Summer has hit and the water temperature is on the rise. Currently it is 17.5oC, with an expected temperature of 18-19oC over the next 4 weeks. This will fire up the North Shore and the kingfish will make their presence felt.
At the moment we are experiencing a rush of thresher action. These fish have proven to be a handful for some parties, but those standing up to the hour plus fights have both tagged and boated some fantastic flake.
The main method for capturing threshers has been the regular berley and ballooning technique, but recently Shane Cromie of Port Fairy has introduced us to a technique used extensively in the USA and NZ: trolling lures to attract these great fighters. The results have been great, with three boats producing 15 hook-ups last weekend.
Julian Dickeson and Tim Clark tagged one fish of around 50kg, boated one of 82kg after an hour-long battle, and dropped two others at the boat. The following day Cameron Ordner and crew from Port Fairy managed six hook-ups, tagging two before landing an 82kg male.
Local angler, Christian, found a large school of kingfish in 9m of water straight off the Surrey River mouth. After spending over an hour trying to entice them to take a bite at baits and lures, he returned empty-handed. The outlook for kings is great and it is only a matter of a slight temperature increase to get them firing. There is plenty of food for them about, with large quantities of calamari squid and an array of yakkas, salmon and barracouta.
Fishing in 40m and beyond has been producing catches of good-sized snapper, morwong, queen snapper, flathead, knifejaw, coral perch and red snapper, which are similar to nannygai but have six dorsal fin spines rather than seven. These fish frequent our waters at this time of year but get limited exposure as most anglers probably confuse them for nannygai.
There are still any number of gummy and school sharks out there, and with the warmer waters makos should also begin to appear at the cleaning tables.
For boat anglers fishing inside of Lawrence Rock and along to the North Shore the past three weeks have produced great bags of King George whiting to 800g. Salmon to 1-2.5kg have also been showing up along the Pivot and Blacknose areas.
The Lee Breakwater is well known as a unique fishing platform where you can pull up in your car with the family, sit back, have lunch and listen to the cricket. When those rods crack it’s not your average 30cm pinkie, as tourists and locals have proven over the past month. Snapper here weigh up to 11kg.
Todd McColl recently landed his first big snapper of 5.6kg, while Christine Curran of Mortlake landed one of 6.6kg. Both fish were enticed with fresh local squid heads.
Other catches off the Lee have included gummy sharks to 14kg and whiting to 500g. Well-known local fishing identity Tony Matthews has also been sneaking down to the Lee in the early morning and bagging out on large calamari squid, with the best method being to fish garfish on a skewer under a float.
Our local rivers have produced an outstanding sized redfin for local Nigel Stephens. It weighed an unbelievable 2.2kg. It was a horse of a fish and made Nigel a very happy chappie.
If you’re heading down this way, give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call (03 5523 5213) to get all the latest updates on the weather and local fishing hotspots. We are open 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm. Most importantly don’t forget to make a note of our 5th Annual Fishing Competition, over the weekend of January 17/18, with all proceeds going to Make A Wish Foundation.Reads: 1302