Blackfin Tuna Fishing Overview

Blackfin give explosive bites, hard runs, and are great table fare for their size. And there are no bag limits….sign us up. 

Recent Reviews

We had a great time with Nick. I love when a guide is so determined to get you on the fish that they’re almost stressed when they’re not biting. Nick refused to allow the fish to hide. He busted his butt to get everyone to their red snapper limit and we even ended up fishing a bit over the time we had allotted to make sure we had our best shot. We had a blast, and I would definitely recommend Nick. We’re going home with a cooler full of snapper, so that’s a win!

Brad L. with Nick Tate of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Absolutely, hands down the BEST experience!! Captain Lee and crew were awesome, fun, and great with the boys!! If you don’t go with this crew, you are missing out.

Jodye S. with Lee Crisler of Galveston, Texas

Excellent trip with Captain Donnie! An experience every sportsman needs. Tails Up/Sea Cruiser will be my only go to when fishing out of Venice. Donnie is a true professional and will make sure you get on the fish no matter what it takes. His new Contender is a battle wagon and he and his crew are second to none.

Brad H. with Donnie Jackson of Venice, Louisiana

Want to give a big, "Thanks!" to Jonathan Newer at Captain Experiences for hooking me and my family up with Captain Mike Segall and Daisy of Reel Threel Charter out of Surfside Beach, TX. Captain Mike took us right where the fish were right off the bat on our first stop where we caught our limit of red snapper including a 32", 22 pounder! We were also able to "rescue" some king fish out of the water as well. We thoroughly enjoyed our time deep sea fishing and look forward to our next outing with Captain Experiences and Reel Threel.

Brock P. with Mike Segall of Surfside Beach, Texas

This trip was amazing! Captain Lee really worked hard to get us on the fish. We caught fish all day long - red snapper, king fish and even a mangrove snapper. We had the best time. In my honest opinion, Captain Lee is the best and has my highest recommendation. It's money well spent if you haven't booked with him or maybe thinking about it, I say do it. He's great! A great time with a great captain and crew.

Jill B. with Lee Crisler of Galveston, Texas

Capt. Emilio and his crew were professional, attentive, and knowledgeable. My son and I were given options regarding what kind of fishing we wanted to do and they obliged. I give Capt Emilio a very high recommendation and would definitely fish with him again.

David B. with Emilio Solis of South Padre Island, Texas

Excellent. 4 great Wahoo and lots of snapper great guys. Loved it.

Chuck G. with Daniel Dorman of Port Aransas, Texas


Enrique S. with Lee Crisler of Galveston, Texas

So, my wife Tina and I are at the Houston Boat a little over a month ago and we meet Jonathan Newar founder of Captain Experiences. Jonathan asked me if I was looking for a fishing charter and it just so happened, we were. Fast forward and myself and my good friend Joe Settles are boarding the Tequila Sunrise. We booked a 36-hour fishing trip looking for an adventure and some great fish on Capt. Lee's Tequila Sunrise with his crew, Chris, David and Benito. Jonathan and his photo videotographer friend Brian were fishing with us to produce a fishing video for the website. With a few hours to relax while we were heading out to deeper water, we had some time to talk with Jonathan about Captain. I think this is a great thing when you can contact Captain and ask if there's something available for any type of fishing as well as the place and date you are wanting to book a fishing charter. Before I met Jonathan, I had been searching the web for an offshore fishing trip to catch Tuna out of Galveston. I found a couple charters, but I was hoping for more charters that offered offshore trips to choose from. We booked our trip on Capt. Lee's Tequila Sunrise and Jonathan kept us informed leading up to the day our trip. Getting a chance to talk with the rest of the crew and it’s always great to hear how much we have the same passion for the enjoyment of fishing. The crew worked endlessly to keep us fishing and they did an excellent job at rigging their equipment and Capt. lee had good working tackle. The professional photo videotographer captured us on some great fish and I'm looking forward to seeing all the pictures and videos from our trip. Thanks Brian! When Jonathan booked our trip with Capt. Lee based on what I told him we were looking for, I had a few expectations for our trip. Myself and the rest of us on the boat expected to be safe and have a briefing on what to do in an emergency. Capt. Lee did just that as soon as we got on his boat. I expected to enjoy the trip and fish on a neat back deck which only adds to the fishermans safety, and the crew took great care of that. The Tequila Sunrise has seen a few sunrises and sunset. For me, it added to the nostalgia of fishing on a boat that I’m sure has had some great fish over the rails and it's cool to imagine just how many places that boat has been and all the people who have enjoyed the same fishing experiences as we just did last week. Capt. Lee reminds me of Capt. Ron, and I mean that in the best way because Kurt Russel nailed it in his role in Capt. Ron, and Capt. Lee nailed it as well. We had an overall great time and would recommend booking a trip with them. Best, Mark Schaefbauer

