Tear into the tuna
  |  First Published: March 2010

Despite few days conducive to offshore fishing, there has still been plenty of good gummy shark captures.

Most fish are between 4-8kg, but Craig Gibbs and Ken Botts proved there is still a chance of a larger fish when they pulled a 19kg recently.

Come April though, the offshore fishing focus will be shifting towards southern bluefin tuna.

Tuna have been taken for many seasons from boats operating from Port Fairy, but last year was definitely a breakthrough season for anglers leaving from the Warrnambool harbour to target tuna.

The shelf is further out from Port Fairy than Portland and further again from Warrnambool than Port Fairy, but with the number of boats targeting tuna, particularly during holidays and long weekends, spreading the fleet across a larger area should result in more crews being successful.

It’s a mighty big ocean if you’re out targeting tuna, but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of success.

Don’t just drive round aimlessly, keep your eyes on the water for bait schools, hovering birds and of course signs of fish free jumping or busting up.

Constantly monitoring the spread of lures is also important. Ensure your lures are running well down the wake waves and the jet head lures are leaving good bubble trails.

If the demands of chasing tuna in the Southern Ocean seem a bit daunting, there are plenty of charter boats working the tuna season.

Locally, Southern Coast Charters is operating from Warrnambool, for more info check www.southerncoastcharters.com.au.

On the smaller end of the sports fishing scale, good salmon have continued to be taken in the Killarney region.

The salmon schools are mobile but once found can provide some exciting sports fishing. We have had some great sessions targeting these fish on gear more suited to bream fishing.

Small metal slices are the lure of choice but popper flies and soft plastics can all be productive and damn good fun when the fish are really on.

Despite the good salmon fishing in the Killarney area, the small kingfish have continued to be conspicuously absent in any reliable numbers at this location.

Good captures of quality King George whiting also continued to be taken throughout summer in the Killarney area along with good calamari squid.

Crays have been in good numbers too, but there have been an awful lot of just-undersize specimens.

On the estuary scene the Hopkins has continued to produce plenty of bream but most fish are in the just undersize/just size range.

Perch have been fairly quiet despite there being plenty of black crickets around. Perhaps the lack of warm, calm evenings has contributed to the lack of perch being taken.

The Merri River has had a blue green algae bloom which has restricted access, although the best trout fishing is still some time away.

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