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Distribution - Albacore, also called albacore tuna or longfin tuna, are pelagic fish that are present in east and south Australian waters and from east of Torres Strait to the north west shelf. The distribution of albacore is related to oxygen concentration and water temperature. Whilst albacore feed at the surface, they primarily live at the thermocline, which is the boundary separating warmer surface waters and deeper, cooler waters. Mature albacore travel from temperate waters to the tropics but return to temperate waters after spawning.
Size - Albacore can reach a maximum length of 1.5 metres and can weigh more than 40kg. Anglers commonly catch fish between 50 and 90 cm and a weight of 3 - 22kg.
Characteristics - Albacore are a member of the family Scombridae and are recognised by their very long pectoral fins, which are the longest of all tunas. Albacore are also characterised by a dark yellow first dorsal fin and pale yellow second dorsal fin. Albacore are opportunistic carnivores that feed on planktonic crustaceans, squid and small fish.
Confusing species - Similar to yellowfin tuna, however, albacore possess an elongated pectoral fin and a distinctive white rear border on the caudal fin, which is unique to this species.
Fishing tips - Albacore are generally caught in waters off New South Wales from September to December and in April and May. Anglers often use trolling methods with artificial lures and live or dead baits to catch albacore.