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How Long is Tuna Season

How Long is Tuna Season

The length of bluefin tuna seasons varies by location and species across North America. Their migration patterns determine the availability of tuna in different regions over the course of the year.

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Bluefin Tuna Season by Location

New EnglandJune – NovSeason peaks in summer/fall
Northeast (MA, ME)June – NovRange depends on weather
Pacific CoastMay – OctVaries by location
CaliforniaJul – SeptOpportunities April to Nov
North CarolinaJan – AprilPeak season
North CarolinaSept – NovIncreasing numbers
North CarolinaApril – JuneMigrating north
North CarolinaNov – DecMigrating south

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  • In New England, the bluefin tuna fishing season starts in June and lasts around six months, usually ending in November.
  • In the northeastern states like Massachusetts and Maine, the season ranges from early June through November, depending on weather patterns.
  • On the Pacific coast, the bluefin tuna season runs from May to October but varies by location and fish migration patterns.
  • In California, the tuna fishing season starts in July and ends in September, with opportunities as early as April and as late as November.
  • In North Carolina, bluefin tuna are most abundant from January to April when they are found off the Outer Banks.
  • From November to December, tuna numbers increase in NC as they migrate south for winter.

How Long is the Tuna Season on Wicked Tuna?

The bluefin tuna fishing season featured on the popular reality show Wicked Tuna packs all the action into a short peak season for maximum dramatic effect. But how long is the actual tuna season in the areas fished on the show?

  • In New England where Wicked Tuna is filmed, the bluefin tuna season generally ranges from early summer through late fall for commercial fishermen.
  • However, the televised competition focuses on just a 14 week peak season for heightened drama and stakes.

During the intense 14 weeks featured on Wicked Tuna:

  • Fishermen have to earn their entire yearly income.
  • Competition is fierce as crews race to catch the seasonal quota.
  • Variables like weather and migratory patterns add uncertainty.

So while the show portrays a brief, action-packed tuna season, the broader commercial bluefin season in New England lasts up to 6 months from summer to fall.


In summary, bluefin tuna seasons vary across North America depending on location and fish migration patterns. While some regions see seasons lasting 6 months from summer to fall, other areas have much shorter peak seasons.

Tuna availability provides exciting seasonal fishing opportunities but also requires careful management to ensure sustainability. Regardless of location, tuna fishermen must adapt their strategies to make the most of these windows of abundance within the ever-changing limits of seasons and quotas.

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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