Melbourne Fishing And Tackle Industry Personality
Mitch has been fishing East Gippsland since he was old enough to drive a car and has spent countless weekends exploring the area and perfecting his ability to take trophy fish from its waters. A tackle industry rep, he knows his way round the tackle pretty well, too. Since the summer 2019-20 bushfires ravaged East Gippsland, Mitch and others have been working hard to encourage tourists back to the area to help stimulate the economy.
Mitch’s Marlo Fishing Tips
- East Gippsland was hit hard by the bushfires, but the roads are now open, the fishing is a good as ever and the local community is in need of an influx of anglers to revitalise the area.
- The fishing options are many and varied. The main species on offer during autumn are quality flathead, large bream and oversized estuary perch. Less sought after and/or less common species include large tailor (4-5kg), plenty of trevally, good numbers of whiting and the occasional mulloway (jewfish). Prawns are also plentiful this season, so bring some prawning gear!
- Flathead: In recent years the move to using larger lures for flathead has revealed that there are good numbers of large fish in the 90+ cm range to be taken (take heed of big and size limits though). During autumn the big girls are in the shallow water and can be taken on surface lures and swimbaits up to 180mm In length. Interestingly, even the smaller 60cm fish will happily take these large lures.
- Bream: East Gippsland enjoys a mix of both black bream and yellowfin bream. During autumn they move onto the flats and can be targeted in quite shallow water using surface lures such as the OSP Bent Minnow or the Lucky Craft Pointer. Look for fish to cast to, or for the greyish coloured clouds where bream have disturbed the surface layer of sand whilst foraging. Plenty of 40cm plus fish are taken from these systems, so don’t be surprised if you hook a lunker.
- Estuary Perch: East Gippsland has more than its fair share of quality perch and there are plenty in the 50cm size class for those who persevere. These are a school fish, so be prepared to move around until you find them, but expect to catch a cricket score once you’ve located them. Target the perch among the snags and be prepared to put lures in gnarly territory. Surface water fishing with Tiemco Soft Shell Cicada’s works well in low light periods and sometimes through the day if it’s cloudy.
- Mitch recommends the NFX range of graphite rods, which are light, economical and perfect for this style of fishing. Match this with a suitable spin reel in the 2500 size range loaded with 6 to 10lb braid.
- A second, slightly longer rod is perfect for firing out longer casts, especially if the wind gets up.
Tackle Stores. Be sure to drop in to the following local tackle stores to stock up on lures and other tackle and to get the latest updates on where to fish, and how.
- Mark at Bemm River Bait and Tackle – (03) 5158 4254, 10 Sydenham Inlet Rd, Bemm River VIC 3889
- Dave at Snowy River Tackle. (03) 5154 8487, 4 Marlo Road, Marlo, Victoria, Australia
- Jim at Compleat Angler Orbost. (03) (03) 5154 2440, 53 Nicholson St, Orbost, Victoria
Accommodation and meals. The East Gippsland community is friendly and accommodating, so why not stay a night or two and enjoy a cold beer and a upbeat at the end of the day? If you’re going to be fishing till dusk, be sure To give them a call and they make sure food is put aside when the kitchen closes.
- Russ at Marlo Hotel, (03) 5154 8201, 19 Argyle Parade, Marlo Victoria
- Bemm River Hotel (03) 5158 4241, 3 Sydenham Parade, Bemm River VIC
Tim “The Bream” Morgan is highly respected for his achievements on the tournament bream circuit, so when he gets chatting to fellow bream gun Andrew Death, you’d better believe that the pro tips will start flowing!
Flathead are distributed right across the Gold Coast in good numbers, but spring is the time when the bigger fish become more concentrated and easier to target. Gold Coast sponsored angler Guy McConnell does a great job of sharing tips that will help anyone catch more (and better quality) flathead on lures.
The Bemm River system is spectacular, but not necessarily the easiest place to chase bream on lures. Luckily, we have kayak tournament champion Joel Crosbie to share his tips and advice.