The local bluewater scene around the bay and just offshore has been producing both kingfish and bluefin tuna for anglers lucky enough to get out when a weather window allows. The past week or so has seen schools of kingfish turn up in the bays and in particular in the rip, but word has gotten out and there can be a few boats on the fish! Customers Steve, Mick and Jase fished the rip on Sunday and found kingies to around 70cm amongst the boat traffic. Small profile jigs up to 150g got the job done for the boys.

Staff member Dylan also fished the rip on the same day and also got into some decent kings but none of them found the boat. Mechanical and slow pitch jigging got the bites, with leaf style jigs from 100g through to 165g performing best.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been putting customers on to both kings and tuna over the past week or so, with the fish being caught no further than Barwon Heads. James has been landing some solid kingfish from both the rip and offshore, with fish to 15kg hitting the deck. Jigs and baits of squid and slimey mackerel have been the best. Just offshore James has been landing tuna to around 20kg on a mixture of skirts and hardbodied lures, with small teaser and daisychain rigs helping to focus the fishes' attention. Most of the tuna have been caught between the 50 - 70m depth line, from Port Phillip heads across to Breamlea and back to Gunnamatta.

 

 

 


The run of tuna local to Melbourne has continued and is gaining more and more momentum each day. With huge schools of fish to 40kg just offshore from the bays and along the coast many are taking advantage and getting amongst them when conditions allow. The schools have been isolated and as widespread as Cape Woolamai across to Portland and further west, with good numbers of fish hanging about between Cape Schank and Torquay. Vic EJ Todds Representative Mitch has been landed some sizable fish out from Barwon on stickbaits and poppers. While many anglers have been trolling lures, with increased boat traffic and pressure the fish are liable to spook - and this is where cast lures can have their advantages. Don't forget to pack popppers, stickbaits and various soft plastics!


Customer Josh came into the store after an outfit to tackle the tuna with and let us set something up for him. After gearing up Josh and some mates headed out and gave the fish a crack. The boys found the tuna just outside of the heads in quite shallow water heading towards Barwon bluff and landed a few on different hardbodies and also small skirts. Needless to say Josh is hooked will probably be doing more of it asap.


There have been plenty of anglers scoring catches of nice bluefin. The Melbourne Tuna Crumbs have been amongst the fish over the past weeks, with to just shy of 40kg coming aboard. Some of the original crumbs Michael and Pino have had fun on the fish from just outside the heads across to Angelsea. Various tactics have been working with deep running hardbodies and bibless minnows in short doing a good job at bringing the fish in. When the fish have been shy small skirts as minute as 3'' have been getting the bites, especially when fished a long way back.


The boys from Bucci Cabinets have been serving up fresh tuna with good numbers of fish in the 15 - 20kg size range being caught. The fish have again been caught along the surf coast, with the Barwon - Torquay area holding good schools. Working the 20 - 35m depth areas have been where most of the boys have been finding the numbers. Skirted lures have been the favoured method, with 5'' being about the most productive size. Some skirts as large as 10'' have been catching fish - and a good option to put in the spread as a teaser to entice the school to come up. Even if you have any huge marlin sized skirts, running them or a large popper or daisy chain of large soft plastics as an attractor has been well worth the effort.

 

While the run of 'barrels' has slowed off compared to weeks ago, the bluefin action continues along the west coast. There have been fishing found as close as Barwon Heads and Torquay but most of the action is happening down at Portland. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching plenty of school fish for customers out from Portland and Port Fairy. Most of the fish have been in the 5 - 13kg mark, with small weighed skirts doing most of the damage.


Customers Benny and Damien are down fishing Portland at present and report that the fish are spread out, from 60m through to the edge of the shelf. While the size of the fish is generally on the smaller side at the moment some of the boys have managed 5 way hook ups on schoolies around 7kg. A range of skirts and hard bodies have both been working, with Xrap 30's and JB dingos getting in on the action in most 'Portland' colours.

 

It seems that some of the kingfish 'crowd' has died off somewhat with the weather over recent weeks, but make no mistake there are still heaps of kingies about. There are no real 'hot spots' but in saying that a little bit of local insight on gear and rigging can pay off. The Rip has been producing fish, along with most of the usual headlands and offshore reefs, and the average size of the fish around is really at present - with plenty of 7 - 11kg fish and a good spread of bigger 'hoodlums' up to 15 or so kg.


Friend of the shop and Victorian EJ Todds representative Mitch fished out from Welshpool just recent in a 'product testing' day trialing some new jig designs and it is fair to say that the jigs did the job. Multiple smokings and fish upward of 10kg along with flat seas made for an awesome session. One of the standouts of the day were 'slow fall' style jigs - and these normally get overlooked by kingfish anglers. The slow fall advantage really comes in to it's own when the fish are a bit unsure or not super aggressive. Slow fall style jigs 'flutter' their way to the bottom like an injured baitfish and spend more time in the strike zone to tempt otherwise uninterested fish. If you are unsure about this style of jig or interested in trying them on the local fish then talk to the guys in store, as there are some good options that are worth a look.

Customer Marty also had another good session on the local kingies, with fish to 8kg out from Phillip Island. Marty fished out around the eastern entrance and got these fish on a mixture of baits and lures, with slow fall jigs working well. The ever faithful squid and yakka baits also got a few fish too.


There have also been some serious salmon moving about amongst the kingfish school as well. Some of the fish have been as large as 4kg, which will have you calling them for a kingfish. The average sized fish have been around a kilo, and have been smashing smaller live baits along with stickbaits and plastics. Customer Frank got into these nice fish that were moving around the rip recently on small metal lures and stickbaits.

 

 

If you're after some light tackle fun in the local estuaries then now is a good time to target a few Silver trevally and salmon. The coolers months of the year are good for these fish and normally by mid winter there are a few of both these species in many local estuaries in the bays around Melbourne, including the Yarra and Patterson Rivers. One of the better places to target the trevally is Queenscliff or the Barwon River near Ocean Grove. By using a light baitfishing or lure setup that you would use when bream fishing you can have a lot of fun on these tough little fish. Baits of pipi, whitebait and prawn are effective, and small soft plastics and vibes also catch their share of trevs.

Customer George sent us a report from the area recently where he chased a few trevally on lures from the boat. Using a mixture of small worms pattern soft plastics and metal vibes, George landed trevally to around 40cm along with a heap of similar sized salmon.