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 Tuna's

 Yellowfin Tuna
(Thunnus albacares) 


 Distribution & Size

There are six fish which are called Tuna's.  Namely Bluefin,  Yellowfin,  Blackfin, Little Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, Bigeye Tuna.  Tuna's are in fact members of the mackerel family.  Historically all the Tuna's are caught around the coast of Florida but they are patchy compared with to the years before commercial fishing ruined the stocks. They are creatures of deep water so you have to fish offshore for them.

The Bluefin Tuna weights range from 200 to 600lbs as an average.  Many fish caught now run between 500 to 900lbs which is an indication of dwindling stocks.   Unfortunately the Giant Bluefin is in trouble worldwide due to over fishing by commercial boats.  The World record is 1496lbs which is  some fish and must have been some fight.

Captain Tony Allen with two Yellowfin Tuna weighing 180lb each.

Blackfin Tuna captured on the "ELECTRIC BLUE"

Skipjack Tuna captured by Captain Tony Allen on "ELECTRIC BLUE".

The average Yellowfin Tuna runs in weight from a few pounds to 200lbs.  They are rugged fighters and head straight down once hooked. The fight then is a case of strength and stamina. Those shown in our picture weighed 180lbs and were captured by Capt Tony Allen in the Indian Ocean when fishing from the island of Mauritius.
The Florida record is 230lbs and the World record is 388lbs.

The Blackfin Tuna commonly runs from 2 to 20lbs with a few  exceeding 40lbs.  They are quite common around the Gulf and are usually hooked whilst targeting Kingfish or Dolphin Fish. Our picture above shows a Blackfin weighing in at 27lbs caught in the Gulf of Mexico out of Johns Pass.
The Florida record is 38lbs and the World record is 45lbs 8oz.

Little Tuna commonly run from a couple of pounds to about 15lbs with a few exceeding 30lbs. 
Florida record is 27lbs and the World record 35lbs 2ozs.

Skipjack Tuna average from 2 to 10lbs often exceeding 15lbs.  They have distinctive markings as seen in our above. These fish are numerous off Johns Pass during the summer months.
Florida record is 31lbs 8ozs and the World record is 45lbs 4ozs.

Bigeye Tuna are uncommon and are rarely caught of the Florida coast.  The average weight runs from a few pounds up to 200lbs. Fish taken of the Florida coast average 50 to 100lbs.
The Florida record is 167lbs and the World record is 435lbs.

 General Information

The Tuna are ferocious fighters and can even be a danger once boated. Their thrashing tails can inflict severe bruising or even a broken leg if you were to be unlucky to get in the way.  As dogged fighters they bore deep trying to make for the bottom.  Quite often they die in the attempt and can then be difficult to boat.

 Tackle & Bait

Bluefin Tuna require reasonably heavy line test tackle from 80 to 130lbs.  This is the toughest of the game fish to land, making great runs with speed and stamina.  The methods used to catch all the species usually involve trolling lures, large feathers or rigged baits.  Drift fishing techniques are also employed using life or dead baits. My favorite method is trolling behind the shrimp boats early in the morning for Blackfin.

 Eating Qualities

All the Tuna's are excellent to eat with probably the Little Tuna being the least popular. Tuna is served in most good fish restaurant's.

 State Limits and Regulations

Size Limit  Closed Season  Daily Rec. Bag Limit  Remarks
None None None None

 
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