Salmon and summer in full swing
  |  First Published: December 2013

There isn’t a month of the year where all of the coastal towns are pumping like they are at the moment. The towns are crowded, the ramps are full and there’s a swag of summer species to satisfy the fishing itch from estuary to offshore.


Some of the best family fun at this time of the year are the big Australian salmon that have been frequenting Harrisons Channel between Mallacoota Bottom Lake and the ocean.

These fish have been receptive to lures and baits, but trolling metals or minnows along the inside edge of the island is a sure fire way to get the kids into the action.

As usual the sand whiting are prolific in the Bottom Lake, Harrisons Channel and Goodwin Sands. Bait, blades and poppers are doing the damage and these will continue to be a popular summer target.

There are plenty of small dusky flathead around Goodwin, Doran Bight and the John Bull marker for anyone who wants to drift around with some small, live poddy mullet or cast any sort of soft plastic bait – these fish aren’t too fussy.

Remember the size limits for these fish when you’re taking home a feed – five fish per person between 30cm and 55cm is all you’re allowed to take. This protects the valuable breeding females and will ensure that Mallacoota has a finned carpet of flathead for years to come.

Although the lake has been dirty, there’ll be plenty of sight fishing opportunities for these fish through January. And don’t discount catching them on topwater baits, too.

There’s been the occasional mulloway around. A recent flathead competition in Mallacoota saw one lucky angler catch a big mulloway each day. That’s some quality by-catch.


Over summer expect a mixed bag of gummy sharks and tiger flathead from the offshore grounds. If you’re unfamiliar with the popular flathead drifts, start up near Gabo Island and drift back towards Mallacoota with the nor’easter.

Kingies should be showing up, but exactly when is anyone’s guess. The kingie fishing seems to get better each year in this neck of the woods, so I’m expecting a great season for them. Start looking for kingies on the grounds off the Aerodrome aerials just south of Mallacoota.


Also very busy in January, Wonboyn will fish well early in the morning, and again when the sea breeze picks up. The clear water fish in the lake love a bit of ripple on the water to get them feeding.

There should be plenty of flathead, mulloway and bream to go around and there’ll always be a little quiet corner to settle into and catch a feed.


Night prawning in the local lakes is another great family activity over summer. A prawning light and scoop net are all you need to put a feed in the bucket without the need for gallons of sunscreen.

The beach fishing for Australian salmon should continue to be good – especially at Quandolla and Haycock beaches. Currently both of these places had good, deep gutters that these predators like.

Offshore from Eden can be a real bounty in January. Marlin, striped tuna through to kingfish and flathead are all on the radar.

Mowarry through to Green Cape is prime kingfish area and the kingies are still a little show, however, by time this magazine hits the shelves this may have changed. It can change overnight at this time of year!

I think that Captain Kev may be back at the helm next month, so thanks for reading these reports.

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