Tag: Catching 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

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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.

How to Get Started in Tuna Fishing

How to Get Started in Tuna Fishing

If you have been successful in fishing in small rivers, you may be interested in going for a bigger challenge with tuna fishing. Since tuna is a big fish, you can expect a lot of splashing of water when it struggles on your fishing rod. Angling on the sea for tuna will be a completely different experience than your usual fishing hobby in the nearby stream. It is important to do it the right way if you want to be successful and catch lots of tunas when you set out on the ocean in your fishing charter.

 

Locating the Tuna

Tuna likes to live in the part of the ocean with warm water currents. Therefore, if you want to find tuna, you will need to look for temperature gradients on ocean maps. Usually, tuna can be easily found within 5 mi or more than 100 mi offshore. Some people also use electronic fish finder to find out the tuna fish’s location and depth.  You can follow a fishing charter if you don’t want to bother about locating the tuna yourself. The fishing charters will leave from popular piers or wharfs.

Different types of tuna can be caught in the waters including bluefin, yellowfin, and bigeye. Bluefin can be found in the waters around 8 miles off the coast from May to October. Bluefin likes to swim 60 – 100 feet below the ocean. If you want to catch bluefin, you should use yoyo fishing style, which requires you to drop the jig in the water and then retrieve it back quickly.

Yellowfin tuna likes to swim in the warmer areas of the sea, and the northern part of Islands. You can catch as much as 400 pounds of yellowfin tuna on a fishing charter. The best time to catch yellowfin tuna is from 3 AM to 8 AM. Yellowfin tuna does not spawn in local waters but in the waters located south to the eastern Pacific. Bigeyes usually appear in the waters from June to November. They can weigh in between 50 – 100 pounds.

Live Chumming

You can start live chumming as soon as you have located the tuna’s whereabout. Live chumming involves using a dip net to pick up small live baits and toss them to the surface of the water near the boat. It aims to attract the tuna fishes near to your boat. Live chumming technique can be used along with trolling.

Prepare Your Hook

You will want to make sure that you have already prepared your hook with the bait of your choice. Various types of baits can be used including anchovies, squids, and sardines. You can twist an egg sinker in the 1/4 – 5/8 range to enable the fishing bait to sink to at least 10 feet below the water. The bait should not stay on the surface as it can get eaten by the bird.

Feather jig is commonly attached to the hook as it resembles the fins and tails of a fish. For tuna fishing, you will need a 7 – 8 foot long rod that has a rating in between 12 – 25. Longer rod is easier to maneuver around the boat. In addition, you should get a saltwater spinning reel as it offers a stronger resistance against big fishes.

Once the hook is prepared, you can drop it in the depth of water dictated by your tuna locator. At this point, you need to be patient and wait for the tuna to strike your hook. You should pull in your reel every 10 minutes to see if it has gotten a bite. Sometimes, you don’t get a bite on the hook because the bait has accidentally detached and drop in the ocean water.

Getting the Fish Into Your Boat

Once you get a bite, you can count to three and let the line peel off your reel. There is no need to set the hook as the tuna mouth will automatically hook itself when it bites. When the tuna is hooked, you will feel tension as it struggles to escape. Tuna is a hard fighter that can swim fast. It will try to run circles around your boat to get the line to snap so that it can get away. It will circle below the boat if it can’t snap the line by circling around the boat.

You must be very patient when trying to retrieve the fish into your boat. You can try pulling the line up and down slowly. Your persistence will eventually wear down the fish and you will eventually be able to reel the fish into your boat. One thing to keep in mind when reeling in the fish is to maintain the proper tension to prevent the line from breaking.

Good Luck and let us know how you go 🙂

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When Does Tuna Fishing Season Start in the USA

When Does Tuna Fishing Season Start in the USA

Tuna is a game fish with tasty flesh that is often used in making sandwich. If you have eaten canned tuna before, you know what is a tuna fish. If you are into fishing, you may be interested in catching your own tuna and cooking it yourself. There are seasons when tuna come roaming around the sea waters in your place. So, if you want to catch tuna successfully, you need to know when does the tuna fishing season start and ends. In the USA, the tuna fishing season starts in June and ends in November. However, the actual length of the fishing season varies in different places.

Big Eye Tuna Lures

Tuna Fishing by State

Florida – Florida, also known as Sunshine State, is the sunniest state in USA. The fishing capital offers year round tuna fishing season but the prime time is from May to September.

Louisiana – Louisiana has many bodies of waters in the Pelican state so it is able to offer year round tuna fishing. You can catch yellowfin, blackfin, and bluefin tuna in Lousiana.

California – California is one of the best places for catching tuna in the USA which is why it attracts a lot of tourists in the first place. The fishing charters often get fully booked from July to September. However, you don’t have to worry if you don’t get to book any fishing charter in these months as you still have the opportunity to catch some tuna a  early as April and as late as November.

Hawaii – Hawaii is a favorite spot for anglers especially during the tuna fishing season. Usually, tourists will go to the Aloha State when they want to catch tuna. The best time to catch tuna in Aloha is from June to August. If you want to catch yellowfin tuna, you should visit in between May and September.

Texas – Texas is a well known saltwater fishing destination in the USA. You should visit in between July to November if you want to catch some tuna.

Oregon – Oregon is another place where you can catch some tuna during the season. The first school of tuna arrive in Oregon in the middle of July and will linger on until October.

Delaware – Delaware is the best fishing spot for people who are interested in angling for yellowfin tuna instead of bluefin tuna. In Delaware, you can spot yellowfin tuna in the waters year round.

