Over the past month, plenty of southern bluefin tuna and albacore have been caught out wide by those picking weather conditions that are suitable for the size of their boat. Most anglers have been heading to the Horseshoe area on the Continental Shelf, then heading either east or west and working in 200-1000m.
There have been plenty of fish leaping out of the water, and though they have at times proved very finicky most boats have caught tuna to 27kg and albacore to 10kg. If they are a bit fussy, it pays to try using different colours and types of lures and skirts until you get it correct – which will be evident when you start landing fish. Trolling speed also plays a big part, as does correct placement of your lures behind your boat.
Charter boats have been keeping their customers very happy, with most of them bagging out throughout May. There have been reports of tuna being caught in 135m of water, and as we get into June they should start to move in even closer until end of the season finishes towards the end of the month.
No dolphinfish have been landed at this stage but we have been looking around the Lighthouse and Cape Bridgewater areas. Hopefully they will show up to add to the great gamefishing that Portland has become renowned for in the past few years.
There has been no large 100kg+ tuna landed yet, although there have been numerous reports of anglers being hooked up to these big fish. It should only be a matter of time before some lucky angler comes in with a magnificent prize.
A group of locals travelling out to the Shelf have also been bottom bouncing in 400m of water. They are having good success with wonderful blue-eye trevalla, the odd hapuku, grenadier and silver dory from the bottom beyond the Shelf, and then catching a feed of tuna on their way home. It proves that if you are keen for a feed of fish there are plenty of options available.
In 60-100m of water off the Cape Nelson Lighthouse and Bridgewater, anglers have also enjoyed good catches of fish such as gummy shark, flathead, queen morwong, morwong, coral perch and snapper. Around the corner and heading back towards Portland, between Blacknose and Point Danger, there have been good catches of King George whiting.
Over at the North Shore off Surrey River mouth, and towards the Fitzroy River mouth, there have been good catches of school sharks up to 22kg from 10-30m of water. Gummy sharks have also been caught in this area.
For land-based anglers the North Shore has been producing snapper, trevally and whiting. In Portland Harbour, haddock, snapper, mullet, slimy mackerel and whiting have been the main catches. The Lee Breakwater has slowed down, which is normal for this time of year, though there are still some catches of snapper, whiting, and calamari squid being made.
There is any amount of good table fish closer to shore for both land-based and boat anglers. It is best to give us a call to find out just what is available, and to get the latest weather forecasts before you leap into your car for your next fishing trip.
Remember to give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call on 03 5523 5213 we are open 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm.
Marty and crew, from Whittlesea, with a great catch of tuna.Reads: 745