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.

 

With the weather heating up and a warm front staying over us, the kingfish action has been good and should stay good. Most of the action has been in 'the rip' but there have also been fish caught offshore along most of the promontories. Livebaiting and jigging have been the standout methods, but tackle prep has been key. A lot of anglers aren't arming themselves with enough jigs, as quite a lot get snagged around the the rip. Make sure you have a good selection of weights and drop actions, along with enough assist hooks to re-rig if need be.


Customer Damien was out during the week around the rip where there were a lot of boats but a lot of people drifting off the fish. Damien managed to land this nice fish on a squid hood fished down deep after getting smoked a couple of times of his lighter jigging outfit.


Customer Sinisa came into the store to stock up on jigs and kingie essentials, and his first trip out afterwards resulted in this nice fish. Sinisa grabbed a few different colours in the 'slither' jigs in 165g and 210g and we rigged them up with the BKK ultraflash assist hooks, and they did the job!

 


Customer Hendrik is away holidaying with family along the mid northern NSW coastline between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, near South West Rocks. Hendrik has been doing some fishing both in the estuary and lower section of the Macleay river and also offshore using his Hobie kayak, and he has been catching lots of varieties of fish. Hendrik enjoys his lure fishing and in the river he has been catching good size dusky flathead and sand whiting using Zman and Bungee Bait grubs in the bloodworm colour. Around the river mouth and offshore he has been catching plenty of school mulloway, snapper and kingfish.


The most successful lure for the larger fish has been the 'Smash Squid' in UV lumo colour. In Hendrik's words they are 'lollies' to the fish. Hendrik has found a 1/8oz worm or weedless hook setup has been the most productive when cast around structure or cruising fish. 

 

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.

 

You'd have to be keeping your head in the sand if you haven't heard any talk of kingfish around Melbourne and the rest of the state at the moment! Summer time equals kingfish, and with water temperatures at about their peak these fish have been active. While they can still be hit and miss like every other form of fishing, there are plenty of these hard fighting blue water brutes about at the moment.


There has been kingfish action all round the state, but reports from around Portland and also the 'rip' have been quite solid. Portland has been the pick if you're able to cover a few kilometres, as fish numbers are good at the moment, with fish being caught as close as the Lee breakwater and most methods are doing well on them. Customer Daniel fished the Portland area last week to land fish to about 8kg on lures. Smaller 130mm hardbodied trolling lures and surface poppers were the standout for him.

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching a few kingfish down around Portland also. James has been finding quality kingfish on 'sluggo' or 'slapstix' style plastics in white and also clear, along with smaller stickbaits in the 80 - 130mm size range. These work exceptionally well when the fish are high in the water column. When the fish are sitting down 15 - 20m+ this is the time for jigs or livebaits.


Customers Ben and Aaron fished out from Westernport around some of the offshore marks recently to land some nice kingies. Fish to 14kg were landed on a mixture of stickbaits and live baits. The wash zone and secondary points and drop offs were where the fish were active. Slimey mackerel were the best choice of live baits, and the Shimano Ocea stickbaits were dynamite when cast to midwater holding fish.

 

 


 

 

While the local kingfish have pretty much just about finished, there have been scattered reports of a few here and there moving about. Customer Darren was out from Westernport before Easter where he had a crack for the kingies amongst some bottom bouncing. Darren fished cocktail baits of squid and pipi to land some nice whiting and trevally, and then worked some bommies and ledges for a kingie. Darren ended up trolling a pink Williamson squid skirt around and found a nice looking patch in 25m of water when bang off it went. Darren ended up with a good sized kingfish in the boat, a good way to top off the day.

 

Tuna reports from the West coast have started to filter through, and should only get better over the next month. Good numbers of fish have been spread out from around the 40m area right out to the shelf. Most anglers have been working the areas close to the Horseshoe and bagging out fairly easily. Average size at the moment is good, with plenty of 15 - 25kg fish, and a few larger thrown in. Hardbodied lures and skirts have been about equal in effectiveness at the moment. Customer Shane fished out near the shelf just recently to land a couple of nice 20kg fish on Pakula skirts, while customer Miraz also got into a few nice tuna. Miraz fished over the Easter break and caught fish to 18kg out wide from Portland. A mixture of Billmark UV enhanced skirts and also the Zerek Pelagic hardbody in Bonito did the trick.

 

 

Westernport always produces a good amount of variety for anglers, and recently it hasn't disappointed. Good fishing for gummies has been had by most anglers up the top of the port, with plenty of solid table fish around. Young Rachael fished with her Dad recently where she landed a nice 3kg gummy in amongst a hot bite of them up the top end of the port during the run out tide. This gummy along with most of the other took rings of freshly caught squid. Customer Lee also got amongst a few similar size table fish out from Hastings just recently in beautiful conditions. 

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has had a few happy customers out on Westernport recently with plenty of good gummies coming aboard. This fish were taken out from Hastings on squid, yakka and salmon.

 

Staff member Don fished with customer Sam just recently in search of some whiting, and after a bit of moving around and positioning, the boys got a bag of nice fish. Plenty of fish were in the 40cm size range and fresh squid and pipi did the trick on the start of the run out tide. Don said it was good to get out for a fish in amongst auditioning for one of MC Hammer's new music videos. Customer Lee took his son Ben out for a fish in lovely conditions in search of some KGW out from Hastings, and young Ben loved it.

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been having some fun with customers on the squid recently. Red base jigs have been killing it for James, and young Charlie even celebrated his 8th birthday by smashing the squid while on charter with James.

 

Customer Daniel fished out from Hastings recently in search of table sized pinkies and he wasn't disappointed. Daniel fished in 16m of water along the edge of the North Arm and did well on fish to 1.5kg. The best method was to fish a small piece of squid or pilchard on an Icon Snatcher and just wait for the fish to hook themselves. Out the front of Westernport there have been a few kingies hanging around, with a few anglers out chasing them. Customer Ben went out the front and found a few nice fish in the 80cm size range using both livies and also Maria lures.