HOFF’S LOCATION PROFILES: MERRICKS BEACH
A prime fishing location that fishes well all year round, Merricks Beach offers different fishing opportunities throughout the year, boasting good sized gummy sharks and fantastic king george whiting. Salmon and flathead are also on the menu here, and the time of year plays a big factor in what fish are available.
LOCATION: Merricks (Near Crib Point)
MAIN SPECIES: Gummy Shark, Whiting, Flathead
OTHER SPECIES: Mullet, Salmon, Morwong, Wrasse
Gummy shark are available all year round at Merricks Beach, timing your trip to match a high tide with an upcoming (2-3 days away) full or new moon will boost your chances. I find the days leading up to a new or full moon fish better than the full moon/new moon day itself. Try to arrive 2-4 hours before high tide and use the freshest baits possible. Best rigs are running sinker, single paternoster and rowmix rigs. For bait, try fresh squid or freshly caught fish, the fresher the better as these sharks have exceptional sense of smell and will prefer a fresh scent.
KING GEORGE WHITING
Whiting frequent this beach between November – March, paternoster rigs are a must to improve your catch rate, focus on the broken ground and look for weed patches. With a 1oz sinker and a paternoster rig, aim your bait positioning on the edge of the weedbeds, where they meet sandy patches, the whiting will come on to the sand to feed, a good rod holder will help to make fishing easier, but when the bite is on you won’t have much time to put the rod away! Pippies and fresh squid a usual are the baits of choice.
You can fish for flathead on bait or lure, wait for the tide to change (high or low change is fine), the flathead will move with the tide, as the tide rises they will move further up the beach for crustaceans, as it lowers they will follow it and ambush the small bait fish that are forced off the beach by the rising tide. Soft plastics work well here as they stay close to the bottom and have a good casting distance, 1/8 – 1/4oz jig heads with 1/0 hooks are the size of choice, change the weight depending on water flow. Make sure you are using good quality fluorocarbon leader, if you get on to a good sized fish they can shred inferior leaders with their teeth.
There are many other species available to catch at this beach, most of them can be caught by following the whiting guide, as they are often by-catches of whiting fishing.
Merricks is one of many beautiful fishing beaches, let’s keep it that way and clean up after ourselves, the key to great fishing in the future is preservation and environmental respect.
Now get out there and catch some fish!