3 Tuna Fishing Tips for Beginners

tuna-fishing

Going from “just fishing” to tuna fishing is a gigantic leap. The world of tuna fishing is full of the unknown, especially the weight of a caught tuna. Depending on the region you’ll be fishing, the season, and the depths, you could be catching some of the biggest fish in the sea. Tuna fishing is a great sport and is a wonderful resource for making better sales in fish or seaside marketplaces. This article will describe three distinct, useful tips on tuna fishing for beginners.

Set bait and wait

This is a pretty obvious tip, but is far too often overlooked or shrugged off. For the first tip, you’re going to need to set your bait and just wait for the tuna to bite. As simple as it may sound, just remember to be patient! This cannot be said with enough emphasis. If you try to bait out your tuna and expect them to bite right away when you plummet your hook and bait, you’ll end up going home empty handed.

The trick to this step is to hook the bait live directly into the nose of the fish. You’re going to want to place your baits spread out throughout different depths (this makes your bait setup seem more alluring to the unsuspecting tuna fish). Start by casting out the shallowest baits first, and go deeper and deeper with each cast (this is done so the lines don’t tangle).

Get a good hold of the rod

Get a hold of the fishing rod and reels – for this step take caution to use thick buckskin gloves. If gloves aren’t used, you’ll end up will callused palms and fingers. Keep the fishing rod’s end pointed directly toward the fish. Keep the line tight but don’t pull unless something bites.

Wind it in

This step requires that you have a fishing partner or two. With the aid of a fellow fisherman, you can easily have help winding in one of the many reels. The other help can also help put away and store the rods (in a cabin space or somewhere else on or under deck).

You’re going to need a heavyweight anchor drop that will go directly into the waters where your lines and reels have been set. You will need to next move the hooked rod to one of your mounted, fighting swivel holsters. Keep an eye on the movement of your Bluefin. Rotate your boat until your fishing line is at a 45-degree angle past it and off the gunwale for now.

Your first runs will require the line to be very tight. This is because the Bluefin may attempt to fool you and swim toward you. Just keep that reel tightly gripped and try to keep up pace and don’t lose grip. Keep up with this routine for a while until the fish shows signs of struggle. Now, finally harpoon the exhausted tuna fish and you’ve got it! Now you should have your first catch.

 

Wahoo Fish Facts

wahoo-fish-facts

 

The wahoo is a fish known commonly throughout the world, for both its fame as a gaming fish and its immaculate taste when it’s cooked. There is much to know about these fish even though they’re common; in fact, their commonality across the globe is currently why scientists are researching more deeply into them.

The wahoo species of fish can be found in salt water in the tropic and sub-tropic areas of the world. Their abundance worldwide has made them a target for both scientists and commercial fisherman alike. Even gaming fisherman choose to go after this distinct family of fish for the skill necessary to catch one and the excellent flavor they produce as a dish.

Wahoo are a medium-sized species of fish; they can grow up to around 8 feet long and the largest to ever be caught on a line weighed 158.5 pounds. Some experts estimate the wahoo can reach a maximum size of about 200 pounds, though there are no specimens yet to prove it.

This species of fish is generally prefers a solitary environment, but it is also common to find them in small schools. In pristine conditions, some of their schools have been known to reach up to around 100 fish, but it is a rare occurrence.

Another reason this fish is targeted for sport is its great speed and strength. The wahoo has been known to reach swimming speeds of about 60 miles per hour, they’re aggressive, and have razor sharp teeth. The wahoo also possesses bladelike fins that help propel it through the water; the wahoo is one of the fastest known fish in the world.

Wahoo is often mistaken for biologically related fish such as the mackerel because of the similarities, though there are more noticeable differences between the wahoo and mackerel. The difference between the king mackerel and narrow barred Spanish mackerel to the wahoo is a patch of skin that covers the mouth while it is closed. The mandible is also not showing on the wahoo unlike the king, spanish, and cero mackerel.

The wahoo variety of fish is known to mainly eat squid, but it will eat any other type of fish or animal that it can fit into its mouth. They never go too far out from land and are generally a by catch in most salt water commercial fisheries, especially those where tuna, billfish, and dolphins are located.

In 2003, there was a Dolphin Wahoo Fishery Management plan put into place even though the wahoo is not considered to be overfished. On the Environmental Protection Agency‘s ranking for endangered species, the wahoo is labeled as no concern.

This fish is also known to carry a large type of stomach worm known as Hirudinella ventricosa. This worm doesn’t affect the part of the fish that people use for consumption and likewise, the fish does not seem to suffer physically at all from being host to this worm.

