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Exploring the Taste Profile of Blackfin Tuna

What Does Blackfin Tuna Taste Like? Read This First

The blackfin tuna is one of the most delicious fish that you could reel in. The blackfin tuna is perfect for sushi and so tasty enough to be eaten raw, as it is. The most crucial part is that the tuna is as fresh as possible. Whether you want to make sushi, slice it up thin as is, or pan-sear a blackened fillet, the blackfin tuna is a tasty treat. So what does Blackfin Tuna taste like?

The short answer is that Blackfin Tuna tastes similar to other species of tuna. It has a robust fish flavor with firm, dark meat. It’s great seared or eaten raw!

Are you an eager angler preparing to reel in a Blackfin Tuna in the tropical Florida Keys? Well, there are a few things you should know. Here are some tips for when you are preparing to catch them and some tips to keep the fish as fresh as possible once you have them. 

How to Prepare Blackfin Tuna

As soon as you reel in a Blackfin Tuna, get prepared to cark the tuna. It is imperative that you bleed it as soon as possible. Whether it is yellowtail or a blackfin, the tuna is a fast swimmer and a ferocious fighter. You can be sure that their heart is pumping as fast as possible when it is on the boat dangling from the hook. 

To bleed it, you’ll need to snip the main artery. This is crucial for most dark meat fish, like bonito, albacore tuna, skipjack tuna, and yellowfin tuna. Anglers can find the main artery directly under the gills. Measure halfway between the fish’s mouth and its throat, aim for under the gills, and you’ve found it.

Author Note: Once you cut this artery, you’ll notice the blood pouring out of the fish. This helps to bleed the fish out as quickly as possible. Use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut the artery. Let the fish rest in an ice-cold brine solution as it bleeds out.

You should do this for most species of tuna and Yellowtail.

Top Tip: after you’ve bled the fish out, let the fish sit on or in ice for at least 3 hours (but no more than 6) before consuming it. This is the best way to prepare the flesh if you want to consume it raw- whether thinly sliced as a snack or in sushi. 

How to Prepare Tuna for Bait

Fresh caught Blackfin Tuna

If you want to use your tuna for bait, then do not bleed it. After the tuna is bled out, it loses much of its attractive scent. So, if you want to attract large predators, then don’t bleed out the fish, as the gills will retain the scent.

The Florida Keys are famous for their abundance of large predator fish that frequent the shallows during the early mornings and late afternoons. So, using a tuna for bait could be ideal if you want to reel in a large Tarpon or even a shark. 

If you’re interested in learning more on how to catch Blackfin Tuna, check out our best Blackfin Tuna lures guide.

Blackfin Tuna Facts

The Blackfin Tuna is more than just a tasty meal or attractive bait. It plays an essential role in the ocean’s ecosystems and is a wonderful fish to study. 

Blackfins fall under the Thunnus Atlantica family and are rampant throughout the Atlantic, but more predominantly throughout the Western part of the Atlantic. Although it is a ferocious and robust opponent for anglers, it is the smallest of all the tuna species. 

Author Note: Reaching a maximum length of just 40 inches, the Blackfin may be small, but it is fast and agile. Anglers generally reel in a Blackfin between the weight of 20 and 20 lbs, and the largest caught Blackfin weighed in at 46lbs. 

The Blackfin is a relatively easy fish to target, especially when the conditions are perfect. The smaller Blackfins tend to remain nearer to the surface. If you want to reel in a larger blackfin, then you should target the deeper water. Blackfin tuna tend to frequent the deeper water columns.

If you do want to reel in a larger one, then there are few techniques that you can use. Firstly, throw free swimming bait into the water. While this may seem counterintuitive, it is a smart move. The free-swimming bait will attract the larger tuna to the surface. After you’ve released the free-swimming bait, you can throw in your baited hooks. 

If this does not yield positive results, troll the surface for the smaller blackfins. This is one of the most effective ways to reel in a blackfin- even if they are the smaller ones. 

Blackfin Tuna Diet

Blackfin Tuna Caught

It is apparent by their physical appearance that their physical body is built for speed. Their body streamlined shaped similar to the football you might recognize from your high school or college field. The Blackfin is fast. So fast, in fact, that it can reach speeds of up to 46mph.

