Over the long weekend of March, Portland came alive with well over 180 trailer boats flocking to the boat ramp seeking southern blue fin tuna and albacore.
Anglers were coming to Portland from far and wide in their desire to catch these great game fish, and no-one went home empty handed with well over 1.5 tonnes of fish frames being taken away from the boat ramp cleaning tables on the Sunday alone.
Southern blue fin tuna have been coming in with weights varying up to 35kg and albacore up to 30kg. The heaviest southern blue fin tuna caught out of Portland to date was weighed in by Mitsal, Danny and Murat of the Greenvale Angling Club and weighed 62kg. This certainly put a buzz throughout the fishing fraternity and will no doubt keep anglers coming back to Portland to chase the fish of a lifetime.
The main lures being used and getting the best results have been the Rapala X-Rap 30, the River 2 Sea Killer Vibes and Black Magic skirted lures. Colours have been varying from day to day, so it pays to run a variety of colours until you get the first hook up so that you can work out what colour the fish are on that day.
Most of the SBT and albacore are still coming in from the continental shelf, with the Horseshoe area being the most productive to date. Depths have been varying from 200-1000m, but a few anglers have reported catching SBT in closer between the 80-150m, which is good news for those that cannot travel the 44km out to the shelf and back.
Portland Coast Guard have been kept busy lately so please make sure you carry enough fuel and all the safety gear required for travelling these great distances and your dream trip doesn’t become a nightmare. If you are thinking of coming to Portland for your first trip it is advisable to organise a charter boat so that you get some perspective of the distances and techniques required for this type of offshore fishing.
With the onset of the tuna season we have had a rise in the numbers of good quality deep sea fish being caught, with a few canny fishers deciding to take a break from trolling and do a few bottom drops and coming home with good catches of blue eye trevalla as John Ribiero from Melbourne can vouch for with his prize 13kg blue eye.
Southern blue fin tuna and albacore will be travelling along the continental shelf throughout April and hopefully the arrival of mahi mahi will occur as has happened in the past three seasons.
For those anglers not chasing SBT or albacore there has been plenty on offer over along the north shore. Good catches of gummy sharks between the Fitzroy and Surrey River mouths have been had along with good catches of snapper, whiting, garfish, trevally and the odd mulloway still lurking around. Local fisherman Evo can verify the mulloway’s presence as he encountered them while out surf fishing recently.
The Lee Breakwall has been keeping the land-based anglers busy with catches of snapper, whiting, salmon and calamari squid. The main bite times have been an hour either side of the tides with high tide producing the best results. Blue bait and squid are consistently the best baits for along this platform.
In and around the harbour, the marina has been keeping local Don Mears entertained with good catches of snapper. Don bagged out two nights in a row while others have been catching their share of snapper along with whiting and calamari squid. The canal has also been producing catches of mullet, trevally and the odd nice sized bream.
For those targeting salmon between Pivot Beach and Blacknose there has been a large school cruising around this area keeping many a boating party and land based angler happy with good salmon up to 2.5kg. Good numbers of pike have also been coming in from around Lawrence Rock, and for those fishing off the lighthouse in 60–80m of water good catches of blue morwong, coral perch, flathead, gummy sharks and snapper are being taken.
For those freshwater fishing, the Fitzroy and the Surrey rivers have been providing anglers with good catches of bream. For those of you not using plastics or lures prawns and glassies have been the flavour of the month.
So for all your latest fishing reports and up to date weather, give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call on 03 5523 5213, we are open 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm.Reads: 5513