It can be very frustrating to be offshore in 650 to 800 feet of water with tunas blowing up all around us and to only to ignore our trolled baits. Why aren’t they interested in our baits? It could be a number of thing, placement in the spread, speed, color, action, or size. Being observant of what these fish are eating can give us an idea as to what they are eating at that particular time and allow us to match it up.
After seeing what these tunas are eating it’s no wonder they ignore our mahi lures, they are mostly feeding on fry that’s about an inch or two long. A small feather or even the little dusters that are designed to go in front of a live blue runner for king mackerel will emulate what these tunas are feeding on better than a typical trolling lure.
I've wrote about it before and its still true that small trout jigs look a lot like these bait fish and will catch tunas. Most times if I find these fish turning their noses up at the baits we offered up, Ill drop leader size as well as lure size.
Seeing tuna feeding offshore I always think of them like an iceberg because what we see on the surface is nothing compared to how many are down about 200 feet. So after considering that surface trolled lures don’t make as much sense as small heavy jigs whether they are verticals or conventional buck tails.
Slowing down and watching your bottom machine will let you know when to drop and how far to do so. When we mark them on the bottom machine generally between 50 to 200 feet we knock the boat out of gear and fire a couple jig down, a supper fast retrieve mixed in with rapid snaps of the rod will do the trick.
I promise you can’t reel fast enough to out run a tuna if it’s so inclined to eat your jig on its assent. These fast moving schools of tunas will be gone as fast as they show up so hooking up as soon as you can with a couple anglers will ensure tunas for the dinner.
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