No Tardy Tuna
  |  First Published: April 2009

May has traditionally been regarded as the start of the southern bluefin tuna season, but the last few years has seen them turn up earlier. However, this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still be going strong throughout the month.

There have been plenty of big boats rolling through town recently on their way to Portland and Port Macdonald to chase the famous southern bluefin tuna.

The good news locally is that some tuna and mahi mahi have been taken from a boat launched from the Warrnambool ramp. Dave and Melissa Magilton enjoyed some great action in the first week in April.

Tuna are still coming into Port Fairy, including a number of fish during the Hooked on Rods and Reels Fishing Classic that was held in March. The competition was hampered by poor weather on both weekends but better conditions mid-week allowed anglers to weigh-in some quality fish.

A number of tuna and albacore were taken over the event with Daniel Hoey taking biggest fish honours with his 26kg bluefin. Despite numerous sightings, no makos were weighed-in, and the best shark was a school shark of 11.5kg. The heaviest snapper was 3.7kg taken by Fred Hughson.

On the river scene, notable captures of the competition were Darren Evans with a brown trout of 1.5kg and Barry Johnston with a bream of 1.16kg. Barry actually managed to weigh-in two bream with identical weight.

No thresher sharks were captured during the competition but some good ones have been taken recently. At times, anglers have encountered thresher sharks in good numbers off Mills Reef, east of Port Fairy and Logans Reef at Warrnambool. There have been numerous encounters in a session if you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

Curdies Inlet and Hopkins River mouths are still closed. Launching is still okay at this stage but it might become difficult in May if they remain closed. The Hopkins has been fairly quiet with small fish being predominant in most bags. The Curdies is producing some good fish to just over 1kg for anglers fishing the edges with hardbody lures.

As waters cool, May is often a good month to start targeting brown trout in the local rivers. The big browns that can be so cautious begin to loose a bit of inhibition during that spawning urge.

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