The surf has come alive with plenty of fish and sharks being taken from the whole length of the beach.
With a lot of bait being in close to the beach it has make some bigger predators more accessible to most anglers.
The large schools of yakkas have brought species like bronze whaler, school, gummy and hammerhead sharks in to the beach in large numbers, with some of the bronzies measuring up to 2.4m in length. Most of the bronzies are coming from Loch Sport through to McLoughlins Beaches on various baits, fished on a surf rod.
If you are game, you can get a big bait and have it dropped over the back of the bar on heavy gear, however be ready as a lot of sharks have been hooked before the person dropping the bait over the bar has returned back to the beach.
School and hammerhead sharks have been predominantly on the smaller side but you never know when a larger specimen comes along.
Fellow contributor Will Thompson has reports of approx 30 gummies taken in two nights. The majority of them were around 1-1.4m in length; however the bigger specimens were around 24kg, like the one that Matt Reid caught recently near Seaspray on fresh pike fillet.
Matt also caught another three gummies up to 8kg on the same night. Justin Shankland also had a good night when he caught 3 gummies again near Seaspray as well as several small hammerheads on surf poppers.
The gummies have been spread along the beach from Lake Tyers right through to McLoughlins Beach, with the freshest of baits like salmon, tailor, mullet, trevally, yakka, pike or any fillets that can be put on a hook as soon after it has been caught as possible, giving you the best chance of landing a quality shark.
Frozen baits of squid, pilchards and bluebait are also worth a try as they can land good sharks as well. The new and full moon periods are always a better time to fish as they tend to be more active at these times.
The yakka schools have also brought a large number of yellowtail kingfish to the beaches with several being landed when targeting other species. Some of the fish have been up around 70cm in length and have come from around Woodside to McLoughlins beaches. They have also been seen chasing yakkas and salmon on the surface close to the beach.
Darren Baumgarten had a good day at McLoughlins Beach when he caught a kingfish of 57cm, flathead to 45cm and salmon to 1.7kg on baits.
He also witnessed a school of salmon around the size he caught being chased and attacked by several large dark-backed fish with a silver side and small dorsal fin, which sounds a lot like a description of cobia. Last time we had plenty of kingfish in 2007 there was a cobia landed. You never know what might swim past as you when fishing on the beach.
The usual species have also been taken from most beaches, like salmon and flathead, when using bluebait, whitebait, squid, pilchards and pipi. Fresh fillets have also caught good numbers of fish with some of the salmon being up to 2kg and the flathead up to 3kg.
The better flathead have been taken down towards to McLoughlins Beach and as you head east the size and numbers tend to drop off. Salmon have been taken from all beaches with the area around Lakes Entrance being the most consistent.
Rick Bailes and his son Scott had a good 3 days in Seaspray in December when they caught flathead up to 47cm, trevally and mullet. Bill Reid and Rod Shingles had a good afternoon in December at McGaurans Beach when they caught large salmon and flathead to 2kg, a gummy on salmon strips which were cut fresh from the salmon. Proof that fresh baits works extremely well.
I have also had an unconfirmed report of a mako shark around 1.5m in length taken from the beach around McGauran’s Beach, but I haven’t seen a photo, but with some of the species seen or taken lately, it wouldn’t surprise me at all!
So with fishing like this over the last month or so don’t let the good fishing pass you by without giving it a go!
If you do get out and you land a good fish, don’t hesitate to take some photos on the beach and send them to me and I will include them in my column.
Matt Reid with his personal best gummy, weighing 24kg taken on a pike fillet.Reads: 4015