The local kingfish have been good! Maybe not so much in crazy crazy numbers, but in size there have been plenty of great fish about. Plenty of fish to 10kg on the local headlands like Cape Schank, Woolamai and Pyramid Rock. The rip has also been producing similar quality fish for anglers who are persistent and able to try different techniques. A mixture of options have been working lately, with stickbaits, jigs and baits all getting fish. Customer George fished with some mates over the weekend in the rip where some nice fish were landed. Live squid were the pick of the day, with a jig always present in the water to attract fish up from the depths, and occasionally hook one. Jig weights vary for this part of the world as the depth also does, but having a mixture between 100-200g will see you getting down to the fish.


If you want to pick up on all the 'small things' that will make you a more successful bluewater angler then make sure YOU BOOK in for Gawaine Blake's Local Kingfish and Tuna info night. THIS THURSDAY 8th Feb at 7pm. You must book through the store to secure numbers, which you can do on 03 9794 9397.


George with the best kingie for the day taken on a large live squid.

 


There has been some quality fishing out around the entrances to both bays and in Bass Strait over the last week or so. Reports of acres of Bluefin tuna hanging around, kingfish in good numbers off the headlands and reasonable shark fishing as well. While the tuna have been getting caught, most anglers aren't keeping their eyes peeled for signs that these fish are about. Water temperature and colour changes, seabirds hovering or shimmering 'slicks' of baitfish can be enough of an indication that the larger predators are around, so it's not just a matter of throwing a lure out and driving around until you hook up. Smaller lures have been working better than larger offerings lately as well, as most of the baitfish in the area are small pilchards and whitebait.


Customer Justin got outside over the weekend and went around towards Cape Schank where he managed 2 nice kingies. Justin caught one of the fish on a fresh squid head near the bottom and the other on a 'Slither' jig in 165g.

Customer Marty has been catching both tuna and kings down at King Island recently. Marty has found casting to be the most productive method on both fish, with soft plastics like 'sluggos' working well rigged on a jighead, and small surface stickbaits like the nomad 'madscad' also doing the job. Natural, baitfish colours are tricking the fish when conidtions are calm.


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There has been plenty of talk of bluefin tuna over the last week or so, which is good as most anglers only assume tuna season is May-June. Yes they are certainly about during late autumn and winter, but some of the best tuna fishing can be had right now no matter where you're fishing for them. While many anglers may find the thoughts of finding tuna locally quite daunting, there are normally fish around within reach of offshore anglers during the summer months. These fish can be very flighty however, and trolling straight through bait schools with big lures very rarely cuts it. A lot of these fish are feeding on schools of small whitebait and pilchards or similar sized prey, so scaling down your gear and lure choices is the way to go.


James Roger from Unreel Fishing Charters has spent some time last week down fishing around Portland where he has caught some nice bluefin tuna with his sons. The tuna have been around in small numbers along the west coast, with the inshore reefs and contours holding fish.

A fair bit closer to home the tuna have been making their presence felt, with a ripper bluefin caught by James' son Dylan amongst some nice kingies just earlier this week. This nice fish was caught on a small pilchard patterned stickbait on a 3000 sized stradic reel, and took nearly 2hrs to land! The best part was this fish was caught just out from Flinders, where a few fish have been hooked - even by locals fishing from the pier.

 

Kingfish are the talk of many anglers at the moment, and if you were wondering if it was the right time to be out chasing them then YES! While the kingies have been about for the last 8 weeks or so, the numbers of fish around at the moment are good, and there have been some good fish amongst them. Many or most anglers have been fishing the 'Rip' area in search of them, but local reports have been coming from Barwon Heads, Cape Schank, West Head and across to Cape Woolamai - with fish moving about inside both bays as well. There have also been scattered reports of bluefin tuna out in the same areas too, so it pays to keep your eyes peeled.

Customers Adam and Johnny fished the rip during the week to land some really nice fish. Jigs are squid were the go, with the larger fish taking a squid hook fished 'westernport syle' in the fast current. Twin livebait style hooks pinned in your squid have been good, but a single circle hook through the top of the hood also works well. If you're not super confident with the rigs or rigging involved chat to the boys in store and they will show you how it's done.


Customer Damien and the rest of the crew got out in the rip over the weekend and also got into some kings. The smaller fish took strips and whole baited squid, with a few better fish 'reefed' on the jig. The more productive jigs have been the Yakamito slither in 165g and 210g, with the BKK ultraflash assist hooks.

