How Long is the Wicked Tuna Fishing Season for Bluefin Tuna in Massachusetts?

The Bluefin tuna fishing season is from early June to November, with the best months being August and September. The fishing season varies from the previous winter. If the winter was harsh, the season gets delayed, and if it was an optimal one, the season starts as usual. The trip to the fishing area is rather a pleasant one. The trip starts by leaving the docks before sunrise when the dock lights are still on. This is to ensure catching the fish and clicking a picture by sunrise!

Massachusetts has been one of the top states for the commercial landings of the bluefin tuna since 1940. There are, however, strict restrictions on catching bluefin tuna. A limited number is allowed, and commercial fishermen are not allowed to use longlines to target the respective fish.

How long is the bluefin tuna?

The Bluefin tuna have also been caught in the late December phase. There is no exactly defined time period to catch the fish. The whole season is spent catching a long one. During the August – September phase, it is reported that the fishermen have caught at least 3 ft long ones!

The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is of the largest bony fish in the world. They can easily weigh up to 1000 pounds and 10 feet in length. Although not every fish is as big and as heavy. In general, adults weigh 200 pounds. The measurement of the fish is from the tip of the jaw, following along the curve of the fish and ending at the fork of the tail. The Bluefin tuna lays eggs in the Mediterranean and in the Gulf of Mexico.

To catch such big tunas, you need to keep your fishing boat well equipped with top-quality fish rods and reels.

How many can you catch during the season?

The rule had been established that the biennial limit for 2019 and 2020 was 630 metric tonnes. The fishermen almost always confuse the Yellowfin Tuna with the Bluefin Tuna. You might consider them to be predators, but seabirds feed on the young bluefin tuna mostly.

How to fish for the season?

You need a permit to fish in the mighty Atlantic for the Bluefin tuna. There are also bag limits for the bluefin tuna, which may vary according to permit, vessel type, fish, and region. They also do not allow you to retain the bluefin fish if there is a hammerhead or an oceanic whitetip shark on board or off-loaded from the ship. There are, however, more rules and restrictions.

To fish for the bluefin tuna, you and your vessel need a valid HMS Angling or HMS Chaterboat or Headboat permit. The permit shall cover your entire vessel. Tournament vessels can go fishing with a rather general category permit.

A sturdy rod with a high-quality reel and test line is needed to catch the massive bluefin tuna. You can troll by using regular fish baits such as squids or chunks of any prey. You might also need bright hooks to lure the schooled fish.

Sources:

MBG

NOAA