March should seen the continuation of good warm water and plenty of pelagic action.
The most noticeable action for the dedicated spearfisher has been the good numbers of yellowtail kingfish along our entire coastline. The kingfish action has been very good with plenty of sightings and some reasonable catches. The west coast has been firing with great reports from around Lady Julia Percy Island, Port Fairy and Portland.
In central Victoria hot spots include Cape Schanck, Cape Woolamai, Pyramid Rock, Cape Liptrap and the island off Wilsons Promontory. I would not mind betting the kingfish action will continue right through March and possibly into April. Flashers and the appropriate spear gun will definitely improve your chances of landing a kingie and l recommends a quality 1.2m or 1.3m stock spear gun with a single point spear. Be sure to be tethered to a quality float and line and once you spear one of these brutes be ready for some fun and games.
Kingfish have not been the only game fish making their presence felt in Victoria lately. The southern blue fin tuna season has started early and whilst none have been landed by spearfishers at the time of writing l am sure we will see some more outstanding captures in the coming months.
Large world-record sized albacore tuna also appear in numbers off Portland in mid to late March. For the dedicated blue water spearfisher it is quite possible to land a large (25kg plus) albacore and even bigger SBT. Perhaps a spearo will even land a dolphin fish; late March through to May is the time for these quality game fish. Be sure to show plenty of respect to the other predators out in the open blue water as we have all seen the news reports of late of great whites and large makos around the capes off Portland.
Again, be sure to be flying a LARGE diver below flag on both your boat and dive float as traditional line anglers do not expect freedivers on the continental shelf.
The cray fishing season has been as good as l can remember and most divers have managed a good steady haul of these tasty bugs right through out summer. Hot spots have included the west coast around Apollo Bay and Warrnambool/Port Fairy. The shallows of less than 5m have been producing the best results, so give it a go. It is a fallacy to think you need SCUBA equipment to catch crayfish. I much prefer cray bashing on snorkel as you can cover more area and do not have the weight and inconvenience of SCUBA. It is also allows much easier access to dive sites as you can easily walk into these areas.
If you are interested in learning how to begin to spearfish, how to catch crayfish, target kingfish and even tuna then the best way to learn is to either do a charter with a reputable operator or join a spearfishing club. Victoria only has one active spearfishing club in Melbourne (www.southernfreedivers.org.au ) but we are now starting a new spearfishing club in Western Victoria based out of Port Fairy.
This region has a growing number of ‘hunters and gatherers’ and a group of us hope to have this club up and going by April/May this year.
Those interested in joining should contact me at --e-mail address hidden-- .Reads: 1956