Welcome to the Lakes Entrance Fishing Guide. Lakes Entrance is a beautiful waterfront town located between Bairnsdale and Orbost. A popular holiday destination with a good selection of accommodation, gardens shops and restaurants. An all-year-round fishing destination on the east coastline of Victoria. Situated on the edge of bass straight and Gippsland lakes. With scenic sandy beaches and healthy estuary systems, it’s a lively location only a few hours drive from Melbourne. This is an amazing holiday destination with the family that offers plenty to do such as surfing and shopping. In terms of fishing, there is a vast range of options and species to be target by anglers making lakes entrance a great fishing destination. You may choose some of the smaller estuaries or many of the main jetties, or head out by boat.
Things to do at Lakes entrance
Lakes entrance is an exceptional family-friendly location. A vibrant township with plenty to do including bike riding, beach safaris, cruises, sailboating and a vast array of accommodation. This is a nice spot to take the kids with plenty of fishing spots with surrounding beach spots, parks and BBQ facilities. East Gippsland is a beautiful location surrounded by beaches, lakes and rivers. It’s truly a magnificent location for those who love the outdoors, camping, scenic views, mountainside walks and recreational water activities. Close by there is a good range of shops, cafes, restaurants and accommodation including Lake Tyers Caravan park which is only 2 minutes drive to lake tyers boat ramp. There are many playgrounds for the kids including Patterson Park. Nearby attractions include the Lakes entrance beach, Buchan caves, Footbridge mini golf centre, Art gallery, Wyanga park winery, Lakes entrance boat cruises and fishing charters, Griffiths seashell museum, Raymond island. Nearby townships include Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Bairnsdale, Metung. Wildlife around the beach and lakes includes kangaroos, pelicans and dolphins.
Fishing Lakes entrance
Where to begin there are so many options spread across beaches, surf, rivers and lakes. This can be a very popular and busy location, so fishing of the main jetty is going to get crowded during peak times. You can catch a whole range of fish species in this area including bream, flathead, trevally, leather jacket, estuary perch, luderick, snapper, whiting, garfish, mullet, tuna, sharks, salmon, tailor and more. A large combination of offshore, inshore and inland fishing makes this a premier fishing destination of victoria.
We provide specifics below on individual fish species common in the area. Generally, staple baits include pilchards, chicken, squid, maggots, scrub worms, mullet. A paternoster rig works well with sinker options to suit your desired casting distance. Again there are many options specific for certain species. an example would be a light spin setup for bream with a range of hard body lures and soft plastics or heavy game outfit for Tuna with a range of skirts. Rod set up all depends on what fish species you’re targeting. In these circumstances, it’s almost good to go with a general-purpose rod that allows you to cover many different types of species. In this case, a 3-5 kilo rod with a 3000 reel spooled with 6 pound line would be a great option. If you’re going for smaller fish then a light rod setup is best. 2–4 kilo capacity, with a 2000-3000 reel which will be sensitive enough to feel small bites and inquiries. If you’re chasing bigger fish like snapper and Gummy Sharks then you’ll want a heavier setup and potentially a long casting surf rod. Something along the lines of an 8 foot 5-8 kilo rod spooled with a stronger line such as 12 pounds.
Targeting Bream at Lakes entrance
This is a great location to target bream with lures and soft plastics. The options available are almost endless so make sure you read our guide on the best lures to catch bream. Recommended options include crab imitation, shallow diving cranks, paddle tail soft plastics, curl tail soft plastics, minnow imitations, vibes, and blades. Also, try your luck with surface lures which is an exciting form of fishing with light gear.
Bream is all about finesse fishing so you will need an ultralight spin outfit. We recommend a 7-foot rod in a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class, paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 reel spooled with 2-6-pound braid and equivalent leader. There are so many amazing bream outfits on the market and budgets vary greatly depending on your skill level and spending habits.
Bream reside within the structure such as jetty pylons and stumps. Enticing them away from the structure onto your lure will take some time to master. Remember to work your lures and plastics slowly and mix up the retrieval techniques.
If your targeting bream with bait than we would highly recommend sandworms, maggots, scrub worms, mussels, yabbies, & chicken. A 2-4 kilo class rod paired with a 2500 size reel would be a great option spooled with 6-pound line. We would encourage you to read our detailed guide on Bait fishing for Bream.
Targeting Flathead at Lakes entrance
We encourage you to read our detailed guide on How to catch Flathead. Flathead is a year-round prospect which can be caught at any time of the day. They are an ambush predator that waits in disguise for smaller fish to swim buy for an easy feed. This highlights the importance of keeping your baits and soft plastics towards the bottom. If fishing from a boat or kayak we would recommend drifting around the sandy flats until you find a good patch of them. Also, keep an eye for depth drop-offs which is a great location for an ambush predator to be waiting.
We recommend targeting flathead with a 7 foot 2–4 or 3-5 kilo fishing rod paired with a 2500 or 3000 size reel spooled with 8-12lb braid and equivalent leader. You can go lighter, but flathead has bristly teeth that can compromise your fishing line.
