Tuna fishing a long weekend drawcard for anglers

05 June 2024

Recreational fishers are set to flock to the Victoria’s south-west this long weekend with southern bluefin tuna fishing providing a drawcard for communities along the coast.

Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO Travis Dowling said good recent fishing for southern bluefin tuna, often referred to as SBTs, means many local and visiting fishers are excited about the prospect of a long weekend fishing trip to remember.

“It’s been great to see and hear reports of plenty of anglers catching tuna along our coast and the long weekend is the perfect time to get offshore and take up the challenge to catch one of these beautiful fish,” Mr Dowling said.

“Tuna provide a great challenge for even fishing die-hards with some big ‘barrels’ weighing in at well in excess of 100 kilograms. They’re also wonderful to eat in a variety of ways and truly prized as a Victorian seafood delicacy.

“We’re lucky to have world-class game fishing stretching from Portland in the south-west to Melbourne’s doorstep out past port Phillip Heads.”

Mr Dowling said Fisheries Officers based at Apollo Bay, Warrnambool and Portland would be out across the long weekend, as well as teams across the state.

“Our officers will be making sure rec fishers and charter boat clients comply with the daily bag limit of 2 tuna per person, the statewide possession limit of up to 160kg at any one time and providing tips on how to best take care of tuna headed for the dinner table,” he said.

“This extends to boating safety as well - when you’re heading offshore it’s really important to have the right safety gear and to check everything before you head to the boat ramp.

“And if you’re jumping in to dive for rock lobster, keep in mind between now and the season closure on 15 September you can only take males to allow our breeding females to rest.”

For freshwater fishers, Murray spiny crayfish season is open north of the Great Dividing Range and the long weekend is the last chance to catch trout in many rivers and streams.

The annual trout closed season in most rivers and streams begins on Tuesday, 11 June and runs through Friday, 6 September, with wild trout spawning while rivers, creeks and streams are flowing. Lakes throughout the state, like Purrumbete, Eildon Pondage and Blue Rock Dam, remain open for trout fishing year-round.

To stay up to date with bag and size limits, closed season dates and much more, download the free VicFishing smartphone app, head to www.vfa.vic.gov.au/fishingguide or pick up a copy of the free Recreational Fishing Guide from your local tackle shop.