While a lot of anglers have packed the boat up until September, a few of us have been braving the cold and reaping the rewards of the best winter whiting season ever as well as some good squid and bags of flathead offshore.
What a winter at Port Albert! I haven’t had a winter whiting season like this for a long time. This month has been the same as last month, a lot of undersize whiting but a lot of legal size ones as well. You do find yourself measuring 70% of the catch as most are only 27cm and 28cm, however there is still plenty of 30cm-32cm models with a few bigger 40cm thrown in for good measure as well.
Squid and pipis still seems to be the best baits to use and most of the run-in tide has been successful, however I have found the whiting have been a little tough to catch when the tide is at its full flow. They seem to be biting better when the tide slows down a little.
We have been using paternoster rigs with smaller 1/2oz bomb sinker at low tide and moving up to 2oz and even 3oz when the tide starts ripping hard.
There’s plenty of small salmon there and the odd flathead as well. The flathead have been going better towards Kearney’s entrance in the shallower water and you need lots of berley to razz them up. But over the next month in September the bigger blue spot flathead will come on the chew a bit better and we will be able to start using soft plastics again.
The entrance started to fire once again a few weeks back, and it’s been a late season this. Anglers trolling the entrance with metal lures or simply drifting and casting metal lures and large soft plastics have been getting the odd better salmon to 55cm, which is around 4lbs on the old scale. There are also lots of mixed smaller sizes as well, which is good to see as last month was a bit depressing in the way of salmon stocks, but now they have also turned up on the surf in good numbers.
It’s also worth heading down to Manns Entrance as well, as this spot always fishes well on a run-in tide when McLoughlins entrance is fishing well.
The flathead fishing has been sensational. Whilst the gummy shark numbers have dropped slightly, the flathead fishing has more than made up for it and anglers fishing either straight out from Manns Entrance or Port Albert Entrance in 34m plus of water are bagging out on flatties to 45cm on the drift.
If you choose a day with a fast drift, remember to keep opening your bail arm to let more line out to keep your baits on the bottom for longer. Also, when you do find a few flatties, mark the spot on your GPS and re-drift the area, as where there’s a couple, there’s usually a heap.
Anglers are still complaining about the barracouta out there so take plenty of sinkers and maybe even use wire paternoster rigs as the flatties don’t mind. Anglers have even been catching small couta inside as well.
Next month, I’m sure I will have a snapper pic or at least some snapper reports. Don’t wait for the reports, be the one to make them. The snapper were caught very early last year at Port Welshpool, so if you are reading this article, it is time to start having a crack.
Also, I can almost guarantee that those big calamari will be around now! Don’t miss out on them either, September and October are the two best months for those big calamari at Port Welshpool and Port Albert.
• For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 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!Reads: 546