Tuna Fishing

Angler’s Playbook: Fishing for Tuna

Written by Boatsetter Team
January 4, 2018

Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

Discover how to Catch Tuna on your Saltwater Fishing Boat Charter

There is so much to say about big game fishing, and fishing for tuna can be particularly adventurous. Fighting and landing a 900-pound tuna on your saltwater fishing boat charter can be really hard, even for the most experienced anglers. Generally, it is safe to say that yellowfin tuna (also known as ahi) spend more time in the surface layers of the water at night, and they swim way down into the depths for most of the day. This means it is usually easier to catch tuna at night. So if you’re specifically looking for ahi, plan for an overnight fishing trip on your saltwater fishing boat rental. Here are another few helpful tips when it comes to fishing for tuna.

Some Amazing Facts about Tuna

The word “tuna” derives from the ancient Greek word “thino” which means “urge”. Tuna are some of the toughest ocean species and they have sometimes been called the giants of the ocean. The largest recorded specimen of tuna was 21 feet long and it weighed 1600 pounds! They can reach swimming speeds of more than 44 mph, so they can travel large distances in a short amount of time. Some tuna have been known to cross the entire Atlantic Ocean in 30 days by traveling an average speed of 16 miles per hour. The average lifespan of tuna in the wild ocean is between 15 and 30 years.

The most popular species are yellowfin (ahi) and bluefin tuna. Unfortunately, tuna has become over-fished in places like Japan and Australia, to the point that some tuna are now listed as an endangered species. Always be sure to follow the recommendations of your captain, as well as directions from local authorities, when it comes to obtaining a fishing license to go tuna fishing.

The Best Techniques and Bait to Use when Fishing for Tuna

In general, tuna can be caught by jigging, longlining, and purse seine fishing from your saltwater fishing boat charter, but the most common form of tuna fishing is trolling from your saltwater fishing boat rental. Many types of lures can be effective but at Boatsetter, we recommend that you use big topwater lures like poppers. If you drag the lure at about 6-7 knots from your saltwater fishing boat rental, you will have the best chance of attracting large tuna.

Remember that these fish have very good eyesight, even at night, so you will need to choose your lures wisely. Do some experimenting in the water to determine whether it is better to use plugs, feathers, leaders, or lipless lures on your saltwater fishing excursion. Even more importantly, remember that live bait generally tends to work better than any lures. You can use sardines and other small fish like mackerel, herring, or hake to catch tuna, since it is a carnivorous fish. It has also been known to enjoy squid and crustaceans.

Choose Your Tackle Wisely

Make sure you pack appropriate fishing gear such as a fishing rod, tackle box, tackle, and lots of extra line. On your saltwater fishing boat charter, you will need a trolling rod of at least 35-50 pounds, attached to a multiplier reel. The reel should be loaded with a Spectra or Dacron braided line with a weight of 50 pounds. If you intend to use jigging as your technique, you will need at least a 50-pound jigging rod as well as a 7000-10000 spinning reel.

With a topwater rig, start with a split ring and barrel swivel at the lure head. It is best to attach that to a 100-pound fluorocarbon leader of about the length of your arm. You can tie that to an 80-pound braid by using an FG knot on your saltwater fishing boat rental. Follow these tips for some more recommendations on how to choose the best fishing rod for your fishing boat charter.

Finding the Best Tuna Fishing Spots

Tuna are a pelagic species, which means they arrive and depart from certain locations very often and very rapidly. As mentioned earlier, you have more chance of catching them from your saltwater fishing boat rental when the sun goes down. It is also a good idea to locate a shrimp boat because there is usually a lot of chum in the water nearby. Yellowfin tuna seem to prefer water in the 71-81 degree Fahrenheit range, with larger fish selecting slightly cooler waters. By studying SST (sea surface temperature) charts, you can narrow the search area for your fishing boat rental significantly.

Also, any marine angler needs to know the importance of structure. Reefs, shoals, ledges, and seamounts all attract bait, which then attract larger predators like tuna. Finally, consider guiding your saltwater fishing boat charter to a delta that contains an interaction of fresh and saltwater. Birds above the water are also a good sign. If you have hired a good boat captain for your fishing boat rental, he or she should be able to offer some good local tips as well. Above all else, remember that patience is always the key to success when you are fishing. Tuna won’t necessarily just appear. They move around constantly so you may spend hours trying to find them. This is all part of the fun of taking a saltwater fishing excursion. You can never be sure of exactly what you will encounter.

Pack Your Bags, Rent a Boat and Get your Fishing Boat Rental!

It certainly seems like big game fishing has increased in popularity over the past few years. When you rent a saltwater fishing boat charter in places like the Florida Keys or off the coast of Mexico, try to arrange your saltwater fishing boat charter well ahead of time to make sure you can get the kind of boat you are looking for. Always consider how many of your friends will be joining you on your saltwater fishing excursion. Navigating the ocean waters can be a full-time job, so it might be helpful to have a large crew of friends around to help you out. Approaching your day on the water with a solid plan will help you enjoy your trip to the fullest extent. Your group of friends can also help you capture some of your special fishing moments with a camera. Looking back on your boating memories with your friends is a great souvenir of your trip.

Also, remember that tuna is one of the best big game fish to try and catch because it is one of the toughest ocean species. The tuna will really fight when you try to reel it in, and conquering the strength of the animal is part of the enjoyment. Rent a boat, pack your bags, and get out on the water on your saltwater fishing excursion. Do a bit of research to learn more about the best parts of arranging your fishing boat rental. We at Boatsetter really love big game fishing and we know you will too when you book a fishing boat rental.

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