Tuna (Albacore) Fishing (Thunnus alalunga)

All Tackle Record
88lbs, 2oz

Tuna (Albacore) Fishing (Thunnus alalunga)

Albacore Tuna are fast and voracious predators of extreme commercial importance and are praised as great light tackle game fish among recreational anglers.

Other species of Tuna (and Bonito and Mackerel) are often mistakenly labled as Albacore, but there are a couple of key distinctions - this Tuna also goes by the name "Longfin", referring to their pectoral fins, which are more elongated than in other species, and this is the only type of Tuna, other than the Blackfin, that has white meat and can be marketed as such.

Like some other species of Tuna, Albacore have lost the pumping mechanism that creates waterflow over the gills in order to acquire oxygen. Because of this, they must constantly move to be able to breathe and eat to replenish the energy spent on moving. This, combined with the fact that they sometimes move in schools 20 miles wide, definitely spells good fishing.

How big

Albacore Tuna catches average at about 25'' and between 20 and 45lbs. They can reach a maximum of 55'' and, supposedly, 130lbs, though a fish of this size is yet to be officially recorded.

When & Where

This species inhabits tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, including the Mediterannean Sea. Major fisheries include Japan, New Zealand, the West Coast of the US (California, Oregon and Washington) and Bay of Biscay off France and Spain.

Spawning takes place seasonally at several distinct spots - in the south and north Pacific, west Atlantic and south Indian oceans and off Brazil. Some fish will also make seasonal migrations into colder waters farther north and south than their habitat zone.

How to catch

Like other Tuna species, trolling is the most effective way to land an Albacore. Live bait is optimal and any local small fish, such as anchovies, sardines, mullet, herrings, but squid as well, will be good. Artificial choices include feathered jigs, cedar plugs and spoons. Fluorocarbon leaders should be used on account of excellent Tuna eyesight.

Albacore can be caught on very light tackle, but their first run can strip off hundreds of yards of line in seconds. They swim all their lives, and so, like all Tuna, are all muscle and will fight until the last second. It's important to boat the first hooked fish because, if it gets unhooked and swims away, the rest of the school might follow suit.

Good to eat?

Possibly the tastiest white meat fish, sold canned throughout the world. Contains moderate levels of mercury and shouldn't be consumed in excess.


Season - always open;

Size limit - none;

Bag limit (per angler per day) - none;

Similar Game Fish:

Tuna (Albacore) Fishing Destinations