While the weather this week hasn't been conducive to fishing the bay let alone offshore, there still has been some action outside. If bluewater is your thing, kingfish, tuna and sharks have been the reward. Outside the bays the kingies have been hanging around the main promontories and points - with Cape Schank, Seal Rock and Pyramid rock all good starting points to name a few. Out wider from these areas there have been makos to 100kg or so. Customers Anthony and Mark fished out from Cape Schank last week where they scored a nice little mako of around 30kg. The amount of bait offshore at present is half the reason these predators are about.


Other bluewater predators that have been lurking both locally and out of town have been good sized bluefin tuna. There have been patches of tuna out from the bays but they have been flighty and fussy in what they will eat. Along the west coast they have been in a similar mood, but in better numbers. Customer Edly got down to Portland recently to try and catch one of these large school fish. Edly caught fish to around 30kg trolling small skirts, and that has been the main key - SMALL lures. These fish have been gorging themselves on small whitebait and anchovies, and quickly show shy away from large offerings, unless you find a patch of fish on the prowl.

 


The kingfish have been the flavour of the month for anglers fishing all around the state over the past few weeks, with fish being caught from one end of the state to the other. While searching for the kingfish isn't for everyone, picking the weather and heading out offshore will see you in with a good chance of a hoodlum. Customer Jason loves chasing kingfish and recently headed out from Port Welshpool to tackle with some heavy hitters around the island and rocky promontories. Jason fished with live baits and lures and found fish to around 13kg. Live slimey mackerel and squid were effective along with poppers and stickbaits in the 140mm size range.


EJ Todd Victorian Representative Mitch also got out amongst the kingies in a similar area over the weekend, with a heap of smaller fish around but some around 6kg making their way to the boat. Mitch found a variety of lures worked but the poppers like the Maria 'pop queen' were effective in drawing fish from larger packs.


Around the rip the kingies have been going well, although the area can be trickier for many to fish. Customer Steve fished brother Michael and mate Jason over the weekend to hook up to some good fish on a variety of methods. Live squid, squid strips and jigs all accounted for fish. Steve landed fish to around 9kg on smaller jigs which gave him a workout - with the other boys getting stitched up in the reef by some bigger fish.

 


The south coast of NSW is normally transformed into a bustling hype of activity around this time of year, with the tail end of school holidays and also fishing crowds alike. The bluewater scene is very popular and at present is producing some nice marlin from the NSW/VIC border up past Bermagui. Customer Filip fished the south coast just last week to land a lovely striped marlin of 120kg. 

Customer Sean also fished up along the NSW south coast with some mates in search of a marlin. Over a 3 day period the guys landed 3 striped marlin to around 120kg, with a mixture of techniques working well. Trolled skirted lures and live slimey mackerel were the best performers for the guys.

For the anglers heading up to the region there have also been good numbers of dolphinfish caught out from Tathra and Bermagui. Most of these fish have been caught either trolling small skirts or casting mini tuna stickbaits and plastics.

 


 


 


The kingfish have definitely turned a few heads out at Portland. While a normal summer theme down along the West coast, there are very good numbers of fish around the inshore reef and structure all along the North shore, all the way to Port Fairy.

Customer Abdul got down to Portland and fished in close in his kayak chasing kingfish. Abdul noticed lots of bait and smaller kingfish out to about 20m of water. Abdul caught smaller fish on strips of squid, with a few larger fish around 10kg taken on live slimies. There have been a lot of boats in the area, so locating isolated patches of bait or structure has been a good way to get away from the crowds. Smaller poppers, stickbaits and fizzers have been good to get the attention of the fish and lure a school up to baits or other lures also.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been down along the West coast, fishing with his sons. James and the boys have been experiencing some red hot kingfish sessions, with live and dead baits, poppers, stickbaits and soft plastics all working. Lures in the 80 - 150mm size have been the best suited to the fish, with lures as small as 5cm getting eating, or as big as 25cm.


Many of the kingfish have been smaller school sized fish around 3kg or so, with fish to just under 10kg not uncommon. There have been some proper 15kg + models around, which normally earn their freedom back amongst the reef in a short blistering run. Having decent terminal tackle has still been important even on the smaller fish, as heavy drag presure can bend or break thinner gauge hooks and split rings.

 


The bluewater and offshore action has been good around Bass Strait locally and a bit further afield, with tuna and kingfish the main targets. The water temperature has risen over the past few weeks, and also the water hasn't been the 'cobalt blue' that many anglers prefer there have still been fish around in it. The West coast down around Portland has been been producing loads of 'rat' kingfish along the north shore reef and also out to the island, with some nice bluefin tuna mixed in as well. Customer Edly was down at Portland recently and managed a nice chunky tuna of around 25kg.


