Prawns and shallow water bream

Chris Burbidge with a bream out of the live well ready for release.

Chris Burbidge with a bream out of the live well ready for release.

Just what we needed – more rain? Well I dunno about you but I’m nearly starting to think enough is enough.

It’s making the river fishing a real challenge but at least the lake fish are now starting to fire up. The windy months are now behind us and although afternoon easterlies can get up to 30kph they always drop out by the next day and so early morning is now the prime time.

As usual holiday boat traffic can be a little annoying when casting a rod but there’s always somewhere to hide in the Gippsland Lakes. Nighttime will see plenty of boats out over summer and when looking for prawns. You are better off following the crowds this time, because they will all be parked in the prime target areas.

Feeding bream in the shallows

The best news of all for bream anglers is that big fish are now working skinny water. Robert Harvey had a few weeks off work and stacked up some terrific tallies of bream and caught up to 20 or 30 fish each session with mates Dale Pattison and Mark Boyle. He stalked feeding bream while watching them work their digs for shell and worms.

A small hardbodied lure teased past these fish worked the best but I wonder if those same fish would attack a surface lure? Get the map out if you want to try this exciting shallow water breaming and head to locations out in Lake King like the Tambo Bluff, Tylers Point, Round Head, Wollastan Bay and all around Ocean Grange. Bait anglers will also have fun by presenting unweighted frozen prawns and live shrimp or crabs will get a lot of attention from feeding fish.

Metal Benders

I spent a morning out in Lake Victoria recently with a mate Chris and we had success with metal blades and Ecogear SX40s. We launched our kayaks at Wattle Point and found the fish spread out early in the session. Our three best bream went 38cm, 40cm and 42cm and took our lures in about a metre of water. We put together a modest tally of 15 bream but a nasty easterly pumped up after lunch and forced us off the water while the fish were still on the chew.

Chris kept a few in his live-well for some pics later on, and they passed plenty of small white shell that they were no doubt grubbing out in the sandy bottom of the shallows around the lake. This tells us that most of the fish are well and truly finished with spawning and right back into feeding mode. Interestingly we had not a single flathead as by-catch and as usual the duskies are still way down the system closer to Lakes entrance.

If you want to work this area for bream then try around Mason Bay, Elbow Point or further west up to Waddy Point or Steel Bay.

Flathead

A lot of reports are coming in from the North Arm, The Narrows and Reeve Channel where duskies are being caught in fair numbers, quite often by anglers chasing whiting or bream. Not many big flatties are showing up but I think this has more to with nobody really gearing up for them.

Large 15-20cm soft plastics will tempt this bigger fish and a live poddy mullet might stay out on the hook for a long time but if your rod does eventually start to bend over you can expect a thumper dusky will be chewing on it.

Last year flathead were hanging around in Cunningham Arm at this time and the biggest fish from 60-80cm were caught opposite the main street of the township and the area above the footbridge.

Wading the shallows is an easy way to target them and try for bream, tailor and little salmon while you’re at it.

Prawn Time

It’s prawn time again so get the calendar out and line up the new moon with days you can get on the water. The darkest nights will yield the most. And keep in mind that you don’t need to have a boat to get a feed of prawns because plenty can be dipped from jetties and walking the shallows.

Lighting up all the fish life at night is one of the most exciting activities for the family and it will create memories for young kids that will last a lifetime.

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