It’s that time of year again! The brown trout season is over, the rainbow season is coming to an end but the best of the saltwater action is still hanging on - maybe.
It may be a slow time of year, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth venturing out and giving it a crack! Those who aren’t afraid to give it a go will be the ones getting the rewards!
Although things may look a bit glum on the freshwater sides of things, weather wise, this time of year can be spectacular on the salt! Even though the species diversity is lower, when you’re receiving superb weather (by which I mean soft southerlies) and glassy conditions as opposed to the warmer windy conditions from the summer, a lack of worthy species doesn’t seem so bad. Besides, there is still fun fish to target in May! The northwest coast is renowned for top quality Australian salmon! They are extremely abundant around our rocky reefs and river mouths as well as all along our beaches.
The beauty of Aussie salmon is how easy they can be to catch. The hardest part is locating the fish. Once you’ve done that, tuck in! The easiest way to find salmon is to head to hotspots such as rocky reefs, beaches or estuary mouths and scan our surrounds for any bird activity or nervous water.
If there is no sign visually then troll lures around the area until you find a patch of fish. I find the best method is casting lures such as 3-4” soft plastics in any baitfish profile on medium to heavy jigheads and using a medium to fast retrieve (depending on what the fish respond to on the day) or if you’re not confident with soft plastics then cast metal slices and wind them in with a fast retrieve.
If you can’t find any salmon and you want to save the trip then head out offshore 2-3km until you’re in about 25m of water and drop down baited rigs. The advice I’ll give it to use rigs with a bit of bling on it. I can recommend Jig-ems or Sabiki rigs as my favourites. Providing they are baited, they will out-fish normal paternoster rigs any day of the week, and the gummy sharks love them too! Remember to drift as the flathead are in patches. If you’re catching gurnard then just put up with them!
Take care when handling them and you should have a good feed of flathead in no time! Don’t be surprised to hook big gummies as by-catch.Reads: 515