YF Tuna Question - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 03-27-2008, 01:02 PM   #1
Ben
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Default YF Tuna Question

What is the best time of year to find YF at the Petronious and other rigs in that area? Is there a preferred water temp. I am new to YF fishing. Went with a group in Nov and have the YF bug bad now! Trying to learn all I can before I burn the fuel to go out there. Any tips appreciated.

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Old 03-27-2008, 01:29 PM   #2
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

YF are hit and miss. Maybe there for a week straight and then disappear. The "experts" on here will tell you they are always there, just deep and uncooperative at times. Typically the BF are always around, sometime annoyingly thick and times you are glad to scrape a few together.Last summer Mahiwere everywhere and hungry.

Water color/ clarityis a bigger deal than temp imo. Keep in mind it's 60+miles south of land. The water temp is going to floor in the upper 60's in jan/feb and top out in the upper 80's in july/aug. You have to be prepared to move around from Petronius/Horn/Beer Can, etc... until you find them. Reading here about water color is very helpful in deciding to go or not.The mooring buoy is gone from out there and was alwaysyour best friend when planning a trip out there.

How big is your boat? Fuel?
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:48 PM   #3
Ben
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

If I understand you correctly, the YF bite is better the clearer/cleaner the water? I had heard the mooring buoy was gone, thats a shame. We are in a 36 Tiara Convertible. 400 gal tankage. Range should be ok.

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Old 03-27-2008, 02:05 PM   #4
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

In my experience the best months would have to be July-November. The best bite I ever experience was the day after Thanksgiving in 2006. Good Luck.
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:16 PM   #5
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

The yellowfin bite typically seems to be better in the transition times of year which are spring and fall. My two favorite offshore months are May and September. Water clarity isnt that huge of an issue, while fishing a blue water/mississippi mud water push out of venice, Ive seen big yellowfins busting on the mississippi mud side. The most obvious sign that the fish are in the area is that they will be busting/rolling but this typically happens at dawn and dusk. You can usually find the fish in the middle of the day about 150-300 feet down on your fish finder. These fish can be convinced to bite using several tactics.

Slow Trolling- Troll 2-3 small naked ballyhoo at 4-6 knots. You want to pull them way way back too. While doing this, be aware of other boats because your lines are much further back than they expect and they can run over your lines. Your tackle needs to be 80-130 lb flourocarbon with knots not crimps. I recommend a uni knot for your hook and a perfection loop for the other end that attaches to your swivel. Use wire to tie bridle them to the hook. Try stopping completely and letting your baits sink for 30 seconds to a minute then proceeding. I have gotten alot of bites that way.

Live Bait- Pretty self explanatory. Like any live bait fishing, the fresher the bait the better and I like to have a good sized hard tail. Flourocarbon is usually a must here. To take it a step further you can fly a kite which will enable you to fish with a heavier/less expensive leader haha.

Chunking- If you see fish busting or see them on your fish finder, position your boat up current from where they are and beging throwing bait in the water. The best chunk bait is freshly caught blackfin or bonito but chunks of boston mackeral, porgies, ale wives and threadfin work as well. After throwing 6-7 hand fuls in the water drift a hooked piece back but make sure that you allow enough slack for the hooked chunk to drift just as an unhooked chunk would in the current.

Popper Plugs- Now this is my favorite technique. If you see fish on the surface, this is the most effective and exciting technique. Use a heavy spinning rod setup, loaded with 60lb power pro line,with a short casting lengtrh leader attached to a popper plug. The best popper plugs are Tuna Hunters and some new plugs made by Ocean Tackle International. Pretty self explanatory here....just make sure your power pro doesnt knot up while your jigging and hang on!

Hope this helps and good luck!
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:01 PM   #6
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

whenever the yellowfin are at petronius, it sure does make our fuel tab a lot easier to settle up at the end of the day. problem is, we haven't caught a decent sized (100 pound plus) yellerfin at petronius in some time. now, na kika on the other hand, i dont think we've ever caught a yellerfin LESS than 100 pounds. but any day, any one of those rigs can be hot or dead. one day it might be the ELF rig, the next it might be ram powell (beercan sucks haha), the next it might be thunderhorse. just depends on the water conditions and where the BAIT is!!!! when we are targeting yellowfin via trolling, we pull a 7 line spread if i remember correctly; 2 teasers right off the transom; a big ilander (cant remember which model) off the right corner, 4 ballyhoos "dressed up" and a big ilander with horsebally hoo off the shotun OR a senior wide range. i dont mess with chunking too much; just depends on conditions and what the fish are (or arent) doing. i will agree with chris though; when they're on top busting bait at night, (now i rarely actually fish much these days; i just work the cockpit) i LOVE casting big poppers to them. we use frenzy poppers and some bigass ones that j&m carries (tuna hunters, i believe). you dont even have to work them half the time. usually, as soon as it hits the water, a crater about the size of your car will implode right underneath the plug and then just crank in the slack line and jack his ass up. fish on! i use 4-5' of 80' flouro for casting to them.

p.s. as a testament to my true enthusiasm for yellowfin, i would sooner spend the rest of my life catching yellowfin than marry a bloodsucking, goldigging woman ANY DAY!!!!!
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:35 AM   #7
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

New to the site, fishing out of Orange Beach. Went to the Petronis last July 4th following one of my buddies from Harbor Cove. I run a 26' WA with twin 200's, and that was an experience I want to repeat, constant action. Although we went to the Petronis, we did not hit any other rigs in the area.. can someone share the coordinates of the Ram Powell, Elf, Beercan, Horn and other rigs in the area that are worth running to.

Thanks
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:22 AM   #8
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

ram powell N29 03.640 x W88 05.505. If your at ram powell you can see the marlin rig to the east, and beercan to the northwest. You should just get a hiltons chart though you can find all you need on there.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:12 PM   #9
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

Ok got the Hilton Online charts... pretty awesome stuff... read the tutorial.. anyone have any other hints or tips on using the charts... they have the salinity chart however I did not see a writeup on its benefit.. got the Altimetry figured, and sea temps and chlorophyll
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:28 AM   #10
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Default RE: YF Tuna Question

A difference in salinity levels will mean differences in the water densities. These boundaries of different water densities can be another feature that might, under the right conditions, concentrate bait in the area. So take it into account when you are looking at all of the other features.
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