Tuna
Champs

Every month, we’ll feature the best pics, tales and tips our recreational fishing community shares with us.

Show us your tuna champ ways and you could make a splash in our Champions gallery

John & Lydia C
Melbourne
Vic
We pride ourselves on the motto ‘take one fish’ and use it all.
John & Lydia C
Melbourne
Vic
Nothing beats a day in Bass Strait hunting down a bluefin school for some topwater action – and we love to catch and release once our needs are met.
Tim S
@bluewatermagazine
Southport QLD
SBT are a precious and limited resource, so once you've enjoyed your interaction, release them carefully so they survive...
Tim S
Southport QLD
Better still, tag them before you release them! Bluefin are delicious and you only need one or two for a feast. But they spoil easily so take care of them so you're not disappointed when you get them home.
Just dropping your bluefin on the deck can bruise and spoil the flesh. So dispatch it quickly, then clean it and get it on ice. And learn the easy steps that will transform it into the culinary delicacy it can be.
Lee VS
@leevansoest
Adelaide SA
There's nothing like hooking up to an SBT... the rush and fighting power of these fish is amazing!
Lee VS
Adelaide SA
Always change your treble hooks to single hooks - and if you're releasing the fish, get it onto a wet mat, pop in a tag and get it back in the water as quickly as you can.
Scott G
@scottgrayfishing
Southwest Victoria
Catching multiple SBT in an outing is common in southwest Victoria, so many anglers practice catch and release - which means looking after it so it survives.
Scott G
Southwest Victoria
I use a large landing net with a soft silicone bag, which helps control the fish when landing it and prevents damage to its skin and scales.
I also use single hooks on all my stickbait lures – they’re easier to remove from the fish, cause less damage to its mouth, and reduce bleeding. This means the fish spends less time out of the water before release and has a better chance of surviving.
Chloe L
@she_fishes
Sydney NSW
When you're fighting a fish and you stop to rest, so does the fish - and that can lengthen the fight time.
Chloe L
Sydney NSW
If you keep working hard you'll keep the fight time short. There are so many options for preparing SBT. It's such a delicacy, I love it. My husband is allergic to other fish but SBT is a fish we can share at the table.
Short fight times mean your SBT is in good condition if you want to release it. If you're keeping it, the meat won't degrade due to over-heating. That's really important when catching SBT in the warmer waters off NSW!
Andy @ Ebb Tide
@EbbTideTackle
Melbourne
VIC
At Ebb Tide Tackle, we're loving seeing the bluefin resurgence! We let a ton of them go – doing it right so they have the best chance of surviving.
Andy @ Ebb Tide
Melbourne
VIC
We’ve recently moved to barbless single hooks to decrease damage. And we’re big on dispatching, bleeding, gutting and chilling the fish we keep asap for prime eating quality.
We love locating schools and casting stickbaits and poppers to raise the fish for some explosive strikes. Bluefin love an erratically worked lure!
Nathan B
@offaltarian.brindles
Sydney
NSW
Correctly handling bluefin is often overlooked, so I like to promote practical ways to ethically handle and utilise this revered marine species.
Nathan B
Sydney
NSW
I grew up on the NSW south coast, so I’ve always had an affinity with the coast, and fishing has dictated my lifestyle choices.
Over 15+ years working in commercial kitchens and now as head chef at Ester in Sydney, I’ve seen social media impact both rec fishing and hospitality. The instant info transfer means people are more informed, but it also increases fishing pressure on species like bluefin.
Stuart N
@Stuart-Nicols-Personalised-Sea-Charters
Eaglehawk Neck TAS
SBT have been a big part of my life for 20 years. I still love taking customers out to experience catching this amazing fish.
Stuart N
Eaglehawk Neck TAS
When the fish are on, it gets very exciting on deck, with multiple rods going off at once. Among the frenzy, I remind customers to think about how much meat they want to take home, to only take what they'll use, and to release other fish to fight another day.
There's no point landing every fish if the meat will go to waste. It's the best of both worlds - an amazing experience catching these hard-fighting fish and taking home just the amount of meat that can be kept in good condition so it's all enjoyed and not wasted.
Richie A
@richard.abela.35
Melbourne VIC
SBT are tough competitors. I love the challenge of the fight - and the joy of seeing someone catch their first big one.
Richie A
Melbourne VIC
Take plenty of ice onboard, because if you don't chill them down quickly the meat is ruined.
When tagging and releasing a big SBT, it's always better to have the boat moving forward slowly - and keep the fish's head below water at all times. This makes it easier to control the fish, as fresh oxygenated water continues to flow over the gills.
Jonah Y
New Norfolk, TAS
Fishing for SBT in Tassie got me addicted to bluewater gamefishing. They're exciting to catch, delicious to eat...
Jonah Y
New Norfolk, TAS
...and the SBT hot spots here are breathtakingly scenic. If you're planning to release SBT, consider getting involved in a tagging program. All tags and applicators are supplied, so it doesn't cost you anything to contribute to gamefish research!
Before tagging fish, do your homework. Know your state's tagging regulations and learn how it's done. Doing it correctly is important for tag retention - and increases the chance of the fish surviving.