Estuaries impress
  |  First Published: December 2008

McLoughlins and Manns estuaries have continued to impress over the past month. While a few windy weeks kept many anglers away, the fish were still there waiting to be caught.


The snapper remained in the estuary for a few weeks in November, however it seems they have departed as quickly as they came in. Anglers kept persisting in the deeper sections, such as the entrance and the Snapper Hole, but only pinkies up to 45cm were caught.

Some small gummy sharks have been caught in the entrance on heavier gear.

The whiting have been a major target species in the estuary over the past month. It continues to be a bumper season, with large bags being caught on pipis, cockles, squid and Jap clam. The whiting have been averaging 40cm and have been as large as 50cm.

Soft plastic fishing for flathead has been dynamite. There’s plenty of around 45cm being caught, as well as the usual 25-35cm models. Heavier jigheads are the go if you want to clean up on the flatties in this system, with 1/8-1/4oz being great sizes to use.


Offshore the snapper are around the reefs in huge numbers at present, and they should stick around until April. They have been caught out the front of both Manns and McLoughlins entrances, and many anglers are also going down as far as Seaspray if the weather has permitted.

It has been great to hear of many anglers successfully targeting snapper on soft plastics out on the reefs. The standout plastics have been Gulp 7” Jerkshads. Nuclear chicken has been a really good colour, however the paler colours have been doing the job as well. You could also try the new Atomic Guzzlers and Squidgy Flickbaits.

Heavy jigheads are needed out on the reefs, and 1/2-1oz should be enough depending on the strength of the current and wind. When drifting, cast downwind so that you drift over your soft plastic. This will make sure that the plastic reaches the bottom.

Try and keep the plastic close to the bottom and watch for any sudden jerks in the line while it is sinking. This is where braided lines come into their own. If the boat is anchored, cast up current as far as possible and wait for the plastic to hit the bottom before jigging it in. When the snapper are on, simply casting the plastic up current and putting the rod in the rod holder can be all that is needed to catch a big red!

For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 03 5174 8544.

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