Trunk loads of elephants
  |  First Published: April 2009

The beaches along the western end of Ninety Mile Beach have been producing large numbers of elephantfish lately with some anglers landing numbers of 20 and 30 in one session.

Although there have been large numbers of elephants caught, most anglers are taking their new bag limit of one for a feed and then releasing the rest. The most productive area has been between McGaurans and McLoughlins beaches, although they have been caught up to Paradise Beach. On a recent trip to Woodside, myself, Ben Kennedy and Chris Brew caught four elephants, a small gummy, a small salmon and a small flathead.

The elephantfish have not been fussy with the baits they are taking; squid, pilchards, blue bait and fresh bait, like salmon, tailor and mullet. As long as you have a bait in the water you are in with a show. However, they are starting to thin out, as they are now on their way back to the deepwater where they normally reside.

There have been good numbers of gummies taken from Loch Sport to Seaspray, with the odd smaller one taken down to McLoughlins Beach, but they have had to fight with large numbers of elephants for the baits. Gummies to 10kg have also been taken around Golden Beach to Loch Sport.

The best baits for the gummies have been squid, pilchards and fresh salmon, tailor, mullet and trevally. It is the best time of year to chase a large gummy from the beach as May tends to produce smaller numbers but larger sizes. It is best to fish three days either side of the new and full moon for best results.

Salmon have been increasing in numbers, with the larger fish just starting to show themselves as they start their annual run along the coast. The fish lately have been up to 2kg, but fish to 3kg will become a possibility in the next few weeks as they move along the beaches.

Metal lures and baits will all take salmon, with lures like, Raiders, Laser, Halco, Gillies or any baitfish profile and baits of pilchard, blue bait, whitebait, squid, pipi and surf poppers and saltwater flies are all worth having on your paternoster rig when bait fishing. Tailor have also been taken when fishing for salmon at Lake Tyers to Golden Beach.

With large schools of salmon moving around close to the beach, it may be worth putting out a live bait or fresh salmon as there may be a bronze whaler or even a mulloway following the schools. Something may not hit the bait every time you try it, but the prize could be well worth it. Seven gill sharks are starting to appear as the water starts to cool and will become more prolific.

Flathead have been thinning out in size and numbers as they disappear for winter.

Even though the footy has started and the weather is cooling down there is still plenty of fun to be had on the beach, especially with metal lures!

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