How long did you have to fish before you caught your first tuna?

MAArcher

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I've never been tuna fishing and was talking to a friend who's been a few times, mostly on his friends boats, and he said its only like one in ten times he goes out that he catches one. Just wondering what it was like for most guys. Particular if there's anyone who's just gone out themselves with no experience and no one to show them the ropes.
 

tsharac

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First trip. Caught two big eye and a mahi mahi. Second trip caught three big eye. Never tuna fished before. All tiny, 13" - 14". I trolled cedar plugs and a bird/daisy chain. Fished the Washington Canyon solo. DSCN3332.JPG
 

Double Header

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It’s all about time on the water. Do some homework and if you do things mostly right you will average 1 bite a day for giant bluefin - it’s turning that into a caught fish that distinguishes the good from the bad.
 

morgan1727

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I would like to get Old Muds take on this question. 1 bite a day consistently to me sounds like you could be up there with some of the best around.
 

Haddock

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Funny question for me. We had one training trip with Fat Tuna on his former Regulator as my BiL bought a similar 32' Regulator and knew him pretty well. He gave us a great overview of the basics We were true Googans but enthusiastic! We hooked up on day 1, 2 and 3 and landed BFTs on day 1 and 3. This actually drove my BiL to have a 46' Wesmac built to fish BFT and in the canyons for big eye and yellow fin, etc. The rest is history.
 

PatriciaLynn

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Depends. When I was actually trying you could catch a fish two or three days if you were able to stay out and fish hard. Sometimes a week with no fish though. Now it seems like there are a LOT more fish around. There were a couple guys that were fishing out of Portland this past summer that brought in a LOT of fish. Might be able to average a fish every other day. Price is so low it isn't worth it.
 

plowin

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Depends. When I was actually trying you could catch a fish two or three days if you were able to stay out and fish hard. Sometimes a week with no fish though. Now it seems like there are a LOT more fish around. There were a couple guys that were fishing out of Portland this past summer that brought in a LOT of fish. Might be able to average a fish every other day. Price is so low it isn't worth it.

And with that point made it proves that the commercial viability of this fishery is mostly gone. It is quota based as we all know so multiple catch should be allowed in order to make if financially viable. If someone wants to go out and play catching giants then there is a category for that. Catching a few a year in order to off set fuel is not the design behind a commercial fishery. Not being a dick about it, its simply a fact. Days off will be next, another mistake. Consider your boss at work telling you that you can work and get paid but only 3 or 4 days a week, same thing. Although I do think that its better than last years dealer restricted “buy” days. The fish were pounded on 7 days a week and nobody had any real grasp of how many were caught , sold or sent to the bottom dead and unrecorded. This is not how we should be managing a fishery that we have all worked so hard to restore.

My proposal is 7 fish a week in the general. That is the same as 1 a day but on a day when they are bitey or if you are good at it then you can retain multiple catch, up to seven/week. After that you tie the boat up or target other species. Sorry, more ranting.
 
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tsharac

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I've never been tuna fishing and was talking to a friend who's been a few times, mostly on his friends boats, and he said its only like one in ten times he goes out that he catches one. Just wondering what it was like for most guys. Particular if there's anyone who's just gone out themselves with no experience and no one to show them the ropes.
What size tuna are you after? 100# or 1000#?
 

CCtuna

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I had one fish in four trips last year and it was my only bite. Hardly went cuz I’d rather go haul the gear but Id be very happy if I could average 1 for 4 all season. I’ve had 3 fish days and I’ve also had 3 fish months lol I think a bite a day is a pretty lofty goal but power to ya if that’s where your at
 

MAArcher

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What size tuna are you after? 100# or 1000#?
I don't have a clue. Due you fish that differently for either or? Or is it a matter of where you go? I'd be fishing for food not a payday so I wouldn't target big ones at the exclusion of a couple smaller ones that would fill my families freezers.
 

tsharac

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I don't have a clue. Due you fish that differently for either or? Or is it a matter of where you go? I'd be fishing for food not a payday so I wouldn't target big ones at the exclusion of a couple smaller ones that would fill my families freezers.
I wish I could be more helpful, but I don't have a clue either - just things I've learned from youtube and old offshore fishing books. I've fished for tuna twice in my life - caught 5 big eye below 15". I've used ballyhoo, cedar plugs, daisy chain behind a 6" bird - trolled at 5-7 knots. Hope to catch my first legal tuna this summer, a 200 pound yellowfin would be incredible. Any bigger than that, how would I get it into the boat?

