Having a whale of a time with flathead
  |  First Published: October 2006

The fishing inside McLoughlin’s and Mann’s estuaries has been a bit hit and miss lately, but the good news is that flathead have started to make their way inside. Most of the flatties have been between 20-30cm. The fish are stretching from Shoal Channel to Farmers Channel.

A strong berley trail is the key and using a light running sinker rig will increase the number of bites. The best baits have been bluebait, whitebait, pipi and also small bits of fresh salmon and trevally. There have been a few larger fish to 50cm, which are being caught on soft plastics around the shallow drop-offs. Larger plastics with heavy jigheads have been the best for anglers targeting larger fish. A big flathead will certainly rise off the bottom to smash a well presented small lightly weighted plastic.

Plenty of salmon are being taken around the entrance at McLaughlin’s as well as at Pelican Point at Mann’s. These fish haven’t been as big as what was being caught few months ago, but the odd fish to 1kg has been around. Metal lures have been working well and many customers are using bigger than average slugs, such as 50-60g, to target the bigger salmon.


Flathead have been the talk of the town offshore. Fish to 60cm have been caught anywhere from 2-10km out. Graham Maiden from Yarram had a ripper session, where they bagged out in no time with flathead ranging from 35-60cm. The best method has been to drift with paternoster rigs. Baits like squid, pilchards and bluebait have been working a treat, as have larger soft plastics and Silstar jig-em squids. Drifting seems to be the key, as the anglers who are anchoring aren’t catching as many as the drifters.

The odd gummy is being caught and fresh trevally seems to be the go at the moment, however don’t be surprised if you are inundated with draughtboard sharks and banjo sharks as the water is still cold and there are plenty of these guys still out there. This should change over the next month or two and more snapper reports will start to spread.

Wes Brew, Scott Bermingham and I had a very exciting trip to Port Albert recently where we were greeted by two very large and very friendly southern right whales. These big fellas were actually inside, which is something I have never heard of seen before. They travelled from the Port Albert entrance and went right around Sunday Island. The fishing came second for a few hours as the boys and I took as many photos as we could of these amazing creatures.

For more information of fishing McLoughlins Beach, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on (03) 5174 8544.


There have been a few bigger flathead caught inside recently. This one went 50cm and was caught on a soft plastic.


The two southern right whales that were inside Port Albert, these massive beasts went all the way to the back of Sunday Island. What a sight!

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