Spearfishing scene in full flight
  |  First Published: March 2012

The Victorian spearfishing scene is in full flight with some of the best weather and catches falling in the month of March.

The water temperature is great in both Port Phillip and Bass Strait and the visibility has been good when the swell has been down. The predicted run of blue water species has continued with yellowtail kingfish being on the minds of most Victorian spearos. Great catches have been taken from usual haunts such as Wilsons Prom, Cape Schanck and Cape Liptrap, Phillip Island and along the far west coast.

The average size seems to be 10kg with a few bigger specimens up to 15kg being taken. You can expect the kingfish action to continue into early to mid-April before slowing down. The use of flashers and drift diving has proven very successful along with the use of an appropriate blue water spear gun.

These fish are always a challenge and are a great table fish. Enjoy them whilst you can, our season is nearing the end for this year.

The tuna action has started early off the Victorian west coast with sightings of both southern bluefin tuna and albacore off Warrnambool/Portland area in late February. Last year saw several big albacore being taken including a world record specimen over 20kg by dedicated blue water hunters.

Late March to mid April is the ideal time to target these 25-30kg specimens off Victoria’s far west coast. Be sure to play it safe whilst offshore and be sure to fly a highly visible boat and float flag. Line fishers are still getting used to us blue water spearfishers working 30nm from shore. It’s a good idea to advise fellow anglers via the radio of your intentions and most fisho’s keep well clear. I hope to report next month of some of our success stories.

Back inshore, the crayfishing has been excellent with good numbers of crayfish being taken by breath hold divers. Be sure to adhere to the fisheries laws relating to size and bag limits, catch methods and the tagging (cutting of the tails) of these tasty bugs. This must be done within 5 minutes of landing the crayfish and l know of some divers who have been fined due to not tagging there crayfish within sufficient time.

Fisheries have continued a good presence along our coast and have been active. Do the right thing and you will be right but be sure to understand the law. All the information you need is in the 2012 Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide, check it out at: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-guide

The inshore spearfishing has been great with good-sized snapper and King George whiting being readily available along the ocean beaches. The use of berley has been the key and some really nice specimens have come in. Many divers will bring out pilchards whilst others simply berley using select species speared whilst diving.

Be sure to be mindful of the fact that berley may attract more than your target species such as sharks and rays and it pays to dive in pairs. It also pays to place the berley in an area that you can ambush your quarry and not in the open on sand patches making an approach difficult.

I like to find a gutter or heavy kelp area that l can sneak up on the wary snapper and King George whiting. I wish you all some good catches and safe spear fishing in the coming months.

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