The estuary action has been pretty hot locally and further out into Gippsland. For anglers targeting bream and flathead, the fishing is pretty good at present - with some effort required to locate the fish but warm water and abundant food keeping the bite going.


Staff member Dylan fished with some mates out at Mallacoota over the weekend, and although the weather was abhorrent the fishing was worth it. With warmer water feeding from the creeks and into the shallow bays the flathead were eagerly waiting for a meal on the flats, where they were caught on fly and shallow running lures, and a handful on surface lures.


While the flathead were active, the bream fishing was also good - with around 50 fish encountered for the trip, up to 40cm. Schools of yellowfin bream were found on the shallow gravel bars and snags pushing upstream and were caught on various lures. The standout lures for the trip were the 76mm bent minnows in varied colours while bream and flathead were caught on small shrimp pattern flies as well. There were good numbers of small garfish and shrimp in the shallows so as usual matching to the profile of the bait worked very well.


Closer to home in the local Patterson river the fishing has been good. Over the past week we have had patchy rain which has given the river a flush and brought some easy food to the fish. With semi clear water conditions the bream have been easier to trick compared to during last week's clear tides. Customer Ronnie fished the river land based around the first gate to land some nice bream on scrubworms straight after the rain filtered into the system. The rain that has pushed in to the river has also attracted schools of mullet, which has in turn created some interest from the larger predators. Customer Goran caught a solid school mulloway after dark from the banks of the river during the week, so now is the time to be out there casting if you're chasing one!

 

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.

 


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.

 


Most of the Gippsland estuaries have started slowing down over the past month or so as the water starts to cool down. Bream, flathead and most other species are still being caught but not in the numbers compared to the warmer months of the year. This time of year however can be good for quality size bream, with some of the larger fish feeding up before the winter pre-spawn.


Staff member Dylan has been paddling around some of the eastern estuaries recently, where some nice flathead and bream have been caught. Most of the larger flathead have been sitting on the flats late in the afternoons with some sun to warm the water, while a lot of bream have been caught fishing shallow drop offs and ledges with small hardbodies.


Customer Brett fished out in the Gippsland lakes recently in search of some bream, with a few nice school fish around and eating the lures. Most of the fish were hovering either side of 30cm, and were hitting small hardbodies like Daiwa Double Clutch 60's with gusto. Slightly warmer water temperatures have had these fish feeding right up along bankside structure still.

 


The Eastern estuaries of Gippsland have been fishing well for bread and butter species such as bream and flathead. The estuary of Mallacoota has been a bit inconsistent as a whole, but still big enough for most anglers to find some quality fish. Customer Ryan fished Mallacoota in his kayak recently and had some fun with some nice model black and yellowfin bream caught on lures. During overcast and rainy weather conditions Ryan found the bream to be more inclined to hit the lures when compared to bright sunny weather. 


Amongst the bream there have also been some quality dusky flathead caught as well. Customer John fished the Gypsy Point area and caught flathead to 68cm like this ripper. John used a reasonable piece of tailor fillet to catch and release this nice fish. The Gypsy Point section of the estuary has also been producing some nice size bream for anglers using baits like sandworm and prawn around the deeper water.

 

 

While a lot of people don't seem to think there's much happening on the fishing front over the winter months - it can be the best time of the year to target fish like bream. There an still be some very tough days when chasing them, and a bit of ground work to locate the fish - but once they are found they are generally found in good numbers. Most often than not the fish are located in the deeper sections of the waterway during the colder months, so that is a good place to start looking. Customers Thao and Nick fished around the estuary of Mallacoota during the week with a few mates with bream being the main target. 

Both of the boys caught some nice fish to just over the 40cm mark using various different lures. Most of the bream were found in small schools and responded to lures being fished deep and slow. The most productive styles of lures were plastic and metal vibes along with Cranka crabs.

Thao and Nick also kept a feed of flatties in the 45cm size range while out targeting the bream. Dusky flathead this size are a very common by-catch while targeting bream in the eastern estuaries, and are perfect size for a couple of fillets.

 

 

A lot of the estuaries out in Gippsland have been fishing well for species like bream and flathead, and they should continue throughout winter. Recently the eastern section of the state has received a fair bit of rainfall, and most of the smaller systems are in semi-flood mode, with dirty water. These systems will still fish well, as the fish will concentrate themselves towards saltier water. Finding these pockets can be time consuming and frustrating but worth it in the end.

Customers Dave and Marcos fished the estuary system of Mallacoota over the weekend in search of a few bream on lures. The boys were confronted by slightly discoloured, cold water but that didn't stop them catching fish. The hot technique for the trip was to fish vibes along the contour lines and drop offs, and in doing so they landed some nice black bream to 41cm, and yellowfin bream to 37cm. 

 

 

With some warm weather forecast the Summer species should be fairly active over the weekend, especially fish like yellowtail kingfish. Customer Simon fished down at Mallacoota recently where he got into a few kingies offshore. Simon found that most of the fish he caught were located in 15 to 30m of water hard against baitballs. Simon found the most productive method was to locate the school and feed a livebait or jig down and hook up then drop another jig down once the hooked fish was nearing the surface. This tactic resulted in multiple hookups on these fish. If you are planning on targeting the kingies locally over the weekend, make sure you drop by and stock up on an assortment of jigs. Shimano's Butterfly Flat-falls are an excellent option for local fish as the are compact in size and drop fast in deep or fast moving water, while maintaining an enticing slide and flutter as they fall.

Down in South Gippsland customer Shannon fished from the shore in around Port Albert targeting flatties. She fished from Rutter's jetty with her outfit that was purchased from the shore only a week earlier. Using a small size 1 circle hook baited with squid, she managed to land this lovely flathead of 54cm. She also made sure to mention that this fish was 10cm bigger than her Dad's biggest flattie.

Also in the same area, customer Anthony chased a few flathead in the estuary. Anthony found some nice water for chasing flathead and he anchored up and started using bluebait. Anthony managed to get a nice bag of flatties from the area and all on the bluebait, with most of the fish coming on the run out tide.

 

 

Customer Stuart has been holidaying down at Mallacoota in Eastern Gippsland where he has been having some fun chasing the bream and other estuary species around. Stuart has been catching plenty of good fish on both hard and soft baits. A lot of the bream have been coming from secondary drop offs in the system, with small metal vibes accounting for a lot of fish, with UV green colours being the real killer. Stu has been using scent on all of his lures, to give the fish extra time to eat the lure before striking.

Customer Chez fished offshore from Bermagui with some mates over the Christmas period with marlin the target. The boys managed 2 fish, 80kg and 85kg. Both fish were caught on small skirts in slimey mackerel and small tuna colour combinations. 

 

The Gippsland estuaries and rivers are starting to really fish well for bream. The Gippsland lakes around Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance has been fishing well for bream, mullet and luderick for both bank and boat based anglers. Baits of prawn, chicken gut and worm have been the best for all three species. Further East, Mallacoota has been fishing well for the bream and some large flathead are starting to move around as well. 

Customer Paul fished Mallacoota for a weekend just recently in search of a few big bream, and there were some nice fish caught. Paul and mates fished both top and bottom lakes, along with the upper reaches of the river to really see if they could track down a few fish. Most of the fish were caught along the lake margins and edges, using various lures including suspending hardbodies, vibes and also plastics. As you can see by the picture of all the lures that were used - there's no such thing as too many lures!