The salmon have made their presence felt in a big way, with excellent numbers being taken along the length or the beach. There have been some very good sizes to them as well.
The beaches have mostly had good, deep gutters with white water on the inside edge of the bar, which is prime salmon water as they tend to take cover under the white water and foam and patrol up and down the gutters feeding on any bait fish they cross paths with. These gutters are best fished just after a southerly or westerly blow, as the larger waves create extra white water.
The most consistent method of catching fish is by using metal lures on light gear. The most popular lures are Gillies, Raider, Lazer and Halco metal lures in various patterns and colours, but the blues, greens and silver are always good ones to start with. With sizes of 25-50g being the best sizes to use, as they give good casting distance and match the common baitfish the salmon would be chasing. Fellow contributor, Will Thompson, has been making several trips to the surf armed with lures and has been successful on all trips in all conditions. On a recent trip Will had with another contributor, Rod Booker, they persevered in a strong easterly, which would have been unfishable with bait and ended up with good numbers of fish up to 1.5kg and lost some that were bigger. Rods between 2.1m (7ft) to 2.7m (9ft) with a stiff action for casting power, matched with a small spinning reel in the 2000 size range spooled with 4kg (8lb) braid with a 6-8kg leader approx 3m long will give some shock resistant in the wash.
Bait fishing has still produced good fish when using pilchards, bluebait, whitebait, squid and pipi. Surf poppers have been productive with red/white and blue/white being the most popular. Saltwater flies and white double-tail plastics are also taking their fair of fish when used on the paternoster rig.
The salmon have been up to 2kg with most fish being around the 750g-1kg. There have also been tailor making an appearance as a by-catch when targeting salmon. They have been around the 500g to 1kg size, which is quite good for our beaches.
There has been some exceptional gummies taken in the last couple of months, with some of these sharks getting up to 15kg and above. Shane Randall of Morwell sent me an email with a photo of a couple of gummies he caught on a blue and white surf popper from Woodside Beach at about 9.30pm, which went 14.5kg cleaned! That is a good gummy in anyone’s book! Brad Welch also caught a nice gummy of approx 1.3m from Jack Smiths Beach near Woodside Beach during the day and Mick Gned also caught a nice gummy from the Golden Beach area that was about 1.2m in length.
Most of the gummies have been taken on fresh baits of salmon and tailor fillets, as they are around the gutters in numbers. You can’t get much fresher than catching a salmon one minute and putting a fillet straight onto another hook and back in the water within 5 minutes.
Seven-gill sharks would also be about with some of these sharks reaching close to 3m long; they can turn up at anytime when targeting gummies. Draughtboard sharks are also making an appearance, which is a bit of a nuisance.
So even though the footy is on and the weather is cold it is still worth warming yourself up with a bent rod chasing a big salmon or gummy up and down the beaches.Reads: 3037