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Fishing In NJ: How To Catch Them



Bluefish | Weakfish | Blackfish | Striped Bass | Fluke | Drum | Shark | Tuna


Bluefish

Bluefish are almost everywhere in the state, along the beaches , open ocean, bays and tidal rivers. Many party boats fish for them exclusively and will run trips during the day and night. They can run as small as 1-2 lb (Cocktails) or close to 20 lb. They are the most prolific fish in the area and for that reason are the most popular species to fish for. If you want to catch lots of fish Blues provide the best opportunity. It is not uncommon for you to catch 20+ fish per person.

Blues are noted for their great fight and fierce appetites. When a blitz occurs they will hit almost anything. Make sure to use a heavy mono or wire leader. These fish have sharp teeth that will make short order of 10 - 15 lb mono or your hand. Watch yourself when getting the hook out of the fish. It's best to use pliers or some type of hook remover.

Time of Year:
Blues usually arrive in late spring and will stay around well into October. Most of the larger fish are caught in the fall.

How To Catch Them:
  • Diving birds are a sure sign there are Bluefish in the area. Cast a diamond jig or plug into a pack of working birds and your almost sure to get a Bluefish.

  • Chumming from an anchored boat is the most popular way to fish for Blues. Pay out Bunker chum to attract fish while dropping back pieces of cut bunker on your hook.

  • Trolling tubes, jigs, Bunker spoons, plugs or umbrella rigs work great. This method is highly effective for locating fish. Some sharpies will troll to locate the fish and then anchor or drift in the area with bait. In order to keep your trolling lures down at the right depth it is usually necessary to troll with heavy drail sinkers or wire line. Wire line trolling is the most effective. Some sharpies also use down riggers.

  • Jigging for blues works well when there is a large body of fish concentrated in an area. Diamond jigs tipped with surgical tubes are dropped to the bottom and reeled up quickly. They can sometimes be bounced off the bottom as well. Best thing to do is try and find out at what depth they are picking up the jigs and concentrate your jigging there. Many times larger fish will be underneath the smaller ones or at the edge of the school. When approaching a school of breaking fish in a boat slow down and let you boat drift into the school with the engine off. Running over the fish under power will send the fish down and break up the schools of bait they are foraging on.

Best Places To Catch Them:
NJ Party boat fishing for bluefish are very popular all along the coast. From north to south the most popular areas are Atlantic Highlands, Shark River/Belmar, Brielle & Point Pleasent, Barnegat Light and Cape May.

If you have your own boat popular areas are as follows:

  • Sandy Hook: 17 Fathoms
  • Schrewsbury Rocks, Mud Hole
  • Barnegat Light: Barnegat Lumps

Some Fishing Tips:
  • Use fresh rather then frozen Bunker if you can get it.

  • When chumming be sure not to be too generous or skimpy with the chum. It's a good idea to release chum at 2 to 3 minute intervals to keep a consistent chum slick and hold fish. Too much chum and the fish will hang back for the easy meal and not bother to move up into the slick for your baits. Too little chum and your not going to hold or attract fish.

  • Trolling speed is not too critical for bluefish. Between 2.5 and 4 knots is good although they will also hit at Tuna Trolling speeds of up to 6 knots. When trolling bunker spoons slow it down until you see your pole pulsing in an erratic side to side and bobbing motion. When trolling other lures like tubes,jigs, and umbrella rigs try and stay close to the bottom without hanging up. Pay line out until you feel contact with the bottom and then reel in just enough line to keep your lure from hanging bottom. If you have a fish finder and can determine a consistent depth where your marking fish try and keep the lures at that depth. A usual rule of thumb for wire line is 10 feet of line usually equates to 1 foot of depth. As an example you would let out 90 feet of wire line if you want your lures to run at 9 feet. Every once and a while take the boat out of gear and let the lures free fall then engage the engine again. This change in motion is often times enough to entice a fish to strike.

  • Always try and keep the boat in gear when fighting a fish. This allows you to keep constant pressure on the fish and results in less thrown hooks .

  • When party boat fishing try to stay on the side where the chum is drifting. The trick is to use just enough weight to keep your hooked bait floating along with the chum/chunks. Manually pay out line until you feel a hit. If you run out of line or hit bottom. Then reel up and do it again. Be careful to pay attention to how much line is payed out when you catch a fish so you can let the same amount of line out the next time. These fish will usually suspend at a certain depth and stay there.

