The first cold snap of this long summer happened abruptly; fortunately for us anglers it brought with it some new species. Water temperature drops are usually associated with tougher fishing, however, the water temperature was so high that this drop just brought the temperature back to a moderate 17°C, which was perfect for typical surf species such as gummy sharks and salmon.
Not only did it bring those species on the chew, we also saw increased numbers of elephant fish all along the Ninety-Mile, some small numbers of trevally, and moderate numbers of tailor mixed in with the salmon.
Golden Beach is a standout beach. The daytime still produces modest amounts of flathead and they are quality-sized at 45cm. Surf poppers and bluebait have been standouts for flathead and are widespread across the Ninety all the way to Woodside. I imagine their numbers will drop over the next month, but the fact that there are still a few around might suggest they could hang around a little longer. The daytime bite has produced salmon, and some big salmon at that. These fish have been up to 2.5kg with Golden Beach, Seaspray and Jack Smiths the standout spots. Bluebait and surf poppers again have performed well. Over the next month it will be worth going down to the beach for a spin fish with metal slugs, especially when we get the first winter run of salmon in May. The May salmon are usually massive and you can get 10lb fish at the Ninety-Mile using metal lures.
The night bite has produced gummies, salmon and tailor. The gummy sharks are going well after 8pm and are caught on squid, salmon fillet and a few on bluebait. They’ve averaged about 1m in length, but there has been the odd better sized gummy shark to 4ft mixed in. The gummy fishers are already catching their fair share of elephant fish, which are wide spread across all the beaches between Golden Beach and Woodside. Squid has by far been the best bait for the elephants – over this coming month, expect the numbers to increase dramatically as March through to June are the biggest runs of elephant fish on the Ninety-Mile beach.
The night bite has also produced many tailor, which is great if you want to catch a shark as tailor make dynamite fresh bait for gummies, schoolies and bronze whalers. The tailor haven’t been massive by any standard, but expect to get them up to 40cm long. By-catch so far has included cat sharks mainly and some undersized school sharks and gummies.
• 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: 439