The tuna fishing has continued to be a talking point this past week with some exceptional captures. Meanwhile, inland waters have also produced some great fishing.
Offshore: the sea conditions have continued to be favourable for those heading offshore in search of a barrel along our coastline. Boats are still flocking to the area from all over Australia in the hope of boating a fish of a lifetime. One angler who did happen to land a fish of a lifetime was SA local Bodhi Pannenburg, who scored a 155kg bluefin on spin gear. These fish are hard enough to land on stand up game gear, let alone on spin tackle. This enormous fish is said to be the biggest landed on spin gear in Australia and is an incredible effort. Port MacDonnell has been red hot over the past couple of weeks. Please note that if you are wanting to weigh your fish at Port Mac, then you’re out of luck; after an angler destroyed the gantry which has upset the locals big time! I also wanted to make mention of the use of the Warrnambool Offshore and Light Game Club’s gantry at the breakwater. To be able to use this facility you will need to be a financial member of the club prior to departing the boat ramp. The club is run by volunteers, and in most cases the nominated person to weigh fish is needed to leave their work place to come down and assist. Memberships are $50, and can be obtained via their website online. There has also been some unusual catches by those chasing the big bluefin, such as Sophie Woolstencroft’s slender tuna which she landed fishing with Dad Neil, onboard the Dance’s boat Intruder. This isn’t the only one that has been landed in recent times, however it’s certainly an unfamiliar fish for most. Another species that has been caught mixed in with the bluefin and albacore is the butterfly tuna or butterfly mackerel. These bizarre looking fish look similar to a combination of a trevally and a bluefin, and are pretty rare in our waters. The best part is they eat the same lures that we tend to troll for the blue fin and albacore so if you’re going to get one you won’t have to change anything. Along with the other tuna species there are still plenty of albacore being caught off the shelf at Portland and Port Fairy by those doing the miles. Tim Mitchell stopped by late Friday night and grabbed some Jaks Zeus in redbait and wasted no time putting them into the water landing a nice fish around 70kg on them Sunday. They also landed a good one on Saturday on a Loomo Jaks.
Estuaries: Warrnambool’s Merri River has seen many anglers head down to the bottom end of the system on the hunt for a bream or two. The incoming tide is the best time to target these fish, so focusing your efforts around this will give you the best results. Both lures and bait have been working well for these very clean looking bream. Skeeta Andrews has taken up residency after work and is getting some great bream on Cranka Crabs and his hand painted hard bodies. Finding the wedge line where the fresh water and saltwater meet is the hot spot. If using bait is more your thing, then obtaining live crab or live shrimp is the best bet. The Hopkins River has dropped a fair bit since being opened after Easter, and is still producing some good fishing of late. Brent Unwin and his son Nick caught some nice fish off the Hopkins Bridge using pippies as bait after dark with their biggest fish going 37cm. There are still reports of mulloway in the system, and coming into this time of year where they fire up it’s certainly a great sign. I would focus all my attention in the bottom section of the river and like the Merri River, try and base your efforts around the tide. Unfortunately the Curdies won’t be showing any signs of recovery since the recent fish kill which has affected the entire estuary causing the deaths of untold numbers of fish. It will be best to avoid this area for some time unfortunately.
The sea conditions look pretty average this weekend, so you’ll be best to stay inshore or inland. Remember if you do catch a fish you’re proud of, and want to share, then send it into either our Facebook page or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next week tight lines and best of luck!