Portland has come alive with a large number of boats and anglers arriving to chase the mighty southern bluefin tuna.
As well as SBT, other keen anglers are targeting a vast array of other species that Portland has become well known for over the past few years.
Most of the SBT and good-sized albacore are mainly hooked around the horseshoe area in depths between 200-1000m at the continental shelf. Fishing for SBT and albacore has been a lot harder this year than in the previous two years with water temperatures still being unseasonably warmer, making the fish feed a lot deeper where the water is a lot cooler.
With not much bird action happening, it has been a lot more difficult to locate the fish. Most of the SBT and albacore coming into the cleaning tables have been feeding on octopus, nautilus squid, whitebait and the odd slimy mackerel. Match your lures to what they have been feeding on, as this will give you a better success rate, along with the correct boat speed and placement of lures.
When the weather recently improved I counted around 200 boat trailers parked at the boat ramp and there would have been 40-50 SBT up to 30kg, along with 60+ albacore up to 25kg coming into the cleaning tables for those that ventured out to the shelf.
As we progressed through April there was still a lot of hit and miss with some boats returning with no fish on board while others coming in with their bag limit of SBT and albacore along with good sightings of much larger SBT breaking the water that were estimated between 70 to 120kg; lets hope the action fires up as we head into May.
Out at the continental shelf bottom bouncing has proved effective for blue eye trevalla, blue grenadier and other deep-water species. Good-sized blue eye have been caught with the heaviest weighing a whopping 14.9kg caught by Rob, John and Josh of Melbourne. They also caught three good-sized blue grenadier.
For those not chasing after SBT the water has been very productive out in front of Cape Bridgewater with good sized flathead and the odd gummy shark. Heading towards Cape Nelson lighthouse there has also been good catches of gurnard, blue morwong, dusky morwong, coral perch and good-sized snapper to 3kg.
There has also been good catches of mako sharks due south of the rock between 55-85m of water with the heaviest being weighed in at 74.9kg with an average around the 30-50kg. Local squid has been the best bait. Point Danger and Blacknose have been producing good catches of whiting with sizes averaging 40-60cm, while for those chasing pike there has been good catches coming in from around Lawrence Rock.
Over on the north shore around Julia Reef, anglers have been coming home with good-sized gummy sharks, schoolie sharks along with snapper and whiting.
Heading towards Minerva Reef, yellowtail kingfish from 1-3kg have also been keeping many anglers entertained, along with snapper, whiting and pike. Lester Nelson and crew had a good day over there, catching eight kingfish for their days outing.
Off the Lee breakwater Gerard and Charlie Gauci landed a nice 5.8kg snapper with other anglers catching pinkies, whiting and calamari squid. For those fishing in and around the harbour there have been plenty of slimy mackerel, pinkies, calamari squid, the odd whiting and trevally.
Land-based anglers fishing at Swan Lake have yielded good catches of gummy and schoolie sharks with Bridgewater Bay also experiencing catches of gummy sharks and salmon.
Surf fishing off the mouth of the Fitzroy River has produced good results with gummy and schoolie sharks and snapper as the river mouth is still open.
The Fitzroy and the Surrey rivers have had their good share of bream, along with Yambuk Lake which has also been producing good sized bream up to 1kg.
Redfin have also been coming from Bridgewater lakes with Tony Mathews landing 17 for the day while fishing with Nigel Jopson for a good days fishing on lures.
So for all your latest fishing and weather reports give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call on 0355235213, we are open 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm.Reads: 1972