In late March and April, many Warrnambool anglers have been lured away from their home patch by the sensational tuna fishing not far to the west off Portland and Port MacDonnell. In fact, the first really big tuna of the season was captured by Paul Jones, Peter Kavanagh and Dane Newman of Warrnambool – and what a fish it was at a whopping 132kg! Anglers who stayed at home weren’t disappointed either, with some big thresher sharks being landed locally.
Some of the biggest sharks were hooked during the annual ‘Hooked on Rods and Reels Shipwreck Coast Fishing Competition’. After last year’s competition was badly affected by weather, the return to the week-long event gave anglers a better chance to tangle with a wide range of species. The $1000 prize for the heaviest shark was won by Cameron Ordner who captured a 60.6kg thresher shark, narrowly edging out Peter Kavanagh who brought in a 56kg thresher the same evening. Other threshers have been taken recently, as well as plenty of blue sharks and a small sprinkling of makos.
In May, most pelagic shark action will have died off with the falling water temperatures. The heaviest fish (non-shark) taken during the competition was a 6.5kg kingfish caught by Ken Hines. Other notable captures were a 3.3kg blue morwong caught by Mick McMurray and a 1.3kg bream caught by Rod Stephens.
On the estuary scene the Curdies River has been fishing well. Most fish have been taken from the Curdivale Boat Ramp downstream to the lake. Many fish of 38-40cm have been captured, but one I’ve heard of measured an exceptional 48cm. Both hard-bodied and plastic lures have been effective.
In late March the Hopkins River was still closed. It is producing some average bags but it should fish better after a bit of a flush through when the mouth does open. May is often a good time to target bream in the local estuaries.
The beginning of their spawning drive can often make May a good time to target brown trout before the season closes. Some significant rain would again help matters, but we’ll have to wait and see if this occurs.Reads: 1489