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Scientific nameThunnini
Yellow Fin Tuna
Types of Tuna: Yellowfin, Bluefin, Big Eye, Albacore

General Information


The Thunnus Albacares, commonly known as the Yellowfin Tuna, is one of the larger species of Tuna. Yellowfin can grow up to seven feet in length and weigh over 400 pounds. The Yellowfin has three distinct color sections on its torpedo-shaped body; they have a dark blue top, yellow stripe down the middle, and silver on the bottom. These Tuna get their name from their bright yellow dorsal and anal fins, plus a series of small finlets that line the spine down to the caudal fin.

Yellowfin reproduce by a method called “broadcast spawning”. This means male and females release their eggs and sperm into the same water column for external fertilization. This method promotes fertilization while also curtailing egg predators. They start out as microscopic larvae, and within two years are sexually mature at three feet long. Yellowfin mainly inhabit offshore waters at various depths. They travel in schools once they are mature, and have been observed swimming with other species.

Yellowfin Tuna are strong, fast swimmers. Like sharks, they must maintain movement to breathe. Their size and speed makes them excellent predators. Because of their drastic lifecycle, Yellowfin eat almost anything. They can maintain a body temperature above the temperature of the surrounding water. This allows them to swim faster, giving them an advantage in colder waters. Yellowfin are a highly sought after gamefish. However, because of fisheries, their conservation status is only near threatened.




The Bluefin Tuna is a member of the Scombridae family, and has a scientific name of Thunnus Thynus. They are one of the largest bony fish in the sea, averaging 6.5 feet and 500-plus lbs., though larger Bluefin are common. They have a robust frame and cone shaped head with a large mouth opening. The top of their body is a metallic blue, and the bottom is a silver-white color. Their caudal fins are a bright yellow, and their pectoral fins are distinctive in their shortness. Their eyes do not bulge out like other fish, creating an extensively streamlined figure.

The Atlantic Bluefin spawn in two general areas: Western Mediterranean and Gulf of Mexico. They spawn in large groups, which puts them at risk of commercial fishing. They reach their sexual maturity between ages eight and twelve, and spawn only once a year. Bluefin can produce up to ten million eggs. However, only a fraction of these eggs will make it to adulthood. This too puts the species at risk.

Like Yellowfin Tuna, Bluefin start out incredibly small. Because of their drastic bodily changes, Bluefin are constantly eating. They feed on smaller fish, squid, and crustaceans. Bluefin have a higher body temperature than the surrounding water, which aids in their hunting in colder waters. They are constantly moving, passing water over their gills to breathe.

As mentioned, their habits make them susceptible to overfishing, and their meat is a delicacy even raw. Their conservation status is listed as endangered.




The Bigeye Tuna, Thunnus Obesus, is a highly migratory fish found in open waters. In Hawaiian, it is one of two tuna species known as “Ahi”. Bigeye can grow up to eight feet in length, and weigh over 400 pounds. They have large streamlined bodies, and faithful to their name, big eyes. Their eyes have developed large spherical lenses that permit vision in lower lighted areas. The coloring on the top of their body is blue, and their underside is near white. 


Bigeyes reach maturity around two to four years and spawn in June and July. These Tuna can live to a maximum age of sixteen years. They are known for their vertical behaviors in the water. At dawn they swim to much deeper, cooler waters, and then swim back to shallow waters in the evening. This process is known as “diel vertical migration”. It helps the tuna, and other fish, regulate their temperatures, conserve energy, and/or digest food. Bigeyes diets consist of squid, crustaceans, sardines, and other small deep water species. 



Albacore Tuna have a scientific name of Thunnus Alalunga. They have a bullet-shaped, streamlined body. Their nose resembles a cone, and is accompanied by a large mouth and large eyes. Their backs are dark blue, with a lighter blue-gray side and belly. Their distinctive feature is elongated pectoral fins that run along their sides.

The Albacore Tuna spawn around age five by releasing their gametes into open water. The fertilization process takes place externally and rapidly. The Tuna grow quickly at first, then slow down later in life. Their life expectancy is around 12 years, and they can average 4.5 feet in length and 100 lbs in weight.

