I've caught yft on swimbaits. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. Every night is different. On the recent TBB 07 chunks were the thing the first night and iron the second. You can't plan how you are going to catch them, they will tell you. Don't be afraid to try different things.
Maybe Chris will post up and give some advice. I know I listened in on his conversation with one of the deckhands on TBB 07 last week. It went something like this: (Raul) hey, your the guy that gave us those swim baits last year, we've killed um up on those. Where'd you get um? (Chris) their from my dad's business, Grandad's Tackle. (Raul) You've got to hook me up with more of those. You don't usually get an excited response from the hands and I took it from his tone that they really, really worked.
swimbaits.... wont leave home without em.... caught/hooked YFT on one just about every trip I have taken.... look in my signature pic... thats one of newmans/GRANDADS tackle. Sight cast to the ones chasing flying fish, or else cast as close to the rig as you can, count to 15 and start a pop/reel/po retrieve...... the storm type, with the swimming tail- no good- the tail gets bitten off rather quickly... Use Newmans/Grandads Tackle: 9" on 15# of drag.
I sometimes get crazy and put feathers sticking out the side of my swimbaits to imitate flying fish... they look pretty neat in the water..
My Grandfather was retired up in Bella Vista to play golf everyday! Beautiful area up there.
Like Etan said, swimbaits can be one of many ways to catch tuna. Just be prepared with almost any technique so that when you get to the tuna, you will have the answer that they happen to be looking for.
Just make sure that you can cast the swim bait relatively far.
We designed our Smacker Mackerel swimbaits to sight cast to YFT. They have forged Mustad hooks and a great action. I caught a couple of 18lb BFT on the TBB 07 trip and lost a YFT that became tailwrapped. We have 3 color patterns and 6" and 8" sizes.
Raul told me the Smackers caught several nice ling this year at rigs and behind shrimpers as well as 2 YFT in the 45lb class.
We also have the Tracker Mackerels in 6", 8", and 10". These are for trolling and have the line comming out the mouth not the top of the head. All are weighted to reduce spinning and can be rigged naked or skirted.