As winter creeps up on us, the last of the summer species will slowly dwindle away.
I certainly did not think I would be reporting about whiting this late in the year. I don’t think I can remember a whiting season such as this; it has certainly been good.
McLoughlins and Manns beaches had late summer surges, with runs of big whiting. These fish have been scattered around the weed beds of St Margarets Island and were caught primarily on nippers, though pipis worked quite well too. These fish were big, some pushing the 50cm mark and plenty of fish in the high 30s and mid 40s.
There are still good-sized flathead of 45-50cm around. Blue bait has been the most successful bait, and soft plastics have been very good as well. The flathead will not last much longer, so I recommend getting out there while the fish are still inside.
There have been some big salmon of 1.5-3kg schooling up in the past few weeks. They have been taken on metal lures such as Raiders and Lazers, though any metal lure will work. Trolling has been successful when the weed hasn’t been too bad. However, if the weed is troublesome, jigging the bottom while drifting has been successful. Both entrances have produced these fish.
The snapper numbers are starting to dwindle, with only handfuls of pinkies around 30-35cm being taken out on the reefs. Squid and pilchards are still the best baits.
Gummy sharks remain prevalent yet the size of these fish has dropped. There seem to be plenty of small gummies around 1.5-3ft with a few 4ft fish thrown in. Fresh fish fillets such as tailor and trevally have been the best baits; there are quite a few tailor around at the moment so they shouldn’t be too hard to find.
There have been some Port Jackson sharks mixed in with the gummies and flathead for those anglers who are bottom bouncing with bigger baits. Unfortunately these sharks, as well as draught board sharks, will start turning up even more frequently as winter rolls in.
Elephant fish have been mixed in with the gummy sharks. They’ve been turning up quite close to shore, with some even being caught off the surf. Squid and pilchards have been the best baits for these fish.
That’s about it for this month. As the colder water arrives, the gummies will drop off, although last year I was catching gummies until late June. I look forward to the salmon arriving in even larger numbers over the next few months. McLoughlins and Manns are good places to catch the larger specimens.
For more information about fishing McLoughlins and Manns beaches, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on (03) 5174 8544.
Mick Gned holds up a big whiting of 50cm caught on bass yabbies.Reads: 540