Whew. Your shoulders and again are aching! You’ve received out your heaviest rod, largest fly, and are working the floor—placing again and again.
You’re making an attempt onerous to tempt that dogtooth tuna from the deeper depths as much as the floor.
And—hopefully—into your boat.
However , even in the event you get him hooked, it is going to be a combat! That doggie will zoom away after which straight down with the fierceness not able to most fish.
If it doesn’t break the road, then it’ll do its greatest to rub and snap it off on the coral and buildings beneath.
However that’s what makes catching dogtooth tuna on a fly increasingly attractive to fly fishing anglers.
All Concerning the Dogtooth Tuna
Dogtooth tuna are offshore predator fish. As adults, they attain 75-98 inches and may weigh in at over 250 kilos. Although, to maintain issues sincere, the typical measurement is extra like 16 to 47 inches.
The dogtooth tuna, in any other case generally known as Gymnosarda unicolor—or just “doggies” to most anglers—usually are not tuna in any respect. They really belong to the bonito household. However not like all different bonitos, they’ve a swim bladder.
The bladder permits them to carry their place within the present and ambush their prey. This implies they’ve a distinct feeding sample than true tunas like Bluefin or Yellowfin.
They aren’t recognized for his or her magnificence however usually are not notably ugly fish by any means. They’ve a definite “tuna” look with an elongated, streamlined physique form and distinct dorsal and anal gentle rays.
Dogtooth tuna even have a definite, undulating lateral line—considerably resembling a seismograph studying going berserk. A deep, black coloring on their again and sides contrasts with the good darkish blue-green decrease sides. Their bellies are a flashy silver.
As their identify hints, they’ve a big mouth stuffed with conical, canine-like teeth—20 on the highest and 20 on the underside. And, like a barracuda, they all the time swim with their mouths open, and their intimidating mouthful of enamel are on everlasting show. In reality, child doggies have all their enamel earlier than they’re even one inch lengthy!
The place to Discover Dogtooth Tuna
Dogfish tuna like the nice and cozy, tropical and sub-tropical waters. They’re happiest between 68 and 82 levels. They inhabit huge areas of the Indo-Pacific area however usually are not present in Hawaii or the tropical Atlantic waters.
They are often discovered from as far north as Japan to as far south as Australia and all of the locations in between, from Africa, the Purple Sea, the Society Islands, and French Polynesia.
They’re turning into in style as a sport fishing and fly fishing catch. Many fishing guides, fishing charters, and fishing resorts all through the Indonesian Islands are focusing extra on catching these highly effective preventing fish.
Doggies are aggressive predators, so whereas they’re offshore fish, they’re most frequently present in reef environments the place they feed. They like heat and comparatively shallow waters (lower than 300 ft shallow, not wading-through-the-flats type of shallow). Most frequently you can be working these fish from the deck of a ship.
Coral reefs, wrecks, seamounts, and rocky channels entice the dogtooth tuna, the place they will discover their dinner. They aren’t choosy eaters and have a large urge for food that features tropical education fish like rainbow runners, squid, and smaller mackerel.
The youthful dogtooth tuna will be present in small colleges (possibly 5 or 6 different fish) which might be of comparable age and measurement. As they become old, they change into extra solitary and inhabit deeper waters.
Full-size, grownup dogtooth tuna will be discovered preserving firm with different apex predators of the reef, equivalent to reef and bull sharks. Although when caught on a line, they rapidly change into the prey and are sometimes bitten earlier than being delivered to the floor.
Not a lot is understood about their migratory patterns. Divers report them as being territorial and remaining native their complete lives. Nonetheless, the genetic analysis reveals related traits between all of the fish within the Indo-Pacific area, alluding to a well-mixed inhabitants. One rationalization is that the spawn is carried by currents, preserving the species effectively combined.
Packing the Tacklebox
Dogtooth tuna has been steadily gaining reputation amongst sportfishing and fly fishing anglers. Principally due to how impressively they put up a combat. As quickly as they’re hooked, they run. Lengthy and deep. They observe that up with circling and actively making an attempt to take away the hook on coral or rocks.
When they can get right into a structured backside, they’re extremely profitable at avoiding being delivered to the floor—which will increase the problem and thrill for anglers.
