Sand and the sound of crashing waves is what attracts millions to Australia’s amazing coastline each year. Turning up in large numbers and having a never say die mentality, is why many of us spend hours chasing our iconic Australian Salmon.
Each to their own:
Wading the shallows, flicking lures and searching every likely looking gutter is one of the many ways in which to target Australian Salmon from the beach. The most common of all techniques though, is when anglers present their offerings in likely spots where they can intercept Salmon as they pass by on the hunt for food.
Rods from 9 -12ft, matched to 4000 – 8000 size reels are ideal. When it comes to line, a high quality braid or low stretch monofilament from 15-30lb is spot on.
The 21 Sensor Sandstorm 1062M paired with the 20 BG MQ 4000D-XH, spooled with 20lb J-Braid Grand is an outfit I’ve fallen in love with and wouldn’t dare hit the beach without. Being an unbelievably light and comfortable rig to use.
Baits and Setup:
Thieving Sand Crabs and having the bait fly off your hook, are just a couple of issues you may have to contend with on the surf at times, but here are a couple of solutions to help in these situations. A twin hook Paternoster rig is most popular among surf anglers as it gives the ability to run two baits, plus still have a chance if one of the baits was to come off. Pilchard, Whitebait, Bluebait and Squid all make top baits. If you favour Pilchard or White bait though, then l recommend Bait Thread or Bait Mate to aid in the longevity of these soft baits.
Spin it up:
Casting lures from the beach is a highly addictive and mobile way to spend a few hours chasing Salmon. Metal slugs from 15-60gm in natural bait fish colours like whites, blues and greens are more than adequate. Normally a fast but steady retrieve is most favourable, however at times a slightly different approach is needed. There are days where Salmon won’t feel the urge to chase down lures at speed, especially when using metal slugs which are near on impossible to be fished slow. Times like this I prefer to change over to the Daiwa Morethan Switch Hitter 85S. Having an unbelievable darting action and the ability to be paused are just a couple of reasons why this lure is a stand out producer time and time again over many others in these conditions.
The two hours either side of high tide are productive times for any surf species and especially Australian Salmon. Now we’re not always blessed with run in tides and on some occasions have only a small window of opportunity to fish. The run out tide can be just as enjoyable, all it takes is a little more time scoping out the deeper sections of the beach, from either the top of sand dunes or what I more recently discovered helpful, Google Earth.
To feed or not to feed:
Berley is the key, not only to draw Salmon within range but also keep this easily distracted species interested in sticking around. I run a light mesh bag with around 10m of cord, which l then attach to a rod holder and allow the surf break to disperse a trail of berley through the fine holes of the bag.