With the onset of summer, it signals the arrival of the toothy critters that bathers fear, but anglers love.
This has sparked a new kind of angling craze called land-based shark fishing, and it seems as if the Ninety Mile Beach is at the forefront of all the action.
This year is perhaps the biggest year for sheer numbers of anglers using game fishing from the beach to catch sharks. This popular form of fishing has allowed us to see how many big sharks frequent the beaches right at our doorstep. The idea is big baits, big hooks and big fish. Obviously there is no way to cast this kind of gear so paddling out baits is the only option, whether it be via kayak, surf ski, jet ski or small boats.
The bigger sharks have only just started getting caught in the past month and the most popular beaches have been McGaurans, Jack Smiths, Golden Beach and Seaspray. This is mainly being due to ease of access to the beach.
David Tangi was one such angler whom caught a massive bronze whaler off the beach recently. He used large cut salmon baits and paddled the baits out on a kayak just behind the breakers where it the big bronzy was lurking. Another keen shark angler, Shannon Musgrove, also caught a few good-sized bronze whalers by paddling out large baits and he has managed bronze whalers up to 2.2m in length.
Last year there were some massive hammerhead sharks and big school sharks also taken so I imagine this form of fishing isn’t going away anytime soon. For those who prefer to cast their baits, each full moon has produced a great run of gummy sharks off the surf and they have been caught the whole stretch of the beach from Golden to Woodside.
Squid is still proving very effective and I have still been hearing of plenty being caught on surf poppers, however more and more people are now using snapper snatchers or flasher rigs off the surf and are catching plenty of everything from flatties to sharks on these pre-made rigs.
All you need to add is a little bit of squid, bluebait or fish fillet and you are set to catch absolutely anything.
For those who wait for the large run of blue spot flathead at Woodside, wait no longer. They have turned up now and in good number. It’s been late, but they have certainly arrived and I have heard of plenty of flatties up to 2kg being caught. Surf poppers have been the best, but guys slowly winding in bluebait pieces are doing well too. It’s also worth casting in soft plastics as well. Some anglers are setting themselves up with high-end 2.5m graphite soft plastic rods, which are fantastic for casting lighter weights long distances. This allows you to walk the beach casting plastics for those big flatties in summer. The same outfit could also be used for throwing metal slugs around at big salmon.
Speaking of salmon, we basically had no salmon run this winter, but I have seen some whoppers caught in the past month for some reason. Most are just getting caught by gummy/flattie anglers, but as well as good sport they make excellent bait for a big shark.
As you can see, plenty is going on and there is so much too talk about, but this is just a taste of what is happening down along the ninety mile, so get down there and try your luck.
For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544. You will get expert advice and great deals on fishing bait and tackle., Turn in to Rex Hunt and Lee Raynor’s “Off the Hook” on 1242 to hear Will’s Report on what’s going on in Gippsland!Reads: 1931