Albacore vs. Yellowfin Tuna: An Easy Guide

Studying Time: 6 minutes

Quick swimmers and ferocious fighters, few fish are as enjoyable to catch as Albacore and Yellowfin Tuna. Not solely will they offer you a run to your cash, these two Tunas style fairly darn good, too! The perfect half is, each species are ample world wide, and in numerous locations, you possibly can catch them each.

Pretty much as good as that sounds, their abundance is exactly the place the “bother” begins. Albacore and Yellowfin can look very related, particularly in the event that they’re of the identical dimension. To make issues worse, folks generally even confuse their names. So how do you inform Albacore vs. Yellowfin Tuna aside, then? That’s precisely what you’re going to study as we speak.

First, let’s get the identify confusion sorted out. Albacore Tuna (Thunnus alalunga) have a reputation that’s similar to the latin phrases used for Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares). Due to this, Yellowfins go by the identify of Albacora in sure elements of the world (particularly Portugal and Brazil). 

In fact, issues wouldn’t be practically as enjoyable if Albacores didn’t have their very own alias. In locations like Canada and South Africa, Albacores are known as Longfin Tuna. What’s the massive deal? Simply that Longfin Tuna sounds lots like Longtail Tuna, which is a wholly totally different species.

If you wish to know extra about complicated fish names, try this information. If not, let’s get to the variations between Albacore and Yellowfin Tuna.

Habitat and Distribution

Of all of the species of Tuna, Albacore and Yellowfin are among the many most widespread. These guys swim in tropical and temperate waters across the globe however, of the 2, Yellowfins are likely to inhabit deeper ranges of the water column. Nonetheless, as each species like to assemble into colleges of similarly-sized fish, seeing the 2 swimming collectively is just not an unusual sight.


Within the US, Albacore Tuna wish to swim alongside the west coast, from California and Oregon all the best way as much as Washington. In Europe, you will discover them across the Bay of Biscay in addition to the Mediterranean. Different main fisheries embody Japan and New Zealand.

Should you’re trying to catch Albacore, you must know that juveniles are a little bit extra choosy relating to water temperature – they preserve to waters within the 60–67°F vary. Bigger Albacore might be discovered wherever between 57–77°F.


Yellowfin Tuna are much more widespread than their long-finned cousins. More often than not, you will discover them in depths of 330 ft, however they’ve been recorded in waters as deep as 3,800 ft. Yellowfins are exceptionally ample alongside the shores of the jap Pacific, particularly from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta. On the Atlantic aspect, you will discover them roaming the waters from Nova Scotia all the way down to North Carolina. 

Yellowfins are additionally ample round mid-ocean islands. They’re frequent guests of locations just like the Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii, Catalina Island, in addition to the Canaries and Azores. Within the Indian and Pacific oceans, you will discover Yellowfins round South Africa and Madagascar, and as far east as Australia and New Zealand.  


When it comes to appears, there are some things that set Albacore Tunas and Yellowfins aside. Primary is, after all, the dimensions. Whereas Albacore Tuna hardly ever exceed 45 kilos, Yellowfins within the 120–150 lb vary are in no way unusual.

However what in the event you occur upon a Tuna that’s proper across the 50 lb mark? Listed here are just a few particulars that set the 2 fish aside:

  • Albacore Tuna have a distinctively lengthy pelvic (aspect) fin – therefore the identify “Longfin”. Not like different Tuna, the pelvic fin reaches previous the second dorsal (topside) fin, and is the clearest signal that you just’re taking a look at an Albacore. Yellowfins have fairly lengthy pelvic fins, however theirs don’t cross the second dorsal.
  • On a Yellowfin, the second dorsal fin is elongated, curved, and vibrant yellow. On an Albacore, the second dorsal is brief, triangular, and grayish in shade.
  • Albacore Tuna have bigger eyes than Yellowfin Tuna.
  • Albacores boast a darkish blue higher aspect, and a transparent lower silvery-white decrease aspect. Yellowfins are gentle or darkish blue on high, with a vibrant lateral line on the aspect, and a silvery-white decrease aspect.


Alright, you understand how to acknowledge Albacore vs. Yellowfin, however what about catching the 2?


Like many different Tuna species, trolling is an effective strategy to goal an Albacore. Stay bait works even higher. Albacores feed on smaller sea creatures, so something from anchovies, sardines, and mullet to herrings and squid ought to work. Lures are a great choice for Albacore, as properly.

Albacore’s massive eyes permit them to see exceptionally properly, so utilizing a fluorocarbon chief may be a good suggestion.


Yellowfins are greatest caught on stay bait. Relying on their dimension, they’ll assault any number of baits you provide. The smaller ones will readily assault anchovies and sardines, very similar to Albacore do. California anglers know the way properly Pacific Mackerel works on these fish. For the most important Yellowfins, you’ll want to make use of one thing like a Skipjack Tuna. 

Yellowfin will battle you just like the fiercest of Billfish, however the chase will certainly be price it. In order for you an opportunity to catch the most important Yellowfins on the market, be certain that to take a look at what San Diego lengthy vary fishing has to supply.


Albacores and Yellowfin are each famend for his or her beautiful style. Let’s see how they evaluate.


Out of all of the Tuna species, Albacores boast the mildest taste and lightest flesh. They’re generally canned as “white tuna,” and comprise 20% of the US canned Tuna market. Once in a while, you will discover Albacores within the type of Tuna steak.

One draw back to Albacore meat is that it’s comparatively excessive in mercury. Based on the Environmental Protection Fund, adults ought to eat White Tuna not more than thrice monthly.


Yellowfin Tuna, however, are a number of the most versatile seafood choices on the market. Compared to Albacore, they’re a little bit stronger in style. Their flesh is agency and pale pink in shade, and a tad much less dry. Like with Albacores, you should buy them canned, or make Tuna steaks out of them. However that’s not all. 

As a consequence of Yellowfin’s extra pronounced style, you possibly can usually see them as sushi. The truth is, Yellowfin sashimi is a delicacy that’s usually served in high-end seafood eating places. Should you’re a sushi lover, this can be a nice different to the endangered and costlier Bluefin Tuna.

Which is Higher?

The reply is… Why ought to you must select? Albacore and Yellowfin Tuna are improbable sport fish, and so they’re each good consuming, too. Nonetheless, in the event you’re after an even bigger catch, your alternative ought to clearly be Yellowfin. Should you’re simply stepping into Tuna fishing, go together with Albacore, and also you received’t remorse it.

Whichever of the 2 Tunas you select to catch, you possibly can rely on a tasty dinner when you’re again ashore.

And now, we flip it over to you. The place do you stand within the Albacore vs. Yellowfin tuna debate? Which tastes higher in your opinion? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

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