Plenty of bait schools brings on the action
  |  First Published: April 2013

April is usually the month that the frenzy of the southern bluefin really kicks into gear.

However this year there has been some very early action on the SBT front. As I mentioned in last month’s article some good fish in the 18-30kg have popped up unexpectedly in late January and this continued into February. The normally unheard of locally, a tuna/kingfish double, has become suddenly an achievable, albeit still fairly rare, sports fishing goal.

Sean Blake cast his lure into what looked like a school of feeding kingfish but instead found himself connected to 28kg of tuna. Nick Murrell managed two more SBT amongst the 15 kings we also managed that hectic evening.

Often isolated captures of fish are reported fairly wide early in the season but this year they have been in close. One wonders whether they are early fish or whether they are few stragglers staying on from last season due to the widespread bait schools that have also been attracting plenty of dolphins and seals. Whatever the case if the bluefin arrive big time in April there should be plenty of tucker to hold them.

Kingfish may be gone come April but the another sports fish that has been prolific recently should still be a viable option. Quite a number of mako sharks; from cute little models to massive bolts of blue danger have been taken along the coast.

These sharks have been captured both in close around 40m and at the shelf by both keen shark anglers and bottom bouncers getting an unexpected surprise. Gummy shark around 4-6kg continue to be prevalent in offshore bottom bouncing bags whilst most snapper have been small, around 28-45cm.

Good salmon to 4kg are turning up at times in Port Fairy Bay whilst the good run of calamari squid continues at Killarney for both boat and land based anglers. Large schools of arrow squid have also been prevalent for offshore anglers, another good sign heading into tuna season.

The Hopkins River mouth is closed at the time of writing and fishing remains quiet. The Easter tides in April often produce some good fishing so hopefully things begin to improve in this location. We have had precious little rain in the south west over the past months, but it was amazing the effect one decent little squirt had on the local trout population.

Some good fish to 2kg were encountered in the Merri for a few days after some solid falls. Come April these fish should be becoming even more active.

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