If you happen to be a someone who followed The Love Boat, you may well have already heard of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, as it was an infamous destination for the fictional cruise ship.
One thing is for sure about the area. There is nothing fictional about the Yellowfin tuna that frequent these waters, offering you a fantastic chance to reel in a huge fish and be able to tell a true story about your battle with a 400-pound Yellowfin.
You love fishing, but you’ve never been Yellowfin tuna fishing. When you fish tuna, you’re basically fishing one of the most challenging fish in the sea. They’re a hard pull for their size, and they almost never jump when hooked.
Still, for many fishermen, there’s nothing like it. Here’s how to get in on the action.
What Is It?
So, Yellowfin, or “Ahi” tuna is a beautiful and tasty fish that’s found pretty much anywhere there’s warm water. They’re one of the most commonly caught offshore gamefish. So, while they can be tricky to catch, they’re also very common.
Yellowfin swim long distances during their lifetime and can grow up to 400 pounds. These heavy fish are primarily caught in Mexico, however, with many other fish in Panama weighing in at over 200 pounds.
To catch these fish, you’d need special fishing accessories and heavy-duty poles and nets. Most fishermen catch Yellowfin that are much, much, smaller. Even the small ones can be very heavy though.
The Tackle You Should Use
Yellowfin are like pretty much any fish in that they respond to tackle that is appropriately sized. A 10-15 lb fish responds well to a tackle in the 15 lbs range. If you do this, you’ll need lots of 100lb test braided line.
For larger fish, you will want something like an Accurate Platinum ATD 50. Calstar rods are another option, along with a 16lb reel.
Yellowfin are traditionally caught with bait and lures. And, many different techniques work well with this type of fish. These tuna are surface feeders so topwater techniques work the best. And, like most tuna, they have great eyesight so they will see your fishing line unless you’re using a fluorocarbon leader.
Fishing lures for this type of fish vary. For trolling, you can try baiting with tuna feathers or cedar plugs, and plastic skirted trolling lures. The cedar plugs also don’t look like they’d do much, but they do.
A Rapala type plug also works well. Lots of fishermen like using the Halco Max because it can be trolled quickly.
If you’re not sure what to use in terms of color, blue and white work very well. Green also works. Some fishermen replace treble hooks with a double or just a single hooking system. Believe it or not, you do not need three hooks to catch a Yellowfin, though some fishermen still use them.
The benefit of a single is that the fish are less likely to shake or bend them.
The easiest way to start out is to find a school of feeding fish and just cast right into them. You won’t have a lot of work to do. Just sit back and wait and you should hook one no problem. If you’re looking for a fun way to catch one, use poppers. Another way that works well for many fishermen are the ranger type lures.
Whatever you use, be patient. These are relatively smart fish, so if you don’t catch one immediately, hang out for a while. You’ll get the hang of it and, before long, you’ll be reeling them in non-stop.
Know you know the drill. Sort out a trip to Puerto Vallarta and see if you can create a fishing story that is fact, not fiction.
Jay French will take every opportunity he can to travel and go fishing, his two favorite pastimes by far! When his kids get tired of his fishing tales, he takes to writing about them. His articles mainly appear on travel, family and fishing blogs.
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