In January the yellowtail kingfish fired up, giving Portland locals and tourists alike the thrill of catching these powerful fighting fish. In addition, conditions offshore look very much as though the bluefin tuna will soon be here too.
In the shallow waters off Snapper Point there appear to be three different sizes of kings: 2–3kg, 10 kg, and 14–15kg. There is always the possibility of a bigger one lurking around just below the surface, too.
Most fishers have been using 24kg gear for the kingies. Even with this heavy gear though, you will need a lot of luck to stop them if you encounter an 18kg model in 4-8m of water. The most successful method has been to anchor and float out a balloon with half, or even whole, local calamari squid.
One night in January, I counted 77 boats all in the Minerva Reef area, which just goes to show how popular these great fighting fish are with recreational fishermen. The kingfish should still keep running throughout February and into March, so make sure your gear is up to scratch and get down here!
Local Tim Clark accompanied Joe Montalta and son Marty on an exciting trip. They landed a mako shark of 65kg, then topped the trip off with two kingfish of 10.5kg.
Ken and Trevor from the Otway Angling Club caught kingfish weighing 13kg. Dan Santangelo and crew had a good haul of kingies too, catching 11 in one night, including three of 15.2kg. These are just a few of the anglers who have been amongst the action, but the list is far too long to include everyone.
At the North Shore, thresher sharks have made their presence felt in the deep water off the Fitzroy River. One of 83kg was caught by clients of Seaspray Charters. Local John Fenton was happy with his 65kg thresher shark caught on 10 kg line.
The Lee Breakwater should reopen around February 16, once the oilrig has departed. There are still plenty of great land-based options along the beautiful Portland coastline, so call in and see the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle to pick up a detailed map of the best areas while the Breakwater is closed.
Offshore, all the signs are looking like tuna! There are krill, sauries, dolphins feeding and the water temperature is well up. Forty years ago, when the southern bluefin tuna were prolific, the tuna runs started here in January _ so hopes are high for an early run of these magnificent pelagic fish.
Portland Bait & Tackles Fishing Competition on January 19/20 was a great success, with all proceeds donated to Make A Wish Foundation. We will have a full update in next month’s issue.
If you are heading down this way give the boys at Portland bait & tackle a call on 03 5523 5213, we are open 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm for all your latest weather and fishing reports.
Yellowtail kingfish have fired up in the Portland region. These ones were caught by Dan Santangelo and crew.Reads: 737