It’s that time of the year at Shallow Inlet when the water temperature rises and, although there are still a few degrees to go until prime time, the fishing has really come to life.
Through the winter there were very good numbers of big salmon that paid a visit, along with garfish, and many have stayed, which is good news. There are also plenty of tailor, mullet and whiting being caught on a variety of baits with probably pipis the most popular.
Andrew Hill is a very keen local angler and he recently landed a 1.5m gummy on a pilchard near Adams Road. This takes his gummy shark total (in his life) to two, but he’s hoping to build on that this season. The fish seem to be biting on both tides, which is also good news. If true to form, they will be in the area right throughout the warm months.
Just around the corner from Shallow Inlet is Waratah Bay. The caravan park there is where most anglers visit and speak to Barry McGannon, who runs the park with wife Leanne. Barry’s right-hand man is Ray Spokes, who also has his finger on the pulse fishing-wise, and when he’s not working at the park he’s out looking for a fish.
Ray says that this time of year is when the big seven-gill sharks come around. He says he will always remember when one in excess of 2m swam up to him on his surfboard, had a look, and then casually swam away. Great story now, but not so exciting at the time!
There are still good numbers of salmon being caught on the beach on the last two hours of the run-in tide but it would be fair to say that the numbers have dropped off a little recently. Just beyond the breakers are those famous whiting for which the area is renown and are quite often are landed in excess of 50cm.
Just outside the entrance at Inverloch is the place where locals have been sneaking out looking for salmon that have been in the area for quite a while taking white bait and lures from the shore. They’ve been encountering a few.
Just inside the entrance a few hundred metres, land-based anglers and boaters have been having moderate success in the area known as the bathing boxes. There aren’t any bathing boxes, as they have long since been removed, but there is a land marker and also a yellow water marker and at both sides of the tide at low water you can catch whiting to the 36cm, along with silvers, on Bass yabbies. Locals reckon yabbies are the best bait and use nothing else. That said, pipis, squid and pilchards will make reasonable substitutes.
Veteran Wonthaggi angler Keith Jones with two 40cm whiting caught at Inverloch on pilchard strips.Reads: 5343