Scientific Name: Euthynnus alletteratus
Ideal Temp: 64-86ºF (18-30ºC)
Environment: Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Surf
Technique: Casting, Chunking, Fly, Jigging, Trolling
Lure Type: Flies, Jigs, Plugs, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
World Record: 35 pounds, 2 ounces
The little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus) is the most common tuna in the Atlantic Ocean. It is found in warm temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; in the western Atlantic, it ranges from Brazil to the New England states. Occurring in large schools and weighing up to 30 pounds, it is the smallest member of the tuna Scombridae family. Little tunny average 10-12 pounds, but are not rare over
Found in tropical and subtropical waters on both sides of the Atlantic , including the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico, the little tunny often forms large, elliptical schools which cover up to 2 miles on the long axis. Adult little tunny school according to size with other scombrid species at depths ranging from 3-490 feet (1-150m). However, during certain times of the year the schools break apart with individuals scattering throughout the habitat. Juveniles form compact schools offshore.
Individuals of the species rarely live over 5 years. Females may lay upto 1.8 million eggs when they reach a length of 31 inches or 14 pounds. The spawning season is throughout most of the year except December. Little tunny feed mostly on small crustaceans, squid and small fishes.
Flocks of diving seabirds are often indicative of the presence of a school of little tunny, which may consist of many thousands of individuals. Because this species feeds on small pelagic fishes near the surface, any school feeding action tends to attract and excite birds. Fishing methods include trolling or casting from boats using small whole baits, strip baits, or small lures such as spoons, plugs, jigs, and feathers. A few little tunny may be caught from shore. The dark flesh is esteemed by some and disdained by others