Ninety Mile Beach
Stretching as far as the eye can see in both directions, the Ninety Mile Beach runs from east of Wilsons Promontory near McLoughlins Beach to Lake Tyers. The largely unspoiled golden sands, flanked by dunes and coastal vegetation, have a serene and calming influence, making it the perfect spot to relax. This enormous stretch of coastline is a highly reliable surf fishing spot, much like the quality Gippsland Lakes system that lies behind significant stretches of the beach.
Fish caught off Ninety Mile Beach include salmon, tailor, snapper, sand whiting, flathead, trevally, mullet, and even mulloway. However, the beach is most famous for various sharks, ranging from gummy and school sharks to larger species such as whalers, seven-gills, and even hammerheads. Popular fishing destinations include McLoughlins Beach, Seaspray, Golden Beach, Woodside Beach, Loch Sport, Lake Tyers, and Lakes Entrance. The seclusion offered by more remote beaches appeals to more adventurous fishers, such as McGaurans Beach and Pettmans Beach near Lake Tyers.
Fishing the Ninety Mile Beach is uncomplicated and enjoyable, but to increase your chances of success and your enjoyment, it is important to cast a long way and fish when suitable conditions prevail. Avoid fishing when the side current is excessively strong, and weed is too rampant. Often, an easterly wind does not result in good fishing, but a northerly wind will flatten the sea and aid your cast. A rising tide will work to your advantage too. A surf rod is essential because long casts are required to reach productive water such as gutters of a decent depth. Look for a rod at least 12 or 14 foot in length. A paternoster dropper rig works well in the surf. It catches fish and having the sinker on the bottom of the rig aids in longer casts.
For a more family-friendly fishing experience, use lighter gear with a standard running sinker rig. Fish into the shallows of the wash right near the beach with small squid strips or sandworms for bait. You'll often find mullet, flathead or salmon turn up, especially if you throw some berley into the shore break.
McLoughlins Beach, Reeves Beach and Woodside Beach
McLoughlins, Reeves and Woodside beaches mark the beginning of the Ninety Mile Beach, offering visitors an array of recreational options. Accessible from the South Gippsland Highway, McLoughlins Beach boasts a camping area and a 4WD track that runs along the back of the dunes. The beach itself is a serene and peaceful spot, complete with a picnic shelter, playground and toilets. The beach is perfect for fishing, especially for larger snapper, whiting, flathead, salmon, and gummy sharks, with McGaurans a hotspot for big snapper. Visitors can even pump yabbies on the flats or catch beach worms in the surf. Nearby, Robertsons Beach is also a great spot for fishing, with the Tarra River channel at low tide offering big flathead and King George whiting.
Seaspray, a small town situated directly on the Ninety Mile Beach, offers visitors easy access to the sand and surf. Located 32km south of Sale, Seaspray boasts a general store and a large park with top-notch facilities, stretching the entire length of Foreshore Road. Several access points along the coast provide entry to the beach, including the Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club, which is perched atop the sand dunes, complete with a large viewing deck and ramps leading down to the beach. Additionally, visitors can explore various smaller beaches such as Flamingo, Glomar, Delray, and Honeysuckles, many of which have wooden ramps and staircases over the dunes leading right down to the sand. Elevated viewing decks help fishers locate gutters before deciding where to set up.
Merriman Creek skirts around Seaspray's western edge, opening up to a wide waterway as it meets Ninety Mile Beach. Near the mouth of the creek, a fishing platform and shelter awaits visitors, offering good beach fishing at the mouth if open as well as a chance at estuary species upstream, especially in a kayak. Seaspray's location on the beach and its serene environment make it an excellent spot for visitors looking to relax and unwind.
Golden Beach and Paradise Beach
Golden Beach is a charming community located about 36 kilometres from Sale. This hidden gem offers more than just the usual salmon and mulloway, with snapper and sharks also frequenting the waters. One of the highlights on the calendar is the Annual Golden Beach Surf Fishing Competition, which usually runs over the Australia Day weekend and is a popular event with locals and visitors alike. Camping is a great way to experience Golden Beach, with numerous foreshore camping areas available along Shoreline Drive. Direct access to the beach is provided via pathways across the sand dunes from these camping areas. For the best chance of catching sharks, night fishing is recommended. Paradise Beach, located to the east of Golden Beach, also offers a campground for those looking to stay a little longer.
Loch Sport, a small township on the shore of Lake Victoria, is about a 45-minute drive from Sale via Longford. Accommodation is available in various forms, including cabins, caravans, and rentals. Camping facilities are also available in the Lakes National Park near Emu Bight, where you will find toilets, BBQs, and plenty of cleared sites. Loch Sport is the gateway to some of the most remote areas of Ninety Mile Beach behind Lake Reeve.
Crossing the causeway over Lake Reeve, fishers will find a car park and toilet block, as well as easy access to the beach. Visiting the beach outside of holiday times means having the place to yourself, and even at peak times over Christmas, the beach is rarely packed out. Langham Road via Beach Road is the only access for a large stretch of this beach, where it can get quite remote. Loch Sport is best known for its quality salmon fishing, with gummy sharks and occasional snapper caught at night. Serious shark fishers also love Loch Sport, paddling out baits several hundred metres to catch large bronze whaler sharks.
Lakes Entrance itself is an exceptional fishing area, with opportunities for fishing from the beach and inside the entrance to the lakes system. Lakes Entrance is truly a fishing paradise, with beach fishing just the icing on the cake for shore-based anglers. The beaches offer varied catches, from flathead and snapper to gummy sharks and bronze whalers. The Main Beach can be accessed by the footbridge from the centre of town over the Cunningham Arm.
While the Lakes Entrance Main Beach is popular for beach-goers due to its easy access, surf fishers tend to either move closer to the bar or up towards Eastern Beach. Fishing towards the bar on the rocks can be good on quieter days, but can be dangerous in windy or slippery conditions, so take care. To the east of Lakes Entrance, surf fishing is popular at Eastern Beach, and you will have fewer people to contend with compared to Main Beach. Access is easy by following Eastern Beach Road, onto Hummocks which leads to the 2nd Eastern Beach car park. Many deep gutters can be found the closer you get to Lake Tyers beach.