Winter has finally set in and the water temperature has dropped so one of victorias favourite bread and butter fish, the garfish are on the menu.
Garfish have been around in great numbers further west in Port Albert and Welshpool. The west side of Sunday Island Towards Port Welshpool has been producing the best quantities of garfish but most of the gars are between 30-35cm, so they are enough for a feed but not huge. Around McLoughlins and Manns beaches the numbers aren’t as good but the sizes are much better and there have been some garfish around 45cm caught.
The key to finding the gars has been berley! You need lots of berley and a good tidal flow to get the gars up close to the boat. The run-out tide has been the best, but at Port Albert, the gars are being caught on the run-in tide as well. They are just more patchy and spread out and you need your berley to consolidate the schools.
A standard float rig has been very good, but if you can get the fish close to the back of the boat, you can you a slack line rig and catch plenty, if not more as well. Fresh pieces of fish flesh, pipis and squid have been the best baits to use and make sure you feed some little pieces of the berley you are using out.
The good thing about chasing garfish over the shallows is you get to catch a wide range of species and it gives you the chance to catch southern blue spot flathead and rock flathead. In summer this is nothing different, however in the winter, this becomes a much more impressive task, these species are traditionally not known for a winter appearance, even though, they are in the system all year. Garfish, mullet, whiting and flathead all hang out in the same area, so when you berley up one fish, you inevitably berley up all of them. It’s great fishing, good to get a winter feed and excellent fishing to teach the kids how to hook fish as they can be tough sometimes.
We had a cracker few weeks on the salmon recently, all they way till we started getting rain. The rains dirtied up McLoughlins Beach quite badly and the salmon never really came back in those numbers till now. We had some very big salmon caught to 3kg recently and plenty around 1.5-2kg. Now there are good numbers of 35-40cm turning up as the water has cleared, but hopefully those big black back salmon come back into the estuary over the next month or two. McLoughlins and Manns entrances have still been the two stand out locations for salmon, but Port Albert entrance has produced big numbers, so all spots are worth a shot having a troll until you find the fish.
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. Tune into Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner’s “Off the Hook” on 1242 to hear Will’s report on what’s going on in Gippsland!Reads: 1932