For the anglers who have been down along the state's west over the past week or so the tuna fishing has continued to be good. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been fishing around Port Fairy over the past few weeks and has found no shortage of bluefin. James has been catching plenty of school fish from as close as 35m of water out to beyond Lady Julia island. James has been finding lots of small bait at present and smaller lures have been the best job of getting the bites. When the conditions have allowed James and son Tristan have been enjoying some stickbait action on the surface, with a few different styles from the store all getting bites. 


Customers Aaron and Kosta and mate fished out from Portland over the weekend and secured a bag of school fish that will give them some quality eating while confined to metro Melbourne. The guys fished both east towards the island and west into Nelson bay and found good amounts of school fish from 45m out. The prominent bait that the fish have been on has been small pilchards and anchovies, with some of the bait measuring no more than 2 inches long. Small skirts and hardbodies have getting the lion's share of the fish, with larger lures in close to the boat doing a good job at attracting the fish into the spread. 

 


The bluewater fishing has been good for many species either east or west. Bluefin tuna have still been going well from Portland back to Apollo Bay. Most of the fish caught from Portland have been west of Lawrence Rock, around through Bridgewater and Nelson Bays. Customer Aaron fished out from Portland last week and landed school fish to around 9kg on a mixture of lures, with small skirts such as the Fluzi working well. Natural colours have been good since a lot of the fish have been on small redbait and pilchards. 

Customer Steve came in store last week and told us of a 92kg fish caught fishing with mates out from Portland also. Steve and mates landed plenty of small school fish and the 92kg barrel from 65m of water off Cape Bridgewater. Smaller skirted and deep hardbodied both worked well. 

Be mindful if you're looking at fishing out from Apollo Bay over the weekend, the service station in town will be closed for major upgrades as of Wednesday 17th of June. Other fuel options are in Lorne, Port Campbell or Colac.  


Out wide from Lakes Entrance along the shelf drops there has been some good fishing - when anglers have been able to make the long run out. Last week during a bit of a weather window there were boats out in search of some deepwater species. There have been a few reports of swordfish from around the canyons, with customer Thomas and brother Gary landing a nice fish of around 130kg last week.

In a touch closer there have been some other edible species coming up also. Customer Simon fished out in the region with some mates where they landed a nice bag of tasty trumpeter. Simon was fishing around some sloping shelves between 150 - 250m deep. Fishing electric reels with multiple circle hook paternoster rigs is the best way to connect with these trumpeter or other species such as ling. Lumo sleeve/tubing and lumo squid added to the rigs helps attract the fish in the dark water and tough baits of squid are the best choice, as no one wants to be constantly re-baiting rigs in 200m of water! 

 


The bluefin tuna have been fishing well across in the Portland district, and with some quality offshore conditions many anglers have been making hay while the sun has been shining. While there have been fish coming from Port Mac in SA through to around Apollo Bay, the main concentrations of fish have been from Cape Bridgewater back to Port Fairy and off Warnambool. Customer Tony and mates fished Portland earlier last week and had a bit of a tough time getting on to the fish but they did manage one schoolie for their efforts.


Customers Aaron and Kosta got out on the fish from Portland over the long weekend, and with some reasonable conditions they found no shortage of tuna. Most of the school fish they found had been hanging between the 60 - 130m area and were responding to most trolled lures. Skirts up to 6 inch and deep diving hardbodies were the best, with a mixture of colours from bright UV's like pink and lumo, through to natural saury and couta imitations. Customer Izzy and fished out from Portland over the weekend after purchasing a new 50w outfit. Trolling in close in the 45m area Izzy hooked a barrel on her lighter spin rod and unfortunately had the hooks pull. The consolation prizes were the 10kg school fish that were abundant, that are store-rigged daisy chain skirt rigs and deep running hardbodies. 

 

 

 

 

 


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.

 


Tuna fishing for many means heading down the west coast during the middle of Winter, with big seas and cold winds all making for part of the effort. We have been getting noticeably better runs of Summer tuna along the west coast over the last few years, with more anglers now aware of their movements and preparing themselves to tangle with them. Over the past few weeks the tuna reports have created a stir - with this week's weather and numbers of fish making them too hard to pass up for many. The best part is that there have been fish caught from Portland to Inverloch.

Customer Mark and mates Lee and Cip headed offshore from Sorrento towards Anglesea during the week and found good numbers of fish in the shallows. Running a spread of lures with Xraps, skirts and stickbaits in the mix meant most options were covered and the fish were happy to eat. The boys had their bag of fish before 10am and were on their way back in.


