How To: Casting Retrieves for Bluefin Tuna #213

Three Basic Casting Retrieves for Bluefin Tuna with Variations

As I mentioned above, I am committed to carrying a selection of lures for any casting and jigging situation I might encounter which includes the three main variations of casting retrieves for tuna. With a line up like our “Golf Club Collection,” you can fish the top 40’ of the water column with ease, offering you the ultimate presentation flexibility from cast to cast, often without even switching rods. Three basic retrieves with variations include;

A. Fast Skippy Retrieve

  1. Fast Skippy Retrieve: This is a tip-up, fast-crank retrieve. Great for imitating fleeing sea herring, half beaks and mackerel. This is the preferred retrieve to breaking fish or blind casting in calm water when you know fish are in the area. Although this method is most commonly associated with the Hogy Epoxy Jig® Lure, variations can be made with the Hogy Slider and Pro Tail by pointing the rod tip slightly above the horizontal position and reeling quickly.
    1. Steps:
      1. Cast out, collect line.
      2. Point the rod at a 45-degree angle and increase reeling speed and rod tip height simultaneously,
      3. As you reel, twitch your rod back sporadically. This will cause your Epoxy Jig® Lure to pop in and out of the water simulating a fleeing bait fish.

B. Tip Down with three variations

  •  Tip down with three variations
      1. Reel-Reel-Reel-Pause / Reel-Reel-Reel-Pause: I like to alternate this retrieve with the skippy retrieve. It is similar in that it is a very high-speed retrieve but opposite in the sense that your rod tip is pointed low –literally in the water. This will allow you to have a very high retrieve speed without breaking the surface. Another variation I include with the retrieve is sporadic “stalls”. I will randomly pause for three seconds and immediately pick back up. This will often draw a strike.
      2. Medium sub-surface: This retrieve is best suited for casting to milling tuna, casting to nearby fish or in an area when you are marking shallow tuna. This retrieve is basically the same retrieve as the Hogy Slider. The tip will be basically horizontal to the water and retrieved at a medium pace.The Hogy Epoxy Jig® Lure will wobble at a very seductive pace.

C. Drop and Reel

  • Drop and Reel: This retrieve starts with the medium sub-surface retrieve but this time, you will introduce long pauses for up to a minute to let your bait settle as deep as 30’ before reeling again. This is an excellent retrieve for finicky fish. The Hogy Epoxy Jig’s® Lure relatively lightweight allows for a slow decent, which mimics a wounded or recently killed bait fish. The drop can also put your lure in the strike zone of suspended fish you may be marking on your fish finder. I like to try different “start-again” retrieves after the drop. Sometimes I will start slow while others are a hard start. I will switch over the course of one cast.