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.
captured on the "ELECTRIC BLUE"
captured by Captain Tony Allen on
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
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 on
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.
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 Tuna.
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.
Limits and Regulations
Rec. Bag Limit