7 Best Tuna Trolling Lures of All Time for Yellowfin Tuna

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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The best tuna lures are brightly colored skirted lures that are 8 inches long with 100 lb mono leader and treble hooks that are trolled at 8-10 knots in the top water column.

The Flying Fish Yummy Flyer is my top choice because its bubbling motion attracts more tuna. It features realistic wings and comes pre-rigged. It is ideal for saltwater anglers who want to catch anything from wahoo to mahi mahi and of course large tuna.

Tuna are one of the most prized offshore saltwater fish species in the world. There are a wide variety of different species of tuna and anglers all over the world use the same types of lures to catch them. Tuna fishing is a very popular commercial form of angling and offshore fishing guides and recreational fishermen and women view tuna as one of the top species in the ocean. 

Anglers in the Atlantic Ocean commonly target blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, Atlantic bluefin tuna and others. In the Pacific Ocean, it’s common to catch Pacific bluefin tuna, yellowfin, bigeye tuna, albacore tuna, Pacific bonita and many others. There are a number of ways anglers catch tuna on the open ocean. These methods include bottom-fishing, jigging, chunking, and trolling. 

Best Overall
Flying Fish Yummy Flyer

Flying Fish Yummy Flyer

  • Pre-rigged with 150-pound mono leader
  • Four colors - red, blue, black, green
  • Unique wings act as fins
  • Mimics flying fish bait
Best Value for Money
Boone Turbo Hammer Tuna Lure

Boone Turbo Hammer Tuna Lure

  • Highly-versatile pelagic lure
  • Trolling from 2 to 10 knots
  • Closely resembled various baitfish
  • Extremely affordable price
Best for Smaller Tuna
Billy Bait Tuna Trolling Lure

Billy Bait Tuna Trolling Lure

  • 6-foot mono leader
  • Can catch Mahi-Mahi & Wahoo
  • Suitable for Smaller Tuna

In this article, we will detail our top 7 picks for the best tuna lures available right now, as well as some other information regarding these immensely-popular fish that will be helpful to anglers. 

Skirted Trolling Lures

1. Flying Fish Yummy Flyer – Best Tuna Lure

Our number one overall pick is the Flying Fish Yummy Flyer. This unique bait mimics one of the tuna’s most coveted menu items, the flying fish, which is found throughout much of the world. Tuna will typically go out of their way to chase down a sizable flying fish that’s swimming near the surface, so this is a solid lure to use when trolling through areas that have abundant numbers of tuna species. 

This lure is very easy to use and doesn’t require any type of specialized rigging before you’re able to start fishing with it. The Flying Fish Yummy Flyer is a lure that can be used to catch anything from mahi-mahi to sailfish and wahoo. It’s a full 8 inches in length and is designed to offer a highly realistic look and feel through it’s soft plastic body and specially-designed wings that act as fins for trolling just beneath the water’s surface. 

The flying fish is a known favorite among tuna, as well as a number of other popular fish that are typically targeted by commercial anglers, fishing guides and recreational anglers. The lure is made so that it creates a life-like bubbling and swimming motion atop the water that acts to attract tuna by making noise, as well as visually appealing to them in a realistic manner. 

The Flying Fish Yummy Flyer is a unique lure that comes pre-rigged with its own 150-pound mono leader. It includes a standard hook that protrudes out the back, as well as a large treble hook that’s made to ensure that most fish that strike at the Yummy Flyer will be caught by one or the other. The lure can be purchased in four different distinct colors that include red, blue, black and green. 

2. Boone Turbo Hammer – Best Tuna Lure for Trolling

A close second is the Boone Turbo Hammer Tuna Lure. This highly-versatile lure can be fished in a variety of ways with different baits that can be added to the lure as a trailer for extra appeal to hungry fish. This lure comes in a few different colors, but avid tuna anglers will agree that the pink and blue coloration of these skirted lures has a magical effect on tuna in certain areas of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the waters around the Florida Keys. 

Boone lures are one of the more popular brands that produce solid options for tuna fishing and the Boone Turbo Hammer Tuna Lure is one of their best-selling products. It’s best-used for trolling and can be rigged with cigar minnows, cut bait, or other live bait like ballyhoos. The size of the Boone Turbo Hammer Tuna Lure is 5.5 inches in length and weighs just ⅝ of an ounce. 

