Welcome to the Tuna Fishing Guide Victoria. Tuna is a remarkable fish species with a worldwide reputation for speed, size and power. Missiles of the ocean and real bucket list fish. Tuna have remarkable fighting qualities and unparalleled eating qualities. Locally Tuna fishing becomes a frenzy throughout the winter months in Victoria in areas such as Portland and Port Fairy.  There are several different types of Tuna the Bluefin, Yellowfin, & Albacore all which grow to massive sizes.  They require big heavy game outfits and unique methods such as trolling big skirts and hard body lures.

Scientific name

Thunnus maccoyi

Tuna size and catch limits

There is no minimum legal size limit for Tuna but a daily bag limit of 2.

How to catch tuna

Trolling skirts and large hard body lures at a steady pace between 5-10 knots is by far the most popular and productive way to target tuna. Hardbody lures such as Rapala X-Rap in sizes ranging from 6 inches to 12 inches have become popular options. If land-based fishing for schoolies then large metal lures that can cast a long distance are a great option. Large soft plastics that imitate the baitfish that tuna are feeding are also good options.

When targeting Tuna pilchards and mulies are good options when bait fishing however we would recommend trolling skirts and diving hard body lures

Lure recommendations for Tuna


Tuna eating Rating

A top quality eating fish either sushi, steaks and many other ways.

General tips for catching Tuna

When trolling keep a keen eye on your sounder for marks as tuna will be easily identifiable. Also, watch your sounder for big bait balls of school fish. Tna will often be chasing the schools of baitfish which is a great sign that a hook-up isn’t too far away. Also, keep an eye out for a congregation of active birdlife or birds diving into the water which is a sure sign of baitfish in the area. Use your eyes as a tool as Tuna will often break the surface and this can be your best indicator of Tuna in the immediate area.

Plan your trip carefully and in particular watch the weather forecast. Targeting tuna in Victoria will see you in areas such as Portland, Port Fairy and Bass straight which can have dangerous conditions. Avoid windy and rainy days which will bring large swells with it.

Tuna will feed at different depths. Some days there down low and some days there actively taking lures off the surface. Just mix up your options and adjust accordingly on the day that your fishing.

Rod and rig setup for Tuna

Targeting barrels requires specialised equipment consists of big game rods, expensive game reels and heavy line. These are often trolled with the aid of downriggers. For many, the best way to experience this is through a specialised tuna charter operator. If your targeting schoolies, then you can do this by using 10-15 or 10-24 kilo spin rod and a 5000-20000 size reel spooled with 30-50 pound braid. This can be a fun form of fishing.

Great locations to target tuna

  • Portland
  • Apollo Bay
  • Port Fairy
  • Bass straight

Best times to catch Tuna

Tuna fishing comes into its own during winter specifically May through to July. This is when the water temperature is below 15 degrees and the Tuna are active and feeding. Surrounding areas such as Portland as packed with local anglers trying to land a big one. This usually aligns with local whale watching times.

Recreational fishing guide

You can obtain a free Victorian recreational fishing guide from the Victorian Fisheries Authorities web link

Additions or Corrections for this fish species

If you feel this fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you