New SBT Record
  |  First Published: May 2009

Since writing last month’s report Shane Cromie’s heaviest Victorian southern bluefin tuna of 126kg only lasted for two days as Steve Makarios caught a southern bluefin tuna weighing in at 128kg, which has re-written the Victorian record.

Steve along with crew-members Ross Moor and Eddie Zahra of Brighton Central Angling Club enjoyed a five and a half hour battle to land the prized 128kg fish. The following day Chris (Redeye) Fowler, Simon Mantell and Steve Frankland from Mornington peninsula had a great days outing landing a 123.8kgs (bled weight) tuna.

This year’s run of tuna has been exceptional both for the length of time that it has run for and secondly we have seen a run of the bigger fish as we did in 2006, although not in the numbers of 2006. None-the-less a few lucky fishermen did get a taste of catching these bigger fish. We have also seen this year that the full moon does play a part in the habits of these fish, as over the Easter period (which is over the period of the full moon) there were not that many fish caught while the week leading up to and immediately after Easter saw the fish on the bite again.

Mahi Mahi

There has been plenty of tuna between 15-30kg along with albacore up to 20kg coming back to the cleaning tables on a regular basis. Local Jack Olver had a good days outing with three southern bluefin tuna with the heaviest being 25kg while out fishing with his dad. Daniel and crew from Melbourne returned back from the shelf with 13 albacore and six bluefin.

Mahi Mahi have also been caught over the past couple of weeks with the heaviest being around the 10kg mark as Mick Kondratien showed on his latest trip out of Portland. One other boating party bought in three mahi mahi and four bluefin.

Killer Whales

After the big swells and the wild winds on the days that no-one can get out fishing it has bought the tuna in closer with tuna being caught between 70-100m water and for those heading towards the shelf the horseshoe has also been a very productive area. Lots of fishermen have spotted plenty of killer whales lurking around these waters feeding on the tuna and even taking tuna that are hooked up as Chris (Redeye) Fowler found out on his last trip out.

A few tricks to use

Mako sharks have also been making their presence felt as Bob McPherson and crew witnessed on their last trip, with the mako taking the tuna tail completely off. On the days when the tuna are not playing the game and you cannot entice them to take a lure, but see them busting out of the water everywhere, small Jethead lures have been the standout lures on these days. When the tuna are on the bite, green and yellow, lumo, and black with pink under skirts have been going well, along with the X-rap 30 bib lures and Killer Vibes.

The tuna run should continue throughout June with the biggest obstacle being the weather as we move into our winter cycle, so check the weather sites regularly before you make any plans to head out, as we all know this is the Southern Ocean and not Port Phillip Bay. Make sure you give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call and they can give you the latest weather and fishing reports.

With the increase in the numbers of fisher heading down to Portland a new boat ramp lane is currently under construction along with plans to increase the amount of parking spaces available which should help with the congestion that has been occurring over this season, which is a positive step towards improving the boating facilities here in Portland.

Other than tuna

For boating parties not chasing the tuna the north shore has been producing good catches of snapper, whiting, gummy sharks and the odd mulloway. For those fishing between Pivot and Point Danger good catches of salmon and whiting have been coming in from this area.

While fishing in 40-80m water between the lighthouse and Cape Bridgewater, Brad Brabham and crew had a good outing catching four nice sized gummy sharks along with a good bag of snapper. Bruce McPherson and Keith Boots also returned with a good bag of flathead while fishing these waters.

Land-based anglers fishing the Lee Breakwater have been catching snapper, whiting, salmon and calamari squid while fishing in and around the harbour catches of snapper, whiting, salmon and trevally have also been keeping anglers entertained. The canal has also been fishing well with good catches of bream and good-sized mullet.

The Fitzroy and the Surrey rivers have been fishing well for those targeting bream, with the Blade lures and soft plastics having the best results.

So for all your latest fishing reports and weather updates please give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call on 0355235213 we are open 7 days a week.

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