One of the most appealing things about this lure is that it’s very similar to some of the other popular lures made by brands like Billy Baits, but can be purchased at a significantly lower cost. The Boone Turbo Hammer Tuna Lure is typically used for trolling at speeds of anywhere from 2 to as high as 10 knots in some cases. Most anglers recommend starting out with the lure at roughly 2 knots and increase the speed in 30 minute intervals to find out what fish prefer on any given day. 

This lure comes in color combos like blue/silver, red/black, white/chartreuse, and others. The pink/fuchsia color combination seems to be the most popular as it is capable of closely resembling a wider variety of bait fish that are usually found in the waters around the United States and other areas. 

3. Kmucutie 5-piece Copper Head Octopus Trolling Tuna Lures

Tuna are known as voracious eaters that will usually consume anything that comes their way. While it’s more common for them to feed on bait fish and certain types of crustaceans like lobsters and crabs, many tuna species are known to eat squid or octopus when given the opportunity. The Kmucutie 5-piece Copper Head Octopus Trolling Tuna Lures can be highly effective for trolling purposes because these lures are capable of mimicking both squid and octopus, as well as resembling certain kinds of fish when moving through the water. 

These lures are similar in size to the Boone Turbo Hammer Lures, as well as the highly-popular Billy Baits that are known to be very productive when it comes to trolling for tuna. The Kmucutie 5-piece Copper Head Octopus Trolling Tuna Lures are bigger than the Boone skirted lures with an overall length of 8 inches and a weight of 3.1 ounces. The lure pack comes in 5 distinct color combinations that are said to be some of the most effective when it comes to trolling for tuna. These multi-colored options are designed to very closely mimic certain types of bait fish that are commonly found along the Gulf Stream and other hotspot areas where tuna are commonly found. 

The Kmucutie 5-piece Copper Head Octopus Trolling Tuna Lures are made with a double skirt that’s designed to give it a unique swimming motion as it moves through the water. It’s also made with multiple jet holes on the metal head that act to produce bubbles, or “smoke,” as it is trolled, which helps to attract tuna and entice them to chase down the lure and strike. 

These lures are sold in a convenient 5-pack that includes some of the most prominent colors used for trolling for tuna. Each individual lure is also made with a large, realistic-looking eye that also helps to get tuna to bite when fished at just the right speed. 

4. Billy Bait Tuna Trolling Lure

Our next option could very easily be listed at, or near, the very top. The Billy Bait Tuna Trolling Lure are clearly one of the most popular tuna fishing baits available today and they can be used for trolling and casting or other methods that are known to catch tuna in certain parts of the world. One of the biggest advantages to using these lures is the fact that it comes in a variety of color combinations that allow anglers to select just the right one for the specific time of year or conditions. 

The Billy Bait Tuna Trolling Lure can be purchased in black and red, pink and silver, pearl and pink, blue and purple and other combinations that are made to very closely resemble different types of bait fish that tuna are known to target. The main reason why we chose to list this lure in our number 4 spot is because it’s a bit more expensive than other skirted options that are designed to accomplish the same basic thing. 

Each individual lure comes with a 6 foot mono leader that allows anglers to quickly and easily rig the Billy Bait Tuna Trolling Lure to their swivel without worrying about other items like weights and beads. This particular lure is known to be very effective when it comes to catching a wide variety of other game fish species in addition to tuna. Most anglers can expect to hook mahi-mahi, wahoo, and a variety of other fish when trolling the Billy Bait over reefs or through certain parts of the Gulf Stream. 

It should be noted that the Billy Baits Tuna Trolling Lure is mostly designed to catch smaller tuna that commonly chase down fast-moving bait fish in the upper portion of the water column. If you’re going after bigger, more mature sized tuna, you’ll want to use other types of lures that may not require them to vigorously chase down their prey. 

5. Bost Ahi Snack Lure

Another very popular skirted lure option is our number 5 pick among the best tuna lures for this season. The Bost Ahi Snack Lure comes with a plethora of advantages over your average trolling lure, but it should be noted that this one isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive lure options among our list of tuna fishing lures. However, as you might expect, any tuna fishing lure that’s more expensive is usually worth the investment for serious tuna anglers as you’re guaranteed to get a higher-quality product that also brings greater advantages to the table. 

Like the other skirted lure options we’ve included on our list, the Bost Ahi Snack Lure comes in a variety of different color options. In fact, you can purchase this lure in any one of 9 color combinations that are each specifically designed to very closely resemble the favorite types of bait fish that tuna and other sportfish are known to target in the open ocean. You can also purchase each individual lure with its own specific type of head which includes a natural, ocean, purple, or mirror-like tip that includes the characteristic large eyes that most anglers point to as the driving force behind these lures and their ability to attract bites out of fish. 

