With consistent hot weather, it was certainly a fantastic summer of fishing at McLoughlins and Manns beaches.
This was one of the most productive summers I can remember. For starters, let’s talk about the whiting. This has been the most prolific whiting season in memory – absolutely everybody seems to be catching them. Everywhere from the back of St Margarets Island all the way around to Farmer Channel at Manns and stretching up to Kate Kearneys Entrance at Robertsons Beach has produced the goods.
A light running sinker rig has been extremely successful, as have paternoster rigs. Berleying with tuna oil and chook pellets seems to be helping and the baits to use have been bass yabbies or nippers. Although pipis have produced some fish, anglers using nippers seem to be catching more.
Flathead have still been around in massive numbers and sizes, with plenty of fish in excess of 60cm. Whitebait, blue bait, pipis and nippers have been good, but plastics have really been murdering the flathead.
In the Shoal Channel, there have been plenty of pinkies, many of which have been undersized, with just a few legal sized fish thrown in amongst the babies. The boat harbour region at Manns Beach has also been producing pinkies as well.
Finally we are hearing of some decent snapper catches offshore of McLoughlins. There have been plenty of pan-sized fish throughout the snapper season, but the big thumpers have only made their presence known in the past month.
Neville Lowe landed a lovely 7.2kg snapper on a flathead fillet while fishing just outside the Manns Entrance. Wayne Redpath landed a thumper of a snapper just outside as well; this beast weighed in at 24lb. Darren Baumgarten cleaned up using pilchards and squid out on the McLaughlins Reef on snapper to 4kg. These are just a few of the reports that are coming into the shop each day, so I recommend getting out there while the fish are hot.
The bread and butter species haven’t disappointed either. Flathead are still around in excellent numbers, and a paternoster rig with pilchards has been a fantastic combination. The Silstar Jig-Em Squids are catching a lot of the flathead as well.
The makos have shown up for anglers putting out fresh baits under a balloon. Heavy surface berley has been the key to attracting these great sport fish. A few hammerheads are turning up as a welcomed by-catch for those anglers targeting makos. Darren Baumgarten got a bit of a fright when he attracted a hammerhead the same size as the tinnie they were in while fishing in 25m of water. He said the hammer on it was about 1m wide and it made him just a little bit nervous!
For more information on fishing McLoughlins Beach, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on (03) 5174 8544.Reads: 788