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 hour’s drive from Melbourne.

This is an amazing holiday destination for 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 targeted 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.


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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 accommodations. This is a nice spot to take the kids with plenty of fishing spots 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 accommodations including Lake Tyers Caravan Park which is only a 2-minute 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, fishing charters, Griffiths seashell museum, and Raymond Island. Nearby townships include Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Bairnsdale, Metung. Wildlife around the beach and lakes include 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 on 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 in Victoria.

The choice of lures is almost endless to make things easier we created a detailed video on the best lures and how to use them.

We provide specifics below on individual fish species common in the area. Generally, staple baits include pilchards, chicken, squid, maggots, scrub worms, and 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 a 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.

Places to fish near Lakes Entrance

Not far from here, you can also try fishing at these destinations

Recommended baits Lakes Entrance

At this location, we would highly recommend the baits suggested below. There are several ways to present baits including a running sinker rig, paternoster rig, or dropper rig. The rig and sinker choice will be dependent on the species you are targeting and the conditions such as wind and tidal strength.

Bait Choices

  • garfish
  • prawns
  • pilchards
  • yabbies
  • Scrub worms
  • sandworms
  • maggots
  • mussels
  • live baits work well in this system

Recommended lures and soft plastics Lakes Entrance

Soft Plastics

  • Zman grubZ
  • Cranka crab
  • OSP bent minnows
  • Zman slim Swimz
  • Mussel Vibes
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • Damiki Monster Miki 2.5 sp
  • Jackall Chubby
  • Savage Gear Fathead Crank
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
  • Gulp 3 inch minnow
  • Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Squidge wrigglers
  • eco gear ZX40
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • EcoGear SX40
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • Nories laydown minnow
  • StrikePro cyber vibe
  • Pro lure live yabby
  • Hurricane twitch 50 shallow


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 a 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 resides within structures 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 you are targeting bream with bait then 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 a 6-pound line. We would encourage you to read our detailed guide on Bait fishing for Bream.


Targeting Flathead at Lakes Entrance

Flathead is a year-round prospect that can be caught at any time of the day. They are an ambush predator that waits in disguise for smaller fish to swim by for 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 out 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 you are 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 bait choices include pilchards, mussels, squid, chicken, white bait, Pipis, blue bait, and prawns.

Catching Prawns at Lake Tyers

Lake Tyers is an awesome spot to target prawns especially when the mouth has opened taking in a heap of saltwater which oxygenates the system. We like to target gars here with waders in the evenings walking around with an underwater night light and deep reach net. This is a fun thing to do and is great eating and great bait for big dusky flathead and bream. Great spots to target them are near the mouth opposite the local caravan park and pub. You can park right in front and then walk the banks. In 2023 the volume of prawns at the entrance was amazing with local anglers and visitors catching them by the bucket loads. It’s a must-do activity with the family and kids.


Targeting Estuary Perch at Lakes Entrance

Estuary Perch

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 are an excellent choice. These imitate small baitfish that 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 with 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 feet in length. Coupled with a 1000 or 2000 size reel spooled with a 2-8 pound line and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. When bait fishing uses a 2-4 kilo rod around 7 feet 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 with great fighting qualities. They have a similar profile to a salmon and 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 are staple baits like pilchard mullet, blue bait and garfish. Either on a single hook, ganged hooks or 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 then a long casting surf rod spooled with 14-20 pound braid and equivalent leader would be suitable. Handle them 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 trac

Targeting Snapper at Lakes Entrance


Locally Snapper season starts around October and finishes towards April. The big reds migrate inshore due to the warmer water temperatures which provide ideal spawning conditions. Dawn, Dusk, and tide changes are considered the best times to catch snapper. Snapper will take a variety of baits and soft plastics. For bait a 7 to 8 foot rod with a 4-7 kg rating paired with a 4000 or 5000 size reel spooled with 15-30 pound line is great. Good bait options include pilchards, silver whiting, squid, and salmon. When it comes to soft plastics, a 7 foot 3-6 kilo rod paired with a 3000 size reel is great. Good soft plastics include jerk shads, whip baits, curl tails, or paddle tails between 3 and 5 inches in a variety of colours. We encourage you to read our detailed guide on how to catch snapper.

Check out this instructional video guide on how to catch snapper with soft plastics filmed locally in Port Phillip Bay

Targeting Gummy Shark at Lakes Entrance

Gummy Shark

We would recommend targeting gummy sharks with a 7 foot 8-15 kilo rod paired with a 4000 to 6000 size reel spooled with a 20 to 40-pound line. Finished with a strong leader ranging from 40lb through to 60 pounds. Ideal rigs include a running sinker rig single or double snelled rig or a paternoster rig. You can use an Ezi rig attaching a sinker to the clip and 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 by 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. Thank you for visiting the Lakes Entrance Fishing Guide. If you feel this location guide is missing key information or needs any corrections made, then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Please also feel free to share any fishing pictures you have from this location with us. Thank you