Be early for best action
  |  First Published: December 2008

The quiet town of Mallacoota comes alive over the Summer with tourists from all over turning up to go swimming, relax and enjoy the fishing.

It pays to be up early and out fishing at this time of year. The north-east wind can start howling early in the day, making it hard to find somewhere out of the wind where you can catch a fish or two.

If heading offshore, check the weather because it can be hard to retrieve your boat in a howling north-easter.

Plenty of boats start heading offshore from now until April, with good fishing around Gabo Island.

Flathead are at their best at this time of year with bag limits of big fish the norm.

Gummy sharks are also caught, along with pan-size snapper around the reefy areas.

For tourists in the area without a boat, Reinhart from Wilderness Coast Charters offers transfer to Gabo Island and sightseeing charters offshore. Jason from Mallacoota Fishing Charters takes groups offshore chasing flathead and gummy sharks.

The beach fishing over coming months starts to offer a bit more variety.

As well as salmon there will be yellowfin bream and whiting. Fresh local prawns and beach worms are best, fished in the gutters and washes around Bastion Point through to Quarry Beach.

Fish have now spread out through the estuary with good bream around the margins of the Top and Bottom lakes but, as usual, these fish have been tricky to catch.

Hardbody lures and unweighted soft plastics on an erratic, stop-start retrieve have proved the best way to catch these spooky fish. Long casts and light leaders have also helped get a few extra fish.

This time of year good fishing can be had by anglers using nippers, prawns or worms early mornings and late evenings around Goodwin Sands.

Flathead can be found all around the margins with patches of school-size fish (40cm to 50cm) found in the deeper water.

Soft plastics have been working well. It pays to have plenty of casts in a likely area because, believe it or not, the flathead have started to wise up to soft plastics. They don’t always hit the first lure to go by their noses.

Garfish have started to come on the bite with the edges of the weed beds the best area to try.

Plenty of blackfish are around for those who want to chase a good feed; try the jetties near the entrance.

The Betka River has come alive with good catches of flathead and bream anywhere from the road bridge through to the entrance.

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