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Yellowfin Tuna Fishing in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the few places in the world where you can still catch a 50 kg yellowfin tuna

Best time: May–September

Yellowfin Tuna Fishing
Yellowfin Tuna Fishing

Tuna is one of the most common fish consumed in Hawaii. Skipjack tuna weighing 5 kg or more is a local staple food that you can try at any restaurant. However, anglers from all over the world flock to Hawaii, hoping to catch a large yellowfin tuna or 'ahi' that has become rather rare. The best chance to catch tuna is during the summer months. The air might be very hot during these months, but the ocean is much calmer than in the winter.

As a rule, yellowfin tuna travel in large groups and are frequently followed by dolphins, so they are easier to be found in the deeper waters around the island. Once they are detected, bait them using anchovies, sardines, or even mackerel. When fished out, yellowfin tuna typically do not jump, but they are capable of making sudden sideways turns, which, considering their weight, can be a truly exhausting experience when trying to reel one in.

The flesh coloration of yellowfin tuna ranges from pink in small fish to deep red in large fish. Large fish are considered to have a higher content of fat than smaller fish, and this is a desirable characteristic for raw fish products, as well as for broiling and searing.

Yellowfin tuna is more common to be found in waters near Hale’iwa, Kona, Hilo, Wai’anae, Nawiliwili Harbor.

Practical info

When is the prime season to capture yellowfin tuna in Hawaii?

May to September is the ideal season for fishing yellowfin tuna in Hawaii. During these months, the ocean is calm, and schools of yellowfin tuna are found more frequently in the deeper waters surrounding the island. Anglers from different parts of the world come to Hawaii to catch the 50-kg yellowfin tuna, known as 'ahi.' Show more

What type of bait is incorporated to capture yellowfin tuna in Hawaii?

Anchovies, sardines, and mackerel are the baits that anglers use to capture yellowfin tuna in Hawaii. As yellowfin tuna is attracted to the movement of the bait, they can be found commonly in the deep waters surrounding the island. Once a school of yellowfin tuna is spotted, it is essential to use bait that is similar to their natural prey as they match the hatch. Show more

Is yellowfin tuna frequently eaten in Hawaii?

Yellowfin tuna is a staple in Hawaiian cuisine. For instance, skipjack tuna weighing 5 kg or more is commonly consumed in Hawaii and is an ingredient in many native dishes. However, the larger yellowfin tuna that anglers capture are considered a rare delicacy and are prized by food connoisseurs. Show more

Which locations in Hawaii are the best sites for yellowfin tuna fishing?

Yellowfin tuna fishing is excellent around the islands of Maui, Honolulu, Kauai, and the Big Island. Locations like Hale’iwa, Kona, Hilo, and Wai’anae are particularly popular spots to catch a giant yellowfin tuna. These locations are suitable for anglers as they provide calm waters and a great opportunity to land a big fish. Show more

What is the typical weight of a yellowfin tuna caught in Hawaii?

The typical catch-weight of a yellowfin tuna in Hawaii varies between 30 to 200 lbs. Although, the biggest recorded yellowfin tuna caught in Hawaii weighed over 300 lbs. Hawaii is known for its high catch-rate and its yellowfin tuna has an increased fat content which can be beneficial for cooking and raw fish-based products. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin