fish are on, but baits of slimey and calamari have also been deadly when the lures haven't gotten the interest of the fish. The fish have ranged in size from just legal to around 18kg, with some much larger fish harassing the smaller rats.


While not normally known for it's kingfish, the Gippsland lakes has been experiencing a run of school sized fish moving about the system. The fish have been moving from as far up as Paynesville right the way down to Lakes Entrance itself. Customer Kevin has found himself holding a knife while in a gunfight while fishing out of his canoe. Kevin has been fishing the north arm around Lakes Entrance and has been landing kingies to around 80cm. Small plastics that imitate the abundant prawns have been easy for the fish to eat and getting most of the bites.

 


The freshwater regions have been fishing well, for those that are unaffected by recent fires. Those that are need some time to clear up, as ash and debris in streams and rivers and flooding rains will knock smaller systems about for a little while yet. The south Gippsland and northern inland regions though are fishing well and remain unaffected. On the trout front the rivers from the back of the Yarra ranges through to around Moe are fishing well and are throwing up some decent sized fish for anglers picking their way through them.


Customers Jordan and Josh have been fishing a few different rivers in the region and without dialing in to a 'spot x' they have all been producing fish. The Yarra and it's tributaries have been excellent along with the Latrobe and the smaller streams that flow into it. Fly fishing has been effective for the guys, with both nymphs and dries taking some nice browns to around 700g. Fishing small lightly weighted plastics like nymphs and worms has been effective along with very small hardbodies and bladed spinners. Any of the rivers in the region generally run reasonably tannin so lures with UV colours and golds in them, along with dark silhouettes such as blacks and browns have been the most effective.


Just down the road at Blue Rock Lake the bass fishing has been good. The fish have been ravenous with recently stocked micro bass nailing most lures that hit the water. Fishing early morning and late afternoon has seen some larger fish come out to play, especially when bigger lures are put in to the equation. Staff member Dylan fished the lake last week and landed 15 or so fish with a few high 30cm specimens the best for the day. Mid depth crankbaits and spinnerbaits were effective mid afternoon slow rolled through bankside timber, and small surface crawlers and wakebaits came into their own once the light faded from the sky - with the best banks being the ones with slightly clearer water.


Just up the Hume fwy towards Shepparton customer Ryan has been catching some small yellowbelly in the creeks. Fishing brightly coloured spinnerbaits was the deal as the muddy water of the smaller creeks made visibility less than ideal. Rolling the spinnerbaits with a high rod tip allowed for detection of the lure bumping the logs and weed before it snagged up. Fishing similar water in the same region last week was customer Manny. Manny tried his luck on cod but found no joy on them, but he did land some nice yellowbelly. Manny found flash rigged plastics and aggressive coloured spinnerbaits were the most effective for him.

 


East Gippsland has been ravaged badly from recent fire activity in the region and still under some threat, but well worth a trip back to to region once it recovers. Just prior to the bushfires the lakes region was fishing excellent for many species. The region needs help from tourism over the warmer months to survive and the fishing is well worth the drive. If you're chasing big flathead Lake Tyers and to a lesser extent the Gippsland Lakes have been producing. The 'swimbait' craze is slowly starting to filter into the estuaries and is very much a technique worth using.


Megabass Australia Representative Nick and staff member Dylan have both fished Tyers over the pre fire warm up, and have found good success. Flathead to 86cm have been landed on both 's' style baits and glidebaits, along with larger soft swimbaits up to 20cm long The larger profile of these lures really trigger the predatory instinct of the larger fish and generate explosive strikes. When the area is all clear this style of fishing is well worth the effort for the weekend.


The bream fishing in the lake and also in the 'big 3' rivers of the lakes has also been good - both on bait and lures. Fishing baits of prawn, shrimp and crab has been the best way to land a few better fish, while sandworm has been accounting for a few more smaller fish. The Mitchell river around the 'cut' has been a good area to target larger fish as they move in and out of the river. Customer Ryan has been catching some nice fish by going simple in his lure choice, a small single tailed soft plastic grub in the 2inch size. Small shrimp and prawn colours having been catching him bream to around 38cm in all 3 rivers recently.


The other species on offer for a return trip to Lakes Entrance are King George whiting and Eastern King prawns. During the months of February and March both of these species are very good options if you're boat or landbased in and around the lakes. The whiting have been red hot from Metung through to lakes itself, with mussel, pipi and whiting worm all very effective on number of school fish. Many fish have been caught throughout the channels and have ranged in size from 30 - 43cm. On the prawn front things should only get better over the next few moon cycles, but there have still been enough around for a feed. Customer Thao had a dip around Metung while down around New Years and managed a dozen or so in an hour before hitting the hay.

 


The Gippsland estuaries have been fishing well at the moment but not on fire. The lack of consistent warm weather has meant the flathead fishing has been a bit up and down, with the big fish starting to fire up then going back into hibernation once a big cold font hits again. The bream have been a bit more active with the slightly cooler water temperature suiting them just fine. The rivers running into the Gippsland lakes have been producing some nice fish, with the upper Mitchell and Nicholson the pick of the two. Customer Pat fished the Mitchell during the week and landed a few nice bream on both sandworm and prawn. These are both good bait choices for this time of year, however make sure your hook patterns suit these baits or you won't convert many bites.


Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice bream and trevally in Lake Tyers. Ryan has been fishing with a couple of mates from a small tinny in the main basin of the lake and has found the flathead fishing to be a bit slow, but the bream have been happy to eat larger plastics aimed at the flatties. Fishing soft plastics up to 100mm in size can see less bream caught, but they are generally better quality fish. Worm and baitfish profiles have been best for him on both the bream and flathead, and most of the fish have been caught just deep of the drop off from the shoreline in 3 to 4m of water.

 


The action in the estuaries out in gippsland is starting to warm up as the weather does. The warmth in the water has increased the activity level of the larger flathead and bream, and with this they have been on the prowl. The estuaries of lake tyers, marlo and bemm river have been fishing well for both, as has mallacoota inlet. Some of these estuaries will see a scattering of prawns in the backwaters and the fish will hunt these.


Staff member Dylan fished lake tyers on monday and landed a handful of bream on small shallow running hardbodies around the super shallow mudflats in the lake, in between searching for large flathead. Dylan fished 6 and 8 inch swimbaits around the likely haunts and had a few enquiries with one mid 70cm flathead staying connected to a Megabass magdraft swimbait.


Friend of the shop Trevor has also been getting in to some nice flathead from the lake. Trevor has been fishing the new SXC shads from Yakamito to land the bigger fish. The heavy tail kick and body roll of these plastics really gets the attention from the big flathead and gets them to pounce.