  • When fishing from shore with bait it's best to use a float rig. It keeps the bait off the bottom and away from crabs. You can purchase one from almost any tackle store.


Weakfish

Weakfish or Seatrout are one of the best tasting and most colorful fish in our waters. They typically like to congregate in bays and rivers rather then the open ocean. They can usually be found along or in deep channels and are often stacked up in great numbers in concentrated areas. Since they are usually in tight schools you will need to locate them. Once you have located a school it's not uncommon to catch 20 + per person. They will typically average a few pounds and get as large as 8-10 lbs.
Time of Year:
Weakies will usually arrive in the area around June or July and will stay until mid September. They are usually one of the first fish to leave the area when the water starts to cool.

How To Catch Them:
  • Drifting Sandworms from a drifting boat is perhaps the most popular and effective ways to catch Weaks. A three way swivel with a sinker and a 3 to 4 ft leader works well.

  • Chumming from an anchored boat with Grass Shrimp is also popular.

  • Jigging with lead headed jigs works as well. Tip your jig off with a Sandworm, Grass Shrimp or Fins.

Best Places To Catch Them:
  • Delaware bay is perhaps the most popular area of the country to fish for Weakfish. It has a good number of Party boats that fish form them exclusively.

  • Raritan and Sandy Hook bays are enjoying a good come back of these species in recent years. Areas like the Raritan Reach Channel, Princess Bay and the edges of Flynns Knoll are popular.

  • Barnegat bay is also a poplar area but only in specific areas.

Some Fishing Tips:
  • The best bite is at dusk and into the evening

  • In addition to a sandworm, put a fire tail rubber worm on your hook.

  • Try to avoid heavy traffic areas since these fish spook easy.

  • Once you have located the fish keep drifts in a concentrated area. These fish are usually in tight packs rather then spread out over a large area.

  • The best way to locate fish is to look for a concentration of birds. If you have a fish finder you will usually mark what looks like clouds of bait fish.

  • When chumming with Grass Shrimp be sure not to be too generous or skimpy with the shrimp. It's a good idea release 5-10 shrimp at 2 to 3 minute intervals to keep a consistent slick and hold fish. Too much shrimp in the water and the fish will hang back for the easy meal and not bother to move up into the slick for your baits. Too little and your not going to hold or attract fish.

  • A slight change in wind direction or tide can turn these fish on or off.

  • When fishing from shore with bait it's best to use a float rig. It keeps the bait off the bottom and away from crabs.


Blackfish

Blackfish are usually caught in the early spring and late fall. Fishing with Green crabs and Filddler crabs from an anchored boat works well. Any rock pile in the bay or ocean will hold fish at one time or another. Locating and catching these fish requires a good bit of knowledge and skill. It's not for amateurs. Fishing the ocean is some what tricky since the fishing is done by locating wrecks and rock piles. It's best to fish from a charter or party boat that knows the wrecks and how to fish them. Blackfish are notorious bait stealers. You have to be fast. Some sharpies say you have to set the hook before the fish bite.

It's a great way to cure your fishing itch over the long winter. The Easter holiday usually kicks off the season and that's when the party boats start fishing for them.

Time of Year:
Blackfish usually like cold water so late fall/early winter and the beginning of spring are the best times.

How To Catch Them:
  • Green Crabs or Fiddler Crabs are the best baits fished from a anchored boat. A 3 way swivel with a sinker and a 6 to 8 inch leader works well.

  • You have to be right on the wreck or in the rocks or you won't catch.

  • Best fished from a boat or from a rocky shore line.

Best Places To Catch Them:
  • Any natural or artificial reef is a good spot.

  • Any rock pile in the ocean or bay is likely to hold fish at one time of the year or another.

Some Fishing Tips:
  • Make sure to bring plenty of rigs. You'll need them since you'll be fishing in areas full of snags.

  • Use a pole with a strong tip so you can get a good fast hook set.

  • Some people like to tie the sinker on with lighter weight mono then the line your fishing with. If the sinker gets snagged it can break free and allow you to save the rest of the rig.


Striped Bass

Stripers are on a come back in NJ thanks to the conservation measures taking place in the 80's . Several fish in excess of 50 lbs (Cows) are weighed in every year. They are perhaps the most sought after fish in the state due to their size, close proximity to shore and their long strong drag wrenching strikes. They can be caught along the beaches, bays and tidal rivers and rarely stray more then a few miles from shore. There are a number of party and charter boats that fish for them exclusively and will run trips during the day and night.
Time of Year:
Bass usually arrive in mid to late April and will sometimes hang around until Christmas. The small "schoolies" are usually more plentiful in the spring and the larger "cows" are usually caught in the fall.

