Tuna Bound

The northern migration of Bluefin comes and goes before you know it; you have to be prepared to drop everything and get on the water or else you will miss your opportunity. The phenomenon occurs annually off Sydney during June/July, depending on the currents and water patterns. During and either side of the Bluefin tuna run is a great time for catching other Tuna species such as Yellowfin, Big eye and Albacore. By getting on the water during this stretch of time you have a big chance of success.

Anglers often go on missions a lot further than they would normally travel out at sea in order to chase Tuna. Not everyone is successful. A great way to get accurate reports is to look at what the long liners have been catching. Even going to the fish markets on a Sunday morning can give priceless information as to whether the Tuna have arrived or not. What everyone should be doing is learning how to read sea surface temperature and chlorophyll charts. Looking for swirling eddies and fishing the edges, in order to find temp breaks, you will find different levels of nutrients in the water can invite bait and predators to the same party.

Finding quality water with bait is a good place to pull up stumps and start cubing. Cubing involves cutting up bait, usually Pilchards, and creating a burley trail whilst you drift. It is cheap on fuel and can bring fish up from much greater depths than trolling, however you do not cover as much ground. Slowly strip Pilchards on Gamakatsu ‘big bait circle’ hooks down with your cubes and it will hopefully come face to face with a Tuna.

Trolling an assortment of skirts and divers is another effective method. It is important to use a diver when chasing for Tuna as they swim deeper than skirts and can help raise fish. I like to use a brown coloured diver because Squid make up a large portion of their diet. A single Gamakatsu tuned assist hook, linked with 2 hyper split rings to the middle of the diver, with no hooks on the back, is the most successful way to rig a lure. The single hook will prevent drag and allow higher trolling speeds without skipping. Also, Tuna like most game fish, except Wahoo and Mackerel, eat their prey head on, so the front hook is much more applicable for hook-ups than the rear.

This picture is of a Yellowfin which was caught on Sydney Game Fishing boat ‘Shakara’. The fish weighed in at 50kg’s and fed a lot of happy families. Go get one for yourself!