Yesterday it was like the tuna fishing we had come to know before the last couple of years of mostly inshore fishing and often finicky tuna. On Cassius Cray with Ashley Dance and Leigh Anderson we headed out to the shelf straight off Warrnambool. In 140m we saw some tuna free jumping about 4 feet out of the water with no birds or other signs, so we put the lures in as did Mick in his Seacruiser 7500 who was nearby. We both hooked up shortly after, Mick to a tuna he estimated around 15kg but lost boatside, ours was a little striped/skipjack tuna. From there we trolled on out to the shelf, getting a couple of small albacore just inside the shelf in 170m. Trolling on, the action was pretty constant, best around the 500-550m but we didn’t go any further, and by midday were happy with 2 bluefin, one of 19.45kg and the other a tad smaller, and about half a dozen albacore. While there were a fair few birds milling around, we saw no surface action and all the fish came from blind strikes. The smaller Jaks lure pictured with the larger bluefin was a good performer, as was the Black Magic Jetsetter, while the Samaki Pacemaker 180 white/redhead diver accounted for one of the albies. The portside outrigger had the best strike rate even with varying lures. The largest lure with the heaviest leader on the 24kg outfit got ignored all day (but you never know so it stayed out there…) We had a couple connected temporarily on 4kg line that didn’t stick, then decided on a bottom drop. 3 drops/drifts for a couple of ling – one a nice specimen at 9.5kg, and a blue grenadier, and we were pretty happy to head home with a good feed knowing there was a couple of hours on the cryovac machine ahead!
Peter Goode took out Sam Powell for his first tuna fishing trip, and what a start they had with a 5-way hookup on bluefin with 2 people on board – of which 3 were brought in. Their final tally for the day, of which some were released – was 5 tuna to 19.5kg, 5 small albies and a striped tuna. Pictured is Sam’s first albacore, caught on a Jaks Silver Surfer lure. They were fishing the shelf off Warrnambool also.
Scotty Gray, fishing with Jimmy Taylor and Christian Hughes, had a ball on the tuna off Port Fairy yesterday – with good success trolling the Rapala Subwalk. The 50m depth area held most of the fish – as well as in even closer.