Category: Tuna Fishing

How to Catch Tuna Trolling a Guide to Tuna Trolling

How to Catch Tuna Trolling a Guide to Tuna Trolling

Trolling is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water behind a moving boat. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of hooking a tuna while trolling. Tuna trolling is not just about catching fish….it’s an art, a science, and an adventure all rolled into one. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to master the art of tuna trolling and HOPEFULLY have you bringing home a prized catch.

Equipment Needed for Tuna Trolling

Before you set out on your tuna trolling adventure, it’s crucial to make sure you have the right gear. Here’s a rundown of the essential equipment you’ll need.

  • Rods and Reels… Opt for heavy-duty trolling rods and reels capable of handling the strength and speed of tuna. Check out our post for the best Rods and Reels
  • Lines… Choose high-quality, braided fishing lines with a test strength of at least 50 pounds to withstand the fight with a tuna.
  • Lures and Baits… Tuna are attracted to a variety of lures, including diving plugs, feathers, and squid skirts. Experiment with different colors and sizes to find what works best. We think green works best and always start with that.
  • Terminal Tackle… Stock up on swivels, leaders, and hooks designed to withstand the force of a tuna strike.
  • Check out our post on Spreader Bars
a href=”″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Tuna Fishing TackleSuper Strong Braided Fishing Line

Where to Find Tuna While Trolling

Searching for tuna can be an exciting adventure. It can also be extremely frustrating unless you know what you are looking for.

Tuna can be found in both offshore and nearshore waters, depending on the species and the time of year. Generally in the summer months you will have an easier time finding schools of tuna. Typically, they will stay near the surface of the water while hunting for schools of bait fish. In the winter months, tuna tend to hunt deeper and rarely venture up to the surface. Additionally, tuna fishing is usually better in low light conditions, such as those in the late afternoon.

To increase your chances of success, research local fishing reports, consult with experienced anglers, and keep an eye on oceanographic conditions. Look for signs of tuna activity, such as diving birds, feeding frenzies, or floating debris, which can indicate the presence of baitfish and attract hungry tuna.

Trolling for Tuna Techniques and Tips

Trolling is a tried and true method for targeting tuna, but it requires finesse and patience. Here are some tips for mastering the art of trolling.

  • Speed Matters… Tuna are fast swimmers, so adjust your trolling speed accordingly. Aim for speeds between 5 and 10 knots, depending on the lure and sea conditions.
  • Depth Control… Use downriggers, planers, or diving weights to control the depth of your lures and keep them in the strike zone.
  • Keep an Eye on the Spread… Spread out your trolling lines at different distances and angles behind the boat to cover a larger area and increase your chances of attracting tuna.
  • Stay Alert… Pay close attention to your rod tips for signs of strikes or irregularities in the trolling pattern. When a tuna hits, be prepared for a powerful fight!

Tuna trolling requires patience and perseverance. It’s not uncommon to spend hours on the water without a bite, but don’t lose hope! Stay focused, keep your lines in the water, and be ready to spring into action when the moment comes. Remember, the thrill of hooking a tuna makes the wait well worth it.

How to Land a Tuna

Congratulations, you’ve hooked a tuna! Now comes the fun part, landing your prize catch. Here are some tips for safely and efficiently bringing a tuna on board.

  • Keep the Pressure On.. Maintain constant pressure on the fish to tire it out and prevent it from shaking the hook.
  • Use a Gaff or Net.. Once the tuna is tired out, use a gaff or a large landing net to hoist it aboard. Be careful not to damage the fish or your equipment in the process.
  • Bleed and Chill.. To preserve the quality of your catch, bleed the tuna immediately after landing by cutting its gills and then chill it on ice as soon as possible.

Tuna Fishing Ethics

As responsible anglers, it’s essential to prioritize sustainable fishing practices to ensure the long term health of tuna populations and marine ecosystems. Always adhere to local regulations regarding catch limits, size restrictions, and seasonal closures. Consider practicing catch and release for smaller tuna or species in decline, and minimize your impact on the environment by properly disposing of trash and fishing gear.

Tuna trolling is more than just a hobby; it’s a way of life for many anglers who crave the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of landing a prized catch. Armed with the right gear, knowledge, and techniques, you’re ready to embark on your own tuna trolling adventure. So cast off, explore new waters, and reel in the big ones. Happy tuna fishing.

Tuna Trolling Lures

Mastering the Art of Catching Tuna through Trolling

Mastering the Art of Catching Tuna through Trolling

tuna trolling

Trolling for tuna is not merely a fishing technique; it’s an intricate dance between angler and fish,

requiring skill, patience, and a deep understanding of the ocean’s dynamics. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the nuances of trolling for tuna and explore key strategies to optimize your success on the water.

Understanding Tuna Behavior

To effectively target tuna, it’s crucial to comprehend their behavior patterns. Tuna are highly migratory species, constantly on the move in search of food and optimal environmental conditions. They traverse vast expanses of ocean, from coastal waters to the open sea, following prey abundance and favorable temperature gradients.

Tuna are voracious predators, known for their affinity for baitfish, squid, and other marine organisms. They’re attracted to areas rich in food sources, such as upwellings, temperature breaks, and underwater structures. By studying these habitat features and their relationship to tuna behavior, anglers can better predict where to find these prized fish.

