Catching MORE Blackfin Tuna with Micro Slow Pitch Jigs - Marea Fishing

Catching MORE Blackfin Tuna with Micro Slow Pitch Jigs

Catching More Black fin Tuna with Micro Slow Pitch Jigs: A Comprehensive Guide


Fishing for black fin tuna is an exhilarating experience that combines skill, patience, and the right tackle. One of the most effective methods to enhance your catch rate of this coveted species is using micro slow pitch jigs. In this blog post, founder of Marea Fishing & former Co-Host of an 11x Telly Award winning educational saltwater fishing television series dives deep into the techniques and strategies for using these jigs to significantly improve your black fin tuna fishing adventures.


Understanding Black fin Tuna

black fin tuna east Smash jig 150G

Before delving into the specifics of micro slow pitch jigs, it's vital to understand a bit about black fin tuna—where they live, how they feed, and what makes them tick. Black fin tuna are among the smaller of the tuna species found in the Atlantic, but what they lack in size, they make up for in tenacity and fight. They're typically found in warmer waters and are notorious for their schooling nature and fast feeding habits.

Why Micro Slow Pitch Jigs?

Micro slow pitch jigs are designed to mimic the small baitfish which black fin tuna regularly prey on. The "micro" aspect of these jigs refers to their smaller size, making them ideal for targeting the often-overlooked medium-sized fish that can provide a spicy fight. These jigs work through a technique known as slow-pitch jigging—a method that involves a slower, yet rhythmic lifts and falls of the jig to create a tantalizing action that mimics injured or distressed prey. Over 90% of the bites happen on the fall as the "hang time" or fluttering movements of the jig replicate a wounded sardine or pilchard and the black fin's instinct is simply to swoop on in and pick up an easy meal.



Gear and Setup

3v Jig catches nice blackfin tuna

 To effectively use micro slow pitch jigs, you'll need the right gear:

- Rod: A medium-light to medium-heavy jigging rod that is responsive and can handle the quick, sharp movements needed for jigging.

- Reel: A high-quality spinning or conventional reel with a smooth drag system to handle the rapid runs of a hooked blackfin tuna.

- Line: Thinner diameter yet extremely durable braided line is preferred as a superline for its strength & sensitivity.

- Jig: Micro jigs typically ranging from 30 to 150 grams, tailored to the depth and current of the fishing area. The shape of the jig can also play a major role in getting more consistent bites as the conditions change while on the water. Here is Florida, locals have a saying - wait 5 minutes and the weather can change. The same philosophy goes for targeting black fin. Some days a more stamped out profile like the Smash jigs in 80G will be the ticket the fish can't resist. On days with less current yet you're marking plenty of fish 50-100ft below the surface, a jig with a profile having more dramatic angles to the shape of the jig will carve through the water column on the way down enticing and calling more attention to itself than one lacking the curves.


Technique Tips


- Depth Matters: Black fin tuna often patrol the water column at various depths, so start by dropping your jig to the bottom and work your way up until you find where the fish are feeding. 

- Jigging Action: Use a series of sharp, quick jerks followed by a fall phase where the jig flutters downwards. This mimicking of a wounded baitfish is often irresistible to predatory tuna.

- Color and Light: Choose jig colors based on the light conditions and water clarity. Bright, reflective colors work well on sunny days, while darker colors may be more effective in overcast conditions or deeper waters.


Best Conditions and Locations

 - Time of Day: Early morning or late afternoon are prime times for blackfin as they are more actively feeding during these times.

- Current and Structure: Look for areas with significant underwater structure or where strong currents meet calmer waters, as black fin tuna often use these areas to ambush prey.


On the water examples 

 Imagine a typical scenario where you're off the coast of Florida, the sun just peeking over the horizon. You drop your 100-gram silver micro jig down to a reef where you know black fin frequent and are also marking fish on the sounder. Using a slow and methodically jigging action, you entice a strike just as the jig begins its flutter on the fall—a prime example of effective slow pitch jigging.


Conservation and Ethical Angling

While pursuing black fin tuna with micro slow pitch jigs can be highly productive, it's vital to practice ethical angling. This includes adhering to size and bag limits, practicing catch and release when appropriate, and using gear that minimizes harm to the fish. Let me be clear in saying there is nothing wrong with harvest a few fish for your use as long as you stay within the legal limits. Fresh black fin tuna rivals just about any of the tuna species when prepared correctly.


Wrapping up

Micro slow pitch jigging for blackfin tuna offers a unique and effective way to target one of the ocean's speediest predators. By understanding the nuances of this technique and applying it in the right conditions, anglers can enjoy not only increased success but also the thrill of engaging directly with the dynamic behaviors of blackfin tuna. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a curious novice eager to expand your fishing repertoire, the world of micro slow pitch jigging promises adventure and excitement on every outing.


By embracing the insights and techniques discussed here, you're well on your way to mastering one of the most exciting aspects of sport fishing and tackle black fin on a consistent basis.