Whether you're looking for ahi, albacore or bluefin, some of the best tuna fishing spots are located around the United States. You can charter a boat off the Florida Keys, take your own skiff out on North Carolina's Outer Banks or head to Hawaii to try and catch some trophy-sized tuna. The fish can get upwards of 300 pounds, and they are popular with anglers and eaters all over the world.
Oregon Inlet, North Carolina
The largest tuna ever hooked along North Carolina's coast came from Oregon Inlet, with a 744 pound bluefin caught in 1995, according to the state's Marine Fisheries Division. Sport Fishing Magazine names this area within Cape Hatteras National Seashore as a great spot to catch tuna, though the average weight is usually less than 100 pounds. Many charter boats operate in the area, and there are also plenty of launches if you're heading out in your own boat. The prime months for tuna are May through August, and the very best period is reported to be during the full moon in July. Private vacation homes are for rent in the area, or you can find hotels in nearby Nags Head.
Called one of the top spots for catching tuna for Sport Fishing Magazine, the Kona coast runs along the western side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Yellowfin tuna caught there are often in the 120- to 200-pound range, and according to the magazine, you'll have the best luck in the summer when schools are migrating near shore. There are dozens of charter boats available along the Kona coast, and they usually cost between $800 and $1,000 for a full-day charter, as of April 2010. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants nearby as well, and if you're planning on spending most of your time tuna fishing on the water, you may want to book accommodations close to Kailua-Kona Harbor, where many of the boats dock.
Located a few hours drive south from New Orleans near the mouth of the Mississippi River, you'll find Venice, Louisiana, called one of the best places to catch tuna by Sport Fishing Magazine. This northern gulf area usually has tuna that typically weigh 70 to 110 pounds, though during the peak season that runs late January through March, anglers often pull in tuna that weigh over 200 pounds. Around a dozen charter boats offer full-day trips for tuna fishing that usually cost about $1,300, plus fuel costs, for the day, as of April 2010. Some captains can help arrange lodging for you as well on houseboats or at nearby cabins or lodges.