Looking for some knowledge - Trolling for tuna

kstearns24

Newbie
Jun 26, 2014
3
2
3
29
Burbank
Name
Kyle
Boat
Still Saving
What’s up BD people!

I’m hoping to gain some salty knowledge with this post and appreciate any help I can get! I’m relatively new to offshore fishing so please excuse and correct me if I’m not using the right terminology.

My buddies and I go out 1 to 2 times a week during the summer/fall months. We are exclusively fishing waters within a 45 mile radius of San Diego but usually hit the north/south 9, 181/182, 302, and 425 areas.

Were fishing on a 33’ eggharbor which has a pair of outriggers and 5 rod holders on the transom. Our typical spread consists of teasers or jetheads on the outriggers, cedar plugs and halco (or something similar) on the flat line with clips, and then another rod on the fly bridge rod holder with a bird and another lure. We are practically trolling any time we’re not stopped and over the last two years have only managed to get some skipjack and bonito to come up and grab the lures. We mainly target tuna, yellowtail, and dorado but have a couple marlin jigs out just in case.

Anyway, I’m looking for tips from people who’ve had some success trolling for our target species in the last couple years and I have a couple questions:

What type of lures/jigs are working and are there specific jigs for specific species mentioned above?

What colors jigs are working and should we change based on water/sky conditions or any other variables?

How far back should we troll each jig?

Are line specs a significant factor? If so, what is ideal? (I.e. color, type, lb test)

Tips for trolling around paddies, bird action, and boiling fish?

Anything else that we should know/consider?

We greatly appreciate any feedback and information we can get! Tight lines!!!
 
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Yuri_SD

Newbie
Sep 11, 2019
52
24
8
40
San Diego
Name
Yuri
Boat
none
Hi there,
No advice from as I'm new to ocean fishing, but in similar situation and wanted to give your post a bump.

Also usually go with a buddy and troll for tuna/yellows and it's been quite slow for us.

Thanks all!
 

yakdout

Professional
Jun 26, 2014
1,267
1,529
113
San Diego
Name
Brandon
Boat
s and hoes
Tuna clones and daisy chains. Bright colors when it’s bright, dark colors when it’s dark/overcast. Leave the cedar plug in the lineup. Also check our how to tune a cedar plug to make it really swim well.


Basically pulling some of the leader through and spinning it to know where the heavy Side is, Dremel a notch for the hook placement. Night and day on the action.

6-8 knots
 

surfgoose

active geezer
Jul 29, 2010
2,656
3,644
113
Long Beach, CA, USA
Name
Gary
Boat
whichever has the longest bunk
I have found that it makes a huge difference to get your lure down deeper rather than skipping close to the surface. I run a couple of different weights several feet ahead of the lure, depending upon sea conditions. The new big plastic-billed lures that run very deep are also more effective than the lures that stay at the top foot or so.

It also makes a difference to keep in mind where the sun is. If you are driving into the sun, the fish have to see the lures against the sunshine, which is harder. And if you run changing curves, not just straight lines, you are effectively presenting different speeds to the lures as the inside lures slow down and the outside lures speed up. Use your boat like a P-51 giving cover to a slower group of B-17s.

You do NOT need to put seven different lures into the water. I would run one from each corner set back about three waves, and a longer center lure back twice as far. I like splasher birds to make a surface commotion on the long lure.

Keep your hands clean while you handle the lures, and consider using attractor scents. You can look on YouTube for videos of underwater trolling scenes with Go-Pro cameras, and it is surprising how many fish are attracted to the lures and come up to within a couple of feet to bite them but just turn away at the last moment. Ask yourself why that happens.

2018-10-01 10.17.30.jpg
 

2Rotten

Member
Jan 10, 2010
164
214
43
Junction City OR
Name
Rod Lathrop
Boat
24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
Location location location
Give this man a prize! Most important is to troll where the Tuna are. Spread is secondary.

