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Tuna to move closer in May
  |  First Published: May 2008



The last month has seen plenty of tuna to 30kg and albacore to 17kg caught by boat anglers. These tuna were jumping out of the water while chasing bait, thus helping anglers pin-point the correct spots in 1000m of water toward the South Australian border.

Both Port Macdonnell and Portland boat anglers have been fishing the same area, with each traveling a similar distance to the tuna.

Easter Tuesday was rough and windy but Tim Clark from Portland Bait and Tackle managed to catch a tuna weighing 26kg. These rough conditions are usually the best time to check krill movements in the current.

You won’t catch albacore unless you travel to the Continental Shelf and last week a few boats, including “Tuna One”, did exactly that.

More recently only a few boats have been out looking for tuna because of the inclement weather. As the westerly winds start to drive the krill and bait in closer, the blue whales will follow into the shallow water. Krill is now moving in as close as the 120m line, so in May anglers should have the luxury of catching tuna without traveling to the Shelf.

The southern bluefin tuna run is traveling east and will continue to do so, You need to keep looking for moving schools as they don’t camp in any particular spots.

The krill, bait, whales and dolphins are now starting to feed heavily in 80-120m water. Last year there were tuna at Julia Percy Island for five weeks before the locals let on. It is easy to drive past them without noting their presence.

On some days the tuna may not bite until midday, depending on the tide. Sometimes if you haven’t had a lot of action in the morning it can be well worthwhile revisiting a likely spot three hours later.

Other land-based anglers and boaters have had great success with table fish. Common species have included good-sized snapper, flathead, snook, haddock and mackerel, caught inside and outside the harbour.

Those chasing the tasty King George whiting have been well rewarded, with typical specimens weighing around 750g.

In the 60-80m of water, some anglers are still having good catches of large flathead, morwong, snapper, coral perch, gummy sharks and small mako sharks.

If you’re heading down this way, give the boys at Portland Bait & Tackle a call for all your latest weather info and fishing tips. We are open 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm. Information for this report was supplied by Bob McPherson for The Portland Sport and Gamefishing Club.

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