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Best Time of Year
  |  First Published: March 2011



This summer is amazing, we get a few days of hot weather then it turns cold again.

This erratic weather has mucked up the water temperatures. We fished McLoughlins on a Thursday and the water temperature was just below 23C. We went back the Tuesday after and it was 17.5C. I don’t think the fish like this too much either which could be why the fishing reports are differing so much between anglers.

INSIDE

Despite the weather, the fishing has been fantastic on many occasions. The flathead this year are huge. There’s plenty of 70cm plus fish and I’m hearing reports of even bigger ones being lost. Rod Booker and I picked probably the worst day to go as it was blowing about 30knots. We found that all the flathead were in very shallow water, no deeper than a metre and as shallow as 30cm deep. Rod released a beauty of about 65cm caught on a Berkley power minnow. I was trying out the new Atomic Semi-Hardz range of lures. They are very versatile as you can walk them across the surface like a popper or let them sink deep like a sinking hardbodied lure.

They were good for the kind of weather we were fishing and caught a few flathead on the surface in very shallow water, which made the fishing trip. We also caught a luderick of all things, which is one fish I’ve never caught at McLoughlins before.

The garfish have also been around in large numbers, which is one fish that people forget about in summer. There’s plenty there if you know where to look, and they are all around 35cm to 40cm.

There’s been the odd school of good salmon to 2kg entering the entrance as well. The whiting are going quite well, more have been caught closer to Manns Beach and at Robertson’s beach as well. Bass yabbies have been the key bait this month, they’re out fishing pipis 10 to 1, but it still always pays to take pipis just in case.

OFFSHORE

There’s been some very interesting stuff out here lately. For starters, the guys working on the rigs have been spotting the odd marlin. There have been schools of striped tuna scattered around everywhere. My mate Chris had a great day out wide, when he got on to a school of striped tuna on fly and soft plastic on very light line.

You can’t have much more fun than that. He said he looked for flocks of birds then trolled Rapalas and Halcos or metal slugs. Once he found the area they were in, he got the fly and plastics gear out and blind cast till he caught them.

Mako Sharks

The mako sharks are going wild, there has probably been more caught this year than most other years I can remember. They are averaging around 15-25kg and are being caught on fresh fish fillets such as slimy mackerel or salmon. The anglers out wide are spotting schools of yellowtail kingfish as well.

Port Albert

I have to talk about offshore first here guys. The gummies that are around at the moment are nothing short of huge. Some of the photos that have been sent to me have been amazing. I’ve seen two gummy sharks now over 35kg. The big gummies have been caught out around Cliffy Island and all the big fish have been taken on fresh bait such as fresh slimy mackerel or yakkas, or fresh calamari. There are plenty of mako sharks out here as well; probably more. Again the sizes aren’t huge, but there are a couple over the 50kg mark. Berley and fresh baits are been the key here.

INSIDE

The calamari are going strong from Port Albert all the way to Welshpool. My brother in law Aaron and I caught a heap a few weeks ago in a howling gale. We simply drifted with the wind and cast Yamashita jigs in front of the boat and drifted over them, just jigging occasionally so that we didn’t get snagged on the bottom. We ended up with just under our bag limit including one of 54cm.

The flathead have been exceptional; it really has been a lure angler’s paradise over this way. The flathead all in the shallows and are pretty big. It’s good to see the different techniques that have been used this year. Because of the wide range of lures out, you’re not just limited to standard soft plastics of bibbed hardbodies.

Over this way, the bibless hardbodies, or walk the dog style lures have been working well in the shallows for large flathead. You put in a lot of casts, but when you get a flattie, there normally good ones and to see them strike the surface is pretty awesome.

Because of the weed, you will probably need to take of the trebles and run doubles or singles. That way they don’t collect as much floating weed, which can be the biggest nuisance over this way for the lure angler.

For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544. You will get expert advice and great deals on all fishing bait and tackle.

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