Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)


Yearning for the Yellowfin

Ahi Fishing in Oahu

Known as the Yellowfin or the Ahi, this variety of tuna is one of the most commonly hunted fish in Hawaii and across the globe. These fish are abundant, beautiful, delicious, and a challenge to catch, making it little wonder why tuna charters in Oahu so frequently seek them. With one of these on your line, you’ll have a satisfying meal ahead of you if you reel it in and a harrowing story even if you don’t.

Yellowfin Tuna Fishing in Oahu

Oahu’s waters contain these fish in copious quantities throughout the year, but the best time to seek them is between April and November. They tend to travel in large groups and frequently follow schools of porpoises, making them easy to find in the deeper waters around the island. Once you have found them, you can hook them using sardines, anchovies, or— for larger specimens— mackerel. On average, they weigh 125 pounds, though the largest specimens in Hawaiian waters often exceed 300 pounds.

When hooked, Ahi tuna usually do not jump, but they will make sudden sideways turns and swim in large circles. Considering their weight, this can be an exhausting experience, and you will have to have patience while trying to reel them in.

Yellowfin Tuna Hawaii yellowfin tuna

Hawaiian Name: ‘Ahi
Avg. Weight: 125 lbs.
Best Time of Year: May-September
IGFA World Record: 388 lbs.
Place: Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico
Year: 1977
State Record: 325 lbs.
Place: Island of Lanai
Year: 1990

Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)

The Yellowfin Tuna is a highly sought gamefish due to its excellent taste and sporting battle. Yellowfin can be distinguished by their long and brilliant yellow fins. If you get one of these on your line, get set for a war!



Fishing Season Oahu Maui Kauai Big Island
January Fair Fair Good Fair
February Fair Fair Good Fair
March Fair Fair Good Fair
April Good Good Peak Fair
May Good Peak Peak Fair
June Peak Peak Peak Peak
July Peak Peak Peak Peak
August Peak Peak Peak Peak
September Good Good Peak Peak
October Good Fair Good Fair
November Good Fair Good Fair
December Fair Fair Peak Fair

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For Ahi Tuna

Given that the Ahi is found across the globe, there are dozens of different ways to cook it, with each culture finding a unique way to use its distinct flavor. The fish has a mildly sweet taste and a dense texture. It is thus frequently baked along with heavy sauces, or grilled after marinating in mixtures containing soy, lemon, garlic, or other strong-tasting substances that can be enhanced with mild sweetening. However you cook it, make sure to brown the outside while leaving the inside red, as this is necessary to keep it moist. You also have the option of not cooking it at all; raw Yellowfin is one of the most common components of sushi and sashimi, and allows you to experience the fish’s pure flavor.

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Sharted or Private

Whipsaw Sportfishing has a long history of hunting the Ahi, and knows the best locations off Oahu to look for it. To learn more about this and other prized Hawaiian fish and book a deep sea fishing trip, reserve a private or shared charter here.