Best Lures for Big Eye Tuna: The Ultimate Guide

February 1, 2021

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Tuna is one of the most popular fish for salty seamen. The Big Eye Tuna is a slighter smaller tuna variety but is by no means an ‘easier’ catch. They prefer to hunt for baitfish in deeper water, and you will either need to be an adept kayak fisherman or steady on a boat. So what are the best lures for Big Eye Tuna?

Your chances of a successful catch are higher in the early dawn hours or the twilight, just as the sun begins its descent. This means that you will be fishing in dimmer light, and there are a few lures for Big Eye Tuna that will increase your chances of a good catch of the day. 

But how do you catch Big Eye Tuna? Take a look at this guide for the best lures for Big Eye Tuna. Even If you already know the ins and outs of catching Big Eye Tuna, this article can still help you. By highlighting the best lures for Big Eye, you can find your favorite lure and start catching bigger, healthier fish. 

Let’s dig in.

Top 8 Best Lures for Big Eye Tuna

1. Squid Tuna Lures

There are few lures as ideal for Tuna than the Squid Tuna Lure. 

The Suid tuna lure is a soft lure made from squishy plastic. They are made to replicate a real squid, and if rigged correctly, can be an effective lure.

You should rig squid lures using a heavy monofilament leader, daisy chains, and end it off with a slight chugger lure. If you prefer, you could leave the monofilament leader without the small chugger lure. Some of the best brands of squid lures are Mold Craft, Boone, and Squid Nation. These also work well for Skipjack Tuna.

2. Flying Fish Tuna Lures

Fake flying fish can be a great lure for your next tuna fishing trip. As the name suggests, these lures are made to look like the real deal, making an irresistible temptation for a passing tuna.

You should set up these types of lures with a chugger or a bird rig. Sure, fresh baitfish is always a better option. But getting your hook into a real flying fish might be one of the more difficult fishing feats. Summer is one of the top flying fish tuna lures popular amongst avid anglers. 

3. Small Chugger Tuna Lures

If you’re hunting for a lure to bring in the strikes, get a small chugger tuna lure on your hook. The Bost Ahi Snacks Small Chugger is an excellent choice. But really, when it comes to small chugger lures, you are spoilt for choice.

The best small chugger lures for Tuna have colorings and markings similar to baitfish. The chuggers mimic a bait fish’s action and noise, instigating the Tuna to strike out of reaction. Some good brands tried and tested by fishermen are Bost Ahi Snacks and Mold Craft. 

These also work wonders when fishing for mahi mahi, wahoo, spearfish, albacore tuna, or black marlin.

4. Green Machine Tuna Lures

The Green Machine lures are excellent lures for Tuna. They are often revered as some of the best lures to use. The Sevenstrand Green Machine tuna lures are classically crafted with a jet head made of acrylic accompanied by a plastic skirt. Calling a lure ‘one of the best of all time’ may seem like a tall statement- but try it for yourself. 

Whether you prefer to rig it in a series or rig it solo, the Green Machine is the perfect lure for reeling in those Big Eye Tunas. It also works well for California Yelowtail.

5. Metal Jet Head Trolling Lures

If you’re looking for a lure that can be used for a variety of fish (and not just a lure for Big Eye Tuna), then a metal jet head trolling lure should be on your list. The metal jet head troll lure is one of the more affordable options and can be rigged by even the most novice of anglers.

They can be used in conjunction with ballyhoo and can be left solo as well. Some of the most popular brands are Bost and IIander. They also are great lures for wahoo and aggressive sailfish.

6. Feather Jig Tuna Lures

The feather jig lure is a great option for fishermen that have been met with fussy fish. When you find the Tuna is finicky, the feather jig lure could be an answer.

They have jet heads made from acrylic, and they have a trail of resplendent tail feathers. Among the most popular brands for feather jig, tuna lures are the Worldwide Sportsman feather jig lure. 

