Sinker fishing for big bluefin and yellowfin tuna

Sinker fishing for big bluefin and yellowfin tuna

This summer, one rig that has been pretty effective on the nicer sized bluefin (60-120 pounders) has been the sinker rig. Whether pen fishing or offshore fishing, I have noticed that the majority of our fish have come via the sinker rig. All this rig consists of is a 2-4 ounce torpedo sinker either rubber banded or tied in line a couple feet above the hook. This rig is far from new and has been around forever. We typically use it while fishing the buffer zone at Clarion for larger yellowfin tuna.

One important thing to keep in mind when you rubber band your weight to your line is to make sure you rubber band both ends of the torpedo sinker to your line. In doing so, you will prevent unnecessary tangles that would occur if you only had one side of the sinker rubber banded to the line. When only one side of the sinker is attached to the line, the weight is allowed to swing around freely which of course picks up other lines.

The sinker rig is notorious for tangles, especially when multiple fish are hanging. It is important to be aware of where people are fighting fish when dropping your bait over the side.  That way you don’t drop right on top of someone’s fish and cause a tangle, or even worse, a lost fish. This may seem like common sense but I find myself telling people to reel up and drop in somewhere else all the time.

When fishing the sinker rig you always want to hook your bait In the nose. If you hook your bait towards the back of the bait it will cause the bait to spin in circles as the weight drags it down. Not only will this kill the bait but it looks anything but natural and will result in you getting fewer bites.

There’s not a whole lot of skill to sinker fishing but it can definitely be an effective way to catch fish. Especially those times when the fish aren’t boiling around and are laying under the boat. 

Good luck giving it a go!



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