Photo credit: Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

What you Need for Tuna Fishing Gear

Bluefin-Tuna-Fish

Tuna

There are fifty types and they are from the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. Anglers harvest this fish for food and find them very satisfying to catch. Three of the most commonly sought-after species of tuna include the skipjack, yellowfin, and the bluefin.

The Three Species

Skipjack only has scales on the corselet and the lateral line. That is, it has scales around its pectoral region and its sensory organs. Most anglers describe the skipjack’s back as “dark purplish” or “blue.” Its belly is silver and has four to six dark lines. Its largest size reaches 3.3. feet and can weigh up to 41 pounds.

Most anglers compare the yellowfin tuna’s shape to that of a torpedo. Their backs are metallic blue while their bellies are yellow to silver. Their fins are bright yellow. This includes both their dorsal and anal fins, and their finlets. Their second dorsal and anal fins are long and make up for nearly 20 percent of the fish’s size and length. Pacific and Atlantic variants differ slightly in their size. The Pacific yellowfin weighs up to 440 pounds. In contrast, the Atlantic yellowtail weighs up to 400 pounds.

The bluefin tuna also has a shape akin to that of a torpedo. Its back is dark blue or black and its belly and lower sides are white. Live bluefin have colorless lines and spots on the lower side of their bodies. It has a second dorsal fin on its back that is reddish-brown. Its largest size is over 9.8 feet and it can weigh up to 1,400 pounds.

Techniques

There are plenty of anglers who believe that fishing for tuna is one of the most enjoyable species to catch. This is because tuna fish tend to put up a strong fight for hours. It is a test of strength, stamina, and patience. They are different from marlin fish in the sense that these fish typically jump around when they try to escape. In contrast, a tuna fish will make the best out of their weight and try to stay down in the water.

Gear Used for Troll Fishing

Trolling is the most common and the best technique for catching a tuna fish. Recommended bait includes balao, menhaden, skipjack, squid, and mackerel. You need a No.9 or 10 hook for most tuna trolling. However, you might need something larger if hunting down a bluefin tuna.

Most anglers assert that artificial lures are as effective as live bait. That is, plugs, large spoons, and other lures that resemble live bait such as squid are effective for trolling tuna.

The last tip to keep in mind is to fish around the edges of a school instead of fishing in the middle. Fishing around the edges prevents you from disturbing the school. Plus, the larger tuna tend to swim around the edges.

Other Equipment

Your gear is contingent on both your way of fishing and the type of fish you’re trying to catch. For instance, when fishing for a yellowfin tuna, your rod will needs to withstand 400 pounds. Thus, you will need a thick rod such as a 50-pound class reel. You will also need a fishing gaff to stab and lift and place the fish on the boat.

Photo by US NOAA | Public Domain

Fall Fishing for Bass

Bass-Fishing-in-Fall

Bass, like a lot of other types of fish, tend to change their feeding patterns as the seasons change. Different weather means different conditions and necessitates having to change up habits in order to stay nourished. Fall is no exception to this rule. Fall is a time when bass are desperate to bulk up before the really cold weather descends. Their desire to fatten up before the winter can really work in a fisherman’s favor because the fish are generally more desperate to eat and, therefore, are less selective than in other seasons.

If you know where to look for bass during the fall your chances of catching a fish, or more than one fish, are greatly helped. Although most of these tips can apply to any season of bass fishing, they are especially true in the fall because of the more drastic change in water temperature. Here are three tips for fall bass fishing to keep in mind when heading out to score big.

Know your waters

In the fall, the water is colder than in summer months, and the bass will adjust where they gather based on that. Shallower water means higher temperatures, and the fish will naturally school there. Knowing where the water is shallow works in your favor during fall fishing. But how do they get there? Typically, the bass will come in from deep to shallow waters, so finding a place where water goes from deep to shallow is a great spot to catch fish.

Look for schools

In the fall bass really rely on schooling, so it’s possible to catch more than one in the same location. Make sure to not move around too much! If you can find the baitfish, you can find the bass. Look for signs of baitfish schools, and you’ll most likely find schools of bass.

Know the underwater environment

In the cooler waters, fish will tend to congregate near rocks and other structures under the water that retain heat. Green vegetation provides oxygen, and logs and rocks provide warmth. Find these types of areas, and you’ll be in good shape to start fishing.

Understanding the climate and landscape of your favorite fishing spots, as well as the habits and patterns of the fish you are searching for, is crucial to having success as a fisherman. A well-informed fisherman can be incredibly successful in the fall when hunting for bass, as long as he keeps in mind the changes in season.

