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 Tuna Fishing Lures  

TUNA, TUNA, TUNA....

If you are serious about Tuna Fishing, you have come to the right place! There are no lures shown on this page that are not premium Tuna Fishing lures.

These lures are all Tuna Magnets, but please know that most are multi-purpose able to catch Dolphin, Wahoo, Billfish, and other fish caught trolling or jigging.

 

   

Click on links below to go to:

Click on link Below to go to:

Tuna Jigs

 

Yes, these Blackfin Tunas were caught on a Tormenter "Ballyhoo" jig off of Key West with Tail Chaser Charters. This one of the most productive jigs ever made! If you will have the chance to cast a bait to feeding Tunas, make sure you have the Ballyhoo jig aboard.

Click on the link below to go to:

Lure Kits

(including several for targeting Tuna like the one pictured below)

Tuna Crusher Kit - Get Ready for some action! This kit includes the recipe guaranteed to produce TUNA, TUNA, and more TUNA! Kit includes: 2 rigged Tormenter TUNA PLUGS. 2 Blue & White STEEL HEADS rigged on Mono, 2 rigged MINI TUNA DARTS, a rigged Blue & White BULLNOSE BUBBLER,4 pocket Lure Bag and on SALE for only $99.00!!

SPOTTING AND TROLLING FOR YELLOWFIN TUNA

It is no secret that if you want to find Yellowfin Tuna, find the birds first! A good radar can help immensely as your eye can only pick out a flock of birds at around 1/4 mile, while a super radar can see them at six miles if the waves aren't too big.

While many people have their own variances on how to troll up Yellowfin tuna from a school, I will try to give you the easiest and most productive way that I have found fishing with crews of people with limited or no experience with me playing both captain and mate like most of you do....

1. fish a limited number of lines, maximum four without a very experienced mate.

2. Fish our Mini Tuna Dart, or Steel Head WFB (Way Freakin Back), maybe 250 feet....

3. Fish our Tuna Plug or Bullnose Bubbler at around 175 feet back.

4. Fish a Tuna Plug, Bullnose Bubbler, or Bird Chain around 100 feet back.

5. Fish one of the items listed in steps 2-4 at 50 feet back.

6. No need for outriggers as by fishing a lighter bait WFB, it will stay above the others. Fish heavier baits closer to the boat and make the distance between each bait substantial. You should be able to make turns without tangling your rigs, but always keep an eye out for problems.

7. Approach the school and always watch for the "lead bird" as when the school is on the move, there is usually a single bird in front of the pack following the Yellowfin Tuna. Remember this word "FOLLOWING". This means he is BEHIND the Tuna and if you want to present your baits without running over the school and not send them down, you must get in front of the school which means your boat usually needs to be 250 feet in front of the lead bird (depending on how close to the water he is).

8. With the baits you have deployed and without outriggers, you can run up to 15 knots to get in front of the school. Play with the particular baits and distances to rty to get your speeds over 20 knots if your Tuna keep moving hard.

9. Get in front of the moving school and slow down to 5-6 knots and try to troll with minimal wake as many Tuna are sensitive to wakes and this alone might send them down.

10. If the school of Yellowfin Tuna has stopped and they are feeding, troll circles around the fish trying to drag your baits through the school of fish but do not run over the fish with your boat.

11. When you get a bite, straighten the boat, DO NOT SLOW DOWN, as if you keep moving another 15 seconds you have a 40-50% chance to double (or triple) up. This will also give your angler time to get set up to fight the fish.

12. It is usually best to keep the boat moving when the fish gets close to control what he does rather than the other way around.

13. There is usually no need to bring in all of your lines unless you have a really strong or large fish that will require all of your attention. If they are behind the boat and you do not need to back down, they will be ready for a bite as soon as you gaff your fish and start moving again. I have actually gotten hits byYellowfin Tuna just after putting the boat back in gear to start trolling again!

Blackfin Tuna Fishing

Blackfin Tuna fishing is very similar to Yellowfin, but there are differences. The Blackfin Tuna are also skiddish with regards to boat wakes. They have very large eyes and can see leaders, hooks, and other stuff that is not naturally something they wish to eat. If you have the fish around but not getting bites, switch to smaller leaders and smaller hooks!

Our Mini Tuna Dart is an Excellent bait for Blackfins as so are our Steel Heads, Tuna Plugs, and Bullnose Bubblers. Blackfins will also eat Daisy Chains,Cone Heads, Bone Heads, Smokers, Smoker Jrs, Tuna Bandits and other Tormenter Lures, but Small is usually best for Blackfins. Color will also make a difference. Many times you can use only Black & Purple. Other times it will be Blue & White, but you will need to figure this out as each day may be different.

