Where are all the tuna?
  |  First Published: June 2013

The past four or five years have seen the bluefin tuna in full swing off Cape Otway by May.

With plenty of tuna being taken off Portland in the past few months it seems the tuna have are just not coming this far down the coast. To date I only have concrete evidence of one tuna taken off Apollo Bay this season and reports from out wide suggest that the water is still too warm. Let’s hope that we get some strong winds, rain and cooler weather in the next few weeks to kick things into action.

It feels strange praying for poor weather but I just don’t think the tuna will turn up until we get rid of the warm currents that are presently sitting off our coastline. I suppose an upside to this year’s extended warm weather has been the large numbers of late season King George whiting, flathead and snapper that are still being caught. Great fishing for these table fish is all that has been keeping me sane as I sit and wait for the tuna to arrive in numbers.

The freshwater is also suffering from dry weather conditions and with the closed season on trout taking effect this month I hope we get some substantial rain so the fish can move upstream to spawn. A recent trip to the Barham River yielded not a single fish for me as the water levels were very low with just a trickle of water coming down the river. I’m guessing the trout have moved down into the deeper estuary system to find food and shelter until the steady flows return.

The estuary has been surprisingly good for black bream that have been congregating down around the river mouth. The river is blocked to the ocean but when the high tide washes in clean water the bream are feeding vigorously along colour changes. Small hardbodied lures or lightly weighted soft plastics fished in the wash zones should see you landing bream to 40cm.

If you are still dead keen on catching a trout then I suggest you head to the West Barwon Dam where the high water levels are producing good fishing along the edges. Both rainbow and brown trout to over 1kg have been caught on small hardbodied lures cast from the shoreline.

With the trout season closer kicking in this month for the local rivers it’s time to head to the West Barwon Dam for your trout fishing fix.

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