How To Catch Them:
  • Drifting live eels or sandworms usually accounts for the most fish.

  • Sandworms in the spring and eels in the fall is a good rule of thumb.

  • Both baits can be worked by tying a rig using a 3 way swivel. Tie the 3 way to the line coming off your pole. On the remaining 2 swivel loops tie a 12-18 inch dropper for your sinker, and a 5-6 foot leader for your hook. A 25 lb. leader is a good happy medium since Stripers don't have teeth and you want to keep line visibility down to a practical minimum. Use the lightest sinker that will allow you to hold bottom. Let your sinker hit the bottom and continue to bounce as you drift. Keep your conventional reel in free spool with the clicker on. When a fish hits the clicker will sound. Let the fish run for a few seconds, engage the reel and set the hook with a sharp strong motion. If your using circle the hook is accomplished by putting tention on the line rather then a sweeping motion of the rod. When fishing with an eels it's a good idea to let the Bass run a little longer to make sure the eels entire length is taken.

  • Chunking from an anchored boat is also a popular way to fish for Bass. Pay out Bunker chunks to attract fish while dropping back pieces of cut bunker on your hook.

  • Trolling tubes, jigs , bunker spoons, plugs or umbrella rigs work great too. This method is highly effective for locating fish. Some sharpies will troll to locate the fish and then anchor or drift in the area with bait. In order to keep your trolling lures down at the right depth it is usually necessary to troll with heavy drail sinkers or wire line. Wire line trolling is most effective. Some sharpies also use down riggers. Make sure you use at least a 6 ft mono leader when trolling for Bass since they tend to be line shy. Stripers like a very slow troll. Anywhere between 2.3 - 2.8 knots is usually about right. If you can't slow your boat down enough either drag a sea anchor or a 5 gallon bucket.

  • Chumming with Frozen Clam Chum has become very popular recently, especially in the spring. Take a bucket of frozen Clam Chum and place it in a wide mesh fish net or chum bag. Tie a rope to it and toss it over the side to create a Chum Slick. Shuck a fresh clam, put the belly on the hook with enough weight to hold bottom and try and cast your bait so it's positioned in direction the Chum slick is flowing. Place your rod and conventional reel in the rod holder with the clicker on and in free spool. When the Striper hits you will hear the clicker go off. Enguage your reel, set the hook and get ready for a great fight.

Best Places To Catch Them:
NJ Party boats and NJ Charter boats will fish for Striped Bass. Some fish exclusively in the evening. From north to south the most popular party and charter boat areas for Stripers are Leonardo, Atlantic Highlands, Shark River & Belmar, Brielle & Point Pleasant, Barnegat Light and Cape May.

If you have your own boat popular areas are as follows

  • Sandy Hook Area: Sandy Hook Rip and channel, Flynns Knoll, Roamer Shoal, Schrewsbury Rocks.

  • Point Pleasant - Manasquan Inlet jetty and rock jetties along the shore.

  • Barnegat Light: Along rock jetties on LBI and Island Beach State Park. Barnegat Inlet jetties.

  • Cape May: Cape May rips.

Some Fishing Tips:
  • When chunking be sure not to be too generous or skimpy with the chunks. It's a good idea to release 4 or 5 chunks at 2 to 3 minute intervals to keep a consistent slick to attract and hold fish. Too many chunks and the fish will hang back for the easy meal and not bother to move up into the slick for your baits. Too little chum and your not going to hold or attract fish. Use fresh rather then frozen bunker if you can get it. One Bunker is cut into about 4 to 5 chunks. Don't waste the head it's good bait since its bony and will stay on the hook longer. When trolling speed is critical for Bass. Between 2.0 and 2.5 knots is good. When trolling bunker spoons slow it down until you see your pole pulsing in an erratic side to side and bobbing motion.

