Tuna in their various forms are dispersed throughout the tropical and temperate reaches of the oceans. Wherever they are found, fishermen have figured out ways to catch them. In today’s era of finely tuned sportfishing crews, regional variations in targeting tuna—particularly yellowfin and bluefin—are particularly interesting.
Monte Richardson interviews top crews from some of the world’s tuna hotspots to find out the tricks of their trade. From Nova Scotia to Panama to the Outer Banks of North Carolina—from 130s spooled with 200 pound dacron to heavy-duty spinning rods attached to poppers—there are as many ways to catch tuna fish as there are ways to cook them.
For more insight, you’ll have to read the article in its entirety. If you’ve ever dreamed of catching a cow yellowfin or a grander bluefin, this article is the one for you.
Here’s how it starts:
Yellowfin tuna: They’re a day maker for a slow billfish trip, a pound for pound heat exchanger of solid muscle infused with oxygen and a fifty-mile per hour locomotive of a fish that can make a grown man’s back sing like Carlos Santana’s guitar. Often swimming in schools of similarly-sized buddies, they can turn a bait ball into an underwater murder scene in a flash. Their ability to never stop moving and hunting throughout the water column defines them as anything but bycatch.
Compare this to the Atlantic bluefin tuna, the year maker for any astute angler, a Volkswagen made of turbocharged meat that can grow to over one thousand pounds and is in such global demand it could be gold newly mined from the sea. This fish feeds lobbyists and causes legislation to spontaneously combust. But the real champions in their pursuit are those that are pulled to their knees on the wire and whose asses rise above the fighting chair to stare down at a giant orb of an eye before cutting them free.
Methodologies for the catch of these two great species vary by region and are often in relation to the abundance of fish, or lack thereof. As of 2010, Panama placed restrictions on commercial purse seining and the tuna fishery has seen a rebound. My brother, Capt. Wade Richardson, is one that has seen this effect firsthand …
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