More to offshore action than tuna
  |  First Published: June 2011

The tuna season is in full swing at the moment with plenty of anglers bringing back school size tuna to the ports of Warrnambool and Port Fairy.

So far the largest tuna brought in locally has been an 87kg southern bluefin tuna caught by Michael Mayze at Port Fairy. The fishing may not have been as hot as Portland, or have the size of the fish as Apollo bay, but the lines at the ramp are certainly not as bad and most crews venturing to the deeper waters near the shelf are picking up fish.

Although most of the tuna taken have been out wide, there are plenty of birds and krill on the inshore marks in late April where the big barrels were taken off Port Fairy in 2010.

Hopefully by the time you read this there will have been plenty of action in the 50-70m areas. This action should continue on into June with the schools of fish moving closer in, as they tend to do as the season progresses.

Other than tuna

All the boats launching haven’t just had tuna on their mind, as there has been plenty of other piscatorial action as well. Thinking anglers are making the most of the tuna frames and using them to lure other species. Some good mako sharks were landed and lost off Port fairy in around 40m of water by anglers berleying with tuna frames.

Gummy sharks have also been common captures in similar depths and they love nothing more than a juicy bit of tuna off-cut and wrapped up with some Bait-Mate to keep it on the hook. Even young holiday anglers have been catching plenty of mullet and a few trevally that have been hanging around the cleaning tables and discarded frames.

Port Fairy has also been producing some good whiting catches in the shallow reef areas just out from the river and a few 35-45cm snapper, with the occasional bigger fish to 4kg, by anglers fishing the deeper gummy marks.

The Hopkins River mouth remains open, with waters in that area around 3-4m deep, sections that haven’t held such depths for years. The long running WDAC Easter competition that raises money for charity was won by Jack Allwood, 16, who took out first place in the senior section with a bream weighing 1.27kg. Junior winner was Lewis Holland, who managed to catch a 1.2kg bream.

Cut mullet and peeled prawns are baits that have been working well recently, while on the lure front deep diving hardbodied lures fished around the margins of the river have worked well.

Come June though, the bream should begin schooling up in the deeper and be best targeted using vibe or blade style lures.

Across at the Curdies River best catches have been coming from the lake area recently.

With the constant flows of water from a wet summer/autumn trout have continued be reliable target throughout the past few months at a time when they are usually fairly quiet. Come June we should see these fish continue to be taken in areas that remain open to trout angling such as the Lower Merri and below the Hopkins Falls.

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