It’s honestly tough, because I love to catch Tautog, Black Sea Bass, Striped Bass, and Bluefin Tuna. All of them provide their unique characteristics and different tactics to catch. However, one that stands out and typically, would be one that most fishermen agree with, is that fishing for Bluefin Tuna is the biggest thrill and adrenaline rush anyone can experience.
Around 10 years ago, we were gifted by Mother Nature a ton, and I mean literally thousands upon thousands of small ‘football’ sized Bluefin Tuna in Cape Cod Bay. They were tough to catch, being tuna, but everyday we went out, we always had a shot. It was up to us anglers to be able to catch them.
Those ‘football’ tuna have since moved to other locations, but we have been left with consistent Giant Bluefin Tuna throughout the season. The season for Giant’s open up June 1, but we don’t start to fish for them until middle-end of July. It’s funny, for catching such a magnificent, powerful, and truly majestic fish, the technique of fishing is fairly rudimentary.
Pending on where the fish are: Stellwagen Bank, off the backside of Provincetown, or Cape Cod Bay (areas where we fish), we will pick up some live bait. Either we will jig up Mackerel or Whiting out on the fishing grounds or get Pogies or Menhaden, and head out to the fishing grounds. Next, we use the same tactic we use for live lining Striped Bass, but with much larger gear.
We use big 130 class size reels with 150lb line, 80/130 size rods, and beefed up 6/0-8/0 live bait hooks. Next, we will bridle the bait we are using, put a 16-ounce weight about 10-15 feet above the swivel, and count off the line to our respective depth we want to have our bait at. Finally, we will attach a balloon to the line and let it drift away from the boat.
After this, it’s a waiting game. A bunch of grown people, staring at balloons bobbing in the ocean, hoping that in a second of not paying attention, the drag starts screaming and we’re on. Tuna fishing is like scratching a scratch ticket. Sometimes you get lucky, other times you wait for days on end without a bite. It’s the name of the game, but when you hook up, it’s an experience you remember forever.