This is faster than the speed limit in some urban areas. The tuna is not just fast under the water. They have been known to literally fly through the air as well. The Blackfin is not only famous for clocking aggressively fast speeds, but they are known for their aggressively eating habits too. For an enthusiastic angler, this means that the equipment has to stand up against their aggressive eating habits. 

The Blackfin will typically scour the water for small prey, but they don’t eat it. They are intelligent and follow the small prey waiting for a larger fish to target. They will follow the smaller fish and then prey on the fish that targets the one they are following. This is more intelligence than some humans seem to exhibit. 

The Blackfin is also known for targeting flying fish. Among their diet are squid, crabs, and shrimps. They are not particularly fussy eaters and have a wide range of fish on their menu. Blackfins tend to hunt in schools for both protection and success. Blackfins are also not particularly afraid of other tuna species. Yellowfins and skipjacks are also known to hunt in the same schools as blackfins. 

Known Predators of Blackfin Tuna

If you want to catch a blackfin for your next sushi date, you should know what other predators may be targeting your target. 

Juvenile blackfins often have to avoid the clutches of a sea bird. Mahi Mahi, the larger Skipjacks, and other large fish also target smaller blackfins. Since they are the smaller tuna species, it is no surprise that they are often the targets of other fish. More so than any other tuna species. 

Perhaps this is why the Blackfin is one of the fastest species. They need their speed to make up for their smaller size.

Once juveniles grow into a larger species, they need to avoid the Blue Marlin. The Blue Marlin is an apex predator and is one of the fastest fish in the sea. It can clock speeds up to 80 mph, which is not as fast as even the speediest Blackfin. 

The Blue Marlin is a prized game fish, so if you want to give it a shot, then the blackfin tuna could be the perfect bait. Sharks also seem to love the blackfin tuna. Many anglers often relish reeling a blackfin in until a shark takes a bite. 

BlackFin Tuna Recipe

blackfin tuna with a background of boards

Sure, the Blackfin Tuna is excellent raw, as it is. But, if you want to make a delicious recipe with a freshly caught Blackfin, then use this one. 

Try this seared blackfin recipe the next time you reel in a Blackfin. This recipe uses simple blackened seasoning and a few extra spices. What’s more, the recipe is simple to make- it’s quick, easy, and perfect for both novice and experienced chefs.

Give it a quick squeeze of lemon and to counter the heat, and you’re good to go. 

Author Note: Ensure your blackened spice consists of clove, fennel seeds, black pepper, ginger (ground is best), cayenne pepper (of course), and oregano. 

The tuna fillets are seared in a flash. Just a couple of seconds on each side. With a quick rub of seasoning and a quick flash fry, this tuna is perfectly prepared. Give it a quick squeeze of lemon to counteract the heat, and you’re good to go. 

For the sides, go for something light and tasty. Try a fresh couscous salad or a barley salad. One of the best accompaniments (and dare we say trendy) is some roasted chickpeas. 


  • Fresh Blackfin Tuna (approximately 1 lb)
  • Your favorite blackened spice rub (around 2 or 3 teaspoons)
  • ¼ cup olive oil or melted butter


  1. Firstly, you should rinse your fillets. Make sure they are dry by patting them with paper towels. 
  2. Next up, you’ve got to prepare your steaks. Aim for ½ inch steaks. 
  3. Put the blackened spice into a bowl to prepare it for the tuna steaks.
  4. Now that your ingredients are ready, it’s time to get your equipment ready. 
  5. Preheat the frying pan (a cast iron skillet is best). The heat should be high enough to flash fry the steaks. Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated enough. 
  6. Before you place the seasoning on the steaks, you should toss the steaks in olive oil or butter. Once you have done that, place the spice onto the steaks.
  7. Make sure you apply pressure, and the spice is pressed well into the steaks before you fry them. Aim for 10 seconds on the heated pan.
  8. The middle of the steaks will become pink in the middle. If you need a little more time, that should be fine- but never leave it on for more than 30 seconds. 
  9. Once they have left the pan, you should serve them almost immediately. 


Blackfin Tuna is one of the most delicious species of tuna. It can be prepared in many different ways and is delicious when eaten raw. We hope you enjoyed this article on what does Blackfin Tuna taste like.

Happy Hunting!


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