By: Tommy Nitahara
It’s Summer time and the fishing is easy!
Summertime is really tuna time. Many fishermen plan their vacations around tuna seasons. Finding these fish can be difficult. But once you do, there are some important things a fisherman must do, to catch these prized fish.
Let’s reveal some these top secrets from some expert fisherman. I asked each angler a few questions and here are their answers.
Brian “Bubba” Porter, is with the Seeker Rod and Berkeley pro staffs, here are the questions I asked him.
Q: Most common mistake when in a school of tuna? Boat position, crowding the fish, creating a good chumline and anglers not doing the right thing when fighting a fish, maybe tangling other anglers
What conditions do you look for? Good water clarity, bird schools, temperature breaks.
Trolling speed and patterns? A circle or V-pattern and try not to crowd the school of fish.
The best lures to use? When trolling use a Cedar plug, skirts and jigs in these colors: Purple/Black, Tony the Tiger, and Halloween. Also, Rapalas and Jetheads.
What do you do when Bluefin are picky? Use the best bait. Get to know the deckhands and tip them. Have a topshot of 100 yards and use fluorocarbon leaders.
Best place for big tuna? The Hurricane Banks, Clarion Islands and Puerto Vallarta from November to January.
Best trip? Several years ago in Puerto Vallarta, many 100 to 200 pound fish were caught.
Next I asked Kevin Cooney, who fishes with Shogun and American Angler the same questions and here are his answers.
Number one mistakes? The boat captain doing anything that will spook the fish and drive them down. Rough water and bad conditions can causes anglers to make a mistake by tangling other lines in the water and poor angling techniques that may cause problems as well.
Best conditions? Looking for deep blue colored water. Fishing ridge areas where there are deep channels. And always look for life, dolphins, bird school, bait fish and breaking fish.
Trolling? I think a circle patter is the best. Try to drop back a black/purple feather or Mexican skirted jig and a Cedar plug/ Picky Bluefin Go to the bow. Try to use a topshot of 25 pounds and fluorocarbon leader between 25 to 40 pounds.
The best place for tuna? Guadalupe Island, Hurricane Banks, Clarion, Alijo Rock from October to December.
I also asked Stan Vanderberg with Avet reels, Seeker Rods, Gamakatsu Hooks, Tady Lures, and Stoked on Fishing the same questions and here are his answers:
Mistakes people make? Most people use the improper equipment and bad techniques. Not knowing how to pump the rod and work the fish toward the boat. Their rods will twist when working in the fish. But time on the water should fix that problem.
Conditions? You should troll till the tuna bites, then pin a fresh live bait and cast it in the water. You should get bit soon after. Using clear line would be best, because it can be seen by the angler and others to avoid tangles. Dark colors disappear at low light. This applies with Spectra lines. Try to use, White, yellow, and blue lines as they can be readily seen. If you ever have a chance, try to use a kite. The captain and crew will help with it and it is a great way to catch big fish. When you slide the bait down in the water, it will be splashing and making a commotion. It will develop a strike that will be exciting. If you fish the slide, there are a few things to throw that are always productive. Throw a Tady or a Mega bait, a Raider or a swimbait on a jighead. Always use heavy line, cast sideways to the boat or even go to the bow. Let line out, figure out the wind and the drift. Try to get away from the lines in the stern of the boat. You should be able to get the tuna to bite this way.
When Bluefin are Picky? Bluefin are my favorite tuna to catch. When they are picky I will make sure I have bait in the water quickly and it gets away from the boat. Make sure you use fluorocarbon leader. If you don’t get bit for a while, try to get a new fresh bait and fish in the bow. Bluefin will swim under boat in a pattern and may bite forward the front of the boat, because the chumline will run under the boat as well. The bow is a good ambush spot.
Tommy Nitahara is a Daiwa Pro Fisherman