SOME fishermen may tell tall tales but Cranbourne South’s Sean Reilly has 15 kilograms of aquatic evidence to back up his story.
The Melbourne-based builder caught the bluefin tuna yesterday as dozens of fishermen flocked to Port Fairy and Portland in order to catch the finest fish in the state.
More than 50 boats headed south from Port Fairy’s wharf at daybreak yesterday to try their luck, including Mr Reilly, who makes the recreational pilgrimage at least three times a year.
He told The Standard he caught a 114-kilogram tuna off south-west shores last year but was happy with the smaller catch that he picked up yesterday.
“It’s better than going home empty-handed,” Mr Reilly said.
“I usually head down the night before, head out onto the water at daybreak and finished up by about 3pm.
“When there’s dozens of birds swooping across the waves, it’s usually a good sign that there’s plenty of tuna swimming about.”
Many fishermen follow Mr Reilly’s lead and stay overnight at one of the region’s hotels and motels.
However, a few fishermen suggested yesterday there were more than a few who braved the south-west’s chilly late-autumn weather and camped out in their vehicles until daybreak.
“It may be uncomfortable but at least you’re up early and ready to head out to sea,” Melbourne retiree Bill Nelson said.
“Nothing beats an early-morning start.”
Meanwhile, more than 60 boats headed off at dawn in Portland yesterday in search of more tuna.