Fishing might seem like a summer activity. In fact, it’s easy to picture a boat on gently rocking waters and a warm breeze when you think about the activity. Once winter arrives, however, a whole new world of fishing reveals itself. The temperatures drop and new fishing locations, opportunities, and experiences pop up! Let’s take a look at winter fishing and what you can expect if you’re hoping to catch some blackfin tuna this season.
While it’s true that fishing during the winter is a viable option, it’s important to know that not every type of fish will be around during that particular season. You might be accustomed to a certain location harboring large quantities of one type of fish during the summer, for example, only to find that it’s deserted or inhabited by an entirely different school once the temperature drops. Winter fishing offers unique opportunities to catch fish like the redfish, king and Spanish mackerel, and flounder as they all begin to feed aggressively as the weather cools. Another option to consider if you’re looking for the best winter fish to catch might be blackfin tuna, especially if you plan to fish once winter has well and truly set in.
The blackfin tuna is perhaps more commonly known as the smallest of the tuna species. These tuna can grow to be, at maximum, 39 inches long and weigh up to 46 pounds. It’s not a particularly long-lived fish, with five years being considered a rather old age. Perhaps most notably, they are a tuna that can be sustainably consumed, making them a great pick. You might be surprised to hear that blackfin tuna are around during the winter time given the fact that they tend to enjoy temperate waters, but they manage to stay warm enough during the winter (the mild weather and southern shores help, of course). If you know where to fish and how to attract them, blackfin tuna make for a great winter fish option.
Fishing for Blackfin Tuna
If you want to catch the best blackfin tuna around, then you have to adapt your style to the species. Fishing for blackfin tuna, especially during the winter, can be a bit of an art form. First of all, you’ll want to make sure that your eyes are always looking for bait, birds, and fish busting. You can help shorten this part of the process by keeping near the ledge and looking in 150 through 300 feet of water depth. Temperature breaks are another safe bet as that’s where the last of the bait is likely thriving.
Once you’ve found the fish, of course, it’s time to actually catch them. Blackfin tuna have surprisingly good eyesight and will stay away from steel and mono leaders. Instead, try opting for a fluorocarbon leader. You’ll also want to keep the bait at least several feet behind your boat because these tuna can be pretty boat shy.