Pelagics pound the coast
  |  First Published: March 2016

The Shipwreck Coast Fishing Classic is held annually in March. The competition is fished in local estuary, surf and offshore waters between Port Campbell and Yambuk from 12-20 March. Keep these dates in mind if you’re thinking of making a trip down, as there will be plenty of prizes for both junior and senior anglers. If the fishing continues with the excellence of late, the competition should be a ripper.

Offshore action has been fantastic, due to a combination of warm water temperatures and some long-awaited settled sea conditions. The pelagic fishing in the area offshore from west of Port Fairy through to Portland’s North Shore has been sensational. Observant anglers can spot schools of yellowtail kingfish, southern bluefin tuna and big salmon when conditions are calm enough. Some of the fish are quality, with tuna to over 20kg and kingfish to over 10kg encountered. Make sure your tackle and knots are up to scratch as one cast may produce a 2kg fish, but a 20kg fish could hammer the next. It has been amazing to watch what you think is a school of kingfish swim below the boat only to notice some big tuna swimming with them as well. Cast a stick bait or soft plastic into the schools for some great results. Blind trolling small lures works well if you are travelling to find the fish.

The mako sharks have continued to be more prevalent than last season, and those who’ve explored out wide have turned up some good catches of blue-eye, gemfish and even the odd trumpeter. Closer to shore there have been good catches of whiting in the shallow bays and some decent salmon taken off the surf beaches.

The Hopkins River has remained closed since late October last year. We’ve had extremely little rainfall in the area in the past few months. The river hasn’t fished too badly considering; usually if it’s closed for a long period over summer the fishing slows right down. Mulloway still pop up around the system with fish to 75cm taken and stories of bigger ones lost. Bream fishing has been alright, with some good fish taken with surface lures during calm conditions. Soft plastics on light line or baitfishing with minimal line diameter and weight have been the most effective methods at this time of year.

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