Tuna the big show in town
  |  First Published: May 2013

May offers numerous hot prospects around our coastline and estuarine systems.

In the south of the state estuaries such as the Derwent, Lune, Esperance and Huon will all be productive with large stud bream on the hunt.

Besides these, regulars such as sea run trout, yellow eye mullet, mackerel and flathead are available.

With the middle part of autumn being quite windy anglers are looking forward to a few still days during May when striped trumpeter and morwong perch will be targeted on the outside reefs.

Super-sized southern bluefin tuna are also on the menu.

D’Entrecasteaux Channel

The Channel offers some very consistent sheltered water fishing during May with an array of options available.

Atlantic salmon and sea run trout can be caught in the lower reaches of the Huon with a slowly retrieved unweighted pretty fish being the most productive method.

Proven productive locations include Castle Forbes Bay and Waterloo.

Further down the channel Cygnet and Dover also offer productive fishing, especially after escapes.

The occasional blue warehou (snotty trevally) also turns up in late April and May with Woodbridge and Margate wharves a great place to start.

From previous experience the best way to target these is to use plenty of berley and floating baits of mussels and prawns. Small pieces of bluebait or other fish pieces can also be effective. Soft plastics and saltwater fly will also work at times.

Dover, located south of Huonville is also a renowned fishing spot and is easily accessible for both land-based and boat anglers.

The area offers a variety of pelagic sportfish, for example anglers can fish off the wharf located in the bay targeting species such as yellowtail mackerel, yellow eye mullet, flathead, Australian salmon, barracouta and the occasional squid. Nearby the Esperance River also provides plenty of shore-based options.

For those after a fresh feed the lower channel towards Woodbridge, Kettering and Gordon also holds a healthy population of calamari squid and flathead. Although neither species is renowned for their sporting prowess there is no denying their table qualities!

Flounder also become a more realistic and likely target species.


The big bluefin are here, heralded by a 127kg monster landed in late March.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

With smaller school southern bluefin being caught wide off Southport and Cockle Creek it is realistic to presume they will still be available during May.

Pedra Branca has also been popular over recent weeks with striped trumpeter and southern bluefin tuna both being caught.

Tuna lures usually consist of a spread including two or three large pushers (usually dark in colour) a smaller bullet head lure or Yo Zuri skirt and finally a deep diver rigged with doubles.

Overhead combos in 15kg and 24kg make up the standard outfit. Many chasing the larger ‘bottle fish’ swear by 37kg.

For those that prefer bottom fishing the still days are perfect for striped trumpeter.

Large thread line reels or Alveys are usually the required tools these being spooled with 50-80lb braid. Electric reels are also increasing in popularity.

Best baits are squid, striped tuna belly flap and pilchards.

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