Tuna Fishing

West of ireland

Reports of Giant Bluefin Tuna in the Clifden area prompted John to fit out Bluewater with a set of equipment necessary to tackle these monsters for the 2002 season.

Report from the Captain
At last and later than expected we got a good report of Tuna on 19th Sept. and immediately went to investigate. Sure enough clouds of Gannets were circling and diving amongst a number of breaks of Tuna. The Tuna are clearly visible as they hit the bait fish on the surface with some even coming completely out of the water after their quarry. Within minutes of arriving amongst the Tuna we were trolling and a short time later we had our first hook up.

The method of fishing is mostly trolling a variety of Lures, plug baits and spreader bars. Live bait fishing is also effective and using a kite is particularly exciting. The Mackerel is suspended on the surface amongst the break of Tuna by the Kite so you can see your bait and the fish feeding beside it.

If you are lucky enough to have a hook up you will be in the chair for at least an hour and it could be a lot longer. This is physically quite demanding and John will give you a run through on technique if you need it. The water is quite shallow, around 200ft, so the fish will run and unless the boat is backed up after it the chances of getting spooled are high. If the fish decides to run up wind you may find yourself getting a bit wet from the spray as the boat is backed into the waves but this just adds to the drama!

Bluewater's tackle consists of Penn 80lbs bent butt rods with Shimano Tiagra TI80 W reels to match. During the 2002 season the reels were loaded with a 200m mono top shot connected with a loop to loop connection to 500m of 130lbs Dacron.

The fishery is still in its infancy and there is a lot to learn and going on the experience of 2002 when there were confirmed reports of fish during early Sept. but it was not until 19th Sept that the first fish was caught. The fish will have gone by the first week in Nov.

Going on the experience of the 2002 season there is a very high probability of seeing these monsters feeding on the surface, which in itself is probably enough for most anglers. Bluewater made 18 trips to the ground and on 16, we saw thousands of Tuna splashing on the surface with some coming completely clear as the fed on the bait fish. The fish did not get to their dramatic size by accident and despite the frequent feeding frenzies they are very difficult to catch. In our 16 trips to the ground we had 6 takes which resulted in 3 hook ups and we landed all 3 fish.

At a Glance

  • Great Day Out.
  • John knows the Waters and where to find Tuna.
  • Great Accomodation and Hosts.
  • Great Guiness in Cliften.
  • Excellent Food.

Our Take

A great day out. You will enjoy your day out even if no tuna is caught. There will be lots of opportunities to catch other fish but the one I wanted on my line was the big guy! No luck though. I will try again.