The concept of wrapping plugs with tuna strips, or chunks of tuna wrapped in a spawn sack, has been around for years. But one of the approaches we like using is wrapping loose chunks of tuna on our plugs that we backtroll for king salmon in Alaska, and other waters we fish. Here’s how we go about it.
Start with a can of tuna, either oil-packed or water-packed. Between the thumb and three fingers, take a pinch of tuna and position it on the belly of the plug. Mag Lips, Kwikfish and other plugs can all effectively be wrapped in this way, just make sure they’re properly tuned.
Once the tuna is balanced on the plug, start wrapping it with stretchy thread. This elastic thread binds the tuna chunks, keeping them secure and intact. If you can’t find stretchy thread, regular plug-wrapping thread will work fine, just use more wraps than normal. Even in rough water and when backbounced along the bottom, the stretchy thread holds the tuna in place.
Once you’ve wrapped the tuna securely in place from the tail-end up to the eye of the belly hook, flip the belly hook over onto the already secured tuna and continue wrapping past the eye of the belly hook, toward the bill of the plug. How far up you go depends on the plug being used and how its action is influenced by the addition of the tuna.
Once the tuna is securely wrapped, it’s ready to fish. Even after fish hit plugs wrapped with tuna chunks, usually enough tuna remains to keep the plug fishing.
Some plugs simply pull better when flatlined while others track just as good with a surprising amount of tuna strapped to them. Experiment with different combinations in a variety of water settings and soon you’ll soon be dialed-in.
You can simply run the tuna-wrapped plugs, flatlined, or behind a diver. There are two schools of thought when running a diver with a tuna-wrap setup. One is to go with a diver as it relieves some of the stress on the plug, whereby keeping more of the tuna in-tact for a longer period. The other is to forego the diver, allowing the plug to move more aggressively, whereby possibly establishing a heavier scent trail by dropping chunks of tuna as it works.
If looking for something that might give you a little extra edge, try wrapping some plugs with tuna. You might be surprised how effective it can be.