What a great few months we have had in the fishing world of Portland!
We have seen some great schools of kingfish cruising around as close as the harbour and Breakwater as well as patches all around the bay. Some of these schools where certainly the biggest I have ever seen and as much as it was hard to hook up to some them just looking at them cruising past in huge numbers was amazing. Some of the local gurus certainly had the upper hand on the kingfish when they worked out which were the best lures or baits to take and they generally ended up being quite small lures or strip baits. A lot of non-weighted baits seem to have worked the best but it still took time to make them strike.
The other great fishing in shallow waters has been the early tuna. There has been some great numbers around, especially from Julia reef off the North Shore heading to the island. Some of these fish have reached 30kg but there’s still a lot around the 20kg mark. The small Williamson Tuna Catcher skirt has done really well on these guys. Some off the guys have also had tuna pop up 1km from the Corkscrew. They seem to be a bit harder to catch but some of the fishers have been cubeing pilchards, then floating a unweighted pilchard and scoring good tuna using this method.
Other great fish in the bay at the moment is some great whiting. Fishers are either drifting or anchoring for these great fish with some sizes into the 50cm mark, which are real kidney slappers, but mostly around the 40 to 47 cm but still great fish. Drifting for these guys has seen some very good flathead mixed in some around the 40-25cm mark. There’s also some nice squid still about, along with schoolies, gummies and plenty of pinkie.
The Breakwater has been a little quieter but there’s still pinkies around and the odd good shark caught at night. Deep water fishing is still well alive when the weather permits and trumpeter, snapper, blue eye and sharks are just a few of the great species being taken. Bridgewater Bay area is still fishing well with big flathead, sharks flying, gurnards and snapper being caught.
The Fitzroy and Surry rivers are fishing well for bream and the odd mulloway.
Beach had been OK around the area with school sharks, mulloway, pinkie snapper and some nice whiting too.
The biggest thing about April and a few up coming months is the tuna season. We generally start seeing more people cruising into town ready to catch the mighty southern bluefin tuna.
The few charter boats in Portland turn into at least 20 as the guys around the Melbourne area come down to help the influx of people wanting the charter experience catching big fish.
We also see a few times in the year the swelling of boat trailers into the boat ramps, which can exceed 300. Let’s hope the new ramp will make the lunching a little easier and quicker for the guys.
For the fishers who don’t chase the tuna but are into big game we see some big makos in the area, especially around Cape Nelson Lighthouse. Along with them, some great table fish around that area also such as snapper, morwong, flathead and sharks just to name a few.
April still fishes very well around the bay and we generally still see some great whiting, flathead and should start seeing some good salmon around, which are great on light gear.
The Breakwater can sometimes still produce a big snapper, but this all slows down. We should start seeing some nice salmon off the Breakwater using bait, soft plastics and metal lures.
The beaches start coming alive with salmon, which is great. Fishing lures into the surf and getting great hook-ups is exciting. Also, the surf produces some good schoolies and mulloway this time of year.
• For all your bait and tackle needs when in Portland, look no further than Portland Compleat Angler, we have something for everyone. We can also help with weather and fishing reports, plus licences, regulation books and fish length stickers. You can contact us on (03) 5521 1844 or see us at 61 Bentinck Street next to the Gordon Hotel.Reads: 703