Black Fin Tuna are moving through

Black Fin Tuna are not well known for our area, though in spring through fall they move through with the bait schools.  Your best bet for them around here is in the spring when the shrimp boats are anchored cleaning their catch where they take up with the sharks, tarpon and just about everything else looking for this “industrial strength” chumming machine.

There are other opportunities as well, they are sometimes incidental catch when trolling lures or live or cut baiting on the bottom while grouper fishing.

Here is a 25lb fish I caught while on a “research” mission to locate a wreck I used to fish many years ago, back when we had Loran an TD’s instead of GPS coordinates.    I slipped the lure over the side when approaching the last known location of the wreck an within 20 seconds the line was screaming off the reel, running off at least 100 yards of line before slowing down.


Black Fin Tuna

25lb Black Fin Tuna Caught off Captiva, FL Capt Paul

Now I thought this would be a King Mackerel.   However when it stopped, it did not fight like a King.   Finally after getting the fish near the boat where I could see color, I saw was a Blackfin Tuna I had been coveting and was hoping I would run into.  About 25lbs, this fish was absolutely some of the best Tuna I have ever eaten, even enjoying slivers while cleaning.

I went back to the same area almost a week later and found a school of them, they did not however like my live Threadfin or lures. You can bet I’ll be back on these asap.    Their preferred water temp is 70.5.  So keep your eye’s open if you are around bait schools, they are out there!

Update 11/7/19


Yo-Zuri Sardine colored Crystal Minnow

I’ve been asked what lures work best and live baits.  I use Yozuri plugs in sashimi color a lot. I keep a dozen or 2 on board as there are often King & Spanish mackerel cutoffs. Black and Purple or Blue is the best color in this area though anything may work from spoons too feathers.  Billy Baits skirted trolling lures are a go to as well.