A winter to remember
  |  First Published: July 2014

This year has been the best at Ninety Mile Beach I can remember and if next season is a half as good as this one, I will be a happy camper.

With an unusually mild end of spring, the water temps on the surf stayed high for this time of year and ‘summer style’ fishing was maintained into winter. We had gummy sharks, toothy sharks, elephant sharks, snapper and big salmon all mixed together. This is unheard of for this time of year!

We had an extremely unusual late run of snapper on the Ninety Mile Beach due to a prolonged high water temperature and lack of freshwater. This lead to reports of snapper to 7kg caught in South Gippsland estuaries and offshore Ninety Mile.

There were also land-based catches of snapper off the surf. Lucky angler Shannon Musgrove landed a snapper nearly weighing in at 7kg. To add to this anglers were also reporting multiple catches of gummy sharks, school sharks and seven-gill sharks at the same time. And then there were the mega catches of elephant sharks. I’m talking about anglers getting over 10 elephants per session. Crazy stuff indeed!

Mixed in with the reports were catches of salmon to 3kg, and even bigger fish lost.

The funny thing was, most anglers had given up on their surf a month earlier only to be very annoyed that they had when photos started to circulate. This proves the point, don’t wait for reports, go make the reports yourselves!

As I’m writing, the big salmon are around in really good numbers. We have seen fish over 3kg caught with plenty around 1.5-2kg. The western end of the Ninety Mile around Woodside through to Mcloughlins surf beach have been excellent. Many anglers are walking to the Mcloughlins entrance and are land-based spinning for the big black salmon on the run-in tides. This has been working a treat.

The nights are now cold, however the seven-gill sharks will hang around over winter but be prepared for the dreaded plague of draughtboard sharks that we always get. The gummies never really disappear, you just need to brave the cold, focus on night tide changes and use fresh bait to give yourself the best chances of catching a gummy in winter.

Baits to use at the moment are squid and blue bait, especially for the salmon, however nothing beats taking over a spin rod and chucking around metal slugs for them.

• For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 07 5174 8544. 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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