They are voracious predators that specialise in balling up baitfish m(see photo bottom right), then smashing into the tightly packed ball from below, often leaping clean into the air, such is the speed of their attack. Yellowfin maintain a higher body temperature than the surrounding ocean giving them the ability to display sustained high speed bursts and dogged determined hard fighting abilities.
They have a relatively high percentage of dark meat as opposed to white meat which basically means they fight hard and can go on fighting hard for extended periods. Their dorsal and pectoral fins fold into slots on their body making them perfectly streamlined for high speed. Their dorsal & anal finlets are specifically designed for high speed stability and drag reduction. When you hook up to a Yellowfin you know you have a battle on your hands.
Yellowfin fight the way they feed. They smash a lure on the surface, put their head down and barrel off as deep as they can. They never fight on or close to the surface. (If one does, it’s about to be nailed by a shark)
Once you (or they choose to) stop that deep run, the battle of wills commences. The tuna will use all its power to keep its head pointing downwards and you have to get its head pointing upwards. I am sure the modern reel manufacturers had tuna in mind when they first produced a two speed reel with a low gear ration for hauling stubborn fish out of the depths.
We always fish using equipment that complies with the IGFA Rules. When out trolling for marlin or yellowfin using heavy tackle, we use a 9 foot double connected to a 19ft wind on main leader to the snap swivel. The lure is rigged on a 6 – 9 foot terminal leader, depending on the lure size. Terminal leaders range from 200lb Ande for tuna bullets to 500lb Moimoi Marlin Ultra Hard for the big marlin lures. Most of the tuna lures are rigged on 130 – 200lb leader. Try to go as light as you can. Yellowfin have excellent eye sight and will shy away from a heavy leader.
1. Halco Laser Pro 190 minnow – Redhead
2. Lurestreet Raptor or Classic Minnow - Redhead
1. Yu-Zuri Bonita – Blue white or green white mackerel stripe with red nose or all red.
2. River2Sea Killer VIB – Any colour in range but redhead works best.
2. Marlin Magic Kona bullet – Black/Red.
1. Pakula Uzi – Yellow/green/ or Orange.
2. Joe Yee medium bullet– Blue white / Pink yellow
3. Hollowpoint Cabo Killa – Purple (Make sure it’s not running aggressively, just swimming quietly).
2. Pakula Uzi – Orange/yellow or Black/red (wasp).
Where we get our Tuna lures :