Sport fishermen know that when it comes to landing a trophy fish, all anyone wants to talk about is the blue marlin.
It’s no wonder, as blue marlin are beautiful, majestic, and powerful fish, sometimes growing to over 1,000 pounds. However, another fish deserves a seat at the table—tuna. Tuna is a natural-born predator that has all the speed and power a trophy fish should display.
If you’re ready to take on these incredible beasts, check out our favorite spots for the best tuna fishing in the world:
1. Chiriqui, Panama
The Pacific coast of Panama is home to several sport fish species that anglers from all over the world hope to hook. Specifically, the yellowfin tuna found in this area, from a pound-to-pound standpoint, are the hardest fish in the ocean to catch.
Built for speed and power, tuna is a gifted predator and will not let you boat them without a fight. Averaging 300 to 400 pounds, finding a monster in the warm waters won’t be hard; the hard part will be reeling the beast in.
2. Outer Banks, North Carolina, United States
You won’t find massive 400-pound trophies off the North Carolina coast in the United States. What you will find is a nonstop school of yellowfin tuna, each averaging 50 to 80 pounds, that will put up a fight. Additionally, in the wintertime, fishermen find giant bluefin tuna in the shallow waters close to the shore.
This location helps anglers narrow down the search—they can avoid the deep, wide-open ocean, which ultimately makes the tuna easier to catch.
3. Canary Islands, Spain
A vacation hotspot just off the coast of Morocco, the Canary Islands of Spain is a volcanic archipelago. It is home to monstrous bigeye, bluefin, and albacore tuna. These fish start coming to the area as early as March, but the season isn’t at its peak until April and May.
The bluefin and albacore are the first tuna to show up, following massive bait balls as they move through the Atlantic. Some fishermen have been able to land yellowfin in this region, but they’re decidedly more difficult to catch.
4. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta in Mexico isn’t just a favorite spot for spring breakers, but sport fishermen as well. The Gulf of Mexico has plenty of big fish patrolling the deeps—mainly, giant schools of yellowfin tuna.
The current world record for yellowfin tuna caught in this area was set in 2019, coming in at 450 pounds. Tuna season runs from May to February, so there is plenty of time to find a massive yellowfin and reel it in.
5. Nova Scotia, Canada
If you are looking for a true challenge—a real fight—then travel to Nova Scotia in Canada for an attempt to hook a bluefin tuna.
Built like a torpedo with retractable fins, the bluefin is a northern Atlantic apex predator. The bluefin is the largest species of tuna, weighing in routinely at 1,000 pounds. They migrate to all oceans and can dive down to 3,000 feet, making them elusive creatures at times. With a lifespan of up to 40 years, bluefin tuna have plenty of time to grow into giants.
And, to finish things off, check out our ultimate guide of over 100 facts about Canada.