Trolling for Tuna Techniques

Trolling is a versatile fishing method that allows anglers to cover large areas of water while presenting baits or lures at various depths and distances from the boat. Here are some essential tips to enhance your tuna trolling success:

  1. Select the Right Lures – Tuna can be selective feeders, so having a diverse selection of lures is essential. Cedar plugs, skirted trolling lures, and feather jigs are popular choices. Experiment with different colors, sizes, and actions to determine what triggers the most strikes. More about Tuna Lures
  2. Adjust Your Speed – Tuna often have a preferred feeding speed, so be prepared to adjust your trolling speed accordingly. Start at a moderate pace and vary your speed until you find what works best on any given day. In Depth guide to tuna trolling
  3. Use Teasers – Incorporating teasers into your trolling spread can attract curious tuna and increase your chances of hooking into fish. Teasers create additional visual stimulation, mimicking a school of baitfish and enticing predators to strike. More info about tuna teasers and spreader bars.
  4. Vary Your Depths – Tuna can be found at different depths depending on factors such as water temperature and the availability of prey. Experiment with trolling at various depths using planers, diving plugs, or downriggers to target fish holding at different levels in the water column.
  5. Pay Attention to Signs – Keep an eye out for signs of tuna activity, such as diving birds, surface splashes, or feeding frenzies. These indicators can lead you to productive fishing areas where tuna are actively feeding.

Tuna Trolling Gear and Equipment

When gearing up for tuna trolling, it’s essential to invest in high-quality equipment that can withstand the rigors of offshore fishing. Start with a sturdy trolling rod designed specifically for battling powerful tuna species. Look for rods with a strong backbone and enough flexibility to handle the unpredictable movements of a hooked fish. Pair your rod with a reliable trolling reel equipped with a smooth drag system capable of applying consistent pressure during long fights.

In terms of terminal tackle, opt for heavy-duty monofilament or braided fishing line with a high tensile strength to withstand the sharp teeth and powerful runs of tuna. Consider using a top-quality leader material to prevent fish from breaking off near the boat. When it comes to lures, stock your tackle box with a variety of options to cover different trolling scenarios and mimic various baitfish species. Additionally, don’t forget essential accessories such as fighting belts, gaffs, and fish handling gloves to ensure a safe and successful fishing experience.

By honing your trolling skills and understanding the intricacies of tuna behavior, you can greatly increase your chances of success on the water. Remember to remain adaptable and willing to adjust your tactics based on changing conditions and fish behavior. With dedication and perseverance, you’ll be well-equipped to master the art of catching tuna through trolling. Happy fishing!

Catching Tuna through Trolling FAQ

  1. What type of tuna species can be caught through trolling?
    • Trolling is effective for various tuna species like yellowfin, bigeye, bluefin, and albacore. Each species may have different preferences, but all can be caught through trolling.
  2. What is the best time of year for tuna trolling?
    • The best time varies by location and species. Research local fishing reports and consult experienced anglers to find the optimal time in your area.
  3. How fast should I troll for tuna?
    • A typical trolling speed ranges from 6 to 8 knots. Experiment with speeds and adjust based on the fish’s response.
  4. What depth should I troll for tuna?
    • Cover different depths using planers, diving plugs, or downriggers to target tuna effectively.
  5. What types of lures are most effective for trolling tuna?
    • Tuna strike various lures, including cedar plugs, skirted trolling lures, and feather jigs. Match the lure to prevailing conditions and fish preferences.
  6. Any special techniques for hooking and fighting tuna while trolling?
    • Stay vigilant, be ready to strike, and use proper fighting techniques. Heavy-duty tackle, strong knots, and smooth drag settings help prevent break-offs.

Check out other recommended products for Tuna Fishing

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How Dolphins Can Help Catching Tuna

How Dolphins Can Help Catching Tuna

tuna catching dolphin

Learn how recreational anglers can leverage dolphin behavior to locate tuna hotspots, follow pods to strategic fishing grounds, and adopt responsible practices. Dive into this insightful exploration of the unique relationship between these marine species and enhance your tuna fishing experience with the wisdom of dolphins.

If you’ve ever cast your line into the vast, blue expanse of the ocean, you know the thrill of the chase. Tuna fishing takes this excitement to a whole new level, and there’s an unexpected dance partner in these waters being dolphins. Join us as we explore the intricacies of tuna fishing and the fascinating connection between anglers and these intelligent marine creatures.

Recreational anglers often find themselves in awe of the natural beauty of the ocean, and those lucky enough might have encountered dolphins during their fishing adventures. Believe it or not, these intelligent marine companions can serve as valuable allies in the pursuit of tuna. Here’s a detailed guide on how recreational anglers can use dolphins to track and, perhaps, catch the prized silver treasures of the sea.

The Tuna Fishing Quest

Tuna fishing is a pursuit that combines skill, patience, and a touch of luck. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a newbie trying to hook the big one, the open sea holds mysteries waiting to be unraveled. Tuna, with their sleek bodies and unparalleled speed, are the crown jewels of the deep. Anglers embark on journeys, often spanning miles, to find the elusive schools and bring home the prized catch.

The Dolphin Dilemma

But where there’s tuna, there are dolphins. These playful and intelligent creatures share the same waters, creating a dynamic that adds both complexity and controversy to the pursuit of tuna fishing. Tuna often swim beneath schools of dolphins, making it challenging for fishermen to target their catch without unintentionally ensnaring dolphins in their nets.

