Category: Tuna Fishing

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

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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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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Tuna Fishing Tips for Catching Albacore Tuna

Tuna Fishing Tips for Catching Albacore Tuna

Catching Albacore Tuna Fishing
Catching Albacore Tuna

Albacore Tuna, also called thunnus alalunga or albies, is one of the smaller tuna species with metallic dark blue top and silver white belly. Its flesh is pink in color and will turn white when you cook it. Most of the Albacore tuna caught are young and weigh in between 10 – 30 pounds. Because they are young, there is a lower accumulation of mercury in their flesh. Albacore tuna is rich in omega 3 and they are often made into canned tuna.

Albacore tuna is an active fish typically found in tropical/temperate ocean so the best way to catch Albacore Tuna is trolling. It will be difficult to catch tuna from a boat that stands still in the water since they travel in large schools at high speed. When trolling for albacore, it is best to maintain at a boat speed of 6 – 10 knots.

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

Before going tuna fishing, you must make sure you are equipped with the necessary fishing gears. First of all, you must get a suitable fishing line. A 15kg gear is sufficient for fishing albacore tuna. You will need a rod that is rated for 20 – 30 lb mono. The reel must be strong enough to hold 250+ yards of 25 lb mono. This will ensure that the mono won’t easily get bitten off by the tuna.

How to catch Albacore Tuna – Lures to use, methods, tips and tricks.

Glittery baits that are designed to troll at high speed can be used in the day time. In the late evening, you can use darker color lures. The ideal length of the lure for catching albacore tuna is 3″ – 4″. Different types of baits are hooked differently, for example, when you use a anchovies bait, you must hook it with the mouth closed. The hook must be strong and sharp, for example, the 4/0 hooks.

Catching Albacore Tuna
Catching Albacore Tuna

The bait is to be installed  in the correct position behind the boat. To get an idea of what bait to use, you can check out the stomach of the first tuna you caught. When you cut open its belly, you’ll be able to see what size and type of bait inside. The size of the bait you use must match the size of the hook. Many anglers have successfully used baits like hex head, yo zuri squid lip rupper, tuna ‘P’nut and mackerel maulers to catch tuna.

To get the tuna to swim up to the surface, you must stir up some commotion, for example dragging an old tire behind the boat. When they are stirred in excitement, they will come up and bite on any bait they see. You can mix 5 – 6 baits to create your own school of fish in order to attract the tuna up to the surface. Typically, it will take about 1 hour to get the tuna into the boat once it bite on the bait.

Check out other species of tuna.

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How to Catch Yellowfin Tuna Trolling

How to Catch Yellowfin Tuna Trolling

Catching Yellowfin Tuna Trolling

Yellowfin Tuna, also known as Thunnus albacares, is a species of tuna that is deep blue on top, has a shallow yellow line all the way to the tail in the middle and their fins are yellowish color. Yellowfin is one of the larger tuna species with the potential of reaching up to a weight of 180 kg. They are mainly found in the offshore waters such as Gulf of Meixco, Hawaii, Caribbean, Eastern and Western Pacific.

Trolling for Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna usually travel in large schools to the surface during feeding time. They are boat shy and will quickly dive deep into the water when they see a boat approaching. Therefore, upon spotting the school of tuna from afar, you must not steer your boat fast toward them otherwise they will swim away. The strategy to catching tuna is to stop your boat a distance away from the fish for example, 3 knots away.  Then, you can put out your fishing line and let the bait float itself to where the school of tuna is.

When you stop your boat, the engine stops producing noises and the fish will be more bold to swim near your boat. Parking your boat a distance away prevents the tuna from associating the bait comes from your boat. Hiring a big fishing charter will give you a better fishing experience. When you reel in the fish, the fish will jump and flip and you will have fight the fish until it is dead. If your fishing charter is small and there is not enough room, you may accidentally step on your expensive fishing rig or even fall out of the boat.

