Yellowfin tuna fishing isn’t just an exhilarating sport; it can also make for an incredible and unforgettable day out on the water, plus a huge payday! There are yellowtail tuna fishing tournaments with cash prizes that go as high as $750,000 just for a single yellowfin.
However, before you get all excited about getting your own record yellowfin tuna, you first need to know exactly how to catch yellowfin tuna.
How to Fish for Yellowfin Tuna
These creatures can be caught by amateurs and seasoned anglers, especially if you follow our tips. Our yellowfin tuna catching strategies will give you much better luck at reeling in these massive fish.
Talk to the Locals
Speak with the shop’s employees and the other customers that you find there as there’s a great chance that they can help you determine how, when, and where yellowfin tuna are biting. For beginners, hiring a guide is a good idea.
There are professionals that will even teach you how to clean a yellowfin tuna. Professional anglers usually know the great spots which are regarded as the well-kept secrets of a fishing town.
Find Their Natural Food Source
Yellowfin tuna fishing will involve you finding the food source of yellowfin tuna to locate the fish themselves.
Doing some research online before heading out onto the water will be a good idea. You’ll have better luck heading for temperature breaks in a body of water as they’re where phytoplankton percentages are higher.
When you catch your very first yellowfin tuna for the day, we would suggest you open it up. This way, you can find out what the fish has been eating and you can use it as bait for catching even more fish.
Plan the Fishing Trip Based on the Weather
The weather changes fast and you wouldn’t want to be yellowfin tuna fishing when the weather isn’t cooperating.
It will also be more difficult as there won’t be telltale signs of tuna being close e.g. presence of birds. So, you need to plan your fishing trip according to the weather.
Just like other species of fish, yellowfin are more active whenever the tides are changing. When tides are shifting, your chances of landing the fish will increase significantly.
Watch Out for Bird Life
When you’re out to catch yellowtail or yellowfin, keep an eye on bird activity near the surface of the water. It’s not just the breaks in temperature that signal tuna feeding activity.
Birds on the water surface can also be a sign that yellowfin are close by. You’ll have a good idea of where exactly to drop a line or troll if you’re on constant watch of the birds.
Use the Right Lures
Tuna will respond to a broad range of lures. Combining a bait strategy with the right lures will bring in more fish that are nearby.
Plastic skirted lures, tuna feathers, and cedar plugs are some of your best options. A trolling plug has the added benefit of working at a faster speed which can attract the fish.
Try out the ‘pop, pop, pause’ fishing technique as you drag the lure as it’s a rhythm that anglers have found yellowfin usually respond to.
Get a Light Leader
As you may already know, yellowfin don’t have a type of mouth that’s the same as other similarly sized game fish such as marlin.
Yellowfin tuna have fewer scales and a smaller jaw. So, use a light leader as it will make landing the fish a lot easier.
Use Tuna Bait
Live bait, chumming, cubing, and bait balls are ways to get fish into your boat. Chunking or cubing will let you drop trails of tuna baits from your boat.
Remember that it would be best to drop another chunk only when the last one you dropped is already out of sight. Try this out and you’ll be amazed at the line of different species headed toward your boat.
Use rigs and leaders in getting your line deep down. Yellowfin prefer feeding deep into the water so make sure that you have your lures and bait far from the boat and then deep into cooler waters.
More so than other species of fish, yellowfin tuna avoid baits if they sense there is a boat around. Avoid scaring off your target by making sure there’s a long distance from your pontoon boat to the end of the fishing line.
But, beware as you try to increase the strikes you get from yellowfin tuna. This is because there’s a high possibility that you will lose them even when you’re close to landing them.
Barracudas and sharks can see yellowfin that you’ve hooked on your line. They see the fish as their lunch. That being said, make sure you bring your catch into the boat quickly.
Try Kiting Live Bait
Live bait will work well in attracting yellowfin tuna. The energy and natural movement of live baits are unmistakable for yellowfin, so they prefer them over anything else. However, live baiting poses a challenge whenever you’re trying to maintain a good distance from the bait.
A solution is kiting. Drop live bait into the water from a line that’s attached to the kite that’s behind your boat. This will increase the chances of you landing fish using live bait.
Yellowfin tuna are found in the subtropical and tropical ocean zones across the globe. They are also abundant so you’ll have lots of opportunities to target them.
It’s certainly a good idea to try catching yellowfin tuna if you want to experience true thrill, excitement, and exhilaration in the water.
But, if you’re new to the activity, it’s recommended to seek the help of seasoned anglers. You’ll need a guide who has the knowledge and experience to find and catch the magnificent yellowfin.