Welcome to the Gummy Shark Fishing Guide. Gummy Sharks famously get their name because they have no teeth. This beautiful shark is easy to identify because of the distinctive small white spots scattered along on there back. Highly targeted in Victoria around Western Port and Port Philip Bay because of their brilliant fighting capabilities. Not to mention their excellent eating qualities making them a top table fish.
Gummies can be targeted inshore, offshore and land-based. The keys to catching gummy sharks include having the right gear setup, understanding tidal flows, and clean bait presentation. Ideally looking for known gutters that are deeper channels of water that they use to move around looking for food. Using their strong sense of smell as they move through these channels to feed on crustaceans and small fish. Gummy sharks are very active at the peak of tide changes and during the night.
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Gummy Shark Facts & Catch Limits
- Gummy Sharks have the scientific name Mustelus antarcticus.
- The legal keeping size is 45cm from the back of the gills to the front of the tail.
- However gummy sharks can grow up to 2.5 meters in length.
- The minimum legal size is 45cm ( Partial measurement )
- Daily bag limit of 2 over legal size.
- Gummy sharks are considered top-class eating fish. Very hard to go past some freshly caught and cooked flake in batter with lemon. They take some time to master how to fillet and skin but they taste great.
Best time to catch Gummy Sharks ( Seasons )
In Victoria, Gummy Sharks can be caught most of the year. However, they are more active in warmer months ideally between Summer and Autumn. They are often best targeted at Dawn/Dusk and on tide changes.
How to catch gummy sharks
Patience is required when chasing gummy sharks. Place out a nicely presented oily flesh bait and wait for the scent trail to lure them in as they have a tremendous sense of smell. Tidal entrances, drop-offs, and channels are great places to target Gummy sharks who will often swim through these areas looking for an easy feed of fish and crustaceans. Each side of the tidal flow where the water slackens is a great time to keep your bait on the bottom where the gummy may be lurking. Pining the bait with the hook at the top narrowest point will help reduce the bait spinning in the water. Gummies go crazy when you bring them on board a boat so do take care and ensure you don’t have a sharp object in your way.
Octopus or circle hooks from 5/0 to 7/0 are preferred for presenting chunks or strips of bait. Just ensure that the barb is not covered by the bait to ensure better hook rates. When it comes to rod selection we suggest selecting 6-10 or 10-15 kilo rods. We have been using 15-40 lb and 30-50 lb rods with great success. Pair your fishing rod with a 4000 to 8000-size reel spooled with a 20 – 50 lb line. Finished with a strong leader ranging from 60lb through to 100lb. In some cases, it’s also a good idea to run 2-rod lengths of shock leader to provide more stretch and abrasion resistance. An easy setup is using an Ezi rig attaching a sinker to the clip then tying on a pre-made double-snelled rig. Watch the video above which shows our preferred gummy shark rig in detail.
If you are fishing areas with a high tidal flow you may also want to consider using an additional shock leader and having your sinker separated by a small strip of fluorocarbon leader feeding off the shock leader. This will ensure that your sinker or ezi rig doesn’t get stuck or shred your line. We can attest to losing some very significant size gummy sharks and believe using this strategy may have prevented those lost catches.
A week on either side of a full moon is preferable to chase gummy sharks. Most catches we have experienced have been throughout the night, or just before sunrise and sundown during a tide change.
Create your own Gummy Shark rigs by watching this step by step tutorial
Best Baits to Catch Gummy Sharks
Our best bait recommendations include large oily strip and chunk baits. This can be in chunks or fillets including Salmon, Mackarel, trevally, and Pilchards are great options. The are several ways to present baits for gummy sharks. Depending on where you are fishing this could be a dropper rig, sliding ezi rig, paternoster rig, and running sinker rig. The rig choice will be dependent on where you are fishing and the conditions such as tidal strength. Where possible fish with as little weight. When land-based you may need a heavy sinker to cast out as far as you can.
We recommend using the following baits when targeting gummy sharks
Remembering that fresh baits are always the best option, Gummies have very strong senses for foraging for food this is why fresh oily baits work well. It’s very uncommon to target gummy sharks with lures. Even though we have caught them on large jerk shads and even a squid jig once.
Watch as we have fun targeting some big sharks on the evening during a tide change
Best locations to catch a gummy shark
Great locations to catch a gummy shark include
- Port Phillip Bay
- Western Port
- Tendy Point
- Corio Bay
- Campbells Cove
- St Kilda Pier
- Kerferd road pier
- Lagoon Pier
- Anderson inlet
- Portarlington Jetty
- Swan Bay
- Corinella Pier
- Cape Wooamai
- Clifton Springs
- Gunnamatta surf beach
- Kilcunda surf beach
- Stockyard point
You can obtain a free Victorian recreational fishing guide from the Victorian Fisheries Authorities weblink
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