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Offshore is the place to be
  |  First Published: April 2014



I love my soft plastics and inside fishing, but even I haven’t been able the resist the allure of offshore fishing in south Gippsland over the past month. There has been nearly anything available!

OFFSHORE

Offshore Mcloughlins Beach has been the main place to catch descent size snapper. As they have slowed down inside Port Albert and Welshpool, Mcloughlins reefs have proved to be the place to catch 5-6kg specimens. The have been found mainly around the 17-18m depth, and early mornings have been the best time; the middle of the day has still been producing good-sized pinkies.

Offshore has really been all about the gummy sharks though, and I have never seen so many monster sized 1.5-2m gummy sharks caught in such a short period of time. They are wide spread and anglers are catching them offshore Port Albert, Manns Beach and down past Mcloughlins. All depth ranges from 15-21m and as deep as 40m around the seal islands are all producing big gummy sharks. The key has been fresh bait.

There have been plenty of bait schools out wide, which has in turn attracted plenty of pelagic fish, including salmon and tailor. There is more often than not an invaluable source of fresh gummy baits on location. If you catch some salmon or tailor, do not hesitate one bit in ditching the pilchard and squid and using this instead. This is the difference between catching a 2m gummy or not.

We have also had massive schools of striped tuna, kingfish and, wait for it, even blue fin tuna seen busting up around the Seal islands and even further east. These fish have been seen for the most part, almost uncaught, with plenty of anglers telling stories of having schools of tuna under the boat but they were unable to catch them.

The kingies have been very interesting with lots a rat kings hanging around the islands and plenty of schools out in front of Mcloughlins Beach and further down towards Golden Beach as well. Here we have seen bigger kingfish caught up to 75cm and mostly by anglers just fishing dead baits on paternoster rigs.

The mako sharks finally turned up this month and there were 2 very big makos caught measuring over 2.4m in length and also a couple of smaller ones as well. These fish have all been caught out fairly wide in over 50m of water past the islands and a lot of anglers chasing these fish out wide have been catching good sized gummies out here as well.

INSIDE

It’s been a little slow at Mcloughlins Beach itself, with mainly small pinkies a lot of trevally and small flathead caught by bait anglers chasing whiting. Every now and again there has been a school of salmon come inside the entrance. The good news is, it’s just about time to see the huge run of big salmon move into the system and we should see plenty of fish in excess of 55cm over the next few weeks.

Manns Beach has been producing better numbers of whiting, measuring up to 45cm and plenty around 35cm. The flathead have been hit and miss but we have seen 70cm southern blue spot caught recently as well as plenty of smaller sandies.

Port Albert has slowed down on the whiting front a little with still good numbers caught but the size has dropped a little. This will be the last month we have of the whiting for a while, so get out there quick before the water temperature drops too much.

• 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!

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