Whereas dogtooth tuna are wanted by conventional rod and reel anglers and are a favourite for spearfishermen, they’re additionally a extremely fascinating catch amongst fly fishing fans.
Choosing the suitable reel is crucial consideration when going after dogtooth tuna on a fly. The reel might want to have a powerful, easy drag and be able to holding 800 yards of backing.
Choose a rod that you’d really feel assured in when going after sailfish or wahoo. In reality, these fish usually share the identical waters and reply to the identical bait, having the ability to be teased up from deeper waters.
For the rod, 11-14wt, 9-10ft, is the most typical alternative paired with a 40-pound (or extra) shock tippet.
For the flies, go daring, huge, and heavy as you’ll want to make an irresistible ruckus on the floor of the water. Giant bait fish, saltwater streamers, closely weighted flies, and Clouser Deep Minnows are all dependable choices.
Suggestions for Catching Dogtooth Tuna on a Fly
In contrast to the almost toothless true tuna, the dogtooth tuna has a full mouthful of enamel, rather more like a mackerel. This implies they’ve a fame for biting off lures—particularly costly ones.
That is why these heavy leaders are important.
So as to add to the problem, their frantic and decided combat as soon as hooked turns them into prey themselves, attracting sharks. Pulling in solely half (or much less) of a dogtooth tuna occurs extra incessantly than desired!
Discovering feeding-frenzied waters enhance the possibilities of a catch and must be matched with quick lengthy strips that imitate the frantic environment of the waters.
Alternatively, teasers can be utilized to draw the doggies and entice them to return shut sufficient that they’re inside attain of a fly line. The method requires some coordination to get the fish positioned accurately–and the teasers changed with the fly lure adjusted on the proper time–however it may be performed; in the event you don’t thoughts a “staff constructing” train throughout your fishing journey.
The dogtooth tuna begins its battle with probably the most breathtaking, blistering horizontal runs in sport fishing. It’s like being connected to a Saturn V rocket heading sideways.
—Capt. Ted Lund
Newsworthy Notes Concerning the Dogtooth Tuna
Whereas dogtooth tuna don’t have the identical extremely wanted excessive market priced yellowfin tuna, they’re nonetheless caught for his or her business meals worth. In some locations, they’re extraordinarily essential to localized populations.
As they’ve change into extra focused by business fishing fleets, their numbers have seen dramatic drops. Particularly the place giant nets are getting used. They don’t seem to be at present listed as being threatened or endangered, however in the meanwhile, they’re famous as having a “very high” vulnerability to overfishing. As well as, they’re turning into in style within the sportfishing world as a result of they supply a reliably spectacular combat when hooked.
You will need to notice that these impressively sturdy fish usually battle and fail to recuperate from a catch and launch scenario. That is due to the bladder—that different tuna don’t have—will increase their dangers of barotrauma, which will increase exponentially with extended fights.
In the event you preserve your catch for consuming, it is very important notice that dogtooth tuna are prone to Ciguatera poisoning. Like many predatory reef fish that may develop to a formidable measurement, they start to construct up the toxin of their tissues by consuming smaller fish that ingest the dinoflagellates that trigger the neurotoxic results.
The contaminated fish themselves usually are not harmed and are wholesome. Additional, the poisoning will not be diminished or eliminated by means of cooking. The easiest way to keep away from publicity is by counting on native data of affected areas and consuming solely smaller sized fish.
Fishing with Scout Boats
Whereas concentrating on a record-breaking beefy dogtooth tuna on a fly will in all probability require reserving an airline ticket to an unique locale, many Scout boat homeowners create their very own fly fishing adventures proper from the deck of their very own boats.
Our vary of boats supplies the proper platform for trolling up the saltwater marshes to heading offshore to fish the wrecks and reefs. They’re designed for severe anglers that need the final word consolation for his or her households, too.
Scout is understood for his or her distinctive construct high quality and luxurious boats. From bay boats to offshore-ready tenders, they make high-performance boats with alluring strains that match each angler and household’s wants in fashion.
Interested in what mannequin would work greatest for you? Build your Scout boat nearly as we speak, or sit again and take a video walkthrough of considered one of our fashions.