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

There’s a relatively unknown fishery we have here in South Gippsland over winter. It’s underused, but if you love big flathead, you should learn more about this.

Offshore South Gippsland, such as outside Mcloughlins Beach and more so offshore from Port Albert around the Seal Islands turns into a flathead haven over the colder months. This year has been no exception and it actually has been what some anglers are calling the best offshore flathead fishing in the past decade.

The depth everyone keeps mentioning is around 36m and this is about level with Cliffy Island. The eastern side is the area to drift and anglers have been reporting bagging out on blue spot, sand and tiger flathead to 65cm. The fishing has been so red hot anglers are throwing back any flathead under 40cm. Talk about a feed and a half. The best method is to drift with paternoster rigs such as Snapper Snatchers and other flashers. The wire paternoster rigs with twisted wire snoods are very good for drifting as well as they don’t tangle up very easy. Pilchards and other flesh baits are the way to go for bait.

The good thing about this style of fishing, is the by-catch of large gummy sharks. We have heard quite a lot of gummy shark reports as well as a few seven gill sharks caught by flathead anglers drifting. To target your gummies, change your rig and use a running sinker rig and target those tide changes. Fish at least an hour either side of it and you will be in with a chance of catching a big winter gummy.

Inside, there are still good numbers of salmon, the main thing to remember for Mcloughlins Beach is don’t go there after heavy rain. Mcloughlins estuary turns brown easily and once this brown fresh water is in, you don’t catch fish. You need to find clean water. You will normally get this on the run in tide. So this is the best time to chase the salmon. The garfish are still going good, but you need to find the, Port Albert and Manns Beach have been doing the best, just remember to berley heavily to get them to the back of the boat.

Next month the whiting will start again and we will even see a snapper or two. So it’s not long now guys, it will happen before we know it. Good luck

• For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on (03) 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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