While the bluefin tuna have been hanging around the West coast for some time now, anglers are starting to get amongst them out from Portland and Port Fairy as we head into traditional tuna season. There have been good numbers of bluefin and also albacore, with the tuna ranging in size from 10 - 25kg, and most of the albacore around 5kg at the moment, with some larger fish scattered throughout. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been catching good numbers of both, and finding mixed schools a bit closer in than many anglers. 


James has been finding that the smaller lures have been the most productive on both the tuna and albacore lately, with 5 - 6 inch skirts in squid patterns and black/purples the go to. Customers Aaron and Jamie also got out on the big blue from ortland recently where they got into both SBT and albacore, with most of the fish concentrated around the Horseshoe section of the shelf. Both hardbodies and skirts in traditional dark 'Portland' colours along with redbait imitations were the best, and they did notice that closer in around the 70m line there were good number of bluefin willing to eat a lure.

 

Reports from out towards Portland have been good over recent weeks, with lots of fish caught - ranging from school fish through to 100kg+ monsters. There have been fish caught in as shallow as 30m, right through to 1000m+ of water. Albacore reports have slowed the last few weeks, but decent reports of dolphinfish have been coming through along with the Bluefin. James from Unreel Fishing Charters was lucky enough to get onto a small patch of dolphinfish last week in amongst some good tuna fishing.

Customers have been happy with school fish and getting multiple hookups, James even said at one stage 3 or 4 rods would go off while the boat was in neutral while setting up another rod. Nothing to complain about there!

Customers Vince, Ed and Carlo went out to the shelf last week out of Portland where they managed to get their bag of tuna, along with 2 dolphinfish. Most of the tuna were around the 10kg size, with the dolphinfish around 7kg. Customers Olly and Rachael also fished out around the shelf drop off recently where they managed to pick up enough bluefin to keep them happy. The best lures were 3m running hardbodies in red head and blue colours. 

Customer Elvi took a trip to Portland just recently and although he is photographed sitting down, he assures us that he caught enough tuna to enjoy a rest. Either that or he was seasick, we're not sure. Elvi did say that the more productive area was around the 200m depth, with purples and fluoro coloured skirts run at shotgun doing the best. Customer Paul sent in a photo of his son Daniel, who fished around Portland last week. Daniel also said that purples and blues in both skirts and hardbodies have been the best for him lately. 

 

Plenty more tuna reports are coming from the Portland area this week. Fish have ranged in size from 13kg through to around 130kg. Albacore tuna have been caught out wider around the Horseshoe area right out into 2000m of water. Bluefin have been caught in as shallow as 30m, right through to around the same depths as the albies. James from Unreel Fishing Charters has had a good run on the SBT again this week, with plenty of happy customers taking home some fresh tuna. Both hardbodies and skirted lures are taking tuna, with a mixture of colours working well. Good colour choices at the moment seem to brighter colours, with any UV worth running, along with bright chartreuse, pink and blue. 

Customers James and Milena fished over the weekend on the tuna, trying their luck to see if they came across a 'barrel'. While no monsters were found, they did get into some solid school fish to around 25kg. Xraps and skirts worked well, with more fish taking the skirts for them. 

 

Reports from Port Fairy, Portland and Port Mac have still been trickling through during the week and with some decent weather forecast over this coming weekend there should be plenty more to come. Both albacore and tuna are still being caught, with plenty of 'barrels' around during the week. Bluefin to 140kg have been weighed in at Port Mac, while fish to 125kg have come in at Portland and SBT to 90kg from Port Fairy.

Most of these larger fish from 80kg + have been caught around the 40 - 80m area, with the 50m depth a fairly consistent area for big tuna over the last few years. Larger skirted lures up to 10" have been used as these barrels won't knock back a decent prey item, with most of the bait at the moment being squid, pilchards and sauries, and with the odd small dolphinfish or smaller tuna around these big fish won't knock them back. Lure colours haven't been as particular, with greens/lumo, blue/purples and black/reds all getting fish. Make sure you have some variety in your spread and you should come across a few fish, as there are still plenty of tuna from 50m out and albies around the 400m + area near the Horseshoe.


 

 

Portland has really heated up for the tuna fishing over the last 2 weeks, with lots of anglers catching their bag of fish. While most of the fish are still wide around the 'horseshoe' there have been reports of schools of fish moving in a bit closer. Customer Pat came in to the store to get set up for this style of fishing, and after loading up on some lures and getting his outfits rigged up he was off. Pat fished with a couple of mates last week and got in to mainly albacore along with the odd bluefin. Fish in the 15 - 20kg mark were the norm. Pat's whole spread of lures caught fish, which included Xrap 30's, Killer Vibes, Richter Soft Grassys and also smaller bullet head styles. 

Customer Haldun fished with his son and cousin down at Portland were they caught a stack of albacore and chunky bluefin out wide. They caught and released over 20 fish during their session and found that most lures and colours worked. The albacore seem to prefer something bright that stands out a lot, while more bluefin have been taken on hardbodies like Xrap 30's. 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been smashing the tuna down around Portland with customers, with most lures working well. James likes the Xrap 30's in particular for both albacore and bluefin. James picked up most of his fish out around 400m area. 

Customer Carlo went out last week and bagged out on both albacore and bluefin while fishing with some mates. Carlo caught most of his fish on his newly purchased Tiagra 30 outfits, with standout lures being the Soft Grassy in new UV patterns. Customers Zoran and Vito also fished the area last week and found that Xraps worked best of the bluefin, especially in pilchard and red head patterns. The albacore were hitting most skirts but blacks and bright colours like chartreuse and pinks also did the damage. 

