Big seas bring monster fish

BIG TUNA: Mark Mudford with the first barrel of 2021.

By Jamie Coates

MONSTER seas and gale force winds absolutely smashed the south coast over the weekend, as the seven-metre waves made a bit of a mess of some of our local beaches, but boy oh boy, has it stirred the fish up.

At long last I can finally report the first tuna off Port MacDonnell has been boated and what an absolute ripper it is too.

Jamie Widdison and the crew on Extreme Marine Charters have landed not only the first fish of the year, but the first barrel too.

Mark Mudford was the angler on the rod and the fish is estimated at 120kg, so we are off to a late, but great start.

I have got no doubt the smaller fish will be right behind them, so let’s hope we are in for another boomer.

Before the big blow there was plenty of fishing going on by the boaties.

The offshore anglers had been stuck into some great shark fishing anywhere from 50 metres and beyond, with school and gummy shark over 20kg hauled aboard.

There have been plenty of reefies mixed in.

I have seen some nice queen snapper, red snapper and flathead, just to name a few.

A few guys have had small makos swim up the burley trail which is a great sign to see.

The Port MacDonnell Offshore Angling Club’s 40th tuna and sports fish tournament is only a matter of weeks away now, with entries available in store or on the PMOAC website.

Let’s hope the weather is kind to us this year and we have a great competition.

Surf fishos enjoyed a week or so of calm seas before the weekend and there were some nice fish caught.

Anglers making the effort and walking the beaches on the eastern side of the Glenelg River mouth have found some nice gummy shark, salmon and smaller mulloway.

From the mouth through to Nobles Rocks has plenty of excellent water and not being able to drive on the beaches keeps the crowds relatively low.

There have been a few sharks caught locally down along the Piccininni area this week by those who have made the effort and although they have not been massive fish, they are still good on the table.

It is usually this time of year we see some nice big sea bream start turning up in the first gutters of most beaches.

Downsize your gear a little bit and you will be surprised at just how hard they can fight in the shallows.

With the big sea forecast to roll into the coming weeks, we should see some salmon start popping their heads up in better numbers.

From now on I think we will see the size start to creep up as the weather deteriorates, which is what those big jackies love.

Canunda NP is always a hot spot for the big salmon, but getting in is an adventure in itself.

Keep to the track and avoid the big waterholes and you should be right.

I think after the swell event we had, the sea should stir nicely and be just right for the big whiting.

Hopefully the water is not too cold for them and they keep on as they were.

I have said it before, but what a whiting season it has been.

I think if we did not catch another fish now until the next season comes around, I doubt you would hear anyone complain.

The landbased and boat anglers have had a dream run, landing not only great numbers of fish, but excellent size too.

It was not only the usual hot spots that fired this year – we saw whiting in some of the lesser fished areas as well, so hopefully we see that trend continue not only for the next few weeks, but in coming seasons too.

Prior to this past weekend, the Port MacDonnell jetty has been red hot of an evening for the landbased fishos.

We were seeing some nice catches of big tommies, garfish, mackerel and even some nice squid still.

Hopefully once things settle, we will see them return back to the numbers we were catching.

The Glenelg River fished well over the weekend for those targeting a few bream, although the mulloway were a little on the quiet side.

The bream were quite spread out for the most part and I know of fish from Isle of Bags, all the way through to the upper reaches.

Prawns and cut pilchards were the weapons of choice for the weekend, but we know how often they can change their tastes.

I have not heard any perch news from this week just yet, but there is no doubt a few still sniffing around.

The forecast for the coming weekend is better than the last one, but it is still going to be very average.

Until next week, safe fishing.