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.

 


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.

 

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.

 

 


 


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.

 

 

Tuna reports from western Victoria have been a bit wish-washy over the past few weeks, mainly due to on and off again weather. When the conditions have been good, there have still been school fish caught right through from Port Fairy to west of Bridgewater. Most of the fish caught have still been around the 10kg mark, with the odd bigger fish towards 20kg. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been doing trips on the tuna in both Portland and Port Fairy recently, with some long days required to keep customers catching fish but in the end everyone was happy. Ever reliable XRAP30's and Halco Laser Pro 160's have been doing well for James along with smaller skirts in the 5" size. James has noticed a lot of people finding fish but not catching them as they are running lures that are too large at the moment. A lot of fish have been feeding on whitebait and pilchards so the smaller profile lures are doing the trick.

Many customers are still picking up fish on small skirts, like this school fish caught on a 4" purple skirt . If the tuna have been picky towards your offerings though then these new lures might solve the puzzle. These new 'Pacemakers' from Samaki are the ultimate offering to fool fussy tuna. Pictured here in the pilchard colour in both 140DD and 180DD compared with the real deal. Pretty hard to spot the difference! Available in store now in a variety of colours.