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How to fish for Skipjack Tuna

Skipjack Tuna are found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters. Skipjack can be found in very large schools feeding at the surface at dawn and dusk. During other times they may retreat to deeper waters. Skipjack Tuna eat many types of fish, including herrings, menhaden, hake, mackerels, anchovies, as well as shrimp and squid.
Trolling small live baits or small lures, feathers, plastic squid or minnows at 4 to 6 knots is effective for Skipjack Tuna. Trolling strip baits at the surface at 7 to 10 knots will also produce well for Skipjack. Also casting shiny metal lures. Alternatively you can fly fish for Skipjack Tuna in combination with chum. Most Skipjack Tuna caught by sport fishermen are in the 5 to 15 pounds range.
One of the most exciting ways of fishing for Skipjack Tuna is to find a school of Skipjack feeding at the surface. Then with light tackle casting into the frenzied school with a small lure. Look for diving birds as a key to a probable bait ball and a good chance of finding feeding Skipjack.
To do this type of fishing you will need a light to medium action spinning reel with a matched rod that is 7 to 8 feet long. The spinning reel must have a large line capacity and be spooled with at least 250 yards of 10 to 12 pound test. Skipjack Tuna can have long high speed runs so a smooth drag is a must. At the end of your mainline tie a very small barrel swivel. To the other end of the barrel swivel attach a 15 to 20 inch piece of 10 pound fluorocarbon leader. Use small lures like the crippled herring, poppers, bibbed and bibless minnows, metal slices, lead-head jigs, flies and even soft plastics
Move your boat into position a casting length away from the school. Make a cast just in front of the moving school. When the lure hits the water let it sink for a second or two and make a steady rapid retrieval while holding the tip of the rod near the surface of the water. 


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