Gunnison 12-4/12-5; Boat "Slap Shot"

Discussion in 'Offshore Fishing Reports' started by Ragman, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    What a great trip!!!

    The Slap Shot is a 36' Wellcraft -owned by Frank Vu- powered by trip Y-250's.

    The crew was me, Frank, TJ (minnow), Michael (North Tx. Fiberglass), and Jim (wacker) who handled Captain duties (very well btw while also putting some great Dorado in the boat).

    We left Dallas around 4 p.m. on Monday heading to Freeport to meet Jim at the dock around 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Frank had the dock launch the boat full of gas when we arrived and after loading, left the dock right at 10:30 heading for Gunnison! We had a fuel bladder and 10 gas cans on board to make this run.

    Jim said he hadn't had much luck making bait this year, but out of the 3 stops we made, we filled the live well with perfect tuna crack, lots of 6" hard tails and sardines that mostly survived the pounding miles to Gunnison.

    Because we made 3 bait stops, we arrived at Gunnison about 20 minutes after sundown, so we scrapped plans on trolling the floater and prepared for the night of yellow fin and dorado action that would come.

    Hot stick for the trip was TJ. He boated fish on poppers, jigs, live and dead bait, chunks, and, he and Frank hooked up YFT's trolling an OTI prototype stick bait and Wombat popper on the move back to the rig after a drift!

    We caught a few black fin tuna, but the YFT and Dorado were thick around this rig, and we only kept the latter except for just a few BFT that Michael and Frank used for occasional chunking.

    The hot baits were topwater and subsurface hard baits when the tuna would not hit the poppers.

    The jigging was great because the fish were holding relatively shallow right under the bait between 80' and 200'. The current was perfect and 200g jigs were all you needed to reach the fish. But, the weather and current was in constant change the whole night ranging from almost no wind/no current, to blowing to flat to blowing again. We made drifts from 3 different sides of Gunnison through the night!

    All of the YFT's averaged about 75 lbs with the smallest about 60 and the biggest about 85. It was a great school that stayed active the entire night except for one slow period from 2:30 a.m. till about 4 a.m. At 4:30, the surface started erupting with crashes and that was the main topwater bite that everyone was waiting on. These YFT's inhaled big poppers so deep, that we had to leave some of the poppers in the fish until we got to the cleaning tables. OTI wombat and komodo caught fish, as well as Michael catching a beautiful 80lb'er on a tuna hunter he had left over from a previous trip.

    When we first started fishing, I could not buy a fish on artificials, but I wasn't going to use bait or chunk, so I was pretty much just gaffing fish for everyone else!

    I could catch black fin on jigs, but I wanted YFT so I just kept changing lures until I found what they wanted. Right about midnight I finally found what the YFT wanted. I started throwing a 90g sub-surface flying fish imitator similar to a Baby Renboh, but the color was pink and silver.

    First cast it got slammed by a really nice 80lb YFT! After getting pics and finding a place in the box for the fish, I checked my leader. It had just a small place where my 80lb leader had just a slight scruff on it. I decided not to retie (when am I going to learn to slow down and retie after each fish regardless), and on the next cast immediately got hit again.

    This tuna made a long initial run that took half of my 60lb OTI DepthFinder line. I fought back about half of that line and the fish took off again. I didn't expect this other run and had increased my drag a couple of clicks. Just when I thought the second run was over, pow! Fish gone, lesson learned. Retie after every fish.

    Luckily I had another one of these lures and was able to hook up one of the many Dorado that kept checking out our boat about every hour through the night. This was a nice bull about 35-40 pounds that I saw swim out of nowhere to slam my lure about 15 yards from the boat. Great show of jumping before Jim sunk the gaff into it.

    About an hour later, I hooked up with another YFT about 65-70 lbs and know that OTI will begin working on a prototype on a sinking, flying fish imitator to use when the YFT tuna do not want a top water lure.

    Michael caught the last YFT tuna right after the morning topwater bite was in full action right around 4:30ish. We had no more room on the boat to store fish, so we drained the bait well, cut off the tuna's tail, and put it head first in the bait tank with ice.

    We secured the gear and set off for the 4 1/2 hour ride back to the dock. The crew was excellent and lots of fun.

    We hit the dock around 11 a.m., emptied the boat, cleaned the fish, and hit the road around 3:30 to Dallas. After dropping Michael off at his shop, I made it home around midnight and just fell into bed, with every part of my body just aching and burning! I wouldn't have it any other way!

    If you have any questions about gear, tackle, or line, post them up and I'll answer the best that I can.

