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Where to catch tuna?


slothparade
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Sorry to ask this, I'm not asking for anyone's spots, though some recommendations would be awesome. Since I've upgraded the kayak, I'm starting to venture further out. 

And now I'm looking to catch my first tuna. Not to fussed on species, and obviously not chasing any monsters. Targets are long tail, bonito, Mac, skip jack, yellow fin, ect. I understand the risks of tangling with these species but I'm prepared for worst case capsizing and I have been coordinating with multiple people who are interested as well. 

My questions are, what kind of areas can I chase tuna, what seasons. Obviously they can be in deep water or shallow water but curious what's like the sweet spot. 

Then how do you rig for them, I was thinking flasher rigs with Pilli or yellow tail, live bait, and trolling lures, just like a mixture of these. But how do you rig up for these, keeping in mind im not targeting monsters so would rather be broken off than deal with something big. 

Finally any safety tips and advice.was thinking put riggers, keeping the kayak as light as possible. Staying within reasonable distance of the group, life jacket. As it's cold and maybe risk of hypothermia if things go really south, wet suit? 

Thanks for the info 

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I've caught mack tuna and bonito out of my kayak in the river

Caught on metal slugs

Can't give you specifics around Sydney but our tuna run on the mid north coast is usually April-May they come into the larger estuarys on the run in tide

I know plenty get caught in Sydney harbour

The only issue I've had with tuna in the yak is they go crazy when landed

 

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I've never caught a decent tuna besides the Bonnies etc, they are fairly common during the warmer months and usually appear around headlands or in the outer areas of systems towards the ocean.

My dad use to catch longtail regularly off Coffs and yamba. balloons with livebait were the go, but they do take pilchards, salted strips and other dead baits when they are hungry, as with most tuna, once landed they go spastic so that will be a big challenge in the yak, controlling the fish. 

Keep the rigs simple, you dont want to over complicate everything with fancy this and fancy that, just whip on a hook, a balloon/float/unweighted and just drift around looking for bait/ surface actions. try for slimies or yakkas, if you're going in the winter, garfish are a great option too. 

Safety, well you can only do so much before it starts compromising yourself. outriggers are pretty silly as if the fish circles your boat your line will get pinched on them. flipping the kayak shouldn't happen until you ether lift the fish in or you flip it while trying to control the fish when its landed.

if its a keeper and you want to keep it just whack it on the head with the backbone of a machete or a large bowie knife. works a charm with kings, Bonnies and macs and puts them to sleep without splattering about in the kayak. Along with that keep your deck clear of stuff like line, hooks, knives and other crap on the deck as it will just get thrown everywhere or create tangles 

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17 hours ago, dirvin21 said:

I've caught mack tuna and bonito out of my kayak in the river

Caught on metal slugs

Can't give you specifics around Sydney but our tuna run on the mid north coast is usually April-May they come into the larger estuarys on the run in tide

I know plenty get caught in Sydney harbour

The only issue I've had with tuna in the yak is they go crazy when landed

 

like at the mouth of the rivers? 

Ahh, any specific weight? 

Yeah I know theyre in nelson bay at the moment, theres still supposed to be some hanging around around sydney at the moment. 

Yep, a couple of months ago they were an absolute plauge in the harbour lol

how do you handle them in the yak? I plan to have a bag in/on the front hatch, so i guess that makes it easier to deal with them? they dont have teeth right? excluding dogtooth. I guess bonito can go in the centre hatch lol. I seem to be an expert in stuffing things in there and never been able to get them back out. 

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14 hours ago, Restyle said:

I've never caught a decent tuna besides the Bonnies etc, they are fairly common during the warmer months and usually appear around headlands or in the outer areas of systems towards the ocean.

My dad use to catch longtail regularly off Coffs and yamba. balloons with livebait were the go, but they do take pilchards, salted strips and other dead baits when they are hungry, as with most tuna, once landed they go spastic so that will be a big challenge in the yak, controlling the fish. 

Keep the rigs simple, you dont want to over complicate everything with fancy this and fancy that, just whip on a hook, a balloon/float/unweighted and just drift around looking for bait/ surface actions. try for slimies or yakkas, if you're going in the winter, garfish are a great option too. 

Safety, well you can only do so much before it starts compromising yourself. outriggers are pretty silly as if the fish circles your boat your line will get pinched on them. flipping the kayak shouldn't happen until you ether lift the fish in or you flip it while trying to control the fish when its landed.

if its a keeper and you want to keep it just whack it on the head with the backbone of a machete or a large bowie knife. works a charm with kings, Bonnies and macs and puts them to sleep without splattering about in the kayak. Along with that keep your deck clear of stuff like line, hooks, knives and other crap on the deck as it will just get thrown everywhere or create tangles 

Thanks. 

ill try and grab some live baits, thanks for the tip. 

do you recomend drifting around with the bait or slow trolling? the reason for the flashers i through was just to give the dead bait a bit more appeal. Im guessing a snell rig? 

thanks for the tip abolut outriggers, thats handy to know, didn't think of that before. 

Yeah I always keep the deck clean. 

thanks again for the advice

 

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16 hours ago, Larkin said:

I use sharkskins to keep warm. Wetsuits are tight and restrict movement - the sharkskins are more flexible - divers also use them under their wetsuits to keep warm.

yeah, thoes are mesnt to be good. I have 2, one for free diving shallow warmer water/ surfing and then another for freediving deeper water 

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2 hours ago, noelm said:

No need for fancy snelled rigs or flashers, Bonito will take just about anything, other Tuna tend to go for live bait, but can be taken on Pilchards.

Thanks for the tip. Just a sigle hook through the nose? They tend to inhale their food, its a trait of all tuna isnt it?

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5 hours ago, slothparade said:

like at the mouth of the rivers? 

Ahh, any specific weight? 

Yeah I know theyre in nelson bay at the moment, theres still supposed to be some hanging around around sydney at the moment. 

Yep, a couple of months ago they were an absolute plauge in the harbour lol

how do you handle them in the yak? I plan to have a bag in/on the front hatch, so i guess that makes it easier to deal with them? they dont have teeth right? excluding dogtooth. I guess bonito can go in the centre hatch lol. I seem to be an expert in stuffing things in there and never been able to get them back out. 

I tail grab them and keep a good grip 

They're not too bad to handle in a yak just be mindful of potential for flying hooks etc.. and exposed sensitive body parts 

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You can get a good safe grip on tuna by grabbing their tail wrist, just be wary of hooks as they thrash around.  Most tuna and live baits will calm down and be easier to handle if you hold them horisontally upside down.  If gaffing, in the head is the best way to handle them.  Ron 

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