Winter is upon us, but it hasn’t really felt like it. The past month has been very mild with some cracking good weather that has left us with flat seas. This has allowed us to get out offshore more often.
The good weather has also left the water temperature a bit higher than usual for this time of year so all those summer species that everyone loves are still around in good numbers.
With the flat conditions, most anglers have opted to get out offshore. It’s not something we can do all the time down this way due to how easy the seas turn rough in our shallower waters. Throughout May, the water temperature offshore varies between 15-17.5°C, meaning you could catch kingfish, snapper, flathead and gummy sharks in good numbers.
Off McLoughlins, the entrance has still been atrocious with windy conditions, but in flat seas you can get out. The gummies have been going the best and anglers have caught some real thumpers weighing up to 15kg in 21-30m of water. The snapper had another good run as well, especially during the last week of April and first week of May where we saw some cracking good fish weighing up to 17lb.
Off Port Albert, the pinkie reefs have been on fire. In fact, I’ve never seen so many pinkies out here and they’re measuring 30-40cm and you’ll bag out easily. They are being caught at depths of 24-30m and are taking any bait. Squid has been especially good. Just use a Snapper Snatcher style rig and you will catch as many pinkies as you want.
The best thing to do is drift until you find them. Anchor on them if you like or just keep drifting over them. They go really good close to the tide changes as well.
There have been ridiculous amounts of kingfish out of the prom. During early May, I found the biggest school of kingfish I have ever seen out there. There were literally thousands of them feeding on tiny whitebait. They were very hard to catch, but we got some good ones up to 80cm on stickbaits. Other anglers were also getting them by jigging.If you want a feed, you can’t go past the flathead. They are everywhere out there at the moment and fishing any depth will get you good numbers. The bigger ones have been out a bit wider. I’ve seen anglers get their bag of 40cm+ flathead in 21m and others got a bag of 50cm+ in 35m of water. They’re everywhere. It pays to drift to until you find a patch of them.
In other news, inside has cooled down now and there are good numbers of big garfish getting caught and some thumping big salmon at Manns Beach and McLoughlins Beach. It could be a big salmon season this year. There have already been fish up to 4kg caught, so hopefully they stick around.Reads: 609