Estuaries will thrive after winter floods
  |  First Published: August 2012

With solid amounts of rain fishing has been tough, but before we were hit by floods there was some great fishing to be had in the estuaries and some post flood surprises offshore as well.

This has been one of the toughest months to write about in a long time, and it’s solely due to the atrocious weather we have had over the past month, that has made it very hard for even the keenest of anglers.


Before the floods, Australian salmon were in good numbers in the entrance of McLoughlins Beach. They did not seem to be scattered throughout the estuary all that much, but instead were held up in the deeper water of the entrance. The shallow flats outlying the entrance was home to plenty of small salmon up to 30cm and also a few tailor as well, but the big salmon have definitely preferred the deeper channel.

These bigger specimens have been up to 2.5kg, which are still great fish. Unfortunately all the rain hit us when we usually get those big monster salmon. The water turned a very dirty brown colour and, made it tough for nearly all species. Once the water cleared, the garfish came on the chew, but not that strongly. Only small numbers were caught but they were big garfish as is the usual over winter.

The big salmon were falling to metal lures and heavy vibes for the most part, and this was due to the fact the salmon were held up in some very fast flows and it was only heavy lures that would reach the bottom where they were. You could also use a big soft plastic with a heavy jig head to the same effect as well.


Daniel Lang got a nice surprise when he headed out just after the floods. There was a lot of dirty water outside, but he went past that and drifted for some flathead and gummies. He was rewarded with a monster winter gummy measuring nearly 1.8m long and weighing in at around 20kg. He also caught a few nice flatties as well. It’s definitely worth putting a bit of extra time out here over winter. Unfortunately you get plagued by draughtboard sharks, but the gummies are there, you just have to persist through them and hope a gummy close by sniffs out your bait.


There were a few nice catches of whiting once again this month. This is great news as it basically means the whiting are in the system all year round. I remember only a few years ago no one would have believed this, but more and more are getting caught each winter as more anglers are targeting this premier eating fish.

The whiting seem to be in a lot deeper water than you would fish in summer. Many anglers are fishing up to 7m deep for the winter whiting. Baits are the same as summer, Bass yabbies, pipis and freshly caught calamari being the optimum baits.

Offshore Port Albert seems to be the place to find these winter gummies. Whale Bay and Bentley Harbour being the most sought out locations. I have seen any real monsters yet from here, but there are plenty of good eating size gummies of 1-1.4m coming from this area. Pilchards and Californian squid seem to be as good baits as any. I would imagine freshly caught calamari would have to be gun bait as well at the moment as well.

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

Daniel Lang caught this monster winter gummy offshore just after the floods.

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