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. 

 


Bass Strait has been the hit with anglers recently as the run of Winter weather we've had has been excellent, with conditions too good to not make the most if them. The variety and quality of fish caught offshore during Winter can be excellent with the real mainstay being the large gummy sharks. Anglers fishing right out wide from areas such as Lakes Entrance have been tangling with fish like swordfish, trumpeter and pink ling. Customer Filip fished out wide chasing swordfish last week and landed some nice ling as tasty by-catch.

A bit closer to home the offshore gummy fishing has been nothing short of excellent. Young gun Fisherman Mike went out on an offshore tuition chasing big gummies and nailed a ripper gummy at 22kg, fishing out from Flinders. Chunk baits of wrasse and pike are super effective on the offshore gummies, and are readily available on the reefy areas. 


Mike's gummy was bigger than him! Customer Andrew also got in to the offshore gummies during the recent spell of quality weather. Andrew managed a couple of nice fish around the 20kg mark fishing fresh baits alongside the reefy points and and sand drops just outside of the western entrance.  


There has also been a few quality snapper caught offshore while targeting gummies. Customer Zac fished with his dad outside the western entrance recently and they also landed a few nice gummies around the 14kg mark, along with a nice 4kg snapper. Fishing fresh baits of mackerel, pike and squid give you an excellent chance of the snapper as well as gummies. Young Jacob and dad Gavin fished around the western entrance recently and also came across a nice snapper. Jacob was lucky enough to land the fish that weighed 6.6kg and took a strip of freshly caught couta. 

 


The tuna action hasn't stopped along the west coast, with the main hotspots being Portland and Port Fairy. There have been fish caught from Apollo Bay right through to the SA border, but most anglers have been fishing from or Portland or Port Fairy. The fish have been moving about but holding in small pockets for days providing the haven't been fished too hard or moved on by predators or drastic weather changes, and they have been taking most lure types. You'd be mad to head out without a mixture of skirts, hardbodies and stickbaits in various profiles and colours. 

Customers Cam and Mark fished out from Portland recently and found the fish in fairly close and willing to eat cast stickbaits. The real trick was matching the lures to the profile of the bait that the fish were hunting, and with most of the fish in the area this has been micro pilchards and anchovies. 


Customer Daniel came in to the store and topped up on tuna essentials and to get some new lures rigged up. Daniel spent a couple of days around Portland familiarising himself with the area, and eventually found the fish. A mixture of small skirts were the most effective, with a clear yellow pattern proving the best of the lot on fish to around 11kg. While not all of the tuna in the area have been school fish - they have generally been 8 -15kg or 90kg+. Customers Tyler and Aaron proved that theory correct with a 128kg barrel caught out of Portland a few weekends ago. 

 


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! 

 


Westernport has been providing plenty of options during some of our nice Winter days, with the cartilaginous fish one of them. If conditions allow, the offshore fishing for gummy and school sharks has been excellent, while the gummy fishing inside the port has been also. On top of that, there have still been quite a few elephants about if you're fishing between Lang Lang and Rhyll. 

Customer Thao got outside during the week and fished an area behind Phillip Island in search of a solid gummy and he wasn't disappointed, landing a nice fish upward of 15kg. Thao found a small patch of reef and berleyed just off it, and had the gummy take a chunk of silver trevally. Baits of wrasse and parrotfish are also excellent if caught from the area you're fishing. 


Inside the port customers Morgan and Trent had a day of ripper weather, but small boat issues so their fishing time was shortened. In that time they managed to load up on yakkas and salmon for bait out from Rhyll and once they got sorted it wasn't long before they had a couple of eating size gummies on deck. Fishing the run off drains nearby to Rhyll they managed gummies to around 7kg, which were perfect for a feed. 


Fishing a touch north around Corinella, customer Scott caught a few smaller sharks in one session. Scott was fishing one of the potholes in the main channel where he landed 3 small sevengill sharks which were released, and 7 elephant shark also. Baits of squid and pilchard worked well. The elephant fish took a bit to turn up this year in the port, but they are still about in reasonable numbers - especially over the mudflats south of Elizabeth Island. 

 

 


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. 

 

 

 

 

 


Some of our regular customers are lucky enough to be traveling about and wetting a line all across the South East of the country at present, with lots of good fish caught. Customers Izzy and Bruno have been fishing with friends down along the east coast of Tasmania and have been having a ball. The inshore fishing out from where they are staying has seen them landing plentiful numbers of nice table sized gummies and albacore tuna.


Customers Kosta and Arron are fishing along the south coast of NSW at present and have been putting a few different species in the boat. Fishing out from Bermagui the boys have been doing well inshore on the school kingfish on jigs, plastics and also baits. Most of the kingies have been around the 60cm mark with a few larger ones showing up and then disappearing again as quick.


Out a bit wider the boys have had some mixed bags with some tasty blue eye coming aboard - and the local marlin bite has been happening all around them also. In over the inshore sand the boys have found plenty of good sized tiger flathead and a nice mako in the 30kg range for their efforts also. This part of the coast will continue to fish well right through until Easter, with some of the local fishing competitions taking place along the coast shortly also.

 


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.

 


Many anglers have been aware of the tuna activity along the west of the coast, and have been making the most of these fish again this week. There have been fish stretched from Portland and further west right across to offshore from Westernport and Inverloch. There have been fish inside both bays but they have been flighty and hard to come across, but they have been there to be caught.


Customer Billy has been catching some nice bluefin just offshore from the heads on small skirts. He has also landed a couple of fish in the 20kg range from inside the bay, with both skirts and deep diving hardbodies working well. The fish inside the bay have been moving about a lot, but the 'rip' section has been where the fish have been pushing through mowing down schools of pilchards. Customer Jason has also been landing fish offshore from the heads and further down towards Phillip Island. Jason has been landing fish on small 5'' skirts, and a few fish on surface poppers cast around the schools.

Customers Izzy and Bruno have been getting into the tuna also. Izzy fished out from Torquay during the week and found fish to 25kg. Skirts in the 5'' size range were the most effective on the fish, with the fish being attracted up to the surface from the commotion of deep running hardbodied lures. While the fish around Torquay and Barwon have been good there have also been some nice fish coming from Portland and Port Fairy. The fish have been cruising inshore in water depths of 15 - 50m and have been responding to the same methods - with stickbaiting and popping also very productive.


Among the tuna out west there have been schools of rat kingfish hanging about. The inshore reef around Portland has been the best holding ground for the numbers of these fish, with Izzy and Bruno catching some while down at Portland. Stickbaits and small surface poppers have been effective when the fish are on, but baits of slimey and calamari have also been deadly when the lures haven't gotten the interest of the fish. The fish have ranged in size from just legal to around 18kg, with some much larger fish harassing the smaller rats.


While not normally known for it's kingfish, the Gippsland lakes has been experiencing a run of school sized fish moving about the system. The fish have been moving from as far up as Paynesville right the way down to Lakes Entrance itself. Customer Kevin has found himself holding a knife while in a gunfight while fishing out of his canoe. Kevin has been fishing the north arm around Lakes Entrance and has been landing kingies to around 80cm. Small plastics that imitate the abundant prawns have been easy for the fish to eat and getting most of the bites.