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Offshore Fishing 101: Our Top 5 Tips for Tuna Fishing

Tuna are some of the most popular fish to catch for both hardcore and casual anglers. While they aren’t the toughest fish to spot, catching them is a different story. The next time you’re planning on taking your Blackfin Boat out for an offshore fishing adventure, keep these top five tuna fishing tips in mind for a serious haul. 


  1. Go at Night

Researchers and anglers have studied tuna behavior for a better idea of when these fish are easiest to catch. The coveted Yellowfin Tuna typically follow a diel pattern for depth distribution. That means these fish will spend their time in mixed and surface layers at night while heading down to the depths during the daylight hours. So while you won’t see much action, you will get a better fishing experience if you go at night. Once the daylight begins to fade, bait heads to the surface and the predators, like tuna, follow. 


  1. Look for Structure

Structure is critical for ensuring that an offshore fishing trip will be worth the angler’s while. Around reefs, shoals, humps, and seamounts, bait congregates. Where bait is, so are the predators. No matter how deep it is, you’ll find a fish around the structure. 


  1. Heat Waves

Large fish will typically prefer cool waters, but not necessarily the tuna. Researchers have found that these fish prefer water around 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Before you head out to sea in search of the tuna, study the sea surface temperature charts so you can narrow down the prime fishing spots. 


  1. Shrimp Boats

Shrimp boats will produce a lot of chum when they process their catch. And chum attracts larger, predatory fish. If there are shrimping boats in the area, watch for them to haul back. Once they do, you’ll want to move in if possible. There you’ll find a lot of tuna action either during the day or preferably at night. 


  1. Cloudy Water

Where freshwater meets saltwater, the water becomes cloudy. If skies are overcast and there’s a bit of chop, you’ll be able to pull in a tuna catch faster. 

Using the right bait is also critical for catching tuna. Depending on the season, tuna will most likely be munching on the bait that’s most abundant. Some of the most effective bait for tuna fishing include:

  • Blue Runners

  • Herring

  • Mullet

  • Flying Fish

  • Ballyhoo

If you’re trolling for tuna, mix it up. Tuna can be picky eaters, and if you have a variety of bait on the line, they’ll be more likely to bite. Consider using other items to attract their attention, including umbrella rigs or spreader bars. 

Once hooked, the tuna fights fiercely and novice anglers may want assistance from more experienced crew or fisherman. Keep these top five tuna fishing tips in mind for your next offshore adventure. 

At Blackfin Boats, we offer a range of innovative and durable boats made from the finest materials and craftsmanship. Find a local Blackfin Boats dealer near you today.

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