These Tuna eat a variety of fish and crustaceans, with cephalopods being their primary source of food. Albacore hunt and live in open waters. They are a powerful Tuna, and hit their prey with great force. Multiple regional fishery managements manage their species, and at the moment their conservation status is considered not threatened. 


Latest NJ Tuna Reports

  • 2017-06-15 BHCFA Beach Haven

    The fishing action for black sea bass on the inshore wrecks and reefs continues to be very good. The offshore bite has started with some nice tuna being boated already including some bigeyes over 200-pounds. In addition, there are reports of some big mako and thresher sharks in the area.

  • 2017-06-11 Ristori Bay Head

    Capt. Tom Savastano returned from Saturday's tuna trolling in the vicinity of Hudson Canyon with reports of bluefins up to 100 pounds plus a bigeye that size on Double Down out of Manasquan Inlet even though it was rough both ways. We've also gotten good reports from the Old Grounds this weekend on fluke and a few nice sea bass.

  • 2017-05-30 Ristori Bay Head

    After bringing in the first mako shark and school bluefin tuna from the canyons earlier in the week, the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant ran a Saturday to Sunday overnighter that produced the first yellowfin tuna (about 35 pounds) and two dolphin from canyons in over 1000 fathoms off Delaware for David Stratoff and his son. Honors for the first N. J. bigeye tuna fell to a boat in the Canyon Runner reporting team as the Flying Fish landed one in Cape May on the way back from North Carolina.

  • 2017-05-28 Ristori Bay Head

    At Belmar, the Big Mohawk will be making a Monday fluke trip from 6 a. m. to 2 p. m. Capt. John Kolias took the Roy Runyak party down the beach to Shrewsbury Rocks on Saturday aboard his Reel Fun from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands, but the reports of stripers there that he had heard about didn't pan out.
  • 2017-05-25 Ristori Bay Head

    The Canyon Runner from Pint Pleasant brought in the first mako shark of the season Tuesday after their initial canyon overnighter. Six blue sharks were released at night before the 82-inch  (about 175 to 200 pound) mako was boated after a 25-minute fight. Trolling for school bluefin tuna at dawn produced four hits, with a 33-incher boated

  • 2017-05-20 Ristori Bay Head

    The surprisingly strong east wind made it tough on both boat and shore fishermen Saturday, but it's supposed to be lighter on Sunday in time for the Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament at Island Beach State Park. The east wind also prevented a repeat of a showing of small blues in the Bay Head surf, but I managed to tempt a 19-inch striper in Point Pleasant Canal on a Tsunami Shad.

  • 2017-02-07 Ristori Bay Head

    Adam La Rosa reports the 48-foot Canyon Runner boated big bluefin tuna on its first trip. La Rosa offers to take military out on those trips at no charge.
  • 2016-12-22 Ristori Bay Head

    As usual, there is still good blackfishing not too far offshore and limits of jumbo sea bass on deep water wrecks -- but what's not at all usual is the abundance of large school bluefin tuna within center console range. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, has also heard about tuna action in the Mud Hole on popping plugs, while blackfishing is good in 70-to-90-foot depths (especially on whitelegger crabs) -- and winter flounder continue to hit baits cast from the docks into Shark River on incoming tide when waters are warmest.

  • 2016-10-22 Ristori Bay Head

    There was some great canyon tuna fishing just before the storm, as noted in the following report from Adam La Rosa of the Canyon Runner out of Point Pleasant Solid Chunk Bite on Big Yellowfin Continues - Again Again - Double Digit Yellowfin Catches Abound One Last Shot At an Open Trip End of Next Week or Full Boat if you Are Interested - Then Bring on the Stripers!Here Are Pics for Monday-Tuesday's Trip October 17-18 Here are Pics for Wednesday-Thursday October 19-20 Pics from the Weekend 48' Canyon Runner Trip - 10 12-13 16 Call ASAP to secure it - it won't last long 732-272-4445 Solid Chunk Bite on Big Yellowfin Continues - Again Again - Double Digit Yellowfin Catches Abound One Last Shot At an Open Trip End of Next Week if you Are Interested - Then Bring on the Stripers!!

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