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New winter focus
  |  First Published: April 2010



The water has cooled and the fishing has shifted to our winter species, like salmon, tailor and mullet.

The odd seven-gill and gummy shark has been caught but the numbers have reduced compared to a couple of months ago.

The occasional flathead and snapper were taken in the last couple of weeks of April. While they weren’t large fish, the snapper were taken in reasonable numbers, particularly around Lake Tyers Beach.

Flathead were taken in the Golden Beach to McLoughlins Beach stretch with the sizes being smaller than summer and getting fewer fish now that the water is cooler.

One good thing about this time of year is that we get the best sportsfishing from the beach as the salmon schools appear on the beaches and are generally willing to take various baits and lures.

So far there have been patches of big fish as the schools move through the beach gutters, some fish are up to 3kg, but most are around 750g–1kg.

Baits of pilchard, bluebait, whitebait, squid and pipi all account for salmon as well as red and blue surf poppers when fished in conjunction with bait on a paternoster rig.

If you want the best sport when using bait, use a lighter rod of around 2.4m (8ft) matched with a spinning reel spooled with 8lb braid. Use a 6-8kg leader approximately two rod lengths long, rigged with a small ball sinker that has enough weight to get the bait into the gutter

Run this to either a single hook with a strip bait or whole blue or whitebait or a set of gang hooks with a whole pilchard and cast into likely gutters and any white water that is over the edge of a gutter. There is also the chance of a tailor when targeting salmon.

The other option is to use a similar outfit and use metal lures like Laser, Raider, Gillies and Halco metal lures. All these lures are available in various styles and colours, which all catch fish, so it pays to have a range of styles, sizes and colours in your tackle box and change if you don’t get any hits or fish until you find one that works on that day.

In the past some salmon taken on lures have been up to 4kg which will give great sport on light gear.

Gummy Sharks

The odd gummy is being taken when fishing into the night, however the nights are getting cooler. The size has been averaging around 1m with the chance of a larger gummy of around 1.6m that can show up when you least expect them.

Seven-gill sharks can be a by-catch when targeting gummies when the water is a bit cooler, so it may pay to keep a wire trace handy in case you get bitten off.

In the last weeks of April there was a brief run of elephantfish with the possibility of the odd one still passing through, especially around Woodside Beach.

Even though the footy is in full swing, it will still pay to give the beach a go, as there are some great fish to get your rod bent.

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