Mark S. with Lee Crisler of Galveston, Texas

Everything You Need to Know About Blackfin Tuna Fishing

What is a Blackfin Tuna?

Blackfin tuna - the youngest brother of yellowfin and bluefin tuna - is the smallest member of the tuna family but this doesn’t mean you should count them out as a fun gamefish and a tasty meal. They can be found throughout the western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico in deep water, often staying in schools closer to the surface.

They are similar in appearance to a mini bluefin, with oval shaped bodies, black backs, and silver sides and underbelly. They generally swim together, and when you’re on a group of blackfin you can get a number in the boat - they have a strong bite and run in packs. They prefer warmer waters (over 68 degrees) although they are known to swim north or south somewhat with the seasons.

How big do Blackfin Tuna get?

Blackfin tuna are a fast-growing, short-lived species. They reach sexual maturity at around 2 years and will spawn for another 2-3 years before dying.

They are the smallest tuna of their genus Thunnus, and will grow to a max size of about 40 inches and just over 40 pounds (compared this to a bluefin, which can grow to 1500 pounds). A good day is a haul of blackfin from 15 to 25 pounds. An average fish caught might be somewhere in the 7-10 pound range. 

What's the biggest Blackfin Tuna ever caught?

The all-tackle world record blackfin tuna is 45 pounds 8 ounces caught off the coast of Florida.

Where is the best place to catch Blackfin Tuna?

While most tuna species have a broad range, that of the blackfin tuna is a bit more limited. They only inhabit tropical and sometimes temperate waters in the western Atlantic Ocean, mostly remaining south of Virginia and north of Brazil, inhabiting everything in between including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Within this range, blackfin can be somewhat migratory depending on the water temperature and season, but htey always prefer deeper water with plenty of nutrients. They can often be found on offshore structure like oil rigs or current rips, or in areas where underwater structure like reefs or humps can push nutrients up to them. 

When should I catch Blackfin Tuna?

Blackfin are migratory depending on the season and try to stick with waters close to 70 degrees, so in the summer they can move to more temperate waters. The season is always open in the US with no bag limit or size limit, and anglers can catch blackfin year-round if they can find them. 
### How do you catch Blackfin Tuna?

Tuna are generally low-light feeders who spend the majority of their time below the surface hunting squid (their large eyes help here). While blackfin are not terribly different, they can often spend more time near the surface than some other tunas. They are known to migrate vertically throughout the water column in order to feed, so a good angler will try a few different depths to get on them. Early morning and late afternoon are when they are most likely to be close to the surface, although the bigger blackfin will usually stay deeper.

The best way to catch smaller blackfin can be just trolling the surface, but if you want bigger fish you can chunk bait, and it can be good to try to bring the bigger fish up towards the surface with a free snack in the form of free swimming bait. Otherwise vertical jigging at different depths can be helpful until you can mark the fish and find them.

Blackfin are predators and will each fish, squid, shrimp, crabs, and all manner of amphipods and other smaller sea critters. This means they eat a wide variety of food, but because their eyesight is so good your presentation also needs to be, and it can be good to scale down your leader and hooks for blackfin. Great choices for bait are ballyhoo or mullet, but you can also use jigs and other lures.

Are Blackfin Tuna good to eat? What are the best Blackfin recipes?

Blackfin tuna are great to eat, second only to their larger tuna cousins the yellowfin and bluefin. Many anglers talk in relative terms and will catch a yellowfin and blackfin and discard the blackfin in favor of the yellowfin. While yellowfin is probably the better of the two, blackfin is certainly something to write home about in its own right. It is great to eat raw, seared, or baked. And an insiders secret: while not the sexiest, boiled fresh tuna will make the best tuna salad you will ever have - you’ll never go back to store-bought stuff.