  • When trolling other lures like tubes, jigs and umbrella rigs try and stay close to the bottom with out hanging up. Pay line out until you feel contact with the bottom and then reel in just enough to keep your lure from hanging bottom. If you have a fish finder and can determine a consistent depth where the fish are holding try and keep the lures at that depth. A usual rule of thumb for wire re line is 10 feet of line usually equates to 1 foot of depth. As an example, you would let out 90 feet of wire line if you wanted your lures to run at 9 feet. Every once and a while take the boat out of gear and let the lures free fall then engage the engine again. This change in motion is often time enough to entice a fish to strike. Make sure to use at least a six foot mono leader since these fish seem to be shy of wire. 40 Lb line is recommended for your trolling leader. Always try and keep the boat in gear a when fighting a fish. This allows you to keep constant pressure on the fish and results in less thrown hooks .

  • When party boat fishing you usually drift so try and stay in the bow or stern so you can stay on the side where the lines are drifting.

  • When fishing from shore with bait it's best to use a float rig. It keeps the bait off the bottom and away from crabs. You can purchase one from almost any tackle store. Cut Bunker, Clams after a storm and live Eels at night are the best.

  • If your surf casting with lures you need only cast beyond the breaking waves. Bass love the suds because of the structure and water motion. If you plan to fish on jetties use jetty spikes since jetties are usually very slippery.

  • Always look for rips and tears in the water. Bass are attracted to structure and water motion.


Fluke

Fluke are some of the best eating fish in NJ waters. They can weigh up to 10 lbs but 2 lbs is about the norm. They can be caught along the beaches, bays and tidal rivers and are usually fished fairly close to the shore. There are many party boats that fish for them exclusively . Fishing is best during the daylight hours.
Time of Year:
Fluke usually arrive in June and are running strong through August. Best month is June.

How To Catch Them:
  • Drifting a combo of a squid strip and a live killie is the preferred bait. Using a 3 way swivel, tie the 3 way to the line coming off your pole. On the remaining 2 swivel loops clip a sinker directly to one loop and a 4 to 5 foot leader with a hook to the other. Use the lightest sinker that will allow you to hold bottom. Let your sinker hit the bottom and continue to bounce as you drift. Make sure your sinker is on the bottom or you won't catch fish. Set the hook immediately when you feel a bite or resistance.

  • Bouncing a lead head jig with abucktail off the bottom dressed with a strip of squid is also a good method especially when you have a slow or non existent drift.

Best Places To Catch Them:
  • From north to south the most popular areas are as follows:

  • Sandy Hook Area: Sandy Hook and Raritan bay, Flynns Knoll, Roamer Shoal, Keansburg, Keyport and Princess Bay.

  • Belmar: Close to shore off Spring Lake Hotel, Elberon and Deal.

  • Point Pleasant; Barnegat bay and close to local beaches.

  • Barnegat Light: Barnegat bay and close to local beaches.

  • Great Bay & Cape May: Delaware bay and close to local beaches.

Some Fishing Tips:
  • When party boat fishing you usually drift so try and stay in the bow or stern so you can easily shift to the side where the lines are drifting.

  • Use an English style hook and often times fish will hook themselves.

  • Keep your rig on the bottom or you won't catch fish.

  • Try to fish while tide is moving. You'll cover more area and your bait will look more natural since it's moving.


Drum

Drum, or more specifically Black Drum, are the largest inshore fish in our state waters and often exceed 70 pounds. They have recently been reported as far north as the Sandy Hook but Delaware Bay is where they appear most consistently and in large numbers. In fact, the current world record Drum was caught in Cape May weighing in at 113 pounds!! Although a few Drum are caught in the surf each year, most fish are caught by boat and there are many Charter boats in the Cape May area that specialize in the fishery.

The action is typically not as fast and furious as some of the other inshore species since most trips 2 or 3 fish is about the best that you can expect... However they are very powerful fish and put up a great fight!

Time of Year:
Best months are May and June.

How To Catch Them:
  • You fish from an anchored boat

  • Fish finder rig with just enough weight to hold bottom

  • Best baits are whole fresh clams or shedder crabs if you can find them

  • 3 foot 50-80 pound leader with an 8/0 – 12/0 hook.

  • Cast your line out and let it settle to the bottom. Reel in slack until you come tight to the sinker. Set pole in holder in free spool with line out alarm on. When if fish picks it up give them a little slack… If you’re fishing a J hook click your reel into gear and set the hook sharply with a upward rod motion. If you are fishing a circle hook simply click the reel in gear and let the fish hook itself.

  • These fish travel in tight schools so if you catch one there are sure to be many more so stay on guard.

Best Places To Catch Them:

Some Fishing Tips:
  • Use fresh clams rather then frozen if you can get them.

