There’s a reason why Venice, LA is called “Tuna Town” – a place where yellowfin tuna “season” is year-round and not just limited to a few short months. Thanks to the speed and agility of this species, offshore fishing in our neck of the ocean is nothing short of exciting and one of the best adventures you can ever have. Here we take a closer look at yellowfin tuna – their description, behavior, and most importantly, how to get one hooked.
Yellowfin tuna (also known as the “ahi” fish) is a fast and powerful species found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide. It is amongst the larger tuna species, reaching weights of over 400 pounds, but is significantly smaller than the Atlantic and Pacific Bluefin tunas, which can reach over 990 pounds. Now if you catch one in Venice, LA, it’ll most likely range anywhere from 20 to 250 pounds…still not too shabby. The main body is a very dark, metallic blue which changes to silver on the belly where it has about 20 vertical lines. The second dorsal fin, anal fin, as well as the finlets between those fins and the tail, are bright yellow – hence the name Yellowfin.
This tuna species can most often be found in the top 330 feet of the water column and penetrate the thermocline relatively infrequently, although they are capable of diving to considerable depths. Yellowfin tuna often travel in schools with similarly sized companions such as other yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, various species of dolphins, and sometimes even whales and whale sharks. Their diet largely depends on what is available, and typically includes small fish such as flying fish, squid, and crustaceans.
There are several types of methods used for catching yellowfin tuna, although chumming and chunking while trolling is the primary method used by anglers. Trolling for yellowfin involves creating a flashy presentation of multiple lures trolled in the boat wake while moving along at 7 or 8 knots. Single hook lures with plastic skirts are common bait. Chains or spreader bars of lures are also an option as they help increase visual attraction (green is the most popular color to attract yellowfin). The tackle setup is basic, but heavy big reels with lots of line are essential. Many anglers use 50’s spooled with 80-pound test line with 4-5 feet of 100-pound fluorocarbon leader, an 80-pound swivel and a 9/0 short shank Mustad offshore hook. It is recommended to set the drags at about 24 pounds. Once the yellowfin is hooked, increase the drag another 25 percent and begin to pump and lift.
For additional information on how to catch yellowfin tuna, click here.
Are you ready for a yellowfin tuna fishing adventure? Don’t wait and nook now! For more information on our offshore chartered fishing excursions in Venice, LA or to check availability, please call us at 504-909-TUNA.