Tuna fishing is thought of a daytime activity, but there are techniques to catching them under darkness. Bait fish that tuna rely on for food are still active under darkness, as are the tuna feeding on them. Bait fish are attracted to light, so a light source is needed to catch the tuna under darkness. Chumming is a technique of cutting or grinding the bait fish to attract the tuna. The chunks or grindings are tossed into the water, saturating it with the scent and flavor. This is done in the water being illuminated by your light source.
Oil rigs are located all over the Gulf of Mexico and are a good source of light. They are often lit up better then most metropolitan areas. This light is cast upon the water surface attracting schools of bait fish. This light often reaches a few hundred feet away from the rigs, making it safe to fish. There might be regulations in some areas as to how close you can be near the rig, so check before you fish.
There are buoys located near all major ports and inlets that are lighted. Some of the buoys are bright enough to attract bait fish and tuna. Daytime scouting will be necessary to determine if the fishing area is safe and if there are any snags under the buoy. Marine maps will have listings of buoys for an area, but often do not tell if they are illuminated.
Flares can be activated and tossed onto the water surface. Marine flares will float on the surface without extinguishing. Be prepared with quite a few flares as they usually do not last long. It often takes an extended period of time before bait fish reach the lighted area. This technique is the least effective because the light source will be new, as the other light sources are daily occurrences and are routine to the fish.
Article Written By Matthew Knight
Based in Southwestern Michigan, Matthew Knight has been writing outdoor and technology articles since 2008. His articles appear on various websites. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer information systems from Western Michigan University.