• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On June 15, 2018
  • Comments
  •  3

With recent bombastic action on 50 to 100-pound bluefin tuna on the midshore grounds, know your end game once you get the tuna near boatside.

Everybody should understand their responsibilities beforehand so an organized, tight operation is enacted to insure full success and thick tuna steaks for the summer grill.

You see color. The tuna is coming up as it enters its death circles. This is the crucial time to have the proper accessories to finish the battle. The wireman should be primed and ready to grab the leader. Donned with Deep Ocean gloves and a strong grip, hand over hand, palms down, the wireman pulls the leader up to control the tuna just under the water surface. Its time to deploy the gaff. Various sizes of gaffs should be on deck to stick and get around the girth of the tuna you are targeting. Generally, a 5 to 6-inch gap 6-foot hand gaff by Aftco will fit the bill. Once the first gaff is sunk into the head, another gaff can be sunk into the same area to insure the tuna is secured.

Obviously, before you gaff it, with a quick visual look you must determine if it falls into the legal marks with regulations of two bluefin of 27 to less than 47 inches, and one between 47 and less than 73 inches. If it’s too close to call, try and pull the tuna onboard sans gaff. Have a proper Cuda measuring ruler on deck, which can easily be folded up for storage and stays taut and true even with plenty of tuna slime and/or gook on the ruler. Release the fish it if its undersized. Once a legal tuna is on board, you will need to bleed it and keep iced down. Insert a Cuda knife right behind the pectoral fin to bleed it out. Next, its time to break out the fish bags for storage such as made by Reliable. Be prepared with plenty of fresh ice on hand to pad the bag or cooler to keep the tuna cool and to not spoil any of the hard-earned meat. If you have the budget, and if you don’t have a proper tuna hold on deck, procure a large tuna chest such as the Yeti Tundra 250 cooler.

Once at dock, an expert cut is needed to properly loin the fish and steak it out with a Bubba Blade 9-inch stiffie knife and Cuda 18090 fillet knife to cut the proper loins off it, then you can skin it or cut it into Ziploc bag sized steaks.

Its tuna time! Fire up the engines….

Gear Used


Leadering Glove

The Deep Ocean Lightweight Leadering Glove is compatible with all touch screens. This glove will not limit you from using your electronics or texting/taking a picture of your catch, even works wet! The specialized palm grips those slippery gaffs.



Aluminum Gaffs

The slim, tapered shape of AFTCO’s Tapper-Tip Aluminum Gaffs make them lightning fast in the water – easier to maneuver and deadly accurate. They’re stronger and lighter too, so they bring fish into the boat with less flailing and confusion.



Fiberglass Gaffs

AFTCO fiberglass, tapered gaffs feature a special thick-walled, extremely strong but lightweight e-glass handle construction custom made for extreme strength and rigidity. All of our fiberglass handles are made on proprietary mandrels using specific tapers.



120in Tape Measure

Cuda 18135 120in Tape Measure is designed with waterproof nylon material. Made for accurate measuring up to 120in.



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