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Guide to Setting up for Barrel Blue Fin Tuna

by Troy Chomenko 30 Mar 2024 0 Comments

Reel N Deal Tackle's guide to setting up a barrel blue fin tuna fishing equipment requires careful consideration of equipment and lures to attract and catch these powerful fish. Here's a general guide on how to set up your rig and some recommended lures to use for barrel tuna fishing:

1. **Rod and Reel Setup:**
- Choose a 24-37 kg heavy-duty overhead rod and overhead reel combo capable of handling the strength and size of barrel tuna.
- Opt for a overhead reel 30w or 50w reel with a high line capacity and smooth drag system to battle these large, fast-swimming fish.

2. **Line and Leader:**
- Use a strong and abrasion-resistant mainline, such as braided line, in the range of 80-100 lb test to withstand the power of barrel tuna.
- Attach a 150-300 lb wind on monofilament or fluorocarbon leader minimum length of 20 m in length to provide extra protection against sharp teeth or rough surfaces.

3. **Terminal Tackle:**
- Consider using heavy-duty ball bearing coast lock swivels and solid snap swivels to prevent line twists and ensure smooth bait presentation.
- Use quality stainess steel 8/0-10/0 J hooks for rigging skirted lures and stainless steel circle hooks or tuna hooks in sizes ranging from 13/0 to 16/0, depending on the bait size.

4. **Bait and Lures:**
- For barrel tuna fishing, popular bait options include live baitfish like red bait, mackerel, sardines, or squid rigged on circle hooks for a natural presentation.
- Recommended lures for barrel tuna include hard body divers, large poppers, stickbaits, and skirted trolling lures that mimic the movement of prey fish.
- Choosing lure colours like pink, lumo green, silver or blue to attract the attention of barrel tuna in deep offshore waters. Come in and see us for up to date information on what lures and colour are working in certain locations. We can also help with setting up your lure spread and where to run each skirt lure depending on the head styles you've chosen.

5. **Techniques:**
- When targeting barrel tuna, consider trolling large skirted lures and hardbody divers at varying depths to cover a wide range of water columns where tuna might be feeding.
- If using live bait, deploy a few lines at different depths to increase your chances of attracting tuna schools passing through the area or keep a look out for bait fish schools on your sounder, bird activity and dolphins to help you possibly locate tuna.
- Be prepared for fast and powerful runs once a barrel tuna is hooked, and maintain steady pressure to tire the fish and bring it alongside the boat for landing or tag and release.

Remember, barrel tuna fishing requires patience, skill, and proper gear to handle these heavyweight fish. Always follow local regulations and best practices for ethical fishing practices to conserve tuna populations and ensure sustainable fishing for future generations.

The team at Reel N Deal Tackle will help you through the whole process from choosing the right rod and reel, to spooling the reel with braid or monofilament depending on your budget. We will run you through lure types and colours and the best position to run these lures in your lure spread for ultimate success. 

Be sure to check out Tuna Champions to increase your knowledge on handling techniques, releasing, best ways to keep your fish in the premium condition ready to eat.

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