Cubing for Yellowfin Tuna is not exactly rocket science but certainly can be very rewarding. It’s far more productive than trolling and saves on fuel to boot. Virtually anything can be used, Skipjack, Pilchards, Yellowtail, Slimmies, or anything else you can get your hands on will do. Just about any type of fish cut into chunks will bring Yellowfin on, if they are in the area.
It’s important to make sure the trail of cubes is not broken. Just feed the cubes out at the rate of a couple every 20 seconds or so. If you can just see the last one disappearing then you have the rate about right. Make sure someone keeps feeding them out, especially during the excitement of a hookup. A break in the cube line can mean starting all over again.
Cubing has been around this way in Australia for the past 30 years or so. In some areas where fish venture inshore you can anchor up, personally I have had much more success with drifting. You can choose between whether you use live baits or drop a line in the cube trail. The advantage of this style is that live baits are not essential. Fishing the trail with just cubes is fine; after all, the fish are following them. It can be quite an exhilarating experience watching the fish swim right up to the boat. And when the hookup comes, the adrenalin is gunna pump you up hard.
The secret is to allow the cubes to float naturally and so they need to be completely drag free. Any drag is going to pull the cube towards the surface and out of the berley trail. The best way to manage this is to pull the line off the spool by hand. Don’t let the weight of the cube pull the line off as this will create drag. If you can have a couple of loops of line lying free on the water, at all times, then you can be sure the drag will be at a minimum. Have the reel set with the gears off, the clicker on and turn your pacemaker up a few notches.
When the strike comes turn the gears on and get ready to play with fire. It will be fast and hard. Yellowfin are not known for being lazy. They fight harder than most and are certainly going to make you work for your dinner.
Tackle is a matter of preference. It’s also a matter of how you are fishing. If you are drifting you can scale down the tackle to as light as 6kg. However many anglers choose, and usually wisely so, to use 24kg. With 24kg you might wish to use a heavier fluorocarbon leader although with lighter class line we would recommend using up to a 30kg leader, but definitely not heavier than that. You should tie your leader direct to the main line using a no-name or a uni knot. Swivels are usually not a good idea as they can cause the cube to sink too fast and fall out of the zone. Short shank hooks from 5/0 to 8/0 are good but make sure you set them well in the bait as Tuna can be particular. Circle hooks work extremely well and are noted for their very high strength. They are particularly good if you intend to catch and release as they tend to hook in the corner of the mouth. You can remove them easily with pliers without lifting the fish out of the water.
To help you on your way here’s a checklist of the items I take cubing:
- Quality Rod and Reel 15-24kg is most common spooled with quality Game Fishing Line.
- 80lb Flurocarbon to use as leader.
- 6/0 and 8/0 Live Bait Hooks. These are great for cubes or livebaits.
- 13/0 Tuna Circle Hooks.
Cubing works well. It will lead to some unbelievable heart pumping action, and you will no longer have to tell the story, of the one that got away.