It has been the best gummy shark season in memory, but the whiting have been a little slow off the mark, however with the water temperature increasing, they are now finally on the chew.
The whiting suddenly came on in a big way going from nothing, to getting caught in bagged out numbers. In the Mcloughlins neck of the neighbourhood it has still been slow, yet a few kilometres west to Manns Beach and the numbers have been strong and plenty of anglers have been bagging out.
The end of the run-out tide has still been the favourite, however plenty of whiting have been caught during the run-in tide. Recently, the run-in tide has been better for some reason. Both pipis and Bass yabbies have been sensational baits with fresh calamari doing the job as well.
If I had my choice of locations, I would be hitting Manns Beach and Robertsons for the whiting as they have been far more consistent than at Mcloughlins or Port Albert. They will continue to go good until April so you guys still have plenty of chances to tackle some whiting. They are averaging the 35cm and I have seen some photos of fish over 50cm in length recently as well, but only a few.
The gummies have been absolutely sensational this year and January was no different, and I can almost guarantee that we will have a great season over the next 2 months as well. The biggest surprise has been the amount of gummy sharks caught shallow inside Manns Beach by anglers chasing whiting and flathead. There have been plenty around 1m in length.
Port Albert in the Snake Channel has been dynamite, especially around the Blue Hole area. There are plenty of gummies getting caught on the run-in tide using pilchards, squid and salmon fillet. Most are around 1m however there have been some better fish of 1.2m caught.
Outside has produced a lot bigger gummies. There have been gummies up to 1.5m in length caught in Whale Bay and also out around the islands by anglers drifting for flatties.
Offshore Mcloughlins, the gummies have been in 15-21m mainly and are responding well to pilchards, salmon and trevally fillet. Some bigger gummies are getting caught out there at the moment and I have seen fish to 1.5m caught in good numbers.
Offshore, the flathead are going great with plenty of blue spot flathead to 45cm and over. Slow drifting with paternoster rigs has been the go in 35m+ of water.
Inside, I’m hearing a lot of negativity about the flathead, with anglers saying there are not as many as last year. It does seem that way as they have been harder to catch and harder to find in good numbers, especially when talking about southern blue spot flathead. They have been caught to 65cm however I wouldn’t say any angler is smashing them. They should come on strong again throughout February and March.
There have been some big snapper caught, but the numbers are backing off now with a lot of pinkies around 35cm being caught.
Inside Port Albert there are some bigger snapper to 4kg still around and getting caught on the early morning tide changes. Offshore in 15m of water there are a lot of pinkies and further down near the hedges and further east, the bigger snapper are getting caught in 18m. There have been some real beauties caught in the latter location and fish to 85cm have been caught in good number in the late afternoons using pilchards.
Next month is going to be time to chase the mako sharks out wide and there has already been a few hooked this month, which is a good sign. As long as the currents turn up and the water stays warm, we should be in for some good mako shark fishing and maybe even some kingies with any luck.
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: 931