Videotape making the rounds on fishing websites shows an incredible feeding frenzy that was filmed last month off the west coast of Panama. Yellowfin tuna weighing 50-100 pounds have corralled rainbow runners and other small fish into a tightly-grouped bait ball and can be seen tearing through the mass as though it were the last source of food on the planet.
The tuna did not seem to care or acknowledge the encroachment of the vessel TOP Cat, whose crew used a net to scoop some of the bait fish from the water. Ultimately, the bait ball was devoured.
Despite the constant commentary that drowned out some of the sound associated with this amazing spectacle, the video helps to illustrate the dynamics associated with predator and prey in the marine universe. Sometimes the balling up strategy works for bait fish, at least temporarily. But once the frenzy begins, the prey is quick to vanish.