6 of the Best Tuna Fishing Lures 2021

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Flying Fish Yummy Flyer (Click Here to View)
“Flying fish are a preferred prey species of quite a few pelagic fish, including tuna. If you want to get the most effective spread when you’re trolling, these make a fantastic addition.”

Best Premium Option: Ahi Snack Lure (Click Here to View)
“Any great spread has some noisemakers inside it, and these jet heads are a perfect choice. You’ll be able to decide on your leader material and bait when you rig them up, but that makes them ideal for any size tuna.”

Best Budget Option: Goture Vertical Saltwater Jigs (Click Here to View)
“Jigs are a staple of saltwater fishing and used to catch any number of species of fish. Tuna will also readily go for a well-placed jig, and they make a great addition to your tackle box.”

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Whether you’re trolling for monstrous bluefins, ferocious yellowfins, or just pulling some blackfins out of a feeding frenzy, you need the right lures to attract the tuna you’re after. 

The best lures mimic the fish tuna will be feeding on and attract them from some distance away. The lures should stand out, even in the presence of other prey fish in the area.

Since there are so many lures available, we’ve compiled this list of some of the best ones out there to let you make an informed buying decision. They’ll also have you covered, no matter which species you’re going after or how you plan to fish.

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Product Name
Best Premium Option
Best Budget Option
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
MagBay Lures 8" Flying Fish Yummee Flyer Carolina Tuna Lure Rigged with Stinger Treble Hook
Rigged Bost #27 Ahi Snack Lure
Goture Fishing Jigs Saltwater Tuna Vertical Jigs Bass Speed Lures Jigging Lures Butterfly Jigs Grouper,Dogtooth Salmon Lures Lead Deep Sea Fishing Lures 3.53oz/100g, 3 Pack
Our Grade
Our Rating 95/100
Our Rating 90/100
Our Rating 88/100
Feature 1
Useful trolling and kite fishing
Cupped head makes a ton of noise underwater
Great for sitting on a feeding school
Feature 2
Soft body mimics feel of actual fish
Skirt adds flare to any of your baits
Fluorescent design flashes brilliantly even in low light
Best Overall
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
MagBay Lures 8" Flying Fish Yummee Flyer Carolina Tuna Lure Rigged with Stinger Treble Hook
Our Grade
Our Rating 95/100
Feature 1
Useful trolling and kite fishing
Feature 2
Soft body mimics feel of actual fish
Best Premium Option
Product Name
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Rigged Bost #27 Ahi Snack Lure
Our Grade
Our Rating 90/100
Feature 1
Cupped head makes a ton of noise underwater
Feature 2
Skirt adds flare to any of your baits
Best Budget Option
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Goture Fishing Jigs Saltwater Tuna Vertical Jigs Bass Speed Lures Jigging Lures Butterfly Jigs Grouper,Dogtooth Salmon Lures Lead Deep Sea Fishing Lures 3.53oz/100g, 3 Pack
Our Grade
Our Rating 88/100
Feature 1
Great for sitting on a feeding school
Feature 2
Fluorescent design flashes brilliantly even in low light

Best Tuna Lures In 2021

Here are the best lures for tuna fishing:

Flying Fish Yummy Flyer

Best Overall: No matter the tuna species you’re after, flying fish are a great attractor.

MagBay Lures 8' Flying Fish Yummee Flyer Carolina Tuna Lure Rigged with Stinger Treble Hook
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KEY FEATURES

  • Pre-rigged and ready to tie on
  • Useful trolling and kite fishing
  • Soft body mimics feel of actual fish

Flying fish is a preferred prey species of quite a few pelagic fish, including tuna. If you want to get the most effective spread when you’re trolling, the Flying Fish Yummy Flyer make a fantastic addition. Looking like ideal prey and making plenty of noise, these are a great choice for any angler after tuna.

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Lure Details

Each of the flying fish comes pre-rigged. They’re ready to tie onto your rod and start fishing right out of the box. The leader is made from 150 lb. monofilament, so it’s plenty strong for most kinds of tuna, but not a great choice for bluefin.

It comes on a 10/0 hook, with an additional stinger treble at the end of the tail, size 8. You can custom order them with wire leaders, in higher strength leaders, and in one of four different colors. It’s also made from a soft plastic that is less likely to spit out by any fish that take the bait.

