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Bluefin Tuna Age


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#1 MrBill

MrBill

Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:27 PM

Here's a chart that ages Bluefin tuna. It also gives an estimated weight to length for BFT. It seems that most of the BFT caught on the East coast this year by people on this board are between 4 and 7 years old.

Growth and weight is interesting. If you caught a 67" one this year, it will be 74" next year and gain over 61 pounds. Five years from now it will be 96" and go from 184 pounds to 539 pounds.
"The easiest way to find tackle lost around the house is to buy a replacement.":)

#2 toppuntawong

toppuntawong

Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:34 PM

Thank you for the chart Mr. Bill, lets hope that the number of these guys wont go down any lower, we can have these kind of fishing for many more generation to come.

#3 Sea Bear

Sea Bear
  • LocationStaten Island/Brooklyn, NY

Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:45 PM

according to that chart it looks like it's time to seriously prepare for some 300# fish next season :eek:

#4 Capt. Dom

Capt. Dom

Posted 13 November 2009 - 07:08 AM

according to that chart it looks like it's time to seriously prepare for some 300# fish next season :eek:


Common misconception among alot poppers and jiggers. These larger fish do not exhibit the traits that make them so targettable when they are smaller. When trhey are little, they are more aggressive, less finicky, school up in greater numbers, and generally come up to feed way more often than their larger brothers and sisters. Once they get to mini giant staus, they feed less"stupidly" and not with reckless abondon, are harder to fool with lures, and arent near the surface anywhere near as much. The sdame reason why so few of us ever see giants crashingat the surface...they dont have to.

There have been tons of these 70-80 inch monsters around this year, yet very few are hooked on the topwater or jigging gear. Actually the jigs will get you tied into a large bluefin up here alot more frequently than the topwaters.

Lets face it, these fish didnt hatch overnight. They have been around, just not present, due to the lack of forage over the past years. Now that the sand eels, bunker, herring, and mackeral, even the halfbeaks seem to be rebounding and thriving more in our inshore waters, the numbers of tuna will continue to increase.

These 300 pounders arent going to be landed by 95% of the boats that hook them. They didnt get to be toads by being dumb or easy to catch, and once they hit the 70 plus range, they will destroy all but the very best and luckiest of light tackle enthusiasts, and very few captains have the knowledge and experience to get them in the boat when the angler gets them whupped.. Even with big stellas and 7 foot broomstick rods, these fish will win more often than not. The class of 50 inch and low 60 inch around this year will be the predominant size you will see dead and gracing all the money shots in 2010. maybe a few more of these 300 plus fish will be caught, but I seriously doubt it.

#5 parapapam

parapapam

Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:08 AM

Common misconception among alot poppers and jiggers. These larger fish do not exhibit the traits that make them so targettable when they are smaller. When trhey are little, they are more aggressive, less finicky, school up in greater numbers, and generally come up to feed way more often than their larger brothers and sisters. Once they get to mini giant staus, they feed less"stupidly" and not with reckless abondon, are harder to fool with lures, and arent near the surface anywhere near as much. The sdame reason why so few of us ever see giants crashingat the surface...they dont have to.

There have been tons of these 70-80 inch monsters around this year, yet very few are hooked on the topwater or jigging gear. Actually the jigs will get you tied into a large bluefin up here alot more frequently than the topwaters.

Lets face it, these fish didnt hatch overnight. They have been around, just not present, due to the lack of forage over the past years. Now that the sand eels, bunker, herring, and mackeral, even the halfbeaks seem to be rebounding and thriving more in our inshore waters, the numbers of tuna will continue to increase.

These 300 pounders arent going to be landed by 95% of the boats that hook them. They didnt get to be toads by being dumb or easy to catch, and once they hit the 70 plus range, they will destroy all but the very best and luckiest of light tackle enthusiasts, and very few captains have the knowledge and experience to get them in the boat when the angler gets them whupped.. Even with big stellas and 7 foot broomstick rods, these fish will win more often than not. The class of 50 inch and low 60 inch around this year will be the predominant size you will see dead and gracing all the money shots in 2010. maybe a few more of these 300 plus fish will be caught, but I seriously doubt it.


Great Point, Dom!!! Let's look at some of the best trollers around these parts, since trollers have been at this longer than the jig/pop crowd. Stew, Damon, JC, etc... They don't put a lot of 300+ pound fish on the boat every year. Sure they catch a few on the troll. But not many. Bottom line is that bigger fish act differently and chase and eat food differently.

I am sure that you and a few others (Terry, etc) will tangle and land some really big fish next year. But weekend warriors like myself are unlikely to hook or land these fish fish due to two primary reasons. Firstly, we are not employing techniques likely to hook these fish. I troll and am starting to play the jig/pop game. I don't live line blues or macs. Secondly, I don't have the experience to feel I will win a fight with huge fish. Sure I am confident at 65 inches. But I have never fought an 80 inch fish.... the game is different.

