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Blackfin Tuna Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Steve on Saturday, 21 January 2012. Posted in Fish Info

Miami TunaThe smallest tuna species in the Thunnus genus, belonging to the Scrombidae family, Blackfin Tuna are found only in the western Atlantic Ocean between Cape Cod and Brazil. These fast and exceptionally powerful fish have oval-shaped bodies with black backs and yellow on their sides and fin tips. They do not usually exceed 39in in length and 46lbs in weight, but any angler with a Blackfin Tuna on their line is guaranteed an almighty and exhilarating fight. Fishing for Blackfin Tuna is staggering popular off the coast of Florida.

Blackfin Tuna feed on both surface and deep water fish, squid and crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps. Short-lived and fast-growing, these fish spawn during the summertime in the open sea. These warm water fish are extremely willing to bite and they have an immensely abundant population, which makes up for their small size. We frequently target Blackfin Tuna because there are so many of them, various ways to catch them and they are extraordinarily tasty. Here are some tips that will help when you are Blackfin Tuna fishing in Florida:

Where to find Blackfin Tuna

Typically found offshore, Blackfin Tuna are also known to move further inshore while chasing prey in reefs, wrecks and ridges – where many bait fish can be found.

Baits for Blackfin Tuna

Live bait always works best. Trolling whole mullets, mackerels, ballyhoo, bonefish, pinfish, pigfish, menhaden, flying fish and squid produces the optimal results. They can also be caught on artificial baits, lures and strip baits.

Tackle for Blackfin Tuna

A straight 20lbs line with 4/0 or 5/0 short shank hooks works exceptionally well, as do beak hooks and 30lbs lines. Skirts, spoons, jigs and feathers are all effective for catching Blackfin Tuna.

Tips and Techniques for Blackfin Tuna

For the ultimate results, our VIP Fishing Charters troll for these astounding fish using both live and frozen bait – ideally ballyhoo. Signs of weakness in a bait fish are attractive to Blackfin Tuna and can be mimicked effectively. There are however, several methods and tips that can be used to catch Blackfin Tuna and we list them below:

  • Combining chumming with live pilchards is effective. Start drifting in a good spot or simply power drift. Chum the water with individual pilchards every fifteen seconds or so. Keep an eye for when Blackfin Tuna start breaking the surface and throw them both unhooked and hooked pilchards. You can occasionally keep this going for long drifts.
  • Slow troll or power drift live ballyhoo that has been beak hooked and thrown behind the boat, leaving your bait open for the strike.
  • You can try trolling feathers if you are not getting any bites. Use jigs and flies that resemble your chum.
  • Your ideal trolling speed should depend on the conditions. Six or seven knots should be your minimum trolling speed when scouting for fish. Blackfin Tuna can easily take faster baits if given time to settle down after being run over.
  • When small fish are present but not showing on the surface, pulling surface-skipping lures may not work. They key here is to use small baits that track just below the surface.
  • Blackfin Tuna are shy and often dart away when a boat approaches. They will pop up again if your bait concentration is high enough but they need calm and quiet conditions. You may need to troll your bait at least 100yds away in order to give them time to do so.
  • Putting your lures into quiet water is often the only way to get a hit because Blackfin Tuna are known to avoid the whitewater in the wake of your boat.
  • For the best lure performance, lures must run true and be free of weeds or debris, which can quickly spoil their accuracy.
  • Larger baits do not catch as many fish as smaller six or eight inch baits.

Call today to book your Blackfin Tuna Fishing Charter in Florida and experience thrill.


About the Author

Capt. Steve

Captain Steve's Bio

Steve was born in Bethesda, Maryland but has spent most of his life in South Florida.  Currently residing in Fort Lauderdale, Captain Steve is a partner in Ocean Brands LLC and operates VIP Fishing Charters.  Over the years Steve has cemented relationships with the top fishing captains and best fishing boats.  His mission when creating VIP Fishing Charters was to make sure every client has the best experience possible regardless of the conditions.  You can often times find Steve waiting at the dock after you arrive back from your fishing charter, making sure everyone had a great time and you caught a ton of fish!

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