After this year’s run of southern bluefin tuna, as well as good catches of albacore and dolphinfish, Portland must be close to earning the title of Victoria’s number one gamefishing destination.
Throughout June, southern bluefin and dolphinfish appeared at the cleaning tables for those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time with some favourable weather. In July, the southern bluefin will be a little harder to locate and catch.
Dolphinfish are usually caught in the warmer tropical waters of northern Australia and to catch them here in southern Victoria has been a fantastic surprise, as they are great table fish. Three people phoned me while I was out fishing to ask about the bag limit on these fish, because they had never been caught here before and there was no mention of them in any of the Victorian fishing guidebooks. This has opened up a whole new area of sportfishing for Victorian anglers, and is very exciting.
The southern bluefin tuna should remain in close until the end of July, but they will be spread out and selective when feeding. Sharkman Charters are still running trips for those interested in chasing these sportfish and have been keeping their clients very happy.
For boaties fishing between Cape Bridgewater and Lawrence Rock in 50-70m of water, there have been good catches of school shark, gummy shark, coral perch, snapper and blue morwong. There have also been great catches of flathead, as Cockles and his crew can confirm after their last trip out. They were fishing off the Blacknose area in front of the golf course, and Trev and Woolbale from Horsham (Wimmera Angling Club) caught a fantastic mixed bag of snapper and flathead. They also caught three nice whiting just to show that they are still about in patches.
Over on the North Shore, local Allan Mitchell found plenty of small snapper, while land-based anglers in front of the Surrey River mouth have had good catches of gummy and school shark.
For those fishing off the Lee Breakwall, a late run of winter snapper has appeared, along with the odd whiting and squid. Andrew Simpson and Wayne Turner caught top snapper of 4.5kg and 4.8kg respectively, while Dan Mitchell captured a 6.5kg beauty. Ryan Lindsay landed two seven-gilled sharks and Lee Stroobant took a 5kg gummy shark, just to show that this fishing platform has been living up to its reputation as being one of the best land-based destinations around.
There have been good catches of mullet and grass whiting in and around the harbour over by the reclaimed area. Anglers fishing off the marina have taken silver trevally, squid, pinkies and the odd whiting.
In the canal, good catches of black bream, mullet, pinkies and slimy mackerel have been keeping many of the junior anglers occupied.
If you’re thinking of heading our way, give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call. We are open 7 days a week with varying hours through winter depending on the weather and the number of anglers about. So phone us on (03) 5523 5213 or call in to see us at 111 Bentinck Street Portland, and we can give you the latest weather and catch updates.Reads: 1421