The sheer array of different species that have been caught in the past month has been phenomenal. Autumn is a time when you just don’t know what you are going to catch next. The water temperature has remained very high, averaging 19-20oC both outside and inside our South Gippsland estuaries.
Outside McLoughlins Beach has produced some of the biggest gummies I have heard of in many seasons. They have been caught from just outside the entrance to the reefs. John Gillam caught two huge gummies just under 1.8m long, which weighed in excess of 20kg. They fell to barracouta fillets.
There has been a heap of barracouta annoying the boaties offshore, so many have been keeping a few for bait and receiving great rewards for their efforts. A friend of mine, Steve, landed four huge gummies 1.8m and over that again went well over 20kg. I had some unconfirmed reports of a gummy caught that weighed in at 35kg - that is one of the biggest I’ve ever heard of if it’s true.
Plenty of other gummies between 1-1.5m long have been landed as well, and nothing special for bait has been needed – pilchards and fish fillets have done the trick. The snapper are still around in great numbers too, and there have been plenty of fish up to 8kg caught from about 1km outside the entrance out to the reefs. Pilchard and squid have been exceptional baits.
Lorri Fabris caught two nice 5kg snapper out on McLoughlins Reef, and Neville Lowe and Jack Gill landed their bag limit of 40cm snapper just outside the entrance. It proves you can be anywhere at the moment and catch great snapper.
Tuna have been landed up to 3km outside. They have been mainly striped tuna of 6-7kg, which are very large specimens. Other schools of fish have been seen busting up outside, which are believed to have been be either tuna or kingfish. It would pay to have some lures on board ready and rigged.
Plenty of flathead up to 60cm long are being landed. They are located all they way out to the reefs and are taking bluebait, pilchards and squid. More and more people are using soft plastics outside for the flatties, either jigged or left alone on a paternoster rig. They are proving to be deadly.
There are plenty of good reports from inside too. Young Chris Murphy did exceptionally well near Five Dollar Paddock at Manns Beach. He landed his bag limit of pinky snapper up to 40cm, all on soft plastics. Dean King landed a big flathead measuring 78cm in length, which was released unharmed. My mate Brain landed a 63cm kingfish on a piece of whitebait while he was trying to catch a flatty. He did well landing it on a 2-4kg whiting rod – it only took a 20 minute boat chase! David Ramsey had a great Easter session inside McLoughlins during which he landed 17 whiting to 45cm on Bass yabbies.
This whiting season has been the best ever by far: hopefully next year is half as good. There have been some big sea garfish caught as well, which have been pushing 55cm and are taking pipis and small pieces of whitebait. They are even taking white soft plastics.
There are so many more reports I want to mention but that’s all I can fit in for now. Sorry in advance to the guys whose photos I can’t fit in this month – I will try again next month!
For more information on fishing McLoughlins and Manns Beach, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 03 5174 8544.Reads: 1752