This from Oregon fishing for Albacore, take it as you like. We have caught 280 Albacore on 6 trips this season, probably half on the troll. We Fish Cedar Plugs farthest back and outside (about 100 feet), natural mid-day and bright days, black/purple early and cloudy days. On the mid-corners a Catchy Tackle Spinner Jet, Sumo Chrome Head, or Zuker Broom Tail 6". Black/Purple early and cloudy, Zucchini or Mex Flag mid-day or bright. Middle short 1 rod gets an Archer Bar, the other an X-Rap. These are typically about 60' back from the transom.

Good luck!
 

kstearns24

Newbie
Jun 26, 2014
3
2
3
29
Burbank
Name
Kyle
Boat
Still Saving
Thank you all for the replies! There’s some useful information here and guess what? It paid off! 2 weeks ago we were trolling in the 425 area and got a double jig strike which turned out to be yellowfin! We then began a 4 hour drift to land 15 YFT up to 25 pounds. We adjusted some our rigs to troll further back and away from the white water in the wake. Our best trip of the year by far!!! Thanks again!

Tight lines

-kyle
 

Tugboat64

Member
Sep 8, 2017
141
70
28
Fishing in the Closest Water
Name
Logan
Boat
Wanting a bigger boat
My go to I’d a purple and black (ZERO SPARKLES) daisy chain seader plug, it’s worked so well for a wide variety of things except bluefin unfortunately, but I’ve been on 1-8 day trips were it’s the only troll fish the whole trip, I like to troll mine a little past my wake which is whatever 5mph makes. Hope this helps
-Logan
 

yessokk

Luck favors the well prepared.
Sep 18, 2006
1,023
1,206
113
Costa Mesa, Cailf
Name
Walt
Boat
11 ft Sears W/Duel 5.2hp
Some very excellent advice above. Especially like 2 points in the post by
Mr. Surfgoose above.
Scent abatement: Much more important then anyone realizes. His tips for this are right on. Clean hands, a must. Wash 2 X then crush a sardine in your hands shake off guts and let air dry. Then rig up. Would respectfully recommend using the Scentblazers in the link below. It creates its own Chum Line. Have found them to be most effective. The smaller sizes for local tuna get bit.
https://www.scentblazer.com/default.aspx

The second point he emphasizes is to get that lure down as deep as possible. Those pelagic fish spend the majority of their time about 60-80 ft down. Not on the surface where most lures are run. Yes,,, the "Click Bait" of a boil would have you believe they love the sunshine but the facts indicate otherwise.

Here are some rigging suggestions that have proved successful
Use the thinest spectra you can get away with. Nothing heavier then 50# preferably 40#. The thinner the spectra the deeper your lure will run. Hydraulic drag of the line is a huge factor preventing the deepest possible track. Spectra to 20 or so yds. of 40-50# mono shock leader. Mono to a heavy 200-300 lb.
snap swivel, to which a 8-10 ft fluoro leader is attached the snap with a loop knot. Suggest a Seaguar Loop knot. Now here is a not so secret secret, that is known but not very popular. Get about 1 pound of wt. in front of that snap swivel. A huge aid in getting that lure to depth. To really strain the depths run a deep diver behind the lead. And as well as we are at it, would consider running one of the deep set ups about 100 yds back. This is primarily for Blue Fin as they are notorious for avoiding a boat.

My .37 cents worth for your consideration.
Walt
 
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fishkilr

on the water
Aug 27, 2012
2,715
3,226
113
long beach,ca.u.s.a.
Name
alby
Boat
None
Things have changed so much here in so cal the last 5 years..even trolling is nothing like it was..use to be if the yft were around you would find em and get troll stops with full speed bait fish just about every time..
You would get stopped trolling by paddies frequently...
Use to be if the bft were around cedar plugs and rapalas would get bit occasionally ..
Getting troll stopped and throwing bait to create full speed bites seems to be a rarity now as well as any bft on troll jigs...
Most everyone out there is trying to figure out troll patterns that are consistent these days..