Tuna Fishing - Topwater Lures for Bluefin - Seth Hartwick

0 Votes
Watch Full Video
View Short Trailer
Instructor: Seth Hartwick

Seth Hartwick's topwater lures for bluefin tuna fishing video is essential for anglers looking to advance their learning curve. He is an expert in targeting big tuna and shares his insights on lure placement, bait selection, and tackle. Learn from Seth's expertise on lure rigging techniques, reels, and rods, focusing on casting ability and lifting power.

Description / Review / Instructor

Video Summary

  • Idea: Targeting big bluefin tuna with topwater lures.
  • Intensity: Not for the faint-hearted due to the power of bluefin tuna.
  • Experience: Knowledge and experience enhance success with topwater lures.
  • Collaboration: Article in collaboration with Seth Hartwick, an expert fisherman.
  • About Seth: Globetrotter, elite fisherman, knowledgeable on tackle and lures for big game fish.
  • Understanding Bluefin Tuna: Discerning eaters; presentation and rigs are key.
  • Poppers and Floating Stickbaits: Effective lures for surface-working bluefin tuna.
  • Lure Selection: Importance of diversifying lures for different situations.
  • Rigging and Gear: Importance of quality and safety in gear selection.
  • Casting Lures: The right tackle setup is crucial for success.

The idea of targeting big bluefin tuna with topwater lures is sure to send a thrill down your spine. This style of fishing is not for the faint-hearted. Bluefin tuna are incredibly powerful and will push even the best tackle to its limits. The more knowledge and experience you have when you hit the water with topwater lures for bluefin tuna, the better you will fare.

As part of our "In The Spread Fishing" series, we've teamed up with Seth Hartwick, one of the world's leading big game, reef donkey, and tuna smashing fishermen, to share some deep insights on what works when casting lures to big bluefin tuna.

Meet Seth Hartwick

Seth Hartwick's personality and approach to fishing contribute significantly to his success and reputation in the angling community. Being described as nice, smart, hardworking, and analytical are traits that not only make him a pleasure to fish with but also speak to his proficiency as an angler. His designation as a "tackle diva" suggests a keen eye for detail and a relentless pursuit of the best gear, which is crucial in a sport where the quality and suitability of equipment can make all the difference.

His membership in an elite group of globe-trotting fishermen who specialize in casting lures for the biggest reef fish and tuna adds another dimension to his expertise. This global experience allows Seth to gain a broad and deep understanding of various fishing environments, techniques, and fish behaviors. Fishing for large species like bluefin tuna around the world isn't just a testament to his skill; it's an ongoing research and learning experience that constantly hones his approach.

Seth's willingness to share his knowledge is perhaps his most commendable quality. In a sport where secrets and techniques are often closely guarded, his generosity in imparting wisdom is invaluable, especially for those new to the sport or looking to improve their skills. This sharing of knowledge helps elevate the entire community of tuna fishermen.

Having access to the finest lure crafters and tackle builders means Seth is always at the cutting edge of fishing technology and innovation. His refined sense of what works best for targeting giants like bluefin tuna is not just based on theory but on rigorous, real-world testing. This involves traveling to major tuna fishing destinations, experimenting with various tackle, lures, rigs, hooks, and techniques, and pushing them to their limits. This kind of dedication requires significant time and financial investment, but for Seth, and by extension the fishing community, the returns are invaluable. The knowledge gained from these experiences helps refine techniques and gear choices, contributing to more effective and efficient fishing strategies that can be shared and adopted by anglers worldwide.

In summary, Seth's combination of personality, expertise, willingness to share, and access to cutting-edge fishing technology makes him a treasure trove of knowledge and experience in the world of bluefin tuna fishing. His contributions to the sport are not just in the fish he catches but in the lessons he shares, which enrich the entire angling community.

Understanding Bluefin Tuna

The discerning nature of bluefin tuna makes them one of the most challenging and intriguing targets in sport fishing. Their reputation as super picky eaters is well-earned, as they can be highly selective about what they eat. This selectivity extends not just to the type of prey they pursue but also to how that prey is presented to them. The appearance and movement of the lure are crucial; if a lure doesn't closely mimic the natural behavior of the tuna's typical prey, it's likely to be ignored. This level of detail in presentation requires a deep understanding of the fish's behavior and preferences.

Seth's experience and insights become invaluable in this context. This video is not just about showing which lures work but explaining the 'why' behind their effectiveness. He likely discusses aspects like the size, color, and action of the lures, tailoring his advice to the specific conditions and prey species found in various bluefin habitats. For instance, in areas where bluefin feed primarily on small baitfish, a smaller, more agile lure might be necessary. In contrast, in regions where larger prey is the norm, bigger, more substantial lures might be more effective.