7. Cedar Plugs Tuna Lures

If you’re seeking a deceptively simple lure, the Cedar Plugs Tuna Lure is the one for you. It is a simple lure, but no less effective. The cedar plug lure was one of the traditional lures commercial fishermen use.

This natural lure is one of the all-time greats and still to this day accounts for many successful tuna catches. Manufacturers can paint them with white and red, and the wood is typically drenched in menhaden oil. This oil gives the lure an enticing scent to attract Tuna.

One of the most popular cedar plug lures is from the Sea Striker brand. 

8.Topwater Popper Tuna Lures

If you want to excite Tuna, this is the lure to go for. A popper lure is famous for inciting the Tuna to strike. In areas where frenzies are common, use the popper to make the most of the excited fish. Most poppers look similar to cigar minnows or even hardtails, which Tuna and other gamefish will love. Be sure to not confuse them with Yellowtail!

When you target fish in areas like these, you’ll need to have the right tackle to handle the onslaught. Make sure you have the proper fishing rods and reels for Big Eye Tuna. Some of the more popular Poppers brands include the Williamson Popper and the Yo-Zuri. 

These poppers are also a favorite of Giant Herring and Gaint Trevally.

How to Fish for Big Eye Tuna

Big Eye Tuna love to peruse the warmer waters found in the Indian Oceans, the Pacific, and the Atlantic. They are predators that prefer more temperate waters instead of adopting migratory practices. Anglers can also find big Eye Tuna in the waters of the Islands located in the Mid Atlantic as well as the waters of the northern areas of the US East Coast. 

One characteristic that sets Big Eye Tuna apart is that they can be found in greater depth waters than most other types of Tuna. When the sun’s out, Tuna will usually swim in waters with a depth of between 980 and 1600 feet.

This makes the Big Eye a difficult fish to catch doing the day. But all that changes as the sun begins to set, or the mystical minutes just before dawn. The Big Eye Tuna will roam in much shallower water when the sun is down. This is why it is better to go fishing for Big Eye Tuna in the early morning or late evening. 

Up until recently, the Big Eye Tuna was not actually referred to as a unique species. Instead, the Big Eye was classified as a Yellowfin variation. The main difference between the two fish is that the Big Eye Tuna has smaller anal and dorsal fins than the Yellowfin. 

Anglers are most successful when using trolling methods, especially when the sun is out and the Big Eyes swim in deep water. The trolling could be done with the lures we mentioned earlier or bait such as squid, mullet, or even live bait. 

Tips and Tricks for Big Eye Tuna

If you’re on the hunt for hungry Big Eye Tuna, then you should be fishing at night. The Big Eye Tuna is not usually found near the surface during the day. However, at nighttime, they are often found skimming the surface and can prefer swimming at shallower depths during the darker night. 

Preparation is key, especially when you are going fishing in the dark hours of the night. Plan your night troll days in advance, and if you are going for the whole night, then it is advisable to have a crew to focus on the evening, the night, and the hours just before the sun comes up.

Anglers have the most success when they trawl in the hours just after sunset and just before dawn as well. 


Big Eye Tuna may not be the most common Tuna for recreational anglers, but they reward their huntsmen. They enjoy roaming in greater depths than other species of Tuna, and this makes them a more elusive catch.

They were once categorized along with the Yellowfin Tuna but have quickly cemented their status as a unique type of Tuna. They can often be found in canyons, and you will need the right type of equipment to keep up with their ferocity. We hope this article has helped you find the best lures for Big Eye Tuna, which could drastically improve your chances of success. 

Always go night time fishing with a guide if you are new to the area or a novice angler who has not experienced night time fishing. There’s no shame in perfecting your craft by learning from more experienced anglers. 

We hope you enjoyed this article on the best lures for Big Eye Tuna and found it useful for your next successful Big Eye Tuna venture. Which is your favorite lure to use for a Big Eye? 

Happy Hunting!

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