Glad you finally made it out and learned about tuna fishing. You can never learn enough as every trip teaches you more about this great sport. I took the privilege of copying your picture and will post it here.
Kevin, Congrats on the first YF. Really a good report. There's a lot you can get from reading about the fishing but the best knowledge comes when you get to put it to practice. There will be other days, and bigger fish but that first battle will always have a place. Congrats again. Think yall made it back in just in time.
You ought to go ahead and post it here too. Glad you got out and initiated!
Hey, is Snagged as cranky as everyone says?
Tom - DBG
I dont think I saw his cranky side, at least not this time
I am tired as all get out, but I feel like telling a story of the best trip ive ever had. If it doesnt make sense I apologize ahead of time
Well, it started thursday night, Im already tired, packing all my gear, and all the food, drinks, and beddings for 48hrs. It was me, my grandpa, and my old man. So I finally get to what seems to be fully packed, and good Lord did we have a bunch of crap in that 4runner. Friday morning starts way too early and abruptly, I wake feeling like I got punched in the face. Eventually I get out of bed at about 430am, get my grandpa up and my dad, and we head out. I figure it wsnt a good sign as to my readiness for the next 48hrs when I was sleepin on the way to Pt A. Only 9 people out of the normal 15 go, so its a light load, and that was nice. We break the jetties only to be met by nasty conditions. Three hours later we begin to troll and bottom fish a little. A few AJ here and there, but nothing for me to show, only one big run on the last troll. So at about 1 we head out 145miles offshore to Boomvang. And boy were the conditions nice out there. The sun is ready to go to sleep as we troll around Boomvang. Whammo big run on the outside line, deckhand hands it off to me, and me having very little offshore experience, and no experience with wahoo, I manage to lose the fish. We troll a little more to end the sunny part of the day with a few AJ and maybe a grouper or two. The darkness arrives as abruptly as the day began. It was a little intimidating, putting all of this built up knowledge to use. Fortunately Snagged (Jerry) was there to help guide me through the chunking process, and the ins and outs of tuna fishing. Im not gonna lie, I never in a million ever imagined having to work so hard for these tuna. I end the night with having jigged up a few BFT, but nothing of the yellow kind to show, but little did I know come sunrise, that would all be different. Being as tired as I was the morning before, I drank some Dr Pepper, and was back in business. I started the morning hours casting frenzy flyers and a tuna popper. I had a big blow up on the frenzy flyer, and it scared the hell outta me seeing this fish launch itself at this lure. I missed the fish, because I didnt have a stinger hook. At this point Im really excited, the day ahead is gonna be a good one I knew. Chris the deckhand had a chunk out on a 4/0 of his all morning, then a YFT picks the chunk up and runssss. Chris hand the rod off to me, and it was a fight from there. At this point I fully understood why tuna fishing is addicting and incomparable to any other species of fish. After a hell of a fight and some sore arms, I boat the fish. At the weigh in this morning it was about 56lbs. Jerry took a pic or two of me holding the beast on the boat. After that, and also observing that nobody else is really catching anything chunking I decided to head back to the bow for some topwater action. Got a couple blowups on the topwater, and was really awesome to see. At about 7 or 8am we make our last drift really close to Nansen to make a last ditch for the tuna with nothing to show on that drift, although I did get my chunk picked up and hauled off, only for the line to be broken, coulda been a cuda, or a monster YFt, who knows. Make the 3hr run to bottom fishing rigs. I catch a couple of smaller AJs, one keeper about medium sized, and a good sized almaco. Other people caught some giant AJs, some gags, and a warsaw. Next rig I catch a monster red snapper, and get a good run, thats it for the bottom fishing as the deckhands tell us we are heading back out to the floater. Before heading out we trolled for about 25minutes, and end up with a wahoo. We made what seemed like and endless move back out to Boomvang. I think it was about 6 or 7 at this point. Captain Nate tells us we have 3hrs to make this happen. Everyone drifts out a ballyhoo on the first drift on hopes of a biggun.....nothing. So next drift we all switch to freshly cut BFT jigged up by the deckhands. I think maybe a YFT or two was caught on the next 2 drifts, but nothing much. This is when the deckhands says the BFT are here and the YFt might me there also, so I switch to a butterfly jig that skeeter ronnie rigged up for me. WHammmo I catch a good sized BFt with everyone including capt. Keith thought was a YF because it was peelin so much drag. I catch 2 or 3 mored BF using that jig, but after a few people catch some good sized YF is switch back to chunking. This is our second to last drift, and I let the chunk way the hell out there, and all of a sudden my line goes taut. It didnt seem unusual as the force of the waves always do that, but waves dont usually peel line off,and pull like hell like this fish did. So just like in the movies when the clicker start ZZZZZZZZ, the fight was on. I have my drag set at strike and it is peeling of drag like its nothing, I start to fight it, and about 3minutes in the fight, the line goes slack, line broke again
In a way it sucked to lose that fish, but it also felt good to know, that I learned something about chunking, and it showed, because I was able to hook the fish. I would have much preferred to have been able to tell you I hooked and landed the 56lb YF, but really I only landed it. I learned more than I ever could have imagined, and had just as much fun.
