Beach Fishing Bonanza
  |  First Published: December 2006

The summer sunshine certainly gives local anglers a confidence boost but recent weather has regularly been throwing up strong winds which have prevented many of us from getting out on the water.

The winds, particularly those coming in from the east, have been moving patches of weed and causing all sorts of problems, sticking to lines and restricting retrievals. If you’re lucky enough to get out on a calm day and locate a good gutter, you should find a variety of species on offer ranging from mullet and trevally through to gummies and even elephant fish.

Salmon have been widespread from Lake Tyers to McLoughlins Beach with fish up to 2kg. Most bites have been on a full moon, especially at first and last light using bluebait, pilchards, metal lures and surf poppers in all colours. Tailor, trevally and mullet have also been taken when fishing for salmon. The Honeysuckles area near Seaspray has been producing some reasonable catches of trevally as well, with fish up to 1kg. They too have been taking bluebait, whitebait and pipis.

McGaurans to McLoughlins Beach have been the best areas to pick up flathead of size and quantity. Best baits have been bluebait, pilchards, whitebait, squid, surf poppers and soft plastics are also quite productive when conditions allow.

Last month saw the early arrival of elephant fish, with some reaching 1.2m in length and approx 8kg – a pleasant surprise for local anglers. Loch Sport to Woodside produced the most bites on squid, pilchards and bluebait. Reports have come through of elephants appearing in autumn, but I though December was a bit too early. After talking to some elder anglers, they managed to convince me that it’s not uncommon to see a short run of these fish during the festive month – so there you go!

Gummies have been taken in good numbers with McGaurans, Jack Smiths and Reeves Beach the pick of the beaches, but you’ll also find them at Lake Tyers through to McLoughlins. The best catch was reported at 1.5m and 12kg. The odd school sharks have also been caught with baits of squid heads and strips, bluebait, cured eel and the new strobe light squids. Fortunately, the skunk sharks have made themselves scarce for the time being.

The odd bronze whaler is making an appearance, and every summer a beauty is taken off the beach by normal surf fishing methods or by paddling bait out 100m on heavy game fishing gear.

The beach launching tinnies have been getting into snapper up to 8kg, gummies up to 15kg and flathead up to 3kg. Most fish have been eating pilchards, squid and fresh fish fillets.

Summer is the time to be outdoors and in the water, and presents a great opportunity to find some fresh fish for Christmas lunch and dinner – it always tastes better when you catch it yourself.

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