dogtooth tuna species highlight

Dogtooth Tuna – Species Highlight

Ever cracked open a cold beer and imagined drag screaming, line snapping, and rod breaking scenarios? You must be thinking about Dogtooth Tuna. These monsters of the deep have solidified their place in big game saltwater fishing hitlists all over the world as they challenge, not only your gear, but also your physical and mental strength altogether.

Learn more about this wonderful species by reading on below.


The Dogtooth Tuna (Gymnosarda unicolor) is placed amongst the top of serious fishermen’s hitlist. With looks that match its attitude, doggies have a reputation of breaking untested equipment and unexperienced anglers’ wills.

Species Highlight Dogtooth Tuna


The Dogtooth Tuna is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific and Vanuatu is one of the lucky locations where they are caught in healthy numbers and in monstrous sizes. Ocean Blue is known as one of the top destinations to visit when you want to test your mettle against these beasts and the crew have obtained decades of experience targeting them, allowing you to fish with confidence.

These offshore fishes can be found mainly in reef environments with smaller fishES being more commonly found near shallow reef areas and larger ones haunting deep reef drop off areas, seamounts and steep underwater walls which are abundant where Ocean Blue fishes. Usually they are solitary or occur in small schools, to a depth of 10–300 meters.

They share their homes with Giant Trevally, Napoleon Wrasse, and large groupers, along with different shark species who regularly attack them when hooked.


One of the most popular methods of targeting doggies is speed jigging. A PE6 to 8 outfit composed of a Stella 10000 and a heavy jigging rod capable of jigging up to 400g jigs are the norm. Drags should be set as tightly as the angler can manage. Stopping them in their tracks is of utmost importance! Unlike real tuna species who run to open water as soon as they are hooked, doggies tend to head to reef where they can easily cut you off. Once the skipper successfully takes the battle away from the reef and other obstructions, an up and down battle will ensue. It is now up to the angler to bring them up successfully.

Possibly the most utilized technique is topwater fishing for dogtooth utilizing big poppers and stick baits. A topwater hit by any species can leave you with shaky knees, but a topwater hit by a doggie is physically shattering. A challenge not sought after by many but a challenge nonetheless. Casting towards schools of bait such as rainbow runner and larger fusiliers can give you the best chances of success but sinking stick baits cast towards marked bait suspended under the surface is what gets the most success. Technically not “topwater” but who cares?

Another technique utilized by the Ocean Blue team is deep trolling live baits with downriggers. This is by far one of the most effective techniques used and will surely get you hooked onto a good fish.


Contact our booking and reservations team to find out when is the best time to visit Ocean Blue Fishing Adventures and Trees and Fishes Resort to hook up to these monsters of the deep. The team will bring you to the hottest seamounts and drop offs for the best chances of catching dogtooth tuna.

If you are looking for a true sport fishing company that offers you more than just a Vanuatu fishing adventure, look no further than Ocean Blue Fishing. Call us now at (AU) 1300 564 616 or at (INTL) +61 436 020322 or you may also contact us through our website at

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Dogtooth Tuna – Species Highlight

John is originally from the Philippines. John has extensive guiding experience throughout Asia and...Learn more

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