The bluewater action offshore from both bays rages on, and with conductive weather the kingfish and tuna will keep anglers busy right into April. There have been some smaller fish pushing in from the West, but tuna to 30kg have still been about in excellent numbers. The fish have been caught from Kilcunda through to around Torquay, with Flinders through to Barwon Bluff holding great numbers and attracting anglers launching from either bay. Customer Kane fished with Gawaine Blake recently and got into some nice solid fish in even better conditions out from the heads. 


Customer Ahmad fished with mates out from Barwon and found good numbers of fish that were playing ball for once. Ahmad and the guys enjoyed catching tuna to around 20kg on surface stickbaits and poppers with plenty of smaller kingfish hanging nearby also. The best region was around the 40m depth. 


The kingfish have been hot and cold if you've been fishing around the rip and Port Philip Heads. While the fish have been around, the conditions in the rip have changed on a daily basis with wind direction and tidal strength all contributors. Most of the fish in the rip have been in the 3 - 7kg size range, with some larger fish finding the live baits of unfortunate anglers. The offshore points and structures have been more consistent but fish size has been a size bracket smaller overall when finding numbers of them.


Customer Jason has been landing some solid fish offshore around Cape Schank. Jason has been casting stickbaits and poppers along with hanging live baits down to see what is working. Live squid and yakka have been good when presented to the fish from the correct angle around these pressure points and ledges. Fish to 1m and around 10kg have been found holding up around the schank but landing them is a different story!


Customer Justin fished with mate Ben around the schank also and landed some nice school sized kings to around 80cm. The guys found live squid to be the most effective bait on them, especially when slow trolled deep around the ledges and points in roughly 20m of water. 

 

 

 


With some good weather forecast over the weekend, many will be trying their luck offshore for the bluefin tuna. These fish have been holding in good numbers from around Barwon through to Pyramid Rock, and in water from 15m out to 70m or so. While there have been some nice fish pushing 30kg, many of the fish have averaged around 13 - 20kg. There have been schools further east towards Inverloch and further but many anglers will be targeting the fish closer to Melbourne.  

Customer Rick went out during the week and had a shot at putting some fish in his boat with some guidance from Gawaine Blake. Rick and Gawaine managed a nice brace of fish in the 20kg out from Port Phillip Heads. 


While fish have been caught on all methods, the standout techniques of late have been trolling skirts behind 'flippy floppy' or strip style teasers. Skirts in the 3 - 5 inch size have been best when run around 5ft from the back of the teasers, with small bullet heads the most effective. The other effective technique is either slow trolling or casting poppers around the edge of the schools, which creates a similar sound wave and surface disturbance to entice the fish towards the top. Poppers in the 150 - 230mm size range have worked, with around 160mm about ideal to create enough attraction and be easy enough to eat. 


EJ Todds Representative Mitch has landed a few nice fish out from Barwon in the week, with 160mm Maria poppers doing the trick when worked subtle around the schools. Popping for tuna is less aggressive than many think, with a 'GT' style rip often too much and sending the fish turning away. The 60m area off Barwon was the best fish holding zone during the week. 

 


With the weather allowing many anglers offshore access recently the main focus for many have either been tuna or kingfish - and why not, they've both been about in good numbers and are tackle testing speedsters ready to hit baits and lures.

The rip has been producing a few fish here and there for persistent anglers but overall has been lacking the numbers that offshore has seen. In saying that there have been fish about and ready for combat on the right tides. Customers Jason, Steve and Ashie fished the rip over the weekend and managed a few fish on live and dead baits. 


The best fish went to young gun Ashie who spotted the rod moving before the fish was on. A small live squid did the damage when fished on a 'western port' style rig on the drift. The fish were all caught during the ebb tide and were holding in one small area. 


Offshore around the Point Lonsdale and Barwon Bluff region there have been plenty of small kings to tackle. EJ Todd representative Mitch and mate Paul ventured out over the weekend and found numbers of small kingfish to around 70cm that were happy to hit small slim profiled stickbaits and slow pitch style jigs.


Amongst the kingfish action there were good numbers of tuna cruising but most fish were very finicky and not interested in any lures. The boys landed a couple of tuna to around the 15kg mark on surface poppers. Many of the fish were holding out wide in the 55-60m line, with very few in close. 


Customer Jade fished with a few mates out from the Western entrance over the weekend and had some fish on the tuna. A bit of water was covered and the fish were found around the Cape Schank area in 25m of water. Small Pakula skirts were the best when run behind a soft squid teaser. 


Customer Jamie ventured out from the Western entrance in search of bluefin over the weekend after a quick lure top up in the store. Jamie picked up a soft teaser setup and even though the conditions and boat traffic made things hard he boated 3 tuna all on lumo skirts run behind the teaser setup. Fishing lighter spin gear really got the best out of the fish and was even capable when the smaller teaser setup was attached. 


