Queens Birthday weekend has finally arrived and we’re eager to get out there and get fishing. We’ve been planning this trip over the past couple of months since we were back there in April for the Easter long weekend.
Over the Easter break, we caught a pair of nice Australian Salmon at last light during peak high tide. Surf rig was the set-up of choose. Rigged up with a surf popper and cut Pilchard on a single size 5 Suicide hook. Also to mention, it was our first surf fishing adventure and to produce any form of results was exciting!
So, we decided to do round 2!
Gunamatta Ocean Beach is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from the Melbourne CBD and the best way to get there is by car. Awesome drive and not too far out for a good surf fishing trip.
Once you arrive at Gunnamatta there are two car parks. The first car park a lot smaller compared to the second but both accompanied with toilet facilities. The beach can be easily accessed via the manmade stairs from both carparks.
When planning this trip I only had one thing on my mind and it was to catch an Australian Salmon. Previously we had caught two but both were caught by my good mates standing 5 meters from me. So, this time around I was determined!
We were eager to take something home and minimum catch limit according to the ‘Victorian Fisheries Authority’ was 21cm. Measured from the tip of the tail to the tip of the head. Anything over this and I would have been happy.
What did we use for our set-up?
This time around I thought I try something different and have a more active approach. From about knee-deep water, I decided to cast out metal lures. For me, Halco twisty 70g was the lure of choice as you can cast these an absolute mile. Retrieve them fast, slow or in different variations.
I worked this lure up and down 50 meters of the beach within known gutters and structures.
On the other hand, my mates were using our go-to surf rig with cut Pilchard on a single size 5 Suicide hook.
Our catch results
So, what was our catch result? Well, things started off a little slow as we arrived at the beach and started fishing around 2:30 pm. High tide was expected to be about 5 pm. So the conditions were just right as it was a run-in tide and leading towards dusk.
We decided to get fishing around the second car park the bigger of the two. But the beach was packed! surfers and other anglers everywhere. This made it difficult to cast a line without crossing others or hitting a surfer. After fooling around and wasting time we decide to take a walk and find a better spot.
A little further down the beach towards the first car park, fewer surfers and no anglers were present. We decided to stake our claim in this spot. We headed back, packed our stuff and drove down to the first car park and started fishing. At this point, it was just past 3:30 pm.
My partner Anna and I continued throwing metal lures and working them fast, slow and with a lot of variations. Fish on! Anna got a hookup. A nice little juvenile Salmon on a Halco 55g Twisty as an opener. She was wrapped! And things got started.
Not too long after I cast as far as I possibly could and decided to retrieve my lure fast with sudden stops. Then bang! I got a hookup and my drag screamed a little. It was something big, not sure how big but I knew it was something big.
It felt like forever reeling this fish in as the lure went so far out. There were moments were the fish fought back and didn’t want to budge but I persisted and kept the line tight. Finally, I beached it and my eyes lite up! My first Australian Salmon and it was a big one!
Measured it to be about 60cm. This is what I came here for. My day was made and caught this just before peak high tide at about 4:30 pm.
We decided to continue fishing and hoping there was a school of these guys around but no luck. Just before we decided to pack it up and call it a day my Mate Johnny reeled in a little Juvenile Australian Salmon on cut Pilchard.
Goes to show both baits and lures work. but I think I’ve now become a fan of Halco twisty metal lures. Before the winter season ends and the Australian Salmon disappear I’ll be back again to give it another red hot go for round 3!
Now, it’s time for me to find a recipe on how I’ll be cooking my catch and until next time.