Looks like in Prince Edward Island you can just pitch a live shiner 5 feet off the gunwale and reel in a 1000 pounder:
 

snark

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My experience say north of the cape, targeting rec fish, you probably go 1 for 2 (get skunked every other day) on catching assuming you are a weekend warrior with limited range and that is assuming you have your gear dialed in.

South of the cape, if you are willing to run to 50 fathoms you should catch tuna almost every trip. Inshore (30 fathoms) used to be pretty steady until the last couple years.

They are different fisheries in many ways. South of the cape is almost exclusively a trolling fishery although jigging is catching on while north and east of the cape are live bait/troll/topwater fisheries.

Trolling takes the least skill IMO.

I think a lot of this depends on your boat and budget. No doubt the easiest way to put a tuna on deck is to run to/near the canyons in July with an 8 rod spread. Next easiest is probably getting on the Chatham area bite later in the summer.
 

Ripcat

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A very salty tuna fisherman from Maine (may he RIP), where i learned how to catch these things, once told me you had to go 200 times before you'd get one. Luckily for me, i didn't have to get 200 trips in before i landed my first, on my boat and on a bait i rigged. I think the significance of that statement is true though....you need to put your time in. My first year i spent a lot of time watching people catch them. I'd then get the bite only to lose it for one reason or another. Finally landed my first and i will never, ever forget that day/fish. You learn how to better your presentation, get on a better piece of edge, etc. You can't have any expectations except to get out on the open water and enjoy the day. I've had months were i fish only....had months were i catch many...no real rhyme or reason to it ESPECIALLY for someone like me who may get out 1 or 2 day per week if i'm lucky. Those guys who are out daily, they keep up with the pulse of the ocean better and can follow the feed/life.

I will say, you should not be jumping on a boat and going tuna fishing with zero experience. It's not striper fishing and can be extremely dangerous. I spent a lot of time fishing for others before i ventured out on my own.

Just my $.02....get out and enjoy it. Put in your time and you'll get one.
 

Polarizer

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And with that point made it proves that the commercial viability of this fishery is mostly gone. It is quota based as we all know so multiple catch should be allowed in order to make if financially viable. If someone wants to go out and play catching giants then there is a category for that. Catching a few a year in order to off set fuel is not the design behind a commercial fishery. Not being a dick about it, its simply a fact. Days off will be next, another mistake. Consider your boss at work telling you that you can work and get paid but only 3 or 4 days a week, same thing. Although I do think that its better than last years dealer restricted “buy” days. The fish were pounded on 7 days a week and nobody had any real grasp of how many were caught , sold or sent to the bottom dead and unrecorded. This is not how we should be managing a fishery that we have all worked so hard to restore.

My proposal is 7 fish a week in the general. That is the same as 1 a day but on a day when they are bitey or if you are good at it then you can retain multiple catch, up to seven/week. After that you tie the boat up or target other species. Sorry, more ranting.
I love the idea of a weekly limit rather than a daily limit. Is there a reason why they don't do it this way? Harder to track and stay on top of maybe? Seems like such a good solution and beneficial to the boats.
 

tuna_fan

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I've never been tuna fishing and was talking to a friend who's been a few times, mostly on his friends boats, and he said its only like one in ten times he goes out that he catches one. Just wondering what it was like for most guys. Particular if there's anyone who's just gone out themselves with no experience and no one to show them the ropes.
lots of fish around these days...even totally inexperienced guys are getting them. for what you want to do, i would grab one 80 setup with plenty of line and bait rod. get a rec permit for personal consumption (no need for all the commercial requirements if you arent selling) and setup inshore somewhere..... dead/live bait, rigged properly, with some trial and error on gear (many small tips add up to better hookup rates). but there really are so many fish around you may just get a bite day 1. go with a buddy ... or dont take the rod out of the holder if you hookup. keep a knife on you.
if you hate it and aren't getting enough bites to keep you interested...throw the 80 on FB for the next victim.
 

Kiteboy

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I've never been tuna fishing and was talking to a friend who's been a few times, mostly on his friends boats, and he said its only like one in ten times he goes out that he catches one. Just wondering what it was like for most guys. Particular if there's anyone who's just gone out themselves with no experience and no one to show them the ropes.
I go every weekend and some weekdays, and I went out 18 times before I got my first one. But this summer/ fall I got 8 fish out of 16 trips and hooked 10 fish.
 
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