When to Use It

These flying fish are designed for trolling and kite fishing. If you don’t special order a higher strength leader, then they’re going to work best when going for medium yellowfin and blackfin tunas. You can expect them to also attract a fair amount of Mahi and wahoo as well.

Ahi Snack Lure

Best Premium Option: A colorful and loud skirt for Bluewater trolling.

Rigged Bost #27 Ahi Snack Lure
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KEY FEATURES

  • Can be ordered pre-rigged
  • The head makes a ton of noise underwater
  • Skirt adds flare to any of your baits

Any great spread has some noisemakers inside it, and the Ahi Snack Lure are the perfect choice. You’ll be able to decide on your leader material and bait when you rig them up, but that makes them ideal for any size tuna. They’re a great choice for adding some noise attractants to your spread and work great for tuna, Mahi, sailfish, and wahoo.

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Lure Details

The biggest standout of the lure is the head. Weighing in at 4 ounces, it’ll hold in the water column wherever you want it just by adjusting your speed. It’s got a wide opening that chugs through the water, making a ton of noise to bring fish up from the depths.

The overall lure is 9 inches long, with a bright skirt to cover the baitfish you choose to rig up like ballyhoo. In addition to adding color, the skirt flares in the water creating a lot of motion and helping to entice strikes.

When to Use It

These skirts can handle a higher speed than the flying fish typically can. You can use them together or separate, but the jet heads make much more noise in the water. Since you can use whatever strength leader you want, they’re a solid choice for any tuna species, just be sure to use heavier gear for bigger fish.

Goture Vertical Saltwater Jigs

Best Budget Option: Whether it’s on a reef or in a feeding frenzy, every fisherman should carry a jig or two.

Goture Fishing Jigs Saltwater Tuna Vertical Jigs Bass Speed Lures Jigging Lures Butterfly Jigs Grouper,Dogtooth Salmon Lures Lead Deep Sea Fishing Lures 3.53oz/100g, 3 Pack
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KEY FEATURES

  • Multiple sizes and colors to choose from
  • Great for sitting on a feeding school
  • Fluorescent design flashes brilliantly even in low light

Jigs are a staple of saltwater fishing and used to catch any number of species of fish. Tuna will also readily go for a well-placed jig, and they make a great addition to your tackle box. These Goture Vertical Saltwater Jigs work best for fishermen running weedlines and fishing structures like reefs, wrecks, and oil rigs.

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Lure Details

Goture offers a wide selection of jigs, in three different sizes and in multiple colors. This lets you scale your jig to the size of fish you’re after while trying different presentations to find which works best.

They come rigged with a heavy-duty stinger line and a size 20 hook. The 7-layer coating gives the lure’s color and flash durability to keep on using it after quite a lot of strikes. 

When to Use It

You won’t be trolling these jigs. You can slow or speed jig them below your boat, and they’ll work best when you’ve found a weedline, feeding frenzy, or when you’re fishing around stationary structures. You should expect a variety of species to take them, but they still attract strikes from all kinds of tuna.

Fishing Tuna Feather Rig

Best for Speed Trolling: Great for any tuna species, the holographic head reflects into the deep.

5.5' Fishing Tuna Feather Rig Trolling Bullet Jet Head Lure Squirt Octopus Skirts Lures (1#PNK/WHT)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Holographic head with lifelike eyes
  • Feathers movement entices strikes
  • Light weight, needs a planar to run deep

Bullet heads may make less noise in the water than other kinds, but the Fishing Tuna Feather Rig's holographic coating makes up for it with superior reflection underwater. It’s easy to rig up your favorite bait, and a great addition to a trolling spread. They’re one of the best choices for fishermen looking for a high-speed trolling day.

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Lure Details

The lure creates a bubble trail in the water, making it a great attractor for fish. The head is coated in a holographic covering that reflects light extremely well and flashes down into the deep. It also has moveable eyeballs to help the lure look more realistic to the fish.

The feathers move quite a lot while trolling and help entice strikes with their frenzied movement. It comes in a few different colors, and the best one to use on a given day can change, so it’s best to try more than one. 

When to Use It

This lure is a great choice for targeting yellowfin, bigeye, albacore, blackfins, and other big game species. You’ll want to add it to your spread and use some planars to help get it deeper in the water column.

Dr. Fish Saltwater GT Popper

Best for Feeding Frenzies: A big topwater that mimics wounded baitfish is perfect for tossing into a surface feeding frenzy and around weed lines. 