Down along the West Coast the kingfish action was nothing short of insane over the weekend. Customers Izzy and Bruno spent the weekend down at Portland and had no issues catching plenty of kingfish up to 95cm or so. Most of the fish were holding up over the broken reef along the north shore, with a few found deeper out from Julia reef. 


The successful tactics were many, with live and dead squid accounting for a lot of fish, but fish also caught on surface stickbaits and poppers and slim profiled soft plastics like large jerk shads and sluggos. Amongst the kingfish in the shallower water there were schools of tuna to around 15kg which were very flighty but occasionally catchable with small lures run behind a teaser setup. 

 

 


For the anglers who have been down along the state's west over the past week or so the tuna fishing has continued to be good. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been fishing around Port Fairy over the past few weeks and has found no shortage of bluefin. James has been catching plenty of school fish from as close as 35m of water out to beyond Lady Julia island. James has been finding lots of small bait at present and smaller lures have been the best job of getting the bites. When the conditions have allowed James and son Tristan have been enjoying some stickbait action on the surface, with a few different styles from the store all getting bites. 


Customers Aaron and Kosta and mate fished out from Portland over the weekend and secured a bag of school fish that will give them some quality eating while confined to metro Melbourne. The guys fished both east towards the island and west into Nelson bay and found good amounts of school fish from 45m out. The prominent bait that the fish have been on has been small pilchards and anchovies, with some of the bait measuring no more than 2 inches long. Small skirts and hardbodies have getting the lion's share of the fish, with larger lures in close to the boat doing a good job at attracting the fish into the spread. 

 


The tuna action hasn't stopped along the west coast, with the main hotspots being Portland and Port Fairy. There have been fish caught from Apollo Bay right through to the SA border, but most anglers have been fishing from or Portland or Port Fairy. The fish have been moving about but holding in small pockets for days providing the haven't been fished too hard or moved on by predators or drastic weather changes, and they have been taking most lure types. You'd be mad to head out without a mixture of skirts, hardbodies and stickbaits in various profiles and colours. 

Customers Cam and Mark fished out from Portland recently and found the fish in fairly close and willing to eat cast stickbaits. The real trick was matching the lures to the profile of the bait that the fish were hunting, and with most of the fish in the area this has been micro pilchards and anchovies. 


Customer Daniel came in to the store and topped up on tuna essentials and to get some new lures rigged up. Daniel spent a couple of days around Portland familiarising himself with the area, and eventually found the fish. A mixture of small skirts were the most effective, with a clear yellow pattern proving the best of the lot on fish to around 11kg. While not all of the tuna in the area have been school fish - they have generally been 8 -15kg or 90kg+. Customers Tyler and Aaron proved that theory correct with a 128kg barrel caught out of Portland a few weekends ago. 

 


The bluewater fishing has been good for many species either east or west. Bluefin tuna have still been going well from Portland back to Apollo Bay. Most of the fish caught from Portland have been west of Lawrence Rock, around through Bridgewater and Nelson Bays. Customer Aaron fished out from Portland last week and landed school fish to around 9kg on a mixture of lures, with small skirts such as the Fluzi working well. Natural colours have been good since a lot of the fish have been on small redbait and pilchards. 

Customer Steve came in store last week and told us of a 92kg fish caught fishing with mates out from Portland also. Steve and mates landed plenty of small school fish and the 92kg barrel from 65m of water off Cape Bridgewater. Smaller skirted and deep hardbodied both worked well. 

Be mindful if you're looking at fishing out from Apollo Bay over the weekend, the service station in town will be closed for major upgrades as of Wednesday 17th of June. Other fuel options are in Lorne, Port Campbell or Colac.  


Out wide from Lakes Entrance along the shelf drops there has been some good fishing - when anglers have been able to make the long run out. Last week during a bit of a weather window there were boats out in search of some deepwater species. There have been a few reports of swordfish from around the canyons, with customer Thomas and brother Gary landing a nice fish of around 130kg last week.

In a touch closer there have been some other edible species coming up also. Customer Simon fished out in the region with some mates where they landed a nice bag of tasty trumpeter. Simon was fishing around some sloping shelves between 150 - 250m deep. Fishing electric reels with multiple circle hook paternoster rigs is the best way to connect with these trumpeter or other species such as ling. Lumo sleeve/tubing and lumo squid added to the rigs helps attract the fish in the dark water and tough baits of squid are the best choice, as no one wants to be constantly re-baiting rigs in 200m of water! 

 


The bluefin tuna have been fishing well across in the Portland district, and with some quality offshore conditions many anglers have been making hay while the sun has been shining. While there have been fish coming from Port Mac in SA through to around Apollo Bay, the main concentrations of fish have been from Cape Bridgewater back to Port Fairy and off Warnambool. Customer Tony and mates fished Portland earlier last week and had a bit of a tough time getting on to the fish but they did manage one schoolie for their efforts.


