Beach bonanza ahead!
  |  First Published: November 2007

The beach fishing along Ninety Mile Beach is certainly starting to heat up, just like the weather. Now the football is finished and there are two premiership cups back in Victoria, the only distraction from fishing is the rapidly growing lawn that needs constant mowing in spring.

The downside to the improving weather has been the persistent strong wind during the last month. This has made conditions a little difficult, with strong side wash and weed being pushed in to the beaches. The winds should ease in November and we should receive some good, settled fishing weather.

When the conditions have been favourable, there have been salmon, tailor, gummy sharks, seven-gilled sharks and the odd flathead being taken. Salmon have been caught right along the beach, and anywhere from McLoughlins Beach to Lake Tyers Beach is worth a try. They have been taking bluebait, whitebait, pipis and red and blue surf poppers. When the conditions don’t suit bait fishing, the best option is to cast metal lures like Raiders or Lazers in sizes from 25–65g. Various colours work, so it pays to keep trying different colours until you find one that is working. Early mornings, late afternoons and an hour or two either side of a tide change have been the best times to fish for them. The odd tailor has been taken as a by-catch when targeting salmon, using the same methods.

Gummy and seven-gilled sharks have been taken during both full and new moon phases, and during both night and day. Most sharks have been taken before 11am. I have an unconfirmed report of the largest seven-gilled shark in a long time being taken from the beach, with the shark being reported to be 2.7m and 60–70kg. It was apparently taken around Seaspray during the day. The bait the shark was taken on is unknown, but most of the gummies and seven-gilleds have been taken on squid, salmon fillets, pilchards or eel. Some gummies have also been taken on blue surf poppers during the day. The dreaded draughtboard sharks are still making a nuisance of themselves, however they are starting to reduce in numbers as the water warms up.

Flathead are starting to make an appearance, and as the water warms in November the numbers and size will increase. The peak time for flathead off the beach is late December. These fish tend to prefer whitebait, bluebait, squid and pilchards, and can also be taken on soft plastics and metal lures.

With a variety of species available and the weather improving, it is a great time to get out and give the beach a try.

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