BIGEYE TUNA: THUNNUS OBESUS

Sport Fishing - - DISCOVER THE NIGHT BITE -

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

1,500 feet.

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.

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