Make the Most of May
  |  First Published: April 2009

Shane Cromie’s southern bluefin tuna capture has re-established the record books in Victorian waters by weighing in at 126kg. The previous record was set in 2007 by local guru Bob McPherson and weighed 125kg.

Along with Shane Cromie’s huge tuna, there have been several other trophy fish being caught out along the Continental Shelf: Rob Zynevitch caught a 99.7kg fish that had a long line hook in its mouth and several metres of line wrapped around its tail; Dave Busuttil and mate Lou Danese of Melbourne had a great catch for their first trip out of Portland with their fish weighing in at 124kg bled weight; Simon Rinaldi of Red Hot Fishing Charters landed a fish of 101kgs; Frank Farrugia and crew weighed a fish in of 114kg and his 10 year son Zac caught his first albacore that weighed 10kg; Mick Djoki and Micki Mikljanic again of Melbourne on their second trip out of Portland landed a fish of 95.7kg; Julian Dickeson and crew from Hamilton landed a fish of 87.5kg and lost a bigger one beside the boat when the crimp parted.

Caught alongside these bigger trophy fish have been plenty of smaller SBT, ranging from 15-35kg, and heaps of albacore weighing up to 20kg.

The hotspot for SBT and albacore has been around the horseshoe area out along the Continental Shelf, between 200-1000m. As we get further into the season, the good catches will come in from 40m and out to 100m of water between Lawrence rock and Cape Bridgewater, which makes it more accessible for those that cannot venture out as far as the shelf. Local Alan Carey can vouch for this with his bluefin catch while out chasing flathead in 42m of water.

It pays to run a variety of colours and lures until you get your first hook up to know what will be working on the day. This usually depends on whether it is an overcast day or a bright sunny day. Black Magic skirts in the lumo (green with a red stripe) and black with a red belly have proven to be the main colours of choice. The Rapala X Rap 30 bib lures in blue and silver or black and red are also catching their fair share. The River 2 Sea Killer Vibes in pink, red and white, or blue and silver are also successful. And locally-made Oka Lures made by Kevin Dark, who is a well-known local in the gamefishing scene, are bringing up consistent results.

There are currently eight charter boats working out of Portland chasing the tuna and they have all been keeping their customers happy, although largely dependent on the weather. If you are thinking of coming to Portland and cannot get out to the Shelf, give us a call and we can put you onto these guys.

Southern bluefin tuna and albacore will run all through May and into June. After this time it usually varies due to conditions and being able to get out, so make the most of May to catch the fish of a lifetime.

Mahi Mahi have been sighted but at this stage no-one has hooked one, but this will only be a matter of time.

For those taking time out from catching SBT there have been good catches of blue-eye trevalla in between 400-600m of water out on the Continental Shelf, as local John Fenton can testify to by his latest outing.

For those anglers not chasing tuna or albacore there has been plenty of other good fish to be had. Mark O’Shannesy, Chris Gallea, Jim Anderson and Mick Woods from Melbourne had a good catch of a mako weighing in at 76.4kg while fishing off Cape Nelson lighthouse. Locals Cath, Greg, Keith and Judy had a great day’s outing while fishing 60-80m water between the lighthouse and Cape Bridgewater, with 24 snapper, four nannygai, four morwong, one sweetlip, six couta and six arrow squid. It just goes to show what a mixed bag you can get when fishing these waters.

Point Danger and Maggoty Bay along the north shore have been fishing well for whiting. Salmon have also been keeping anglers busy with big schools between Point Danger and Pivot Beach and also along the Lee Breakwall. Coming off the Lee, land-based anglers have been getting catches of snapper, whiting and calamari squid.

Fishing in and around the harbour have been keeping the young and the young at heart anglers occupied with catches of snapper, whiting, salmon, trevally, and calamari squid. Berley and a running sinker are the best methods used in these areas. In the canal there has also been catches of salmon, slimy mackerel and the odd bream.

The Fitzroy River has also been fishing well for those targeting bream. Tony Mathews on his last outing caught seven nice bream while fishing with Berkley plastics, with his favourite being the Camo Worm. The Surrey River has also been fishing well for those wishing to fish a little closer to home.

So for all your latest fishing and weather reports give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call on 03 5523 5213, we are open 7 days a week from 7 till 7.

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