Tuna Fishing California

Tuna fishing in California is excellent. Many anglers visit California just for the great tuna fishing and for good reason. There are several species of the tuna family found in the waters of California that will make fishing fun, exciting and turn an ordinary fishing trip into an unforgettable adventure. Tuna fishing is enjoyed as a sport and this species is also fished commercially.

If you’re visiting California or live in the area and love fishing, you can’t pass up the chance to reel in one of these incredible fish. Tuna is a unique fish in which some of the species have been known to swim up to 45 mph. Some of the larger tuna species are warm-blooded and can raise their body temperature above the temperature of the water making it possible for them to survive in a variety of environments found in the ocean. Below you will find a description of some of the most common sought after tuna found off the coastline of California.

California Bluefin Tuna

If you’re searching for a challenge the bluefin tuna will surly give you one. They are one of the largest species of tuna you will ever encounter. They are an extremely powerful species that are shaped like a bullet with a crescent-shaped tail. Their shape allows them to move through the water at some amazing speeds.

Trolling is one of the most popular methods used when fishing for the California bluefin tuna and they are sought after by many anglers.

Yellowfin Tuna

The yellowfin tuna is a tropical species that can be found along the California coastline as far north as the Morro Bay during the late part of the summer months. Their most distinguishing characteristics would be the second anal and dorsal fins that are longer than the original ones. You will also notice the second fins are a bright yellow color making them one of the most colorful when it comes to the tuna family. It’s also what earned them the name yellowfin.

Anglers are attracted to this species partly because of their size. Reeling in a two hundred pound yellowfin is common because this species is one of the largest and strongest North American fish around. You will never forget your battle with one of these fish because they will put up an incredible fight that will last until they are on board your vessel. Make sure you use heavy tackle for these big boys.

California Albacore

The albacore are the most plentiful in California between the months of June and October. This species will spawn between the months of January through till the first part of June somewhere in the central part of the Pacific and then migrate to the coastline.

They prefer the deep blue ocean waters and temperatures that are above 58 degrees. They mainly feed on sardines, anchovies, shrimp and squid, whichever one is available. They have very long pectoral fins, which is the main feature that earned them the name “long fin tuna” and they often grow to weight up to ninety pounds. However, the average weight is between twenty-five and fifty.

The albacore is the fastest of the tuna family and one of the hardest to catch.
The white meat is light and tasty making the Albacore the only tuna that can be marketed in cans as “White Tuna”. They move around in schools that are spread out through the water making them hard to catch by nets. Therefore, trolling is one of the best methods to use when fishing for Albacore tuna. They tend to respond well to anything shiny so keep this in mind when choosing your lures but live bait is usually the favorite among anglers. They are a very determined species so be ready for the fight of your life.

California Bonito

The Bonito is the smallest of all the fish in the tuna family. Weighing in between three to six pounds they can still put up an extraordinary fight that may surprise you. They are very aggressive when it comes to feeding but they are not picky eaters. A school of bonitos can wipe out a group of baitfish very quickly when they’re in the middle of a feeding frenzy. Use light tackle when fishing for this species and anchovies is one of the most popular baits used.

Tuna fishing in California is fun and exciting making it one of the most popular sports found in this area. It has so much to offer that many anglers travel to California just for the great tuna fishing. If you’re in the area, give tuna fishing a try. It’s a sport that is quickly growing in popularity and this trend will most likely continue to increase. Either one of the species found in the tuna family will fill your fishing trip with some exciting stories to tell.

To get the full “Tuna Fishing California” article you’ll need to download it here.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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