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Yellowfin Tuna

December 12, 2021

Yellowfin Tuna

Thunnus albacares is the binomial name of yellowfin tuna, which belongs to the family Scombridae. Yellowfin tuna is the most colorful fish out of all tuna species. Yellowfin tuna is warm-blooded fish. The fish gets its name due to its bright yellow tail and finlets between dorsal and anal fin. In addition, Yellowfin tuna has an adaptation of diving to deeper depths.


Other Common Names:

The fish has some common names as,

  • Ahi
  • Allison tuna
  • Pacific yellowfin
  • Yellow-finned albacore

General Description:

Body Shape and Body Color:

Yellowfin tuna has dark metallic blue backs, yellow sides with a silver belly. The belly has about 20 vertical lines. The body shape is a torpedo. The body shape is adapted for fast swimming.

Body Size and Body Weight:

The estimated reached body weight is about 200kg and the size reported is approximately 2.7 m.

Fins and Tail:

The tail is bright yellow, the finlets present between fins are also yellow, giving the ahi an overall yellow appearance, and are called yellowfin tuna. Sickles like appearance because fins reach far back to the tail. The dorsal and anal fins are more prominent and mature in adult yellowfin tuna. The pectoral fin of yellowfin tuna is larger than bluefin tuna.

Life Span:

Yellowfin tuna has about 7 to 8 years of lifespan.


Yellowfin tuna can swim at the rate of 50 miles per hour.

Habitat of Yellowfin Tuna:

Yellowfin tuna are commonly present in warm waters. Yellowtail tuna inhabit the pelagic zone. They can easily be found at depths of about 250 meters.


Yellowtail tuna show migratory behavior and can swim over long distances. As a result, yellowtail tuna has worldwide distribution found in tropical and subtropical oceans.

They are commonly found in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. However, due to their migratory behaviors, they can also be found in eastern and western Australian waters. Sometimes yellowfin tuna can be caught from Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, recreationally managed by the state government.

Diet of Yellowfin Tuna:

Due to their well-adapted body shape, they swim at a faster rate and catch their prey quickly. Their diet may contain,

  • Fish
  • Skipjack tuna
  • Crustaceans
  • Myctophids
  • Pelagic driftfish
  • Squid

  • Lanternfish
  • Flying fish
  • Sauries
  • Mackerel

Predators of Yellowfin Tuna:

The young yellowfin tuna are preyed upon by

  • Larger tuna
  • Wahoo
  • Seabirds
  • Shark
  • Billfish

Adult larger yellowtail tuna predators are,

  • Mako
  • Great white
  • Atlantic blue marlin
  • Toothed-whale
  • Black marlin
  • Pacific blue marlin
  • False killer whale

Reproductive Behaviour of Yellowtail Tuna:

Yellowtail tuna attain reproductive maturity at the age of 2 years. Spawning occurs throughout the year and mostly during summers. Depending upon body size, females can produce 0.2‑8 millioneggs per spawning event.

Yellowfin Tuna as Food:

Yellowtail tuna has mild-flavored red meat in raw form, and when cooked, it turns from brown to grayish. Yellowfin tuna is served in sushi in raw form as sashimi. The fish is excellent for grilling and has two grades; one is “sashimi grade,” and the second one is "other" grades.

Yellowfin Tuna Fishing Tips and Tricks:

Best Time to Catch Yellowfin Tuna:

The season to catch yellowfin tuna depends upon location. The peak season is May, June, July, and August. In some places, the tuna season is during the rainy season, from May to November. While at certain places, tuna is more abundant and larger in size during March and April, the dry season.

How to Catch Yellowfin Tuna:

  • The best method to catch yellowfin tuna is Bait Fishing.

  • Chumming
  • Live Bait fishing
  • Are the two most commonly used methods by anglers. You can use different baits and artificial lures in blue and white colors to attract the yellowfin tuna.

  • The gear you use for catching yellowtail fish depends upon size.
  • Choose the fiberglass and graphite rods. If you use the rod of fluorocarbon lead, it is good as yellowfin fish have good vision, and such rods make minor abrasion. 

  • Use circular hooks as they are difficult to unhook.

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