BEACH FISHING FOR AUSTRALIAN SALMON
It was 5.30 am when my alarm went off. I rubbed my eyes but the tiredness didn’t bother me. I threw my gear into the ute and headed down to the beach, arriving at 6am, just before dawn with the tide coming in. It was a Saturday morning and I was doing the same thing I do every Saturday, standing in the surf looking for Australian Salmon.
Chasing Aussie Salmon is my favourite. I live on the Southern Coast and when these girls get within range of our rods, it is pure chaos. There are more than enough to go around, with fishos flocking to the beaches in their droves to cash in on the action. Salmon put up a solid fight and deliver some eye-catching acrobatics. Surf fishing is also accessible to newbies; it is the best way to get yourself into some real fishing species on a tight budget. When Salmon season rolls around, even a green fisho can tangle with something at around 3kg in weight.
FINDING AUSTRALIAN SALMON
With the sky turning a lighter shade of blue, announcing the sun’s imminent arrival, and the tide near its peak, my lure was on and I was ready to start fishing.
I spotted a gutter to my right and to my left. I was spoilt for choice. Salmon love to sit in gutters and wait for prey. I picked up my rod and threw a lure about 20 metres out to investigate. I started at the beginning of the gutter and started walking up the beach, inching my way along, casting and retrieving with methodical precision. I had thrown out maybe five or six casts when a swirl in the gutter to my left caught my eye. I quickly pulled my lure in and hit the spot where I saw the motion with my next cast. It had barely landed in the water when my line went taught and I got a hook. My rod curved and I beamed with pride as I prepared myself to start cranking her in. Suddenly my line went slack. Damn. My leader snapped. A lucky escape for one Salmon.
BAITS AND LURES TO CATCH AUSTRALIAN SALMON
On this particular day, I was using metal lures. These imitate the baitfish lurking in the shallows pretty well, so when the Salmon spot the flash of silver in the gutters, it looks just like a baitfish that has wandered too far out. Some Saturdays, I like to throw soft plastics out, sometimes poppers and sometimes, when I have my longer 12ft rod, I will use live bait like herring, pilchards or mullet. The live baits tend to attract bigger Salmon, so I want to make sure my setup can handle the increased fighting power before I tempt them with live baits. But today, I was spending the day casting and retrieving, so I wanted something lighter, like a 7-9ft spin rod.
After retying my leader, I was getting quite a few strikes. I noticed the fish were taking everything off the topwater. It was time to change to a popper. I rigged up and the fish started going berserk. Just two casts in I had landed a 2lb Salmon. It was turning into quite the morning.
By the end of the morning, I had released more than 30 fish. I kept a couple back to take home and have for dinner. Most fishos don’t eat their Salmon. I must admit it is an acquired taste. But I have an awesome burger recipe which uses Salmon instead of beef which takes the fishy edge off the flavour. I would share it but that is definitely for another post. Besides, on the South Coast, we don’t have as many eating species as you folks have up north.
Do you have any Australian Salmon fishing stories? Let us know in the comments section below.