VIDEO: Yak southern bluefin!

YAK fisher Peter Ritchie recently embarked on an epic three-day yakking adventure, fishing three different locations in south western Victoria for everything from chinook salmon to southern bluefin tuna!

Here’s Peter’s account of his adventure – scroll down for videos from Peter and his fishing mate Shane Esmore. 

Day 1 Bullen Merri chasing Chinook. Beautiful lake and facilities. Trolled a couple of Rapala CD5s in Rainbow Trout – scored a nice Chinook at 50cm after about 1 hour. Fought really well. 1 more small trout and then it got wet, very wet. Not a lot of wind but at one stage the rain was monsoonal. Pulled the pin around midday, by which time there were quite a few boats on the water. I was soaked, time to dry off. Had a chat with some locals and trolled lures worked the other day. Today was about bait, the best being live minnows and second best was white bait. Went to Lake Elingamite in the search for a trophy brown. Wind and rain gave me a chance to have an hour kip in the car. Finally gave it a crack after listening to the advice from Shane & Yak. Fished for an hour before the weather and weed gave me the shites. Thanks for the insight about Bullen Merri Shane.

Day 2 Fished the mouth of the Hopkins River with Jenko (Gary) beautiful spot, great launch facility, heaps on the sounder but only managed a few small salmon. Packed up and relocated upstream to the caravan park ramp. Jenko again showed me around and we headed upstream where he caught some bream. A mate had suggested fishing downstream so Jenko guided me again, showing a few local spots. After a while I had lost sight of Jenko who had gone further downstream, or so I thought. I headed off after him. A few bends later and I hadn’t found him so I figured it was time to turn back after I fished more one more section of weedy bank. Bang, my first jewie in 1.5m of water on a small shallow diving lure. Went about 53cm and was released obviously, a couple of minutes later a 30cm bream. Rang Jenko – he was following me… Turns out he had headed upstream after I saw him last. One quick pass over the the spot and Jenko pulled an EP. Thumbsup! Thanks for the company Gary and sharing your knowledge, it was a brilliant day on the water.

Day 3 – Met up with Shane (Esmore) at the ramp, rigged and headed off in lovely conditions. Problem was rugging up for the cold and then pedalling hard during the fishing. A great day on the water which has been covered elsewhere. The sight of tuna jumping metres from the ‘yak is something to behold. Unfortunately the video doesn’t do it justice. The Outback had no issues with the conditions at all, although slightly outpaced by the Adventure. Just couldn’t quite catch up to the whale, although I did see it breach completely a few times. Hoit got to test the new SLH yak gaff which worked well on a solid SBT. So no tuna for me, but completely thrilled for Hoit and great to see a quality fish caught on light gear, nice angling display Hoit. Thumbsup! 

Note: If you are going offshore be completely prepared and be prepared for the unexpected. Our forecast was for a 1.8- 2.0m swell an a 4 -8 knot offshore wind. We ended up with a 1.5 – 2.5 S/W swell, a 1. – 1.5 m S/E swell and 0 -15 knots wind which came and went all day.

So I managed 2 of the 4 species I wanted and saw some beautiful parts of the country. Just a few pics of the weekend.

Will I do it again? As soon as possible.




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