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How to Vertical Jig for Bluefin Tuna off Cape Cod

Ryan Collins

Vertical jigging for tuna is a highly effective technique off Cape Cod, especially when tuna are feeding down below in deep water.

Jigging for tuna is also something you can do when drifting live bait or casting other lures.

A lot of times all you need to do is drop your jig down to where the fish are feeding, and just let the motion of the boat impart action to the lure. There is often not much "jigging" done at all. 


My First Experience Vertical Jigging For Tuna

Back in August of 2017, I received a call from captain Cullen Lundholm of Cape Star Charters. Cullen asked if I would be interested in joining a tuna fishing charter he had scheduled for the next morning. 

I jumped at the opportunity and was excited to hear that MFCC members Aaron Permlutter and Paul Dunn would be onboard.

During the trip we saw an amazing amount of marine life, and caught two beautiful tunas in the 60-72 inch range by vertical jigging.

We were fishing in about 180 feet of water, and the tunas were feeding on big sand eels in the midwater column.

Whales were all around, and on the sonar we could see the tunas as they hunted directly beneath the boat. This was an ideal situation for fishing with vertical jigs.

We had an awesome trip and I can't thank these guys enough for inviting me along. It was an incredible fishing experience that I will never forget, and I was able to learn the vertical jigging technique firsthand.

The Vertical Jigging Technique, Strategy & Tackle

In the following 25 minute video, members of My Fishing Cape Cod can get a firsthand look at how exciting it can be to vertical jig for bluefin tuna off Cape Cod & the Islands.

Also included below is more information about vertical jigging, as well as advice about the best tackle and equipment, and the general area off Cape Cod where we are fishing in this video.

If you are not a member of My Fishing Cape Cod, then you can still watch a preview of the video by clicking play below (please login or start a membership to get access to the full 25 minute video).

Topics covered in the full 25 minute video

Equipment & tackle used in this video

In Conclusion

Vertical jigging for bluefin tuna works extremely well and is a ton of fun. If you get yourself setup with the tackle and equipment mentioned above in this post, then you'll be in great shape for hooking up.

Over the coming weeks and months, more and more tuna will hopefully trickle into the waters surrounding Cape Cod & the Islands. We are definitely blessed to often have tuna arrive on Cape in June and sometimes stick around as late as Christmas!

Best of luck if you give vertical jigging for tuna a try this summer or fall. Please let me know if you have any questions, and please keep us updated with how things are going by posting in our forum

Tight lines! 🎣

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. I am always impressed at how calm Cullen is. Even at critical moments when a fish is being caught. Very instructional and patient with all the anglers on his boat.

    1. Thanks for the comment Dex, he is definitely a good captain/instructor 🎣

  2. Great video Ryan and the weather was perfect. How long did it take to bring the fish on deck?

    1. We did have a perfect flat calm day. Each fish was landed in under 30 minutes. Those Black Hole jigging rods are awesome.


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