Customers Aaron and Kosta got out on the fish from Portland over the long weekend, and with some reasonable conditions they found no shortage of tuna. Most of the school fish they found had been hanging between the 60 - 130m area and were responding to most trolled lures. Skirts up to 6 inch and deep diving hardbodies were the best, with a mixture of colours from bright UV's like pink and lumo, through to natural saury and couta imitations. Customer Izzy and fished out from Portland over the weekend after purchasing a new 50w outfit. Trolling in close in the 45m area Izzy hooked a barrel on her lighter spin rod and unfortunately had the hooks pull. The consolation prizes were the 10kg school fish that were abundant, that are store-rigged daisy chain skirt rigs and deep running hardbodies. 

 

 

 

 

 


The local bluewater scene around the bay and just offshore has been producing both kingfish and bluefin tuna for anglers lucky enough to get out when a weather window allows. The past week or so has seen schools of kingfish turn up in the bays and in particular in the rip, but word has gotten out and there can be a few boats on the fish! Customers Steve, Mick and Jase fished the rip on Sunday and found kingies to around 70cm amongst the boat traffic. Small profile jigs up to 150g got the job done for the boys.

Staff member Dylan also fished the rip on the same day and also got into some decent kings but none of them found the boat. Mechanical and slow pitch jigging got the bites, with leaf style jigs from 100g through to 165g performing best.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been putting customers on to both kings and tuna over the past week or so, with the fish being caught no further than Barwon Heads. James has been landing some solid kingfish from both the rip and offshore, with fish to 15kg hitting the deck. Jigs and baits of squid and slimey mackerel have been the best. Just offshore James has been landing tuna to around 20kg on a mixture of skirts and hardbodied lures, with small teaser and daisychain rigs helping to focus the fishes' attention. Most of the tuna have been caught between the 50 - 70m depth line, from Port Phillip heads across to Breamlea and back to Gunnamatta.

 

 

 


The run of tuna local to Melbourne has continued and is gaining more and more momentum each day. With huge schools of fish to 40kg just offshore from the bays and along the coast many are taking advantage and getting amongst them when conditions allow. The schools have been isolated and as widespread as Cape Woolamai across to Portland and further west, with good numbers of fish hanging about between Cape Schank and Torquay. Vic EJ Todds Representative Mitch has been landed some sizable fish out from Barwon on stickbaits and poppers. While many anglers have been trolling lures, with increased boat traffic and pressure the fish are liable to spook - and this is where cast lures can have their advantages. Don't forget to pack popppers, stickbaits and various soft plastics!


Customer Josh came into the store after an outfit to tackle the tuna with and let us set something up for him. After gearing up Josh and some mates headed out and gave the fish a crack. The boys found the tuna just outside of the heads in quite shallow water heading towards Barwon bluff and landed a few on different hardbodies and also small skirts. Needless to say Josh is hooked will probably be doing more of it asap.


There have been plenty of anglers scoring catches of nice bluefin. The Melbourne Tuna Crumbs have been amongst the fish over the past weeks, with to just shy of 40kg coming aboard. Some of the original crumbs Michael and Pino have had fun on the fish from just outside the heads across to Angelsea. Various tactics have been working with deep running hardbodies and bibless minnows in short doing a good job at bringing the fish in. When the fish have been shy small skirts as minute as 3'' have been getting the bites, especially when fished a long way back.


The boys from Bucci Cabinets have been serving up fresh tuna with good numbers of fish in the 15 - 20kg size range being caught. The fish have again been caught along the surf coast, with the Barwon - Torquay area holding good schools. Working the 20 - 35m depth areas have been where most of the boys have been finding the numbers. Skirted lures have been the favoured method, with 5'' being about the most productive size. Some skirts as large as 10'' have been catching fish - and a good option to put in the spread as a teaser to entice the school to come up. Even if you have any huge marlin sized skirts, running them or a large popper or daisy chain of large soft plastics as an attractor has been well worth the effort.

 


The wild west coast is producing it's Summer time inshore speedsters with tuna and kingfish on the cards. The best part about this form of fishing at this time of year is that the fish aren't out as far as normal Winter fishing. Targeting the bluefin tuna this time of year revolves highly around casting to surface feeding schools of fish that are hunting whitebait and anchovy. The kingfish can be found operating in the same method, but generally sticking to the inshore reef that runs from Portland harbour along the coast past Narrawong is your best best of locating them.

Vic Representative from EJ Todds was down on the tuna last week and found schools of fish will to eat stickbaits worked at high speeds. Mitch found a Molix stickbait in 120mm the most productive on the fish.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has also been down along the west coast fishing with his sons. James and the boys have been finding kingfish in close, and ending up sidetracked by the tuna schools. The boys had some good fishing just recently on bluefin to around the 25kg mark in close. Sticking under the 50m line and vigorously keeping an eye out for any bait schools and surface fish in the best method of locating them. Make sure you have a variety of stickbaits and casting lures also, as these fish can become picky when switched on to particular prey items. Lures from 75 - 150mm are needed, with the sweet spot seeming to be around the 115mm size. Cubing with pilchards in the deeper water is also a good way of connecting with a few solid Summer speedsters.