The Delicate Dance

Tuna fishing and dolphin protection have been at odds for years, leading to regulations and guidelines aimed at minimizing harm to these marine mammals. Fishermen, too, have adapted their methods, using dolphin-safe gear and technologies to distinguish between tuna and dolphins in the vast ocean expanse. It’s a delicate dance where the balance between a thriving tuna industry and the preservation of marine life hangs in the balance.

How Dolphins Can Help Catching Tuna

1. Observation is Key

One of the first steps in utilizing dolphins for tuna fishing is keen observation. Dolphins are highly skilled hunters, and their behavior can provide valuable insights into the presence and location of tuna schools. Keep an eye out for areas where dolphins are actively feeding or displaying playful behavior, as this could indicate the proximity of tuna.

2. Follow the Pod

tuna fishing dolphin

Dolphins and tuna often share the same feeding grounds. If you spot a pod of dolphins actively swimming or feeding, consider following them at a safe distance. Dolphins have an uncanny ability to locate schools of fish, including tuna, as they are skilled at detecting changes in water pressure and movement.

3. Birdwatching for Tuna Hotspots

Dolphins and tuna attract a variety of seabirds, creating a natural alliance between these three marine species. Seabirds, such as seagulls and terns, are excellent indicators of tuna activity. If you observe birds diving into the water to feed, there’s a good chance that tuna are present. Dolphins often follow the same cues, making them effective navigational guides.

4. Tuna and Dolphin Association

Understanding the natural association between tuna and dolphins is crucial. Tuna are known to swim beneath schools of dolphins for protection and to take advantage of the smaller fish disturbed by the dolphins’ movements. Recreational anglers can strategically position their boats near dolphins, casting their lines in the hope of enticing tuna lurking below.

5. Use Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs)

Fish Aggregating Devices, or FADs, are man-made structures designed to attract fish. Dolphins are known to congregate around these devices, making them strategic locations for tuna fishing. Recreational anglers can identify FADs in their fishing areas and position themselves accordingly, leveraging the presence of dolphins to guide them to potential tuna hotspots.

FAQ Section

Q: How can recreational anglers use dolphins to locate tuna? A: Recreational anglers can observe dolphins’ behavior, follow their pods, and pay attention to areas where dolphins are actively feeding. Dolphins often indicate the presence of tuna, making them valuable guides for anglers.

Q: Are there specific signs that dolphins give when tuna is nearby? A: Dolphins may exhibit heightened activity, such as leaping, splashing, or focused swimming. These behaviors can indicate the presence of tuna, and anglers can strategically position themselves to capitalize on this association.

Q: Why do tuna and dolphins swim together? A: Tuna and dolphins share a symbiotic relationship where tuna often gather beneath schools of dolphins. The exact reasons for this association are not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to feeding patterns and protection from predators.

Q: How do fishermen avoid catching dolphins? A: Fishermen use dolphin-safe fishing practices, including the deployment of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) and the use of specialized gear like pole and line fishing. These methods help target tuna specifically, reducing the risk of unintentionally capturing dolphins.

Q: Is it ethical to use dolphins to track tuna? A: While using dolphins as indicators for tuna can be effective, it’s crucial to prioritize ethical practices. Maintain a safe distance, avoid disrupting their natural behavior, and adhere to responsible fishing guidelines.

Q: Can recreational anglers attract tuna using dolphin-safe methods? A: Yes, recreational anglers can use dolphin-safe methods, such as following dolphins at a safe distance or positioning their boats near Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), to attract tuna while minimizing any potential harm to dolphins.

Q: What is the impact of tuna fishing on dolphin populations? A: In the past, some tuna fishing methods, such as purse seining, led to unintentional dolphin captures. This raised concerns about the impact on dolphin populations. Today, regulations and dolphin-safe practices aim to minimize these impacts, ensuring a more sustainable coexistence.

Q: How can consumers contribute to dolphin conservation in tuna fishing? A: Choosing dolphin-safe labeled tuna products is a simple yet impactful way for consumers to support dolphin conservation. Additionally, staying informed about sustainable fishing practices and advocating for responsible seafood choices can contribute to positive change.


Recreational anglers can tap into the natural instincts of dolphins to enhance their tuna fishing experience. By observing, respecting, and learning from these remarkable marine creatures, anglers can unlock the secrets of the ocean and create a more harmonious connection between the pursuit of tuna and the presence of dolphins. So, set sail with respect, let the dolphins be your guides, and enjoy the adventure of tuna fishing with a touch of aquatic camaraderie.

Tuna fishing is a thrilling adventure, but the narrative wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the presence of dolphins in this aquatic tale. The delicate dance between tuna and dolphins reminds us of the interconnectedness of marine life and the responsibility we bear as stewards of the oceans. As anglers adapt their practices and consumers make informed choices, we move closer to a harmonious coexistence where the pursuit of tuna is both thrilling and sustainable. So, cast your line, embrace the challenge, and let the dance continue beneath the endless waves.

Best Fishing Rods and Reels for Catching Tuna

Best Fishing Rods and Reels for Catching Tuna

When it comes to catching tuna, having the right fishing rod, reel and line is key to a successful day on the water. Tuna are large and powerful fish that require a sturdy and strong rod to handle the fight. Here are some of the best options for catching tuna:

Tuna fishing can be a thrilling and challenging experience, requiring anglers to have the right equipment to handle these large and powerful fish. When choosing a fishing rod for tuna, there are several factors to consider, including the size of the fish you are targeting, the type of fishing you will be doing, and your personal preference.

