With winter finally over it’s time to dust off the surf gear and start spending the evenings on the local beaches in search of those great grey subs that patrol the deeper gutters and channels.
Fishing for gummies is a constant challenge that draws us back time and time again, and while some nights can be extremely tough, others can be diamonds!
Gummies will take a wide range of baits, and as always fresh is best. Squid legs reign supreme in our neck of the woods and can be purchased locally at seafood outlets in Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale. Flesh baits like salmon, tailor or trevally fillets can be dynamite too, but tend to also attract less desirable species like swell sharks and skate.
A few years ago we used carp fillets and scored a few really good gummies. Eel is also a proven performer and will stay on the hook for hours – we actually use pliers to get it off the hook at the end of the session. If the crabs are bad, eel is a great option.
Setting up for gummies is fairly simple, and depending on the size of your bait you can fish either 1 or 2 baits on a standard paternoster rig. Some anglers use a running sinker rig, which also works fine.
We run 50lb fluorocarbon as leader material, with a suitable sized sinker to suit conditions. Gamakatsu Octopus are brilliant hooks and are perfect for gummies. Look for a hook to match the size of your bait; 6/0 is about right for squid legs and fillets.
There are some great spots to fish between Marlo and Seaspray. Pettemans Beach is popular, as is Lake Tyers and Lake Bunga. All you need to look for is a good deep gutter with minimal side wash and weed.
There has been a few good salmon still passing through, and they’re taking bluebait and red surf poppers. Eastern Beach has been a hot spot with fish to 6lb fairly common. Spinning with bream gear is great fun. 25g green/silver Lazer lures cast an absolute mile and kick off plenty of flash to drive the salmon crazy.
Things are starting to fire in the lake system with some solid reports of whiting coming from both Kalimna and Barrier landing along the weedy channels. Shrimp, pippi and peeled prawn are the best baits. Try to keep the bait slowly moving along the bottom. This will also pick up the occasional big flathead that hunt the weed edges too.
The bigger whiting will generally sit in the deeper channels while the smaller ones will hunt in the shallower margins. When the water is really clear you can often see them hunting along the bottom and this makes for exciting fishing.
A few big leatherjacket have been caught and these tasty critters are always welcome in the bag!
Flathead have been caught along the Cunningham Arm foreshore on soft plastics. DOA Shrimp are possibly one of the best prawn imitations on the market and are once again slaying the duskies in the shallows. At the moment the lake is loaded with bait sized prawn about 3” long, so it is critical to match the hatch.
Look for areas of scattered weed and sand patches. Flicking plastics around the boat hulls is also productive, as the trawlers always drop fish scraps off the decks after a trip. The flatties will be waiting for the free feed.
A few good snapper have been taken from the 4 Mile Reef, and the sand flathead are starting to show up, too. While they aren’t huge, there are plenty of them there; it’s just a matter of sorting through the smaller ones to get a feed. Drifting with pilchards is a time proven method of securing a feed and covering large areas.
Gummies have been taken off The Pines and The Stockyards on squid and pilchards. The Red Bluff Reef has been holding pinky snapper to about 4lb and on calm days they can be caught with soft plastics on bream weight gear. This is a spot that should be fished with extreme caution and unless you know exactly what you’re doing, don’t try it. No fish is worth risking your life for.
Lake Tyers has been sensational, with the flats in the lower reaches of the system producing yet another awesome run of big black and yellowfin bream and dusky flathead. Crankbaits, poppers and soft plastics have accounted for most of the fish, while anglers fishing with live local prawns absolutely smashing them.
The Glasshouse down to Fishermans Landing is where most of the action is taking place. Fish the incoming tide either early morning or late afternoon for the best results.Reads: 815