Everyone has been chasing the snapper, but for the anglers in the know, the whiting have been going berserk this year would have to be the best year of big fish I have heard in years.
Last year we had great numbers of whiting all through spring and summer, however this year has been a little different as winter didn’t produce many whiting numbers, but the lack in quantity was made up for by quality. Now we have both.
Most anglers fishing for whiting this month have managed to bag out, but unlike last year, the whiting are huge and believe it or not, they are averaging 40cm and there have been a couple of whoppers caught up to 49cm and weighing in excess of 700g. The whole South Gippsland system has come alive with whiting and they are well spread through McLaughlins and Manns beaches and Port Albert. The usual haunts such as St Margarets Island, Farmers Channel and Pelican Point have all been very good spots to fish and there has been no need to pump clickers, as the pipis have been working a treat in the shallows. All you need is a simple running sinker rig with a size 2-4 bean or ball sinker depending on the strength of the current.
The run-out tide has been fishing the best so it pays to check the tides and head over at high. Just remember if you are going to McLaughlins, the boat ramp is incredibly silted up these days and bigger boats will not be able to come back in at low tide, at least not without any dramas.
The bigger blue spot flathead have just started to come on the bite with the increased water temperature so there has been plenty of soft plastics anglers out there getting a few. I have already seen flatties caught to 70cm which is very early so we might be in for a cracking good year on the blue spots. The odd school of salmon has continued to enter South Gippsland and this is because the water temperature has remained relatively low but there have been salmon up to 3kg caught around Kearneys Entrance through to Port Albert.
Port Albert has produced some beautiful big gummy sharks offshore and a few are now getting caught inside around the blue hole as well. Rodney Gillam caught and released a beautiful big female gummy shark weighing over 20kg offshore recently and it’s good to see many anglers now releasing these big sharks and just keeping the smaller and better eating ones for a feed.
There has been the odd snapper caught, but the water is still too cold at the time of writing so the reports have been sporadic and I have only heard of about a dozen snapper caught at the minute. But I can guarantee that by the time you are reading this article, the snapper will be going crazy and most anglers will be catching a bag.
The offshore snapper I have heard have only been quite small but there has been the odd fish off McLaughlins of around 6kg so far. Inside Port Albert has so far produced a couple of bigger snapper in excess of 70cm.Reads: 855