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S11:E2 - “The Tuna Difference” (2019) - Scott & Steve cover differences between tunas, but one thing is for sure - they're all delicious!
There are two types of tuna found in the Keys: yellowfin and blackfin tunas. These types of tuna are generally found in three different locations in Marathon, Islamorada, and close to the Bahamas.
When searching for yellowfin, it’s best to throw close to 50-70 pounds of chum or “shrimp boat trash” over the side of the boat. Yellowfin tunas are going to be much slower than sharks and bonita, which will be the first fish to grab the chum bait. Having a large amount of chum thrown over will increase the yellowfin’s likelihood of lingering closer to the surface and going after the bait. Another good technique is to throw larger bait only yellowfin can easily eat, and harder for the sharks and bonita to consume.
Bonita fish can easily be mistaken for blackfin tuna. A good trick to tell the difference when chasing after blackfins is that they will jump out of the water, whereas the bonita will stay below surface. Blackfins will range from any type of weight, so have a rod that is equipped for large or small fish. If you are fishing in the Keys, and want a larger blackfin, use live bait like mullet for an easier catch. The easiest way to catch a large quantity of blackfin tuna is to drift behind a shrimp boat. The tuna start going into a feeding frenzy, and will try to pick up any extra bait that is released into the water. Following behind the boat, you can quickly round up more blackfins in less time, rather than searching for blackfins on your own.
As always, we had Jason Stemple with us to document this trip in ultra high quality still photos. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!
See you next time on Into The Blue
Capt. Scott Walker & Capt. Steve Rodger