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The Best Tuna Lures

Try some of these tuna lures the next time you are tuna fishing.

Updated:

February 12, 2020

Ready to put some delicious and hard-fighting tuna on the deck? Snap one of these trolling lures for tuna and head to the nearest rip line. Below are some of the best trolling lures for tuna.

Squid Tuna Lures

Squidnation Fat Daddy Squids
The Squidnation Fat Daddy Squids are a perfect tuna fishing lure. Courtesy

Soft plastic designed to mimic the real thing, squid lures are often rigged in daisy chains on heavy monofilament leader solo or with a small chugger lure at the end. The splashing and commotion help draw tuna into the spread. Brands include Squid Nation, Mold Craft and Boone.

Flying Fish Tuna Lures

Yummee3 lures
The Yummee Fly ‘N’ Fish is a prime trolling lure rigged in a series with a chugger. Bill Doster

Typically rigged with bird or in a series with a chugger, fake flying fish are meant to represent a major part of the tuna diet without the mess. Besides, flying fish are hard to procure unless you’re a champion skeet shooter. A top brand is Yummee.

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Small Chugger Tuna Lures

Bost Ahi Snacks Small Chugger
The Bost Ahi Snacks Small Chugger is great at drawing strikes. Courtesy

With a cupped face and pliable plastic skirt, chuggers create commotion as they spit and leave smoke trails on the surface. Color patterns resemble baitfish, but the noise and action trigger reactionary strikes. Brands include Mold Craft and Bost Ahi Snacks.

Green Machine Tuna Lures

Sevenstrand Green Machine lures
The Sevenstrand Green Machine lures might be one of the best tuna lures of all time. Courtesy

This classic acrylic jet head with a plastic skirt made by Sevenstrand is probably one of the best tuna lures of all time. Rigged alone or in a series, the action and resemblance to ballyhoo is too close for tuna to resist. Brands include Sevenstrand.

Metal Jet Head Trolling Lures

Metal Jet Heads Ilander lures
The metal jet head lures are a great option for tuna and other species. Courtesy

Similar to the Green Machine, these lures, rigged plain or in front of a ballyhoo, leave a long enticing smoke trail. They’re also inexpensive and easily rigged. Brands include Ilander and Bost.

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Feather Jig Tuna Lures

Zuker Tuna Feathers Feather Jig lures
The Zuker Tuna Feathers Feather Jig lures are great for finicky tuna. Courtesy

With colorful splayed feathers and acrylic jet heads, these lures over a lot of water and draw strikes when tuna get finicky. Brands include Zuker Tuna Feathers and World Wide Sportsman.

Cedar Plugs Tuna Lures

Cedar Plug Sea Striker lures
The Cedar Plug Sea Striker lures are simple and effective for tuna fishing. Courtesy

An effective lure originally employed by commercial fishermen, the venerable cedar plug still accounts for a considerable share of tuna every season. Painted versions like the white and red head offer contrast. The unfinished natural cedar soaked in menhaden oil adds scent to the equation. Brands include Sea Striker.

Topwater Popper Tuna Lures

Williamson Popper Pro Topwater Poppers lures
The Williamson Popper Pro topwater popper lures draw exciting strikes from tuna. Courtesy

To capitalize on surface feeding frenzies, like off Cape Cod or the Gulf rigs, tie on rugged popper and cast into the melee. Replicating hardtails, cigar minnows and menhaden, they drive fish wild. Just make sure the tackle—and angler—can withstand the subsequent battle. Brands include Yo-Zuri 3D Poppers, Guide’s Choice and Williamson.

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Next, check out the list of the best lures for catching trout.

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