A quick drive down the South Gippsland Highway from Cranbourne and one and a half hours later you will find yourself in a magic part of the world, Inverloch – a lure and bait fishermen's dream.
There are abundant schools of massive salmon that frequent the inlet, with whiting, trevally, gummies and snapper that both locals and holidaymakers take the time to target. A few more elusive species, such as estuary perch and bream, are also available. You can see why this is a destination that anglers have to fish at least once in their lifetime.
The winter months are very popular to fish the inlet as the mass schools of salmon enter the inlet and can be caught from the mouth all the way through and provide some of the best sports fishing that we can have down here in Victoria.
The waterway is also a lot quieter as the holidaymakers and jet skiers tend to stay clear of this area compared to others in the summer months.
A 2-4kg graphite spin rod and 2000-2500 sized reels loaded up with 10lb braid will cover most things when lure fishing the inlet. Bait fishers like longer soft rods for the whiting but will still need to be able to fish 3-4oz of lead at times if the tide is pumping.
If bait fishing, a light running sinker rig is best used when targeting whiting and pinkies. If chasing gummies then the same rig just beefed up with a heavier sinker fished in deeper water is the go.
Trolling metal slugs around with a short 15lb leader is a good way to find the salmon if you can't see them working the surface.
Blue bait, pipi and live Bass yabbies are some of the preferred baits in the inlet when chasing the main species, like salmon and whiting. If lure fishing for perch further up the inlet and towards the river, then small hardbodies and surface lures are the go as well as Squidgy Wrigglers and flick baits from 80-100mm.
When chasing salmon, the best method is to troll metal slugs and hardbodied lures until you find a school of fish. Once the school is located then, with the aid of an electric motor, sit off the school and cast lures into them. They can be fairly finicky at times so if the fish can be seen on the surface, do not troll right through the middle of them and spook them.
Andersons Inlet is a very tidal system. Depending on what you are targeting plan your trip around the tides, and keep in mind when the next tide change is. You don't want to be up a channel or in the shallows for a few hours and when it's time to leave not be able to get back out into the main body of water. It's a long wait when you are sitting there in no water waiting for the next high tide.
Always keep an eye on your sounder and GPS. As you venture further up into the inlet, just be wary of the gutters and sandbars that are scattered throughout, which can be easily run aground if not paying any attention.