Flathead is not fussy and will happily have a go at many various soft plastics and lures. We would highly recommend reading our detailed guide on the best lures and soft plastics to catch flathead. Top choices include worm and yabby imitations, paddle tail soft plastic, curl tail soft plastics, deep diving hard body lures, vibes, swimbaits, and blades.
If your targeting flathead with bait, we recommend using a paternoster rig or running sinker rig. Using a small ball sinker to swivel, then 50cm of 8-12 leader to a size 6 long shank hook. Good baits choices include pilchards, mussels, squid, chicken, whitebait, Pipis, blue bait and prawns
Targeting Estuary Perch at Lakes entrance
Another highlight of fishing in this area is targeting Estuary perch with surface and shallow diving lures. The action can be frantic on warm balmy evenings with low wind. listen for the sound of breaking water which indicates EPs are feeding. The excitement an angler gets from an EP smashing a surface lure on light gear is something that truly needs to be experienced. It almost catches you by surprise when that aggressive strike comes.
Small surface poppers, cicadas, blades, surface minnows and pencil lures work well here. So do shallow diving hardbody lures. Noteworthy options include bent minnows, Rapala countdown series, nories laydown minnows and shallow diving cranks. Basically, anything that doesn’t dive too deep and makes a good vibrating action will work well. You can use any colour choice we often start with silvers that mimic small baitfish or mullet.
EPs also respond incredibly well to a whole range of soft plastics lightly weighted. Including curl tails, paddle tails and minnow imitations. The trusty 2.5-inch grubs and minnows an excellent choice. These imitate small baitfish which the EPs are actively feeding on. We would recommend mixing up the retrieval speeds and pauses and playing around with different colours. Where possible fish along the structure and stay alert for signs such as breaking water.
Fishing for Estuary Perch requires finesse. We recommend an ultralight fishing combo consisting of a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo spin rod around 7 foot in length. Coupled with a 1000 or 2000 size reel spooled with 2-8 pound line and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. When bait fishing uses a 2-4 kilo rod around 7 foot in length. Coupled with a 2500 size reel either a float or small running sinker to a swivel and very fine leader.
Targeting Tailor at Lakes entrance
Tailor is an aggressive predatory fish with sharp teeth that fight hard. They have a similar profile to a salmon and to leap out of the water when hooked. They school up in big numbers hunting baitfish in packs and breaking water often a sign that there feeding. You can catch them trolling, casting lures or bait fishing from the banks or surf.
Small metal slugs, curl tail soft plastics, paddle tail soft plastics are great choices. So is full pilchard mullet, blue bait and garfish. Either on a single hook, ganged hooks and even on light wire trace if there cutting through your leaders.
Picking a suitable outfit for tailor can be tricky as they have sharp teeth and can shred your leaders with ease. When fishing in estuary systems we would typically use a 7-foot rod in a 2-4, 3-5 or 4-6 kilo class, paired with a 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 6-8-pound braid and slightly stronger leader. If your targeting them in the surf than a long casting surf rod spooled with 14-20 pound braid and equivalent leader would be suitable. Handle carefully they have sharp teeth that can do some damage. If you’re getting hook-ups but dropping a lot of fish then consider using a stronger leader or light wire trace.
Targeting Snapper at Lakes entrance
We encourage you to read our detailed guide on how to catch snapper. Snapper season locally starts around October and finishes after March. The big reds migrate inshore during this time of year because water temperatures have increased providing ideal spawning conditions. With dawn and dusk are generally considered the best times to be on the water. The most common snapper rods are 7 foot 6 inches in length with a weight class of 4-7 kilos paired with a 4000 or 5000 size reel spooled with 15-30 pound braid or mono and 40 pound leader. You can choose to fish lighter or heavier. Recommended bait options include pilchards either full or half, silver whiting, squid, garfish, mackerel and mullet.
The best soft plastics are large jerk shads, whip baits, curl tails or paddle tails. Most between 4 and 7 inches in size generally coupled with a ½ or ¼ ounce jig head. Some good options include Savage Gear Fat Curl Tails, Daiwa Bait Junkie Jerk shads & Berkley 7 inch turtleback worm, Zman curl tails.
Targeting Gummy Shark at Lakes entrance
We would recommend targeting gummy shark with a 7 foot 8-15 kilo rod paired with a 4000 to 6000 size reel spooled with 20 to 40 pound line. Finished with a strong leader ranging from 40lb through to 60 pounds. Ideal rigs include a running sinker rig to single or double snelled rig or paternoster rig. You can use an Ezi rig attaching a sinker to the clip then tying on a pre-made double snelled rig. Octopus or circle hooks from 5/0 to 7/0 are preferred for presenting chunks of salmon, trevally, squid, mackerel, Eel, mullet, pilchard, yakka’s, & garfish.
learn to make your own snapper and gummy shark rigs watching this video
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. Header complements of visitvictoria.com.au All other images and videos shown on the Lakes Entrance Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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