Best Tuna Fishing lures

Best Tuna Fishing Lures [By Species]

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Best Tuna Fishing Lures: When what type of lures you should use for tuna.

Fishing for tuna can be an exhilarating experience, but to increase your chances of success, you need to have the right equipment and tactics. One crucial aspect of tuna fishing is choosing the best lures. In this article, we will explore the world of tuna fishing lures based on different kinds of tuna species and tuna fishing styles. Whether you’re targeting bluefin, yellowfin, or albacore tuna, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding Tuna Fishing Lures

Tuna fishing lures play a vital role in attracting and enticing these powerful fish. The right lure can mimic the baitfish that tuna feed on, triggering a predatory response. Additionally, lures are designed to create movement and vibrations in the water, making them highly effective in catching tuna.

Types of Tuna Species:

Before delving into the best tuna fishing lures, it’s important to understand the different species of tuna you might encounter.

Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin tuna are known for their impressive size and strength. They can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh over 1,000 pounds. When targeting bluefin tuna, you need lures that can withstand their power and attract their attention.

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna, also known as ahi tuna, are highly prized for their delicious meat and thrilling fights. They are typically smaller than bluefin tuna but can still reach impressive sizes. Yellowfin tuna are often found in warm oceanic waters and are known for their acrobatic behavior when hooked.

Albacore Tuna

Albacore tuna are a popular target for anglers due to their abundance and widespread distribution. They are smaller than bluefin and yellowfin tuna but still offer an exciting challenge. Albacore tuna are known for their high-speed runs and aggressive strikes.


Tuna Fishing Styles:

Tuna can be caught using various fishing techniques, each requiring specific lures. Let’s explore some popular tuna fishing styles.

Offshore Trolling

Offshore trolling involves dragging lures behind a moving boat. This method covers a large area and allows you to cover different depths. It’s an effective technique for targeting bluefin and yellowfin tuna.


Chunking involves creating a bait trail by cutting and throwing chunks of baitfish into the water. This technique attracts tuna, and lures are used to entice them to bite. Chunking is particularly effective for bluefin and yellowfin tuna.


Casting lures to feeding or surface-active tuna is an exciting way to catch them. This method requires accurate casting and a good understanding of tuna behavior. It’s commonly used for yellowfin tuna.


Best Tuna Fishing Lures for Bluefin Tuna

When it comes to bluefin tuna, these lures have proven to be highly effective:

Bullet Head Skirted Lures

Bullet head skirted lures are a staple in bluefin tuna fishing. Their streamlined shape allows for high trolling speeds, and the skirts create a realistic baitfish presentation. These lures work well when targeting bluefin tuna.

Cedar Plugs

Cedar plugs are simple yet effective lures for bluefin tuna. Their slender design mimics the shape of a baitfish and can be trolled at various speeds. Cedar plugs are known for their durability and consistent results.


Poppers are surface lures that create a commotion on the water’s surface, imitating a wounded baitfish. Bluefin tuna are known to aggressively strike poppers, providing an exciting topwater experience.

Best Tuna Fishing Lures for Yellowfin Tuna

When targeting yellowfin tuna, consider using the following lures:

Tuna Feathers

Tuna feathers are a classic choice for yellowfin tuna fishing. These lures consist of a series of feathers or plastic squid skirts that create a vibrant display in the water. Tuna feathers can be trolled or casted, making them versatile.

Surface Iron Jigs

Surface iron jigs are heavy metal lures designed to be casted and retrieved. When worked correctly, they create an erratic swimming motion that entices yellowfin tuna. These lures are effective when tuna are feeding near the surface.

Topwater Poppers

Similar to bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna can’t resist a well-presented popper. Topwater poppers that create a large splash and produce a popping sound are particularly effective for enticing yellowfin tuna.

Best Tuna Fishing Lures for Albacore Tuna

When targeting albacore tuna, consider using the following lures:

Feather Jigs

Feather jigs are lightweight lures that imitate the swimming action of small baitfish. These lures are effective when tuna are feeding near the surface or in mid-water depths. Feather jigs come in various colors and sizes to match the baitfish albacore tuna are targeting.

Metal Jigs

Metal jigs are versatile lures that can be jigged, trolled, or casted. They have a shiny, reflective surface that mimics the flash of baitfish. Metal jigs are highly effective for catching albacore tuna.

Diamond Jigs

Diamond jigs are elongated lures with a diamond-shaped body. They are versatile and can be used for vertical jigging or casting. Diamond jigs are particularly effective when targeting albacore tuna in deep water.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Tuna Fishing Lures

Choosing the right tuna fishing lure involves considering several factors:

Color and Size

The color and size of the lure should match the baitfish the tuna are feeding on. It’s essential to observe the local forage and choose lures that closely resemble the natural prey.

Lure Action

The action of the lure refers to how it moves through the water. Some lures create a side-to-side wobble, while others have a diving or darting action. It’s important to choose a lure that mimics the movement of the baitfish tuna are targeting.

Line and Leader Setup

Using the right line and leader setup is crucial for tuna fishing. Tuna have sharp teeth and powerful pulls, so it’s important to use a strong line and leader that can withstand their strength.

Tips and Techniques for Tuna Fishing:

To enhance your chances of success when tuna fishing, consider the following tips and techniques:

Proper Gear and Equipment

Invest in high-quality fishing gear and equipment specifically designed for tuna fishing. This includes sturdy rods, reels with strong drag systems, and reliable terminal tackle.

Locating Tuna Schools

Use technology such as fish finders, satellite imagery, and local knowledge to locate areas where tuna are likely to be present. Tuna often congregate around underwater structures, currents, and temperature breaks.

Fishing Time and Season

Tuna fishing can vary depending on the time of year and location. Research the best time and season for targeting the specific tuna species you’re interested in and plan your fishing trips accordingly.


Catching tuna requires skill, knowledge, and the right lures. By understanding the different species of tuna, the various fishing styles, and the best lures for each situation, you can significantly increase your chances of success. Remember to consider factors like color, size, and lure action when choosing your tuna fishing lures, and always be prepared with the right gear and techniques. Now it’s time to hit the water and experience the thrill of landing the big ones!


  1. What is the best time of year for tuna fishing?
    • The best time for tuna fishing varies depending on the species and location. In general, summer and fall months tend to be productive for many tuna species.
  2. How deep do you fish for tuna?
    • Tuna can be found at different depths depending on various factors such as water temperature, food availability, and structure. They can be caught anywhere from the surface to several hundred feet deep.
  3. Can you use live bait for tuna fishing?
    • Yes, live bait can be highly effective for targeting tuna. Popular live bait options include mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
  4. What is the best color for tuna fishing lures?
    • The best lure color for tuna fishing can vary depending on the conditions and the tuna species. However, silver, blue, and black are generally effective colors to mimic baitfish.
  5. How do you rig a tuna fishing lure?
    • Rigging a tuna fishing lure typically involves attaching it to a leader using appropriate knots and ensuring the lure swims naturally in the water. The specific rigging technique may vary depending on the lure type.

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