Additionally, Seth delves into the importance of rigging in presentation. The way a lure is rigged can significantly affect its movement through the water. Improper rigging might result in unnatural movements that can deter a discerning bluefin. He shares tips on rigging techniques that enhance the natural swimming action of the lures, making them more appealing to these cautious predators.

The great value of Seth's video lies in its applicability to a wide range of fishing environments. Whether an angler is fishing in the cold waters of the North Atlantic or the warmer seas of the Pacific, the principles of lure selection and presentation Seth discusses are universally relevant. This universality is particularly beneficial for anglers who fish in different regions or are new to targeting bluefin tuna. By understanding the underlying principles of what makes a lure effective, anglers can adapt their approach to any body of water they find themselves in, increasing their chances of success in catching this elusive and prized species.

Poppers and Floating Stickbaits

The use of poppers and floating stickbaits becomes particularly effective when bluefin tuna are active on the surface, a situation that often occurs during feeding frenzies or when baitfish are pushed to the top of the water column. These lures are also ideal in agitated water conditions, where their movement and noise can attract attention amidst the choppy waves.

In the video, Seth's detailed breakdown of these lures is an invaluable resource. He covers aspects such as the size, shape, color, and action of different poppers and stickbaits, explaining how each of these factors influences their effectiveness in various conditions. For instance, larger poppers might be more effective in rougher waters or for larger tuna, while smaller, more subtle stickbaits could be better in calmer conditions or when tuna are feeding on smaller baitfish.

The rigging of these lures is also crucial. Seth explains the best practices for attaching hooks to these lures, including the size and type of hooks to use for different sizes and types of bluefin. Rigging also includes the type of line and leader material, which must be strong enough to handle the power of a bluefin tuna while being inconspicuous enough not to deter them.

Moreover, the video covers the tactics of using these lures, including casting techniques, retrieval speeds, and how to make the lure behave in a way that mimics real prey. This involves explaining how to work a popper to create the right amount of splash and noise, or how to manipulate a stickbait to swim erratically like an injured fish.

Boat positioning and casting location are other critical factors in bluefin tuna fishing. Seth emphasizes the importance of approaching the fish without spooking them, positioning the boat in a way that maximizes casting range and accuracy, and selecting casting spots based on where the fish are likely to be feeding or moving.

The precision required in bluefin tuna fishing is a theme that Seth reiterates throughout the video. Every aspect, from the selection of lures to the final execution of the cast and retrieval, needs to be carefully considered and executed. This video, with Seth's expert guidance, aims to provide anglers with the knowledge and skills needed to refine their techniques and increase their success rate in targeting bluefin tuna, thereby getting them "dialed in" to this challenging and rewarding form of fishing.

Lure Selection

Having the right type of poppers is indeed critical for successful bluefin tuna fishing, especially when these fish are feeding near the surface. Poppers that dive, swim effectively, and produce thick bubble trails are particularly effective in attracting the attention of bluefin tuna. These features mimic the movements and disturbances created by prey fish, making the poppers an irresistible target for the tuna.

In the video, Seth's discussion on his preferred types of poppers is highly informative. He would explain why certain designs, sizes, and weights are more effective for catching bluefin tuna. The size and weight of a popper can determine its casting distance and the depth at which it swims, both of which are crucial in targeting bluefin effectively. Additionally, the quality of the lure is paramount. High-quality lures not only withstand the rigors of fighting large, powerful fish but also perform better in water, exhibiting more life-like and enticing movements.

Knowing the specific characteristics of effective bluefin tuna lures is invaluable. This knowledge can save anglers time and frustration by allowing them to select lures that have a higher chance of success, rather than going through a trial-and-error process with inferior products.

Floating stickbaits are another essential tool for targeting bluefin tuna. These lures are effective when bluefin are corralling baitfish against the surface, a common feeding behavior. The ability of floating stickbaits to move just beneath or on the water's surface makes them ideal for mimicking injured or fleeing baitfish in this top 10 feet of water.

However, as Seth points out, the use of floating stickbaits is best when birds are not a problem, as birds can interfere with the fishing by attacking the lures. This highlights the need for anglers to be observant and adaptive in their approach, choosing the right lure based on the conditions and the presence of potential disturbances like birds.

Overall, Seth's insights into the selection and use of poppers and floating stickbaits provide anglers with a deeper understanding of how to effectively target bluefin tuna. By focusing on the top layer of water where bluefin are actively feeding, using lures that are designed to attract these discerning predators, and understanding the importance of lure quality, anglers can significantly increase their chances of success.

