Did you know there are over 50 species of tuna? The three major types are skipjack, yellowfin, and bluefin. These each have sub-species in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and can range in size from the smaller albacore tuna with an average weight of 130 pounds to the large Atlantic bluefin which can be 1200+ lbs. on Prince Edward Island. Tuna fishing has made tuna one of the most important species in the commercial fishing industry. From canned tuna in the grocery store to fresh, raw tuna tataki at your local seafood restaurant, tuna has become a protein source across the globe.
Tuna fishing continues to be an international venture with commercial and private operations pulling in thousands of pounds of fish each year. The sport of tuna fishing has expanded from small, family run operations in coastal towns to large scale charter operations bringing tourists into open waters for fully supervised tuna fishing adventures. There are six tuna fishing hotspots across the world where you can find prime stocks of the big fish.
Prince Edward Island is home to some of the largest tuna in the world. Tuna migration to the coast of Canada happens in the late summer and early fall. During this time, some of the largest bluefins come through in their migration route. This year, the season will run July 20 – October 31 on Prince Edward Island.
North Carolina, specifically the Outer Banks, are home to yellowfin tuna throughout the year. In March and April, warmer waters bring 15-20 lb yellowfin in droves. Prime season for yellowfin is from mid-October to mid-December when larger fish, 40-60 lbs are abundant. Mexico, Puerto Vallarta in particular, is a hot bed for tuna fishing. Giant tuna can be found here August – December. Warm water is pushed south by strong currents this time of year bringing bait to the area and attracting huge tuna! Skipjacks and bait are abundant and can actually be used to catch even larger yellowfins. Anglers catch the smaller tuna and then trawl with this fish to catch even larger tuna.
Florida, especially the Atlantic coast, provides consistent tuna fishing year-round. Unfortunately, these fish are generally not very large and tend to reside further off the coast line, sometimes as far as 10 miles from shore. The prime time of year to fish here is December through February. Cape Cod, Massachusetts is home to large bluefins in the late spring and early summer. September – November brings giant bluefins to these waters, most weighing an average of 500 pounds and bringing renewed excitement to anglers.
Tuna fishing has become a true tourist attraction with charter trips available across the world. The 5 locations listed above are just a few of the most prolific and exciting places to fish for tuna. Hawaii, California and even the Canary Islands all offer exceptional tuna fishing.
Planning a trip that includes tuna fishing? Prince Edward Island is one of the premier places to take a charter boat out for a tuna fishing excursion. Prince Edward Island offers exceptional views, fishing and hospitality. To learn more about the area, visit the Prince Edward Island tourism bureau. To set up a tuna fishing charter tour, contact Scott Bruce Tuna Charters.