Big Guns, Cookies and Déjà Vu

Discussion in 'Jigging and Popping' started by Riptide, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Riptide

    Riptide Banned

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    The last few weeks have just been awesome and the last few days have been some of the best action we have seen. Even the "bad" days have been good. I'll cover the last two trips in this report.

    Paul and Jim got blown off due to weather a few weeks back, this was their make up trip. As it turned out it was also Jim's birthday. Seems we Riptide Charters tuna trips have been the birthday gift of choice lately :brow (After all they are very fashionable and it always fits :D)

    The weather for this trip could not have been better. FAC water and no wind greeted us at the ramp. We ran to the day before's numbers and got on fish quickly. It didn't take Jim long to get tight.....FIRST CAST!!!!!! Jim gets down to business trying to get back the Prototype Ocean Lure that Charlie tried to steal. After 20 minutes @ 38# of drag in the harness Jim got the lure back but only because Charlie let it go. PULLED HOOK!!!!
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    Not one to give up, we got back in the game and began working the dozens of pods of fish that were gorging on sandeels or blasting halfbeaks. It wasn't long before some thug tuna tried to steal Jim's Ocean Lure again. Charlie didn't expect jim to have a couple buddies looking after him and with a 2 on 1 fight Charlie ended up face to face with a man holding a Custom Big Gun Rod and BANG!!! Shot dead with the Poon Harpoon.

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    Remember walk softly and always carry your "BIG GUN" edition rod!!!!!!

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    The action was so hot and heavy I felt the need to give Capt Jeff Smith of Fin Addition Charters a call and get him in on the feed. The gang war was on!!! Guides and Sports vs. Charlie and friends!

    Capt. Jeff brought his usual "A" game and his sports played it perfectly. Over the radio I hear "Thanks man....we're ... DOUBLED UP!" Apparently Charlie tried to take one of Jeff's Ocean lures too........That just ain't right!
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    The rest of the day was spent chasing pods of fish, Ruge filming the best stuff he's shot all season in Full HD and watch fish crash the plugs all the way to the boat.

    We knew the next day was going to be something. Big Mike was rolling into town and I think we all know what happens then...... Mike Mike brings the mojo and things are going to get done one way or another.

    We splashed the boat and the goal was to get Mike, Peter and Curt some sushi for dinner. The day started sloppy with some leftover waves and wind from the night before. I can't say enough about the big Contender and what it does if rough water. You really have to see it to believe it. Most boats held out for a later start or cancelled their trips completely. We on the other hand ran 30kts into the teeth of a 4-5' head sea once we rounded Monomoy. Now that may sound dramatic, and in most boats it would be. But Peter was chillin in the bean bag and Mike and Curt were enjoying a couple cigars on the ride to the tuna while we simply skimmed over the slop.

    The early bird gets the bite and we got on a mother load of fish. Kurts on the Big Gun and working the fish like a machine. After 15 minutes of heavy pulling, the hook pulls. We've been trying to land these fish quickly both for better realeases and also to take advantage of short windows in the day when the fish are feeding hard. By getting the fish in fast, we can get more time on the small window of opportunity they often give. Pulled hooks is the downside of heavy drag. The only upside to a pulled hook is, knowing that our gear is ROCK SOLID. Since we went to the Stella / Big Gun combo and swapped to Streamline Wind-ons we can pull as hard as the angler can handle and things just don't break.

    We had a few more fish grab or swirl and follow at small yellow Salty's Lures Toona Poppers , but the action was more spread out and sporatic than in past days. We covered ground and chased onesy-twosey fish all over. When Capt Jeff hit the water later int he day we gave him the outlook and he headed over to us for some two boat team work. Dispite the two boats inshore and my buddy Capt Eric Stewart keeping me in the loop from offshore we were still not getting the "right fish". Around lunch time, the best we could do is hang with Capt jeff for a few, share some on my Mom's homemade chocolote chip cookies with Capt Jeff and his sports and try to get a game plan together. Capt Jeff (the fastest cookie eater in the fleet) decided to run north. We decided to run south.

