I am about to head off to Portland for three days to have a go at the bluefin tuna. The reports have been good with bluefin and albacore about in good numbers, along with the odd dolphinfish on the edge of the Continental Shelf. I haven’t fished Portland for at least 20 years, but I still have memories of the place being very cold with big seas…but a couple of good blueys will more than make up for whatever Mother Nature intends to throw at us.
On the local scene, many boats have been mothballed for winter, but quite a few fishos are shaking the dust off their surf gear and heading for the beaches. The good news is that the surf beaches have been fairly productive lately. Woolamai Beach has seen a constant run of salmon to around 1kg and Williamsons and Kilcunda beaches have been producing better quality fish to 2kg.
Heath Anderson fished Williamsons Beach the other week and landed 16 salmon to 2kg. The fishing was fast and furious for about an hour before the high tide. Bluebait and red and white surf poppers accounted for most of the fish.
Baxters Beach has also been fishing well with fish in excess of 2kg being taken. The only problem with Baxters is the 20 minute walk back to the car over the sand dunes, commonly known as Heartbreak Hill. If you’ve got a few 2kg fish in your backpack, you’ll know how it got its name!
Below the bridge, the fishing has quietened off with the drop in water temperature. There are still salmon, trevally, flathead and the odd whiting about.
Above the Bridge the Dickie’s Bay area is producing some big garfish and a lonely whiting or two. If you berley up and get the gars into a feeding pattern you can do well. A recent excursion for gars with Frank Natoli and myself accounted for 40 fish, which went about four to the kilo. They produced some very nice boneless fillets indeed.
The deep water off Cowes and Cat Bay is still producing a few big gummies. Paul Hodlic fished Cat Bay for whiting, and while he only managed three fish they were all around 600g so he still went home with a feed.
On a few earlier trips to this area we managed our 8-10 whiting in the 500g range, plus a few pinkie snapper to 1.5kg. Then on our last trip the fish had disappeared. One of the reasons for this is that large numbers of snook have arrived. If you troll a lead line over the reefy areas in 6-10m you should have no trouble catching a bag of these fish. We managed 20 in less than an hour, then called it a day and went home.
Salmon are on the go at the surf beaches.Reads: 674