Tuna make an incredible fly rod target and will
test angler and gear to the max as they make high speed powerful
runs well into the backing, depending on tuna and equipment in use.
When a tuna takes get the line clear quickly and once on the reel
you can settle into the fight. The speed of these fish will literally
jump any loose line up off the bottom of the boat and it can catch
on fingers, buttons, guides, reel handles and anything else in the
vicinity resulting in an instant breakoff.
Smaller tuna species such as Frigate Mackerel, Bonito including
Watsons Leaping, Striped Tuna, Mackerel Tuna and Northern Bluefin
(or Longtail Tuna as they are known) all provide excellent fly rod
targets. Going up in rod weight you can also take on Albacore and
smaller Yellowfin up to around the 30kg mark.
In Australia the Nothern Bluefin provide sport across
the top end and down the eastern seaboard with some monsters taken
at Hervey Bay each season. Fishing style varies depending on the
bait that is being pursued.
The Northern baitballs are great fun and it is amazing to watch
singles, pairs or small groups of longtail herd baitfish together
till they have accumulated a baitball, then hold the baitball together
by circling it continuously and attacking any strays or bait trying
to escape the ball.
Drifting up to a baitball and casting the fly into the ball and
then slowly stripping out from the ball will almost always get a
strike as long as the fly has some resemblance to the bait.
Likewise the Bluefin action at Hervey Bay varies depending on the
bait being pursued. When the tuna are on the eyes and it is still
then you could be fooled into thinking you were witnessing midging
tuna with the slow deliberate way the tuna take these tiny eyes.
Mack Tuna are common throughout most warmer Australian
waters and can come in at up to 20 pounds though most are around
4 - 12 lb. Macks are common throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans
and have a variety of local names depending on where you are. Small
mack tuna are a favorite food source of large Wahoo and where you
have small macks and other small tuna the larger pelagics won't
be far away.
Striped tuna are generally found further offshore
but do follow the currents. This is one of the strongest tuna for
its size and even a 6 lb fish will take a bit of stopping on a fly
rod. Striped tuna grow to 30 pounds but will mostly be encountered
under 15 lb.
Tuna can be finicky and if under pressure can be
hard to approach. If they are feeding on faster moving bait such
as flying or gar fish then they can be very difficult to get a fly
in front of. Regardless of the tuna species or the bait, this is
fast and often demanding fly fishing which can result in some memorable
Contact Travelling Fly
Fisher for any enquiries you may have in relation to catching tuna
on the fly and to book your next Fly Fishing holiday.