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West Palm Beach, Fl Skipjack Tuna Fishing


Tuna (Skipjack) Fishing in West Palm Beach

Tuna (Skipjack) is one of the most under-appreciated fish in West Palm Beach. These tunas are in West Palm Beach all year round and at times are easier to target and catch than other tuna species in the area. Tuna (Skipjack) are delicious to eat and can be eaten raw as sushi like their cousin Tuna (Blackfin). You will find Tuna (Skipjack) in West Palm Beach mainly in the early morning and evenings and on overcast days crashing smalls baits around 200’-400’. During the day, these tunas will be mixed in with Bonita and Blackfins. Like other tunas, these fish fight hard all the way to the boat in West Palm Beach.

How to Find Tuna (Skipjack) in West Palm Beach

There are a few ways to find Tuna (Skipjack) in West Palm Beach. First is to look for them busting baits on the surface. When you locate a school of baitfish being pushed up on the surface, Tuna (Skipjack) will rocket out of the water when attacking them. Second is to look for “Tuna Birds”, these small birds follow schools of tuna feeding on small baitfish. The Tuna (Skipjack) school is always on the move so it can be tough at times to get ahead of them. Finally, if you find where the Bonita are feeding, there is a good chance that there are Tuna (Skipjack) mixed in with them in West Palm Beach. The Tuna (Skipjack) will many times hit the smaller baits of the larger ones in your spread compared to the Bonita.

Tips for catching Tuna (Skipjack) in West Palm Beach

When you are targeting Tuna (Skipjack) by chasing tuna birds in West Palm Beach, it can be impossible sometimes to get a head of the school and get trolling baits out. The best way to get into the school of Tuna (Skipjack) is to have a white bucktail jig on a pitch rod and run your boat ahead of where you think they are going and then throw the bucktail in front of them and reel in quickly. If you find them busting on the surface in West Palm Beach, get your trolling spread out and cruise the edges of where they are. Do not run over the school of Tuna (Skipjack) or they will go deep and move on to a new area. Finally, if you are looking for Tuna (Skipjack) amongst the Bonita in West Palm Beach, know that you will have to deal with catching Bonita as well. Put out the smallest lure you have in your box as this will be the one that they will bite and bump up your trolling speed.

Best Conditions for catching Tuna (Skipjack)

Tuna (Skipjack) are very similar to other species of Tuna and like the same conditions as other tuna as well. Often times, you can find them mixed right in with other species of Tuna. Lowlight conditions are best including first light, last light and overcast days. The Skipjack Tunas have incredible eyesight and feed best when there is contrast between the baitfish and the surface of the water. Choppy days are great for Tuna fishing, but these fish are easiest to find when the seas are slick calm. These conditions make it simple to spot clusters of birds picking on the surface, slicks, current breaks and bait pushed up against the surface. While this specie of Tuna isnt as commonly targetted in West Palm Beach, they are absolutely delicious so spotting a school of them while targetting other species is a welcomed treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What pound test line is used for Tuna (Skipjack) fishing in West Palm Beach?

30 Pound line test, either monofilament or braided line, with a fluorcarbon leader is perfect for Tuna (Skipjack)

What is the best lure for Tuna (Skipjack) in West Palm Beach?

The best lure for Tuna (Skipjack) is a surface popper. Having a popper ready is the best way to pick off a few of these guys as they pop up right next to your boat!

Where is the best Tuna (Skipjack) Fishing in West Palm Beach?

The best Tuna (Skipjack) Fishing in west palm beach is found from 200-800 feet of water. They are often mixed right in with other species of Tuna caught in West Palm Beach

What season is best for catching Skipjack Tuna in West Palm Beach?

The best season for catching Skipjacks is going to be in the spring when the big tunas make a run through West Palm Beach. However, Skipjacks can be caugh all year round.

Do I have to bleed Skipjack Tuna?

Yes. Tuna require some prep work before icing to help keep the meat the best it can be for the table. Use a serrated blade knife to remove the gills of the tuna, then make a small slice directly behind the pectoral fin on the side of the Tuna to bleed it out. Removing the guts from the Tuna and stuffing the cavity with ice is reccomended but not always necessary. After making these incisions, place the fish in a bucket of salt water to let it bleed out and then bury the fish in ice once it is bled properly. A saltwater slush is reccomended for keeping Tuna the coldest.

What should I look for while chasing Skipjack Tuna?

Lowlight times of the day, slick calm seas, clusters of birds picking on the surface, bait balls on the surface, slicks, flying fish, other species of Tuna

Do I need a Federal HMS Permit to keep Tuna (Skipjack)

No, you do not need a Federal HMS Permit to catch or keep Skipjack Tuna in West Palm Beach

Are Tuna (Skipjack) edible?

100% they are edible fish. Skipjacks are an underappreciated edible fish as they can be eaten cooked or raw as sushi.

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