Fishing Personality, TV Host
Over many years, Lee has left his mark on many styles of fishing for just as many different species. A very versatile angler, Lee is well known for his television productions, from “Tuna Bluefin Tactics”, “Snapper Fishing Tactics” and “Whiting Fishing Tactics” back in 2008 to his long running fishing show “Fishing Edge”, which takes him all over Australia fishing for every imaginable species.
Lee’s Top Bluefin Tuna Fishing Tips
- The summer run of Southern bluefin tuna in Victoria has become more consistent in recent years and at present there are good quantities of fish from 10-40kg available on Melbourne’s Doorstep – with a few jumbo’s thrown in.
- During the summer months fish are often found fairly close to the water surface, even when not busting up, which makes them a prime target for cast or trolled lures and jigs.
- Bluefin tuna fishing is about covering water until you find fish. The schools are large, scattered and fast moving, so look for signs such as birds or bust ups and don’t get fixated on GPS marks.
- If the fish are marking on the sounder but are shy about taking lures it can pay to move away from other boats and find your own school of fish to work.
- Subtle things can make a difference at times. Sometimes the fish will only take a lure trolled in one direction and will reject a lure trolled the opposite direction, for example. Mix it up until you find what’s working.
- Periods of good tidal movement tend to fish best. The seven days leading up to the full moon are good, but the full moon itself and days when there are “dodge tides” are to be avoided.
- When a tuna is hooked it’s important that pressure is kept on it. Line should be coming off the reel or coming back onto it, but southern bluefin tuna have strategies for conserving energy if they’re not forced into activity. Change boat angles constantly and don;t let the fish recuperate.
- On days when fish are hesitant to take lures it can be effective to drop a couple of metal headed skirts well back from the boat. Using a spreader bar has also transformed Lee’s tuna fishing dramatically.
Lee’s Bluefin Tuna Fishing Tackle
- 10-15kg tackle is perfect for thye school fish that are present over late summer and autumn, but you can also go a little lighter if you wish. Spin gear has become popular these days and Lee likes quality reels such as Stella 8000’s, but tackle has advanced to the point that mid-priced spin gear such as Shimano Saragosa’s and Penn Spinfishers are more than adequate. He recommends choosing a rod with quality components as it can make casting and playing fish much easier.
Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishing Lures
- The Rapala X-Rap long cast in the 120mm size is a good representation of the smallish bait that tuna are feeding on in Victoria over the late summer months and can be cast at fish feeding on or near the surface. Lee also likes to run Rapala X-Raps in the 120mm size likes to troll these beneath or behind the spreader bar.
- The Aloha Ninja Bullet head is a great lure that spends more time beneath the water (important for tuna) and is especially good fished well behind the boat. JB Micro Dingo’s are also popular.
- The X-Rap Cast and Prey casts a very long way and is great for southern bluefin tuna, but the Nomad Mad Scad and Riptide stickbaits are also excellent.
As the southern bluefin tuna fishery continues to improve off the Victorian coastline adventurous anglers are finding more and more ways to target them. In today’s episode Lee Rayner shares his strategy for targeting the mighty bluefin on cast surface poppers.
If you’re looking for some tips for chasing southern bluefin tuna you’ll find today’s guest, Indy Thompson, to be very generous with her impressive knowledge. Tune in as Caitlin picks up some great tips for targeting this species.
Looking for winter fishing options around Melbourne? Lee Rayner reckons southern fishing can be spectacular in the cooler months.