While there have been plenty of fish about, the warmer months bring lots of baitfish so they aren't a shoe-in. Small bluebait-like imitations have been the best, as this best represents the current food. Poppers and stickbaits up to 140mm have been the go on the kingfish, with the tuna responding even better to smaller offerings. There are a few small but heavy zinc stickbaits in store that have been deadly when cast to cruising fish.


Back around the bays the kingfish have made their presence felt lately, with most of the main rocky promontories and points holding fish, along with areas such as the rip. Around the entrance to Westernport some of the smaller fish have been so thick that they have been hitting smaller flasher rigs sent down for catching slimies and yakkas. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has caught a few smaller fish on the 'sabiki' rigs of late, with some larger fish to 85cm taking the live slimies. Customer Jason fished the rip during the week in search of a kingfish and managed fish to around 6kg. Tandem hook rigs with small live squid were the most effective when fished on a modified 'Westernport' rig.


While there has been kingfish caught offshore around areas like Cape Schank, out a bit wider some anglers have reports of bluefin tuna. Customers Justin and Mick ventured out on Monday to see what was happening, with some rat kingies caught in close on squid. Out a bit further the boys managed a solid tuna of around 20kg. Small lures have been the go at present, with clear water and small food making the fish harder to trick than winter models.

 


Westernport has become the more popular bay for the fisho's recently, as the attention has swung towards the shallow banks and grass beds in search of King George whiting. There haven't been any real hot spots for the whiting as many anglers will have their own favourite marks and locations, but one thing is for sure - if you're not moving around you won't catch. Moving about between the shallow bank edges and deeper holes and mixing up baits has been the go forf many anglers. Customer Mario has been doing well on the whiting in the port over the past few weeks with lots of mini moves earning the goods.


Mario has been a few different areas of the port but using the same techniques and looking for similar ground. Mario has been consistently finding quality fish along small lumps and flats in 16m of water along the north arm, with pipi and squid cocktail baits normally doing the job. Staff member Don also fished for the whiting before heading off on holidays around the middle spit and Tyabb area, with good bags of school fish to around 40cm coming from around 6m of water. Squid strips and pipi were also the most consistent performers, with size 2 straight worm hooks holding the baits steady in the current.


Amongst the whiting there have been plenty of fish keen to take the baits - which is perfect if you want some fresh baits for gummies and the like. Customer Ryan has been picking up whiting out from Stony Point, along the edge of the grass beds in 7m of water. In with the whiting Ryan has caught squid, pinkies, yakkas, slimies, leatherjacket, salmon and flathead. Plenty of mixed bag fishing to be had, with a small berley trail from the weighted bucket keeping the action happening. Ryan found that the Hayabusa 'spark' rigs were dynamite on all species.


On the bait front, the numbers of slimies and yakkas has been excellent. Some of the slimies have been up to 50cm which will give you a real run on light gear. Small pieces of pilchard or squid have been good to collect some top notch bait, with the main pier structures around Stony and Hastings holding good schools.

Further down at Flinders customer Angelo has been doing well on the yakkas using bait. Angelo has noticed an increase in 'ajiing' around the pier, which is finesse gear fishing for the yakkas and small pier fish on lures. Angelo noticed one particular angler who bagged over 20 yakkas in less than half an hour during the week using this method. Needless to say, Angelo has since purchased some specialised 'aji' style plastics and jigheads to try this method for himself. If you are interested in giving it a go talk to the boys in store, as there is a good selection of finesse rods and tackle to match.


On the gummy front, there has been no shortage of nice fish about. Small table sized fish have been plentiful while fishing the top end and along the deeper whiting patches, with some big females making their presence felt towards the western entrance. Customer Jeff caught a cracker of around 20kg recently from the western channel. Jeff kept the fish as it was tangle in the net it broke, and bleeding badly from the gills but completely stoked on it as a capture. Gummies like this are really on the cards over the next month or so as they come into the port to give birth.


Meanwhile just outside the port the bottom bouncing has been good. While many anglers have been starting to look for kingfish the gummies have been good just out from Flinders bank. Customer Aaron fished just out from here to land a heap a nice table sized shark amongst a heap of flatties to around 1kg. Aaron found squid was the most effective bait for everything.

 


While reports have thinned off a little from Port Phillip, there is still plenty going on! The snapper have slowed off a little with their usual pre-xmas spawning movements, but there are still plenty of patches of fish to catch. The southern end of the bay seems to be the go at the moment, as the water temp is slightly lower and more conducive to a snapper bite.