 

Reports from the Portland region have been good this week, with lots of anglers making the trip down to have a shot at the bluefin tuna. While the bluefin have been caught in good numbers, there have been more albacore tuna caught. Most of the fish are being caught around the shelf in 400-100m of water, with the horseshoe as popular as ever. Customer Andrew headed further west to Port Mac where he and some mates caught SBT to 17kg around the edge of the shelf, with all taking bright green coloured hardbodied on the troll. Rapala's Xrap 30 in dorado colour is an excellent option when a bright colour is needed. 

Customers Vito and Zoran fished with a few mates over the weekend in search of the tuna and they found both bluefin and albies out around the horseshoe. A mixture of different coloured skirts caught the albies, while Xrap 30's in pilchard and redhead patterns claimed all of the bluefin. 

Staff member Harley fished with a mate out around the horseshoe and further into the 1000m area where they landed 18 albacore up to around 20kg. Best performing lures included Xrap 30's in brown squid and petrolero as well as Richter soft grassys in UV blue and pink/blue, along with the Black Pete Dougal and bluefin candy in black and pink patterns. 

Customer Johnny and mates fished around the shelf over the weekend and found all albacore on the Saturday, and then bluefin on the Sunday. Most of the fish were in the 15 - 20kg size range and most productive lures were Xrap 30's in brown squid and redhead, while the Richter soft grassy in 502/506 and UV blue were the best producing skirted lures. 

Customer Jarrad fished out from Portland on the weekend with a cousin of his who was out from Canada. Jarrad and his cousin managed to land their bag of albacore out around the 1000m area. The most productive lure for the guys was a purple coloured tuna clone run in shotgun, with a few more fish taking jetheads and Xrap 30's run closer to the boat. The pilly coloured Xrap has been a good option for many.  

Customers Milena, James and Damien had a leisurely session out around the horseshoe region over the weekend. After a late start they managed to get their bluefin and albacore on the inside edge of the horseshoe on a variety of lures including Xraps and skirts in lumo, pinks and blacks.  

 

James from Unreel Fishing Charters has been putting clients on to some quality albacore and bluefin over the last week, with the depths of around 400m+ being preferable. Most of the fishing is still out along the edge of the shelf and further so for inexperienced anglers it is a fairly long run out so make sure your boat and safety gear is up to speed. Natural coloured skirts have been working well for James along with Xrap 30's in blues, silvers and blacks. Customer Nick and mates fished out in the same area around the horseshoe and found similar sized blues and albies on Xraps and Richter Soft Grassy skirts. Lumo colours along with pinks worked the best on the day.

Customer Danny has done a few trips of the tuna so far and hasn't been disappointed. Danny has been fishing out in the 'horseshoe' area and has been working both east and west from here. Danny has been catching fish on hardbodies and skirts and favours the Xrap 30 in Redhead colour along with bright yellows and reds in 6 inch skirts. Bluefin tuna and albacore have been caught with most of the fish being albies at the minute. 

 

For all the anglers starting to think Southern bluefin tuna, the fish have not long turned up at Portland. While the fish are being caught, it's not a walk in the park for most anglers. Most of the bluefin are being caught fairly wide of Portland itself; with the 400 - 500m depth area inside the edge of the shelf and the outside of the 'horseshoe' producing the fish. For the novice tuna fisherman these areas are a long run out. A few school fish have been caught in closer around the 150m depth but generally most are out wide at the moment. Amongst the bluefin there have also been some nice albacore caught as well which is typical for early in the season. 

Customer Heipp fished out from Portland over the weekend where the fishing was a bit tough, but he still managed to land the one bluefin at around 20kg. Heipp lost two more fish out around the horseshoe area, with 8 inch skirts in blues and pinks getting the hits. 

James fro Unreel Fishing Charters has also been fishing around the Portland and Port Fairy area and while he hasn't had the weather to get right out wide for the tuna, he has been getting some decent sharks for his customers. James has caught mako and blue sharks out in the 300m area, with some decent sharks over 100kg hanging around. Most of the sharks landed have been in the 40 - 70kg size which have given his customers some real excitement.  

 

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Customer Andrew recently purchased a new outfit from the store for tackling the SBT, consisting of a Nitro rod and Shimano Saragosa spin reel. Andrew fished last week out from Portland to land 20 SBT to 35kg using his new setup.

Customer Johnny and Petar fished around the Horseshoe area last weekend, trolling a full spread of lures, including various skirts, Xraps and Killer vibs. In a 4 hour session the boys managed 7 SBT to 35kg and 5 albacore, with the blue mackerel Xraps and purple Killer vibs doing most of the damage.

Customer Damien also fished out around the edge of the shelf on Sunday, with 20 SBT and a dozen albies taken on Xrap 30’s, Black Magic Jetsetters and Richter Lures Soft Grassys in UV blue.

 

Portland offshore is firing on all cylinders for southern bluefin tuna and albacore at the moment, with fish to over 100kg being caught. Most of the school fish seem to be in the 20-40kg range, with the albacore up to 30kg. Most of the fish are being caught wide, with depths of 200m+ west of Lawrence rock being the best place to start.

Customer Tony fished around the Horseshoe last weekend where he landed tuna to 20kg, using a variety of skirts and hardbodies. Green/yellow coloured skirts and white/redhead Xraps 30’s worked well.

Customer David also fished west from the rock, with his GPS telling him that the best patch was a 76km run from the harbour. David caught 15 tuna to 36kg on both skirts and Xraps 30’s. Brown squid and also blue mackerel colours worked well.

Customer Duc fished on charter last week where the guys smashed the tuna, with Xraps in purple mackerel colour doing the damage.