Thanks Capt Keith and Nate, and thanks chris and tony for being awesome knowledgable deckhands.
PS- did I mention it was a hell of a roller coaster of ride on the way back in? It was about 7hours of a softcore roller coaster.
The pics are on teamoso. Dang that lack of sleep for the past two days sure is catching up with me
Do you remember a guy named Peter on the trip? He probably tossed topwaters from the bow a bunch. He's a friend of Tony's and deckhands at DSH during the summer. I think he fishes with a trinidad 50 most of the time. Peter caught 2 yellowfins, 1 Wahoo, 1 big groper, two (2) amberjacks and lots of blackfin. He said one of the amberjack's weighed 60 lbs and it whipped him to keep it away from the rig and get it to the boat. He also said that he caught blackfins on topwater's but no YF's on the top. He caught one of his YF's on a jig.
I'll ask Peter if Snagged showed his cranky side. By the way, how did Snagged do on the trip? Hopefully we will hear his side of the trip.
really kewl to hear you caught some fish on the stuff I sent ya! Sux on the line breaks.. but it happens.. I cant count how many jigs I lost last time I was out there... i had 60# flouro.. thats why I rig them with 80# now.... Nice job! Hooking the fish is the easy part... getting it to the boat is the battle. SO you did win that [email protected] Congrats!
Great report Kevin and congrats on that nice Yellowfin!
When Tom asked if Jerry was "cranky"...I think he meant that when you fish with Jerry...he's always cranking in a fish. You couldn't ask for a better mentor than Jerry...he's VERY knowledgable when it comes to fishing.
Okay Jerry...I'll let you buy me breakfast for the kudos....
Ok guys it was a tough bite. The YF were NOT there in numbers nor were there many blackfin with any size.
Our chumline did not produce any bait fish on the first night, fact is I only know of two flyingfish seen on the trip.
I'll give Kevin some credit for fishing hard the whole trip and maybe saying six words (sure would like to see him smile!).
To give you an idea of how slow it was I didn't loose any jigs to cuda's!
On the deep drops I was a small shark magnet, but did manage a few AJ's.
I picked my YF the first night then farmed about six more.
Following are a couple of pictures of Kevin.
Kevin, if you were getting broken off a lot, there is likely something wrong in your process. Believe it or not, there are a lot of little seemingly insignificant things you can do wrong without even knowing it. Most fish are forgiving, but not a YFT. I learned this the hard way, by losing a lot of tuna.
For example, you have to make sure you have fresh line. I use to be cheap and replace my mono every few years. Not acceptable with tuna. Now I replace my mono every single trip. Second, you have to wet your knot before you cinch it down. If not, you can generate heat that will weaken the knot. Then, you have to make sure every single one of your connections is perfect: line to leader, leader to hook. You should tie knots in your spare time and test them with a scale. Find the knots that work for YOU, and tie them flawlessly, and then test them all. Until you are making connections that consistantly break at at least 80% of the line strength, you need to keep working at it.
You should check ALL your rod eyes with a piece of pantyhose or silk to make sure there are no rough spots to fray and weaken your line.
You should check you drag to make sure that it is the right setting (1/4 to 1/3 the breaking strength of the line); check it by using a scale at the end of the line, after running the line thru the eyes, at an angle as if a fish were pulling. And make sure you drag is smooth from the very first pull; if it is sticky, you will break off.
After you catch a fish, check your line. If there are any nicks or abrasions at all, cut that section out and retie. If he drug your line across the hull at all, check way up the line for rough spots. Oh, and dont let him drag you across the hull.
Follow the above, and I promise you won't lose so many fish to breaking lines. Now getting bit off, or getting spooled, that's a different issue. Hope this helps a bit on your next trip.