Out from Mornington, customers aboard 'Relax, Go Fishing' charters have been getting some solid fish to around the 6kg mark throughout the week. Baits of silver whiting have been very effective along with squid, and a few fish taking the usual pilchard as well. The productive areas have been from Mt Eliza through to Mornington in 16-17-18m of water.


Out from Black Rock customer Adrian has been catching some nice fish to around 4.5kg on pillies. Adrian has been fishing around the reef edge in 9m and fishing pilchards. Using a strong berley trail of pilchard cubes has been the best way to keep the nearby fish interested, with a handful of cubes going in every 40 minutes or so. Customer Michael has been getting a few fish still out from Carrum also. Michael has been fishing nearby to the outer artificial reef in 18m and finding the odd fish around sunrise. Fresh squid has been Michael's preferred bait.


Customer Mick came into the store recently to set up some Port Phillip 'specific' gear. After realizing that some of his stuff was more suited to Western port Mick purchased a lighter outfit to tackle the finicky nature of Port Phillip's snapper. Very next session Mick was out and into fish to about 3.5kg, with long octopus tentacles getting the bites.

Down along the Peninsula there have been some squid caught from some of the piers. Dirtier water and winds have slowed things a bit but persistence and constant jig changes has been the way to piece a bag together. Staff member Don got down to Mornington and although conditions weren't super favourable he still managed a decent haul. Switching between rattle and non rattle 2.5 size jigs was the go, with UV colours and rattles getting bites before the other jigs.


At the bottom of the peninsula there has been some movement from the schooling kingfish. While not 'on fire' yet, there are fish around - and they are worth targeting. Friend of the shop Bruce fished around the heads and offshore towards Barwon over the weekend to get into a few school sized fish. Bruce's best tactic was to run a 'Fanasty squid' hardbody behind the boat and pin a long squid strip on a dropper behind the lure. The lure works to get the king's attention and the squid strip seals the deal.



 


While the snapper run is about to get most Melbourne anglers excited, here is a good reason to keep all options covered! Customer Steve was out fishing just offshore from Westernport recently in search of some snapper moving in when he scored a ripper gummy and school shark. Steve's ripping gummy weighed in at 22kg and took a cutlet of fresh salmon, while the school shark he landed weighed 18kg and took pilchard around slack water.


Another Spring surprize was a huge kingfish caught by customer Trent. Trent didn't want to say too much but we do know that the massive kingie was taken on live squid, and was caught inside Westernport. These thugs should start turning up over the next month, so yet another option to stretch your arms on.

 


The northern coastline of NSW is a popular destination for anglers as it is fairly quiet and holds a good mix of both southern and northern fish species. Popular fishing locations along this part of the coast include Brunswick Heads, Ballina, Yamba and Coffs Harbour. Customer Gary lives around Ballina and fishes the region a fair bit, and his latest beach session has seen him yield some massive tailor to 80cm. Gary has been fishing pilchard on ganged hook rigs early during the morning, with most of the fish coming while it's still dark.


Staff member Chris has just returned from a trip to Yamba, a tad south from Ballina. Chris did some fishing with his father but found the weather to hold them back a fair bit - with only 1 decent trip offshore. A good mixed bag of species were caught offshore with spotted mackerel, snapper, tuskfish, pearl perch, flathead and small whaler sharks making it to the boat. The humble pilchard did most of the damage with nearly all fish finding it heard to refuse.

 


Bluefin Tuna season has well and truly hit the states' west with good numbers of fish hitting the cleaning tables from from Apollo Bay right through to Portland. Rumors of fish a lot closer to home have surfaced as well, with reports sketchy and evidence even sketchier - but worth a look locally by the sounds of things.


Down along the west coast, James from Unreel Fishing Charters has seen good numbers of school fish to around the 15kg mark around both Portland and Port Fairy. James has been finding plenty of fish between 40m and 120m, with fish right out towards the shelf in 400m+. Hot lures at the moment have been smaller skirts from 4 inches through to 6 inches, with weighted and jet head styles holding a very consistent catch rate. Skirt colours in pink/yellow/brown and also lumo/mackerel have been real standouts with natural blues and blacks not far behind.


Out in the same area customer Mark has been catching school tuna to around 10kg on a few different methods. Trolling small skirts in squid patterns has been an easy method of hooking up but Mark has also been catching fish casting and trolling stickbaits. Mark has found the Megabass stickbaits dynamite on the fish, with their awesome castability really getting out to the fish without getting too close to them.