Fishing in Hawaii: Yellowfin Tuna
Among the largest of the tuna species, the Yellowfin Tuna is a staple in Hawaii, in not only the ocean, but also in many dishes in restaurants all around the islands. A very popular fish with sushi chefs, the Yellowfin is often referred to as “Ahi” and is among the more common fish that are caught by local fishing boats.
This species of tuna can grow to a considerable size, reaching over 400 pounds when full grown. Most commonly, these fish are found no deeper than about 330 feet, though researchers have traced them to depths of up to nearly 4,000 feet! Of course, fishing boats cannot reach those depths, and the expert charters that head out from harbor’s around the islands know just the right depths to find the Yellowfin.
On a private fishing charter, the chances of encountering a school of Yellowfin are quite high. These fish are very common in Hawaiian waters, and have long been a staple in Hawaiian cuisine. With a high population, and sustainable fishing practices used throughout the islands, the Yellowfin continues to thrive, and with a long peak season, enjoying fresh tuna year round is possible. As fishing boats head out to see, this is one of the prizes they are seeking, and supplying Yellowfin to local fish markets is a high priority.
In restaurants, especially local seafood restaurants, the Yellowfin is a staple, and is commonly seen on menus as “Ahi.” Preparation of the fish varies greatly, with the most common use in raw dishes like sushi and Poke. The firm texture makes it very versatile, and a rare tuna steak is also a common use, found on salads or as the main dish with seasonal vegetables or rice.
During a fishing charter, reeling in a tuna is a challenge, as they are quite powerful and known to be difficult to reel in. Their stamina makes for a long day once hooked, and with the aid of the crew on board the boat, the battle is sure to be a success.
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