Portland is fast becoming the game-fishing capital of Victoria. Last year, the local ramp had over 400 boats in a single day. That’s why the State Government spent $7 million on revamping the boat ramp and harbour in 2014. They’re chasing tuna, and it’s a big water battleground, popular with blue-collar boaties armed to the teeth with vibe lures, skirted lures and deep-diving Rapalas.
As well as tuna, Portland has a big reputation as an albacore and dolphinfish destination. Bottom bouncing with electric reels for big eye, trumpeter and other googly- eyed bottom feeders is also growing in popularity. Keep your eyes peeled for 200-tonne blue whales, too!
“I LIVE HERE”
Bob McPherson has lived in the area for 35 years. He’s a plumber by trade, but can be commonly found scouting the boat ramp or spinning a yarn in the tackle shop. If there’s a big fish caught off Portland, rest assured Bob will know about it.
The bluefin fishery off Portland was largely untapped until 2006. Before then, most anglers headed straight to Bermagui to catch the ‘big one’. Bob reckons the tuna fishing alone is worth over $10 million annually in the southwest region, a figure he says is based on official government reporting.
Bob has seen the standard entourage of celebrity fisherman come to town, but reckons, “most of them are big sooks, spending half a day to reel in tuna that should take a few hours to bring in”. He tells us the best fishermen that pass through are humble, working class blokes that don’t fish for fame or fortune.
“Just last weekend a fella from Hopper’s Crossing caught two barrels over 130kg”, Bob said. “He fished with Tiagra 30-wides spooled with 900m of braid, landed his fish, cut them up and went home without even weighing them”.