The bluefin tuna season in Prince Edward Island runs July 20 – October 31. During this time, anglers can pull in fish between 300 and 1200 pounds! So what makes this time of year so spectacular for bluefin tuna fishing?
Bluefins and other tuna species in general are a migratory species that are constantly on the move. During their average 20 year lifespan, the fish cross the Atlantic countless times, sometimes in as little as 60 days. Their circulatory system is pelagic, which means they must move continuously to ventilate themselves. This movement also maintains a body temperature warmer than the surrounding water, allowing bluefins to withstand temperatures between 3-30º Celsius. Constant movement propels these fish at speeds between 2 and 9 miles per hour. When hunting however, bluefins can reach speeds of over 65 miles per hour!
Hunting is the motivating factor in the lives of bluefin tuna. Bluefin tuna season is generally brought about by the migration of the bluefin’s prey. A diet of smaller fish, including other tuna, crustaceans, squid, and eels sustain the tuna’s constant movement and also influences its migration patterns. In July – December, warm currents bring abundant bait to the Gulf of Mexico – bluefins follow for their spawning. During this time, huge numbers of large tuna can be found off the coast and fishing is abundant for anglers interested in the large fish.
In Prince Edward Island, the bluefin begin to arrive in the late summer, following schools of mackerel, sea herring and squid, although fishing charters cannot begin their season until July 20. Anglers have opportunities to haul in huge fish in the fairly shallow waters off the coast of Canada. Tuna are more easily found in about 80-100 feet of water, and anglers can enjoy the thrill of the fight, sometimes for hours!
The resurgence of the bluefin population in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia means that anglers can now cast out, and catch and release as many as they would like. There usually are no quotas each year with recreational catches – your charter guide will have the most current information about these regulations. Fishing charters can be the best way to experience the bluefin tuna season in Canada’s coastal waters. These tours are led by experienced fishermen with years of experience finding, catching and reeling in the giants of these waters.
Are you itching to get out on the water and try your hand at fishing during the next bluefin tuna season? Charters book early, so don’t miss your chance! Contact Scott Bruce Tuna Charters to book your excursion which includes a full 8-9 hours on the water, all necessary gear and tackle, a light lunch (lobster sandwiches), snacks, homemade treats and beverages. At Scott Bruce Tuna Charters, we never forget that tuna are living creatures. We use barb-less circle hooks to minimize any stress and we always treat these massive fish with respect and admiration.