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 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 –
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.
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 or call 01603 407596 today and we’ll make your dream a reality.