What's Biting: Now is the Time to Book a Fall Tuna Trip
Yum, yum! It’s almost tuna time along the Gulf Coast. October will surely bring in some cool air and a better chance to catch yellowfin tuna, one of the best-tasting, hardest-fighting fish in the Gulf.
An overnight trip on one of the many charter boats in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores area is required for the journey to tuna territory, which is usually around the deep-water rigs or along a rip that separates blue water from green water.
Sharing the cost makes it affordable for a group of friends and fishing buddies, and the reward is plenty of fresh tuna steaks to grill on college football Saturdays.
The charter boats will head out of Perdido Pass on their way to the floating rigs that attract pelagic fish like tuna and wahoo. On the way, you’ll likely stop to catch bait, mainly hardtails that will be used as live bait and as chum to get fish to the surface. Choose a charter boat with plenty of room to get some rest before the fishing starts, because it will likely be fast and furious when the fish are located and start biting.
The yellowfin never stops swimming on its search for a variety of sea creatures for a meal. That menu could include anything from squid to sardines to flying fish, which indicates how fast tuna can swim when it’s after dinner.
Depending on the water color and clarity, the charter captain will likely try slow-trolling during the daylight if water visibility is good. He’ll likely also drop live bait into deeper water to locate the big tuna.
Kite rigs are popular when the conditions allow. A live bait is deployed under a kite and allowed to dangle on the surface in hopes that a big yellowfin won’t be able to resist a chance at an easy meal.