Skip to main content

Tuna on the Rigs

Tuna on the Rigs
A blackfin tuna and a false albacore. For Monique (pink shorts) the blackfin tuna was her first ever fish on a fly rod.

It's a rare thing to go looking for the smallest fish you can find but that's exactly what we did in late August fishing with Capt. Eric Newman of the Louisiana Fisheries and Wildlife. Newman was looking to kill some tuna and send tissue samples back to the lab, and also to tag and release some tuna aliveall part of the ongoing research and monitoring that is the result of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Our group of five was along for the ride to help him accomplish the goal, but since we are armed with fly rods, we needed high numbers of smallish fish that would come up and stay near the surface long enough to get a few casts at them.

Newman heard through the charter captain grapevine that a certain rig was loaded up with higher numbers of sub-20-pound yellowfin, blackfin, and of course false albacore (known locally as "bonito"). And since that rig was also in a zone that required sampling, it all worked outand our boat did indeed hit a tunny grand slam. If you've never caught a tuna on a fly rod, you will be stunned the first time you experience it. Even a small fish can make you feel like you are attached to a Mack truck and it's often surprising when you lift the fish from the water. You often want to say, "What happened to my fish? I swear I had a huge fish on the line."

Here's a short video showing just exactly how hard small tuna can pull — just as a point of reference, these are 12-weight tarpon rods (Loomis & Sage Xi3) with Tibor Gulfstream reels.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Fly Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now