As we move closer to spring many anglers are looking forward to warmer weather and all the fishing that comes with the new season.
This tuna season was unlike previous seasons – a lot of fish were seen but the catch rates were low. Many anglers had trouble enticing the fish to bite, which could be due to a number of reasons, such as the fish were just not hungry (stacks of bait fish), the fish are becoming boat shy (too many boats), or maybe that’s just fishing!
The heaviest SBT weighed in for the season was 122.7kg caught by Rowan Cozzelh and the crew from Melbourne. The biggest surprise catch this season was a rare butterfly tuna weighing 41.8kg caught by Simon Faulituen and crew of Melbourne.
Let’s hope the federal government doesn’t ruin the fishing for SBT next year with unwarranted restrictions on recreational anglers and allowing the super trawler from entering our southern seas and totally depleting all our bait fish stocks. Talk about hypocrites! No bait, no fish, simple. Let’s all make sure we stick together and voice our opinions on this totally ridiculous idea.
Anyhow, as we head into the new season for those surf fishing there have been good catches of gummy and school sharks, the odd snapper, salmon and trevally between the Fitzroy and Surrey rivers and along Dutton Way. There have also been good catches of Australian salmon of 1-3kg at Shelleys Beach, Bishops Rocks, Blacknose Point and Pivot Beach.
In the harbour anglers are still finding plenty of mullet, trevally, pinkies, salmon, the odd whiting and grass whiting, along with a few calamari squid. The canal has also been fishing well with catches of bream, salmon, Tommy ruff, silver trevally and mullet.
Surf fishing from the Lee breakwater catches of calamari squid, the odd gummy and school shark, barracouta, salmon, snapper and the odd whiting have been the main catches. Nevertheless, it won’t be long before the larger snapper begin to arrive as past records show with specimens usually ranging from 2-10kg.
For those venturing out when the weather is favourable there have been good catches out on the 40-60m water between Lawrence Rock and Cape Nelson lighthouse with catches of morwong, knifejaw, flying gurnard, snapper and gummy and school shark. There have also been good catches of sweep between 300-400g for those specifically targeting these fine table fare and for those fishing in closer.
Out in front of Cape Bridgewater in depths between 50-100m, catches of flathead and the odd gummy and school shark have been keeping anglers busy.
As we head into the new season, mulloway should also begin to show up along the north shore. Other species coming in have included snook and lithe off the reef areas.
Freshwater anglers have been getting good results at the Fitzroy and Surrey rivers with catches of good-sized bream. The best technique has been to use soft plastics, lures or prawns.
As we head into September the weather should improve, which will allow for a lot more opportunities to go fishing.
Once again the arrival of the southern right whales have been keeping locals and tourists entertained by their performances off Portland close to the Lee breakwater and inside the harbour.
If you’re heading Portland way, give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call for all your latest fishing and weather reports. We are open 7 days a week and can be reached on 03 5523 5213.Reads: 1593