A first-time tuna catch that weighed in at over 100 kilograms has won Melbourne-based angler Martin Rombolas Portland's Hooked on Tuna Competition.
Rombolas landed a 104 kilogram tuna on the first weekend of the competition, which saw him remain on top of the leader board throughout the event, which ran for three out of four weekends in April.
The competition was to be held each weekend in April but organisers were forced to cancel this weekend's competition due to the big swell and dangerous weather conditions following Portland Coastguard's advice.
Rombolas, an experienced angler in Portland waters, said it was sensational to finally reel in a 100kg tuna and take out the competition.
"Portland is a fantastic place to fish and I'm always down here fishing, however this is the first time I have ever caught a 100kg-plus tuna," he said.
"The catch came from a bit of everything, good conditions and a team effort from the rest of my crew members. It's a fantastic feeling."
Second place was awarded to Chris Melideo, from Melbourne, who caught a 98.6kg tuna which won him week two of the competition.
James Cauchi, also from Melbourne, caught a 75kg tuna, on the second weekend of the competition, placing him third overall.
All three winners were presented at the Portland Yacht Club on Saturday and the keen anglers shared in $12,000 worth of cash and prizes.
Committee member John Johnstone, and owner of Portland Bait and Tackle, said it had been another successful competition.
"The interest has been really good," Mr Johnstone said. "We had 120-plus entries for the whole comp. We lost this weekend due to the weather and we lost one other day due to the weather, so it's been really good."
He said it was pleasing that all entrants had adhered to a new regulation introduced for this year's competition, which promoted good fish handling practices.
"People have taken on board the fact that we insisted that to go in this comp, all fish had to be gilled and gutted and preferably put on ice and every fish that was presented at the weigh station was treated correctly," Mr Johnstone said.
"If they're not handled correctly they're cat food, they're not worth eating. Being such a valuable resource and a privilege to catch these fish - it's not our right to catch these fish - we're really encouraging people to look after these fish."
He said it was about education and anglers were slowly heeding the message, estimating that 70 per cent of fish that had come in and were not in the competition, had been looked after.
"Through the shop here, I've sold more crushed ice and shaved ice this month than I've sold in the past so the message is getting through and people are taking ice out there to look after the fish.
"Because these fish are hot blooded they heat up inside and they start to cook internally. They can be up to 27 degrees internally.
"The best way to get the heat out of them is with an ice slurry - crushed ice and sea water, and to get the innards and the gills and everything out of them, to get the water and ice into them. So not only are you cooling them from the outside but the inside as well.
"The more education we can have about looking after your catch, the better."
Mr Johnstone said it was great to have high calibre industry experts, including internationally-renowned fisherman Peter Pakula and the world's leading authority on billfish, tuna and sharks Julian Pepperell speak at Saturday's presentation.
He said aquaculture and aquatic animal health consultant Dr Paul Hardy-Smith, who works in Australia and internationally, was in Portland for the competition the weekend before.
"We've had some of the top brains in the world. We've had some really good people here over the time," he said.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.