Gear: Hogy System Casting Lures for Bluefin Tuna and How to Fish Them #209

Capt. Mike Hogan’s Favorite Casting Lures for Bluefin Tuna and How to Fish Them

A quick recap of the different retrieval methods Capt. Mike uses when casting and jigging for tuna include the (A) Fast Skippy Retrieve, a tip-up, fast-crank retrieve; (B) Tip Down with variations, Reel-Reel-Pause and Medium Sub-Surface; and (C) Drop and Reel.

Hogy Sliders: Sliders are great for imitating tuna that are keyed in on mackerel, sea herring and half beaks. Sliders are also great for blind casting as their large size presents a very visible target. You’ll want to fish sliders on a medium retrieve with your rod pointed so that it is slightly upward – almost horizontal to the water. The lure is designed to have a slow, side-to-side wobble built in.

    • Method: B
    • Imitates: mackerel, sea herring and half beaks
    • Hogy Shop Link: Hogy Sliders

Epoxy Jigs®: Large tuna sized Hogy Epoxy Jigs® should be in every tackle box. The Hogy Epoxy Jigs® are similar in length but more slender than the slider. If matching the hatch, they are ideal for imitation medium sized sea herring, mackerel and half-beaks. The Hogy Epoxy Jig® can be fished in three different ways, making them very adaptable to just about any casting situation you may encounter.

Hogy “DW”: The soft, flexible action of a lightly weighted soft bait dancing on the surface is hard for any tuna to resist. A lightly weighted soft bait can tempt even the most finicky tuna. Unfortunately, lightly weighted soft baits have two major disadvantages: 1) HDW’s are light and difficult to cast on the heaviest of tuna gear and 2) birds get to them so quickly.

    • Method: A, B
    • Imitates: Sand eels mackerel, sea herring and half beaks
    • Hogy Shop Link: Hogy Doublewides

Hogy Pro Tail Paddle: The Hogy Pro Tail Paddle is a perfect imitator of any medium sized bait fish. The nice feature about this series is that they come in a variety of weights up to 6oz. The 4oz through 6oz are the most popular. It’s the only soft bait in its class with that much weight which makes the lure unique in that you can cast it with heavy tuna gear. Another benefit from the heavy weights is that this lure can switch hit from casting to jigging, making it incredibly versatile.

    • Method: A, B, C
    • Imitates: Sand eels mackerel, sea herring and half beaks
    • Hogy Shop Link: Hogy Pro Tail Paddles

Sand Eel Jigs: We introduced the 4.5oz Sand Eel Jig in 2018 and it is one of our best kept secret lures for casting to sand eel-hungry Bluefin tuna. This lure has a relatively compact silhouette relative to its weight, making it a very long-range casting lure. This comes in handy when it’s difficult to get to feeds in time and, similar to the Hogy Pro Tail Paddle, it’s unique in that it can fish in relatively shallow water as easily as it can be fished 100’ down.

    • Method: B, C
    • Imitates: Sand eels mackerel, sea herring and half beaks
    • Hogy Shop Link: 4.5oz Sand Eel Jigs

Hogy Herring Jigs: The 4.5oz Herring Jig is a simple jig that mimics full figured, but small to medium sized, baitfish such as halfbeaks and sea herring. Like the Sand Eel Jig, it is a casting machine and a good go-to in windy, fall conditions. The Herring Jig has a slender body from pectoral fin spot to pectoral fin spot which results in a lure that wants to climb toward the surface on a retrieve. The shape also results in a fluttering action on the drop which is a deadly technique when tuna are busting but have lock jaw.