The 2019 tuna season in Portland is just around the corner. Back in 2018 we caught a barrel over 100kg and plenty of school fish around the 15-20kg mark. We start charters around late March/April in Portland and the season will run until August/September. 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. Check out our Facebook page for the most recent updates and catches.
Weekends and holidays always book out quickly so it’s always best to book ahead as much as possible. Call us via the phone number on the website for the most up-to-date booking availability.
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 (2017) it was above 90%. It’s rare that we won’t catch anything, but we will not deny it happens occasionally – after all, it is called fishing. In 2016, 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 often forced to cancel and reschedule some booked trips every year due to weather. More details on our charters can be found here
Typically the main school of Bluefin tuna pass by Portland around early April and thin out in numbers towards the end of July/August. However, 2016 and 2017 were both long seasons and fishermen 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 as they pass by the area on their annual migration around Australia.
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 tuna 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.