Fort Bragg Tuna Fishing Report Week of 9-19-23

Wide open Albacore Bite out of Fort Bragg continues, Cow Bigeye Tuna Bite excellent as well. Multiple state record fish being landed.


Friday was slow for us, 10 albacore ok grade probably 12lb average. Mainly 16 by 35 area watched a guy land a marlin and multiple big eyes but no luck for us.


Saturday started really slow until 10am then the bite picked up and got 30 fish in 3 hours with a mix between 5 and 35lbs, about a dozen really nice grade above 20lbs We were down at 10 by 25. Drug a nomad flyer rigged on 300lb leader with a 14/0 mustad single and on my makaira 50 with 300lb wind on. Spent all day at the back of the spread at 120 feet or so, at 2pm we were reeling in an albacore and I saw big marks, told the clients to pin the drag and I hit the gas back up to trolling speed and the hook pulled on the albie which was what I wanted. We looped around and the mak 50 up top started screaming. Dumped about 400 yards off the reel at 25lbs of drag before I could run up the the roof and hand it down and we eased it up to 30lbs and slowed the fish down within another 50 or hundred yards. At that point the fish was straight down crazy deep, my guess 1500 feet or so, we fought it for 50minutes and got it to 150 feet and it dogged us bad, wouldn’t budge, ended up to 45lbs and made some headway and had it to the rail in little over an hour and 20 minutes finishing just over 50lbs of drag at the wind on. Taped out at 78″ and 51″ girth. Bluefin formula put that near 250lbs but it might have been heavier. I gutted it to cool it down, state record was 240 so we might have had it beat.

Big Eye Tuna


Sunday we headed out same zone, wide open peanut bite in the am, tried to get away from them and still put 30 in the boat in 45 minutes 5 to 10lb average. Looked way inside for nothing and tacked up to 14 by 30 and hit some slightly better fish still wide open, getting a lot of 5 to 10 ways and converting to yoyo. good size fleet to inside of us but not to many boats near us. Flyer got a wing blown off on a bite so we threw a madmac out, pointed tword home with 60 albacore. 5 minutes later my avet 30 narrow with a Mexican flag clone lights up then slows when I hit the throttle down on the boat, my deckhand yells bigeye, I figured a big albacore by the way it sounded inside the cabin, then takes off again for a few hundred yards and it was obvious on that one run. Fought the fish for over an hour on roughly 30lbs of drag and 100lb line, got our asses handed to us with a crazy hot fish that didn’t behave anything like I’ve seen in a tuna before, passed off huge wide pinwheels and constant side switching and had a hell of time keeping his head turned in the right direction. Kept me on my toes at the throttle all the way to the gaff. Landed the fish at about an hour and half. Meanest tuna for its size I’ve ever seen, bluefin that size would’ve been dead in 30 or 40 minutes with that gear. Roughly 53 inches and 41 inches girth if I remember right, estimated 120lbs on the formula. A lot scarier to put big drag on with with a quick and sloppy GT knot in the line and albacore clones rigging with a $1.50 dollar double hook.

Bob who was a client on Sunday shared this video fighting the 120lb bigeye we caught. As you can tell from the video we had already landed 60 albacore and turned the boat a nice shade of red. Everybody was tired from filling the boat before the big fish hit, so it required a whole lot of teamwork to land this guy on a albacore setup which was a bit under gunned for a fish that size. Good teamwork and some patience was the key to landing that fish. This may have been one of the craziest fights I’ve had on a fish yet, it wasn’t the biggest but this tuna seemed to put itself in the worst locations for us possible at every moment it could.

Click Here to watch the Video

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