The 2017 tuna season in Portland is just ramping up. From about April onwards the season will start to really heat up as the school moves closer to the shore and the larger giant tuna are around in larger numbers. We’re in Portland until August this year depending on how late the season runs. Forget Apollo Bay, Warrnambool and Port Fairy, Portland is the best place to catch these magnificent fish because it’s so close to the edge of the shelf. What are you waiting for? Get down here and come fishing.
Weekends book out quickly and we have quite a few early bird bookings. To avoid disappointment you really need to contact us as early as possible via the enquiry form on the right or by calling Steve on 0427 373 379.
If you come on our professional Portland fishing charter, you are almost guaranteed a fish. Typically our strike rate is over 90% for the boat – last season (2016) it was above 95%. It’s rare that we won’t catch anything, but we will not deny it happens occasionally – which is why they call it fishing. Last year out of 45 charters, only 2 didn’t catch fish meaning we had a 95% strike rate. Apart from our years of experience, one main differences with our operation is that unlike other tours we only venture out when the weather is suitable. In fact we are forced to cancel and reschedule some booked trips every year due to weather. More details on our charters can be found here
While there’s some fish around already, typically the main school of Bluefin pass by Portland around early April and thin out in numbers towards the end of July/August. However, last year was a very long season and people were catching even large tuna right up until October. This migratory fish is typically caught in Australia’s southern waters from late March to July each year.
The two main targets for our tuna fishing tour is Thunnus maccoyii aka Southern Bluefin Tuna or SBT for short. We also catch Albacore tuna which are the species you are used to eating in your cans of tuna. Bluefin are the best fish to catch because they’re a great fighter (very powerful physical structure and metabolism). Also they are a great tasting fish due to their fat content and red meat. They have an extremely powerful, streamlined body and their taste is renowned especially in Japanese cuisine.
In Australia, there are strict measures that regulate the bag limits of Bluefin tuna fishing. Bag limits for recreational fishermen are 2 Bluefin per person per day. Regulations ensure this species is conserved for the next generation and every year the police and fisheries work together and fine people who ignore the law. For further reading about this fish click here
Tuna fishing charters in Portland vary considerably. There’s a huge difference between someone who will take you out on the water and a professional who will do everything they can to ensure you catch the fish you came for. We don’t compete with the cowboys of the industry because we only offer quality charters for people who appreciate the difference.
No expense is spared when it comes to your safety and making sure we find the best spots for fishing. We are fully qualified with a MASTER 5 and MED 3 on board our custom built charter boat. This means we are licensed to travel up to 30 nautical miles offshore and together with the use of state-of-the-art fish finding equipment, we make sure you get the best chance of reeling in that big one. Also, we restrict the number of people on board to only 6 with at least one rod trolling per person meaning you’ve got a very high chance of experiencing some action. We’ve heard of some boats cramming 20 people on board.
Portland is approximately 6 hours drive from Adelaide and 4 hours from Melbourne. It can be a great halfway point to get some action in after your Great Ocean Road tour. Click here to read more about why we don’t fish in the waters around Melbourne for this fish. Portland is renowned for it’s deep sea fishing tours but you can also catch tuna around Port Fairy, Warrnambool, Port Macdonnell and Apollo Bay, however the strike rate is usually lower. The image below shows why. You will notice the close proximity of the deep water shelf where the fish are caught.