Ready to put some delicious and hard-fighting tuna on the deck? Snap one of these lures to the leader and troll the nearest rip line.
Soft plastic designed to mimic the real thing, squid lures are often rigged in daisy chains on heavy monofilament leader solo or with a small chugger lure at the end. The splashing and commotion help draw tuna into the spread.
Brands: Squid Nation, Mold Craft, Boone2
Also typically rigged with bird or in a series with a chugger, fake flying fish are meant to represent a major part of the tuna diet without the mess. Besides, flying fish are hard to procure unless you’re a champion skeet shooter.
With a cupped face and pliable plastic skirt, chuggers create commotion as they spit and leave smoke trails on the surface. Color patterns resemble baitfish, but the noise and action trigger reactionary strikes.
Brands: Mold Craft, Bost Ahi Snacks4
This classic acrylic jet head with a plastic skirt made by Sevenstrand is one of the all-time tuna killers. Rigged alone or in a series, the action and resemblance to ballyhoo is too close for tuna to resist.
Similar to the Green Machine, these lures, rigged plain or in front of a ballyhoo, leave a long enticing smoke trail. They’re also inexpensive and easily rigged.
Brands: Ilander, Bost6
With colorful splayed feathers and acrylic jet heads, these lures over a lot of water and draw strikes when tuna get finicky.
Brands: Zuker Tuna Feathers, World Wide Sportsman/BPS7
An effective lure originally employed by commercial fishermen, the venerable cedar plug still accounts for a considerable share of tuna every season. Painted versions like the white and red head offer contrast. The unfinished natural cedar soaked in menhaden oil adds scent to the equation.
Brand: Sea Striker8
To capitalize on surface feeding frenzies, like off Cape Cod or the Gulf rigs, tie on rugged popper and cast into the melee. Replicating hardtails, cigar minnows and menhaden, they drive fish wild. Just make sure the tackle—and angler—can withstand the subsequent battle.
Brands: Yo-Zuri 3D Poppers, Guide’s Choice, Williamson