Good Tuna Fishing Rods

  1. Conventional Tuna Fishing Rods: Conventional rods are a popular choice for trolling, which is a common method for catching tuna. These rods are typically 6-8 feet in length and are made from high-quality materials such as graphite or fiberglass. They are strong and durable, making them ideal for handling the powerful strikes and runs of tuna. Conventional rods also have a sensitive tip that allows anglers to feel even the slightest bite.
  2. Spinning Rods for catching tuna: Spinning rods are a versatile option that can be used for both trolling and casting. They are typically 6-7 feet in length and are made from graphite or fiberglass. Spinning rods are lightweight and easy to handle, making them a good choice for anglers who want to fish for extended periods without experiencing fatigue. They also have a sensitive tip that allows anglers to feel the slightest bite.
  3. Stand-Up Tuna catching Rods: Stand-up rods are designed for fighting big fish such as tuna. They are typically 7-8 feet in length and are made from graphite or fiberglass. They are designed with a long handle that allows anglers to keep their balance during the fight. Stand-up rods are lightweight and easy to handle, making them a good choice for anglers who want to fish for extended periods without experiencing fatigue. They also have a powerful backbone that can handle the powerful strikes and runs of tuna.

Good Reels for Tuna Fishing

When it comes to tuna fishing, having a good reel is just as important as having a good rod. The right reel can make all the difference in landing a big tuna. Here are some of the best reels for tuna fishing:

  1. Conventional Tuna Reels: Conventional reels are a popular choice for trolling and are designed to handle the large and powerful fish like tuna. They come in various sizes and have a high line capacity. Conventional reels also have a powerful drag system that allows anglers to control the fish during the fight.
  2. Spinning Reels for Tuna Fishing: Spinning reels are a versatile option that can be used for both trolling and casting. They come in various sizes and have a high line capacity. Spinning reels also have a smooth drag system that allows anglers to control the fish during the fight.
  3. Lever Drag Reels for Tuna Catching: Lever drag reels are designed for big game fishing, including tuna. They have a powerful drag system and a high line capacity. Lever drag reels also have a smooth drag system that allows anglers to control the fish during the fight.

When choosing a reel for tuna fishing, it is important to consider the size of the fish you are targeting, the type of fishing you will be doing, and the weight of the line you will be using.

Fishing Line or Braid for Tuna Fishing

The type of line or braid you use when fishing for tuna is also an important factor to consider. Here are some options:

  1. Monofilament Line for Tuna Fishing: Monofilament line is a popular choice for tuna fishing. It is versatile, affordable, and has a good knot strength. Monofilament line also has a good stretch, which can help absorb the shock of a tuna’s powerful strikes and runs.
  2. Braided Line for Catching Tuna: Braided line is a strong and durable option for tuna fishing. It has a high breaking strength and is ideal for use

When choosing a line or braid for tuna fishing, consider the size of the fish you are targeting, the type of fishing you will be doing, and the strength of the line.

In conclusion, when fishing for tuna, having the right equipment is essential. Consider the size of the fish you are targeting, the type of fishing you will be doing, and your personal preference when choosing a rod, reel, and line or braid.

Happy fishing =)

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on How To Catch Tuna.

Fishing for Tuna with a Kayak

Fishing for Tuna with a Kayak

tuna fishing kayak

Fishing for tuna from a kayak can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. These powerful predatory fish are found in oceans around the world and can put up quite a fight when hooked. However, successfully landing a tuna from a kayak requires the right equipment, techniques, and a bit of knowledge about the species and their behavior. Here are some recommendations for kayak fishing for tuna.

Tuna Fishing Kayak Recommendations

When it comes to choosing a kayak for tuna fishing, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, stability is crucial. Tuna can grow to be quite large and can put up a strong fight when hooked, so you want a kayak that can handle the movement and not tip over. A wider and more stable kayak is generally a better choice for tuna fishing.

Size is also an important factor to consider. Tuna can be found in deep waters, so you’ll need a kayak that can handle the choppy waves and strong currents found offshore. A longer and more seaworthy kayak is generally better suited for this type of fishing.

Finally, consider the weight capacity of the kayak. Tuna can be quite heavy, so you’ll need a kayak that can handle the weight of the fish and all of your gear.

More Info about Fishing Kayak’s

Catching Tuna Equipment Recommendations

When it comes to equipment, you’ll need a few key items to successfully fish for tuna from a kayak. First and foremost, you’ll need a good quality rod and reel. Tuna are strong, fast-swimming fish, so you’ll need a rod with a fast action and a strong backbone to handle the fight. A reel with a high gear ratio is also recommended, as it will allow you to retrieve line quickly and keep up with the fish as it runs.

You’ll also need a good supply of strong, braided fishing line. Tuna have sharp teeth and tough skin, so you’ll need a line that can stand up to the challenge. A minimum of 30-pound test is recommended, with 50-pound or higher being even better.

Other essential equipment for tuna fishing from a kayak includes a gaff or net for landing the fish, a pair of pliers for removing hooks, and a cooler to store the fish until you get back to shore.

