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Blackfin

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Sunday August 20, 2017

Blackfin tuna (Thunnus atlanticus) is the smallest tuna species in the Thunnus genus, generally growing to a maximum of 100 cm (39 in) in length and weighing 21 kg (46 lbs).

Blackfin tuna have oval-shaped bodies, black backs with a slight yellow on the finlets, and yellow on the sides of their bodies. They are only found in the western Atlantic from Cape Cod to Brazil.

Blackfin tuna hunt both epipelagic (surface) and mesopelagic (deeper water) fish and squid. They also eat crustaceans such as shrimp, crabs, amphipods, stomatopods, and the larvae of decapods.[2] They are a short-lived, fast-growing species; a 5-yr-old fish would be considered old. They reach sexual maturity at the age of two years, and spawn in the open sea during the summer. Blackfin tuna are a warmer-water fish, preferring water temperatures over 20° C (68° F).

Occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters of the western Atlantic Ocean. There are scattered records of blackfin tuna occurring as far north as Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, but the usual range is from North Carolina to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Remarks

This is a pelagic, schooling fish that generally feeds near the surface. Its diet consists of small fishes, squid, crustaceans, and plankton. An excellent light tackle species, it can be taken by trolling or casting small baits or lures, including ballyhoo, mullet and other small fishes as well as strip baits, spoons, feathers, jigs, or plugs; or by live bait fishing from boats at the surface of deep waters one to two miles offshore. It has some local commercial importance, but is predominantly an angler's fish. It is a spunky game species and the flesh is of good quality and flavor

Regulations

Of the thousands of fish species found in Florida waters, the vast majority have no specific regulations at all. These ?unregulated? species include some very popular sport fish that are commonly caught by recreational anglers such as white grunt, gulf kingfish (whiting), gafftopsail catfish, ladyfish, cero mackerel, blackfin tuna, bonito, great barracuda, gulf kingfish, pinfish and jack crevalle. The list also includes thousands of other species that are less frequently targeted but sometimes caught incidentally including spadefish, American eels, silver perch, croakers, hardhead catfish and many others. The term ?unregulated? can be misleading because standard recreational gear requirements still apply, and there is a default bag limit established by Florida Statute for any species harvested by a recreational angler. Harvesting amounts that exceed the default recreational bag limit (which are defined as commercial quantities) and commercial sale of all unregulated species would require a saltwater products license.

Two fish or 100 pounds per person, per day -whichever is more. For smaller fish like white grunt, the limit is 100 pounds regardless Lionfishof the number of fish it takes to reach that total weight. For larger fish such as the southern stingray, if you harvest two fish that have a combined weight of 150 pounds, that is your limit for that species.

State Record

45 lbs. 8 oz.

Central Florida Tuna Fishing

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: September 13 2016 12:44:46.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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