I love that time of year when you just don’t know what you’re going to catch.
With some of the species that have been caught in this neck of the woods recently, April must be that time of year.
For starters, anglers fishing inside the estuary have been catching anything from snapper to salmon and everything in between. You just don’t know what you’re going to catch. It has been horrible year weather-wise, and there only seems to be the odd day during the week that is fishable, however on good days the fishing has been awesome.
The flathead are still around in very good numbers however there not quite as big as they were a month ago. There are still plenty of 45cm specimens around, and usually we get another run of big female fish in April.
There have been some big salmon in and out of the estuary on occasions up to a huge 4kg.
There have been some nice pinkie snapper getting around the estuary. They’re not huge but up to 45cm they are the perfect pan-sized fish. They are being caught on fresh calamari and bluebait in the early mornings. They should also hit soft plastics and sinking hardbodied lures as well.
There have been huge schools of striped tuna everywhere out wide, however some schools have moved in so close that you could almost cast off the surf for them. On some days, it has looked as if they might even come inside the entrance. What’s more interesting is some of the fish that are chasing the stripies. There have been some big tuna hooked outside by unsuspecting anglers estimated at over 20kg so they are not striped tuna. These fish haven’t been far out either.
There have also been a fair few yellowtail kingfish caught out here as well by snapper anglers on the reefs, and there are also the odd kingfish schools chasing bait balls in close.
I spoke to a couple of anglers who swore they saw some cobia swim past their boat chasing a school of baitfish.
Apart from all the pelagic fish that have been seen, the bottom fishing has been excellent. There are a lot of gummy sharks around averaging 1m, yet there are still some big females of over 20kg around too. The school sharks are still prolific, however, many are undersized.
Inside Port Albert has produced some good catches of pinkie snapper recently. The Snake Channel has been pretty good and most of the snapper are averaging 2kg. Squid seems to be the go to bait. Outside, Whale Bay continues to produce excellent catches of gummy sharks to 1.5m as well as the odd snapper to 4kg.
This is the time of year when Whale Bay produces really good-sized snapper, so it will pay to fish this area over the next two months.
Outside around the island has been perhaps the most interesting. The pelagics are out here as well, and we are talking anything from kingfish to tuna. There have been some very big kingfish around the 10kg mark hooked on live bait. Trolling Rapalas or skirts seems to be the key when targeting rat kings up to 70cm long.
There are big by-catch in the form of lots of snook and barracouta. Some days the barracouta have made it hard to troll.
Plenty of schools of striped tuna out here as well, and some anglers are having fun with these fish on light gear with soft plastics and small metal lures.
Further out towards Hogan island, some big tuna have been spotted and hooked, however there’s not too many people fishing out this far.
For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544. You will get expert advice and great deals on all fishing bait and tackle.Reads: 1996