What's hot: Blackfin tuna are starting to show in the deeper waters off the coast. Due to the lack of shrimp boats working in our area it will be more difficult to target these fish. We have been fishing for grouper and snapper in depths of 120 feet or more lately, but there is a flat line with a live sardine or cigar minnow out also. These tuna average 20 to 30 pounds, so heavier tackle will help shorten the fight.
Tactics: Tuna can be attracted by chumming. The best chum is fresh-caught horse minnows or smaller threadfin herring. Periodically toss a few of these live chummers over the side while bottom fishing. Tuna rarely travel alone, so when one is caught more are likely around.
Tackle: For the well being of the fish we use at least 30-pound tackle. In the past we have caught wahoo and kingfish using this technique so it is a good idea to use a wire leader in the 40-pound range and a 5/0 to 7/0 hook.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.