Victorian fishermen have been blessed recently with record autumn temperatures and windless days all in stark contrast to our unseasonably poor summer weather.
This has given deep sea fishermen plenty of opportunity to chase our full range of game species including mako, blue and thresher sharks and as a standout this year, good numbers of yellowtail kingfish. The kings have been consistent although not in the numbers found in late summer, possibly due to the efforts of a commercial fisherman who cashed in on loose lips and modern technology. Exact GPS coordinates saw a long line across the one reef that was holding good numbers of kings and reportedly sent off some 90 odd fish to 8kg to the market. Varying techniques worked on these fish including jigging, strip baits in a burly trail, trolling and casting lures.
Central coast shark fishermen experienced a pretty lean summer on the sharks of Bass Strait and all seemed over until an unusual return of good numbers of arrow squid that showed up in autumn. These squid brought with them plenty of mako and blue sharks. Some of the makos went well into the 200kg plus bracket.
Inshore, the best snapper year for decades continued with plenty of pinkie-sized fish caught with usual baits of fresh squid and fish fillets. At the time of writing, snapper can be found from 7m through to 70 odd metres with some of the fish in the deeper water going well past the 4kg mark.
With winter approaching, anglers should expect the fishing to slow a little offshore with the exception of gummy sharks and species such as morwong and nannygai that can be found on the deeper reefs beyond the 50 metre line.
Closer to shore good numbers of sweep and pike will respond to good boat positioning and a constant light burley trail, with baits such as abalone guts and mussels fished in mid water.
By the time this article goes on the shelves, my crew and I will be chasing southern blue fin tuna off the coast of Portland in the states far west. These magnificent fish have not shown for a couple of seasons in close but let’s hope this changes. Stay tuned for the results of our annual pilgrimage in the next issue.Reads: 549