The fish have now decided that it is time to play, with the gutters on the beaches providing a range of fish for the surf angler.
Flathead are starting to make their presence felt with some to 2kg already taken, particularly from the deeper gutters. McLoughlins and Golden beaches have been good places to start as they have had good areas of deep water. Be aware, though, that gutters move with the prevailing wind and tides, with shifting sands moving them along the beach. It therefore pays to look at the beach before you start fishing, in case you need to move to find a deep gutter. Bluebait, squid and surf poppers have been producing the most fish.
Salmon are still being taken along the beaches. There are some fish to 3kg, however most are 500g to 1kg. Loch Sport has been one of the best spots for the bigger fish, with Golden Beach, Lakes Entrance and Woodside all worth a try as well. Again bluebait, pilchards, whitebait, pipis, squid and surf poppers have all produced the goods. Metal lures are still worth trying, especially Gillies Baitfish, Laser, Halco and Spanyid lures of 20-30g. Try different colours on the day until you find one that works best.
Mullet and tailor have also been taken by anglers fishing for salmon, with some good-sized fish mixed amongst them. Lakes Entrance and the Honeysuckles near Seaspray have held more tailor than any other beach.
Between September and November every year, there is an early run of elephant fish along the western beaches from Loch Sport through to McLoughlins Beach. This year they seem to be appearing a little bit later, with the first report coming through in mid-October. They can be caught using squid, pilchards, bluebait and fresh fillets of salmon, tailor and mullet.
Gummy sharks have been biting very well, with the biggest being an exceptional 1.8m specimen, which is a great gummy. Draughtboard or skunk sharks have still been causing some frustration, but their numbers are reducing and they should be gone by November.
Seven-gilled sharks are still being caught but they are in smaller numbers. However, bronze whalers, school and hammerhead sharks are starting to make an appearance. Squid, pilchards, bluebait, salmon, tailor and mullet fillets are all worth trying as bait. Three days either side of the new or full moon are the best times to concentrate your efforts, however any night when the conditions are right is a good night to give it a go.
A large snapper is not out of the question at this time of year when targeting any of the shark species. Some have been up to 10kg in the past years, and there are always a few taken every year, particularly from McGaurans and Delray beaches. Wherever there is a deep gutter you are in with a chance.
If this doesn’t get you excited enough to give the beach a go, nothing will. Don’t forget to take your camera with you and take a photo of your catch. Email it to me and I will use it in my next article.
Lindsay with a salmon he caught recently at Delray Beach.Reads: 1953