Tribes of tuna
  |  First Published: May 2015

The tuna fishing has started to heat up in Portland and everyone is pretty excited to get into these great sports fish. We have a few local charters out of Portland but there generally ends up with quite a few more from elsewhere as anglers come to town in big numbers.

The tuna at this stage seem to be a reasonable size, 15-30kg, but of course everyone is waiting for that big one to hit. The tuna at the start of the season were very close and mainly hitting small skirts, but now that the guys are heading in deeper water the bigger skirts and hardbodies are the go.

The guys heading into deep water have also been bottom bouncing for blue-eye mainly, as they are a very popular table fish, and also catching blue grenadier, ling, knife jaw and sharks.

Closer towards Cape Nelson to Bridgewater Bay the flathead fishing has been very good with some big sizes, over 50cm+. There have also been some nice gummy and school sharks mixed in.

This side of Lawrences Rock has seen big catches of whiting 40-50cm in length, plus some nice flathead mixed in. There are plenty of pinky snapper right across the bay, which are always fun to catch on light gear.

The kingfish have still been caught in numbers but are slowly moving away as the temperature drops. The harbour this year has seen big schools in and out, with kingfish across the bay. Very nice whiting are around the North Shore along with pinkies, sharks and squid.

The breakwater has been a bit quiet over the last month but the odd good fish is still coming up. One large snapper around 9kg and the odd shark but the wall can turn at any time and we should see some nice salmon around the wall soon.


This May we should certainly see the tuna season well into action and big crowds of people in Portland trying their luck. We also generally see some big tuna caught in May and June, which gets everyone pumping. Albacore should still be mixed in with the tuna in the deeper water and certainly a nice fish to eat.

The boys will also do some bottom bouncing in the deep water for some great eating table fish like blue-eye and trumpeter.

The good days around Bridgewater are a great opportunity for flathead and gummy and school sharks, plus the chance of a tuna. Closer to Cape Nelson will also see anglers looking at catching makos for that rush of catching such a wild predator of the sea.

There will still be some nice whiting and flathead around the bay in May and we should start seeing some nice schools of salmon around, which are also great fun on light rods.

We should also see salmon around the breakwater and some winter sharks starting to get around. The beach fishing will also start to heat up into the winter months.

• For all your fishing needs and information on weather and the hot spots call into portland compleat angler at 61 bentinck st or call us on 03 55211844.

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