A flat out cracking season
  |  First Published: December 2013

The past month has seen McLaughlins Beach turn on in a big way and, with summer here, we are in for a cracker season.


Blue spot flathead have been the main species to come on the bite inside McLaughlins Beach and this has been mainly due to the increased water temperature. The inlet has hit temperatures above 20ºC, which has brought on out all summer species especially the flathead.

There are fish around St Margarets Island and also up at Manns Beach around Pelican Point where there have already been flathead caught over 65cm. This will continue for the next 3 months until the water temperature drops.

The soft plastic anglers are doing the best with a 3” minnow or shad pattern using jigheads between 1/8oz and 1/4oz.

All the best flathead fishing has been during the run-off tide and in the channels at dead low tide. At Port Albert, there are plenty of flathead in the Drum Channel and Midge Channel and most have been caught by anglers chasing snapper and gummy sharks using pilchards and fresh cut baits. Paternoster rigs, such as snapper snatchers are fishing very well here.

The whiting have been really slow, only a few anglers are catching descent numbers, but most of my customers have been complaining that it is a very tough whiting season. Hopefully the New Year will change things and the whiting will come on strong mid-season.

Inside Port Albert has been dynamite on the snapper and gummy sharks and they are spread throughout the inlet. The snapper are being caught anyway from the basket beacon to the entrance and the gummy sharks have been caught in good numbers in the entrance and Snake Channel.

This snapper season has been truly amazing already. We have already had one of the best snapper runs I can remember and all this happened in cold water temperatures! I can’t wait to see what the New Year brings as the water gets even warmer.

The snapper have been caught in Port Albert to 7.5kg and there are even bigger fish at Corner Inlet as well. Snapper snatches have been really good; however some decent fish are getting caught on running sinker rigs as well. The important tip has been to fish the tide changes early morning. Most of the snapper have been biting early and if this coincides with a tide change, even better.

It’s worth doing after work trips as well, as the late afternoon tide change is producing some good specimens, especially form 6-7.30pm. Pilchards have been the gun bait so far, as usual, but they will probably start taking squid in the New Year.


McLaughlins Reefs have just started producing some good snapper in 18m of water. There have been some good fish of around 80cm caught but most of the fish are biting early here as well.

There have been some pinkies caught during the day to 45cm and some of the pinkies are in closer in 12-15m. The gummy sharks are going beautifully out wide and 18-21m is fishing well, but there are plenty of gummies in close outside McLaughlins entrance and Manns entrance as well.

Fresh salmon is fishing well, but so are pilchards and squid. The gummies have been really good-sized of late and there have been plenty of 1.2-1.5m fish caught. Drifting for flatties has been very successful and will only get better next month as will the offshore snapper and gummies.

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.

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