Late night delight

Bonito are a nuisance to tuna seekers
Bonito are a nuisance to tuna seekers, but be patient and the blackfin will eventually show up.

Anyone fortunate enough to see the Delta’s offshore waters at night, knows the incredible vision of flood lights illuminating the many oil and gas platforms. The bright stuff is intended for human safety, but fish know how to leverage this bait-gathering influence to their benefit.

Tuna are high on the list of nocturnal feeders, and if you’re up for an after-hours mission, nighttime is the right time for some off-the-chain tuna pounding. You can go as simple as free-lining cut pogies or white trout around the rig lights, but artificials can make it happen, too.

“You get a lot of baitfish coming to the surface; a lot of little flying fish and stuff,” said Capt. Mike Frenette. “If you really want to target blackfin, you can’t go wrong by fishing the platforms at night in 300 feet and deeper.

“It’s a jigging technique; you drop it 60 to 100 feet down and just come up hard and almost every drop you’re going to get a blackfin tuna. When you’re marking them it’s such a thrill when they thump it — there no mistaking it.”

Topwater walkers and poppers are also effective, especially when you see tuna busting at the surface. Try different angles and distances to dial in the sweet zones.

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About David A. Brown 323 Articles
A full-time freelance writer specializing in sport fishing, David A. Brown splits his time between journalism and marketing communications