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Senior Member
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suppose this would fall into the tackle and rigging section :confused:

If anyone has experienced trying to hoist a big mutha bluefin into their boat please let me know if there are any DIY devices out there that will help. Someday I plan to be faced with this problem and I want to be prepared.

No tuna door in a small center console. I have a pretty heavy duty T-Top and I was thinking about keeping some type of block and tackle device on board - you know, just in case I hook into a big one this summer. I just don't know the best configuration or way to rig something that will give me a mechanical advantage and allow me to be able to hoist the fish without killing myself or capsizing the boat. I've been doing a bunch of online research into this issue but have not come up with a great solution so I thought I would put it out there to the 360 network.

Some inexpensive ideas I have come across have been:
A Ratchet Strap Hand Puller
Portable Electric Winch
Some type of Block and Tackle rig

I figure if I rig something to go through the upper support bars of my T-Top, I can pull a rope pulley or strap out one side and lift a large fish up the other side - this way I can balance out the boat by having the pullers offset the weight of the fish. Rather than everyone on one side of the boat trying to lift a big fish up with gaffs and ropes and tipping the boat.

Let me know what anyone else has used - and where I can get it. Thanks.
 

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Premium Member
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5,701 Posts
A small block & tackle set is very handy

its main role tho , is not so much pulling the fish onboard, rather it is the ability to hold the fish from slipping backwards as you assist to lift the fish onboard.

Its a common piece of kit on gameboats where they have the added advantage of securing the block to a lug on the flybridge or cabin roof.

It helps on a CC too , but you need to take care on how the block is secured to the console/ bow as some consoles are not particularly strongly attached to the deck beams.
 

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Senior Member
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537 Posts
Doug - Someplace, I cannot remember where, I saw photos of somebody with a block and tackle on the T-Top of a center console lifting a big fish on board, and it bent the entire T-Top...sort of warped the whole thing over to the side where they were trying to lift from. I tried to search for it tonight but couldn't find it. Bottom line is to ask yourself...how solid is the frame? You should be able to pull any typical nearshore (within range of a "small center console") New Jersey bluefin over the gunwhale.
 

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if I were to pull a big one on my boat it'll be a Come-A-Long attached to my bow lifting eye (bow locker area)
tuna would slide through tuna door rear starboard

you can get it at Home Depot

do not rely on your T-top as anchor point, I've seen how my hard top and T top are held down .... I would not trust either
 

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Premium Member
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Yep
not only is there a need for consideration of what your block etc is attached to on the boat , there is also the issue of where its attached to the fish.
Gaffs rip in large fish very easily
the best attachment point to the fish is a short butcher's type hook placed inside the fish's mouth & engaged near the gills into the roof of the mouth
This is the strongest bone section of a fish & transmits lifting/pulling force to the frame of the fish.
This is a real handy trick when pulling a swordfish onto a boat as that head bone inside the mouth is far stronger than anywhere else.
It ain't the same getting a hook into this section from outside the head.............the outer parts are more porous.

I use a double pronged butcher's hook on swordfish & have lifted them on that alone ,with a boom.( to 560#)

Oh yah, pulling a fish headfirst is twice as easy as pulling them tailfirst.............the scales bite whatever you are pulling them over like a rasp.
yah..........that tail is mighty tempting to tie a rope around ..................wrong move.
ditto ...............tying a rope thru gills & mouth..................very wrong move
 

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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the input so far. It's a 19 ft mall cc. There are 4 very solidly attached cross beams that I am confident will hold the weight of a big blue. I'm just trying to work out the best configuration to secure the block and be able to pull on the rope on the opposite side of the boat from where the fish is.
I'm. Glad you mentioned about the attachment point on the fish too. I was planning on head first hoisting but I had thought to sling a rope around the lower jaw after poking through the underside of the jaw. I suppose some type of butcher hook in the upper jaw makes logical sense. How would you engage that hook into that area? Just get it started and then let the weight of the fish embed the hook into the bone? What are the problems with slinging the lower jaw?
Has anyone ever used one of those ratchet arm strap pulleys? Electrical lineament use them for pulling together broken cables from a telephone pole. I was thinking of such a rig to ratched lift the tuna by anchoring one end to the opposite frame bar on the t-top. Just not sure if I'm gaining as much mechanical advantage as I would with a block and tackle.
Anyway - thanks again for the advise. It all helps.
Oh, and the person who suggested pulling it in from the stern beside the engine. . . Not possible on my boat due to the "stuff" in the way back there.
 

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Spinal Rods
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777 Posts
Another thing to consider when doing what you just mentioned is knowing how your console is attached. If you console is screwed into the deck do not do it!! I've seen it done even though your cross member on your console seems strong enough. It will rip the screws right out. If your console is screwed and glassed in you will have better results but it will still cause damage, believe me please. It is not a good idea.
You are best to use this method you talked about to hold the fish at the very most. You are better off using man power to get the fish in. Even the strongest of piping on a center console has weakness somewhere and it will do damage.
If you ever got a true giant that was impossible to get into the boat with 2-3 guys you could also rope off the fish and swim him in. Usually with two guys you can put big fish in the boat. Use a gaff method that DB suggested with one guy, and use a tail rope for the other person and pick them up.
Good luck and hope you catch that monster.
 

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Whatever you do, do not use the console for support. Unless later Makos are different, on early ones, the console was GLUED to the floor with no other screws or bolts.
 

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So you want to put a giant bluefin in a 19' boat? Are you going to be commercially fishing or recreationally fishing? If recreational then you can only keep one fish over 73" per year and that quota is usually filled and over within 2 weeks. Not saying you won't be one of the lucky ones but there is a very small chance that you will even be able to keep a fish over 73" before the quota is met and closed. If you are commercial fishing you need to also find the space for a life raft, survival suits, offshore flare kit, and a bunch of other survival gear which costs may total $10,000 or more. I am not to familiar with 19' Makos but I have owned a 20' SeaCraft. One Dangerous issue I see you having with hauling a large fish over the side is the narrow beam. My 20 SeaCraft only had a 7.5' beam and got to think a 19' Mako's beam is 8' or less. You pose the very potential risk of rolling such a small boat with a small beam. Lets face it, fishing from such a small boat is going to be tough and has great disadvantages when tuna fishing. I have been in your shoes and fished from small boats for big fish. If I were you, I would concentrate on hooking and landing a giant bluefin before you worry about boating one. That in itself is not easy. Then if you are lucky enough to kill a giant, why not just tow it in? Lets face it, your in a 19 footer, it's not like your going to be fishing Georges bank and your probably not going to be to far from port. Just put a rope through its gills and cleat it off to your stern, tow the fish head first, maintain 6-10 knots, and get back to port ASAP. Make sure you put a longer rope attached to its tail and a poly ball in case the gills tear out during towing. That way you can retrieve the fish and you don't beat the crap out of and bruise the fish trying to get it in your boat or worse break your t-top or roll your boat. I know plenty of commercial guys who have dragged fish back to the dock that were to big to get in their boat and they still got top dollar for the fish.
 
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