Jigging for Giant Bluefin Tuna: Gear, Technique, and Tips

Catching giant bluefin tuna is an experience coveted by anglers worldwide. Jigging is a proven technique to target these leviathans, and with the right gear, technique, and knowledge, anglers can increase their chances of success.


  • Rod: A short, stout jigging rod, around 5’6″ in length, is ideal for this fishery. These rods provide the backbone to battle big fish while maintaining enough tip action to impart a lively action to the jig.
  • Reel: A heavy-duty reel with high line capacity and strong drag is crucial. Look for reels specifically designed for jigging tuna, as they can handle the powerful runs and jumps of these fish.
  • Line: Braided line is preferred for jigging due to its thin diameter and superior strength. This allows anglers to feel the jig’s action better and fight the fish with more direct contact. Choose a line weight appropriate for the size of bluefin tuna targeted.
  • Jig: There are various jig styles effective for bluefin tuna. Metal jigs with a fluttering or flashing action are popular choices. Consider the depth you will be fishing at and select a jig weight that will sink efficiently.


  • Jigging for giant bluefin tuna involves rhythmic lifting and lowering of the jig with the rod tip. The specific action will vary depending on the jig and desired presentation. Experiment to find what works best for attracting bites.
  • Once a fish shows interest, it’s important to maintain contact with the jig and avoid slack in the line. Setting the hook is often achieved with a strong upward sweep of the rod as the fish bites down on the jig.


  • Target areas with proven bluefin tuna activity. Look for baitfish schools, temperature breaks, or areas with feeding activity like surface splashes.
  • Match the hatch. Choose jigs that resemble the size and color of the predominant baitfish in the area.
  • Be prepared for a fight. Giant bluefin tuna are powerful fish that can take hours to land. Ensure your drag is set correctly and have a plan to battle the fish without letting it break the line.

By following these tips and using the appropriate gear and techniques, anglers can increase their chances of experiencing the thrill of catching a giant bluefin tuna. Remember, jigging for these behemoths requires physical stamina and proper technique. Be prepared for a battle and enjoy the challenge!

Images/Source: OnTheWater

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