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Portland reigns supreme
  |  First Published: June 2009




Portland has well and truly been put on the map as the number one game fishing capital of Victoria as the 2009 southern bluefin tuna season comes to an end. Awesome SBTs have been landed along with great albacore and mahi mahi.
SBT central

The awesome SBT experience at Portland has turned the place into a hive of activity that highlights just how much excellent fishing can benefit small towns. The Portland Council is now aware of this will hopefully see the upgrades of the boat ramp, parking and cleaning table facilities (we hope) for next year.

With the new benchmark being set of a jumbo sized SBT of 128kg out of Victorian waters, this will only guarantee that anglers will return to this fishing Mecca in 2010 in their attempt to beat the existing record.

Over the Queen’s birthday weekend there were approximately 100 boat trailers at the boat ramp with keen anglers venturing out; some for their last outing of the year. Southern bluefin tuna were being caught mainly in the 60-70m depths between Cape Bridgewater and Lawrence Rock. The fussy plumber from Melbourne and crew landed four SBT up to 20kg with a sighting of a much bigger SBT estimated at 70-80kg following the smaller ones up from the deep; just shows that the bigger ones are still lurking late into the season.

Local, Dave Johnson, had a great day landing four SBT and also encountered a large SBT following one of his lures to the surface. Other anglers either had good or bad catches as the tuna again proved to be rather finicky; proving that with fishing it is all a matter of being in the right place at the right time and making sure that your lures are a close match. Phil Daffy of Game On Charters ventured out wide and landed two good sized albacore up to 22kg and on the following day while fishing off the lighthouse kept his customers happy bagging 10 SBT for the day.

Bottom bouncing

Bruce Harris from Melbourne along with locals, Tim Clark and Bob McPherson, ventured out to the shelf for a bash at bottom bouncing and came home with a great haul of seven blue eye trevalla; four blue grenadier as well as four SBT; this has opened up a whole new fishery for those venturing out to the shelf while out chasing tuna.

Other anglers have also been enjoying fishing in the 40-70m of water between the lighthouse and Bridgewater Bay with good catches of snapper, blue morwong, gurnard, flathead, gummy sharks and schoolie sharks. Local, Steve Atkinson, had a good catch landing an 18kg schoolie amongst his bag while fishing off the lighthouse. Between Lawrence Rock and Point Danger there has been good catches of snook and off Point Danger there has still been good catches of whiting. Between Blacknose and Pivot beach there have been good catches of salmon for both boating and land based anglers.

Surrey and Fitzroy rivers

Over at the north shore with the Surrey and Fitzroy river mouths open it is a good time to target gummy and schoolie sharks for those surf fishing. There have also been catches of snapper, trevally and good-sized salmon. Tailor have also been caught which is a good sign that there should be mulloway lurking around as well. The Surrey and Fitzroy rivers will be on the improve for bream anglers so now is a good time to throw a line in.

Lee Breakwater

The Lee Breakwater produced a good run of good-sized snapper up to 7kg recently after a big blow and high tides. This had the Lee bumper to bumper for those that love to chase these prized fish. Locals Francis Stewart weighed a snapper in of 6.5kg along with Max McKenzie and his snapper of 5.3kg, just to name a couple of the lucky ones. As well as snapper off the Lee Breakwall salmon, calamari squid, the odd whiting, gummy shark and the odd schoolie shark have been caught recently.

Harbour and canal

Fishing in and around the harbour has improved with the new extensions to the trawler wharf now available to be fished off. There have been catches of snapper, calamari squid, salmon and the odd whiting here.

The canal has also been fishing well and is another good option for getting out of the weather with the family, with catches of black bream, salmon and mullet.

Bridgewater Bay

Bridgewater Bay has also been fishing well for those land based with catches of gummy sharks and good-sized salmon. For those boating parties fishing in Bridgewater bay as local Paul Benbow can vouch for who had a great day out with three good-sized gummy sharks and plenty of nice salmon.

There have been good catches of redfin along the Crawford River for those wishing to target these freshwater fish.

For all your latest fishing and weather reports contact the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle on 03 55235213. We are open 7 days a week with new winter hours of 7:30 am to 5:30pm weekdays and weekends from 7 am to 6 pm.

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