Customers Christian, Thao and Damien also fished a similar patch of water mid week. Again launching from Sorrento and venturing west towards Torquay the fish were quickly found and the lures were off. Again skirts and hardbodies were both successful, with not much in the way of small baitfish in the area. Lures in the 6-8'' size were most effective. The line to be looking along was 25-40m.


Customer Rick fished out from Barwon during the week and took young Dalton out to get him amongst the tuna. Rick and Dalton found fish working from Barwon across to Anglesea and found that skirts in the 6'' size range worked best. The fish were found in water as shallow as 15m out to 30m or so, and weighed up around the 30kg mark.

 


Customers Izzy and Bruno are holidaying up along the northern coastline of NSW, and getting some fishing in while they're up there. The have been fishing the region from Byron Bay back down to around Lake Macquarie and have fun with various fish on their journey. Fishing just offshore from Brunswick heads Izzy landed some lovely snapper up to 4kg on Reedy's rigs with pilchard on them.

The offshore fishing in the same region has also had it's mix of bigger fish too, with some big sharks around. After some bite offs, Izzy and Bruno set up an overhead rod with some bigger hooks and trace, and Izzy managed to beat a big bronze whaler after an hour long fight. The bronzie was attacked and bleeding from the gills so it was kept and shared around to some of the locals. When the wind has been up the guys have been fishing inside the rivers and estuaries, and have been having some fun catching perfect eating size flathead on soft plastics. The soft plastic fishing for flathead will only get better along the coast and locally over the next few months.

 


While most anglers have bypassed the thoughts of tuna fishing, there have still been reports of fish coming from the West coast. Over the years the bigger tuna have moved along the coast sporadically - but around 2/3 years ago the large fish were at the best at about the same time as now - pretty much the start of snapper season. A lot of anglers were caught off guard, with the problem being that many were caught up preparing for the snapper run and not thinking big tuna. James Rogers from Unreel Fishing Charters had a ripper session a few weeks ago where he and his crew landed 2 'barrel' tuna over the 100kg mark.

Just again last week James and his crew hit the water and landed another a ripper bluefin tuna. James had his sons on the rod fighting the fish and it was successfully hauled aboard and landed. The tank tuna ate a skirt in bright redbait colour and will provide the boys with plenty of A grade sashimi. 

 

The tuna fishing has still been going well along the states West, especially out from Portland. There have been plenty of school fish from 40m right out to beyond the 'horse shoe' and across the shelf. Customer Gem sent us a photo from a Portland trip just recently where a good brace of school tuna were caught on trolled hardbodies. Over the past week or so there has been reports of schools of whitebait around, which normally turns the fish more selective. If you're planning a trip during the next bout of calm weather make sure you pack some of your smallest skirts and offerings to cover all bases.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been making the most of the tuna season down along the west coast also, with excellent numbers of fish being caught between Port Fairy and Portland. James has been focusing on getting fish for customers and says that there is no shortage of school fish about. James has been finding a few different lure options have been working, from 'medium' sized skirts right down to tiny salmon sized skirts and hardbodies. Colour-wise many options have been worth trolling, with lumo, redbait, pilchard, saury and red squid patterns all good starting points.

 


The west coast continues to produce tuna for the anglers out in search. While there has been no shortage of school fish there also has been a good number of 'barrels' about to keep the keen hunters keen. Customer Jason fished with mates recently and was involved in the capture of a barrel in the 150kg range out from Portland. Even though these big fish are normally actively hunting schools of redbait and pilchards, this fish had an undersized pinkie in it's stomach. Bright pink and red skirts have subsequently been productive out from Portland lately.


Customer Damien also headed down to Portland with mates in search of some more school fish, which he caught easily. While many anglers are venturing out towards the 'horseshoe' out along the shelf in search of these fish, there have been plenty in mush closer. Starting your search in around 50m has been good, and also puts you in with the chances of a 'barrel' - as they as normally frequently found in this 50 - 70m depth line. A mixture of lures did the job on fish to 12kg, with JB micro dingos and Bluewater classics the standouts. Colour variations between lumo, pilchard, bright pink and almost all others in between all did the job.


Customer Rocky came past the shop to grab some last minute lures suggestions and terminal gear before hitting the fish off Portland. Rocky and mates got stuck into the school fish with most weighing around 12 - 15kg. Trolling small skirts in the 4 - 6 inch range has been been the most productive, with a mix of dark and light colours going well. Rapala's new XRAP Extreme also caught fish as it can run truer at a more 'enticing' speed for the tuna.