Well we're right in the thick of the beach fishing season here and many anglers are experiencing the best salmon fishing that they've seen for at least the last 2 or 3 years. Numbers of fish have been good and average size has also been good - with good sized schools of bigger fish hanging about as well. As for the hot beaches, close to home the best have been Gunnamatta and Kilcunda, with Venus Bay/Walkerville excellent and the 90 mile has been very good also.

A hot tip if you're heading out to the beach - check the conditions of your chosen location from aerial maps or satellites first if possible.


When you're looking at a satellite view of your location the giveaway of deep water 'gutters' and 'holes' is easily picked up in the above photo. Gunnamatta beach has a few nice gutters which are easily distinguished by the red stars marking them. The darker water usually means deeper water or weed and rock - but in this case you can see that it is deep clear water. From the satellite view you can see the breaking water and the direction which the gutters move along the beach - just bear in mind the satellites aren't updated every day so they are a 'guide' for you, when you get to the beach a 10 minute scout from the dunes or high vantage point will confirm deeper water for you.


Customer Mark has been putting his beach knowledge to good use down at Venus Bay this week with some great salmon landed. During his last few sessions Mark has been spinning the fish up using metal stickbaits in 40g and 60g weights. Mark has caught more than his share of fish, with some models topping 3kg on the lures. Leaving them biting and having some much bigger fish shake the trebles out, Mark will be back with a vengeance after upgrading to assist hook set ups on his lures.


Customers from the store and members of the Keysborough Angling Club fished the section of the 90 mile beach in Gippsland at Woodside beach and had some excellent results. With all members landing salmon it was an excellent trip, and the largest salmon weighed in at 1.5kg which was caught by Mark Watson. Over all just over 150 salmon were weighed in over the two days, which shows excellent numbers of fish.


Happy anglers with their salmon! The salmon along the 90 mile have really been hitting bluebait, with blue and red surf poppers also claiming lost of fish. Some anglers fishing small 'bungee grubs' on the back of their poppers have been catching just as many fish as anglers who are fishing bait. The best part about these plastics is that they're crab-proof!

 

 

 


With intermittent rain and wind, the squid fishing has been sporadic - good when conditions clear but then put off for a few days while the water becomes stained and murky. The good news is that even when conditions are like this the southern end of Port Phillip is still worth a shot and much more consistent.

Customer Romello fished from Sorrento pier over the weekend where he landed a few. Romello cycled through a few jigs and found the Yamashita Q Lives were the best, with deep models working while the tide was pumping and shallow models doing the job when the tide stopped. Romello also landed a small cuttlefish from the pier using a Yakamito size 3.0 jig.


Customers Dale and Lochie fished out from Rye during the week in search of some calamari and they weren't left hanging with an excellent bag of squid making it home. The guys found that UV whites were the most successful in 4 - 6m of water straight out from Rye.


Customer Steve has also been getting into both the squid and whiting recently. Steve has found that both can be caught while fishing the same marks, with the squid often chasing the whiting around and attacking hooked fish. KGW patterned squid jigs can be very effective in these conditions, and the Hayabusa Aussie limited whiting colour has been excellent at tricking these squid. If you're able to keep the larger squid at bay good numbers of whiting can still be had, with areas like the southern section of middle spit and Tankerton fishing well - along with further south around Point Leo and Cat Bay.


The southern end of Port Phillip has been fishing well for whiting also. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been experiencing good bags of fish from around Rye to Sorrento, with mussel and squid standout baits. While there can be a bit of moving about to stay on these fish at this time of year, once you put together a bag of these tasty fish it will all be worth it!


For the land based guys the whiting have been a bit harder work. The odd fish has been caught shore based, with Mornington and Portsea piers probably the best two to be trying from. A bit further down the road there have been some nice school sized fish from around Lorne. Customer Jim fished Lorne pier over the weekend with a few mates and they weren't let down with a few nice fish to take home. Prawn and squid were effective baits from the pier, and accounted for King George when cast over the sand towards the weed - and grass whiting when dropped into the thick weed beds.

 


Australian salmon have really been on the go this past week, with heaps of anglers getting amongst them - whether it's been on the surf beaches or from many of the local piers and rocks. With the more recent weather the fish have slowed off a bit locally, but a big blow and rain band will see them return within many angler's shore based reaches soon enough. For the pier fisherman Mornington has been one worth looking at, especially early morning or later in the afternoon.


Customer Patrick has been enjoying the sporting aspect of the salmon from Mornington pier recently, with small metal jigs getting the bites when conditions are quiet. 'Shore jigging' is fairly under utilized here in Victoria, but fish like salmon can be absolute suckers for small falling jigs when a normal fast retrieve doesn't get spark their interest.


The ocean beaches have been producing good bags of fish for anglers persisting. While the lure casting has been a bit hit and miss, there still have been some nice fish landed. The real key for turning the odds in your favour on the beach is to fish a quality berley. Berley will bring the salmon from a good distance away on the beach and hold them in your area for long enough to capitalize.


Staff member Don experienced just this at Gunnamatta over the weekend, with only a few fish seen along the beach. After setting a good berley trail, and knowing at which stage of the tide to deploy it, Don ended up with a bag of fish to around a kilo.


Customer Mark fished Venus bay beach number 4 with his kids over the weekend to land some ripper salmon. Mark landed fish 2kg + on both pilchard and bluebait, and also surf poppers in blue/white combination.


Staff member Dylan lure fished a few of the surf beaches along the west coast over the weekend. While not every beach produced fish, many were only fished for a few hours and not on 'ideal' tides. Most beaches around Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay were holding numbers of smaller fish to 30cm. Further west past Cape Otway the beaches were producing larger fish around 1kg. Dylan and mate Jordan walked the gutters spinning metal lures and stickbaits and caught over 20 fish per session, with assist hooks the trick to keeping fish hooked in the shorebreak. The salmon were coughing up medium sized pilchards so the stickbaits were the ideal imitation. Sub minnows and bungy casts were the most successful.


 

Some nice salmon are still moving along the beaches down along the Great Ocean Road, with Bell's beach and Wild Dog the picks lately. Salmon to 2kg are being caught on bluebait and whitebait, with the odd fish taken on stickbaits and metal slugs.

Customer Perry recently purchased a new lure to try out on his local salmon down near Aireys Inlet after some advice from the guys in the shop. It didn't take him long to connect to a few chunky fish at his local beach, including this 53cm fish which pulled a fair bit of 4lb line from his poor reel!

 

If you're after some light tackle fun in the local estuaries then now is a good time to target a few Silver trevally and salmon. The coolers months of the year are good for these fish and normally by mid winter there are a few of both these species in many local estuaries in the bays around Melbourne, including the Yarra and Patterson Rivers. One of the better places to target the trevally is Queenscliff or the Barwon River near Ocean Grove. By using a light baitfishing or lure setup that you would use when bream fishing you can have a lot of fun on these tough little fish. Baits of pipi, whitebait and prawn are effective, and small soft plastics and vibes also catch their share of trevs.

Customer George sent us a report from the area recently where he chased a few trevally on lures from the boat. Using a mixture of small worms pattern soft plastics and metal vibes, George landed trevally to around 40cm along with a heap of similar sized salmon.