How to Fight a Tuna

Sometimes, in the middle of a tropical wonderland, you come upon a tuna. Maybe it’s swimming right in front of you, maybe it’s floating gently below you, maybe it’s hiding under a rock. Either way, you’re up for a fight.

A few years ago, I was in one of the busier parts of the world, where I got to see a lot of different people, places and things. One of the people I met was a guy named Don, who was fishing with his friend Phil. Don: Phil, this is Don. Phil, this is Don. Phil: Don, this is Phil. Don: Phil, this is Phil. Phil: Don, this is Phil. Don: Phil, this is Phil. Phil: Don, this is Phil. Don: This is Phil. Phil: This is Phil. Don: This is Phil. Phil: This is Phil. Don: This is Phil. Phil

It’s a well-known fact that one of the best ways to fight a tuna is to use a very large boat that is probably also equipped with large cannons. In addition to that, one of the best ways to fight a tuna is to steal its entire family for dinner.

Watching an experienced crew and fisherman work on the cockpit and rigging, and an experienced skipper make the boat dance with every movement of a wild tuna, is a beautiful thing. Like winning the Super Bowl, fighting a big bluefin tuna, a fat tuna, or a yellowfin tuna the size of a donkey requires teamwork and a good game plan where each team member knows exactly what it takes to succeed. The fishermen reap the glory on the pier, but everyone’s role is equally important to the catch. The wrestling plan starts with choosing the device, the right device and setting the maximum resistance. With the exception of the huge bluefin tuna, most fish do not require very heavy equipment. In my opinion, the most versatile rod and reel combination for most tuna anglers is based on 30 or 50 pound reels that are two-thirds filled with 65 or 80 pound braided line and 50 pound monofilament line. While single-speed reels are still number one, two-speed reels make it much easier to lift a 150-pound largemouth when you can switch to a pull-tip transmission. As an all-wheel drive SUV, you’ll be glad you have one should you ever get stuck in the snow. Stories of giant tuna throwing away an entire spool of line are almost certainly the result of poor striper setting. The Shimano team proved this by asking hundreds of anglers at sports shows to adjust the cables by hand and then checking the settings for weights. Most of the fishermen were on the lower end of the scale. On my charter boat, the pull is always set to a scale of one-third the line’s breaking force when it is taut and about half the line’s breaking force when it is fully unwound. This may seem too strong, as it takes a gloved hand to pull the line off the spool at 15 pounds of resistance. It feels too tight in the hand, but on the scale, it’s just perfect. When the bigeye tuna sinks like a lift in deep water, sail away with the boat. This change in line angle helps the angler gain height. When dragging, the Strike lever should be moved to a position equal to about one-fifth the thickness of the line. That’s about 10 pounds of pull on a 50-pound line, enough force to hook the hook, but light enough to keep the line from breaking. Once attached to the carp harness, the angler must place the lever in the strike position to catch the fish. Press the full button only to get more lift; pull back the stroke when the fish starts to run. Depending on the wind direction, the skipper has to move the boat to the right or left after the stroke to take the wind away from the stern. It is difficult to fight fish when the boat is upright or on guard against the sea and wind. A slow turn to leeward directs the wind onto the boom and then onto the stern, where there is less chance of the line becoming tangled. In calm weather, center console boats offer a 360-degree fishing surface that allows you to catch tuna in two beats when the fish are restless. On tough days, when just standing is a win, it helps to keep the tail towards the fish, so the angler can get support by leaning on a rocket launcher or gunboat (or sitting in a fighting chair if one is available). After the engagement, a slight forward motion should be maintained. Instant on and off keeps the line tight and is particularly useful when the fish is approaching the boat, as you lose the safety factor of the tightly stretched line. The fisherman, the mate and the captain must combine their skills to catch the big tuna. word-image-6296 Watching an experienced angler skillfully use the rod and reel is a pleasure and helps to distinguish the reel angler from the excellent angler. The diameter of the spool changes as the fish takes the line and resistance increases. If the fish pulls enough line to halve the diameter of the spool, the resistance is doubled. Before the line jumps, pull the lever back a little at each long fishing pull and press the lever again at the end of the pull to win the line. On the side of the boat, when the fish are lingering just below the surface, it takes a few extra pounds of pull to bring them up. Set the lever to full power, but be prepared to pull back if you pull a fish quickly to avoid breaking the hook or line. When hoisting a tuna vertically in deep water, additional force can be applied by placing your left hand, protected by a glove, on top of the reel to grip it. The thumb and forefinger are also in the ideal position to operate the lever, while the right hand turns the lever. If you are using lighter equipment, use your right hand to grasp and operate the lever. In the upward motion, hold the reel handle so that the hand is close to the reel arm when the reel is bent, not at the bottom of the reel where the hand is too far from the arm. We’ve all seen TV shows where the fisherman raises his rod in a high, graceful arc. He’s usually sweaty, but smiles like he’s having the time of his life. Later, during a battle, he appears in agony as each flex of the mighty staff causes muscle spasms in his arms and pain in his shoulders. It may sound impressive, but it’s no way to fight fish. Good form is much more effective than brute force in the fight against big tuna. word-image-6297 The high lift works to the disadvantage of the angler because most of the line gained is lost when the rod tip is lowered and the reel is reeled in. The fish feels the pressure on the rod release for a moment and moves away a few feet, forcing the angler to reclaim the lost line on the next cast. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the extension factor inherent in monofilament fishing lines. For every 6 feet of rod lift, maybe 2 feet is lost as the fish swims back, and another 2 feet is lost to line stretch. Only 2 feet of fishing line is wound on the spool, which is a waste of effort and labor. Short, quick pulls from the rod tip always bring the fish back to the boat in less time, with less effort and fewer lost fish. Holding the rod almost straight with the left hand, the angler briefly brings the rod tip to an angle of about 30 degrees to the line, leaning back with the legs to reduce arm muscle fatigue by using the much stronger leg muscles to handle the rod. The top rises only 2 to 3 feet and then drops quickly as the right hand turns the handle. Only one meter of line is gained, but the rapid repetition of this motion allows the angler to gain much more line with much less fatigue than with a high rod stroke. The angler exerts the lifting force on the back of the rod, and the fish is balanced without the risk of pulling further on the reel. And use the state of the sea to your advantage. When the wave lifts the boat, it lifts the fish, and when the wave passes, the boat sinks into the trough and more line can be gained. The short-strike technique works equally well when the angler catches the fish standing up, using a cardan or sitting in a fighting chair. Fishing for larger fish may require an additional net or bucket, but the technique of lying down and using leg muscles instead of arm muscles remains the same. The angler leans on the chair with his leg muscles to get the line, and then pulls the line up as he moves forward on the chair. The backstroke lifts the rod and the forward stroke winds the line as the rod tip descends.

