A mixed bag
  |  First Published: July 2008

Winter is upon us and our beloved cold water sportfish have arrived inside the estuary at McLoughlins in big numbers. Anglers are having great time fishing for a plethora of species.

Winter really is known for great sportfishing in our South Gippsland estuaries. Metal lures, plastics and flies all work a treat at this time of year. The good thing at present is that anglers aren’t just being entertained with salmon, but are basking in large numbers of tailor and trevally as well.

On a recent outing with good mates Steve Wright and Matt Reid to McLoughlins Beach, we were welcomed with four different species of fish that were all taken jigging metal lures on the bottom. The entrance is fishing really well at the moment and we spent most of our time in this region, yet fish were scattered all the way through the Shoal Channel to Manns Beach.

The fish of the day went to Log when he landed a fat 42cm trevally. It weighed 920g and fought like a demon. Jigging was the technique of choice and every time we go to McLoughlins we find ourselves using this method because it is just so effective. The salmon weren’t that big, mostly around 30cm, but there were stacks of tailor chomping our metal slugs and biting us off as well.

Matt got the biggest tailor for the day and it pushed 45cm, which is a great tailor for South Gippsland. Most of the tailor were coming close to 40cm. There are more tailor this year than previous years, so there is plenty of good sport to be had.

On the day I was there the salmon weren’t large, however some anglers have been catching them to around 2.5kg, so it is just the luck of the day whether or not the bigger salmon are about. A good tip is to choose a day that has a fairly big tidal movement because the bigger salmon love this. Matt also caught a small flathead on a metal slice so it proves there are still a few flatties inside as well.

Gordon Coulson had a few ripper days in the last week of May during which he and a mate caught their bag of whiting on two separate occasions. The whiting were up to 45cm in length and were caught closer to Manns Beach.


Offshore the flathead have been the most talked about species due to the drop in water temperature. Most anglers are getting their bag of flatties offshore by bottom bouncing whilst drifting. Pilchards and bluebait have been as good a bait as any, yet a quick stop behind the breakers outside the entrance will probably get you as many salmon as you want for bait. The Jig-Em Squid are exceptional this time of year for the flatties, and this way you will save a few dollars on bait.


McLoughlins Beach Residents and Ratepayers Association are trying to find out who is visiting McLoughlins to fish in order to show that the boat ramp facilities are deserving of an upgrade to a state of the art floating pontoon system. I will have some questionnaires in my shop to be filled out, so if anyone fishes McLoughlins Beach, please come into the shop and fill out a form. We may well get ourselves a new and better boat ramp.

For more information about fishing McLoughlins Beach, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544.


Matt Reid shows off a nice McLoughlins tailor. These hard fighters are around in huge numbers at present.


Log holds up a ripper 42cm trevally he caught on a Gillies Pilchard metal lure.

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