Personally, I am hoping to fight a ton of 50 inch fish and a dozen or so up to 70 inches next year. As happy as I am to see the big fish return this year, I am even happier to see the small fish come back. The big fish have been somewhere, just not here (Canada?).... But I wasn't sure we were backfilling the pipeline. I feel better (not great, just better) seeing the next year classes start to fill the pipe.

Mike

#6 Eastern Tackle

Eastern Tackle

Posted 13 November 2009 - 09:09 AM

I don't want anything to do with a 40yr old tuna, I know that much.
Vertical Jigs @ Eastern Tackle <---Click Here

#7 Kaley

Kaley

Posted 14 November 2009 - 05:17 PM

The big fish have been somewhere, just not here (Canada?)....

Mike


As the tuna leave our area, it's interesting to think about where they're all going. I found the following tuna tracking study to be very well done, and they also review some of the other literature on BFT biology:

Walli A, Teo SLH, Boustany A, Farwell CJ, Williams T, et al. 2009 Seasonal Movements, Aggregations and Diving Behavior of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) Revealed with Archival Tags. PLoS ONE 4(7): e6151. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006151

A subgroup of the tuna in this study changed their migration pattern as they grew up. When young, they migrated up and down the Eastern Seaboard to forage in the Gulf of Maine area. But once they got big, they shifted to a trans-Atlantic migratory pattern taking them to spawning grounds in the Mediterranean:

"Western tagged bluefin tuna of very large size (247±10 cm CFL, n = 16) exhibited a direct trans-Atlantic movement (TRANS) during spring month (Figure. 5b, 10f, section TRANS). This shift in residence from the Northwest Atlantic into the eastern Atlantic was age dependent and only individuals larger than 200 cm (CFL, ~8.1 years of age) at the time of trans-Atlantic movement showed this behavior [10]."

The authors also mention another study involving very large tuna (average 248cm) tagged off NC in which the fish preferred to forage in Canada instead of the Gulf of Maine. So as Dom and Mike suggested, the Stella 50K probably won't become standard popping tackle in coming years. :)

The paper is in the open access journal PLoS, meaning it's free to read. These tunas' lives are complicated! Who knew the fish that escape our efforts off Cape Cod would wind up in the Azores?! Very cool.

#8 Locke N Load

Locke N Load
  • LocationMA

Posted 18 November 2009 - 08:17 PM

My uneducated guess is there will be bigger fish that will cross the atlantic and die. The ones that stay over here will reproduce. A new fishery will develop where the tuna will not cross the Atlantic, continue to reproduce, and always stay on this side to continue to live and reproduce. Please, please let this scenario happen!

#9 DANTE25

DANTE25

Posted 19 November 2009 - 02:36 PM

thats a awsome read there, glad you posted that cool to see the ages vs the weight of the fish we are catching, seems those bluefin pig out.

#10 Billiam

Billiam

Posted 19 November 2009 - 03:32 PM

thats a awsome read there, glad you posted that cool to see the ages vs the weight of the fish we are catching, seems those bluefin pig out.


Aren't you glad I introduced you to this site and brought you down to meet awesome group of fishermen in TX ... you own me some good fishing trips for BFT in NJ ;)

Now the only problem is trying not to get in trouble at work by going on this site too much :D

#11 Enoch

Enoch

Posted 19 November 2009 - 05:10 PM

Aren't you glad I introduced you to this site and brought you down to meet awesome group of fishermen in TX ... you own me some good fishing trips for BFT in NJ ;)

Now the only problem is trying not to get in trouble at work by going on this site too much :D


What are you talking about Willy? I introduced Dante here!

lol, nevertheless, nice to see you here Dante, now we can also couchfish together...:D

#12 JfishKing

JfishKing

Posted 20 November 2009 - 11:06 AM

Thanks for the chart, i was thinking the other day that it would be cool to find one as i was wondering the age of some of the tuna we've caught

#13 cabosandinh

cabosandinh
  • LocationRepublic of Texas

Posted 20 November 2009 - 12:53 PM

I don't want anything to do with a 40yr old tuna, I know that much.


that's funny


it's bad enough that it smells like tuna, but smelling like a 40yr old tuna
?

:)

#14 DenisB

DenisB

Posted 11 December 2009 - 08:29 PM

There is definitely a behavioral link to size in all the big tunas.
The bigger they are the more they lurk deeper and lazier, with sporadic feeding at the surface when prey warrants it.
An interesting thing is the way the big boys feed when in the company of youger energetic companions. .............and what they eat.
They are quite happy to let the youngsters thrash around amongst a bait school and the Big Boys just lurk around underneath all the action happily feeding on the scraps from the mayhem sinking down from above them.

Same deal when they are feeding around trawlers the younger ones fight over the fish at the surface & the Big Boys mostly happily feeding underneath on what makes it past the young'uns.




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