Q and A: Tips for Tuna Fishing with Soft Baits

Question and Answer With Hogy Pro Staff

Question: What is the biggest fattest Hogy you guys make or could make ? I fish out of Cape may and am looking for something to use on the back of a typical squid teaser.

Answer:  Use the Black 14inch Original Series behind the squid teaser. The purpose is to simulate an ink tuft from a frightened squid.

Question: What color is best for Tuna?

Answer: The best sellers for tuna fishing are black, bubble, gum and bone.

Question: How do I keep soft baits on my hook for a long day of trolling?

Answer: Keep a bottle of soft bait or super glue handy for repairs.

Question: What’s the best way to troll soft baits for tuna?

Answer: For starters, use an off color stinger. Keep Trolling speed to less than 4kts. If trolling singles and daisy chains and single rigged baits only, don’t be afraid to take the boat out of gear to let the baits sink. They will have a natural quiver as they descend and a rapid quiver as they rise when you begin trolling again. An un-weighted, 14” Hogy soft-bait fished close to the bottom on a down-rigger is deadly for enticing big blue fin tuna grubbing on the bottom. Fish bright colors on your flat-line clips so they don’t get lost in the wash. Flank spreader bars with single rigged baits. Simulate the “wounded” one that separated from the pack.

Question: My spreader bar isn’t swimming right. What gives?

Answer: We recommend that spreader bars are fished from outriggers. If you don’t have a set, then fish spreader bars from the t-top. (With clicker set and rod secured!) The sharp angle will help keep the bar from tumbling.

Question: What’s the Best Soft Bait Spread for tuna?

Answer: People make a big deal about “which wake” to put trolling lure in. My take is to make your spread “look good” Every boat has it’s own wake and every day has it’s own sea conditions. You can be trolling into a head sea, down sea, beam-sea. Up current, down current. You get the idea… Each situation will impact your lures differently. My theory is use your judgment and do what looks good.

  • Match teasers across the board. Also match stingers. This will simulate a more natural bait ball effect behind your boat. I’m a big believer in matching. It’s far more likely that a school of  (same species) baitfish will be chased by the same species of predators. ONE TWEAK THOUGH! I will change 1 stinger color out. For some reason, I find the 1 “off” color lure I have out there is the one that gets hit. Almost doesn’t matter what color.
  • Maximize the Wiggle: Baits that spend as much time in the water as skipping on the surface. If you’re fishing off a rigger, make sure you’re back far enough. Inversely, if you’re fishing in the wash, make sure you use a flat line clip or a rubber band to keep a low angle to the water. This will allow you to fish tight to the boat.
  • Fish a “W” formation.  Vary of lengths behind the boat. You want some close, some far. The idea is that if I fish is attracted to your wake and swims through it, it will come across a lure regardless of where it enters.
  • Boat Speed: Start at 4kts and accelerate and decelerate till you find a speed that looks “sexy” Lure distance behind the boat and line length go hand in hand. Don’t be afraid to change boat speed. Un-weighted soft-baits have a natural quiver even when the boat is out of gear. Don’t be afraid to drop them and speed up.
  • Tinker: You’ll hear me time and time again say the “soft-baits are a blank canvas” you can do anything you want with them. Have fun. Catch big fish and send us pictures.


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