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Blackfin Tuna Winter Jigging Trip   by Dr. Ken Neill


Reports of a fantastic bite of blackfin tuna got us to head to Hatteras this past weekend. Anglers jigging around the various rock piles have been catching blackfin tuna pushing 40 pounds, some large king mackerel and all the amberjack and false albacore that you can stand to crank in. The week prior, Ric Burnley (Saltwater Sportsman) was down there and they caught their self-imposed limit of 24 black fin tuna in just a few hours of fishing.

We picked the forecasted calmest day and drove down to fish on the best Hatteras charter boat the Big Tahuna. Of course, the forecast changed and it was rough as heck but those Carolina charter boats are made for those seas. It was a short run to fishing grounds and once there, the action was constant.

This was a new fishing style for most of us so were there to learn a new technique more than to catch fish. We did both. We will be jigging a little differently when we run out of Virginia this year. It is worth your time to go out there at least once on a boat which has this technique down. A good charter boat can really shorten the learning curve.


Ric Burnley road along with us in his roll of outdoor writer/photographer. The anglers included myself, Charles Southall, Bob Manus, Lee Williams, Danny Forehand, and David Brabrand. The tuna bite was off the day we fished though it has turned back on again now. We caught 4 blackfin, a big king mackerel, and a ton of amberjack and false albacore. We also had some shark encounters. We did not land any of those. It was a lot of fun and a good workout. I expect that we will be headed back that way soon. It is a good way to spend a winter day.

King Mack   Amberjack      
False Albacore   Blackfin Tuna  




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