Yellowfin Tuna Fishing the Oregon Inlet, NC

photo by Anthony DiGiulian

Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) also known as Ahi, mostly swim & feed in the upper water column within 100 meters of the surface. However, satellite tag information has recorded them diving to as deep as 1,160 meters (3810 feet). This fish was caught on a trolling spoon, set just below the surface, out of the famous Oregon Inlet, North Carolina.

Here are some additional facts about Yellowfin Tuna

  • Yellowfin tuna are torpedo-shaped.

  • They are metallic dark blue on the back and upper sides and change from yellow to silver on the belly.

  • True to their name, their dorsal and anal fins and finlets are bright yellow.

  • Yellowfin tuna can be distinguished from other tunas by their long, bright yellow dorsal fin and a yellow strip down the side. They are also slenderer than bluefin tuna.

  • Yellowfin tuna grow fairly fast, up to 400 pounds, and have a somewhat short life span of about 7 years.

  • Most yellowfin tuna are able to reproduce when they reach age 2 or 3.

  • In the western Atlantic, they spawn from May to August in the Gulf of Mexico and from July to November in the southeastern Caribbean. In the eastern Atlantic, they spawn from October to March in the Gulf of Guinea and from April to June off Senegal.

  • Females spawn about once every 3 days during the spawning season. They produce an average of 1 million to 4 million eggs each time they spawn.

  • Yellowfin tuna feed near the top of the food chain on fish, squid, and crustaceans.

  • They are prey for top predators such as sharks and large Marlin.

Facts taken from NOAA Fisheries:

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