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Although tuna is a widely known and eaten fish, you would be surprised by how hard it is to land one of these giants. They might not look very mighty on a piece of sushi or inside a can. But they are fierce fish.
So, let’s get to the point. How long does it take to reel in a tuna? You can expect anything between 30 minutes up to 6 hours! Sometimes more.
As you can see, it is a wide range. Stay with us a little longer to find out why.
How Many Species of Tuna Are There?
There are 15 different tuna species scattered on the seas. There might be several other sub-families. However, you are more likely to encounter one of the following:
- Albacore Tuna: It has light flesh. It is sold as canned tuna. They can weigh up to 80 pounds and reach up to 4 feet in length.
- Bluefin Tuna: These fishes have red, valuable meat. They can live up to 40 years and reach 10 feet in length! These massive tuna can reach an amazing weight of up to 2000 pounds! Sadly, they are also an endangered species.
- Skipjack: Fatty meat and abundant. It is the most common tuna you can catch. This piece can weigh up to 40 pounds and live up to 10 years.
- Yellowfin: This tuna has a characteristic pale pink meat. Yellowfins can weigh up to 450 pounds and put up a challenge when hooked.
How Much Does a Bluefin Tuna Cost?
It depends on where you catch it, the weight, and the quality of the meat. But to give you an idea, you can end up paying between 20 to 40 dollars. Sometimes the price can rise to 200 depending on where you buy/sell the fish.
However, because they are endangered species you can’t catch them as you please. You must have a special fishing license. Plus, you can only fish during a certain season, and the tuna must have a minimum size.
Additionally, the supply of bluefins is scarce, while the demand remains high. Consequently, the price tends to increase.
How Do You Catch a Massive Tuna?
Now that you have the tackle, let’s talk about the technique.
You might notice that anglers fighting big tuna use both hands to reel the line. This is to avoid grinding the reel gears and keep the tension on the line. You see, tuna are remarkable swimmers. So, you need all the help you can muster.
To give you a visual example of the skill you need to land a big tuna, we recommend taking the following three minutes to watch this video.
What is the Most Common Type of Tuna?’
The Skipjack tuna is arguably the most common followed by the Albacore. These two are what you get when you eat canned tuna. As you might expect, they are the cheapest as well. Mainly because there are many schools of Skipjacks on the seas.
How Fast Tuna Swim?
Tunas are known for their strong bodies and torpedo-shaped backs that allow them to reach up to 43 miles per hour. This places them among the top 10 fastest fish on the planet. Pair that with their colossal weight and you will have a long battle ahead.
Yeah, there are not the fastest fish out there. However, keep in mind that some of the faster fishes out there are half the weight of a bluefin.
How Deep Do You Fish for Tuna?
Again, it depends on the species. However, they lurk anywhere between 300 to 1000 feet deep. Typically, the bigger the tuna, the deeper it will be. For example, the bluefin is able to dive up to 3000 feet! Now, imagine reeling an enormous tuna from this depth.
What is The Best Tuna Bait?
Since tuna are predatory fish, they are drawn to other small fishes such as herring, mullet, or blue runners, even more so if you use them while they are still alive.
How Long Does it Take to Reel a Tuna?
Now you know why landing a tuna could take anything between 30 min to 6 hours. How long it will take depends on your experience, the gear, and the specific tuna you hooked.
Small Skipjack is no challenge on most occasions. However, things get tricky as the tuna increases in weight. They are more aggressive, faster, and swim deeper.
We’ve seen seasoned anglers battle for 3 hours before laying their hands on a massive tuna. On the other hand, even a medium-sized Albacore could make a greenhorn struggle for a while. Either way, when talking about tuna one thing is sure: It will be a trip to remember.