With the onset of autumn the small snapper have made their presence felt, both offshore and in the inlet. Although they are not as big as the spring run, they are still good sport and even better table fare.
The snapper are in good numbers from Manns Beach down to the reef system of Reeves. Tomas Georgio of Morwell experienced this first hand on a recent trip to Manns, bagging himself a nice feed of snapper. The best results have come from drifting over patches of good reef or over schools of fish that have been picked up on the sounder. Paternoster rigs baited with squid, silver trevally, mackerel or pilchard have been accounting for the majority of the fish.
The gummy sharks have been a little quiet with only a few captures being reported. The bigger fish appear to be out wide in the deeper water from 25-35m. Whale Bay is a good spot to try. On a recent trip there with my daughter Natalie we bagged two nice gummies using cured eel and trevally as bait. Gummies are also being caught inside the port of an evening, with a full moon being the best time to try your luck.
Brian Spitiri of Traralgon had a good afternoon on the tiger flathead out wide of Port Albert. The water around Cliffy Island has also been producing some good catches flathead. Nine-year-old Jake Read caught a very nice 2kg flathead out off Manns Beach in a family fishing comp to beat his Grandpa. It’s the biggest one he’s caught so far. Well done Jake! A little trick that I use to increase my catch rate on flathead is to use a sea anchor to slow my drift down, that combined with a Silstar Jig ‘em rig and you’ll soon have a good feed.
On the inside, the whiting have been patchy. Bags of three or four seem to be the order of the day, with only the occasional diehard filling their bag. The Wreck and the Nine Mile Creek area appear to be producing most consistently.
Large numbers of the local good-sized garfish are holding on in all the usual grass bed sites and even getting in the way of the locals prawning during the evening.
The Port Albert jetty has been doing very well with yellow eye mullet and flathead being caught on the run out tide with whitebait and pipis being the bait of choice.
As the water becomes cooler over the coming month the silver trevally will become more prevalent from the jetties. Spotty salmon will move into the estuaries and the seven-gilled sharks will start to make their presence felt offshore. With cooler weather comes calmer seas and some of the best fishing of the year – so get ready!Reads: 1616