Our Jigs, especially the Ballyhoo & the Ribbonfish, are excellent Blackfin Tuna baits, but do not discount any of the Chubbies! Again, each day is different.

You can live bait Blackfin Tuna with Pilchards, Greenies, Cigar Minnows, etc. It is best to have MANY and use live bait as chum. First stun your livies by whacking a netfull against the side of the boat before throwing them into the water. This way they will spin all over attracting the Tuna. Place live bait on hooks between 3/0 and 6/0 sizes depending on how shy the fish are and the size of the fish. Use a Flourocarbon leader if you have it, but otherwise 50lb mono will work. If No bites on 50lb, step doen to 30lb.

Good luck!

 

Yellowfin tuna is an abundant species of tuna, found throughout the warmer reaches of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Yellowfin tuna are considered a the same species in all oceans. 

Like the other tunas, Yellowfin Tuna are well known for their physical beauty and power. The similar appearance of many tuna species can lead to some misidentification. The Bluefin, Albacore, Yellowfin, and Bigeye Tuna all have a streamline, "football" shape with darker coloration on the back, with a dark gold band along the ventral line from its head to the tail, and a silvery belly. In the Yellowfin, the dorsal surface is dark blue and can appear black when in the water. True to name, the Yellowfin can have much Yellow in their fins and they have several bright yellow finlets just forward of the caudal fin (tail). Coloration alone won't allow you to separate these tunas. A key feature to use at sea is the length of the pectoral fin. The Yellowfin pectoral fin reaches the beginning of the second dorsal fin. The Albacore pectoral fin always goes beyond the start of the second dorsal and the Bluefin pectoral fin never reaches the second dorsal fin. The combination of color and pectoral fin size should suffice in most cases, although in small Yellowfin, a combination of the above and gill raker counts (27-33) and presence of a smooth liver may be needed for a positive identification.

You will find both Bluefin Tuna and Yellowfin in the Gulf of Mexico while they usually are never in the same areas along the East Coast. Yes, you will find both off of the coast of New Jersey and New York, however the Bluefin will be much closer to shore than the Yellowfin, with very few exceptions.

Yellowfin Tuna are even faster growing than bluefin tuna, but do not reach the large size of their giant cousin. The all-tackle record is a 388 lb. Yellowfin Tuna caught in Mexico in 1977. On the East coast, Yellowfin Tuna over 200 lbs. are uncommon. After one year of life, Yellowfin are 8-10 pounds. At age-2 Yellowfin are about 35 lbs. and age-3 about 75 pounds. A four year old Yellowfin averages about 130 lbs. which is a little less than twice that expected of age-4 Bluefin Tuna.

While most of the Atlantic Yellowfin Tuna population is found not too far from the equator, the warm Gulf Stream allows fish to migrate north on the west side of the Atlantic. 

While the entire congregation of Atlantic Yellowfin Tuna are not always together, the Atlantic Ocean's Yellowfin Tuna travel calendar might look a bit like this: January through April - Dry Tortugas & the Caribbean, May & June - Bahamas & Florida East coast (way offshore), July & August - The Carolinas, August & September - Virginia & Maryland, September & October - New Jersey & New York & the Canyons off of MA, November - Virginia through The Carolinas, December - moving southward.

The Gulf of Mexico will see Yellowfin Tuna all year however they will move far south, possibly into the Caribbean, in the winter months.

Nantucket Shoals and the Great South Channel act as a thermal barrier and typical summer New England water temperatures are thought to be too cool for yellowfin.

Yellowfin tuna grow very fast and reach sexual maturity at age-2 or age-3. Age-2 and age-3 yellowfin can produce several million eggs, and a yellowfin reaching age-4 can produce over eight million eggs and has a narrowing list of predators. This natural history provides good opportunity for successful year classes to come along. The primary spawning grounds in the Atlantic is thought to be the Gulf of Guinea and some spawning occurs in the Gulf of Mexico. Yellowfin cohorts tend to stick together, with tight size ranges found in schools. The age-2 and age-3 yellowfin we see spilling over the Continental Shelf each season are seeking large concentrations of pelagic prey; and typically feed on sand lance, squid, mackerel, and butterfish.

