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Fishing still red hot as summer slides into autumn
  |  First Published: March 2013



We have had some wild weather, however plenty of anglers are still getting out for fish and are catching nearly everything possible from whiting to kingfish and everything in between.

McLoughlins beach inside

Whiting have been a little tougher at McLoughlins with most anglers only catching a handful of whiting, however these whiting are massive and they are still measuring to 40cm with a few a slightly bigger as well. I guess when the whiting are this size it doesn’t matter if you don’t get your bag limit as 6 is enough to feed a whole family. The whiting are mainly being caught on Bass yabbies, but it’s worth taking pipis as well. They are getting caught around the usual weed beds but it’s amazing how many whiting are being taken in the entrance at slack tide.

A school of kingfish entered the entrance a few weeks back as was expected considering how much bait is around. A few anglers hooked up with them on light tackle but were smoked, but I saw one landed that was just under-size.

There are big salmon mixed in as well and these fish can be seen by just keeping an eye out on the birds diving and any small bust ups of fish. All three entrances have the potential for producing kingies and big salmon at the moment; it’s just the luck of the draw.

But again there is so much bait including whitebait, yakkas and slimies around that I’m surprised more aren’t being caught.

This has been the best flathead season ever. There are many big blue spot flathead being caught and they are averaging 50cm with plenty of 60cm plus fish. Soft plastics are by far the best and you can’t beat the pumpkinseeds, they are smashing the flatties. In saying this, bluebait is working exceptionally well for the bait anglers and plenty of these guys are catching there bag of flatties as well.

OFFSHORE

In close on the 15m line, there have been excellent bags of flathead taken. These fish are rippers and are averaging between 40-60cm. Paternoster rigs and snapper snatchers with pilchards have been the best baits and most anglers are drifting for the flathead and are bagging out in no time. There are some small pinkie snapper being caught around Joes Island in close and they are prime eating fish of around 35-45cm with the odd bigger fish in the mix.

Out wider in 21m the gummies are going crazy still and especially around the full moon most anglers are bagging out. I haven’t seen any monsters, but plenty of good 1-1.2m long gummy sharks have been caught. Fresh bait is the key and there is plenty of that around. Just take some berley and hang it over the side whilst drifting and you should have slimies everywhere around you in no time.

On the reef in 18m there are plenty of yakkas to catch as fresh bait. For guys that don’t know about them, check out the Sabiki rods especially designed for catching bait. They are an interline rod that stores your whole Sabiki rig. They are pure gold!

PORT ALBERT

The whiting have gone much better in Port Albert and the Basket Beacon and old Port Channel have produced most of the fish. Again, most of the fish are around 40cm and I have heard some better numbers of fish being caught here but not by all anglers. Most anglers getting good numbers are moving around a bit. The flatties are huge here inside as well, and I have seen flathead caught to 75cm this month which are massive fish and weigh up to and 3.5kg.

Offshore, Whale Bay has produced plenty of gummy sharks, but there are a lot of big sharks here such as small white pointers and bronze whalers; many anglers are being smashed by these big toothies. There plenty of those little hammerhead sharks around now too, and some you could take home for a feed.

There has been a bit of talk of yellowtail kingfish around the islands, but they have been tough. The anglers catching them are trolling live baits and there are slimy mackerel galore out here, but still the kingfish are so temperamental you cannot guarantee catching one.

The makos have been very slow, which I am unsure why considering how much bait is around. Hopefully they turn up in better numbers soon. For the guys chasing makos, just put out some paternoster rigs and drift with pilchards or fresh slimy fillets and get a feed of flatties, as there are plenty of offshore flathead being caught anywhere from 21-42m and they are good fish over 35cm.

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 Rayner’s “Off the Hook” on 1242 to hear Will’s Report on what’s going on in Gippsland!

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