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The great Portland tuna run
  |  First Published: October 2015



What an amazing season we’ve had here in Portland! Just when we thought the weather had us, with everyone ready to close the tuna season, a sudden turnaround and good weather has provided an amazing amount of barrel tuna. These fish have showed up out of the blue and at the end of the season in the mid water area around Lawrence's Rock to Cape Nelson Lighthouse.

Around this time of year barrel tuna are generally caught in 50 to 70 metres of water. The largest catch we made weighed 153 kg however, plenty more were to be found, ranging from 50 to 120 kg. Catches are numerous too with Bob and Chris managing to weigh 23 barrels in one day. These catches have been made on large skirt lures such as the Pakula Sprocket and Richter Splash with ‘Lumo’ winning the colour of the day. A healthy mix of school tuna can also be found swimming with the big fish. It is hard to say when this run will end but it has certainly made our season one of the best and made our little town of Portland even more famous for a great tuna run.

As the weather improves, so should the fishing. This has been reflected in good runs of blue eye for deep water anglers around the shelf, most of whom are running large rigs on electric reel set ups. Fishing the 140 metre mark will produce good size Tasmanian trumpeter, snapper up to 7 kg, as well as gummy and school sharks. We should start seeing anglers target makos around the Cape Nelson area soon, which is very exciting. Towards Bridgewater you can target good feeds of flathead, gummy, and school sharks. The flathead love Squidem rigs as well as squid and pilchard baits. Flathead, whiting and quid are making good returns around the Bay Area .

The breakwater should be starting to fire on large snapper, squid, whiting, salmon, trevally, and sharks. If you’re after the thrill of those large snapper though, putting in long hours will get you a good result throughout the season.

The North Shore and surrounding beaches should also produce some good fish - large whiting, squid and sharks.

The Fitzroy River has a great new platform – bream, perch and the odd mullaway are the fish to target there. The Surry River is another relaxing spot for a good bream and mullet bag.

• For all your bait and tackle needs call into Portland Complete Angler at 61 Bentinck Street Portland, or contact us on 0355211844. Come to us for licences, regulation books, and stickers - open seven days a week 8am - 6 pm.

We are also on Facebook - Portland Complete Angler.

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