10 Best Tuna Fishing Spots, Where to Catch Big Tuna

Ever wonder where the top destinations are for catching tuna? Here are 10 of the best spots in the world to catch big tuna. Of course “big” varies per species; a 350-pound yellowfin tuna is as big for that species as is a 1,000-pounder for bluefin tuna. Also, note that these are not offered as “the ten best spots” in the world, but rather, 10 of the best. Big difference. These are not ordered by rank, but arbitrarily and randomly. And there are lots of other candidates, of course, such as Kona, Rodrigues Island, the Azores, Ivory Coast, Canary Islands and more.

The Canadian Maritimes of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia

The IGFA all-tackle record bluefin tuna just four pounds shy of 1,500 was caught off Nova Scotia, Canada; many granders-plus are caught (and mostly released) each season here and off neighboring PEI.Courtesy Capt. Josh Temple /

The Reviilagigedos Archipelago and Other Banks off Southernmost Baja

The world’s biggest yellowfin tuna consistently come from the southernmost area of the eastern Pacific off Baja California Sur, Mexico. Recent studies have shown that these big cow tuna don’t migrate long distances but remain in the region, perhaps because the waters are so productive.Courtesy Ray More

Venice, Louisiana

The Gulf of Mexico off the MIssissippi River mouth offers some of the most productive waters anywhere for big yellowfin tuna. Capt. Rimmer Covington (left) guided David Cresson, with CCA Louisiana (center), to his biggest tuna to date, as mate Scott Sullivan assists.Doug Olander
Though yellowfin are encountered anywhere in the northern Gulf’s blue waters, the most consistent action is usually around/near big deepwater rigs.Doug Olander

Westport, New Zealand

Pacific bluefin are the name of the game here, off western New Zealand. In this shot, Leanne Dixon admires her 650-pounder, a pending IGFA line-class world record. It was caught on the Cova Rosa with skipper Lance Goodhew.Courtesy Reel Adventures
Pacific bluefin off Westport are attracted to the bycatch and accidental discards of hoki trawlers like this, shadowed by a game-fish charter. Hoki are small members of the cod family, netted commercially.Courtesy Mark Kitteridge / New Zealand Fishing News
Calm seas help this angler in his stand-up battle with a giant Pacific bluefin — but such seas are definitely the exception off Westport, which is more often characterized by challenging conditions, all part of the game to tough Kiwi anglers.Courtesy Mark Kitteridge / New Zealand Fishing News

Cape Hatteras / Mid-Atlantic

While granders might not be likely in the Mid-Atlantic, the bluefin tuna that visit this coast each winter can run to sizes approaching that — huge fish by any measure.Courtesy Ken Neill


Trophy yellowfin tuna are no stranger to the waters off Panama (and often neighboring Costa Rica as well). This 268-pounder came from the Zane Grey Bank area off Piñas Bay, Panama.Courtesy Raleigh Werking / Tropic Star Lodge
A 170-pounder yellowfin is a big one in any book, but on a popper, such as this Sebile Splasher, is a real accomplishment for Raleigh Werking with Tropic Star Lodge in Piñas Bay.Courtesy Tropic Star Lodge

Mauritius and Reunion Island

Sitting far off Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius and nearby Reunion Island provide good shots at some hefty yellowfin (like this Mauritius specimen) and bigeye.Courtesy Riccardo Tamburini
Not a bad place to come home to, either, after a hard day’s tuna fishing — the appealing island of Mauritius.Courtesy Riccardo Tamburini

Stellwagen Bank/Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Big bluefin can be caught anywhere off the New England coast. Stellwagen Bank — where this beauty was caught with Capt. Chuck DiStefano (right) — is one of the better bets.Doug Olander

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta, characterized as “Cow Town” in Sport Fishing magazine, in one of the earliest features on the burgeoning fishery for 300-plus-pound yellowfin, remains a great place to find tuna — of many sizes — feeding at the surface.Courtesy Capt. Josh Temple /


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