For years a deadly technique has been employed on the South Coast of NSW for barrel sized yellowfin and bluefin tuna. A technique that at first glance seems rather dull and boring compared to the frantic action of casting/trolling. Yet nothing could be further from the truth- 150kg fish smashing bait balls metres from the boat, screaming reels, explosive boat side eats and potential multiple hook ups.
The technique is called cubing, and is still little known, but highly effective, in South-West Victoria. The basic technique for cubing down here is to find a bait ball, preferably away from trollers to avoid conflict, reverse until you are on top of the bait ball, and lob a pre-rigged pilchard into the frenzy. And hold on! Chopped up pilchards can help attract fish to the boat and keep fish in the area. Make sure you are ready to go as it all can happen so fast.
Cubing tackle consists of 15 or 24kg standup game rods/reels, the same as would be used for trolling. On the business end of the rig, a circle hook in the 8/0 or 10/0 size is used. Black Magic KLTs, the same used for bottom bashing, make an ideal hook and have caught multiple barrels locally. No sinker is needed as the bait is required to drift down naturally into the school.
One other benefit of cubing is the ability to bring fish up from deeper water. Often anglers mark barrel tuna clearly on a sounder, however these fish will not show on the surface and won’t move off the bait to chase down a fast trolled lure. A cube presented in a burley trail of tuna oil and pilchards may just be the difference between no fish and a barrel.
The Tackle Shack at Richardson Marine is more than happy to assist with any questions or queries and can set you up with all the rods, reels, lines, hooks and bait you need for cubing. After all; there is no need for fancy expensive lures and teasers- one rod, one hook and one pilchard is it. If you’re keen to try something new, check out these links to some fantastic action and how-to’s for cubing.