During the spell of quality weather we have been having locally, there have many who have ventured offshore in search of gamefish such as tuna, kingfish and sharks. While the kingfish action has been hit and miss of late, the bluefin tuna continue to provide plenty for those searching anywhere offshore from Barwon Heads through to almost Inverloch. While fishing for gummies out towards Cape Schank customer Jak came across a school of bluefin so the stickbait rod was brought into gear. Jak landed a nice fish on the sinking stickbait, and ended up with a nice fish for the table that night.


Customers John and Izzy have been having plenty of success on the tuna while fishing out from Westernport. Fishing out from Flinders Bank the pair have experienced loads of fish to around 20kg in water from 40m out to 60m depth. Cast stickbaits, trolled hardbodies and skirts run behind teasers have all been producing, with many multiple hookups occurring. 


Customer Rich has been back on the tuna himself. Rick has been fishing out from Westernport also and has been getting amongst the bluefin with plenty of school fish taking small skirts run behind the teaser. Brighter coloured teasers have been best, with flashy spreader bars also working well on days with increased sun.


Amongst the plentiful tuna there has been the odd angler chasing sharks. The area wide of Cape Schank has been a hotspot for shark anglers, with plenty of tuna in the area to attract larger predators. Customer John fished the area in 70m of water solo in search of a shark and was rewarded with an excellent table sized mako and larger blue shark for the session. John's blue shark took a fresh salmon head and the smaller mako also a half salmon bait. 

Customer Tim also managed a nice shark fishing West of Cape Schank in 65m of water. Tim's shark weighed around 45kg and took a stitched bait of fresh tuna flap. 

 


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. 

 


For those anglers keen on the bluewater billfish action, the south coast of NSW has been producing a red hot marlin bite from Jervis Bay back down to the Bermagui area. With warm currents pushing in close to the coast the marlin fishing has been excellent with many anglers reporting dozen fish days. There have been some small black marlin caught in close but most of the fish are striped marlin ranging from 80 - 120kg. The good thing about these fish is that have been caught in fairly close, as they roam the front edge of the current hunting bait. 


Customers Damien, Christian and Steve ventured up the coast for a quick weekend on the fish and they weren't disappointed. The guys shot straight to Jervis Bay and got out into the 150m area and looked for bait. The largest slimey mackerel were the best when bridled and run off the outriggers with around 3kg of tension. Very slow trolled slimies account for all their fish which ranged up to around 120kg. The larger sharks have been a problem around the marlin and bait however, as one of their fish couldn't be released after an attack from a bronze whaler. 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though conditions haven't been ideal for many during the week, there have been some keen anglers making the most of the decreased boat traffic offshore and tangling with some good size bluefin tuna. With some better weather forecast for the weekend and early into the week there should be more tuna reports coming from outside both bays. The water offshore from Port Phillip heads has been teaming with life, including bluefin tuna to 30kgs. While these fish can be aggressive and hit with speed and anger, they will also shy away from lots of different lure offerings if they aren't interested. Most anglers having regular success on them have been incorporating some form of teaser, be it a flasher style rig or soft surface squid 'flippy floppy'.

Customer Johnny fished with mate Will during the week where they shot outside from Sorrento. The boys found success in slow trolling 150mm poppers around the edge of the schools giving them the occasional bloop to entice an enquiry.

Customer Zak also boated a couple of lovely tuna during the week, and offshore from Port Phillip also. Zak found that small skirts in the 4 - 5'' range were the most effective when run in conjunction with a flippy floppy teaser. Small bullet style heads running off the teaser also provide straight predictable tracking to help the fish line the lure up.

Customer Billy fished with mates out from the heads and landed some nice fish in the 20kg mark on skirts up to 6 inches in length. Running polished bullet heads behind flasher rigs was the most effective method, and in water around 50m deep.


 


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. 

 

 


There has been no secret that the bluefin tuna fishing locally has been exceptional, and with awesome weather over the long weekend there should be a few anglers out amongst them. There have been tuna caught from Torquay through to about Cape Woolamai, with most of action occurring from Seal Rock through to Barwon Heads.


Customer Trent shot out from the Western Entrance in search of the tuna and got into the action with surfacing fish and bait marking on the sounder. While the fish weren't fired up he still managed a nice one on a small skirt. Running different profile lures in amongst your spread is key to dissecting what the fish are willing to eat on the day. 


Customers Hassan and Mehmet also fished out from Western Entrance and found plenty of fish but they were very flighty and not really fired up. After searching for groups of fish that might eat, the guys ended up cubing to packs of fish in the 25m line where they managed to get a few hooked up. The best fish weighed 44lb and took a single hook rigged pilchard fished unweighted back through the cube trail. 


While most of the action has been occurring offshore, there have been bluefin tuna caught well inside both bays. Customer Izzy fished around Port Phillip Heads earlier in the week and amongst some large salmon she landed 2 nice tuna. A mixture of skirted lures run in different positions and constantly changed up was the ket to getting the fish to bite, with small 4 inch skirts doing the best. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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. 

 


Bass Strait has been the hit with anglers recently as the run of Winter weather we've had has been excellent, with conditions too good to not make the most if them. The variety and quality of fish caught offshore during Winter can be excellent with the real mainstay being the large gummy sharks. Anglers fishing right out wide from areas such as Lakes Entrance have been tangling with fish like swordfish, trumpeter and pink ling. Customer Filip fished out wide chasing swordfish last week and landed some nice ling as tasty by-catch.

A bit closer to home the offshore gummy fishing has been nothing short of excellent. Young gun Fisherman Mike went out on an offshore tuition chasing big gummies and nailed a ripper gummy at 22kg, fishing out from Flinders. Chunk baits of wrasse and pike are super effective on the offshore gummies, and are readily available on the reefy areas. 


Mike's gummy was bigger than him! Customer Andrew also got in to the offshore gummies during the recent spell of quality weather. Andrew managed a couple of nice fish around the 20kg mark fishing fresh baits alongside the reefy points and and sand drops just outside of the western entrance.  


There has also been a few quality snapper caught offshore while targeting gummies. Customer Zac fished with his dad outside the western entrance recently and they also landed a few nice gummies around the 14kg mark, along with a nice 4kg snapper. Fishing fresh baits of mackerel, pike and squid give you an excellent chance of the snapper as well as gummies. Young Jacob and dad Gavin fished around the western entrance recently and also came across a nice snapper. Jacob was lucky enough to land the fish that weighed 6.6kg and took a strip of freshly caught couta. 

 


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!