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.

 


Customers Izzy and Bruno are holidaying up along the northern coastline of NSW, and getting some fishing in while they're up there. The have been fishing the region from Byron Bay back down to around Lake Macquarie and have fun with various fish on their journey. Fishing just offshore from Brunswick heads Izzy landed some lovely snapper up to 4kg on Reedy's rigs with pilchard on them.

The offshore fishing in the same region has also had it's mix of bigger fish too, with some big sharks around. After some bite offs, Izzy and Bruno set up an overhead rod with some bigger hooks and trace, and Izzy managed to beat a big bronze whaler after an hour long fight. The bronzie was attacked and bleeding from the gills so it was kept and shared around to some of the locals. When the wind has been up the guys have been fishing inside the rivers and estuaries, and have been having some fun catching perfect eating size flathead on soft plastics. The soft plastic fishing for flathead will only get better along the coast and locally over the next few months.

 


If you're looking for a good quality gummy shark for the table and the weather plays ball - head offshore from the bays. The offshore gummy fishing has been excellent all winter and continues on, with the wind and swell the only real factors to consider. Heading out from either entrance in Westernport or from The Rip there is acres and acres of quality shark ground to drift or anchor near. If you're heading out from the eastern entrance like customer Steve did, you can head halfway towards Cape Paterson on the right conditions, and catch your bait and gummies out there. Steve fished a bit closer in around Cape Woolamai just recently, where he a couple of gummies to 12kg on baits of freshly caught wrasse and red mullet. Steve managed the fish in about 35m of water.


Out from the western entrance customers Benny and Damien have also been getting into the gummies. The boys fished out from the Seal Rock area in 40m of water and landed 3 nice fish between them. All 3 of the fish were around the 10kg mark and took baits of wrasse and pike caught from the area. There have also been a few snapper floating around these same reef areas as they make their migration into the bays.

 


While not everyone's game, there has been some excellent offshore fishing when a break in the weather opens up. There are numbers of snapper starting to move just offshore from the entrance to both bays, some excellent gummies on offer and still decent numbers of tuna along the West coast. James from Unreel Fishing Charters had a purple patch on the tuna along the West coast earlier this week, with 2 massive fish over the 100kg mark. James and his son both managed a 'barrel' each - with the monsters weighing 110kg and 140kg. There are still some serious inshore tuna out there to had when the wind and swell decide to calm down...


A little bit closer to home around the offshore reef the gummies have still been quality. Customers Johnny and Thao have been outside when conditions allow and have seen some serious gummies punching well above 15kg. There haven't been any 'hotspots' as the boys tried a new area recently and had results. Finding and plotting isolated patches of reef has been the key, with locally sourced baits also a key step. Catching wrasse and parrotfish from the reef is an excellent step in catching a solid sea-going gummy. Baits of squid are excellent for catching fresh bait, as are artificial offerings.


Small flutter-style jigs and soft plastics get eaten within metres of the reef by the wrasse species, but keeping them as  close to the bottom is key. Multi-coloured depth marked braid is excellent for doing this. Generally speaking, the most successful reef zones are outside the main entrance shelves, in the 25 - 30m depth or wider around 40 - 45m. At this depth there is plenty of bait and food for cruising gummies.

 

The tuna fishing has still been going well along the states West, especially out from Portland. There have been plenty of school fish from 40m right out to beyond the 'horse shoe' and across the shelf. Customer Gem sent us a photo from a Portland trip just recently where a good brace of school tuna were caught on trolled hardbodies. Over the past week or so there has been reports of schools of whitebait around, which normally turns the fish more selective. If you're planning a trip during the next bout of calm weather make sure you pack some of your smallest skirts and offerings to cover all bases.


James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been making the most of the tuna season down along the west coast also, with excellent numbers of fish being caught between Port Fairy and Portland. James has been focusing on getting fish for customers and says that there is no shortage of school fish about. James has been finding a few different lure options have been working, from 'medium' sized skirts right down to tiny salmon sized skirts and hardbodies. Colour-wise many options have been worth trolling, with lumo, redbait, pilchard, saury and red squid patterns all good starting points.