Bahamas Isaacs report

Discussion in 'Pelagics' started by rod27, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. rod27

    rod27 Junior member

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    I have this addiction in common with most on this board.......the search for tuna. Specifically yellowfin tuna. The closest possible location to catch these seems to be the Bahamas, although some big YFT have been known to "get lost" just offshore of Miami. I know little about fishing, and my crew knew less. Last saturday June 6th i went to Bimini with my fiancee and she indulged me by going to the Isaacs en route. Seas were calm when we left Miami but grew to 2-4's following seas once halfway thru the gulfstream. A quick USCG stop and we continued. Once we reached and passed the Isaacs i was able to land 2 large bonito on a double hook up under some bird activity. She grew tired so we headed to Bimini to the hotel. The following seas mutated into a stiff confused 3-4ft chop which pounded me on the way in. She had the beanbag chair. The seas laid down to smooth for the return trip to Miami on Sunday.

    Struck by failure to catch my first YFT, i watched the weather report. Seas were forecast to continue to be glassy smooth. I had 3 volunteers come along for a quick wednesday return trip. Recent purchases to prepare for the return trip included a 6'6" 20-50lb Saragosa rod, a Saragosa 18000F with 80lb JB hollow attached by a uniknot to about 6-8ft of Momoi 80lb fluoro. A Yozuri hydropopper was the casting lure. After some bottom fishing, 4pm came around and it was time to hunt for YFT. Bird flocks from the Isaacs materialized on cue and we quickly located some fish, but not sure what kind. I tried trolling waaaaay back but the schools and birds were zigzagging everywhere. Since i know not to troll over the fish, it was difficult to determine how to get ahead of them. I then tried chunking, but the chunks took forever to get any depth, and that plan was quickly changed back to trolling and maneuvering the boat in front of the running schools. Finally we were able to hear the drag sing, but 5-10lb skippies were the results. No YFT.

    So my addiction worsens.....questions.....if the seas are glassy smooth, do the tuna not bite? I could only cast maybe 20-30 yards with no downwind to help me.....was it the rod or the 80lb JB hollow line? Are Bimini twists with large snap swivels attached to lures visible to fish? I used cedar plugs, some "Draggin Eyes", and another plug called a "Pelagic plug from Bigbite offshore. My chunking was a dismal failure......any tips appreciated.
     

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  2. bulllred

    bulllred Senior Member

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    What kind of live bait can you get (available)? I have not target YFT yet since its a lucky by-catch for us in south FL. My only suggestion would be once you locate busting YFTs.

    1. Cast from a distance butterfly type jigs at them using heavy spinning rod and reel set-up. This work for schooling BFT and skippjacks.

    2. Determined your driff and try to get in front of the moving school. Turn off the motors and free-line your lives. Hopefully you will get hook-up.
     

  3. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    i dont think you need the snap swivel.........i like a swivel to split ring myself, or just tie to the lure. but that being said sometimes fish just dont bite. were you marking fish?

    as far as casting - the uni isnt going to pass well through the guides and will hinder your casts. try learning the P.R, mid knot or possibly some loop to loop connections. it'll help the distance.
     
  4. rod27

    rod27 Junior member

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    What kind of live bait can you get (available)? I have not target YFT yet since its a lucky by-catch for us in south FL. My only suggestion would be once you locate busting YFTs.

    1. Cast from a distance butterfly type jigs at them using heavy spinning rod and reel set-up. This work for schooling BFT and skippjacks.

    2. Determined your driff and try to get in front of the moving school. Turn off the motors and free-line your lives. Hopefully you will get hook-up.

    we did catch some live bait before making the run, but since we couldnt get close to the tuna we didnt use many of them. I tried turning everything off and chunking, as well as letting some live bait drift out, but again the schools didnt come close enough. I could try some butterfly jigs next time.

    We tried getting in front of the schools but at first they were zigzagging in no apparent direction. It almost seemed like we would get in front of them and they would change directions away from us. The fish we did catch were schools that finally went in one general direction and i was able to get ahead of them and troll the lures in front of them.

    i dont think you need the snap swivel.........i like a swivel to split ring myself, or just tie to the lure. but that being said sometimes fish just dont bite. were you marking fish?

    as far as casting - the uni isnt going to pass well through the guides and will hinder your casts. try learning the P.R, mid knot or possibly some loop to loop connections. it'll help the distance.

    i didnt see any fish marked on the fishfinder the entire time, but only because i dont think they went close enough to the boat. We were in about 1100ft of water with a flat bottom btw. I will try another knot, but i was casting with the knot already out of the guides. Maybe that was hindering my casts? I thought it was the JB 80lb hollow. I need to learn some new knots anyway. I know this is hard to diagnose via internet forum, but thx for the replies.

    Any chunking tips?......should i be more patient? It would probably take a longer time to get that chunking slick going at any reasonable depth, but maybe that is what i need to do.
     
  5. A.whitman

    A.whitman Senior Member

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    The fish will find the chunk eventually. just keep at it. while chunking you could jig and pop to pass the time. Sometimes its tough when its glass out there. there is less commotion on the surface so the fish are less likely to come up top unless well provoked! just my opinion