Dog Tooth Tuna
RECORD: 91kg, C. Kirkconnell, 2006, Indonesia
Doggies are the most popular target species for Kiwis headed to the Pacific Islands for some mid winter action.
They are usually found patrolling reef edge drop offs in the 25 -30 meter plus zone. A quick look at their anatomy gives a clue to their behavior and feeding habits. They have big eyes , much bigger than a kingfish of the same size. This indicates that they live in deeper water than spearos and that they feed actively at dawn and dusk. This matches well with practical experience as it is common to see lots of doggies down deep but they are reluctant to come up in the middle of the day.
The most preferred method is to lure them up with a combination of burley and flashers while drifting along the reef edge. They like current so look for exposed points with baitfish and channels. Being a reef edge fish I have never heard of them appearing at FADs. If you think of them as a tropical kingfish and look in the same kind of places you are on the right track. They are often found in association with reef & whaler sharks so be careful while burleying. 3 man teams work best. A burley / flasher , a shooter and a shotgun rider.
This takes teamwork and patience and must be done in the right kind of area.
Fortunately they are such active predators that they will readily swim up from 40 meters to look at a flasher in 20 . They will often do 2 or 3 circuits which is enough time for the alert spearo to intercept.
Doggies are the power to weight champion of the world. More than 1 very experienced diver has shafted a medium sized doggie and been horrified to see fish , gun , rig and float all disappear into the deep blue.
They have extremely soft flesh and are covered in thin skin with no scales so a holding shot with a single flopper is not easy. Slip tips are the preferred method.
The rig and float setup is important as they are super powerful. I do not like a bungee for doggies as they often dive for the bottom and weave through coral bommies when speared . A stretches bungee over coral does not last long.
Just a simple NZ style kingy rig but with 1 or 2 BIG floats will do.
Do NOT plug into a 25 kilo plus model with a single 10 liter float , you will loose it.
They are superb eating while fresh and always have the soy & wasabi handy