Bluefin Chunking

Insider Tips on Bluefin Tuna Chunking

Bluefin tuna chunking involves anchoring on a good fishing spot known to hold bluefin tuna. Once anchored, top bluefin tuna crews deploy chunks, stick baits and live baits suspended on balloons at different depths. Most captains have their crew position the baits at the depth where they mark bluefin tuna on their fish finder.


Many top bluefin tuna captains use Gamakatsu Live Bait hooks during bluefin tuna chunking. In determining the hook size, it is important to match the hook to the size of bait that you are using. You shouldn’t use a hook that is too large, because it will detract from the presentation of the bait to the bluefin.


All top bluefin tuna chunking crews use fluorocarbon leader. Leader varies from 150 – 220 lbs., with many crews fishing light gear (150 -180 lbs.) to get bites when they are hard to come by. Most bluefin crews start off with a long leader (say 15 feet), so they can cut back and recrimp the hook on if their leader gets nicked up by dogfish or other pests.


Many bluefin tuna chunking crews using light fluorocarbon also use H crimps instead of G crimps for their 150 or 180 lb. fluoro. The lower profile H crimp must be done carefully, preferably using a Jinkai crimping tool.

Bluefin fishermen also use these crimps to attach a small wind-on swivel. This way, the leader can be wound all the way on the spool, protecting the fluorocarbon during storage, ensuring clean decks, and allowing the angler to reel the fish as close as needed to harpoon it.

Sinkers and Balloons

All bluefin tuna chunking crews attach sinkers and balloons using rubber bands. Sinker weight is selected based on the speed of the current and the desired depth that you are trying to fish.

Questions? Contact us with your bluefin tuna chunking questions.

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