The footy may be in full swing, the days cold and a bit wet, but the fishing off the beach can be best described as HOT!
The catches of salmon have been well worth the effort for most anglers braving the colder conditions of winter. It also appears that we may have a top winter for gummies, with good numbers still being taken for the even braver anglers prepared to fish into the cold nights.
Baits of bluebait, whitebait and pipis along with blue and red surf poppers have been taking reasonable numbers of salmon, however metal lures have been the best option. Most of the bigger fish have been taken on lures like Raiders, Lazer and Gillies lures, particularly ones with plenty of flash.
VFM correspondents Will Thompson (from Allways Angling in Traralgon) and Rod Booker, along with a customer of Will’s, Brian, had an exceptional day recently at Golden Beach. Using metal lures they landed around 30 fish between them, up to 3kg. Will and I also had a busy morning lately, catching and releasing around 25 fish to 1.2kg, again only using metal lures.
The fish have been taken from Lake Tyers and Eastern beaches in the east to Woodside and McLoughlins beaches in the west. It doesn’t seem to matter where you fish because the schools are constantly moving. They tend to pass through at regular intervals, so just move spots by 10-20m and you could well find the fish a bit more quickly. The odd tailor has been caught from amongst the schools of salmon, however not in large numbers or sizes.
Any metal lure that has flash, either chrome or a pearl tape, has seen the fish pretty much climbing all over it. A light weight graphite rod that can handle 4-5 kg line, a 2500–3000 spinning reel, 4kg braid and a 1m mono or fluorocarbon leader of 6kg is about all you need, other than a small range of metal lures in 25-40g in size. It does pay to use a small, strong snap swivel to attach the lure to the leader to aid in reducing line twist and making it easier to change lures. Numerous anglers have also been broken off by some bigger fish swimming with the schools. The identity of these monsters remains a mystery as they have not yet been sighted.
Glengarry angler Dean King had an excellent trip recently when he fished the afternoon at Golden Beach using metal lures and caught several salmon to 2kg. Then after dark he used the fresh salmon as bait and landed three gummies to 12kg. There have also been numerous reports of gummies to 15kg being taken at night from various beaches, with the best being Golden Beach, Paradise Beach, McGaurans Beach, Loch Sport and The Grange, which is only accessible by boat from Paynesville.
The best baits for gummies have been fresh salmon, tailor and mullet, frozen squid heads and cured eel. As they are so prolific at present it would be hard to go past fresh salmon fillets for bait for gummies and also seven-gilled sharks, which are starting to turn up. Seven-gilled sharks will take the same baits as gummies, however it pays to use a wire trace as they have teeth that make short work of mono leaders.
All in all, this winter appears to be proving to be a very good one, especially on the salmon and gummy fronts. Get out there and have a go!Reads: 1981