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Old 07-08-2019, 08:45 AM   #1
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Does anyone ever spear Yellowfin (in California)

The amount of tuna off SoCal is crazy right now, but they seem much harder to see underwater compared to June.

Does anyone in SoCal ever spear yellowfin? Or are they just too spooked compared to bluefin?

Also, anyone have any tips for telling bluefin apart from yellowfin from the boat? It seems like yellowfin jump more while bluefin just make splashes, but maybe Iím wrong.

We spent hours chasing and swimming up to good foamers one day and never saw the fish underwater, just microbait and scales. Finally yesterday we got a few on the boat, but they were all bluefin
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:55 AM   #2
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Re: Does anyone ever spear Yellowfin (in California)

no pics man?
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: Does anyone ever spear Yellowfin (in California)

The yellowfin schools in local waters over the past few years are generally smaller, faster moving schools compared to the bluefin. Several have been shot, most notably Paul's 63 pound state record in late 2016. Around that time I had several experiences where I metered small, scratchy schools deeper in the water column that we suspected were YFT. I believe Paul shot his fish on a similar mark. Those schools didn't want to come up and float under the boat like the BFT, so they're pretty tough to get a diver into.

Telling them apart from the boat when they're up on the surface is pretty tough unless you see one go airborne. There are certain behaviors that seem to be unique to BFT, the big foamers and the breezers have always been BFT in my experience. The little puddling schools of small fish that move fast and go down quickly can be either kind but are often YFT.

It's funny because people I know with experience shooting YFT in mainland Mex swear they're even easier than BFT when you get into them, but that's certainly not been the case locally. I still haven't seen YFT in the water yet personally.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: Does anyone ever spear Yellowfin (in California)

In 2015 there were a lot of mixed schools. We saw plenty of bigger bft with yft tuna mixed in but that seems to be the exception. Since then, they seem to generally be separate schools but areas can overlap. Around the same time Paul got his record 66, there was at least one other that was shot that was a little smaller. Agree on hard to tell apart other than airborne fish or big breezers. Generally the yft are moving quick.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:03 AM   #5
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Re: Does anyone ever spear Yellowfin (in California)

I attempted to last September but as mentioned above all of the tuna were rather small and moving at lightning speeds. I only got 1 chance at lining up a shot on one but it maintained the perfect 3í buffer I needed to close to feel comfortable with taking a shot. That said the hook an lining was a BLAST!!!
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Old 07-10-2019, 05:23 PM   #6
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Re: Does anyone ever spear Yellowfin (in California)

I've been buzzed by small yellowfin a couple times on paddies back in 2014... each time they were hauling ass and I couldn't close the gap with my 120cm railgun

If you know there's tuna in the area it wouldn't hurt to dive paddies with a tuna gun, I've seen both yellowfin and bluefin under paddies and each time they were acting skittish
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:45 PM   #7
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Re: Does anyone ever spear Yellowfin (in California)

Thanks for the info guys. I actually have seen football sized YFT under a paddy before as well but the visibility was around 100' and they would not come much closer than that. They were also being chased by a sea lion the whole time.

I thought I would have better luck out there recently with the way they were foaming, but somehow they always could see me before I saw them and always split before I could see one. Good to know that is is indeed possible to spear a california YFT though. May have to keep trying this coming weekend.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:52 PM   #8
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Re: Does anyone ever spear Yellowfin (in California)

...They can pop up in the most unusual places....Did a solo run out to San Clemente island last year to just kick back alone with nature...While anchored up on the inside mid-island eating lunch, a pod of critters came up the island toward me in 90' of water....I thought, "porpoise or dolphins surfing up and down while feeding".....The surface was like a lake, as I casually watched the pod skimmng along on the surface as they approached..
...As the pod went by the front of my boat, one of the critters rolled on it's side to reveal a giant yellow sickle fin... They were Yellowfin, in the 90 pound, or more, class!
Moral: be ready at all times...opportunity can come up quickly and disappear just as quickly...these days, I carry a large snap-on commercial buoy and 200' of lne on board, ready to go, free style....
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