    See pics below:

    1. OTI Komodo inhaled!
    2. Komodo, Nemo color
    3. Michael
    4. TJ
    5. TJ w/prototype OTI stickbait
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    6. Frank w/Komodo lure
    7. TJ w/ Blue Heaven Jig reel
    8. Ragman w/OTI Depth Finder line
    9. Tom w/80lb YFT
    10. TJ and Jim
     

    Attached Files:


  3. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    11. This picture is from l to r, Frank, Tom, and TJ, but I don't yet have the
    pic of the entire crew with the fish.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Bret

    Bret Senior Member

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    Great report and Pics Tom!!! Glad yall hammered them!!!
     
  5. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    awesome!! talked to Mike earlier... what an excellent adventure!! I knew those subsurface flying fish imitations would work.. remember my "funky chicken"... LOL!!! Put me down for 4 of em when they come in!!
     
  6. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    I noticed in the photo with the Komodo inhaled in his mouth that you or someone is tying a uniknot direct to the lure.

    Questions for you.
    What pound test fluro were you using on spinners?
    How long of a fluro leader were you using on spinners?
    What connection between the braid and fluro did you use on spinning outfits?
    Have you ever used a split ring and solid ring on your poppers?
    Were you only using a single dancing hook on your jigs?
     
  7. jureal

    jureal Senior Member

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    I am glad to see that your Komodo's catch. Got quite a few of them packed. What about vertical jigging. What worked?
     
  8. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    I noticed in the photo with the Komodo inhaled in his mouth that you or someone is tying a uniknot direct to the lure.

    Questions for you.
    What pound test fluro were you using on spinners?

    I used 80# tied onto 60 lb DepthFinder line.

    How long of a fluro leader were you using on spinners?

    My leader was about 3 feet long.

    What connection between the braid and fluro did you use on spinning outfits?

    I tie a bimini in my main line, then do a seven-turn surgeon to connect the two. I finish the connection off by tying 3 half-hitch knots on the spectra tag and 1 half-hitch on the mono/flouro tag before I trim them up.

    Have you ever used a split ring and solid ring on your poppers?

    I always tie a solid ring onto my main line, then use a HD split ring on my lures to aid in quick changing.

    Were you only using a single dancing hook on your jigs?

    On my jigs I use assist hooks, but the sub-surface hard swimming lure I used two single hooks. They are a Japanese model with the hook eye inline with the point instead of turned 90 degrees.

    Hey MrBill!
    See above in blue!
     
  9. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    I am glad to see that your Komodo's catch. Got quite a few of them packed. What about vertical jigging. What worked?

    Hey jureal!

    Because we had hardly any current, I jigged with an OTI Jager 200g in the red/silver color.

    I could see the jig working on the fish finder it reflected so well! We could watch the zigzag pattern it created on the unit and also the long sweeps up and down.

    Michael was using the Jinkster in 200g in blue and in purple (I think).
     
  10. jureal

    jureal Senior Member

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    Thanks, I'll probably stop by at FTU and check out more tackle.
     
  11. fathom

    fathom Lifetime Supporting Members

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    Exellent report Tom!
     
  12. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

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    Cool beans! Great report Tom. Err was that Bagman?

    I'm glad to see that OTI is working on some sub surface plugs. Those will be great.
     
  13. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    I know these question are for Tom, but here are my take.
    I noticed in the photo with the Komodo inhaled in his mouth that you or someone is tying a uniknot direct to the lure.


    Questions for you.
    What pound test fluro were you using on spinners? 160lb fluoro leader
    How long of a fluro leader were you using on spinners?3ft on one rig and 25ft on onother rig
    What connection between the braid and fluro did you use on spinning outfits?PR knot
    Have you ever used a split ring and solid ring on your poppers?Yes they work great, change popper is easier
    Were you only using a single dancing hook on your jigs?
     
  14. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    The Page Ranking knot! I didn't know what that stood for.

    TJ tied one for me on my jigging reel and it performed really well. He used it to attach about a 10 foot leader of 80# mono to 80# DepthFinder line.

    Though I didn't catch any real big tuna to test it, the knot held the entire trip w/o slipping and it fed smoothly through size 10 guides.

    It will only take about 6 more times for him to show me how to tie it before I can do it on my own. The bobbin he uses threw me for a loop!
     
  15. fishr1989

    fishr1989 Senior Member

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    were you all using the prototype 7.5' popping rods?
    they looked like they were handling the tuna really well.
     
  16. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    TJ... were you really using 160# leader? or do you mean 60# ??
     
  17. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    Yes we did, the rod paired with Franks Stella 20k.
     
  18. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    wow... I would break my teeth trying to bite thru that stuff to tie knots.. :)

    Next investment will be some decent pliers.. :)
     
  19. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    Yes, 160lb fluoro carbon leader. I got the line as a sample from line manufacture.
     
  20. jureal

    jureal Senior Member

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    What is a subsurface plug and where do I get one? For that matter, what is a Baby Renboh?? I do have some plastic flyers. Should I bring a couple?