Bluefin Madness at Portland
  |  First Published: July 2011

Portland has definitely been the place to fish for southern bluefin tuna, with one weekend seeing in excess of 400 trailer boats launching to go and chase these great fighting fish.

From 6-9:30am saw a slow progression of boats through the town waiting their turn to launch their boats. Once on the water it was a short trip to get into the action between Lawrence Rock and Cape Bridgewater in depths of 30-70m.

The school fish have been sized between 10-15kg. The best lures to use in close were 3.5” to 4.5” skirts with the Pakula micro – Uzis, and home made salmon skirts along with small Black Magic Jethead lures producing the best results. Small deep divers like the Xrap 15’s and the Halco hard bodies were also working well, the main reason being that the SBT were feeding on small whitebait, baby squid and krill.

Once they had their lure sizes and pattern correct a lot of boats were bagging out early and returning back to the boat ramp before lunchtime. With the SBT in close this made them accessible for many boaties with smaller vessels to get out there and in amongst the action.

For those not fishing in close and venturing out to the continental shelf there has also been good catches of SBT with larger school fish up to 30kg along with albacore up to 20kg and dolphin fish between 8-14kg.

Kayne Tonkins taking his first charter out on Salt Water Fishing Charters produced a great day for his clients landing a SBT weighing in at 103.2kg and releasing another of similar size, it was caught on Black Magic green Tuna Terror skirted lure, along with the 103kg fish they also had a good bag of albacore and smaller SBT to 20kg.

Glenn Greene and the boys from Melbourne also fishing out on the shelf returned home with two good-sized dolphin fish along with tuna and albacore on their last fishing trip.

Local Bob McPherson also landed two good-sized dolphin fish along with albacore and tuna while fishing the continental shelf.

For those fishing in the deeper waters just go back to your normal sized skirts and lures as the fish out deeper are not as finicky as SBT in close. From all the latest reports there is still plenty of SBT coming down along the coast so the SBT fishing should continue throughout July depending mainly on the weather and sea conditions.

For those taking their time out from SBT fishing on the continental shelf there has been some good catches of blue eye trevally, blue grenadier and gemfish, which gives you a further option to just catching tuna. Feel free to give us a call anytime so we can help you out with GPS marks, lure choices and colours as local knowledge is always an added bonus when you’re fishing in unknown waters.

Other than tuna

For those just wanting to do some general fishing there has also been some good catches of flathead and gummy shark off Cape Bridgewater. Daniel Curmi and Willo of Heywood had a good outing bagging out on good-sized flathead with two gummy sharks fishing the 90m depth. Between the lighthouse and Lawrence Rock mako sharks along with school sharks have been making their presence felt along with some good bottom fishing; blue morwong, snapper, flying gurnard and coral perch were some species bagged.

Good catches of whiting have still been keeping anglers keen, with these lovely table fish coming from Point Danger and through to the north shore with depths varying from 3-16m of water. Anglers targeting Australian salmon have been landing good catches of fish weighing up to 2.5kg with the best spots being Pivot Beach, Blacknose and Bridgewater Bay along with the north shore.

Fishing off the Lee Breakwater there has been catches of gummy shark, seven-gill shark and the odd school shark along with barracouta, salmon, calamari squid, snapper and whiting.

In and around the harbour trevally, snapper, salmon, couta, mullet and calamari squid have been the main catches.

So if you’re thinking of heading to Portland give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call on 0355235213 for all your latest fishing and weather updates, we are open 7 days a week from 7 till 7.

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