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PORTLAND
  |  First Published: May 2014



It's one of the things most Victorian anglers look forward to every year. Tuna time.

Located about 4 hours from Melbourne along the west coast lies this pretty yet very busy town, Portland. And in the cold months of winter there is only one thing on anglers minds and this is Blue fin Tuna.

PRIME TIME

The colder months from April thought to July are the prime time to target tuna. When the water cools down the fish move in creating havoc. This time of year you wouldn't want to be a baitfish that's for sure.

THE GEAR

15-24kg stand-up overhead set ups are the normal when targeting tuna. The past couple of years quite a few anglers have made the change from overhead to spin gear as it is a lot more fun and easier to use, and the whole sportfishing side of things appeals to more anglers now. Anything from the 8,000 to 20,0000 range is ideal, just make sure whatever reel you are using, it has a good smooth drag.

THE RIG

Whether its 15kg or 24kg line, the most common way to rig your rod is to run a double from your main line and cat's paw a 150lb-200lb wind on leader through the Dacron loop on the leader to the platted double. At the end of leader crimp a loop and heavy duty snap swivel and then your set. All you have to do is clip your lure or skirt with about 2m of leader to the snap and put it in the water.

BAIT AND LURES

Hard bodied lures and skirts are the preferred way to target tuna. Rapala X-Raps in 20s and 30s and 5-7'' skirts do the damage. Apex Predator skirts are really worth a try as well. If you don't have a few of each in your lure selection then there is something wrong.

BEST METHOD

Trolling lures is by far the best. A decent spread of lures is best with both hard bodies and skirts in the mix. Run a skirt in the shot gun position way out the back and hard bodies or River2Sea Killer Vibes in close in the motor wash is always a good way. Once you get a hook up, keep the boat in gear and troll a little further as a lot of the time it results in multiple hook ups and this is when all hell breaks loose.

MOTHER NATURE

Make sure all your safety equipment is up to date and easily accessible in case of an emergency. The seas and weather along the west coast can be bad and the last thing you want is to get caught out and your EPIRB doesn't work or you can't get to the life jackets. Also take extra fuel and always tell someone where you are going and when you are roughly expected back. All these little things will help if something goes wrong.

HOT TIP

Fishing on weekdays is definitely the way to go in the way of using the boat launching facilities. It can be worse than a Melbourne boat ramp in the middle of snapper season when the weather is good and the fish are firing with up to 2 hour waits. Week days the boat traffic isn't as intense and stressful. So keep an eye on the weather and try to avoid a weekend if possible.

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