It seems that Victorian marlin fishing is no longer a pipe dream! The water is warm, the bait is pretty thick and the marlin have arrived!
Things started to get interesting in mid summer when a marlin was caught off Cape Conran by anglers trolling for striped tuna. Within a week there was two more confirmed striped marlin landed and at least five others lost during the fight.
The biggest one landed was a 104kg striped marlin landed by a group of anglers from Sale. By now the word was well and truly out and more boats were heading out to the deep waters of the shelf to try their luck. There was even talk of the potential of a big blue marlin and yellowfin tuna.
Joe Coatosso of Lakes Entrance finally hit the jackpot and landed a quite rare (for Victorian waters) blue marlin. Joe informed me the fish was taken on the edge of the shelf in about 400m. The 210kg fish took a green Topshot lure on 80lb standup gear. The boys also missed two other marlin strikes the same morning and believe they were stripies around 80kg. To my knowledge this is the first blue marlin to be taken from Victorian waters. Well done boys!
While the marlin have been the highlight, there have been some fantastic snapper caught around the reef systems too. Josh Davis and his mate Josh Glover ventured out one morning and bagged out on reds around the 2kg mark, but scored one excellent fish at just over 8kg. All fish were taken on pilchards. The 6 Mile reef has been the standout.
Striped tuna have been around in good numbers and can be caught either trolling small Christmas tree style lures or by spinning with metal lures. They aren’t too bad on the plate if bled straight away and treated correctly, and they are a standout bait for gummies and snapper too.
Yellowtail kingfish have been schooling up on the reef systems, surprising some anglers when fishing for snapper. Knife jigs are accounting for a few good fish, as are live yakkas fished just above the bottom.
In closer to the beach the gummies have been a little quiet but there are huge numbers of flathead around, especially up to the east around the bluff and Lake Tyers. Jig ‘em rigs are handy if the flatties are stripping the baits off, and pilchards and squid are best baits. Fishing in about 20m of water is the preferred depth.
Inside the lake the whiting are well and truly firing around Barrier Landing and Kalimna Jetty. Fish the run-out tide with a mixture of baits including live shrimp, mussel and pipi, with the freshest baits being the best. Most have been around the 36-44cm range and are awesome sport on ultra-light gear. Some big mullet and bream have been stealing baits meant for whiting too.
The luderick have finally made a return to the rock walls and are in huge numbers. Kalimna Rocks and the entrance are producing fish to 3kg serious fish in anyone’s language!
Green weed under a float is the preferred method for these fish. A green weed fly can be handy too especially if the smaller ones are about and stripping baits off.
Joe Coatosso with his stunning 210kg blue marlin caught off Lakes Entrance.Reads: 5563