Our last trip to Portland, at the end of the bluefin tuna season, was not profitable. But of all the boats that were out, I think only two boats caught anything. So it’s clearly starting to dry up, and the fish are moving on.
But when one species leaves, the season for the next species begins, and we have heard lots of reports of the beginning of the snapper season in Port Phillip Bay kicking off with a few big ones caught. And as the weather continues to warm up, the sharks will arrive too, and then the marlin off the East coast. I’m really looking forward to this summer!
Despite the lack of tuna, the abundance of ocean life at Portland hasn’t ceased to amaze me. I have spent many days on the ocean where it appears that the whole thing is empty. Yet, at Portland, there are continually huge patches of bait fish, and the mammals were very abundant.
The few trips were have taken to Portland this year have always been filled with large groups of seals and dolphins. But this time, we had the whales too, and they were playful!
There was a couple of groups of whales, or about two per group. As far as I know, they were humpback whales. One of them was very playful, and kept breaching almost completely out of the water, over and over again. It was incredible, given that the performance was straight off the back of our boat, about 200m away.
It made the day special, even without having caught anything! Just goes to show that fishing is not about catching, but about getting away with great people, and getting out into what nature has to offer.