Albacore Tuna is a very sought after fish for it’s flavor and fight! The bag limit on these tunas is 25 per person. They often don’t get close enough for Northwind to make a run for them, but when we do we have a blast. We try and take live bait as you can use lighter gear and it’s way funner than trolling.
We troll until we find the school and then we throw bait at them, and you can really put the fish in quickly that way! These are usually long days and are not really for the person whom has little experience on the ocean, or that is prone to motion sickness. This is one of the most addicting fisheries on the north coast, and once you experience it you will want to do it again and again.
The gear we use for trolling is 40# mono on a variety of different reels without a level wind. Tuna are extremely fast swimmers and when they hit the troll gear they sound quickly which can actually seize the level wind. Often time while trolling we will have multiple rods go off and it is exciting to all have fish on and try to get them in! On days we have bait we usually troll less rods. The reason? while trolling without bait we run more rods and when a tuna hits one rod the school is following so we give the troll speed a long 5 to 10 seconds to entice the others to latch on.
Sometimes we can get all the rods to go off. When we have live bait we troll less rods because when a fish hits we come off the throttle immediately, and clear rods as two bait rods go in at the same time. After rods are cleared we chum the fish with a few live baits to keep the school under the boat. Often times you can put in 15+ fish on a bait stop!
We troll tuna clones, feathers, cedar plugs, and divers. We also have hand lines we put out in the spread. I like to use a v pattern spread with the gear fairly tight. Having gear to far a part delivers less fish as the school of tuna like to see a tight replica of schooling bait fish.
I try to keep a cap on how far out we travel. For one, a 14kt boat doesn’t get out very fast, but also when you hit the temp break you always seem to troll extra miles searching for the fish.