The numbers of gummies caught in a recent two-week period are extraordinary, with many anglers catching up to 10 gummies in one night!
I had a great but frustrating night on the beach last month with Dave Wilkinson, my dad Darrel and fellow contributor Rod Booker, when between us we caught 5 or 6 salmon, 4 flathead and 4 gummies between 3.5-6.5kg.
We should have caught more if I had taken an extra 5 minutes before we headed off checking for decent hooks, as I lost several fish by using older hooks! As you could imagine it was frustrating losing these fish, but we all need to learn lessons at times!
Most gummies have been taken on fresh salmon strips, squid, bluebait and pilchards. We have found fishing with a paternoster rig with only one dropper up to 300mm long and snelled two hooks like Gamakatsu Octopus 4/0 or 5/0 hooks. They have been taken all along the beach with the odd one taken around Lake Tyers and Eastern Beach through to McLoughlin’s Beach.
The gutters between Golden Beach and Seaspray seemed to carry the larger size and numbers of sharks.
The recent strong winds have drastically changed the beaches, with some areas having debris left on the beach from large waves washing away parts of the sand dunes, particularly around Woodside.
The best time for targeting gummies is in the week leading up to the new moon, which has produced the goods in the last month or so and as long as you have deep water, it doesn’t seem to matter what tide you fish, as long as the tide is running the gummies seem to bite.
Seven-gill sharks have been taken as a by-catch, however their numbers are starting to drop of now that the water is warming. We should see other sharks making an appearance, like bronze whalers, hammerhead and school sharks.
There has been some good salmon taken at different times of the day, with no particular time being the standout. They will be cruising along the gutters looking for a feed, as there doesn’t appear to be too many schools of bait hanging around for the salmon to harass.
The sizes have been good, with fish up to 2.5kg landed, with most being around 750g-1kg. Metal lures like Raiders, Lazers, Gillies and Halco are all producing fish, as well as bluebait, whitebait, squid, pipis and surf poppers in blue and red and the white double-tail grubs fished on a paternoster rig.
Flathead are starting to turn up in reasonable numbers with their sizes starting to increase from the 30-35cm sizes they started at in October. They will be taken when using bluebait, whitebait, squid, and fresh strips of fish like salmon, tailor, mullet and trevally, also blue and red surf poppers, saltwater flies like Deceivers and double-tail grubs. The better beaches are Woodside and McLoughlins where the bigger flathead tend to come on the bite from November through to the end of December.
It would be a good idea to get your gear organised, make sure you have some good sharp hooks, and get down the beach and wet a line, as you never know what you might get connected to!Reads: 1674