BIGEYE TUNA: THUNNUS OBESUS
One of the prize catches of the Northeast canyons, bigeye tuna range from tropical seas to as far north as the Grand Banks of Canada in the Atlantic; they’re targeted in the deep waters off the continental shelf. Adults grow to more than 300 pounds, and with their stocky, rotund shape, they’re respected by fishermen as the toughest of the tunas to land.
A typical bigeye stomach reveals many dozens of large illex squid, indicative of deep-feeding behavior. While bigeyes are typically caught surface trolling, they’ve also been caught deep-dropping baits to
Federal regulations require a 27-inch-curved-fork-length minimum size for bigeyes; there is no bag limit. A highly migratory species permit is required for vessels fishing bigeye tuna recreationally.