Kayak Tuna Fishing Techniques

There are a few different techniques that work well for kayak fishing for tuna. One popular method is trolling, which involves slowly moving the kayak through the water while dragging lures or live bait behind the boat. Tuna are predatory fish and are attracted to movement, so this can be an effective way to attract their attention.

Another technique that works well for kayak fishing is casting and retrieving lures or live bait. This involves casting the bait or lure out and slowly reeling it back in, imitating the movement of a small fish or other prey.

When fishing for tuna from a kayak, it’s important to pay attention to the species’ behavior and habits. Tuna are often found in schools and tend to feed near the surface, so it’s a good idea to focus your efforts in these areas. Look for birds diving or baitfish jumping out of the water, as these can be signs that tuna are nearby.

Fishing for tuna from a kayak can be a rewarding and exciting experience for anglers of all skill levels. With the right equipment, techniques, and knowledge of the species, you can have a successful and enjoyable day on the water. Just be prepared for the fight, as these powerful predatory fish can put up quite a struggle when hooked.

More Info about Fishing Kayak’s

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Fishing for Tuna in San Diego

Fishing for Tuna in San Diego

San Diego Fishing Times

San Diego is known for its abundant marine life and diverse fishing opportunities. Tuna, in particular, is a popular target for both recreational and professional anglers. Here are some options for fishing for tuna in San Diego, along with the best times of the year to catch these elusive creatures.

San Diego Land-Based Tuna Fishing Options

San Diego Land-Based Tuna Fishing Options
San Diego Land-Based Tuna Fishing

There are several land-based options for fishing for tuna in San Diego. One option is to fish from the jetties at the entrance to San Diego Bay. These jetties offer good access to deeper water where tuna can be found. A variety of bait and lures can be used, including live bait such as anchovies or sardines, or artificial lures such as jigs or Rapalas. It’s a good idea to bring a pair of polarized sunglasses to help spot tuna breaking the surface or cruising along the jetty walls.

Another option is to fish from the piers that extend out into the ocean from Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. These piers offer the advantage of being able to cast longer distances, which can be helpful when trying to reach tuna that are further offshore. It’s a good idea to bring a variety of bait and lures, as well as a sturdy rod and reel with a fast retrieve rate to help bring in the tuna.

Chasing Tuna: The Beginner’s Guide to West Coast Offshore Fishing

Recreational San Diego Tuna Fishing Options

For those who want to fish for tuna from a boat, there are several recreational options available in San Diego. One option is to rent a small boat or kayak and fish from the shores of Mission Bay or San Diego Bay. These sheltered bodies of water offer good access to a variety of species, including tuna, which can be found along the drop-offs and channels leading out to the ocean.

Another option is to join a group fishing trip on a recreational fishing boat. These trips typically leave from the marinas in Mission Bay or Point Loma and offer a variety of options for targeting tuna, including live bait fishing, jigging, and trolling. These trips are a good way to learn from experienced captains and crew, and they often provide all the necessary gear and bait.

Chartered Options for Catching Tuna in San Diego

For those who want to go after tuna in a more serious manner, there are several charter options available in San Diego. These options range from half-day trips to multi-day expeditions and can be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the angler.

One popular option is to book a trip on a sportfishing boat that specializes in tuna fishing. These boats are typically equipped with the latest in fishing technology, including radar, GPS, and fish finders, as well as a variety of tackle and bait. The crew is usually made up of experienced fishermen who know the local waters and can help anglers target the best spots for tuna.

Best Times of the Year to catch Tuna in San Diego

Tuna are present in the waters off San Diego year-round, but the best times to catch them depend on the specific species and the method being used. For example, bluefin tuna, which can reach weights of over 1,000 pounds, are most commonly found in the colder months from November through April. These fish can be targeted using live bait or jigs, and they are often found in deeper water near structures such as wrecks or oil platforms.

Yellowfin tuna, which can reach weights of up to 200 pounds, are more commonly found in the warmer months from May through October. These fish are often found in shallower water near schools of baitfish and can be targeted using a variety of methods, including trolling, jigging, and live bait fishing.

If you have been fishing in San Diego, we would love to know how you went. Send us a email!

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How to Clean Fresh Tuna – Filleting and Gutting

How to Clean Fresh Tuna – Filleting and Gutting

Cleaning a fish seems like a daunting task if you’ve never done it before. But it is a essential skill to learn for when you start catching tuna. Being able to clean the fish properly will ensure you don’t waste any of the tasty meat. We will guide you through both the gutting and filleting methods.

Sharp Knife for Cleaning Tuna

The most important tool needed to clean tuna is a good sharp knife. Having a sharp knife will ensure you can cut the tough skin and bones of the fish.

How to Fillet Fresh Tuna

Filleting a fish is the easiest way to prepare and store it. The method we will introduce is known as quartering. Picture below.

Step 1 – Prepare an area for filleting the Tuna.

  • Start with a hard clean surface. A cutting board is perfect, but the ground or boat floor may have to suffice. You are welcome to put down paper to help keep the fish cleaner.
  • Lay the fish horizontally on the cutting board with the belly facing you. Make sure there is enough room to easily move your arms and knife around the fish. Also ensure you can flip the fish over with ease.

