How to catch gummy shark
The offshore waters of Gippsland offer an executional opportunity to catch Gummy sharks. The significant population of gummy sharks in Eastern Bass Strait is directly related to the 90 Mile Beach's proximity, which is a crucial sand feature with an abundance of crabs, one of their primary food sources. While these sharks can be caught in shallow waters near the beach, they are more confident in darker conditions.
For boat-based fishing, the optimal zone for catching gummys is at a depth of 15-30 meters. Drifting is a popular technique but anchoring and setting baits with a light berley trail can prove more effective for specifically targeting a gummy, as they will swim up-current if they smell potential food. Although this approach requires patience and may yield bycatch, persistence will eventually reward you with a gummy. Another excellent zone for boat fishing is off the edge of offshore reefs where gummy sharks often patrol the edges. They also show up in flathead catches at varying depths.
When pursuing a hard fighting gummy, a 7-foot rod rated at 10-15kgs with a 5000 or larger sized spin reel or equivalent overhead should provide optimal results. The main line should be 30-50lb braid with a rod length leader of 60lb monofilament. It’s widely accepted that a running sinker rig is ideal using an Ezi Rig or similar sliding device which allows you to change bomb sinker size in accordance with the strength of the tide. A single 6/0-7/0 circle hook is ideal. Don’t forget a large and sturdy landing net, you will need it! A paternoster rig is also ideal for deeper drifts. Squid, eel, fish fillet, and pilchards are all effective baits, but fresh salmon or trevally are the favourites.
Catching a good-sized gummy shark from a surf beach is an exhilarating experience. On a high tide at night, gummy sharks cruise into shallow water, using their excellent sense of smell to search for crabs. This is the best time for shore-based fishers to target them. A long cast will reach at least a metre or so of water depth where gummies patrol gutter edges.
To fish for gummys from the beach, a 12-14 foot surf rod is required. The longer length helps with longer casts and keeping the line out of the waves to some extent. It's important to use braided fishing line in the surf as it reduces the effects of side current. Combining this with grapnel sinkers will help hold bottom in most conditions, keeping your bait in the zone.
A single dropper paternoster rig, tied in 60-pound monofilament with a 7/0 circle hook and using baits of squid or fish fillet is good. However, if crabs are rampant in the area, eel makes a better bait option. Adding a rod holder made of PVC pipe will keep your outfit out of the sand. The smell of the bait should attract any gummy shark in the area, or you can lightly berley from the shoreline. Be prepared for bycatch of large rays and skates.