10 Best Tuna Fishing Spots in the World

A look at some of the best places around the world to tangle with big tuna.

Ever wonder where the top destinations are for catching tuna? Here are 10 of the best spots in the world to catch big tuna. Of course “big” varies per species; a 350-pound yellowfin tuna is as big for that species as is a 1,000-pounder for bluefin tuna. Also, note that these are not offered as “the ten best spots” in the world, but rather, 10 of the best. Big difference. These are not ordered by rank, but arbitrarily and randomly. And there are lots of other candidates, of course, such as Kona, Rodrigues Island, the Azores, Ivory Coast, Canary Islands and more.

The Canadian Maritimes of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia

biggest tuna grander bluefin fishing Nova Scotia Canada
The IGFA all-tackle record bluefin tuna just four pounds shy of 1,500 was caught off Nova Scotia, Canada; many granders-plus are caught (and mostly released) each season here and off neighboring PEI. Courtesy Capt. Josh Temple /

The Reviilagigedos Archipelago and Other Banks off Southernmost Baja

biggest tuna yellowfin fishing Baja California Sur Mexico
The world’s biggest yellowfin tuna consistently come from the southernmost area of the eastern Pacific off Baja California Sur, Mexico. Recent studies have shown that these big cow tuna don’t migrate long distances but remain in the region, perhaps because the waters are so productive. Courtesy Ray More

Venice, Louisiana

biggest tuna yellowfin fishing Venice Louisiana
The Gulf of Mexico off the MIssissippi River mouth offers some of the most productive waters anywhere for big yellowfin tuna. Capt. Rimmer Covington (left) guided David Cresson, with CCA Louisiana (center), to his biggest tuna to date, as mate Scott Sullivan assists. Doug Olander
biggest tuna yellowfin deepwater oil rig fishing Gulf of Mexico
Though yellowfin are encountered anywhere in the northern Gulf’s blue waters, the most consistent action is usually around/near big deepwater rigs. Doug Olander

Westport, New Zealand

biggest tuna Pacific bluefin fishing Cova Rosa New Zealand
Pacific bluefin are the name of the game here, off western New Zealand. In this shot, Leanne Dixon admires her 650-pounder, a pending IGFA line-class world record. It was caught on the Cova Rosa with skipper Lance Goodhew. Courtesy Reel Adventures
biggest tuna Pacific bluefin fishing Westport New Zealand
Pacific bluefin off Westport are attracted to the bycatch and accidental discards of hoki trawlers like this, shadowed by a game-fish charter. Hoki are small members of the cod family, netted commercially. Courtesy Mark Kitteridge / New Zealand Fishing News
biggest tuna Pacific bluefin fishing Westport New Zealand
Calm seas help this angler in his stand-up battle with a giant Pacific bluefin — but such seas are definitely the exception off Westport, which is more often characterized by challenging conditions, all part of the game to tough Kiwi anglers. Courtesy Mark Kitteridge / New Zealand Fishing News

Cape Hatteras / Mid-Atlantic

biggest tuna bluefin fishing Cape Hatteras Mid-Atlantic
While granders might not be likely in the Mid-Atlantic, the bluefin tuna that visit this coast each winter can run to sizes approaching that — huge fish by any measure. Courtesy Ken Neill


biggest tuna yellowfin fishing Tropic Star Lodge Piñas Bay Panama
Trophy yellowfin tuna are no stranger to the waters off Panama (and often neighboring Costa Rica as well). This 268-pounder came from the Zane Grey Bank area off Piñas Bay, Panama. Courtesy Raleigh Werking / Tropic Star Lodge
biggest tuna Allison fishing Tropic Star Lodge Piñas Bay Panama
A 170-pounder yellowfin is a big one in any book, but on a popper, such as this Sebile Splasher, is a real accomplishment for Raleigh Werking with Tropic Star Lodge in Piñas Bay. Courtesy Tropic Star Lodge

Mauritius and Reunion Island

biggest tuna yellowfin fishing Mauritius Reunion Island
Sitting far off Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius and nearby Reunion Island provide good shots at some hefty yellowfin (like this Mauritius specimen) and bigeye. Courtesy Riccardo Tamburini
fishing location Mauritius Reunion Island
Not a bad place to come home to, either, after a hard day’s tuna fishing — the appealing island of Mauritius. Courtesy Riccardo Tamburini

Stellwagen Bank/Cape Cod, Massachusetts

biggest tuna bluefin fishing Stellwagen Bank Cape Cod Massachusetts
Big bluefin can be caught anywhere off the New England coast. Stellwagen Bank — where this beauty was caught with Capt. Chuck DiStefano (right) — is one of the better bets. Doug Olander

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

biggest tuna yellowfin fishing Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, characterized as “Cow Town” in Sport Fishing magazine, in one of the earliest features on the burgeoning fishery for 300-plus-pound yellowfin, remains a great place to find tuna — of many sizes — feeding at the surface. Courtesy Capt. Josh Temple /