Photo credit: USFWS Mountain Prairie / Foter / CC BY 2.0

Fishing Line Conditioner

Fishing-Line-Conditioner

Keeping your fishing equipment clean and well maintained is just as vital to your fishing performance as knowing the fish’s location and habits. There is nothing more disappointing than losing a fish because of poorly performing gear, and this is an easily preventable misfortune. With fishing, as with any game sport like hunting, most are taught proper cleaning practices: making sure your rod is clean, spraying down the boat to prevent rusting, making sure to keep the tackle box tidy, etc. But one aspect of running a tight ship that is often overlooked is conditioning your line.

Conditioning your line is just as important as any other maintenance because it helps to improve your fishing and helps your equipment last longer. Not only do you want to keep your gear working because of its ability to help you catch fish, but the gear itself is very expensive to replace! You want to protect your monetary and time investments by making sure you do everything you can for the supplies you have.

So why use line condition in the first place? Fishing line conditioner is a simple liquid that, when sprayed on your line, helps to lubricate and fortify your line and reel. Line suffers a lot of blows when you fish; it can get snagged, it can break, it can retain memory, and all that negatively affects your fishing success. Keeping fishing line lubricated helps to condition the line, prevent breakage, and help you cast without as much resistance or friction. Some fishermen claim they can cast up to 30 feet more with a conditioned line.

The product is a fairly convenient one to add into your fishing routine because it is easily stored. The small bottles it usually comes in can be kept on your boat or in your tackle box. Simply give it a few sprays directly on to the line, wait a few minutes, and watch your performance enhance.

Although line conditioner is a vital product to have, keep in mind that it is no replacement for a yearly overhaul of your line. It helps to minimize the damage to your line, but it is not a miracle worker, and line will still need to be changed completely to ensure peak ability. However, using fishing line conditioner will certainly help you to keep your line healthy in the meantime.

Photo credit: Foter / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fishing for Catfish Tips

 

Catfish are an incredibly fun fish to hunt for. Known fighters, catfish are a popular recreational fish to try and catch because of their fight, along with their huge range of size and type.

Although they can be caught in almost any type of water, there are some general rules of thumb when fishing for catfish that are tried and true. Knowing the basics of catfish fishing is half the battle, so do some light reading and ask around before you begin.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Make sure you have the right tackle, bait, and lures

Remember that catfish are bottom feeders, so floaters are no help to you. You want your bait to sink to the bottom and be as stinky as possible to really get the attention of these picky fish. Catfish can really vary in size, so researching the area where you are fishing will really come in handy when knowing what kind of rod to get. In general, a medium heavy rod will work well with a heavier line. Rods that have a bit of length on them are better suited for big catfish because you can cast longer. Be ready for a long fight when you snag a catfish. It can be slow and strenuous. Make sure that you keep your line tight, and don’t pull too hard, or you may break the very things that are helping you reel it in.

Figure out where the current breaks

If you are fishing in a river, and notice that the current of the water changes its pattern in certain location, that is what’s called the current break. It could be because of a log or other obstruction in the water, and that’s where you want to look. Catfish will be resting and feeding there. If you cast into the eddy (the calm water near the obstruction) you’ll often find your fish.

Ask a question

New to fishing or just want to change up your routine a bit? Don’t be afraid to chat about your methods with people at your local watering hole or bait shop. You may discover that people love talking about how they caught that big fish last year, the bait they found that works the best, or where to go to start out. Being part of the conversation about fishing in your community can help you come up with some good ideas and ways to alter your game that you hadn’t considered before.

Photo credit: Foter / Public domain

Bank Fishing for Catfish

 

Catfish are a very versatile kind of fish, and so it is appropriate that the kind of waters they can be found in are also very diverse. One of the reasons why catfish are so popular to fish for is because of the endless variables they offer: you can catch a catfish the size of your arm or the size of your dog. So much of your catfishing experience depends on where and how you do it, and it can vary dramatically from one location to the next. So keep these things in mind when you start out to fish for cats.

Know where to start

What kind of water are you fishing in? Will it be from shore? One of the biggest challenges in bank fishing is being able to understand the landscape of the water. Since you are not right on top of it, as a boat would be, you need to be alert for the signs of the water’s environment. Is it deep? Shallow? Are there logs? Is it filled with vegetation? If you prefer bank fishing, try to walk to shore to get a lay of the land, or even take a boat out just to see what the water is like. Knowing what you are getting yourself into before you pack all of your gear can make a difference.

