The beach fishing has been nothing short of sensational! With large numbers of salmon being caught using various methods and there has been some quality fish landed.
The average size of these fish seems to be up on previous years, with lots of fish around 2kg, with the odd one up around 4kg. With large numbers of baitfish, like pilchards, being close to shore the salmon have been accessible on most beaches. Lake Tyers and Loch Sport through to Seaspray have been the most prolific for the bigger fish, however fish to 2kg have been taken most beaches in between. Some anglers have been reporting catches of 80 plus fish in a single outing, with most fish being released to fight another day. Salmon are a much better sportfish than an eating fish so the best thing is to make the most of the fight then let them swim away.
Baits of pilchards, bluebait, whitebait, squid and pipi have all taken fish, with surf poppers accounting for good numbers of fish when used in conjunction with bait on a paternoster rig. The changes of tide are the best times to fish using bait, first and last light are also very productive times.
By far the most popular and productive method has been to use metal lures in the 25-40g range being. However larger metal lures like 60-80g and also if conditions allow, a large surface popper, would be well worth a cast or two, as the fish have been busting up just out of casting distance from shore chasing the pilchard schools. As these larger lures closer represent the pilchard, they can very productive if the fish are in a feeding mode.
The best technique for lure fishing the beach is to have a graphite rod up to 2.7m in length, matched with a 2000-3000 size spinning reel, with braided line up to 12lb, and a 3m long mono or fluorocarbon leader around 15-20lb. A small but strong snap swivel is a good idea as it helps reduce line twist, which can be problem when fishing lures through the shore break, and it also helps with quick lure changes. Long casts are a must as it enables you to cover more water.
Our previous editor Martin Auldist had a great overnight trip to Ocean Grange on a Bulls Cruiser with his family recently. They had a ball catching plenty of smaller salmon that were willing to take cut pilchards and 25g metal lures fished on light spinning gear, with the whole family getting in and enjoying the action.
Clive Rendell also took his sons Zac and Ty to the beaches with great success on the salmon. They ended up landing 81 salmon with most fish being around 1kg and the boys each landed their personal best fish of 1kg each. Well done boys! Clive returned in the following days and landed another 80 odd fish with the best being around 2kg. The fish were taken on bait and lures with Gillies, Raider, Lazers and Pilchard lures the most productive and baits and surf poppers being successful for Clive.
There has not been much else taken recently but there should be gummies and seven gill sharks, starting to make an appearance at the end of this month, as the days draw out a bit longer. So if you haven’t dusted the surf gear out yet, you better start!Reads: 1850