  • Shedder crabs work well

  • You need a fairly heavy set up... 20–50 pound class rod and reels are best.

  • Fish travel in schools and move around a lot. When you get your shot you have to take full advantage so have some pre tied rigs made up so you can get back in the water quickly.


Shark

There are certainly plenty of Sharks in New Jersey’s waters. In fact, the movie Jaws was inspired by a series of shark attacks that took place along the Jersey shore in the summer of 1916. The first attack was in Beach Heaven, the next in Spring Lake and the last attack took place in the backwaters of Raritan bay in the Matawan Creek.

The most abundant species is the Blue Shark and the most prized is the Mako. Threshers and Tiger sharks are common as well. There are many local Shark tournaments with the most popular being the Mako Mania. There are several Charter boats that will target Sharks specifically.

The usual method is to set a drift over structure like wrecks and walls while paying out a long slick consisting of ground chum and Bunker oil. Typical baits are Mackerel and Blue Fish fillets suspended by balloons set down at 25, 75 and 100 feet. The shallower baits are in close while the deeper baits are further back in the slick.

Heavy gear is required for Shark fishing along with long braided wire leaders to protect against the Shark’s sharp teeth and rough skin… Long stretches of boredom are the norm while you are waiting to hook up. They are however coupled with moments of the most exciting fishing you can imagine. These majestic beasts are fighters and if you are lucky enough to hook up with a crazy Mako get out your camera… These are probably the craziest fish in our waters and are known to leap several feet clear of the water when hooked up!

An experienced crew is a must Shark fishing since subduing and landing a shark requires special equipment and a knowledgeable crew. With many exceeding 150 pounds and rows of laser sharp teeth, you don’t want to mess with them at boat side unless you know what your are doing. For this reason, Sharking is best left to the experts.

Time of Year:
Shark fishing is usually best in June before the water warms up too much but Sharks can be caught all summer long and into September.

How To Catch Them:
  • Be sure to keep a steady chum slick… Ground frozen Mackerel works well since it’s very oily and creates a nice slick. Put the contents of a frozen bucket into a chum bag and hang it off the side of your boat.

  • You don’t move around a lot when Sharking…. You need to commit to a spot and judge the wind and tide to take long drifts over as much structure as possible. A long uninterrupted slick is the key to attracting Sharks.
  • A butterfly fillet Mackerel makes a great bait since the are oily and stay on the hook very well…. Bluefish fillets work well too as do large trolling Squids.

  • Set your long deep line out first by pulling off the required amount of line to set it at the depth you want. You then tie off a balloon and let the current move the floating balloon out 50 yards or so. Next do the same with your mid depth line and then the short line so they stair step away from the boat from shallow to deep.

  • Often times you’ll have Sharks come into your slick with out picking up any of your baits. For this reason it’s good to have a pitch pole rigged with bait handy so you can pitch a hooked bait to them quickly if the opportunity arises.

  • Shark fishing is done pretty much exclusively by charter boats not party Unless you, your boat and crew are equipped for this sort of fishing, it’s best left to the experts. They have all the safety and fishing equipment, a license and the knowledge to land a Shark safely.

  • If you want to keep a Shark the best tasting ones are the Mako and Thresher.

Best Places To Catch Them:
  • Best fishing takes place usually 15 – 50 miles off the beach in the areas of deep water wrecks like "The Mudhole" area. Wrecks get the most attention.


Tuna

If you’ve never been out to our states under water canyons you don’t know what you’re missing. The cobalt blue nutrient rich Gulf Stream water brings all bait up to the NJ canyons every year and the Tuna along with it. The most popular species are Yellowfin, Longfin, and Bluefin with an occasional Bigeye mixed in. While fishing for Tuna there are also many other species caught like White and Blue Marlin, Mahi, Swordfish, Shark and Tilefish on the bottom. It’s like a whole other world out there. No need to go to distant places to fight these fish. They’re right here in our own back yard.

The largest, most popular and most northern canyon in the state is the Hudson.. The Hudson Canyon is a V shape bite out of the ocean’s bottom that runs from it’s narrow NE point and widens as it drops off into the continental shelf.. The tip of the Hudson lies about 70 miles due east of the Manasquan inlet. The Gulf Stream warm water eddies well up along the canyon walls and makes for the perfect spot. Much of the water surrounding the canyons tip is 200 feet and drops quickly down to 600 feet on its sheer walls. It then takes a fairly steady drop and widens out until it reaches 6000 feet. Best way to describe it is the Grand Canyon under water…. Now that’s what I call structure and your best bet is to fish its ledges.

