Bluefin tuna on the fly

By Marc Skovby, Guideline Ambassador DK.

I have always felt a need for exploring and pushing the boundaries for my fly fishing… Wherever it being chasing new species, fighting pike on a 2wt or throwing flies for Wels catfish on the Ebro from my drifter… 3 years ago I heard about some local guys in southern Europe chasing tuna on fly… A fish there had been on my bucket list for a while!… When I later on realized that it was the king of tuna, the mighty atlantic blue fin tuna, they were chasing, it was just too close to home, not to give a shot!… After a short but intense research the trip was booked!


Last fall the time finally came and after 2 full days of waiting in the harbor for the wind and the sea to calm down, Sam, our guide from Roussillon fishing, finally picked us up at the dock!… Our Tuna adventure was finally on!…  With our Quadra 10-12 and Vosso 1113 loaded with 400m 50lb backing we headed at sea looking for diving birds or splashes at the surface from hunting tuna… It didn’t took long before a flock of diving birds revealed a pack of feeding tuna just below, smashing through a bait ball! The game was on!… After a few attempts a tuna finally took the fly and ripped the line of the deck and of the reel and within a few seconds the fish was deep into the 40om of backing, and the tug-o-war could begin!… 50min later our first atlantic bluefin was grabbed by the tail and safely released back to its kingdom after a quick photo… The first day on the water resulted in two landed blue fin tuna at 25kg and 30kg plus 4 lost!…


With busted knuckles from the day before, we headed out on the sea on our second and last day on our bluefin adventure… With both of us landing one tuna each the day before the pressure was of… Within the first hour I hooked another tuna but after a 150m run the line went slack… Shortly after, another tuna took my fly and took the Vosso reel for a good spin!… 40min later a 60lb BFT was gently released in the water… After a short lunch break we spotted at nice pack of feeding tuna in the distance… Getting closer it was easy to see that these fish where bigger than what we had been chasing so fare… Sam got the boat perfect into position and with soft knees and shaking hands my cast landed just in the middle of the feeding frenzy… I striped the fly as fast as possible and could follow it just below the surface…


As it got out of the frenzy a tuna immediately followed the fly but refused it shortly after, just as it dived down another heavy tuna exploded from behind… The fly disappeared into the mouth of the big broad shouldered fish and as the line came tight the Vosso started screaming as the backing melted from the spool!… With 300m of backing burned of the spool shortly after, we followed the fish to gain some line… Each time a good amount of backing got back on the reel the tuna just ripped it out again…


After about 45min the tuna finally entered the last stage of the fight and went deep down into “the circle of death”… The next 30min was just pure tug-a-war and I was fighting for every centimeter of line going back on the reel while trying to unscrew it up from the deep… 75min after the hook up, and with busted knockle, sore arms and back, we could finally land a 90lb bluefin tuna! Truely one of the bigger fish of my life and one of my biggest fishing experiences!…


The last few hours of the day resulted in two more landed tuna in the 40-50lb range carefully released in the water….  Loaded up with gelspun backing the Vosso 1113 has capacity enough for the HD fishing! The RSi 12wt will suit perfectly for small blue fins but if the chance for bigger fish are around a 14wt will be to prefer… We have to take care of those mighty juvenile giants of the sea, and by shortening the fight they will have great chances of swimming unharmed back into the blue where they belong.


By Marc Skovby, Guideline Ambassador DK.


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