Bigeye Tuna

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Bigeye Tuna

The Bigeye Tuna, scientifically known as Thunnus Obesus, is a well known and extremely desired big game fish.  They live throughout the tropics, and can be found almost anywhere the water is warm.  They have been known to make migrations of extreme lengths in distance, will travel throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian Oceans. 

Bigeye Tuna tend to travel in schools searching for food.
The Bigeye Tuna has been seen in waters of about 500 meters in depth, and move according to the availability of food, adjusting themselves to their prey.  They have been known to travel in schools to search for food, so it‘s not unusual to see multiple Bigeye at once. They hunt throughout the day, moving continuously, making it very difficult to know where they’ll be at a given time.  They move in large groups, but adjust their locations so often, pinpointing them is almost impossible. 

The Tuna have adapted their bodies to help them survive during tough times.  The Tuna’s eyes can function in dark waters when visibility is almost non-existent.  Their hearts can handle very cold temperatures, in some cases as cold as five degrees Celsius, but must eventually return to warmer temperatures before too long.

The big eye of the Bigeye Tuna is one of its most identifiable features.
Bigeye Tuna have large bodies with big eyes, indicated by their name.  They have dorsal fins that contain 13 to 14 spines, and finlets that are yellow with black tips. Some Bigeye Tuna have white spots along their bodies, but they usually don’t have special markings, so schools tend to blend together.  This makes them easy to identify, because they don’t change like other species do.

This Tuna can grow quite large, reaching lengths between 23 and an incredible 93 inches. They can reach a maximum weight of 400 pounds, with the biggest ever recorded being 392 pounds.  Most Bigeye Tuna live about ten to twelve years before they die.  They become sexually active around four years of age, and reproduce during the months of June and July.  Most of the reproduction occurs in either the northwestern or eastern tropical regions of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Bigeye Tuna can be quite easily caught, and are some of the most commonly hooked fish in their area.  Most techniques include live bait fishing, artificial lures, and trolling with small baits.  The best baits to use are squid and mullet.  Of all Tuna, Bigeye are the most at risk of being over fished. Young Bigeye Tuna often get caught in nets with other Tuna, so the species is slowly decreasing in numbers.  If too many fish are caught before they reach maturity, the species could potentially be in danger.  Though they aren’t yet, they are starting to head down that path.


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