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Fishing Western Port With Gawaine Blake Feb 2013

20 February 2013

The weather has continued to be a bit fickle, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, the rewards are there. Grinning and bearing it, I have been putting in the time offshore while the species are there, and the mako fishing at the moment is good, with regular captures being reported from 25-70m of water from Cape Schanck through to Cape Liptrap

On one outing with good mates Tim Haw and Matt Price, we managed a good mako of 34.8kg. It was on an average day with 10-15 knots of wind with rain squalls, but as we planned for it, it was not that uncomfortable whilst fishing out of my 525 Prowler. Fishing in 65m of water off Cape Liptrap, the shark took a fresh slimey mackerel presented under a balloon around 30m from the boat.

Burley as always is the key but it's not the only thing to think about, always fish the bottom either with a baited Patternoster rig for flathead or a sabiki rig for bait fish.

These fish too are the key - the vibrations of these fish will also help in creating a bite, and makos and other sharks have been known to follow these fish up from the deep and then feed in the trail.

This weekend I fished my first ever game fishing competition, The Victorian Game Fish Classic out of Rhyll onboard the VGFC presidents Anton Vogiatzis. The weather was perfect despite the forecasts, with an average of 5-10 knots for the whole comp.

We fished off Cape Woolamai in 40-60m, although there were boats around us hooking sharks. Day one saw us come up empty handed. But with a game plan set and new vigour, we went back out Sunday, opting to stay in the same area but starting in a slightly different position with a change in boats drift path. This worked a treat, with Anton hooking up before 9am but only to pull the hooks early in the fight, working fast we had a bait back out and burley going well. This time my rod took off and it came up solid with a feisty mako on 8kg line class boated and a new feeling of determination set. The fish, with a time capture of 9:22 am, weighing estimated 12kg, 100cm long, was tagged and released after a few happy snaps.

We continued to fish hard by constantly changing our Sandys pure salmon burley blocks and fishing the bottom while punching the pot. Trying to keep activity around the boat, we slowly drifted out into deeper water and right into the the desired area and bingo - the well presented salmon is off - we are on again! Hooked up again on my 8kg rod, this fish was bigger and put on a show screaming line off the reel and doing some spearing jumps as it goes, then fully out of the water 2-3m high. Doing a triple back flip, great stuff to see, not long after it's boat side and in for its tag, reported capture and photos at 2:22pm estimated at 22-24kg and 120cm long, this fish was all scarred up and had a wound that was healing from a previous encounter with a fishing hook.

The next 35 minutes felt like a few seconds as we tried our best to entice another bite and head the leaders board for tag and release. It never happened but I managed third place in a very good field of anglers.

It was a very professionally run comp with a great atmosphere. With only one mako kept for weigh in and 15 makos tagged this will definitely be in my calendar again for next year.

Until the next report, stay safe and enjoy the hunt!

Cheers,

Gawaine