Prime winter sport on the beaches
  |  First Published: July 2012

Winter is certainly here now and it feels like we have been short changed on a summer, but there is plenty of prime sport fishing to be done in South Gippsland.


Everyone is obviously after the big salmon down our way and it’s been a difficult past month, as they don’t seem to be in the usual places that we find them this time of year. For the big salmon, target the entrances at McLoughlins Beach, Manns Beach or Kearneys. For some reason, the really big salmon don’t seem to be going down the channel stretching between Manns and McLoughlins.

The McLoughlins entrance has changed a lot over the past six months, and it is extremely shallow over the entire western bank. The actual channel is quite skinny and all the salmon seem to be held up on this side of the bank. You are better starting a troll from the main jetty at McLoughlins all the way to the entrance and going back and forth till you find them.

Once you find them, drop the anchor and start casting soft plastics or metal vibe lures, the latter are working a treat because of the heavy current. Also casting metal slugs has been good too, especially jigging them whilst on the drift.

The salmon in the entrance have been averaging 3kg and you could even walk to the entrance and target these fish. The entrance into the short cut channel is extremely shallow now and at low tide you have to be very careful heading towards Manns Beach due to the high number of snags that have washed down. There is a sand bank running across now that is only about 30cm deep during a big drainer so keep an eye out.

This might be the reason why the big salmon haven’t been going up this channel as much and are holding in the entrances a lot more. The shallower sand bank I just mentioned is a haven for small salmon around 30cm in length and you can get as many of them as you like on soft plastics and small 45mm vibes.

Again, don’t even bother fishing the shallows if you want a big salmon! Hopefully in the next month the big salmon move into the inlet in larger numbers and fill up all the little leads and gutters, this is when you can get the stick baits and poppers out for a whirl!


The silver trevally are inside in big numbers now and soft plastics are my favourite way to catch these fish, but also small vibes at dead low tide can be awesome as well. The vibes are hard to use mid-tide whilst the currant is strong, so if you want to use a vibe, maybe use bigger models such as 55mm types.

The Berkley Power minnow in pumpkinseed and bloodworm have been my two favourite plastics to use and you will need at least a 1/4oz jig head during the tide but drop down to lighter weights such as 1/8oz at slack tide. Most of the trevally have been around the same size of 30cm but there are a few bigger ones to 40cm in length around too.


Small tailor are everywhere scattered from McLoughlins through to Manns Beach. They are pretty small of around 30cm in length and have been quite annoying in the fact that they destroy your soft plastics and make you go through 3-4 packets in a session. Some are even biting off metal lures. They are being caught at all stages of the tide; hopefully they get a little bigger over the next two months before they disappear again.


It is the serious time for big garfish now, so I encourage everyone to get out there and have ago. This is some great fishing is fantastic for kids to do as you catch a lot of fish and you can use a float which most kids find fun. Not to mention you will end up with one of the best eating fish you can get in Victoria.

Simply set you self up in a good gutter with some weed beds nearby and berley with small chunks of fish flesh or pellet/bread crumb mixtures. Put on a garfish float rig with a small piece of flesh such as salmon, tailor, trevally, whitebait or pipi and cast into your berley trail.

Sometimes it helps to slowly wind in if they are finicky. You will also catch mullet doing this, and the mullet in south Gippsland are beautiful eating due to the highly tidal and clean waters. That’s why we call it poor man’s whiting!

Either way, there’s plenty to do over this way so get over there and have a go!

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

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