Yellowfin Tuna: Big Fight, Sweet Reward

By: Peter Miller, Bass 2 Billfish

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Whether trolling, chumming or using advanced radar systems, Florida waters can hook you up with this prized fish.

Yellowfin tuna, a fish prized for its light, sweet meat as well as its fight, can be worthwhile in even another way: They make a great excuse to finally splurge on that radar equipment you've been dying to buy!

Used to find birds feeding on the baitfish chased by large game fish, these systems vary in price and efficiency, so it's worth doing your homework. Reading reviews and quizzing fellow anglers about their choices is a great place to start. Though these fish can certainly be found and caught without high-tech equipment, using a solid open-ray system to track them down adds a certain thrill to the chase.

Found in Florida waters year round, populations are especially plentiful from May to late August and charging into open waters with a radar system on board can make for some spine-tingling anticipation.

Radar or no radar, there's still a lot of discussion among people who fish about trolling and chumming when it comes to tuna. Sometimes the bite is so fierce, trolling alone garners hookups and non-stop action. But for those who chum, their efforts are often rewarded with big fish and powerful strikes. Weighing between 40 and 200 pounds on average, these fish are considered by many to be one of the best sport fish around. They hit hard and go deep, setting the angler up for a fast and furious fight.

Regardless of what method you're using, common sense says to work the edges of the pod and avoid charging through the pack. Fifty-pound trolling gear and a fighting belt are standard equipment, and don't forget to stay awake; multiple hookups are common. It's not like these fish travel alone...


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