With fresh new boat ramp and footbridge upgrades very close to completion, McLoughlins has had plenty of attention from anglers and the fishing has been nothing short of sensational.
Firstly, with a new western ramp, a bit of dredging and a new pontoon, anglers now have a second ramp to launch a vessel. Last month, the eastern ramp was complete, however, the pontoon wasn’t quite ready yet, but was only days away from completion. This has all come at a good time, as the fishing has been amazing.
The big blue-spot flathead fishing has been great. There’s stacks around, we have seen some of the biggest flathead in the last few years and there’s loads of models over 50cm. Some anglers have managed a couple over 80cm, which is huge in the blue-spot flathead world.
Soft plastics and vibes have been the standout lures and it’s good to see heaps more anglers using vibes in South Gippsland. These lures have proven themselves as one of the standout tools to catch flathead.
Tides are important, and the run-out has been the best time to target the flatties with lures, however, the bait anglers have smashed big flathead on baits such as blue bait, whitebait and prawns on the run-in tide, especially when adjacent to a nice gutter, drain or weed bank.
The whiting have been by-catch at McLoughlins, and while the whiting haven’t been as good at McLoughlins as at Port Albert in the way of quantity, the quality has been far superior with massive specimens up to 48cm taken regularly around the weed beds. Pipis and squid have been the best baits.
The snapper went really well this month with all sizes caught, from perfect pan-sized eaters of 40cm to bigger models of 7kg and upwards. The mornings and evening have been the best time for the big snapper with mainly pinkies, gummies and flathead caught during the day.
What more can I say but whiting, whiting and more whiting. This season has to go down as the best whiting season of all time or at least in my lifetime. Anglers have caught huge quantities and bagging out has been pretty easy. The sizes aren’t as big as what’s getting caught at McLoughlins, but there’s heaps of 32cm models. You will always get a couple of big 40cm plus models mixed in the bag. Pipis, squid and paternoster rigs are a must.
The flatties are crazy here as well. Obviously there’s a lot more channel rats at Port Albert in the deeper waters, but if you target the shallows and weed beds, you will catch the big blue-spots.
On the pinkie front, there’s been good numbers mixed in with the whiting in the same spots. There heaps of little ones, but put on a bigger bait and you will start to catch those 40-50cm models.
Down at the entrance and the Snake Channel, there’s a few big ones getting around to that 5-7kg mark. The run-in tide in the mornings and evenings has been the best.
The kingfish are in now and there are plenty of undersize rat kings with the odd legal seen splashing round and busting up on bait schools. You can catch them when boat traffic is down, just use stick baits and large soft plastics to imitate the bait they’re eating.
It’s pinkies galore out here on the reefs. The trick is just to drift until you find them. They are mostly around the 40cm mark and take pilchards and squid. I have used micro jigs lately and they are working a treat. We even bag out on pinkies with nothing but microjigs.
There’s kingies out wide now as well. Mostly small between 50-65cm, with the odd bigger fish mixed in. Jigging has been the best, but they take stickbaits when they chase baitfish on the surface.
The mako sharks have made an appearance with a couple already boated.
It’s all happening down at south Gippsland. There’s stacks of fish everywhere, with nearly every species you can think of at the moment, and it will be like this for the next few months, so don’t miss out!
• 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: 481