One of the most significant differences in this lure and the other skirted options is that the head is specially designed to produce a long smoke trail of bubbles thanks to its unique shape and size. It’s also made to give off a distinct sound which tuna and other fish pick up on as being very similar to the noise a fish makes as it swims through the water near the surface. 

The Bost Ahi Snack Lure is a great pick that we could honestly put higher on our list. However, due to the fact that they are significantly more expensive than almost any other skirted lure you’ll find on the market right now, we mostly recommend these lures for the most serious tuna anglers who are willing to invest a bit more money into their tackle. 

6. Ancient Mariner Tackle Tuna Bullet Daisy Chain

Our next lure on the list of the best tuna fishing options for this year is another very expensive, yet highly effective lure that is commonly used by the pro’s. The Ancient Mariner Tackle Tuna Bullet Daisy Chain is a skirted lure that’s very similar to the ones we’ve already mentioned, but it also offers some distinct advantages that you won’t find with cheaper options. These lures are noticeably smaller than most other skirted lures meant for trolling the offshore waters around the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic. They are capable of catching smaller tuna, and often attracting trophy-sized mahi-mahi, marlin, sailfish and many other sportfish that anglers love to catch. 

A daisy-chain style lure is one that avid tuna anglers and offshore fishing gurus typically use along with other trolling options to test out the different flavors of lures that fish might want to chew on that particular day. This lure comes in a few different color combination options and Ancient Mariner actually makes a few different styles of daisy chain lures that are among our most favorite options when it comes to trolling for any type of sportfish. 

7. Dr. Fish Saltwater GT Popper

Our list of the best overall tuna fishing lures for this year wouldn’t quite be complete without a good, solid topwater popper option. Our favorite choice in this department is the affordable and highly-productive Dr. Fish Saltwater GT Popper, which is one of the most fun lures to use for catching tuna. These lures are best-used for instances when you spot a good weed line or bait ball in the water at the surface. Tossing the Saltwater GT Popper near these places will often result in a reaction strike from any nearby tuna or other type of sportfish as it very closely resembles a common bait fish. 

This lure features a laser holographic body that includes a ribbed body with inserted large eyes for added realism. It’s made with a stainless steel wire-through construction that is highly durable and will stand up to being attacked by the most vicious predatory sportfish fish in the ocean. The Dr. Fish Saltwater GT Popper gives off a distinct rattling sound thanks to its internal rattling system that helps produce a realistic noise that matches what most game fish hear when they are pursuing a wounded bait fish that’s at the water’s surface. 

The lure’s cupped head design helps it chug and plow through the water in a way that will catch the attention of any nearby fish and is made to look very similar to an actual fish. It’s best to throw this lure around areas where you can visually see bait balls, birds that are diving into the water, or grass beds and other structures where you might expect to find bait fish swimming nearby. This lure is a full 8 inches and large enough to attract bites from some of the most sought-after sportfish in the ocean. 

Tuna Lure Overview 

Tuna are a very common species of fish that can sometimes grow to be hundreds of pounds and provide very large portions of meat to commercial fishing operations that target them. Guides and recreational fishing enthusiasts are also known to target this distinct species. In many cases, tuna are known to school up in large groups which will hunt together and chase after certain types of bait fish, as well as shrimp and other creatures like squid. 

These fish are known to migrate exceptionally long distances throughout the year to reach certain feeding grounds and spawning areas. Bottom fishing for tuna is somewhat common, but most anglers say the most exciting form of fishing for tuna is trolling. For many commercial fishing vessels and guides, the easiest way to fish for tuna involves seeking out large schools of bait fish on fish finders, then using a variety of techniques to target them. 

Skirted Trolling Lure for Tuna

For Florida anglers, blackfin tuna are probably the most common species that are caught along the Gulf of Mexico, the Key, as well as the Atlantic coast. You can catch this species of tuna, as well as bluefin, and other prominent tuna varieties around most reefs that are roughly 150 feet deep. Anglers also usually target tuna with trolling tactics in the deep water of the Gulf Stream where it’s not uncommon to find giant tuna swimming in large schools of dozens at a time. 

There are a number of different factors that should be taken into consideration before you plan your tuna fishing trip. Whether you’re fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, or any other part of the world, you’ll need to target areas where tuna are known to be. Most importantly, you’ll need to use the right lures to catch tuna for each specific occasion and fishing scenario. 

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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