Learn more about the Yellowfin Tuna Species

Ideally, your fishing charter should be large enough to set up 6 – 7 flush mount or vertical fishing rods. The more fishing rods you set up, the higher the chance of catching the tuna. After you stop the boat afar, you just wait patiently. You may have to wait up to 7- 8 hours for the first bite but it is worth the wait. While waiting, you must stay alert and quickly pull in the rod when you sense something bites. It is important to always wear thick buckskin glove when pulling in the rod. It will protect the skin on your palm and finger from callouses as you need a lot of strength to pull in the rod.

Cedar Plugs Tuna Lures

Cedar Plugs Tuna Fishing Lures

It is best to go fishing for yellowfin tuna with 1 or 2 partners as they can give you additional hands in catching the fish. For example, your partner can help with storing the rod in a cabin space or help you in getting the fish into the boat. Lures like tuna feathers, cedar plugs, chain, joeschutes and sterling bars can be used. For catching yellowfin tuna, the boat should be trolling at the speed of 5 – 8 knots. You can adjust your boat speed according to the behavior of the lure. Rougher seas mean you have to troll at a slower speed to enable the lure to work the most efficiently.

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

Catching Tuna – Trolling for Tuna Tips and Techniques

Catching Tuna – Trolling for Tuna Tips and Techniques

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.

tuna trolling

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

Birds And Tuna Fishing

When fishing for tuna always be on the lookout for birds. When fish are near the surface, they are visible, especially in a feeding frenzy. 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 troll your lines through it.

Tuna tend to travel near pods of dolphins or sharks. If you see either birds, dolphins or sharks try and determine if any bait fish are in the area.

Trolling for Tuna Techniques

Typically, anglers prefer to troll using a “W Pattern”. This simple pattern consists of 2 long lines attached to each outrigger, 2 lines held relatively flat and out to the side and one line that goes straight down the middle just below the surface. The goal is to present a bold presentation of varying lures. Try and create the illusion of panic stricken schools of bait fish. Best color lures for tuna? Green lures are particularly alluring to yellow fin tuna for some reason.

Try trolling at slow speeds (5-9 mph) using either live bait or artificial lures, such as strip baits, large spoons, skirted lures, and plugs. Don’t worry – the tuna are more than fast enough to keep up with the boat. When you troll, you should let out a quarter of your line behind the boat; a hundred yards or more is excellent.

When tuna hit, they hit hard, usually hooking themselves with no help from you, and yanking the line off the reel at a rapid rate. If the line becomes slack, the fish is probably swimming toward the boat; reel in the slack rapidly, and make sure the hook is set. Always keep the line tight. A truly large fish might give you the fight of your life, battling for as long as several hours before it wins – by snapping the line or leader – or you do, by getting it up to the boat.

Tuna Trolling Lures

Pick a lure. Most tuna lures have a Kona head, but they come in many shapes, sizes and colors and under many names. The Kona head creates an ideal bubble trail and surface action for attracting tuna. Generally the larger the lure, the larger the fish you will catch, but of course there are always exceptions to the rules. You never know what size and type of fish will hit your next lure.

For smaller tuna species, Albacore and Striped, 6inch lures of any type in green/yellow, blue/silver and red/white I have found to be most successful.
The next step up would include 8-10inch lures aimed at catching Bluefin, Yellowfin and Albacore Tuna. One popular Yellowfin lure that catches well is the Pakula Lumo Small Spocket. White Bluefin are readily caught on pink, brown and purple colour combination’s. If you are after large Yellowfin Tuna or Striped Marlin in particular I have caught well on darker lures in combination’s of blue, black and purple, but they tend to go for pink as well.

Trolling Spreader Bars for Tuna is another technique. Please view full page here.

As with all fish there are no hard and fast rules. If you are not succeeding, change your lure position, colour or alter your speed until you find the right mix. Undoubtedly you will discover the joys of game fishing.

Check out other species of tuna.

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