- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus)
Yellowfin tuna have a muscular, streamlined body and, like all tuna, are extremely fast swimmers. Coloration is dark metallic blue to black on the back and tail fin, yellow and silver on the side and belly. The second dorsal and anal fins are yellow and very long in older fish. Finlets run down the back and belly from these two fins to the tail fin and are a bright, canary yellow with black edges. The belly often has as many as 20 vertical, broken lines that are more pronounced in young yellowfin tuna than in adults.
Yellowfin tuna are found worldwide in tropical and some subtropical waters. These bodies of water include all three warm oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian) and all warm seas except the Mediterranean.
Though they can withstand cooler water, yellowfin tuna prefer warm water and are found mainly in waters between 62 and 80 F. Yellowfin tuna, particularly young fish, usually school below the surface but over deep water, often several hundred feet. They avoid depths because of their intolerance for low concentrations of oxygen.
Adults often form schools with other tuna species, mainly bigeye and skipjack tuna. They school primarily by size and larger fish will also school with porpoises. Though yellowfin tuna are sometime found near shore, this only occurs when forage suddenly becomes abundant there, and for the most part they can stay around the edges of continental shelves.
In the subtropical areas of their range, yellowfin tuna spawn mainly in the spring and summer, when water temperatures reach 78 F. But in many tropical waters they may spawn year round. They are prolific breeders, with large females able to deposit up to 8 million eggs and both sexes may spawn every few days over the spawning period. Yellowfin tuna disperse the eggs and milt into the water, and the eggs are unguarded.
The yellowfin’s diet varies depending upon forage available in a given area. Various baitfish, crustaceans and squids make up the bulk of their diet. The feed most often at or near the surface and are often active at night.
Yellowfin tuna are considered an excellent food and sport fish and are highly sought after by anglers and commercial fishermen alike. After hitting a lure or bait, they often go deep and will fight with great power and tenacity.
Angling efforts are mostly targeted near the surface but often over depths of several hundred feet. Trolling with live or dead bait and shallow-running lures is a common tactic. Casting with jigs and stillfishing with live or bait is another common method, usually done in conjunction with chumming an area with cut or ground up baitfish.
Yellowfin tuna often congregate around floating objects such as grass, debris and other objects that support ample baitfish habitat. Feeding birds at the surface are another clue to their presence.
� The Hawaiian name for yellowfin tuna, “ahi,” is the Hawaiian word for “fire.”
� At one point, extremely large yellowfin tuna with very long second dorsal and anal fins were thought to be a separate species.
� The IGFA record is 388 pounds, 12 ounces landed off of Mexico in 1977.