 


While customer Steve was up in QLD for Christmas visiting family, he couldn't help but get out and wet a line. Steve fished with a mate straight out of Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. The boys were fishing around 7km out from the bar when they spotted some birds hitting the surface, so the boys started working lures around the commotion. They ended up catching some line burning mackerel tuna and yellowfin tuna from the baitball before the fish went deep.


After some deep bottom bouncing Steve decided to put a fillet of fresh wrasse down to see if anything showed interest, and he ended up landing a nice little kingfish. The boys ended up with a few for their efforts.

 

 

The late run of southern bluefin tuna along the Vic west coast has been good, the only real issue has been getting a break in the weather. For many trailerboat fisherman who have managed to sneak a good weather day in here and there, the fishing has been good. Good numbers of bluefin have been found from Portland back to Warnambool, with fish spread out right out to the shelf. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting customers on to fish from depths as shallow as 30m out from Port Fairy. James has said that while there has been a bit of work locating the fish they have been in big schools once they have been found, and James has been getting hook ups of up to 8 fish at a shot off these schools.


Smaller lures have been the way to go on these fish lately, with skirts in the 4 - 6" size being the most effective, especially in brighter colours such a pinks and greens. Further afield there have still been a few bluefin pushing along the southern NSW coast. Customer Aaron fished wide out from Bermagui just recently to land this nice fish of 55kg.

 


While the bluefin tuna have been hanging around the West coast for some time now, anglers are starting to get amongst them out from Portland and Port Fairy as we head into traditional tuna season. There have been good numbers of bluefin and also albacore, with the tuna ranging in size from 10 - 25kg, and most of the albacore around 5kg at the moment, with some larger fish scattered throughout. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching good numbers of both, and finding mixed schools a bit closer in than many anglers. 


James has been finding that the smaller lures have been the most productive on both the tuna and albacore lately, with 5 - 6 inch skirts in squid patterns and black/purples the go to. Customers Aaron and Jamie also got out on the big blue from ortland recently where they got into both SBT and albacore, with most of the fish concentrated around the Horseshoe section of the shelf. Both hardbodies and skirts in traditional dark 'Portland' colours along with redbait imitations were the best, and they did notice that closer in around the 70m line there were good number of bluefin willing to eat a lure.

 


Just as most anglers were thinking that the West coast tuna season was slowing up, and being a bit average this year - the run of 'barrels' came through. While that particular patch of fish has also slowed up a bit, there have still been fish moving through from Port Mac to Apollo Bay. Virtually every one of these fish have been above 70kg in weight, with fish in the 95 - 120kg range probably about average. Most of these large fish have been roaming between the 30 -50m depth zone with a few caught either side of this as well. With the larger fish, the bigger lures have been much more effective. The preferred size has been between 10 and 12 inches, which are basically medium sized marlin skirts. Popular skirt colours lately have been lumo, frigate and pink/squid patterns.

Customer Michael sent us a photo from a friend who was fishing out of Portland where these 2 chunky tuna were caught, we aren't sure on any more details but they are both crackers. Customer Steve also fished out from Portland recently to land this 70kg bluefin. Steve found this nice tuna along the 50m line and it took a 10 inch Pakula skirt.  

 

 

The tuna season down along the west coast has wound to a close for most anglers and many have turned their attention to the run of larger bluefin tuna off the southern coast of NSW. While the 30 - 70kg average size of these fish is much larger, the fish are also a lot further out. Some anglers are venturing up to 80km offshore to tangle with these fish. Trolling skirts and hardbodies has been an effective method of locating a patch of fish - then starting a pilchard cube berley trail has been the best way to keep them hanging around.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has still been giving the west coat a run and he has been catching plenty of tuna with customers, without too much of the crowds. James has found lots of school fish to 15kg fish moving around the 40 - 50m line out from Portland, Port Fairy and Warnambool. Hardbodied lures have been working better for James recently, with Rapala XRAP 20's doing well and the new Samaki Pacemakers also doing a very good job. Natural colours like pilchard, saury and redbait patterns have been much more effective than brighter colours in the shallower water also.

 

 

While the southern bluefin tuna fishing can be good in western Victoria, the attraction of jumbo bluefin is what lures gamefisherman to Tasmania. Many of the fish caught around these southern waters are 100kg+ 'barrels' as these fish are regularly caught within a few kilometres from the shoreline. Customer Frank ventured down to the Apple Isle only a couple of weeks ago in search of his own 'barrel' and wasn't disappointed. Frank fished out from Eaglehawk Neck on the southeastern coast of Tasmania and was lucky enough to hook a jumbo sized tuna on his 50W Tiagra. After a 2 hour fight the fish was boated and weighed in at around 120kg. The big fish took a Rapala XRAP 30.