Blind Casting for Bluefin Tuna
- Notes: I wish I kept a log of the methods used for each tuna I have caught over the years. I suspect that a shocking percentage of fish I have caught have been on a blind cast. If you believe that tuna are spooked by boat traffic, it makes sense. Seeing that you are in an area with bait and feeding tuna, you are already 75 percent of the way to success.
- When: The ideal time to blind cast is when you are in a defined area with lots of life. Here’s a few scenarios where it makes sense.
- Acres of feeding fish: Why risk spooking the fish? Just cast and wait your turn.
- Scattered feeding fish in a defined area: If they are active, they will find your lure sooner or later and your time will have been better spent with lures in the water than out of the water while you run around looking for obvious signs.
- Scattered finicky fish: Boat traffic is the top reason fish get spooky. If this is the case, it is time to go stealth mode.
- How: Half of the effectiveness of blind casting comes from just sitting quietly and waiting and studying what you can see above water. You are looking for circling birds, — especially shearwaters – nervous water from bait that is not comfortable, wakes from cruising tuna and even rip lines that might pen bait in a certain area making them an easy target that would draw tuna in. I’ll stop for good bait marks on the finder, birds circling, funky water that might be nervous bait or water that might be a disturbance from moving fish. You might notice a general direction the fish are following, If so, you can start to follow in that direction, too. Meanwhile, everyone on board should be beating the water to a froth with blind casts and a couple of dead sticks in the holder. One angler should be casting a large top-water slider to create some commotion as the plug lands while other anglers should focus on sub-surface retrieves until you crack the code. I give each “sit” 15 minutes – depending on the quality of the “tells” – before moving on. When I move on, I make sure my boat movements are gentle and deliberate.