Thunnus Albacares or Yellowfin Tuna is one of the coolest fish to catch, in my opinion. They’re unbelievably strong, put up a great fight and are exceptionally delicious to eat – both raw as sushi or sashimi or slightly grilled/seared.
After doing a bit of research online, we discovered that the Yellowfin Tuna lives in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world and is among the larger tuna species, growing up to 400 pounds / 180 kg. However, they don’t match up with e.g. the Bluefin Tuna that can reach more than 1,000 pounds / 450 kg! Allegedly, the 2012 record was a 427 pounds Yellowfin that some lucki fishermen caught in California.
The Yellowfin lives about 6 or 7 years and matures around the ages of 2-3. The female in the Caribbean spawns from July – November, every 3 days and can release between 1 and 4 million eggs during this season.
The name comes from the large second dorsal fins, anal fins and small finlets that have a bright yellow color. The rest of the body has different colors. The top of the fish is dark blue, the middle part is yellow and gold and the bottom (the belly) is silver colored.
Its body is shaped like a torpedo – built for speed and an incredibly strong and fast swimmer that can reach speeds of up to 50 mph.
The Yellowfin travels in schools, which may include other species of tuna – all of them more or less similar size. The Yellowfin is at the top of the food chain, feeding on other fish (e.g. flying fish and mackerel), crustaceans and squid and in return, other fish such as wahoo or marlins as well as sharks feed on the Yellowfins.
You’ll most likely find the Yellowfin Tuna in the warm surface waters in depths of less than 200 meters / 650 feet. The tuna is usually found in depths of approximately 100 meters / 330 feet, offshore and likes to hang around drifting wood or pallets and it may even follow moving vessels.
Fishing for Yellowfin Tuna:
We don’t catch tuna very often, but we were lucky enough to catch a beautiful Yellowfin Tuna on one of our recent fishing trips out of Punta Cana (actually, it was my first). It was a rather small tuna that only weighed about 18 kg / 40 pounds. We sliced a piece of it right away to eat as a very fresh sashimi and the rest went on the BBQ for a fantastic dinner that very same evening.
If you want to go fishing and try to catch a Yellowfin Tuna, you can send me an email anytime at email@example.com