Tuna arrive at Apollo Bay
  |  First Published: June 2010

After a long and anxious wait the southern bluefin tuna have finally arrived off Apollo Bay.

We have been hearing reports of tuna from Port Fairy and Warrnambool for many months but it didn't seem that they would venture this far to the east.

Once I heard a few reports of the local professional crayfish fishers sighting some large schools of fish jumping wide of Cape Otway I couldn't wait to get on the water and see what all the fuss was about.

Heading in a southwest direction from Cape Otway it didn't take long to find the bird life feeding ferociously on balled up baitfish.

Out went the lures and within minutes I had landed three tuna to 15kg and lost a few others too. The fishing has remained just as good for the past few weeks now, with the tuna moving closer and closer to shore each day.

Tuna have been caught in 50m of water off Blanket Bay and even closer to Marengo on occasions making them assessable to small trailer boats and helping save the fuel bill on the larger boats.

Point Franklin also seems to attract the tuna with many reports of fish being taken from this area. Some boats have experienced exceptional fishing with up to 20 fish a day being landed. Lure selection doesn't seem to be a major factor as I have heard reports of fish being landed on everything from surface poppers, soft plastics to deep divers and skirted lures.

Let’s hope the weather keeps permitting us to get out for a fish but I think the million dollar question is: how long will they hang around for?

Gummy sharks have been biting well on the slack water periods of the tide around Parker River and the lighthouse. The best depth to start looking seems to be 40m and the fish are responding best to fresh fillets of fish such as salmon and barracouta. I also heard a report of some decent sized snapper from the lighthouse reefs.

For these I would try out a bit deeper in 60m and look for schools of fish on the sounder but while you’re out there make sure you look for schools of fish jumping on the surface, as this is now tuna country!

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