With very windy conditions at McLoughlins Beach during much of December, fishing has been tough, but certainly not due to the lack of fish.
For those keen anglers who were able to battle the 40kt westerlies, quality fish have been reported. Since the water has warmed, a variety of species have decided to show up in the inlet. Some rather large flathead have been caught by anglers using soft plastics, with one angler reporting a flathead of 78cm from inside the inlet.
Rod Booker and myself had a good session around St Margarets Island landing flathead to 50cm. The day was made interesting when I managed to hook a large Eagle Ray in the mouth on an 85mm shad soft plastic. I thought I had hooked the biggest flathead in the world until the ray leaped about 1.5m vertically into the air. I must admit, seeing that thing do cartwheels in the air, was an awesome sight. Sorry guys, no photos either. I was using only 1.8kg braid and I tried my hardest to get the thing into the shallows so we could take a photo, but he beat me! This shows that there probably isn’t any species of fish you can’t catch on soft plastics.
Land-based anglers have been loving the pier action of late. At the time of writing, record numbers of trevally were being caught off both piers at McLoughlins and also the one at Manns Beach. These fish have been quite large, ranging 30-50cm. One angler showed me a photo of a 60cm trevally – huge – that he caught off one of these piers.
A small school of salmon was also reported in the Shoal Channel. The fish weren’t small, though. A few fish from this school were caught one fish was over 4kg! This fish was caught by Glengarry Publican Steve Wright. Nice catch, Steve!
When the conditions have permitted, the offshore fishing has been firing. I must admit, I have not seen this many 10kg snapper caught since I have been working in the store.
The most popular baits have been pilchards on a paternoster rig. White single-tail and double-tail grubs have been catching equally as many fish, and good quality fish at that.
Remember, while you are allowed to keep 10 snapper, just three may be equal to or greater than 50cm. A lot of the photos I have seen have had a lot more fish in them than the limit. Please try to do the right thing, so everyone has a chance to catch these beautiful fish.
Anyway who wants to eat a 10kg snapper? Take a photo and let it go! Keep the smaller, sweeter tasting fish, and let the big breeders do their thing!
For the latest fishing information, contact Allways Angling, (03) 5174 8544.Reads: 654