What a great season it has been so far, we have had one of the best land-based gummy shark seasons in a long time and now the big toothy sharks have arrived as well.
Over the past few weeks, the weather has changed and we have been getting stronger winds, more easterlies and warmer days. This has warmed up the water temperature considerably and brought our typical summer surf species around in greater numbers.
It has also brought that dreaded slimy weed back on certain days. It’s not their everyday; however after a few consecutive days of easterlies, you can fairly guarantee it’s there.
The tip to combating this is finding the right beach. This slimy weed gets trapped in the gutters, so if you go to a beach with a prominent gutter in close that your line penetrates through, the line will probably get covered with weed. In situations like this, you need to find a beach with straight open water and no gutters. A beach with no gutters will normally have the weed right in close at the shore break but not out wide, so with the aid of long 15ft+ rods and long rod holders, you should be able to keep the line out of the weed.
Aside from this, the change in weather has brought a wide array of new species around, including bronze whaler sharks, school sharks, snapper and flathead. These have all been caught in good numbers recently.
Casting baits off the surf has resulted in good numbers of gummy sharks averaging 1m in length and up to 1.2m in length. Squid legs have been the prime bait, however fresh cut salmon baits, pilchards and blue bait have been good too.
The snapper have eased off a little, but they will be a sporadic catch throughout summer and mainly prominent at McGaurans Beach and Loch Sport.
The toothy sharks, such as school sharks and bronze whalers, have mainly been caught by land-based anglers paddling out their baits. For this, there are a few options, such as long 9ft 24kg game rods with drum reels spooled with a minimum of 50lb line in either braid or mono.
You can use a standard short Stroker game rod as well and it will pay to put your rod in the sand dunes to keep the line above the waves. A few anglers are opting to use heavy spin gear for land-based game these days and now that there are plenty of large threadline reels on the market that can hold 500-700m of braid, you can easily do this. These reels are best suited to long popping style rods rated to 37kg and 7-8’ in length.
Some massive 150kg bronze whaler sharks have already been landed and there are plenty of even bigger sharks out there as well. Big baits fished on wore traces is the go and whole bonito, salmon, mackerel and squid fished on hooks sized 8/0 to 12/0 are perfect.
The bronzes have been caught anywhere from the back breakers to further out wide, and obviously you are limited to your line capacity on your reel. There have been plenty of school sharks caught via this method as well and there have been some nice fish up to 1.5m caught.
I always get asked what beach is best, but there is no answer to this. The beach structure changes with the weather and tides and the fish don’t stay in the same place, they patrol the beach, so the best beach is the one that suits your fishing style at the time, and that is going to be dictated by the weather and beach structure. The fish are all along the Ninety-Mile!
The flathead are always a favourite amongst anglers fishing the Ninety-Mile, and we are so lucky to have some truly awesome blue spot flathead fishing here in December and January. They have turned up a little early and we already have some great flathead fishing, but the best is yet to come.
To catch the big blue spots, you need a few things: Woodside Beach, Reeves Beach and McLoughlins is your first thing, then blue bait, whitebait, surf poppers and white grubs, and finally, slowly move your bait, especially in December when the numbers are great. If you do these things, you will catch big blue spot flathead.
The fishing is only going to get better and next month we will get an array of different shark species. After the New Year, we may be lucky enough to get a few kingfish as well. Good luck.
For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get expert advice and some great deals on fishing bait and tackle. Don’t forget to tune in to Will’s Gippsland report on Rex Hunt and Lee Rayners’ Off the Hook on 1242.Reads: 1783