    We played the hit andrun game on skittish fish until nearly supper time. Just as we were wrapping up I hailed Capt Jeff to see if he was still out fishing. He was as surprised to hear me call as I was to hear him answer that late in the day. He was hooked up on some fish that were eating jigs. He was WAAAY north of us, it was dusk and the sun was dropping fast and we had just enough fuel to get there and back if we were REALLY careful running home. So............... The big Verado's got worked and we tore a$$ towards Capt Jeff at 50kts. At a mile a minute we were not going to loose a second of fishing before that big orange ball in the sky hit the dirt.

    We got to Jeff in what seemed like the blink of a watery eye. Sure enough he had birds and fish racing around and there he sat patiently in the middle jigging with a Zen-like calmness. He was using a silver Ron Z on a heavy head to get down on the fish fast as they zipped under his boat in their feeding rotation. I use Hogy's on my boat and didn't have a setup that was similar with me. Capt Jeff, hoping for more home-made cookies I'm sure, made the supreme sacrifice and tossed me 3 heavy jig heads and a 10 pack of tails. Ruge and I rigged 3 rods and we got to jigging.

    Now its well known I HATE to sit still and jigging requires you to sit and watch as fish bust just out of range. It was physicly painful for me to do this, but you have to do what you have to do.

    When one of the guys decided to rest, I took over jigging his rig. I noticed the tip on the Big Gun was a little loose. The glue was not holding it tight enough. So I had just tossed out my jig when I decided to break out the lighter and glue stick and fix it. I sat on the deck and laid the rod on the deck next to me (you see where this is going, don't you?) I had my head up under the gunnel cap trying to keep the lighter lit to melt the glue when the line was nearly ripped out of my hand and the rod started to go over the gunnel. My first thought was the line got into the props or someone snagged my jig. NOPE! Charlie grabbed the dead sticked rubba and was trying to get payback for yesterday by stealing one of my Big Guns and my new Stella 20000. Not in this lifetime!!!!!

    I save the rod from going over and got from repair mode to battle stations. I'm on the fish hard sans rod tip top when Curt on the bow yells TIGHT!!!!!! All day long we hunted fish and now we are rocking the double. After a bit Curts fish finds the bow eye and breaks off. Now I'm on the last chance for a fish since its dark and I'm doing it with no tip top and what I thought was no 100# wind-on. We had swapped several rods over to knotted 60# flouro to try to tempt the picky fish earlier. So now we are under gunned with the BIG GUN.

    After a few searing runs, the fish stops fighting. I'm hanging on dead weight but it feels more like we hung a pot line than a live fish. I have Ruge take the rod and tell me what he thinks. He aggrees somethings not right. Maybe tail wrapped but definately not normal. I tell Ruge to wind hard and lets get right over the fish and see what happens. I get on the throttles and Ruge cranks hard to get up and down on the line.

    Whatever was wrong, UN-wronged itself and the fish made another HUGE run. I had to beg Ruge not to palm the reel or up the drag for fear of popping the light flouro. After 20 miuntes we get deep color. Its getting dark REALLY fast so I grab the Poon and throw while the fish is way deep, I miss the shot but I notice the leader. It was a Streamline WIND-ON! This was not one of the rods we swapped over!!!!! I tell Ruge to bring the pain and he muscles the fish against its will. The fish circles wide and comes to the surface 15' out. BIG MISTAKE!!!! This time I don't miss. I hit the fish in the gill and the Poon punches clean through. GAME OVER!!!!!

    Its now dark as we slide a 180# of sushi through the tuna door. I wind up the Verados for an economical easy ride home. Ruge preps dinner and washes things down, Peter is chillin in the bean bag, Mike and Curt are enjoying a good cigar..... its almost like déjà vu ;)
     
  2. LEXPRO

    LEXPRO Senior Member

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    Great write up
     

  3. fathom

    fathom Lifetime Supporting Members

    1,105
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    The sweet smell.......Victory

    great read...
     
  4. Eric the Red

    Eric the Red Member

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    Great write up Terry! The pick up on the dropping Ronz happened to me too last fall. I had someone with me who had not caught a tuan before. He was feeling down because I had hooked up twice already on the Ronz. So I cast out and I'm letting it drop as I'm explaining what seems to be working that day. When I turn around with the open bail, the line is just ripping away from the boat?!! Flip her shut, set the hook, turn around and tell him to do it just like that!!!!:p If looks could kill....