|  First Published: April 2009

Finally, we have some lovely autumn weather! It’s good to get a solid week or two without any wind, or barely any compared with the summer we have just endured. I guess that’s why we anglers love autumn, heaps of fish without the wind.

The past month really has fished great for countless species. For starters we will talk about something that we don’t normally get to talk about in these parts and that tuna! Stripped tuna up to around 3kg have been schooling up in Bass Strait out the front of Manns and Mcloughlins beach entrances all the way down to Lakes Entrance.

Some of these schools have been in very close as well; close enough to hear the odd one caught off 90 Mile Beach by surf fishers.

There have been quite a few anglers heading out for snapper and gummy sharks offshore only to come across some large patches of fish busting up on the surface taking whitebait and pilchards. Most of the anglers I’ve spoke to can be forgiven in thinking they were looking at salmon schools, but they get a rude awaking when they turned out to be mini torpedos.

The tuna haven’t been all that fussy, most anglers have been having great success using metal slugs such as Gillies baitfish in 40g and also Laser lures. These fish are fantastic on light gear.

The gummy sharks have also been going berserk lately. And some of them are real giants.

Mel and Kent Hammond landed four beauties on a particular outing and Mel proved that the pink Femme Fatale combos can really pull in a big fish. Nice work Mel!

The bigger gummy sharks have been landed on fresher baits such as squid and slimy mackerel, and there’s plenty of these fish schooling outside at the moment.

The snapper fishing outside on Mcloughlins reefs has been very consistent, and there’s bigger snapper down towards Lakes Entrance. However, the snapper closer to Mcloughlins are better eaters of around 35-50cm in length. Further east there are plenty of big fellas up to 20lb being caught.

The elephantfish made a run for about three weeks going down the coast. The fish were in close and it was mainly flathead anglers that were bottom bouncing the sand were catching these fish.


The land-based anglers have had a real treat the past month fishing the jetties at Mcloughlins Beach.

On the run-in tide, the trevally have been going berserk on pipi and squid. Most of the trevally are small in size, which are perfect for live bait. However, you will still be able to find a few over 30cm that will give great sport, especially when you catch one after another.

There’s still plenty of flathead in the inlet and my mate Tim McCabe caught some lovely fish to 50cm off the boat ramp jetty on the high tide using squid and blue bait on a running sinker rig. This proves you don’t need a boat to catch good fish at Mcloughlins Beach.

For the boaties, there are lots of flathead around St Margarets Island up to 60cm in length. Soft plastics have still been the most productive way to catch the flatties.

For a good feed, some lovely big garfish are schooled up at Manns Beach. A float rig has been the best way to catch these fish, and little baits such as pipi and small pieces of whitebait and squid have been very successful.

For more information on fishing Manns and Mcloughlins beaches, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 03 5174 8544.

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