Tactical Breakaway Tuna

The fish you hook is completely focused on escape and will do anything to get there. It changes direction during the race. When diving, the boat must maneuver so that the angler can handle the fish properly. However, maneuvering the boat can present other problems. Let’s look at some typical situations you may encounter while tuna fishing. If you have a small crew, consider laying less line to make it more manageable in the event of multiple landings. word-image-6298

The last race

Some tuna, after touching the bait, move directly away from the boat, then turn right or left and finally try to get out in front of the boat. Fish can come back much faster than most boats. The best tactic is to turn the bow towards the fish, place the angler on the bow and chase the fish. If the tuna are approaching the boat, a more traditional tactic can be used – position the angler and the boat so that they are behind the fish. Whether the machine starts forward or reverse depends on the amount of thread that falls off the bobbin during the first start. If the fish is relatively close to the boat, the reel works well, but if there is a lot of line falling off the reel, it may be necessary to follow the fish with the nose first before the water resistance breaks the line. This is a judgment you can only make through experience.


Many fish save their energy by swimming away from the boat with the current. The typical maneuver is to sail backwards and follow the fish, but if the fish slows or stops, the current and wind will push the boat in the direction of the fish and possibly past it. In this case, the solution is for the angler to look to the side of the cockpit so that the boat can maneuver close to the fish. When a fish is close to the boat, on a short line, the skipper must be very careful and ready to move away from the fish if it tries to dive under the boat. A standing angler is ready to move to a new position in the cockpit to intervene in the fishing trials, or an angler sitting in a fighting chair is assisted by an assistant as the chair is turned to rotate to the new fishing position when the captain moves the boat. A variation of this technique uses a boat to bring the fish to the surface with a corkscrew. The angler remains in the cockpit, facing to the side, while the captain continually moves the boat in a controlled circle around the fish to get the best line angle to continually lift the fish to the surface. The advantage of thewith center console is that it provides a 360-degree fishing area for fishing for tuna in two stages, bringing the fish to the boat. word-image-6299


Large fish can stay several fathoms below the boat and hit the angler with great force. This vertical angle, straight up and down the line, gives the fish the advantage and can prolong the fight. With its pectoral muscles spread like wings, the fish needs little strength to stay low under the boat, but the angler can’t apply drastic pressure to lift it. In fact, an angler can do nothing but persevere and get tired. An effective solution to unbalance the fish hanging in the depths is obtained by moving away from the fish, which allows a better line angle with more pull on the angler’s side. Although some line is lost through the spool as the boat moves away from the fish, the improved line angle usually allows the angler to recover not only the line lost as the boat moves away from the fish, but also additional line due to the advantageous line angle. After a few such maneuvers, the fish will be within range of the gaff.

