Big Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna are here, in abundance. And what’s really incredible is; Panama has largely shut down commercial harvesting while we still have so many yellowfin tuna left. Since our president outlawed tuna seiners in Panama waters three years ago, many more yellowfin tuna are showing up on the Hannibal Bank, Isla Montousa and off Isla Jicaron & Coiba. Long lining tuna in the Hannibal Bank region was stopped two years ago. More fish and the yellow fin tuna are remaining here for longer periods than in the past twenty years I’ve been paying attention. Personally I’m a little sick of tuna. If big yellowfin tuna are what you are after, I’ll steer you right to them and offer you a variety of ways to capture yours.

yellowfin tuna coiba island gamefish

December brings in some 300 pound fish schooled up on the Hannibal Bank, but you wouldn’t know it till you hook one up. Later, usually beginning in late February, vast schools of spotted dolphin enter our area, they arrive with great schools of yellowfin, feeding symbiotically. The spotted dolphin / tuna aggregations remain here into May and we can reliably find them. After that, isolated schools of 50 - 300 pound fish remain, circling around over reliable spots through the summer months. No birds, I find them on the sounder, up-current and off the structure.

yellowfin tuna coiba island  fishing

Big live bait gets the really big ones. Casting topwater plugs for violent attacks & hook-ups are a scream and get fish mostly in the 50 - 100 pound range. Trolling lures gets smaller fish. Cedar plugs are almost guaranteed to bring you multiple hook-ups of 10 - 30 pound fish.

A one year old yellowfin tuna weighs 8 - 10 lb. Two year olds are about 35 lb. Three about 75. A four year old averages 130. They live up to eight years. They can swim up to 50 mph. In 2012 a 405 lb fish broke the 33 year world record of 388 lb. Migratory patterns have shown distances traveled from the US Pacific Coast to Japan.