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May 20, 2010

Four Choice Yellowfin Tricks

When the yellowfin tuna show up in Bahamian waters, these techniques will help you score.

Joe Mahler /

4. Go Airborne
Baits fished from kites often produce when nothing else will. Live baits transmit frantic sounds, which tuna and many other species find irresistible.

The last trick involves kites. As with chumming, stealth helps immensely, but if you fly a kite bait or two from a dead boat in the path of feeding fish, a strike will likely come. Once again, live baits work best, but they aren't necessary.

Dead flying fish and ballyhoo work well too. Savvy captains have refined their techniques with these baits, pinning the wings of flying fish open with light wire so they look natural while lying on the surface beneath the kite. You can also fly the kite out far from the boat while holding the bait in your hand. When the kite and the release pin are far away, toss the bait overboard and reel fast: The bait skips across the surface and away from the boat like a fleeing fish and often draws a strike.

Kites also work well when you're doing several kinds of fishing at once. Since yellowfin often feed along reefs, many captains anchor and fish deep for snapper and grouper while deploying a kite in the hopes of intercepting tuna that are feeding up and down the line. Such opportunistic methods work well and maximize your chances of having a successful day.

The Bahamas

What: Yellowfin tuna.
When: April to August.
Where: Here's a list of Bahamian ports where you're likely to find schools of yellowfin close by.

Grand Bahama Island

Old Bahama Bay

Blue Marlin Cove

Port Lucaya Marina

Harbour Island

Valentines Resort

Harbour Island Marina

Tongue of the Ocean

Chub Cay

Andros Lighthouse Yacht Club

San Salvador

Riding Rock Resort