Fighting Big Tuna

By Ali Mufti

Tuna, especially when we are talking of fish over 40kg on 30lb tackle, require some specific fighting techniques. Short pumps and gaining of even a few inches of line ALL THE TIME is essential. The fish always benefits from rest more than the angler does so if you can keep working the fish then you are likely to tire it out quicker.

In addition to this, tuna always circle anti-clockwise, if you can work out where in the circle the fish is then the angler can use hits to his advantage by pumping and gaining line when the fish is circling upwards, and just trying to retain line when the fish is circling downwards. While it is true that one does not need to be in the best physical condition to play large, hardfighting fish well, it certainly does help. I also find it useful to eat as little as possible if a long fight is anticipated, as a heavy meal combined with the hot sun and a tough fish can make and angler feel sick after the first hour of fighting. Being mentally prepared for a long fight also helps. Often it takes all the skill and angler has to bring the fish to the boat only to have it empty out 200 yards again! This is when a strong mental attitude can help. I will not go into tackle details that are required as others are better qualified in that department Having said all of that, all anglers will find themselves in a position when they are unable to do much with a fish, some fish fight harder than others and if you fish long enough at Deep Blue Sea where there is no upper limit to the fish you can be matched up against, sooner or later the angler will lose a fight.

That’s why we love the sport.
That’s why it’s called fishing and not “catching”

I only wish someone had told me all these things in so much detail when I was starting off. It could have saved me some very large fish but it was fun to learn on my own through books and apply it to the real thing.

If any angler has experienced a though situation and learnt through it then share it with others so that they might not make the same mistakes.

So fight a large fish successfully next time, take a picture of it in the water, give it a salute for fighting well and release it to fight another day.

Wish you all a monster Tuna

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