Rigging and Gear

The importance of properly rigging topwater lures for bluefin tuna fishing cannot be overstated. Bluefin tuna are incredibly powerful and can easily destroy poorly rigged equipment. Shortcuts in rigging can lead to disappointing losses, both in terms of damaged gear and missed opportunities to land these magnificent fish. Seth's insights on this aspect of tuna fishing are likely to be invaluable, especially for those looking to improve their success rate.

In his discussion, Seth covers several key points about rigging lures for bluefin. This includes the type of tuna hooks to use – whether single or treble – and the reasons behind his preferences. The choice between single and treble hooks can depend on various factors, such as the size of the lure, the expected size of the fish, local regulations, and the angler's personal preference for catch and release or keeping the fish.

Seth also delves into the correct positioning of the hooks on the lures. Proper hook placement is crucial for ensuring a good hook-up ratio while minimizing the damage to the fish, especially if catch and release is the intention. He discusses the size, quality, and brands of split rings and swivels, emphasizing that investing in high-quality components is crucial. Cheap or substandard hardware can fail under the strain of a large, fighting bluefin, leading to lost fish and broken gear.

In addition to the technical aspects of rigging, Seth places a strong emphasis on fish safety and ethical angling practices. The welfare of bluefin tuna, especially given their status in some regions as a species of concern, is paramount. Proper handling and quick, safe release of fish are crucial to ensure their survival and the sustainability of the fishery. This includes choosing the right hooks and rigging methods to minimize harm to the fish, whether they are being released or kept.

For anglers intending to release their catch, barbless hooks or single hooks might be recommended as they cause less damage to the fish and are easier to remove. For those keeping their catch, ensuring a quick and humane dispatch is important. Seth's expertise and ethical approach provides guidance on making the right choices in gear and tactics, balancing the thrill of the sport with the responsibility towards the conservation of these majestic creatures.

Casting Topwater Lures for Bluefin Tuna

Casting topwater lures for bluefin tuna is a demanding endeavor that requires not just skill but also the right equipment. Given the strength and power of bluefin tuna, every component of the tackle setup must be of the highest quality and durability. This is where Seth's experience becomes invaluable. Having used and tested countless rod and reel setups, his insights on the ideal tackle for targeting bluefin tuna are crucial for any serious angler.

In his presentation, Seth discusses the importance of choosing the right reel. This includes considerations such as the reel's drag system, which must be smooth and capable of handling long, powerful runs, and its line capacity, as bluefin tuna are known for their strength and stamina in long fights. The type of reel, spinning, has its advantages depending on the fishing situation and angler preference.

The main line is another critical component. Seth covers the benefits of different types of lines, such as braided vs. monofilament, focusing on aspects like line strength, abrasion resistance, and stretch. The right choice of main line can significantly impact casting distance and the ability to handle the intense pressure during a fight with a bluefin.

The leader system is equally important. Seth discusses the length and strength of the leader material, as well as the importance of choosing a leader that is strong enough to withstand the sharp teeth and sheer power of bluefin tuna, yet subtle enough not to spook these wary fish.

Connections, including knots and crimps, are also likely a focus of his presentation. These must be meticulously tied or crimped to ensure maximum strength and reliability. A failed knot or crimp can mean the difference between landing a trophy fish and a story about the one that got away.

Furthermore, Seth's insights into the quality and build of bluefin tuna lures are essential. He likely emphasizes the need for lures that are not only designed to attract bluefin but also built to withstand the immense forces exerted during the fight. This includes robust hooks, strong split rings, and durable body construction.

Overall, the key takeaway from Seth's presentation is that quality and reliability of gear are paramount in bluefin tuna fishing. The combination of the right gear, knowledge, and technique is what makes the difference in successfully landing these powerful and elusive fish. His experience and recommendations help anglers make informed decisions about their equipment, increasing their chances of success and enjoyment in the challenging sport of bluefin tuna fishing.

Why are bluefin tuna so discerning?

Bluefin tuna are particular about their food. Presentation is key as even the slightest discrepancy can deter them.

When are poppers most effective?

When bluefin tuna are working the surface or in agitated waters.

What type of lure does Seth recommend?

Seth recommends poppers that dive, swim, and produce thick bubble trails, as well as floating stickbaits.

What is the key takeaway about rigging and gear?

Do not compromise on quality. Proper rigging and high-quality gear are essential to success and fish safety.

Why is gear quality so important?

Bluefin tuna are powerful and will easily destroy inferior lures and tackle.

Read More
Login to leave a review.

User Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Seth Hartwick

Seth Hartwick is a topwater fishing enthusiast, traveling worldwide to catch GTs and Tuna using big poppers and stickbaits. He values the natural state of the ocean and far off reefs, and has made over 83 overseas trips. Seth has shared adventures with his dad and works as a journeyman lineman for a power company in SE Michigan.

Read more


Load More Videos

We Recommend