Cruising for a bruising – kingfish dominate the coastline
  |  First Published: March 2016

What a month we’ve had in Portland, with the mighty kingfish appearing, and many anglers achieving results, from 5-6kg fish to monsters close to 20kg, which has made this one of the best seasons in years. Others have been spooled or snapped off, and with some of the gear being used catches may get even bigger.

Australia Day weekend in Portland saw people from all over Victoria and beyond trying to catch kingfish. Both boat ramps were busy and the Lee breakwater was pretty much packed, with land-based guys having just as much fun as the boaties.

A popular way to catch kingfish is to troll anything from fresh baits, soft plastics and hardbody lures, to live-baits under floats with minimal weight. Try casting stick baits, plastics and fresh baits into large schools. You’ll find the kingfish around the breakwater and under the water tower or over the North Shore near Wally’s boat ramp up to the mouth of the Fitzroy River. These guys can pop up out of the blue so be ready to have a crack at the mighty kingfish, and hang on!

Big schools of salmon are cruising through the bay and are great fun to hook into. Some of these fighters have been up to 4kg in size. A few tuna have also been caught around the North Shore area in 20-30m of water and up to 30kg, however the average catch is closer to 8-10kg. Anglers have found some very good pinkie snapper around the bay from 35-50cm – these fish always perform on the plate. Whiting are in good numbers around the North Shore and Black Nose area, as well as in some sections of the breakwater. Squid are in good number and the kingfish have chased them in around the landings and breakwater.

Some boaties still head into very deep waters when the weather permits to chase blue eye, a great table fish. They have also recently targeted a number of big flathead, snapper and sharks. Bridgewater is still the go-to place for flathead, school and gummy sharks – again when the weather permits.

The Surry and Fitzroy Rivers have produced some nice bream, and the odd mulloway still shows up in the Fitzroy.

Fishing in Portland this March will be dominated by kingfish followed by an increase in tuna. It will be interesting to see if these big barrels will stick around again as late as last year. We should also see more flathead around the bay mixed in with some great whiting.

Beach fishing is certainly pretty good at this time of year for sharks, big salmon, snapper and whiting plus whatever may swim past.

Remember, for all your bait and tackle needs call into Portland Compleat Angler at 61 Bentinck St next to the Gordon Hotel or contact us on (03) 5521 1844. We can help you with weather and fishing updates and help you with your next purchase.

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