Only a short 10 minute drive off the highway from Orbost lies one of my favourite places to visit and throughout the year is like a second home for me – Marlo.
Marlo is located at the mouth of the Snowy River and is not only an angler’s paradise, but a paradise for anyone who is looking to get away and kick the feet up for a day or 10. Make sure you drop in to the pub and say G'day to Russ and the guys, who will make your stay very warm and welcome.
Marlo is a good all year round option. However, if there has been a lot of rain especially during winter, it can flood shutting down the system for some time. Once the water settles and the system gets a flush out then this is when the fishing can be at its best.
The beauty about Marlo is that you can catch just as many fish land-based walking the flats with lures or bait fishing, as you can out of a boat or kayak.
The use of long light nibble tip rods are most popular for those anglers that like to baitfish. Light line and leaders are a must when fishing the shallow flats, but when up river in the snags a slightly heavier outfit is best suited for putting the brakes on some brutes, before they take you deep into the timber and leave you scratching your head.
If lure fishing, then a standard 7ft graphite rod, matched with a 2000 sized reel and 4-10lb braid is more than enough for most species you will encounter at Marlo.
A light running sinker rig with a long light leader is the go when fishing the estuary area from the entrance right up past the third island. Like mentioned above, when fishing the timber, especially with lures, bump up the leader to 8lb and tighten the drag up a couple more turns. A rod length of leader tied to the braid via a double uni knot is all that is needed.
Local sandworm is a favourite in most of the estuaries in East Gippsland. You can either pump your own or buy it. Along with sandworm prawns are a hot bait, more so when the prawns are running; these too can easily be caught at night with the use of a scoop net and prawn light.
The go-to plastic for Marlo is 80 and 100mm Squidgy Wrigglers in bloodworm and wasabi. Ecogear VX blades in 439 and 445 are also another viable option, especially in the winter months.
When the fish are schooling up in the open it isn't hard to rack up cricket score numbers of fish. Using the wind or tide to your advantage and drifting over fish using your sounder is the key. Cast up current and work the lure back towards the boat. A small lift and drop retrieve is all that is needed, and it won't be long until you come up tight to something on the other end.
There is nothing wrong with taking home a feed of fish for the table. Just remember to always be one step ahead and understand the rules and regulations on bag limits and size limits of each species. Also understanding certain species like bream and estuary perch that inhabit the estuary and knowing a 40cm+ fish can be upwards of 30+ years old. Fish like this are better off returned to water after a quick couple of photos to breed and sustain future fish populations for generations to come.
When the wind blows it really blows at Marlo. This can make things difficult when out in the lake section and drifting around casting lures. The use of a sea anchor will help a lot as it will slow down your drift, allowing you to work lures slower and more effectively, instead of drifting along a bank too quick and not fishing it to its full potential.Reads: 1898