In the past five years, we have seen an inspiring resurgence of southern bluefin tuna stocks, a testament to the efficacy of conservation efforts. Among the many techniques to seize this opportunity and catch these formidable tuna, trolling lures stand out as highly effective, straightforward, and accessible to all. This form of game fishing essentially involves dragging lures behind your boat until an unsuspecting fish decides to bite. The secret to success in trolling lies in the frequency and the amount of area covered. The more ground you cover, the more fish you’re likely to catch. In this blog, we’ll delve into the strategies, gear, and tips to help you elevate your fishing experience.
Locating the Fish
A significant part of game fishing success lies in finding the right spots. Social media pages and fishing forums can be instrumental in giving you up-to-date information on the latest hotspots. These platforms can save you hours of fruitless searching and gallons of wasted petrol.
Birds, with their superior vantage point and keen eyesight, can serve as reliable indicators of fish presence. Flocks seen circling and diving are a sure sign that something is happening below the water’s surface. Birds sat on the water, constantly dunking their heads, are likely to be monitoring a food source below. However, not all bird activity warrants attention. Birds covering extensive areas without diving, or focusing on each other instead of the water, usually don’t indicate fish presence.
Pay close attention to potential bait schools on the water surface. Spotting schools of baitfish near the surface could mean you’re close to striking gold.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Quality gear is essential when targeting southern bluefin tuna. The age-old wisdom of “you get what you pay for” rings true when choosing rods, reels, lines, harnesses, gimbles, and lures. While you can catch fish with cheaper gear, you wouldn’t want to have subpar equipment when the catch of a lifetime comes along.
For line class, we recommend nothing less than 15kg, and when there are bigger fish are in the area, nothing less than 24kg. It’s crucial to have the appropriate gear to handle the power of these magnificent fish.
Leaders and Lures
When it comes to pursuing bluefin, wind-on leaders are our top choice. Utilising a fluorocarbon leader is crucial for success, especially with species that are wary of lines. Because it bends light less than conventional monofilament, it becomes harder for fish to notice in the water. This minor yet critical advantage can be a game-changer, particularly for discerning species like the bluefin tuna.
When it comes to lures for bluefin tuna, options are endless. The challenge lies in knowing when and where to place these lures to maximize your strike rate. Lure colours often mimic the baitfish that bluefin prey upon, providing a good starting point for selection.
Setting Up the Spread and Determining Speed
Knowing where and how far back to position your lures is a skill acquired with experience. If you’re a beginner, using lures with manufacturer-suggested position and troll speed can be beneficial. Remember, the aim is to make it easy for the fish to spot the lure. Our preference is to run deep divers from the short corners closest to the transom, below the prop wash.
The speed at which you troll is crucial to how your chosen lures will swim. You’re speed should be between 6-9 knots. Adjusting your speed based on the lures you’re running and the prevailing conditions is essential.
Enhancing Your Trolling Experience Seavu
Seavu is an advanced underwater viewing system that we’ve created to offer insights into the underwater world in real-time. When you’re trolling for tuna, it allows you to keep a keen eye on your lures and tackle’s movements, providing an advantageous edge in a challenging environment.
Using Seavu during your trolling pursuits opens up a window into the tuna’s world. You can watch as the tuna approaches your lure, observe its behavior, and adjust your lure’s speed or position as necessary. This real-time adjustment can be a game-changer, especially when dealing with elusive tuna.
In our experience, Seavu can improve your understanding of tuna behavior and may lead to increased success rates by allowing on-the-spot, accurate adjustments. We’ve seen how using Seavu can transform the trolling experience, providing a clearer view of what’s happening beneath the surface, and in turn, enhancing decision-making.
We invite you to test Seavu on your next tuna trolling adventure. See for yourself if our technology can make your fishing trips more productive and enjoyable.
Please check out our Elevate Your Trolling Experience with the Seavu Swim Kit article.
Strikes and Staying with the Fish
When you get a strike, keep driving until the rod is fully loaded up and paying out line. This tactic increases the chances of multiple hookups. If you are getting strikes, mark the position on your GPS. You’d be surprised how far you drift during the fight, and retracing your steps can lead to repeated success.
Fighting the Fish and Crew Involvement
A fight with a heavyweight bluefin requires strategy and skill. A high line angle will put less pressure on the angler and force the fish to burn energy. You want to get the fish working against you. Remember, fights that drag on for hours aren’t good for anyone, including the fish.
An alert, active crew can significantly contribute to a successful fishing expedition. All eyes should be on the water; the captain can’t be expected to see everything, watch the sounder, monitor the radio, and drive the boat. A crew that’s on the ball will almost always catch more fish.
In conclusion, trolling lures is an exciting and effective method for catching southern bluefin tuna. The thrill of the chase, coupled with the right strategies, tools, and team, can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding fishing adventure. With southern bluefin stocks making a promising comeback, there’s no better time than now to get out there and get amongst the action.
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