All Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) not retained must be immediately released to ensure the maximum probability of survival, without removing the fish from the water.
*Special permit required - All private vessel owners/operators recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Shark Species for personal use in Federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean (3 to 200 miles off shore) must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit.
27 inch minimum (measurement is taken in a line, tracing the contour of the body from the tip of the upper jaw to the fork of the tail, which crosses the dorsal insertion of the pectoral fin and the dorsal side of the caudal keel)
Daily Limit / Person
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Yellowfin Tuna is an oceanic species that prefers deep, wide open waters.
They are a schooling fish, often mixed with other tuna, that feed primarily on shrimps, squids, and fishes.
Yellowfin Tuna are dark blue or black on the top with yellow on the sides and sliver/white on the bottom.
The fins are tinged in yellow with the finlets being yellow.
Did You Know?
The Yellowfin Tuna is very loyal to its school and they will do all they can to protect each other.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Yellowfin Tuna can be caught by trolling with rubber skirted lures or natural baits.
Bait fisherman often chum, called "chunking", when fishing for tuna. Chunking uses pieces of fish tossed into the water while drifting or anchored to attract tuna close to the fishing vessel. Anglers then drift a piece of fish with a hook in it, hoping for a bite.
Typical Sizes Caught
Yellowfin Tuna are commonly caught in the range of 32 to 43 inches in length (25 to 60 pounds) by anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award Adult: 48 inches minimum Youth (age 15 and under): 45 inches minimum
Sport Fishing Tournament Award Adult: 70 pounds minimum Youth (age 15 and under): 52.5 pounds minimum
Delaware State Record
873 pounds Dan Dillon 2005
Yellowfin Tuna are eligible for the general "Tuna" record which is held by an Atlantic bluefin tuna.
Yellowfin Tuna are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.