Tuna Talk: Stickbaits for Bluefin Tuna

Jimmy Fee and Anthony DeiCicchi get a crash course in fishing for bluefin tuna with stickbaits.

Jimmy Fee and Anthony DeiCicchi get a crash course in fishing for bluefin tuna with stickbaits from Capt. Dom Petrarca of Coastal Charters Sportfishing and master lure builder Merv Rubiano of StrategicAngler Custom Lures.

Giveaway

We have six sets of StrategicAngler Lures to give away to our YouTube Audience. To enter, tell us the size of your largest ever tuna in the comments, and we’ll select six lucky anglers on Tuesday, July 6th at noon.
 
Read more about StrategicAngler Custom Lures

See the full lineup of StrategicAngler Custom Lures

Book a Charter with Capt. Dom and Coastal Charters Sportfishing

 

14 on “Tuna Talk: Stickbaits for Bluefin Tuna

  1. Ron

    Caught a 25# juvenile bluefin on light tackle – had the drag all the way down on a Shimano 4500 bait caster. It made the reel sing! Thought it was going to spool me but turned before I ran out. It was the most thrilling, heart pumping time I have ever had fishing!

    1. emac

      what rod do you have for that reel? I got that reel for xmas and looking to pair it with a solid rod.

  2. Ron Meza

    Caught a 25# juvenile bluefin on light tackle – had the drag all the way down on a Shimano 4500 bait caster. It made the reel sing! Thought it was going to spool me but turned before I ran out. It was the most thrilling, heart pumping time I have ever had fishing!

  3. Mike T

    I was fortunate enough to be part of a 3 man team to fight a BFT for 4 hours at night and land him. It ended up being a 107″ fish that dressed out at 545 pounds. After rotating turns on the fish, I had to take the dart shot even though I had never thrown a harpoon at a fish before. In high school I ran track and played around a bit with the javelin; maybe that helped and I nailed it. BFT fishing is addictive and having the right gear is critical to being successful!

  4. Greg

    I have caught 0 tuna, but I average 0.7 shearwaters each trip. I guess need some better sinking lures.

  5. Fred Nirschl

    The largest bluefin I was fortunate to catch was 901# and 110″ caught in the Mud Hole in NJ back in the 80’s when I was a deckhand on a charter boat. It was also my first bluefin tuna. It ate a ling hand fed at the boat after trying to get the fish to take a hook bait for almost 20 minutes. We scaled from 400# leader down to 300# then 200# because the fish kept refusing the hook bait and eating everything else we threw in the water. Then I threw in a handful of small butterfish chunks, some spearing and threw the whole ling in the middle. The fish came up and just inhaled the ling. 49 minutes later the dart went home and at the same moment the leader snapped due to abrasion from the fish’s mouth. As luck would have it the fish was spent, the tail rope went on and we all but collapsed from exhaustion and adrenaline.
    Since then I target them with spinning rods regularly. When I got my center console in 1997 we used to see the tuna every fall close to shore when fishing for stripers and blackfish. Everyone told me “When you see them jumping like that you can’t catch them, they’re not eating.” I refused to believe this and we started to target them with spinning rods (Lamiglas graphite striper plugging rods!) and sure enough started getting bites. People refused to believe that this could be done with any consistency but we would get 5-10 bites in the short couple of week time window when these fish were passing thru. We could see them eating sand eels, bunker, herring, mackerel and some other baits. When they were on the small baits they were definitely harder to fool.
    My favorite trip last fall was on my friend’s 21 foot Aquasport. We headed off to a local ridge where there were rumors of sightings. 2 miles short of the ridge we started seeing them airing out under the birds. About an hour later a pod came up 50 yards off the port side of the boat. I took my first cast of the day using a Daiwa Saltiga slider. The cast was in the zone but not perfect. I let the plug sink for a few seconds the made a slow sweep, reeled in the slack as the lure was sinking, started the 2nd sweep and the water exploded as the fish just glommed the plug. It was off to the races and 25 minutes later a nice 85# fish was on the deck and we were on our way home. Fished for an hour, made 1 cast, sealed the deal and headed to the barn. So awesome when it comes together. Thank you guys for the great video on this topic, your passion for spinning rod bluefin fishing is phenomenal.

  6. Robert

    I caught a #170 big eye last summer in august on a zucchini bar she did not want to be caught but we fortunately got her and the end game wasn’t too hectic.

  7. Lida Douglas

    Hey Dom! We miss you in Xcalak. Just back from 8 days on the Royal Polaris. Two BFT, a YF, and a whole lot of yellowtail.

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