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Articles tagged with: Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Yellowfin Tuna is found in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world and they are members of the Albacares genus of the Thunnus family, and are otherwise known as “ahi”. Yellowfin tuna is particularly prevalent in the western Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern Pacific Ocean. Among the larger tuna species, reaching weights of over 400lbs, Yellowfin Tuna are noticeably smaller than both the Atlantic and Pacific Bluefin Tuna and they are slightly smaller than the Southern Bluefin Tuna and the Bigeye Tuna.

A very dark metallic blue fades to silver on the belly, which has around twenty vertical lines. The second dorsal fin, the anal fin and the various finlets between them and the tail are all a bright yellow. In mature adults, the second dorsal fin and anal fin resemble scythes because they are long and reach almost as far back as the tail. The pectoral fins are longer than those found in the Bluefin Tuna, yet not as long as those of the Albacore Tuna. Yellowfin Tuna are simply gigantic and the biggest recorded fish ever caught weighed an astonishing 427lbs.

Yellowfin Tuna are found offshore, usually swimming between the surface and 330ft of water depth. This keeps them above the thermocline but they are capable of diving deeper, and do infrequently. A tagged individual in the Indian Ocean dove to a depth of 3 810ft, which is considerable. When conditions are suitable, Yellowfin Tuna may approach shore. Many mid-ocean islands such as those in the Caribbean often have concentrations of these fish feeding near the shoreline. When food is abundant and water temperature and clarity are ideal, they may venture inshore of the continental shelf. Known to traverse vast distances during their lifetime, Yellowfin Tuna have no problem crossing oceans.

Similarly sized individuals often travel together in schools, and they even school with other tuna species. Mixed schools of small Yellowfin Tuna and Skipjack Tuna are common. These awesome fish frequently associate themselves with certain species of dolphins, as well as larger marine animals such as whales and whale sharks. They also love drifting debris such as logs and pallets and they can even be found following moving vessels.

Aerodynamic bodies make Yellowfin Tuna incredibly fast underwater, reaching speeds nearing 50mph. Their prey includes other fish such as mackerel, flying fish, anchovies, sardines, lanternfish and smaller tuna such as skipjacks. They will also eat crustaceans and squid with heartiness. Other hunters will prey on young Yellowfin Tuna such as larger tuna, wahoo, shark, billfish and even seabirds. Once fully grown, they are threatened only by the largest and fasters predators in the oceans such as toothed whales, shortfin mako sharks, great white sharks and marlin. Warm-blooded, Yellowfin Tuna are fortunately able to escape most predators. Their warm muscles are an incredible advantage for their phenomenal speed.

Sports fishing enthusiasts consider Yellowfin Tuna among the most prized fish to catch. They are possibly the most frequently caught offshore game fish on earth. There are several reasons to explain their astounding popularity. These fish are often caught weighing anywhere from 100lbs to 300lbs and they are phenomenal fighters. Super fast fish, an angler with a tuna on their line is guaranteed an adrenalin-filled challenge. They catch their prey at alarming speed, and your bait is no exception. Yellowfin Tuna are also undeniably among the tastiest fish in existence, enjoyed in a variety of ways. Lightly seared or in sushi, they are eaten by millions around the world. Here is some information to remember when Yellowfin Tuna fishing in Florida:

Tackle for Yellowfin Tuna

It is a long and challenging process getting your catch into the boat, regardless of what tackle you use. Yellowfin Tuna will turn sideways and swim in large circles when they get near your boat. Scale your tackle to the size of the fish you are targeting. If you are after those in the 15lbs range then light tackle is extremely fun. The larger ones will require heavy tackle and at least 100lbs of braided line. Their eyesight is great, so a fluorocarbon leader will reduce visibility and be more resistant to abrasion. An Accurate Platinum ATD 50 or similar quality is recommended.

Bait for Yellowfin Tuna

Lures, frozen bait and live bait can be used to catch Yellowfin Tuna in Florida. If using lures, then cedar plugs, plastic skirted trolling lures, poppers and tuna feathers are ideal. For live and frozen bait, ballyhoo, skipjacks, mackerel, anchovies, squid and sardines work exceptionally well.

Techniques for Yellowfin Tuna

These fantastic predatory fish frequently feed near the surface, which means that topwater trolling techniques produce the best results. Here are some tips you can employ to catch a Yellowfin Tuna in Florida:

  • Lures can be used effectively. Replacing treble hooks with single or double hooks is a good idea. These fish are less likely to bend or shake them if you do. When you find a school of feeding fish, cast lures into them. Poppers are particularly thrilling to use. Chugger type lures can be retrieved in a pop-pop-pause rhythm. If you skip ranger type lures over the surface during a steady retrieve, you have a good chance of success. A good chum can work to entice any schools in the area.
  • Live bait can be used in a variety of ways. Kite fishing is particularly productive for very large individuals. The kite is flown behind the bite after live bait is attached to a long line that is temporarily suspended from the kite. This line must be rigged to break free from the kite when your Yellowfin Tuna takes the bait, or you will have trouble reeling it in. The flying kite keeps the bait near the surface of the water, making it appear as if the fish is panicking. The sound and sight of your bait fish splashing on the surface usually works when nothing else is. By rigging a three-way swivel and fishing two at once, tuna will get extremely excited. For true giants, slow trolling live skipjacks is the best method to use. Ensure you have tuna tubes on your boat to keep the skipjack alive. If you do not wish to use live bait or if it is unavailable, then “chunking” is a good option. Large chunks of big bait fish can be cut and thrown overboard. Hide a circle hook in one of these chunks and allow it to drift down naturally with the rest of them. A lot of line will need to be let out so that the chunk will drift without any drag. When your Yellowfin Tuna takes it you will feel, hear and know it immediately.

Call today to book your Tuna Fishing Charter in Florida and battle these strong fish.

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.


Not Too Shabby for a Bunch of Canadians!

Written by Capt. Steve on Wednesday, 14 December 2011. Posted in Fishing Reports

An Awesome Day of Fishing off Miami Beach

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Kudos to Jerred and his friends on a terrific day of fishing off Miami Beach.  The list of fish they caught is an extensive one including: Spanish Mackerel, Blackfin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Sailfish, Bonita, and Mahi-mahi!  Everybody had an amazing time and we can't wait for them to visit us again down in Miami!