What more can I say except for - snapper season is here!
It is undoubtedly the most incredible snapper season we have had in years. More snapper have been caught offshore from McLoughlins than I can ever remember. Some are absolutely huge, to say the least.
First I will start with the photo shown. Kevin De Gaunza caught the massive 100cm, 10kg beast in 16m of water outside McLoughlins Entrance. He used a squid head on a 4/0 Gamakatzu Octopus hook to land this monster.
The Gippsland Police Fishing Club had their annual fishing competition, during which some excellent fish were caught. First prize went to Gibby, from Wonthaggi, for his 23kg (cleaned) gummy shark, which he caught on a soft plastic. Yes, you read it right, he caught it on a soft plastic! To be precise it was a Gulp 3” Pogy in anchovy color. Second prize went to Chris Pegg for his 6.4kg snapper, which was again caught on a soft plastic. This snapper fell to a Squidgie Flickbait rigged on a 3/8oz jighead, which is surprisingly light for the depth of water that he fished, though the light tackle that Chris uses undoubtedly helped the jighead get down. Third prize went to Chris Harris for his 6.1kg snapper, which he caught on a pilchard. Chris’ boat did exceptionally well, landing and mostly releasing nearly 30 snapper from 35–80cm. That’s good fishing!
I was told of a snapper weighing in at an astonishing 16kg, which was caught offshore McLoughlins Beach. Hopefully I’ll have a photo next month.
The shop has been flooded with happy anglers telling me about the phenomenal snapper they have been catching, and the incredible size of the fish as well. The fish have been as small as 1kg, yet I have never heard of many 7kg plus fish caught – and a good deal have been over 8kg. The bait of choice has been pilchards, but squid is coming in close for second place.
Because offshore has been so good for the snapper, I could nearly forget about inside the estuary at McLoughlins. I won’t though, because it too has been fishing exceptionally well. For starters, pipis are catching everything and anything. They are certainly the bait of choice at the moment. The locals will kill me for saying this, but the whiting are going off. They are anywhere from 35–50cm, and, believe it or not, most of the fish have been above 45cm. There is no need for Bass yabbies, just use pipis on a running sinker rig.
The flathead have finally arrived, and they are large. The biggest I have heard of so far is 3kg, but many have been 2kg. Baits of pipis are catching this species as well, but bluebait and whitebait is good too. Yes, yes, soft plastics are dynamite on flatties as well – but I figure everyone knows this by now!
There are still garfish up to 50cm inside the estuary, anywhere from McLoughlins through to Manns Beach. Just use pipis!
Last but not least, the salmon are huge and they are everywhere. The have been busting up on the surface, so you could have some awesome fun on poppers or on fly. Metal lures are catching heaps. The salmon are up to 3kg, and there are plenty to go around. I’d better stop there or I’ll go on forever. All I can say is, go fishing right now, don’t wait. There are more fish than you can poke a stick at.
For more information about fishing McLoughlins Beach, Contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544.Reads: 1355