Karen Lynn Charters Bluefin Tuna Fishing Gloucester,MA !

Tuna trips have been going great. A very interesting season so far. There have been Tuna all over many great bites happening in different places.

There is a large abundance of bait this season. Small juvenile herring are all over the place. We sure have seen some amazing surface feeds this season. It’s very exciting to see the fish finder lit up with bait for over 5 continuous miles. It seems the mid water herring boat restriction is showing a very positive impact.

Stellwagen continues to hold up to it’s reputation as the life on the bank is amazing. As it should only continue to get better. Be sure to check back for our most up to date reports. Thanks good luck to all!

Capt Collin

Karen Lynn Charters Nice Giant Blue Fin Tuna Gloucester,MA !

I did an overnight recon trip to Southern Jefferies Tuesday night and Wednesday.

The good news is we got a 92″ 550# Giant and we saw some 60-90# BFT just 4-5 NM’s from Twin Lights. The fish gave us a really hard fight for an hour and a half as it’s stomach was completely empty and we ended up 1 1/2 miles from where we hooked it.

The bad news is the fish are really spread out, so unless you have very specific and current information Southern Jefferies does not offer the same kind of concentrate of bait and fish that the Bank does. The Whales and the bait seem to be quite spread out this year. Captain Collin is out in the Karen Lynn today looking for more Giants so hopefully he will do post an update, tonight or tomorrow. For now we are going to stick to the Bank and maybe to the east for Tuna Charters.

Captain Jim
Karen Lynn Charters

Karen Lynn Charters Bluefin Tuna Fishing Gloucester,MA !

Headed out to the Bank, with hopes of more tuna showing up north after the moon. Arrive to the corner with lots of life showing. The usual whales,birds,tons of bait with many bass still in the mix. No tuna on the screen cruised around for a bit and sure enough a few broke the surface. Worked the area for a while and sure enough we were on. About 15 to 20 min later we boated a nice 68″ fish. This class of fish will give you a good battle make sure your gear is heavy and in tip top shape. As soon as it began it shut off. Weather was no good of course and visibility was tough. Stuck it out and kept working, a while later we were on again. A fish of the same size was boat side for a nice tag and release. A great day overall our clients were very excited to say the least. Fishing should continue to improve. I hope this weather pattern changes as well. Good luck to all !. Thanks
Capt Collin

“How To Cut Bluefin Tuna”

Quite a few people on the FLA forum have asked for a “how to” showing cutting up and steaking a Blue Fin Tuna. As promised, we will shoot a video of cutting up a BFT on the Karen Lynn this summer. In the mean time I have put together a description and some pictures of how we do it on the Karen Lynn. All the pictures are of Blue Fin, but some are southern BFT and fish from the Mediterranean some they might look a little different to those of you who notice details like that.

I am sure that people on the forum who have experience cutting up BFT’s will have some other ways of doing it and I would welcome you to post your tips and idea’s. Like most things that require some practice and skill, there is probably no one “right way” to do it. There are however, easier ways to do it and I have tried below to show you one way we have found that is relatively easy. Like most things, the more you do it the better you will get. That said, we have a great resource in our BFT fishery so close to shore and relatively plentiful. Please be conservative about taking fish especially as more and more people get hooked on this fishery. Tuna doesn’t keep particularly well in the freezer, so I would urge you to take only fish you intend to eat and do that with prudence.

Please post the inevitable questions and please point out parts below that need clarification. I will edit the post as I get feedback and questions from people on the forum.

Tight Lines!

Captain Jim

Karen Lynn Charters


The Basic Steps

1. First you want to Gut, Clean and Prep the Tuna as per my previous post “Dressing and Handling of Medium and Large Blue Fin Tuna” that you can find above in the announcements.

You also need to have a good set up to cut the fish. Big fish over 150 pounds will likely have to be cut on the deck. Having a piece of cheap carpet or some burlap sacks can really help. With last years 57″+/- BFT’s at the bank, I would often cut them on top of a large Icey-tek cooler with a cheap Home Depot walk off mat underneath them. I’m an old guy and I don’t like to work kneeling any more if I can help it.

Having at least one really good large knife is crucial. We have a large 16″ butchering knife we bought from a restaurant supply house. I also like to use relatively inexpensive mild steel fillet knives (those ones with the wooden handles) as they hold an edge better than the stainless knives.

2. One of the keys to making it easier to cut up a BFT is too get it really cold before attempting to cut it. Ideally we will leave it in a brine of sea water, kosher salt, and lots of ice for a couple of hours before cutting it. The firmer the meat the easier to cut and by minimizing bacteria the longer it will keep and taste really good.

3. First you have to remove the head, tail, and fins. It is my understanding that this is prohibited by HMS regulations to do at sea. This should probably be done in your harbor, or if you are in Gloucester, maybe at the breakwater. You should make sure you understand the regulations as the penalties for even minor infractions can be severe.


Atlantic tunas, Bluefin, bigeye, and yellowfin tuna must be landed round with fins intact, or eviscerated with the head removed, but with one pectoral fin and the tail remaining attached through offloading. Tunas harvested from the management unit cannot be filleted or cut into pieces at sea.”

You want to cut off the Pectoral Fin on the side you start on with a “scalping” shallow cut like you were peeling off the skin on a piece of fruit so you do not cut into the meat below it.

You should now have a clean carcass ready to cut up.

5. Next you want to make the first longitudinal cut. You need to pay careful attention to cutting on the blood line and right down to and along the Tuna’s backbone.

6. The Second Cut is when having the right knife will really help. Cut along the Tuna’s backbone into the stomach cavity to create a large “quartered” chunk.

After the second cut you should be able to cleanly remove a quartered section of the tuna as below.

7. What I am calling the third cut, actually requires two cuts to complete. First Cut down the middle of the tuna’s belly just missing the gristle where the ventral and anal fins attached. Then fold the tuna carcass open as in the picture below and cut along the spine to remove the second quartered section. It will be hopefully a little more clear when you are actually doing it than it sounds here.

8. The fourth cut is again one where a big sharp knife really helps. You now have essentially half a tuna carcass and you are looking down at the backbone intact as below in the picture.

You want to carefully cut out the backbone in one large piece if possible, taking as little meat with it as possible. Below these guys have just made that cut and have lifted off the entire backbone very cleanly.

9. You now have half a tuna carcass with hopefully no backbone. For your last longitudinal cut you simply split the half carcass into two quarters by cutting through the indentation where the backbone was. This will result in you know having four quarters that look something like this.

10. Now for the easiest part which is steaking up the quartered carcass. There are many ways to do this but the way I prefer is to cut across the quartered section through the meat but not through the skin, then take a smaller sharp knife and make a perpendicular cut to free the steak from the large piece of skin on the quartered carcass.

Keeping the quarters in the brine until you are ready to steak each one will real help with fighting bacteria and maintaining freshness. Left in the hot sun for only a short time will really speed up decay.

You now can bag the steaks, and then have some Sashimi

and Cold beer!