Top action from the sand
  |  First Published: February 2009

With the devastation caused by the worst bushfires ever, it is hard to put my mind into gear to put this article together, with so much loss suffered by so many all over the state, whether it be loved ones or homes and possessions. My heart goes out to you all, as I also have relatives that have lost everything.

With the fire danger far from over, if you are planning to venture to one of our many beaches to have a fish, please check with authorities to ensure you are not going to be in the path of a fire or in the way of emergency services trying to control a fire on your way there.

Before the fires there was some great fishing to be had on the majority of our beaches, with salmon, flathead, snapper, yellowtail kingfish, gummies, bronze whalers and hammerhead sharks.

Flathead have been plentiful along the length of the beach, with the western beaches being the most productive. The fish have taken on bluebait, whitebait, squid, pilchards and surf poppers, soft plastics and saltwater flies.

Justin Shankland had a good trip to McGaurans Beach in January when he landed some nice flathead to 60cm, which is a good flathead from the beaches. The flathead have been taken as far east as Lake Tyers Beach through to McLoughlins Beach.

The most unusual occurrence has been the large numbers of snapper taken around the long weekend in January, particularly around Golden and Delray beaches. Some anglers were catching up to six in a session, which is unusual, as you don’t normally catch this many in a session. The best baits are pilchards, squid and fresh strips of salmon, tailor and mullet.

Gummies have been quite prolific too, with numerous catches of up to 10 in one night. They have been all along the beach, with the best places to try between Loch Sport and Woodside Beach. A lot of the gummies have been around 1m, however 1.2-1.5m gummies have been regular catches too.

Squid, pilchards, fresh strips of salmon, tailor, trevally and mullet have all produced their fair share of gummies. These baits have also hooked some much bigger shark species like bronze whalers and hammerhead sharks, with some of these up to 100kg and 2-2.4m. Some bigger bronzies have been taken when anglers have paddled baits out approximately 100m when using heavy game fishing gear baited with big baits of salmon, squid and eel.

There was a couple of nice-sized yellowtail kingfish taken at Golden Beach by anglers fishing for other species, which seems to becoming a more common occurrence in the last couple of years. Last year there were some reasonable numbers taken. Don’t be surprised if you land (or at least hook) more of these great fighting fish. The baits listed above for other species would be a good start, and don’t forget with any species, that fresh is always best.

Salmon have been taken all along the beach when targeting other species on the same baits; these fish are always patrolling the beach no matter what time of year.

With the good numbers and quality of fish that are around on the beach, it is worth a trip if you can. As I mentioned at the start of this article, please check with the authorities to ensure that you are out of harm’s way before you leave.

My thoughts are with all that have suffered any loss, either property or loved ones, during the recent fires.

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