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Species Spotlight: Dogtooth Tuna

Name: Dogtooth Tuna

Also known as: White Tuna

Scientific Name: Gymnosarda unicolour


The Dogtooth Tuna Gymnosarda Unicolor can reach up to 250cm in length and weights of over 130 kg have been recorded. These large-sized Tuna have a streamlined shape and a distinctive colour to their bodies. Dogtooth Tuna have a stunning blue-green colour on their backs which reach down to their caudal peduncle, silversides, a white-ish belly and white tips to their body fins. Another outstanding fact is that they always swim with an open jaw.

Another little unknown fact is they are not technically a “true” Tuna but instead, they are the largest of the Bonitos. They possess a large swim bladder, which allows them to frequent different habitats and behave very differently to the other “true” tropical Tunas like Yellowfin and Skipjack, this allows them to target schooling fish in all types of habitats when other areas are suffering from fishing pressure.

Most Dogtooth Tuna can be found around coral reefs and atolls and frequent waters no deeper than 100m. They eat a wide variety of food fish on the shallow reef including squid and many different reef species including Soft Rays and Rainbow Runners. They will take many different poppers and vertical jigs fished at a fast speed due to being to make their fins close. Once you have hooked one of these the true fun will start as these ‘Doggies’ do not know when to give up.


The Dogtooth Tuna can reach a length of 190-240cm in males although the average size of these supercharged fish is usually between 40 – 120cm or 40 – 60lb, which is still exceptionally large.

Where to catch DOGTOOTH TUNA

Dogtooth Tuna are widespread so there are many opportunities around the world of doing battling with these beasts. They are often found in the Pacific Ocean (Western Pacific), Red Sea and around oceanic islands.

Sportquest Holidays top three recommended destinations where you stand a really good chance of a true specimen are as follows –

  1. Rodrigues Islands
  2. Andaman Islands
  3. Madagascar

DOGTOOTH TUNA Fishing Methods

Dogtooth Tuna can be very tricky to locate and then even harder to land so one vital part is strong braided lines. As long as you have patience and dedication the rewards are there. You need to be prepared to lose more ‘Doggies’ than you can land, this mental attitude will stand you good when fishing for them. Be ready for physical pain as the most common way of targeting them is by high speed jigging and this alone is a very demanding way of fishing. Put this in the mix of actually hanging on to one of these fish then you will find yourself breathless and sometimes even in tears. We go more in-depth on jigging techniques in this handy blog which can be seen here.

Contact us

Have you ever been fishing for the Dogtooth Tuna? Is this species on your list of fish to catch? If it is, and you’re ready to experience a big game fishing trip like no other, contact us via email at or call 01603 407596 today and we’ll make your dream a reality.

Alternatively, visit our Popper, Jig and Big Game fishing trips page containing all our fishing holidays trips and vacations.

Tight Lines,

Paul Stevens


  1. Tony Cuerquis

    Caught DT’s twice by slow pitch jigging using 200 grams and 270 grams metal jigs at 140 to 180 meters deep of water.

    They fought differently. The first fish fought as soon as it swallowed the jig and took me a good more than one hour to boat.

    The second fish fought differently, it made a slack of the line as soon as it took the jig. I thought it was unhooked or it was a small fish that took my jig. But as soon as it reached the depth of between 100 meters to 50 meters the fish got wild and rushed to the bottom and there real battle started. With the right technique I was able to boat the fish in about 10 minutes.

    Gears used:
    Reel Accurate BV 500N
    Rod Ecooda Black Expert Pe 2-4
    Line 30 lbs braidline
    Leader 80 lbs FC

    1. Paul Stevens

      Sounds like really good fun and one of my favourite fish to target. I think once the water pressure changes the fish fight differently so maybe something to do with the water pressure

      Kind Regards Paul

  2. Bello Samuel


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