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For the second time this week, I've seen in a discussion someone mentioning the temperature of the water various tuna prefer. Bigeyes, longfin, schoolie yellows, big yellows, etc.

I don't understand how it is, when we occasionally get water touching into the 80's here, that is considered too hot for most most of the yellows, albies and big eyes, when in South/Central America or the Gulf of Mexico, the lower temps are in the high 70's/low 80's and they have great tuna fishing for big yellows, albies, etc. Our 80 degree water is still holding plenty of bait from all the reports I've read.

I understand that tuna have the ability to regulate their body temps to a degree, but so do I, and I'd sure as **** rather be swimming in 80 degree water, rather than 70.


So I'd just wanted to start a discussion to try and find out where this info is coming from (scientific studies, personal experience in 30 years commercial fishing for them, etc.) and what the overall concensus is for what the optimum temps are for each of the big four tuna species we have up here (bft, yft, bet and lfa).

If the Hudson is bathing in 80 degree water right now, and the NA bouy is sitting on a three degree temp break from 70-73, why aren't the yellows and albies inshore chasing the plentiful schools of squid that have been around?

Should I be taking the little boat to the Patchogue grounds right now for the famed inshore yellowfin tuna fishing I've always heard about from yesteryear?

Thanks,

Chris
 

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Chris,
I had a chart, IIRC it was from Sportfishing magazine where the scientific "experts" figured out what the ideal water temp for mpst game fish. I'll see if I can find it and post it. FWIW, its been considered a truism for decades that if you are catching alnies and want yellows, find warmer water. They do mix together in a small range of Temps, but the water gets into the high 70s and higher the longfin go elsewhere.
 

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In my opinion there is no "ideal" temperature. I have had epic local tuna fishing in water temperatures as low as 58 degrees and as warm as 83. I think bait and structure play the most important role in finding the fish and temperature breaks can act as a form of structure
 

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Found this on the Satwater Sportsman's website. The Noreast software isn't tbalbe friendly so in case this becomes unreadable here is a link oto the table; Temperature guide

I edited out some of the species we never see around here.

Water Temperature Ranges for Popular Game Fish
Species
Lower Avoidance.............Optimum...............Upper Avoidance

Amberjack
60.........................65 - 75.....................80+

Atlantic Bonito
60.........................65 - 75.....................80+

Atlantic Cod
31.........................44 - 49......................59

Atlantic Mackerel
40.........................45 - 55......................70

Barracuda
55.........................72 - 80......................86

Bigeye Tuna
52.........................62 - 74......................80

Blackfin Tuna
65.........................70 - 75......................82

Black Marlin
68.........................72 - 82......................87

Bluefin Tuna
50........................60 - 72.......................82

Bluefish
50........................66 - 72.......................84

Blue Marlin
70........................74 - 82.......................88

Dolphin
70........................72 - 78.......................82

Haddock
36........................42 - 48.......................52

Pollock
33.......................40 - 50........................60

Sailfish
68.......................72 - 82........................88

Skipjack Tuna
50.......................55 - 65........................70+

Striped Bass
50.......................55 - 65........................75

Summer Flounder (Fluke)
56.......................62 - 66........................72

Swordfish
50.......................60 - 75.........................80

Tautog
45.......................50 - 60.........................76

Weakfish
45.......................56 - 68.........................78

White Marlin
65.......................68 - 78.........................80+

Winter Flounder
35.......................48 - 52.........................64

Yellowfin Tuna
64......................72 - 82..........................80
 

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here are preferred temperatures and bottom and top range for tuna & others

Water Temperature and Finding Fish
Locating and finding fish can often be as simple as finding the water temperature certain fish prefer. However, this is only a guideline as many fish will be found outside their natural ranges due to foraging, migrations, weather, etc. Water temperature is a very important tool especially for offshore fishermen. Below is a chart showing several fish species and their preferred water temperatures, course if there is plenty of bait they gonna burst up from below and hit it outside of their temp range anyway.

click on link below.

http://www.nuffsaidfishing.com/TEMPPREFS.html
 

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I think a lot has to do with warm temps spread out everywhere. With no real break the fish are spread out everyhwere along with the bait. It is much easier to find fish if there is a real break and you can narrow down the area like TunaBully said about temp break=structure. I can't see the reasoning being it is too warm bc of great fishing in other areas with even warmer temps.
 

