Bluefin tuna fish is one of the ultimate prizes in big game sport fishing. If you’ve never caught one, you’re in for an experience you’ll never forget.
Tuna fishing isn’t easy, but with the proper knowledge and preparation, you can improve your chances.
In this guide, we’ll share everything we’ve learned from years of tuna fishing. Strap in; it’s going to be an exciting ride.
Bluefin Tuna: The Ultimate Sport Fish
Tuna fishing requires patience, skill, and a bit of luck. For the chance to battle one of the ocean’s greatest game fish, it’s worth the effort.
Anglers prize bluefin tuna for their power and size. They’re one of the largest species of tuna and are found in temperate and tropical oceans around the world.
Bluefin are fast, streamlined swimmers that can reach up to 45 miles per hour. They’re also opportunistic feeders, eating a variety of fish like mackerel, herring, and squid.
The summer season, from June to October, is the best time to target bluefin because the water temperature is warmest around this period. Trawling live or chunk baits like mackerel or herring at varying depths is the most effective technique.
If you’re up for the challenge of a big game hunt, bluefin tuna should be at the top of your list.
The Best Spots for Bluefin Tuna Fishing in Australia
As locals, we know the bluefin tuna hotspots along the east coast of Australia like the back of our hands. Some of the best spots for landing a monster bluefin are right here in New South Wales.
About 10 km off the coast of Narooma, Montague Island is a renowned southern bluefin tuna fishing destination. The waters surrounding the island are rich in bait fish like mackerel, salmon and slimy mackerel – ideal for luring in the big albacore tuna.
The best time to fish at Montague Island is from January to May, when the water temperature rises, prompting the bluefin migration along the coast.
Not too far from Montague Island are a series of deep oceanic canyons, including Broken Bay Canyon and Newcastle Canyon. These underwater ravines are perfect for bluefin as they provide shelter and trap nutrient-rich water.
The Solitary Islands
Stretching from Coffs Harbour to Nambucca Heads, the Solitary Islands are a renowned game fishing location. In particular, the waters north of Coffs Harbour around South Solitary Island hold large schools of bluefin, especially from March to May.
Come experience the thrill of fighting one of the ocean’s greatest, magnificent fish in a pristine Australian setting.
When is the Best Time to Go Bluefin Tuna Fishing?
As experienced tuna anglers, we know the best time to go bluefin tuna fishing is in the summer and fall when the water is warm, and the tuna are actively feeding.
The peak summer months of July through September are prime times for landing a trophy bluefin. During these warmer months, tuna can be found in shallow coastal waters, making them more accessible to anglers.
You’ll often spot large tuna crashing through schools of bait fish, or see their dorsal fins slicing through the surface. With the tuna actively feeding in large numbers, your chances of getting a bite are highest.
Late August and early September are especially good as the water remains warm, but the crowds have dwindled. The blackfin tuna tend to stay closer to shore during this time, within a mile or two of land.
For the best chance at a bluefin, fish when the tuna are most actively feeding. This tends to be early morning, late afternoon and at dusk.
With the right lure and in the right place, you could hook into the fish of a lifetime! The fight of a giant bluefin tuna is one you’ll never forget.
How to Catch Tuna: Tackle and Techniques
To catch tuna, you’ll need heavy-duty gear and the right techniques. We recommend the following tackle and tips to land these species of powerful fish:
Rod and Reel
For bluefin tuna, use a large conventional reel spooled with at least 200 yards of 80-130 lb test line. Pair it with a stiff boat rod 7–9 feet in length.
Hooks and Lures
Bluefin loves live or chunk baits like mackerel, herring or squid. We typically use 9/0 to 11/0 circle hooks and fish finder rigs to present the bait.
Trolling large plugs, spoons, and jigs can also trigger reaction strikes from tuna.
Chumming and Berley
To get tuna feeding behind the boat, use a berley bag or trail to release a steady stream of fish pieces, blood, and oils.
Once tuna appears, toss in handfuls of crushed bait fish to keep them actively feeding.
Setting the Hook
When you get a bite, drop the rod tip to allow the tuna to swallow the bait, then jerk back firmly to set the hook. If trolling, engage the reel and start fighting the fish immediately.
Fighting the Fish
Bluefin tuna are powerful fighters, so you’ll need strength and endurance. Keep steady pressure on the fish, pumping and reeling when it’s not running. With skill and patience, you’ll soon see colour and have the fish alongside the boat.
Any day on the water could produce the fish of a lifetime. Follow these tips, get your heavy gear ready and hold on tight. Your next bluefin tuna adventure awaits!
Finding the Right Bluefin Tuna Fishing Charter Boats in Australia
When looking for a bluefin tuna fishing charter in Australia, there are a few key things we consider finding the right one for you. For monster tuna, you’ll want an experienced fishing charter crew who really knows their stuff. We have a decade of local knowledge about the best spots for hooking into these powerful fish.
Our fishing charter offers two premium boats, the Nitro II and Playstation, each vessel equipped with toilets, comfortable seating and the latest fish-finding technology.
Short on time but want to get out on the water? Our half-day fishing trip is perfect. Serious game fishers will love chasing tuna on an action-packed full day at sea.
With Charter Fish Narooma guidance at sea with you, you’ll be reeling in tuna in no time.
So there you have it, everything you need to know to experience the thrill of hooking into a giant bluefin tuna. Now, it’s time to start planning that dream fishing trip.
Get the right gear, do your research, choose your location wisely and be ready for an epic battle. With patience and perseverance, you’ll soon be posting photos of your record catch.