Tuna Fishing Tips, Facts & Recipes

fishing tuna

We often come across schools of Australian tuna on our game fishing charters around Sydney.

With so many varieties of tuna out there, you’d be mistaken for thinking they’d be easy to catch, but they’re not. This makes fishing for them a fun and popular challenge for anglers of all skill sets.

Keep reading to discover more about tuna fish, including how to catch them and what to cook with them…

Fun Facts about Tuna

One of the most fascinating tuna facts is that they can’t ever stop swimming, as continuous movement is what keeps them alive. This means they don’t sleep either, they just reduce their activity levels.

Globally, there are 15 different types of tuna and around 7 key Australian species: bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna, longtail tuna, bonito tuna, bigeye tuna and skipjack tuna.

Most tunas are navy on top and silver underneath, with minor variations depending on the species. The yellowfin is one of the most striking, with yellow fins and a yellow stripe along its body, whilst the bonito has distinctive horizontal blue stripes along its back.

And although it may not be the biggest tuna ever caught, Ryan Gazzola holds the Aussie record for snaring the oldest tuna to date, a 29-year-old, 135kg bluefin off Gunnamatta Beach.

Best Time to Fish for Tuna

The best time to go fishing for tuna around Sydney is during sunrise or sunset, especially during the cooler seasons. Between June and September is ideal, with the peak month being August.

Where to Catch Tuna in Sydney

One of our top tuna fishing tips is to watch the birds. When you see lots of birds diving into the ocean, it usually means a large school of tuna is in the area. Ruffled waters can also be an indication of tuna swimming close to the surface.

Catching tuna in Sydney Harbour is possible, but you’re more likely to find them in abundance further out on the lower East Coast of NSW.

They are known to hang around Bermagui and Merimbula and in deep water around Cronulla and Bundeena.

How to Catch Tuna

As previously mentioned, tuna can be difficult to catch. Built like torpedoes with fins, they are incredibly fast-moving.

Trolling for tuna is the most tried and tested method of catching them as it covers more distance than other techniques. That’s when a boat tows a line (or multiple lines) with one or more hooks of either natural or artificial bait.

The best tuna trolling lures are skirted lures and large hard-body lures between 6-12 inches in size. These are commonly towed behind a boat at a constant pace of 5- 10 knots.

Other tuna lures you can use include stick baits and soft plastics, and they work best when you cast a line towards a school of tuna. Cubing (cutting small squares of bait and dropping them overboard) is another way to entice tuna close to the boat.

How to Cook Tuna

Tuna is ideal for eating because of its great flavour and health benefits. It can improve your heart health and vision, is a great source of protein and is full of vitamins and minerals.

The best way to cook tuna depends on how you want to eat it. When cooking tuna, you can either pan-sear a tuna steak (which will cook the outside but leave the inside raw), grill it, poach it with olive oil in a large pan, or marinate and bake it.

If you like how the French cook their fish, you can also confit tuna (which is a slow-cooking method that preserves all the delicious oils and fats) or do it sous vide, which involves sealing the tuna in a zip-lock bag and cooking it in a water bath to enhance flavour and keep the flesh juicy.

Our Favourite Tuna Recipes

When most people think of tuna dishes they think of sushi and sashimi. The great thing about is that there’s no cooking required. All you have to do is add in condiments and sides.

You can have sliced sashimi with a lime or ginger dressing, or sauces like tartare, ponzu, spicy mayonnaise and wasabi. Common sides and garnishes include spring onions, parsley, avocado, cucumber, and sesame seeds.

Other popular tuna dishes include tuna salad, tuna pasta bake, tuna mornay, and tuna poke bowls.

Find out more about our tuna fishing tours today!

Based on 21 reviews
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Sydney Blocked DrainsSydney Blocked Drains
10:19 17 Feb 23
We have been on Wahoo Charters 3 times now and have gone home with more fish than we could have ever dreamed of.George and the crew are friendly, knowledgeable and funny!This last time we bagged 4 kings over 1 meter.Always a good time on their boats.Thanks boys!
Alex HuntingtonAlex Huntington
08:34 10 Jan 22
Tight lines all day. All the boiz got to winch in a few 1m+ Kingies each.
Tanvir KhanTanvir Khan
04:53 29 Dec 20
We went out on a charter today and whilst the weather was against us, Sev and Josh did everything they could to get us on to the fish. I highly recommend George and his team for your next fishing charter. We will be back.
Merryzz V2 AccMerryzz V2 Acc
02:15 02 Apr 20
Had a awesome time with George out bottom bashing, he was very knowledgeable and experienced in his trade. Definitely planing on going out with wahoo charters again, had a great day and was for myself the first time deep sea fishing and i loved every bit of it. Really recommend to use this company!
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