The bluefin tuna is a large, predatory fish that is highly valued for its meat and used for sushi and sashimi. It is the largest species of tuna and can grow 3m long and weigh over 500kg. Bluefin tuna are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Oceans, Mediterranean sea and of course in Croatia in the Adriatic Sea! Bluefin tuna is migratory species that travel long distances between feeding and breeding grounds.
Fishing for bluefin tuna is a major commercial industry. However, overfishing has led to a decline in bluefin tuna populations in many regions. In response, fishing quotas and regulations have been put in place. This will help conserve bluefin tuna populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices.
In order to preserve and help repopulate the bluefin tuna in our Adriatic Sea, Tunana fishing Charter is making sure to release the bluefin tuna after the fight.
TUNA FISHING TECHNIQUES
There are several techniques used for fishing for tuna, including:
Trolling: This is a common technique where multiple lines are deployed from the fishing boat and pulled behind the boat.
Chunking: This technique involves cutting up baitfish and spreading it in the water to attract tuna. Once the tuna are feeding, hooks are dropped into the water to catch them.
Jigging: Jigging involves using a metal or plastic jig to mimic the movement of a baitfish.
Tuna fishing with live bait: This technique involves using live baitfish, such as mackerel or sardines, to attract tuna. The baitfish is usually fished near the surface, while the tuna is caught on hooks below.
Purse seine fishing: This technique involves deploying a large net around a school of tuna, which is then closed, or “pursed”, to trap the fish.
Each technique has its own strengths and weaknesses. The choice of technique may depend on factors such as the location, the target species, and the size of the boat.
However, we’ll analize the most common tuna fishing techniques we use in Croatia.
DRIFTING TECHNIQUE FOR CATCHING TUNA
Drifting fishing is a technique used for catching tuna. The fishing boat drifts with the current and wind while fishing lines are deployed. This technique is used in open water 3 to 12NM from the coast line. The boat is free to move and change direction with the current and wind.
While we drift to fish for tuna, we use 3 to 4 rods in the sea with various fish as bait. Most common of wich are mackreles and sardines. In order to attract the tuna we leave a trail of small sardine pieces.
The boat will drift for a set amount of time. Afer we covered the planned area we move back to the starting point to repeat the process. This technique allows us to cover a large area and find schools of feeding tuna.
Drifting fishing can be an effective technique for catching tuna. However, it also has some challenges, such as difficulty in controlling the boat’s speed and direction, and the need for a boat that can handle the open water conditions. Luckily our 11.5m boat, can handle more than 0.5m waves and approx 20knots of wind!
The season for drifting goes from mid July to the end of November.
TROLLING TECHNIQUE FOR CATCHING TUNA
Trolling is a fishing technique used for catching tuna where multiple fishing lines are deployed from a fishing boat and pulled behind the boat at varying speeds. It is used in open water, typically far offshore. However, depending on the season, we are able to catch tuna in a 3-7 NM range from the coastline.
To troll for tuna, we use artificial lures, 1 per rod. It is possible to stretch out multiple rods. However we use 2 rods with 2 different color and size lures. The common speed is between 7 and 9 knots.
We use trolling technique only from March to May.
WRECK TUNA FISHING TECHNIQUE
Fishing for tuna on wrecks is a technique used by anglers to target tuna that have taken up residence around sunken ships. These structures can provide a habitat for small fish. The small fish will attract predatory fish such as tuna, sharks, mahi mahi, amberjacks…
Tuna fishing on wreck is a nice way of fishing if you are not a fan of just sitting and waiting for the strike.
Once we reach the wreck, we attached to a buoy. In order to have a sucessful setup of the rods, current and wind must be in the same direction. It’s also important to be aware of the potential dangers of fishing around wrecks. Most common of whcih is entanglement in debris or hazards on the wreck itself.
We usualy deploy 1 to 3 tuna rods. Depth and distance vary from situation to situation. When the big rods with bait are in the sea, you’re free to make some bottom fishing or spinning for mackerels.
This technique we use from March to the end of November.
FISHING BY THE COMMERCIAL SARDINE FISHING BOATS
Another common and very interesting tuna fishing technique is when we fish jus by the commercial sardines fishing boats.
Commercial sardine fishing boats typically use purse seine nets to catch sardines. A purse seine is a large circular net that is deployed around a school of sardines and then tightened to capture the fish. The purse seine is then lifted onto the boat and the sardines are sorted and processed for further use.
This process takes place during sunrise. It is also perfect for attracting tuna. Therefore is a big advantage for us anglers to know the locations of this commercial boats.
We start long before sunrise in order to be on the right position in time, even before they deploy the net in circle. By doing so we can use our fishfinder to check the bottom and see if tuna is already there.
The downside of this fishing technique is that often there are 10 boats in a large area. Some of them are full of tuna around and some have none. It’s not always easy to pick the right one.
Moreover, the fishing time is limited to approx 2 hours. This is how much it usually takes to pick up the net and the sardines. After that we head for drifting trolling or wreck fishing.
However, this is probably the most amazing and spectacular experience that you can have when it comes to tuna fishing. Sunrise strike just by the big commercial fishing boats.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TUNA FISHING TECHNIQUES
Every tuna fishing technique is unique. Some may be more efficient in particular part of the year. However, beside trolling, the other are almost equally effective throughout the year.
If you want to learn more abouth each technique and experience it yourself, we suggest booking a multiple day fishing experience. A really great fishing holiday for a family or group of friends.