Big Beach Bites
  |  First Published: March 2010

A good variety of species have been landed from the beaches recently, and most have been of a decent size.

Flathead, salmon, tailor, snapper, elephantfish and gummies have been the most common species encountered. Unfortunately in the mix have been other unwanted species such as stingrays, banjo sharks and skates.

Flathead have been taken from Golden Beach through to Woodside Beach, with the best baits being bluebait, whitebait, squid and pilchards. Surf poppers, white double tails grubs and saltwater flies have all produced fish when used in conjunction with the popular baits on a paternoster rig.

The size of fish has started to reduce with most flatties being under 40cm, so it won’t be long until they disappear for winter.

Schools of salmon are increasing as they start their winter run, with some excellent fish up to 4kg caught in the last couple of years at this time; it makes for some great fishing!

The majority of beaches will have salmon schooling so it is just a matter of being there when the school swims past. It doesn’t matter if you are fishing at Lake Tyers Beach or Eastern Beach through to Woodside or McLoughlins Beach.

The baits and methods used for flathead will also catch good salmon. But the most enjoyable and challenging method is to use light gear and throw metal lures and poppers in various colours into gutters and around the edges of sandbars and rips. Tailor have been the main by-catch when chasing the salmon.

There has been a large number of snapper taken from Loch Sport to Golden Beach and the odd one has turned up around Red Bluff near Lake Tyers Beach. There was a 4kg snapper weighed in at Golden Beach Foodarama recently, which would make a lot of surf anglers happy.

The best baits are fresh fillets of salmon, tailor, flathead and trevally. They will also take squid, pilchards and bluebait.

April is the time of year that good numbers of snapper are taken from beaches like Delray Beach, Loch Sport and McGauran’s Beach. In the past there have been some large fish up around 9kg but most are between 1-4kg.

Night fishing has been producing good numbers of gummy sharks, with some anglers having good sessions with catches of up to six in one night.

Fresh fillets of flathead, salmon, tailor and trevally have all produced good sharks up to 1.8m. However, at this time of year it is best to let the big sharks go as they are breeding females.

All beaches have produced sharks; you just need to be on the right beach on the right night. Elephantfish have also turned up around Loch Sport and Woodside beaches.

They have been taken on the usual baits of half pilchards and squid strips when fished on a paternoster rig. They have been around 2-3kg in size, but don’t forget the bag limit is only one elephantfish per person.

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