Dirty water stalls surf fishing
  |  First Published: August 2007

Because of the floods across Gippsland, there has been a large amount of water flowing down into the Gippsland Lakes and out to sea. Dirty water has turned the beaches brown, which is keeping both fish and anglers away.

Before the rains the beach had been fishing well with salmon being taken from most beaches on bait or metal lures. The fish have been up to 3kg and were quite prolific, with some anglers catching and releasing 20–30 fish in a session. Baits like bluebait, whitebait and pipis, as well as blue and red surf poppers, have all been taking fish.

Metal lures like Raiders, Gillies Baitfish, Lazers and pretty much any flashy metal lure are also dynamite on these surf speedsters. A slow to medium retrieve has been doing the trick. Tailor up to 1kg, trevally up to 750g and mullet up to 500g have also been taken when baitfishing with whitebait and pipis.

The area between Loch Sport and Seaspray has been producing the most fish, as there have been some very good gutters and channels running through this area. Woodside and McLoughlins Beach have been producing fish, but not in the same quantities and sizes as the beaches to the east.

The odd gummy has been caught after dark in the Golden Beach area. They have been up to 1.5m and 18kg, and have been taking squid, salmon and eel. Once the floodwater has cleared there should be a few more taken as the baitfish will return to the channels. Seven-gilled sharks should also be patrolling through these waters, especially if there are still patches of dirty water. These sharks will take baits of salmon, squid and tailor.

The dirty water will probably take a few weeks to clear, however once it does the fishing should return to the way it was, with gummies, salmon, tailor, mullet and trevally available for anglers. The fish tend to take the same baits and lures throughout the year.

The beaches may have had a lot of sand moved with the big seas and flood water, so care should be taken if you venture down to check on the fishing. You will also need to re-read the beach as your favourite gutter or hole may have moved! It is still best to let the water settle and mix together for another week or two before seriously hitting the beach.

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