New England – New England has a lot of bluefin tuna in its waters during the tuna fishing season. You can expect to catch a lot of tuna from June to November.

Massachusetts – Massachusetts has a tuna fishing season that runs from June to November but the best time to catch tuna is from August to September.

Bahamas – Bahamas is famous for its white sandy beach and recreational activities including fishing. You can expect to catch some tuna from May to August in the Bahamas.

Mallorca – As the largest island in the Balearic Islands, you can expect to find lots of large tunas in the waters of Mallorca. The tuna fishing season in Mallorca occurs from March to May.

Tenerife – Another place where you can catch tuna in Spain is Tenerife. The months between February and May are the best time for tuna fishing in Tenerife.

Cape Town – Cape Town in South Africa attracts a lot of serious anglers for tuna every year. The waters in Cape Town are filled with various types of tuna including yellowfin, longfin, skipjack and bigeye tuna.

Tips on Angling for Tuna

Follow the Birds

If you want to catch tuna, you must first know where to catch it. You can get clues from where the seabirds are flying about. Usually, the seabirds will circle above the waters because of the baitfish that the school of tuna is feeding on. While following the birds, you will also want to keep an eye on the fish finder device.

Match the Bait

You need to have the right bait if you want to attract tuna. Tuna feed on a variety of baits. If you don’t have the right bait, you are going to have difficulties in catching the tuna. You must first work out what target fish the tuna feed on, and the size. After that, you can get a bait that is similar to trick the tuna fish to get near to your hook. Halco’s Brown Bomber is a popular lure often used to catch large tuna.

Catching Big Tuna in the Deep Water

Large tuna is always in the deeper part of the ocean. So, if you want to catch big tuna, you must monitor the depth sounder to ensure that the lure sinks to the correct depth beneath the ocean. The tuna is less afraid when it sees a lure on the ocean floor and more likely to bite it.

Chum the Waters

One way to attract a large school of tuna is to chum the waters. To get the tuna close to your boat, you should turn off the engine. When there is no sound, the tuna will be less afraid and voluntarily come near to fight for free meal. If sharks arrive, you can move your boat to another spot.

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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 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.

Tuna Fishing – Chumming

Tuna Fishing – Chumming

One of the most popular tuna fishing methods is chumming.

All game fish respond in varying degrees to chum. For some anglers chumming has become an art form, even a science. One thing is absolutely sure, effective chumming techniques produce more fish. Let’s discuss some of the most productive methods that will make you a more successful angler.

Tuna Fishing Chum Recipe
Supplies & Ingredients:

  • 1 box of heavy duty zip lock plastic freezer bags
  • 1 five gallon bucket
  • a garden hand rake or stirring implement
  • Garden Hose
  • 1 gallon pure pogy (menhaden) oil
  • 1 – 3 pound can whole kernel corn
  • Rice, oats, macaroni (optional)
  • 12 cans Kozy Kitty cat food (sold at most stores 3/$1)
  • 6 loaves of wheat or stone ground bread. Some bakery outlet stores sell old bread for 10 cents per loaf, you must ask for “critter food”.
  • Food processor (Warning: You may burn it up and don’t even think about telling the wife what you need it for)
  • Electric can opener

Recipe:

  • Chop bread in processor
  • Dump 12 cans of cat food into bucket, mixing in bread with small amounts of water. Consistency desired like thick soup
  • Stir in 2 cups of Pogy oil, evenly distributed
  • Take off gas mask and drink one cold beer a safe distance from bucket
  • Fill freezer bags and double bag
  • Lay bags flat in kitchen freezer (Warning: see Food Processor above)
  • Transport chum in designated chum cooler with ice over and under
  • Use ½ bag at a time ( fits perfectly into a standard nylon chum bag)

Depending upon your target species, chum deployment is the next issue. When fishing for tuna find your potential fishing spot, hang your chum bag on a stern cleat and allow the current to create a “chum slick” behind your boat. Remember, your goal is to not to over feed the fish, just get them interested in your baits. Many species like blue fin and mac tuna respond extremely well to this technique by coming up in the water column to eat your free-lined baits. Or, send your chum to the bottom on a hand line or use your downrigger ball. They can’t resist the pogy smell. Neither can nuisance sharks, especially in summer.

Try chumming next time you got fishing for tuna. You will catch more fish. And everyone knows that a day spent on the water fishing is better then a day at work.

chummingtunaTuna Bait Storage

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Catching Tuna – Trolling

Catching 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.

tuna trollingSearching 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.

When fishing for tuna always be on the lookout for diving birds. 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.

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. Green lures are particularly alluring to yellow fin tuna for some reason.

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Click to purchase catching tuna products

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, 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.
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.

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.

 

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How to Catch Tuna – Introduction

How to Catch Tuna – Introduction

Click to purchase catching tuna products
Click to purchase catching tuna products

Tuna are large and tasty saltwater game fish. There is no doubt that most of the tuna species get pretty big and at the larger sizes make them a big game fishing target. There are several species of tuna including the albacore, blackfin, skipjack and bluefin. You can catch tuna in coastal estuary waters, but most anglers pursue tuna offshore.

One of the most popular methods of fishing for tuna is trolling. Trolling is done with feather jigs, small squid imitations, live or fresh dead bait and even hard bodied lures.

Click to purchase catching tuna products
Click to purchase catching tuna products

Another popular method for catching tuna is to drift (or anchor) and start a chum line (burley trail) and wait for the fish to show. Once the fish arrive the anglers send a baited hook into the trail to temp the fish into biting. Chum or bait fish styled flies also work well in this situation.

Sightcasting small lures or flies to tuna is also popular in some parts of the world and can be a very effective method for catching tuna.

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