Dr.Fish Saltwater GT Popper Fishing Lures Topwater VMC Treble Hooks Surf Fishing Offshore Big Game Wire Through Heavy Duty Yellow Green
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KEY FEATURES

  • 3D eyes and holographic body mimic prey fish
  • Cupped head chugs through the water attracting strikes
  • The lure will stand out, even in feeding frenzies

While you’re out fishing it’s important to look for weed lines, bait balls, and birds. These are all great locations to find and catch fish, but they aren’t always the best for trolling and jigging. Taking big topwaters along gives any fishermen the opportunity to throw into feeding fish and pull out a trophy. The Dr. Fish Saltwater GT Popper is perfect for situations like this.

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Lure Details

The lures come in a few different colors to try to match the prey fish you’re throwing around. It’s got an insane flash with its holo covering and the cupped head gathers a ton of attention from predator fish. The lure has two 6/0 treble hooks, and is 8 inches long, making it perfectly suited for big game fish like tuna. 

When to Use It

The best time to use this lure is when you can sight-cast to fish. Finding a feeding frenzy is ideal, just look for birds and fish boiling at the surface of the water. Once in range you can cast directly into the school and should expect a strike.

Boone 16230 Unrigged Bird, 9 1/2″

Best Accessory for Tuna: Birds help get fish close to the surface, and it’ll help get them to notice your actual lures.

Boone 16230 Unrigged Bird, 9 1/2'
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KEY FEATURES

  • Easy to rig up
  • Adds attractant to your trolling spread
  • Built tough with stainless steel

Fish are used to birds telling them when baitfish are near the surface. Using Boone 16230 Unrigged Bird, 9 1/2" trolling accessories is a great way to get fish to come up from deeper water and check out your spread. They’re a smart choice for any fishermen wanting to make their spread more efficient.

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Lure Details

Made from stainless steel with a through wire, these birds are made to take a beating. They’re shaped to mimic what a bird would look like from below for fish, and make a lot of disruption in the water when you’re trolling. 

When to Use It

Any time you’re trolling and have the extra lines to add these to your spread is a good time to use them. Extra noise, more things to look at, and more attention from fish is always a good thing to have.

What To Consider When Buying Tuna Lures

Target Species: 

The biggest thing to consider when tuna fishing is what kind of tuna you’re after. All of your gear, not just your lures, is dependent on that first and foremost. This is because there is a huge difference in size between tuna species. Bluefin tuna can easily weigh 500 pounds, while yellowfin rarely get over 200 pounds and albacore usually don’t reach 100 pounds.

You obviously will need bigger gear to tackle larger fish, but you should consider that they also aren’t eating the same prey fish. Bluefin run down schools of fish much larger than albacore would, and it’s best to match both your speed and lures to the preferred prey of your target species.

Fishing Style:

The best thing you can do is have lures in your tackle box for any situation. Tuna, especially the larger species, are commonly caught trolling and drift fishing. Drift fishing typically uses cut or live bait though not lures. If you don’t want to or can;t have every kind of lure on you, consider how you’ll be trying to catch tuna to decide on which lures to pursue.

Trolling lures are ideal, but consider if you’re going to troll fast or slow. How big of a spread can you handle? Mixing up your lures in a spread is great because it gives fish more options. Cupped heads chug and make more noise, while bullet heads reflect more light. It’s best to try both.

Attraction:

Look for lures that will get the most attention. It seems obvious, but we as fishermen commonly just use what has worked before and what our friends recommend. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles of lures. 

Make sure that any lure you use has more than one way to attract fish. You want movement, noise, and flash ideally in any lure you choose. You can achieve these by using accessories like birds or multiple lures in your trolling spread at a time, instead of just one type of lure.

Questions & Answers

Are tuna hard to catch?

Tuna is one of the hardest fighting fish species there is. They spend all of their time swimming and are built for speed, with a streamlined body and powerful muscles. Pound for pound, not much will out pull any species of tuna. Make sure to use reels with plenty of line and a strong drag so you can wear down any tuna you hook.

What depth do you fish for tuna?

Most tuna spend the majority of their time between 60 and 100 feet down. Diving lures and planars can help you get your lures down to them, and having a large spread to attract them can help pull them up from the depths to strike. Be sure to use strong rod holders that properly fit your rods to avoid them being ripped out.