Go Wild

Some tuna pull crazy antics that test the skills of everyone on board. A quick hand on the throttle and shifter can prevent you from losing a fish that passes under or beside the boat. The captain relies on the hand signals of the helmsman to indicate the position of the fish as it approaches the transom or when the fish suddenly changes direction. I remember a nice big yellowfin tuna that gave me two good hooks as it approached the boat. Instead of wading into the depths, this fish turned aggressively, first to the left and then to the right, jumping from side to side just 18 feet from the mirror. Here, with a nimble boat and skillful handling, a trophy was captured. I’m sure the fisherman in the chair remembers the pull of his big fish, but I remember how difficult it was to steer, shift, turn and speed up the boat to keep the fish on the hook and out. A slight forward motion is also very useful in the final seconds before lowering the gaff or marking the fish. The slow forward motion keeps the line and line tight and helps oxygenated water flow through the fish’s gills as it approaches release. Many tuna will swim toward the boat if the helper puts a lot of pressure on the leader, bringing the fish within range of the gaff or marker. If the boat is not moving forward, the person leading the boat can quickly run out of options before the helper can make a blunder. So the fish is lost if it gets hooked by a loose line or rolls under the boat. It is a good idea to maintain a slight forward motion after hooking. Immediate on and off action keeps the line tight and is especially useful when the fish is approaching the boat, as you lose the safety factor of line tension. word-image-6300 The gaff or mark procedure is safest when the boat is idling while you grab the rod. As you move forward, the fish will usually come to the surface and lie on its side or belly, parallel to the boat. Ideally, the leader approaches the corner of the transom, makes the reel and takes three steps forward so that the fish is in the ideal position for the gaffer to bend over and do his job neatly and cleanly. The captain makes just enough movement to keep the line tight. Too much speed can cause the fish to escape the grip of the leader. When the fish makes a sharp turn from the boat, the leader releases and the angler plays with the fish again. As the boat moves away from the fish, there is less chance of breakage of propellers or underwater mechanisms such as rudders or propellers. Insert the hook of the gaff into the head to avoid destroying the meat and to bite firmly into the muscle and bone, not into the soft meat, which can tear and cause the fish to be lost. When the clevis reaches the target, the angler should release the tension, but not on the free spool. Only when the fish is properly hooked, the angler may place the rod and reel in the nearest holder. He can then help the helpers bring the fish on board. The best place to lift the fish is the corner of the transom, not above it. This is the only free zone on outboard, stern or console boats, but even on inboard and free transom boats, the lowest protrusions are usually at the corners of the transom, minimizing the lifting distance. To avoid destroying the precious flesh, the tail rope helps lift the fish out of the water onto the deck. Bringing the fish on board is of course facilitated by the back door. Gear selection, equipment options and methods of controlling fish will vary from skipper to skipper based on personal experience and the procedures that seem to work best. There are no absolutes. The elements I’ve listed here can work for you, or you can adapt them to the talents and capabilities of you and your team. Whatever you decide, if it is based on developing an attitude of respect for each member of your team, it will be a win.Tuna is an amazing fish that is packed full of nutrients. You can eat it as a tasty sandwich, or you can use it to make fish balls, ceviche or even tuna fish cakes. But, what if you could use it to fight wild animals or even other people? It turns out that fighting and catching a tuna is a bit more complicated that you may think.. Read more about tuna fishing show and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fight a bluefin tuna?

Bluefin tuna are the largest tuna species and they can reach up to 6.2 meters (20 feet) in length and weigh up to 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds) when fully grown. It’s important to understand that these fish are apex predators and don’t usually come anywhere near shore. The biggest threat to bluefin tuna is in fact humans. In pursuit of these immense sea creatures, humans have been known to cause them to accidentally swim into nets (also known as bycatch), or even catch and kill them on purpose. Bluefins are one of the most famous species of tuna, known for being extremely fast and powerful, as well as for being the most challenging species to catch. They’re also a very elusive species, which means it’s very difficult to predict where they will be in the open ocean, where they spend most of their time. As a result, many people find it harder to catch, which has led to a lot of controversy within the fishing community.

What bait do they use on Wicked Tuna?

The tuna fishing season is well underway so, if their attention hasn’t already been drawn, anglers can expect to be seen on the water next week. There are many different species of tuna in the world, all of which are very hard to track down. With this in mind, it’s important to know what bait is being used on the Wicked Tuna and how well it’s working. There are many people out there who spend a lot of their time trying to fish Wicked Tuna but, to their dismay and frustration, the fish has always eluded them. There are many variations of the Wicked Tuna that are found in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. Its common to have many different species of tuna in these regions, including Blackfin Tuna, Blacktip Tuna, and Bluefin Tuna. Its common to find Red Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, and Blacktip Tuna in the same areas. Some of the different ways to distinguish them is by size, the color of their fins, and shape of their head.

What to do when you hook a tuna?

If you get yourself into a situation where you see a tuna, it’s not time to give up, but to make your tactics more effective. So you hooked a tuna and it’s loose in your boat. That’s bad but not the end of the world. You could try to draw it back in but you don’t have a rod and reel. You don’t have a hook and line either. So what do you do. If you want to fish you have to get bait and you need a hook and line to catch the bait and then a rod and reel to reel the fish in. If you want to fish without a bait you have to catch the fish with the hook and line. If you want to fish without a hook and line you have to catch the fish with the rod and reel.

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