Invest in good rod holders

Think that your rig and what you use for bait is the only thing that matters? Think again. Remember that catfish are feisty and strong. Your rod holders don’t have to be super expensive or anything fancy (some PVC pipes could do just fine) but make sure they are secured into the ground and offer a stable home for your rod. It is a terrible feeling to lose your cat because your rod holder was too flimsy or didn’t properly support your rod.

Look for obstructions

One of the easiest ways to spot catfish when fishing from the bank is to look for obstructions in the water or current breaks. A current break is where the current changes its normal course, and is a good indication of structures in the water like logs, boulders, or vegetation that change how the water flows around it. The calm water behind this obstruction is called an eddy, and that’s where you’ll find the fish because the water is calmer there. These are spots where catfish and the fish they feed on rest. If you aren’t fishing in a river, still look for structures – that’s often where little fish hide, and catfish know just where to go to get a meal.

Photo credit: Public Domain Pictures / CC0

Fishing Diary Tips

Keep a fishing diary may seem like an unnecessary task, but you’d be surprised at how it can improve your overall fishing performance. Record keeping allows you to remember location, time of day/year, size of the fish, and so much more.

By keeping track of your hits and misses in your favorite fishing spots, you can more easily recognize patterns, which will ultimately help you know when it is the best time to get out on the water. Knowing your local environment’s ins and outs may be the difference between fishing fame and fishing failure.

Although there are many different ways to keep a diary, here are a few tips to get you started and keep your records as consistent and informative as possible.

Pick a format that works best for you

Consider what kind of person you are, and what kind of record you’re likely to keep up. It could be as simple as a mini notebook you stash on your boat, or an Excel spreadsheet with numerous columns. A monthly calendar is another way to go and would allow you to see patterns in dates and times of year fairly easily. Ultimately, the format doesn’t matter; it’s the information that counts. 

Suggested categories to record:

  • Location
  • Date: to easily track calendar patterns and change in season
  • Time of day: to estimate what time of day you are most successful at each of your fishing locations
  • Weather conditions: What was the weather like? Did it change over the course of your day? How did it affect your fishing?
  • Method of fishing: on boat? On land?
  • Gear used: what rod, reel, etc.
  • Bait used: what did the fish like or dislike?
  • Tackle used: is one lure working better for you than others in certain spots or times of the year?
  • Activity on the water: was it a busy day?
  • Description of fish caught: size, weight, physical attributes, etc.
  • Any other notable occurrences: even the smallest detail could help in learning patterns 

Keep it simple so you can keep it consistent

The diary only works as long as you are recording after every trip, so don’t take on something that you will not be able to maintain. Even if you just jot down some notes in a notebook that you stash in your tackle box, you will be amazed at the things you learn about how you fish.

Photo credit: Foter / CC BY-SA

Fishing Kayak Mods

 

Kayaks offer a fun way to fish from a unique, close-up perceptive. However, in order to do so safely, here are some modifications you need to make to ensure fishing from your kayak is safe and rewarding. Below are some ideas on fishing kayak modifications.

Paddle leashes

You do NOT want to be stranded without a paddle when kayak fishing! Keeping your paddles tethered to your kayak will allow you to fish free of worry. You can do this easily by purchasing a simple brass swivel clip to mount to the kayak itself and use braided poly cord.

Rod Holder(s)

Rod holders are crucial to keep your hands free and your rods secure. You can make your own with materials like PVC, or buy them new and mount them to your kayak.

VHF Radio

Great to have one that will last even when submerged in water … just in case.

Bow and Stern Lines

What good is a kayak if you can’t dock it to anything? Rather than having to pull it ashore after each use, attaching lines at the bow and stern with a clip on the ends of each can make things much more efficient. It can easily be tied up to any dock or boat rigging you come across — or clipped to something in a pinch.

Anchor

Kayaks can move around a great deal in rocky waters, so it’s good to have a small anchor to keep yourself in the same spot once you’ve found a good place to fish. A lighter folding anchor will allow for easy storage and ability to stay put.

Dry bag/box

For keeping valuables, snacks, etc. It’s nice to have a few things safeguarded against the water. Using the bungee on the deck of your kayak (which can be modified to fit your needs) is a great way to keep supplies out of the interior of the kayak and safe.

Boat Light

Required for night fishing. This small LED light sits on top of a long rod making you easily detectable by other vessels.

Plan Before Taking Action

It is a smart idea to put all your modifications in place before altering the bones of the kayak itself. Visualizing where everything will go, and how that will affect the kayak once in water, will save headache down the road. Make sure that any modifications you make to the kayak itself will not cause any damage or leakage to your vessel while you fish!

photo credit: Nicolas Valentin via photopin cc