Flurry of activity as tuna show up

ALL SMILES: Finn Coates was pleased with his Glenelg River bream. Pictures submitted.

By Jamie Coates

A WILD weekend of weather kept all but the biggest of boats tucked away in the shed, but those who did don the wet weathers were rewarded for their efforts.

Tuna have been the headliners again this week, with fish from 12kg through to 130kg boated off Port MacDonnell in what some of the most experienced tuna anglers in the area have already dubbed as the best season they have ever seen.

The fish are starting to spread out a bit more now, with some in as close as 25 metres of water, through to around 90 metres.

They are going to move around every day, so keep an eye out for the birds and marine life – they are usually a pretty reliable indication of where the fish will be.

The red hot skirts this year have been the ZAKATAK super redbait and BONZE exocet but do not be afraid to mix it up a bit.

Spreader bars have been the difference for lots of fishos when the bite is slow, so if you have one, definitely give it a swim.

In other offshore news, the bottom fishing – when the weather allows – has been excellent.

The shark, flathead, nannygai and other reef fish have all been in great numbers anywhere from 55m and beyond.

The Port MacDonnell Offshore Angling Club’s annual tuna and sports fish competition kicks off this Saturday.

With the first few days looking a little bit dodgy but improving as we get further into the week, I am sure we are going to see some cracking fish boated.

The weigh-in is held every day at 4pm at the clubrooms next to the boat ramp, so if you are in the area, it is always a great afternoon checking out what was caught.

We do not usually talk much about whiting when the weather is the way it is but there have been some nice catches this week.

Like I mentioned last week, the numbers are slowly getting smaller as they move on but the size is getting better and better.

Racecourse Bay, Cape Douglas, Blackfellows Caves and Carpenter Rocks are all worth a try over the next few days as the winds and sea settle.

Surf fishos have found some nice fish this week despite the weather.

The salmon guys have loved this spell of rough stuff – that is just what the salmon need to kick into gear.

The salmon hole has again produced some good numbers of ‘lumpies’ to 1.5kg but plenty of those 800g to 1.2kg fish.

There have been some bigger fish caught on the back beaches of Canunda, the most productive so far being Geltwood, Oil Rig and Channel Rock.

Casting lures or baits are both productive ways of targeting salmon, so whichever suits you will usually catch you a few fish.

There have been a few keen fishos hanging around in the same areas after dark targeting the shark, with quite a few nice ones landed.

A fresh salmon fillet launched back into the gutter is a sure fire way to attract the attention of any toothy critter.

Closer to home, the Carpenter Rocks salmon are starting to fire up, with some nice fish from Red Rock and Lighthouse Bay reported.

The size is much the same as Beachport, fish to 1.5kg, but I can not see it being long until the bigger fish come through.

Waders chasing gar this week have found some more nice fish in most of our productive hot spots.

Livingston’s Bay, Nene Valley and Cape Douglas have been productive areas for most, while the boaties are finding fish in the same spots, along with the eastern end of the Port MacDonnell breakwater and Racecourse Bay.

As per most reports, the other species such as mullet, salmon trout and tommies are still pretty thick, so you will probably nab a few of those too.

The Glenelg River has been productive for the bream fishos this week, with some nice fish coming from the full length of the river.

My young bloke Finn and I fished last Thursday evening off the Endeavour landing in Nelson for an hour or so after work and managed half a dozen bream between us to 35cm, all taken on unweighted whitebait.

The whitebait trend seems to be continuing up river too and it does not seem to matter if they were fresh caught from the river, or frozen from the tackle shop, the bream are still happy to eat them.

The perch news has predominately been up river this week, with live minnow taking the lead as the most productive bait.

You will still get them on other baits too, so do not be discouraged if you can not find livies.

The mulloway news from the weekend has been slow but I did hear of a handful caught in the estuary on live mullet … I just don’t know how many, or how big.

The weekend’s forecast looks very average at the moment but it is still a fair way away.

Let’s hope it improves before the tuna comp.

Until next week, safe fishing.