When customers book a Blackfin Tuna trip with Main Attraction, it means we are fueling up, catching large amounts of fresh, live bait, and heading 27 plus miles offshore to the Marathon Hump! The Hump looks like an underwater mountain causing depths to range from 1150 feet to 480 feet at its pinnacle. The Hump is roughly in the middle of the Gulfstream which means the current screams through and forces a lot of the bait upward toward the surface when it collides with the large underwater structure. For this reason, many pelagic fish gather here to feed.
Pelagic fish are fish that live in the pelagic zone of the ocean, which is basically the part of the ocean that is sunlit. Pelagic fish are typically species that are on the move such as Blackfin Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, Marlin, Bonita, and Sharks which are all species we encounter while on or around the Marathon Hump. Our focus when going to the Hump is almost always Blackfin Tuna as they are usually plentiful and they are great eating fish. Everything else we can catch while there is a bonus!
There are several methods we use to catch Blackfin tuna at the Hump. Trolling artificial lures or feathers will attract the smaller juvenile Tuna that are typically under 10lbs. We tend to use darker colors like black and purple or black and red that make a nice visible silhouette against the backdrop of the surface light. We also use lighter fluorocarbon leader since Tuna have great eye-sight and no teeth. Once upon the crest of the hump, our boats usually troll into the current at 6-8 knots and we make sure everyone is ready to reel fast! With all the bait and fish around, this is a great spot for sharks to hang out and get a free meal. Sharks can make a game out of catching and eating your tuna before you even get it to the boat. So, we try to hook as many Tuna on as many lines as we can and have all of our angler’s wind like crazy. As soon as we boat the Tuna our mates are putting those lines back out as quickly as possible to hook more.
Another method we like to use involves large amounts of live bait. Our crew gather early in the morning, prior to the charter, and go catch fresh live bait. The more bait, the better. Once the captain and boat get set up on the Hump, the mate will throw out large dip nets full of live bait to “chum” and get the Blackfin fired up. This technique gets the attention of the larger Blackfin that are typically deeper in the water column. Once we successfully “raise” the big Tunas you will see them jumping out of the water to get to the live bait; a magnificent sight to see. Tuna are super strong and very fast so they put up a heck of a fight. You will get quite the arm workout if you are lucky enough to pull in a large Blackfin Tuna. Blackfin Tuna have beautiful sushi grade red flesh and often weigh 30-35 pounds while using the live bait method.
With the Hump providing different depths and various structure there are plenty of bottom-dwelling fish to find as well. When we deep water drop on the hump, we catch Snowy Grouper, Queen Snapper, Amberjack, and other bottom residents. Depending on the depth and strength of the current, we sometimes use large leads that can weigh anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds!
If you are looking to fish the famous Marathon Hump and experience what it has to offer, give the Main Attraction team a call. We will gladly take you and your crew out for an exciting day on the Hump!