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Old 09-10-2009, 06:05 AM   #1
HappyTunafisherman
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Default Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

Would appreciate advice on how Salty Dogs search (hunt) for Tuna once they deceide the area to to fish in. Most of us Salty Puppies need to learn the proper techniques and the Salty Dog forum is an excellent vehicle for passing on this information.

The SST/Charts are useful for identifying a relatively small area to fish, but how do you go about locating the tuna within this area?

Do you join up with several Salty Dogs to cover the area and communicate with each other what you find? Do you have a search or hunting pattern you use? Do you look at other maps such as contour maps to locate possible Tuna hangouts? If you don't see tuna on the surface or birds feeding what do you do? How much trolling to changing location by runnning at cruising speed do you do?

Thanks for your help. It is greatly appreciated and will be a great help to all Salty Puppies.

The Happy Tuna Fisherman
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

Once you get there, it is aimless wandering with binoculars looking for kelp, jumpers, other junk in the water, birds.

Scott.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

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Originally Posted by little doc View Post
Once you get there, it is aimless wandering with binoculars looking for kelp, jumpers, other junk in the water, birds.

Scott.
just what he said
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

Animals are all the same, they leave sign showing where they are and have been.

Once you get to the likely spots, you need to find these signs and track them down. Elk/Deer leave foot prints and little round pellets to track them. Tuna leave tail tracks and a though the little round pellets sink, the urine stays near the surface. We often sample the water for PH. When we get a lower than average reading we know he tuna have been there or are there. The last couple trips we didnt have any PH strips left and we just tasted the water. You will know when the urine count is high. You need to keep an eye in the water for the tail tracks. When you see patterns of little swirls in the water about 4 to 6 inchs apart, you are hot on ones trail or shall we say tail. As the tail moves side to side these swirls are created. I have one guy I regularly crew with who can track a butterflys shadow across solid rock up to 3 days old. I think he is part apache, but he claims he is from ireland as he likes his alcohol. The guy can spot tail swirls in the water 50 feet from the boat.

Birds are always a good sign, but cant be counted on. We have caught a lot of tuna with no birds in sight. If you do see birds diving there are usually tuna under them pushing the bait up.

We have only had mild success with calling tuna to the boat. Sort of a pied piper approach to tuna fishing. I cant explain it, but listening to polka at a really loud volume, has shown some promise in bringing tuna right up to the boat. Our next trip we hope to take one with a bow and arrow and we will be using polka to draw them in.

Tuna only have two things on their mind, eating and shall we say....."the rutt". Most people use the eating technique to catch their tuna by putting bait in the water and using lures that simulate something they might eat. But capitalizing on their desire to make little tuna can be used also. It would be nice if tuna bugled like elk, and if they do it is on a frequency we havent found yet or it gets drowned out in all the water. Female tuna urine in estrus has been very effective for us this year. You only catch males, but by working a piece of water and continually putting some urine in estrus in the water you can draw a lot of males into the area. They get busy looking for receptive girls and dont do a whole lot of thinking. These grouped up fish are easier to catch in triples and quads.

The last thing we have had success with this year is decoys. Lifelike tuna decoys are made from a lightweight neutral bouyant material. We place 15 or 20 of these decoys behind the boat in a tight cluster. This draws other fish into the spread and we can catch them.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

BOE,

You forgot to add the details of your unique tuna call which if I remember right is a very low frequency rumble that is amplified through the water column by use of a solid wood desk chair situated above his tuna coffin for proper resonance. The chili cheese fries BOE uses as a primer is another loosely held secret that enhances the effectiveness of this somewhat silent but deadly weapon.

The other thing I learned from BOE is that if you can get the boat far enough below the water after a good launch, you can actually see the fish you are targeting through the front windows. This is a very, very effective method for finding fish for BOE as we all know.

Nice work BOE. Made me laugh.

-lol
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

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Nice work BOE. Made me laugh.

-lol
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

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Originally Posted by Bait O' Eggs View Post
Our next trip we hope to take one with a bow and arrow and we will be using polka to draw them in.

Too bad Tred Barta's laid up or you could probably get him to do a show on taking a tuna with his long bow.


The last thing we have had success with this year is decoys. Lifelike tuna decoys are made from a lightweight neutral bouyant material. We place 15 or 20 of these decoys behind the boat in a tight cluster. This draws other fish into the spread and we can catch them.
So where in the world do you find Tuna decoys??? Or are you just having fun?
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:09 AM   #8
HappyTunafisherman
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Default Re: Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

Do you wander at trolling speed of 5 to 7 miles/hr or at cruising speed? or Some other speeds.

Is it every boat for himself or do you join forces and go in different directions to cover more area?

My experience is San Diego where the Charters troll at 8 to 9 knots and join forces with other boats to cover much more area? Yes it's aimless wandering with binoculars, but they troll fast and have side scan sonar and very good deep water fish finders. When they go anywhere near a school of tuna they circle and throw wiggles to bring the Tuna up to play.





Quote:
Originally Posted by little doc View Post
Once you get there, it is aimless wandering with binoculars looking for kelp, jumpers, other junk in the water, birds.

Scott.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Would like some hints on how to search (hunt) for Tuna

As has been mentioned above it really is a hunt and peck show. use your knowledge to give you a starting point and the conditions of the day for what you put in the water. The last few trips for us it has been a one spot show.. we find the fish in one spot and keep figure eighting the spot.

use your radio and team up.. I hate the what are your numbers questions just as much as the next guy, but it helps give some clue to whats happening that may make your search a bit easier. If at all possible call the guys that are heading out there with you and ask if they'll share info and work the pack. where theres one fish there are more and as long as everyone maintains a respectable distance its all good..
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