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Albacore Tuna

Illustrator
Duane Raver, Jr.
Season
Open Year-Round

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 Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) for personal use in the Atlantic Ocean must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit. Further limits and restrictions apply.

Consult https://hmspermits.noaa.gov or call toll free (888) 872-8862 for specific information and permits.
Size Limit
No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Common
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Albacore Tuna is an oceanic species that prefers deep, wide open waters.

They are a schooling fish that feed primarily on fishes, shrimps, and squids.
General Description
You can tell an Albacore Tuna from other tuna by looking at its color in addition to its size and shape.

These tuna will have a back that is dark blue, with sides and bellies that are silver-white in color.

This is distinguishable from the yellowfin and bluefin, which have distinctively colored fins.
Did You Know?
Albacore Tuna, when canned, is the only type of tuna that can legally be called ‘white meat tuna’, because it is the highest grade of tuna you can find.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
When trolling for Albacore Tuna fishermen often use small lures dressed with colored feathers. Popular lures include feathered jigs and shiny spoons.

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
Albacore Tuna are commonly caught in the range of 30 to 50 pounds by anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: 32 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 29 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 30 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 22.5 pounds minimum
Delaware State Record
80 pounds
David Francella
1987