Step 2 – Cut the head and belly of the Tuna

  • Put your knife under the pectoral fin and cut on a downward 45 degree angle towards the head. Stop cutting once you hit the spine.
  • Insert your knife into the belly. you want the tip of the knife go as far into the fish as its pectoral fin.
  • Keep your knife parallel to the cutting board, cut along from the head to the tail maintaining the depth of the pectoral fin.
  • You are aiming to separate the meaty sides from the bony ribs of the fish.
  • Be careful of your non cutting hand, aways make sure its safe from the knife’s edge.

Step 3 – Cut the top of the Tuna

  • Flip the fish over so that the top is now facing you and the belly is facing away.
  • Inset the knife into the top behind the head. you want the tip of the knife to go as far into the fish as the pectoral fin. you will feel the resistance ease as you find the spot you cut in the previous step.
  • Keep your knife parallel to the cutting board, cut along from the head to the tail maintaining the depth of the pectoral fin. You are aiming to separate the meaty sides from the spine of the fish.
  • A sharp knife will ensure clean cuts, avoid sawing motions.

Step 4 – Cut the tail of the Tuna

  • As far down on the tail as practically possible, take your knife and cut in a downwards motion. Stop when you hit bone.
  • Flip the fish over and repeat the tail cut on the other side.

Step 5 – Quartering the fillets

  • Using either the dorsal fin or lateral line of the tuna as a guide, insert the knife into the tuna can cut from head to tail . Essentially separating the tuna’s meaty side in half.
  • Flip over the tuna and repeat the process.

Step 6 – Removing the meat from the tuna body

You will now have your tuna fillets cut into roughly four even pourtions (2 on each side). It’s now time to detach them from the carcass.

  • Carefully use your knife to slice around each quadrant of meat, separating the meat from all the bones and rest of the fish’s body.
  • Do this on both sides until you are left with 4 pieces of tuna flesh and the carcass.

Step 7 – Cleaning the tuna fillets

Its more than likely you will be left with four pieces of meat but there is bones, fat, blood vessels, organ matter on the fillets. It’s time to cut them off.

  • Using your knife, cut away any opaque, fatty, bony matter from each of the four fillets.
  • Cut away any bloodlines which are very dark red lines that run along the length of the meat.
how to clean fresh tuna

Once done with cleaning the tuna, disinfect your workstation with soap and hot water. Wipe it down thoroughly with hot water and/or cloths. If you are using a cutting board, wipe down all the sides and bottom of it too.

Step 8 – How to Skin Tuna Fillets (optional)

How to Skin Tuna
  • Place the fillet skin down on your cutting board, orentiting it tail end towards you, head end away from you.
  • Holding the tip of the tail end between your thumb and index finger, make a light downward cut into the flesh down to the skin. IMPORTANT – Do not cut the skin.
  • Whist still holding the tip of the tail with your thumb and index fingers, angle the knife on a 20-30 degree angle away from you.
  • Wiggle the knife while both pulling the fish towards you and sliding the knife away from you to effectively slicing the skin away from the flesh.

How to Gut fresh Tuna

The aim when ‘gutting a tuna’, is to remove the fishes insides. This is done so that the fish can be stored without spoiling the meat. Some people like to remove the head, some like to leave the head on, its up to you.

Step 1 – Cut the Tuna’s Belly

With a sharp knife, make a incision into the Tuna’s anus. You will need to cut 1-2 inches deep until the top of your knife is in the belly crevice. Slide the knife towards the head stopping where the gills meet.

Step 2 – Remove the guts and organs of the Tuna

Once the opening is created, pull out the unwanted organs from the Tunas belly, it is important to get them all.

Step 3 – Scrape clean the Tuna’s Belly

Use the knife or a wire brush to scrape any blood lines, hard to detach organs and stomach lining away from the fish.

how to gut tuna

What to do with Tuna Carcass

There are many uses for the tuna carcass. We would encourage a sustainable earth, so try to use any of these methods as opposed to throwing it in the bin.

  • Cut chunks off the carcass, and use them as fish bait.
  • Cut chunks of the fish as smaller parts of flesh can be kept for sushi
  • Use the carcass for shark fishing, sharks will smell it from miles away.
  • Cut the carcass into smaller parts and give it to your pet.
  • Leave the carcass in a secluded spot for birds or other animals to eat
  • DO NOT discard at boat ramps, popular fishing spots or locations.

How to Store Fresh Tuna

If you have just caught fish, it can be put on ice or in cool water slush. You have only 1-2 hours before it will spoil.

After you have cleaned the fish in either method, it’s important not to let the fish touch ice, it will tarnish the flesh. Ensure the fish is in a bag or container and kept cool or frozen until you are ready to cook it.

Use fresh tuna within 2 days, or store it in the freezer for 3 months.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on How To Catch Tuna.

Catching Tuna Tricks – Spreader Bars How to Make & Use

Catching Tuna Tricks – Spreader Bars How to Make & Use

What are Fishing Spreader Bars

Fishing Spreader Bars

Spreader Bars are a daisy chain of teasers (decoy lures) rigged in a formation to create attention grabbing attraction to your trolling lures and ultimately enticing fish to chasing them.

Having a array of lures skipping across the water will significantly increase the chances of attracting your prized catch.

Spreader Bars are a must have piece of kit for tuna fishing. The multiple lure teasers are super effective on Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, Spanish Mackerel and Marlin.

Below you will find details on where to buy spreader bars, how to make them, how to use them & the best color spreader bars for tuna.

