For the past several years, the nearshore Bluefin tuna bite off Southern and Central California have gotten increased attention from anglers looking to maximize on this incredible fishery.
Hogy Lures offers a variety of Tuna grade jigs, plugs and softbaits that are ideal for imitating smaller forage, commonly found amongst migratory tuna schools.
These tuna are primarily focused on small Anchovy (3"-4" long) or flying fish. Here's our smart, simple, and easy-to-replicate game plan for targeting this finicky Bluefin.
Surface Foaming / Topwater Applications: When bluefin are keyed in on small anchovy near the surface, small presentations are crucial to draw strikes on ultra finicky bluefin.
Hogy 5.5" Charter Grade Popper: Simply cast your popper into the surface foaming tuna and allow it to lay motionless for up to a minute at a time. Tiny pops can be used with very long pauses. The goal is to have a tuna strike the popper while is lying motionless.
Hogy 2oz Epoxy Jig Lure with 4/0 Assist Hook: This highly imitative offering has a very slow fall and flutter action, imitating a small wounded anchovy. We recommend using a lighter leader and a Medium Heavy outfit for the best casting range. Allow the jig to sink for twenty to sixty seconds with an open spool. Pay close attention as the lure sinks for any line twitches, indicative of a light strike. After sinking for up to sixty seconds, retrieve the lure with short, sharp rod twitches and impart long pauses to allow the lure to flutter fall on the drop.
Tuna Suspended at 100' - 150' Depths: When surface foaming subsides, tuna will seek refuge in the mid-water column. Small, heavy weighted presentations will get you in the strike zone and elicit strikes from finicky tuna.
Hogy 2oz Heavy Minnow Jig with 4/0 Assist Hook: This small profiled metal is ideal for fishing deeper in the water column with a very small profile. Swap out the stock treble hook and replace it with a 4/0 Assist Teaser Hook for a tuna grade, micro forage imitator. Allow the jig to sink for twenty to sixty seconds with an open spool. Pay close attention as the lure sinks for any line twitches, indicative of a light strike. After sinking for up to sixty seconds, retrieve the lure with short, sharp rod twitches and impart long pauses to allow the lure to flutter fall on the drop.
Hogy 3.5oz - 4.5oz Flutter Pitch Jig: These slow-pitch style flat-sided metals are ideal for working specific depths of the water column. The flat-sided design offers maximum flutter with minimal rod tip movement. Simply sink to your desired depth and retrieve the jig using the reel, pause and follow the jig down with your rod tip until it reaches the water. Repeat this retrieve working the desired depths.
Bluefin Feeding on Flying Fish: While floating helium balloons with a flying fish imitator is popular for target large CA Bluefin, suspending stick baits, like the 7" Charter Grade Slider are ideal for imitating a large flying fish.
7" 6oz Charter Grade Slider: To imitate Flying Fish, we recommend Purple, Blue, or Black colors, imitative of a live flying fish. These plugs are designed to sink horizontally at a rate of two feet per second. Begin working the plugs near the surface, progressively allowing the Slider to sink deeper as you continue casting. Work the plug as deep as thirty to fifty feet down by allowing it to sink up to thirty seconds or more.
6oz Tuna Harness Jig: This ultra heavy duty tuna softbait is great for quickly reaching deeper depths and offers a large profile, similar to a fleeing flying fish. Allow the jig to sink to target depths and begin retrieving with a slow twitch motion, working it upwards in thew water column by twenty to thirty feet, then allowing it to sink back down again. Strikes can be very subtle, pay close attention to your line on the drop for any indication of a strike.