Warrnambool sees the best of both worlds
  |  First Published: March 2013

The south west area has been turning on some exceptional catches when conditions are right and there’s no reason to expect any less in March.

When the sun is out and the south easterlies blow anglers can be hard pressed even to catch fish out of the rivers, let alone the sea. However when conditions are good some sensational catches can eventuate. The biggest recently was the huge oceanic thresher shark taken by Scott Neal aboard "Hooked Up" skippered by Max Atkins . The crew were targeting broadbill off the shelf when the shark came along. Other anglers have been successfully targeting blue eye and hapuku in the deep as well.

Another summer sports fishing staple, the yellowtail kingfish have also been prevalent off the coast of Port Fairy. Most of them are around the 3-5kg mark but some exceptional specimens over 10kg have been taken by some anglers. The kings seem to respond to a different technique every day, or sometimes a few in one day, so be prepared to change and adapt to the situation as you find it. March is perhaps the last month when you can reliably target kingfish locally and is usually the month when tuna catches begin to be more predictable.

However you would be hard pressed to take advantage of these two great sports fish at the same time as well as Cameron Ordner and David Jehu did recently. Not content with bagging a 14.8kg kingfish (which is the largest one I’ve heard of so far this season) they came across what they thought was going to be another king bust up which however turned out to be tuna. Out went the tuna gear and in came a 30kg fish. What made this even more remarkable was that it happened on the 11th of Jan, ridiculously early for tuna and in just over 30m of water.

It wasn’t a one off with a 19kg tuna being taken whilst fishing for kingfish in the similar area the day before. Some good makos to 100kg have also been encountered by those prepared to put in the time and the berley. School and gummy sharks also continue to be a consistent option as do the whiting closer into shore.

Bream fishing has picked up a little in the Hopkins river but the average size of the fish remains small with few big fish showing up. The odd small mulloway has been encountered though, which is good news. There have also been isolated reports of small mulloway in the Moyne and Fitzroy rivers as well.

With all the options available to anglers this month it is a great time to come down and have a try at the annual Shipwreck coast fishing Classic. The competition is fished in local estuary surf and offshore waters between Port Campbell and Yambuk from March 9-17. There are plenty of prizes for both juniors and senior anglers including a sensational Anglapro bandit boat complete with a Suzuki motor and dunbier trailer.

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