Where to purchase Tuna Catching Spreader Bars

How to make your own Tuna Fishing Spreader Bars

Lure Teaser Spreader Bars are usually up to 4ft wide or 48inches (1.5 meters) . Often they can deploy aproximatly 5-15 decoy fish or squid looking baits. The aim is to catch attention of any predators cruising in the vicinity and coax them up for a closer look.

Going from left to right in the picture we will describe the components.

Tuna Fishing Spreader Bars

A main line attached to the bar should be a clear monofilament 60-80 pound line. It needs to support the bar and lures while they bounce around on the water. The Bar can be strong wire, titanium or even fiberglass wire. Swivels and a slightly smaller clear monofilament line are then attached to the main bar with teasers or lures. you car rig additional swivels and lines to a teaser as seen in the picture.

It is advisable that each teaser be attached via a snap swivel so that they can be changed as needed. we want the teaser lures to be of similar size, shape and colour as natural baits in the area.

Lures or teasers do not have hooks. they are there to create attention and we want the fish to bite our lure which does have hooks.

The following link is a in depth look at building your own spreader bars.

How to Catch Tuna with Spreader Bars – Techniques and Tips for using Spreader Bars.

The whole point of spreader bars is to create the illusion of schooling bait fish in a feeding frenzy. This is what tuna, maha-mahi, mackerel and marlin are chasing. Onces they are enticed to investigate the teasers we want them to discover our lure rigged up with hooks and attached to the anglers rod.

Attaching your line and lure to the Spreader Bar (Optional)

Some people like to connect their line and lure to the spreader bar. this will ensure the best placement to the teasers, having the anglers lure dragging inline and a shirt distance behind the teasers. The anglers line or leader can be attached with a rubber band and snaplink. When a fish hits your lure, the elastic band breaks leaving you clear to fight it without the entire spreader bar contraption being dragged around with the fish.

If you prefer not to attach your line to the spreader bar, you can simply guide your lure to the left, right, or slightly in front of the spreader bar, keeping it in close vicinity to the action.

Spreader Bar Placement in the Water

You want to place the spreader bar 20-40 yards away from the boat with all the angler lines lines not too far away. You can have multiple spreader bars per boat and its not uncommon to have a left, right and center deployment all operating in unison. If the bar is diving up and down in the water, the bar may be too far back, and you need to position it closer to the boat.

Ensure your spreader bar is up on the surface, making splashes and noise in the water which attracts fish. This miniks baitfish in a frenzy. That is why we run all our lines fairly close by to the bar.

Spreader Bar Teasers

Baits and Teasers for Spreader Bars

What is the best color spreader bars for tuna? Match the hatch when selecting a spreader bar teasers. The key to teasers or bait is to mimic size, colour and style of prey the fish are eating in the area. Sometimes this is fish or squid. For ease of adapting to different conditions, teaser can be attached via a snap swivel so that they can be changed as needed. Lures or teasers on the spreader bars do not have hooks.

Boat Speed for Trolling Spreader Bars for Tuna

It is estimated that a good travel speed for spreader bars is 10knots. But trolling speed isn’t as important as to what your bar and teasers are actually doing in the water. The bars and teasers should not be submerged, they should be slapping on the surface of the water. Each day may be different based on conditions of the wind and water. It may take some experimentation with distance of the the spreader bars from the pull generated by speed of travel.

Where to purchase Tuna Catching Spreader Bars

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on How To Catch Tuna.

How to Catch Yellowfin Tuna

How to Catch Yellowfin Tuna

Catching Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna have the potential of reaching up to a weight of 400lbs or 180kg. This makes them super strong fighters, and they pull extremely hard. Yellowfin are a great gamefish and a pleasure to catch. As a bonus, they are also great to eat! They are mainly found in the warmer offshore waters.

Read more about the Yellowfin Tuna species.

Yellowfin Tuna Tackle

Do some research into the area you are fishing in. Match your tackle to the size of tuna expected. Some schools have yellowfin tuna in the 5kg or 10lb size, others areas contain much larger tuna.

Calstar rods are a good product for all tuna. Shimano Trinidad 16 reel will work for a variety of fish sizes. A recommendation for the big yellowfin tuna is an Accurate Platinum ATD 50

Check out our links below for prices.

Yellowfin Tuna Catching Techniques

Yellowfin Tuna can be caught with bait and lures.  There are many techniques and it’s good to be familiar with them, fish can be tricky to catch some days.

The easiest way to catch yellowfin tuna is when they are breaking the surface feeding. They usually in a feeding frenzy and throwing your lure amongst the bait fish is sure to produce results. Spot the tuna schools by looking into the sky and seeing where birds are flocking, they are usually above the schools picking off baitfish also. When the water’s surface is breaking with activity, tuna are feeding. Get your boat as close to the school and throw your lures into the feed zone.

Trolling is a tried and traditional technique for tuna. Visit this post for detailed Tuna Trolling Info

Another techniques is to lure the yellowfin to you. Whether you are fishing with lures or bait, chum is effective on tuna of all sorts, and Yellowfin are no exception.  You can either chum with live bait or chunks of cut bait.  That helps keep the fish around the boat.

Check out chumming techniques.

Lures for Catching Yellowfin Tuna

Regardless of the technique you employ, try using tuna specific lures. Feather lures, cedar plugs, poppers and plastic skirted lures have the best results. If the fish are deep and under the bait schools, metal jigs will work. In general the quick retrieving lures work best with tuna since they have good eyesight.

