Few fish can tug like a tuna, and in this How to Fish installment, we’re going to run offshore in search of yellowfin tunas. We’ll chunk them into a feeding frenzy, and explain what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, along the way.


That’s pretty exciting stuff, right?! Now let’s recap those tips:

  1. When you see whales, stop. They often indicate lots of bait is nearby, which means there are probably tuna around, too. (The two-tone common porpoise is another marine mammal that’s a good sign tuna are around).

  2. Cut up lots of chunks, and keep a steady flow going. Forgetting to toss chunks while a fish is on the line is the number-one mistake a lot of anglers make—as soon as the chunks stop flowing, the school of tuna usually swims away. But if you keep up the flow during a fight, you can often hold the school right next to your boat.

  3. Light leaders get more strikes, and in this case, 30-pound test fluorocarbon was the heaviest the fish would bite. When using light leaders like this, always use circle hooks. They usually lodge in the corner of the fish’s mouth, which prevents the leader from chaffing against the fish’s teeth.

  4. Never set the hook with circle hooks. Instead, slowly apply drag as the fish draws the line tight.

  5. Always keep clickers on when chunking. Otherwise, when a tuna strikes it often backlashes the reel.

BONUS TIP: Did you notice that some of the fish came swinging over the side of the boat with a jig in their mouths? When you tease yellowfin into a feeding frenzy, they’ll often strike jigs as well as baits. This is a very effective way to boost your catch, since you don’t have to waste time baiting and re-baiting hooks. It also allows you to up-size the leader, since the fish are chasing a moving target and they don’t have quite as much time to eyeball it.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.