Tuna Time in Warrnambool
  |  First Published: May 2009

The success of Dave Magilton in the first week of April, inspired many local anglers to forgo the drive west to the more well known tuna grounds. Instead they launched from Warrnambool and found consistent tuna action.

Local tackle shop owner Mick Rantall and Rod Stevens headed out on the next conducive day to tackle the seas, and captured some fine school sized southern bluefin tuna. The next day produced the first big tuna, an 85kg fish taken by Peter Kavanagh. School sized fish from 12-30kg continued to be caught through out the Easter weekend. Marty Elull’s crew encountered tuna from the shelf right back in as close as 100m on the Easter Monday.

Good captures continued throughout the month when conditions allowed, some days are always better than others, but what was consistent is that most anglers are reporting seeing big numbers of fish, whether they are biting well on that particular day or not.

Brett Bermingham and Chris Considine got more than they bargained for one trip when a killer whale took a liking for a hooked tuna and tried to deny the anglers of their catch. It is expected that the fish should be still around by June with weather and sea conditions being a major factor in how the season will pan out.

Anglers finding consistent success off Warrnambool will be not only good locally, but by being able to spread the angling pressure over a wider area during high volume periods like long weekends will enable more anglers to enjoy success at other tuna locations. Hopefully the continued success of anglers launching from Warrnambool will see the launching facilities get the upgrade they desperately need.

Throughout April the Hopkins remained closed, high and clear; all recipes for quiet fishing particularly for lure anglers. The size of the fish has been well down too. My last four short lure fishing trips produced 41 fish, but only five of those fish would have been the new tournament minimum of 28cm to the fork! With heavy rain falling recently I’m sure by June the mouth will have opened by one means or the other and the fishing will be on the improve.

June marks the closure of the stream trout action in many parts of Victoria. Fortunately some local trout waters remain open all throughout the year as they are classed as sea run fisheries by the DPI. Currently the local rivers open during the normally closed trout season are the Merri River downstream of the weir, Hopkins River downstream of the Falls, the Moyne River downstream of Toolong Bridge and the Gellibrand River downstream of the Great Ocean Road Bridge. This provides anglers with the fantastic opportunity to target trout during favourable seasonal conditions.

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