Management

Fisheries for Yellowfin Tuna in the western North Atlantic Ocean have developed fairly recently. The first recorded catch in the western North Atlantic Ocean came in 1949. From 1949 to 1956, a federal research vessel caught five Yellowfin Tuna while trolling off the edge of the Continental Shelf. Japanese longline fleets began targeting yellowfin in the Atlantic in 1955, primarily off of South America. Commercial harvest in the U.S. began with purse seine catches in the 1960s, followed by longline activity in the 1970s. Purse seine have been remained sporadic, occasionally reaching 1,000 mt, while the longline fishery developed into the primary harvesting sector for yellowfin tuna in the west Atlantic. Recreational catches of Yellowfin Tuna began in the 1970s as rod and reel fishermen began picking up Yellowfin on the Continental Shelf while targeting Marlin. Yellowfin Tuna soon became a principal target for offshore recreational fleets on the east coast. The rise in importance of Yellowfin Tuna to east coast fisheries was dramatic. In the 1950s and 1960s, Yellowfin Tuna was nearly unknown to longline and rod and reel fisheries on the East Coast, and since the Early 1980s it has become the dominant Tuna species in terms of landings and has generated tremendous economic benefits.

Yellowfin Tuna in the Atlantic Ocean are managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Altantic Tunas (ICCAT). Yellowfin Tuna fisheries under ICCAT do not presently have the detailed country wide quota systems in effect for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible to implement ICCAT regulations and manage domestic fisheries for Yellowfin Tuna. A minimum size of 27 inches (curved fork length) is currently in place for all U.S. Atlantic fisheries. For permit requirements and regulations contact NMFS at http://www.nmfspermits.com or (888)-872-8862.

Angling and Handling Tips

Yellowfin tuna can be sometimes the easiest fish to get to eat and sometimes the hardest. Go to our Fishing fo Yellowfin Tuna page to learn some of the best methods for attrcting Yellowfin Tuna to your hook.

As Table Fare

Yellowfin Tuna, once thought of as only being suitable for canning and making Tuna salad sandwiches out of, has had its reputation grown to an incredible celebrity status with dishes ranging from Sushi, Sashimi, Sesame Seared, Blackened, Grilled, Fried, and much more. Go to our Fish Recipes page to find great ways to prepare Yellowfin Tuna as well as other fish you will catch on your Tormenter fishing lures!

 

Angling and Handling Tips

Yellowfin tuna are one of the most challenging species to catch with a rod and reel and may be found off the coasts of every Gulf Coast State and East Coast State. Their large size and high capacity for exercise can result in broken tackle if you are poorly prepared. Yellowfin Tuna are found mostly in deep water, though I have actually hooked them in as little as 60 feet and gaffed one at the end of a fight in around 20 feet of water (off of Great Harbour Cay in the Bahamas). Boats will often need to run well offshore to find the right temperature edges for attracting Yellowfin Tuna.

Trolling and chumming are the primary methods used by anglers though trolling allows for the coverage of a greater area to locate the fish and is more commonly utilized. Trolling involves creating a flashy presentation of multiple lures trolled in the boat wake while moving along at 7-8 nautical miles per hour. Single hook lures with plastic skirts are a common offering and chains or spreader bars of lures are an option to increase the visual attraction. Green is a popular color for yellowfin tuna. The idea is to have a pattern of lures that splash, wiggle and sparkle enough to trick the fish into thinking it is attacking a group of agitated baitfish. Chumming involves introducing a baited hook to yellowfin tuna while the boat is drifting or anchored. Cut pieces of butterfish or silver hake are common baits, and small pieces of the bait are deliberately tossed in the water around the baited hook to attract tuna.

Both methods use similar tackle. Since yellowfin typically range between 30-80 pounds in this fishery, you most often see high quality 30, 50, or 80 pound-class reels and rods and line used. Yellowfin that exceed 100 pounds are matched well with the 80 pound class gear. Lighter tackle can be used and is gaining popularity, but you better have time on your hands if you want to land a 150 lb. yellowfin tuna with 30 pound class tackle. Once hooked, rods are taken from rod holders and transferred to the angler wearing a gimbal belt and/or back harness. This sets up a "stand-up" fish fighting technique that can quickly fatigue the inexperienced angler faced with a large tuna. The excitement generated in the cockpit as multiple yellowfin tuna strike and rip line off the reels has to be a highlight of sportfishing opportunities off the coast of Massachusetts.

Tunas were built to get away, and are not that great at playing hurt. If you plan to release your catch, keep the fish in the water if possible while you carefully remove the hook. Avoid bruising or cutting the tuna during boatside handling If the tuna is fatigued, swim the fish along for a few minutes while the boat is in gear to allow the fish to "catch its breath" (release carbon dioxide and make up oxygen debt). If you plan to boat the tuna, then bleed and chill the fish as soon as possible. Fresh yellowfin is a delight to eat and a 40 pound fish can feed plenty of people. Yellowfin eaten raw doesn't have the premier reputation of bluefin tuna sashimi, but don't pass it up if you like sashimi. And marinated yellowfin steaks on the grill are thought by some to be best among the large pelagics.

 

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