Time of Year:
Southern canyons usually start up a bit earlier then their northern peers, usually in June/July. Northern canyons usually start getting hot in July/August with the best months being September/October.

How To Catch Them:
  • The general rule of thumb is daytime trolling in the early season and daytime trolling and nighttime chunking later in the season.

  • Trolling is done at relatively higher speeds of 6 to 7 knots and concentrated around structure like steep drop of canyon walls. Larger boats will run as many as 9 lines. Each out rigger will have 2 lines (long and short) and a teaser. You will also run 2 short lines off the line clips on the stern and one line down the middle way back in your spread for big guys. The lures usually are a mix of skirted Ballyhoo, Islanders, Spreader Bars and a Green Machine with a Birdie down the middle.

  • Chunking is done pretty much exclusively at night and later in the season when the water temps are warmer. You can either drift or anchor. Drifting is very effective if there is a small amount of wind and current. You throw cut pieces of Butter Fish or “Chunks” over to create a chunk slick to attract Tuna and keep them with you when the come into your area. You hook a whole Butter Fish, Sardine or Squid below an egg sinker running through your main line. The amount of sinker weight depends on the current.. You want just enough to keep you line straight down from the boat. It’s best to hand feed the line out so you can put it down to a specific depth by counting the number of pulls. 1 foot per pull. You want to put your lines down at various depths to see what works best. The first line is down 30 feet or so and then others in 50 foot deeper increments.

  • Jigging is also a very effective method. Butterfly jigs are dropped down to the target depths and jigged. These outfits are typically very light weight rods and reel with colored braided line marked at 20 foot increments so you can judge what depth your are jigging.

  • These fish hit like a freight train and where there is one there are others. You need to be sure and pre set your reel drags and be prepared. Tie up some rigs ahead of time to maximize your time in the water if you get into a good bite.

  • Lights on board and in the water will greatly enhance your chances since they attract bait and the bait attracts the Tuna. This is especially true for the Tuna’s favorite bait, Squid. You want to try your best to snag or net as many live squid as you can and use them as your hooked baits. Live Squid in general is the most productive bait for Tuna.

Best Places To Catch Them:
  • The most northern canyon is the Hudson, which is 70 miles due east of Manasquan Inlet. The other major canyons south of the Hudson are the Carteret, Toms, Spencer, Lindenkohl and Willmington.

  • Some years we get a shot at the Tuna inshore of the Canyon in the Mudhole area, bu the canyon fishery is typically much more productive and consistent.

Some Fishing Tips:
  • Be sure to keep your Butter Fish chunking steady to build a long contiguous slick. It’s best to throw handful of chunks out at timed intervals like every 2 minutes.

  • When on the chunk keep a close watch for marks on your depth sounder. If you see consistent marks at a certain depth try to adjust your lines to that depth.

  • When you land a Tuna the first thing you want to do is bleed the fish. This keeps the meat white and tasty.

  • Make sure the boat you are fishing on has a permit and you know the regulations since they change frequently.

  • When party boat fishing, you usually anchor so try and find a spot in the stern.

  • When trolling you and your crew need to keep a constant watch. If you get one fish hooked up chances are you will hook several more.

  • When chunking it’s best to work the lines… You pay out line manually to the desired depth and if you get no bites, reel it in and try again. If you just get the line down to the depth and leave it the pole in the holder you are typically not going to get as many strikes.

  • Most people use circle hooks. If you are using them DO NOT set the hook on a bite. Simply engage the drag and let the fish hook itself.

  • If you are trolling it’s good to keep a few pitch poles set aside with bait on them… Often times when you are trolling for Tuna you can get a Marlin to come up into the spread. You want to be able to tease him in with your trolled lures and teasers but pitch him a bait so your are fighting him on the outfit you would prefer to fight him on.

  • Get lots of sleep. Tuna trips can be long and tiring

  • Unless you, your boat and crew are equipped for this sort of fishing, its best left to the experts on Party and Charter Boats… They have all the safety and fishing equipment, a big hold to keep the fish on ice, a license and the knowledge to identify the specific species of Tuna and what the current regulations are for size, quantity and species. Since they fish often they also have the best intelligence as to where the fish are to increase your odds of catching.

  • Tuna can sometimes be very line shy. If there are fish in the area try using a lighter leader and always use fluorocarbon.