It is recommended to buy a reputable lure brand. These lure will swim faster and more accurately mimicking bait fish. It Is really important to have a good variety of lure sizes and types, they need to match the baitfish in the water. Natural colours work best, blue, silver, green, etc.

Top lure brands include Rapala, Halco Max, Yo-Zuri Sashimi Bull, Shimano Orca.

Click on the links below to purchase some great Yellowfin Tuna lures:

How to Catch Yellowfin Tuna with Bait

As with lures, you need to select the bait that the tuna are feeding on in your area. For smaller tuna sizes Anchovies, sardines and squid work well. Pacific Mackerel and even small skipjack tuna work for catching larger yellowfin.

If you do not have live bait chunking is an option.  This entails cutting chunks of a large bait fish (perhaps a Skipjack) and then tossing them over the side.  In one of the chunks hide a circle hook and let it drift down naturally with the rest of the chunks.  Make sure you let out a lot of line so that the chunk can drift without any drag.  If something picks it up it will take off and you will know right away.  Tuna don’t nibble.

Check out other species of tuna.

Top 3 Tuna Fishing Books on Amazon

Top 3 Tuna Fishing Books on Amazon

Tuna is a saltwater fish and is much harder to catch than the fish you catch in your nearby stream. Without any angling experience, it is likely that you will fail wasting your money on renting the fishing charter. So, before you go tuna fishing, you will want to better prepare yourself by learning as much as you can. One way to do this is to reference tuna fishing books as they offer lots of useful tips for beginners. The following are the top 3 tuna fishing books on Amazon.

1. Chasing Tuna: The Beginner’s Guide to West Coast Offshore Fishing

Tuna Fishing Book

Chasing Tuna: The Beginner’s Guide to West Coast Offshore Fishing

Chasing Tuna by Matt Steiger is a tuna fishing book for beginners who want to learn about deep sea fishing. It discusses everything you need to know from selecting the right bait to getting the right boat and equipment. You can find information on how to prepare yourself for the fishing charter. For example, whether you should bring your own food and drink and how to handle seasickness when you are onboard a fishing charter. It covers both basic and advanced fishing topics so you can read it even if you are an advanced tuna angler. It gives tips on what to do if the fish fight back.

The book discusses about how to handle the catch including cleaning, storing, and cooking the fish. There are a lot of black and white vignette graphics for illustrating the different fishing techniques. It can be an entertaining read since the author recounts a lot of fishing stories from his own experiences. The stories talk about the mistakes he made and how you can avoid them for better result. It also have many fun facts to entertain the readers. Reading the book will boost your confidence into renting a charter to achieve your tuna fishing dream. Overall, it is a great book for people who are interested in chartering a boat for offshore tuna fishing.

Tuna Fishing Book

2. Tuna on the Fly: A Comprehensive Guide to Fly Fishing’s Ultimate Trophy Fish

Tuna on The Fly Book

Tuna on the Fly: A Comprehensive Guide to Fly Fishing’s Ultimate Trophy Fish

Tuna on the Fly by Tom Gilmore is a guidebook that teaches you how to catch all the popular tuna species in various fishing spots. The book only cover tuna fishing in the USA waters. There is no information on tuna fishing in other waters like Pacific or Mexican waters. In this book, you can find information on the habits and behaviors of different tuna species. You can more accurately target the tuna you want to catch if you know its behavior and activities. You’ll learn how to catch large tuna without breaking your fly rod. It gives tips on what is the best fishing knot to use for tuna.

If you have trouble locating tuna fish, you can look up the book as it provides information on the various methods you can use to identify its whereabouts. Like all other guidebooks, it also discusses about what equipment you need to have to get started and the different tactics in tuna fishing. The book has a lot of black and white photos and a few color photos. There is a total of 40 b/w photos and 8 color photos. Many of the photos features the catches of trophy fisherman like Zane Gray. It also has 10 maps that covers different fishing spots locations.

Tuna on The Fly BookTuna on The Fly Book

3. Fish the Chair If You Dare: The Ultimate Guide to Giant Bluefin Tuna Fishing

Bluefin Tuna Book

Fish the Chair If You Dare: The Ultimate Guide to Giant Bluefin Tuna Fishing

Fish the Chair If You Dare is a book written by a fisherman in real life called Captain Greg Beacher. At the start of the book, you can read a detailed overview on bluefin tuna fishing which occurs mostly in the Atlantic waters. You’ll find valuable information on the different tactics used in catching large bluefin tuna on a fishing charter. You can buy this book and read it if you recently purchase a fishing charter and are hoping to have successful catches of large tuna. Flipping through the pages, you will find it has information on the different bluefin fishing methods that are used by fishing charters captains.

The fishing methods it discusses can also be useful for people who want to catch other types of tuna species such as YellowFin, Albacore, and Dorado. The book was first published in 1993 so the information can be a bit dated for you. Nevertheless, the valuable tips and hints provided in this book makes it worthwhile for the price of the book as you normally won’t find these information elsewhere. The book is recommended for beginners who are interested in catching bluefin tuna. You can also buy this book to get better tuna catches if you are a fisherman. Inside the pages, there are some commercials. Therefore, it may not be the book you are looking for if you want an entertaining book to read on tuna fishing.

Bluefin Tuna BookBluefin Tuna Book

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