Topwater Tuna Below The Birds

Capt. Cullen Lundholm & Capt. Mike Hogan show us how to get below the birds and target large surface feeding tuna using the 6oz Charter Grade Slider.

Gear List:

Rod: Shimano TZS78XHBLK Terez Spinning Rod

Reel: Shimano Saragossa 20k

Line: 80# Sufix 832 Ghost

Leader: Sufix 100# windon

Surface Tuna Casting

Get Under Aggressive Birds and Target Slow Feeding Tuna

Go Heavy and Get Under!

There are very few things in life more frustrating than whiffing on a hard to get to feeding tuna because a bird grabbed your lure, damaging your leader and eliminating your short window of opportunity!

By casting a heavy-weight a 6oz slider you can largely avoid this issue and get under aggressive birds when lure lands on the water. The Hogy 6oz slider will sink just fast enough to drop “just below the bird strike-zone” but stay “just in the tuna strike-zone”.

The two other benefits of fishing with heavy-weight sliders are that (1) the 6oz version casts a mile and (2) the heavy-weight slider is super easy to fish-even in windy situations. Just cast – sink – and reel! The heavy lure will due to the rest including fight off the wind and birds!

3 Steps with Captain Mike…

Choosing the right lure in these conditions makes or breaks your hook up ratio. Given the vast amount of life from whales to breaking tuna to hundreds of birds, Capt. Hogan chose the Heavy-Weight 6oz Slider (for casting distance and fast sink rate) in glow color (for high visibility).

1: Carefully approach the school as to not disturb the feeding cycle. I prefer the “walk and gun” method so as not to spook the fish.

2: As hard on your nerves as it is, be patient with your cast! If possible, wait for a big boil and drop the plug right in it. Remember, you are competing with massive amounts of bait, likely densely packed sand eels. Try to drop it on a tuna’s head. With so much bait in the water, it’s tough to get seen. I find these bait dense situations, it can difficult to find these fish blind casting. THAT SAID: If there are two anglers, have one blind cast, the other site cast to targets.

3: After you’ve made your cast, let the lure sink for maybe three to five seconds. This added time will give your lure a chance to bypass the birds and get to work catching tuna! A slow/medium to medium/fast retrieve is recommended but implementing pauses and changing the retrieve speed throughout each cast can stir up commotion and draw a reaction strike.


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