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Chris - I get what you are saying completely. Its akin to the question "If fluorocarbon is so invisible why cant I fish 200# fluoro and not get bit!".

The bait is as good as it gets this season. The water temps are prime for all types of Tuna but it is not wide open. The issue may be one of currents or lack there of. There is a great deal of shelf water warming up much of our normal areas. Even the boats to the south parts are not crushing the fish on the right side of the eddy or stream. As Stakones was alluding to there is no real concentration of fish.

I was listening to some longliners on my last trip to the edge and one boat set 1k hooks and he had 998 blanks. He set the gear from the warm to the cold side up the bank between the Toms and the Hudson. When I was commercial lobster/Tunafishing fishing there was a definite advantage to finding a hard break and working it to death. That still holds true. The recent catches of Bigeye in the Hudson are not typical. No breaks yet tremendous concentrations of bait. The numbers where these fish were caught were constant for almost 10 days. The majority of the Bigeyes and large Yellowfin in this water were within 1/8 of a mile of the numbers (lat lon) from the previous 9 days! Kind of defies explanation. They have tails and the current is not a given over that period of time given moon cycles and wind.

I am very curious as to the catches on these numbers and others this week and what will be over the weekend when the moon becomes full. A few days before and after the moon should be the best times for all types of Tuna and Swords.

I have had many talks with longliners who would be skeptical of setting any gear on the moon. In fact many of them plan their trips around the moon and will alter their trip based on if they will lose any days fishing to less than optimal conditions on the moon. This is not scientific but more anecdotal from people who do this for a living and have detailed records of what works on what moon phase, current and temperature. There is a piece of equipment that can make some sense of this anomaly. Doppler Thermometer. It can detail the temperature breaks within a given water column. Maybe the explanation lies in the mapping of the temperature breaks invisible to the eyes of a satellite.

It has been a strange season so far. Tremendous fishing for some who get on the bite and exploit it. Yet, scarcity for the many who miss the bite or go to beautiful water just to be frustrated. It is fishing at its best and is why we do it.

Thanks for starting this. I am curious as to the responses. This season is definitely different. You have to go but you need to be really dialed in to make the trip a monster!

Thanks.

John


This post edited by JohnTFT 10:47 PM 08/12/2008
 

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Kind of what John was saying, what we see on the SST charts is the surface temperatures, not the temperature throughout the water column, which is often quite different. Its a well know fact that many tunas, particularly bigeye, spend most of their time below the thermocline and only occansionally rise above it to feed. So the situation we are seeing today with this "feast or famine" fishing may well have to do with the subsurface water temps, which are a complete unknown to us.
 

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MakoMike wrote:
Kind of what John was saying, what we see on the SST charts is the surface temperatures, not the temperature throughout the water column, which is often quite different. Its a well know fact that many tunas, particularly bigeye, spend most of their time below the thermocline and only occansionally rise above it to feed. So the situation we are seeing today with this "feast or famine" fishing may well have to do with the subsurface water temps, which are a complete unknown to us.


That being the case, I think the initial thoughts that I am having ( to use SST as a starting point for locating fish ) would hold true, and that once the basics have been covered, such as SST and Structure, maybe I should be looking into finding a thermo or halocline as well.. :confused: ( Although we can't readily identify the temp in #'s we can at least locate the depth of it on the sounder if it is a significant change..)

That being said... would longfin tuna theoretically be present in these areas of warmer surface temp, and just not rising about the thermocline?? Hmmm.... the gears are turning now.....
 

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PtJudeRI wrote:
That being said... would longfin tuna theoretically be present in these areas of warmer surface temp, and just not rising about the thermocline?? Hmmm.... the gears are turning now.....

Theoretically yes. The upper avoidance temp for albies, according to the charts is 66 degrees, so unless there is a lot of food below the thermocline I wouldn't expect to find many of them in the 80+ degree water that's so prevelent right now. OTOH if you go to that 10-degree tempo break out east, I'll bet that you would find some longfin.
 
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