Hatteras NC From Sand to Snow for a bluefin!

Discussion in 'Saltywater Tackle' started by Nick, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Nick

    Nick Site Sponsor

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    After last years amazing fishing and trip to Hatteras NC, I decided with Sami to put together 2 back to back trips to Hatteras to fish on the Tuna Duck with Capt Dan and Mike. I had a really good time last year and we caught some great fish. After a very long wait finally the time started coming closer to the trip and we started to get all the final details in place.

    The last couple of months have been tough with a few cancelled trips for different reasons from visas to weather, but the Hatteras trip was looking good with some fish starting to show up but then a few days before the trip we got thrown a curve ball and a big storm started moving in and the most snow in years started to be thrown around by the news channels! Great! Being from Dubai and Oman which is sunny all year road this was a very worrying situation to be having the worst snow storms in years! But after a few frantic calls Sami assured me it was all going to be alright and just to delay the trip by one day so the weather can clear. So with a whole new stash of warm clothes I got to the Dubai Airport and boarded my flight to JFK.

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    Big plane big trip!

    Flying into JFK is always an exciting time as I now I’m going fishing and meeting up with good friends, but this time there was a lot of snow everywhere so I was not to sure that I wanted to leave the warmth of the plane! But it was not as bad as it looked and we were greeted by an amazing sunny winters day. Sami had picked up Minami-san and Chris from Hots and the master Tosa-san from Moutoukenmaru. It was great to meet up with the guys and the excitement was off the charts. We headed to Saltywater Tackle which is always dangerous as I tend to spend my sons University fund! But was good to meet up with Paul, Evan and Raymond. It really is like a second home and the guys always make you feel special! We headed out for a great dinner many thanks to Mr Raymond! A really great start to the trip!

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    Dinner at the Tokyo Restaurant! Great evening!

    Early the next morning we all met up at Samis place and started the long drive down to Hatteras. The trip is always filled with a lot of laughter a few jokes and the great anticipation of what the next few days held in store for us. We finally got to Oregon Inlet had a late dinner and did the grocery shopping for the next few days. Good fun trying to mix different tastes and cater for everyone! We finally made it to Hatteras late evening and we arrived at the house Sami arranged and it was amazing, right on the marina and water with loads of space, we unpacked quickly and started gearing up for the next day. We worked on our gear late into the night and finally we were ready and everyone fell into a deep but short sleep.

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    Packing into the new Saltywater Bus
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    The team
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    No trip is good without a good road trip!
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    Tosa-san and Chris taking a break on the bridge over Chespeake Bay
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    Our house for the next few days.

    We woke up to a windy morning but everyone was excited and after a quick breakfast we headed off to meet up with Capt Dan and Mike at the Tuna Duck. It was good to see the boat and the guys again, and all the memories from last year came flooding back. We loaded up the gear and headed out for the grounds about 50 miles out where the fish had been holding the last few days. But first we had to cross the sand bar to get out of the inlet and with big sea, swell and shallow water this was quite interesting and nerve racking but Dan guided the Tuna Duck through like the seasoned pro he is! I don't think anything ever phases Dan, really comforting having such a get captain and crew with Mike.
    The initial excitement and long run started to get to the team and slowly one by one we all ended up falling asleep in the saloon, even with the big swell and bad weather the Tuna Duck powered through with a comfortable ride. We heard the engines slow and we all new the time had come! We were in the middle of the Bluefin grounds!

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    Ready to head out with Tosa-san

    This trip was going to be very interesting and exciting as Minami-san had brought 2 new prototype rods for Chris and himself to test which are the BFT73XXXH (for monster fish) and the BFT76XH (medium fish) along with a new range of jigs in the 300gr range. Tosa-san had a box full of Moutoukenmaru lures including a few prototypes, truly amazing lures and most of them belonged on a mantle piece! I was fishing with the Race Point 200 and 300 so it was a good mix of rods and lures. Mike put out some teasers to search for the tuna and before long we had a few yellowfin hammering the teasers and caught us a bit unaware but we quickly jumped into action and I had a tuna hit my Siren 250 Bad Mon clean out of the water and then missed again, Sami had a couple of hits and then on the next cast I hooked up to a smaller fish that pulled the hook after a few seconds. An exciting start to the trip.

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    Da Tuna Duck! Ready for battle!
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    Bit of rock and rolling on the way out!
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    New Pink Abalone Moutoukenmaru lure! Piece of art!

    I was using a different set up for the lures to last year. Last year I was using 2 trebles on the lures and the 82” fish I caught was really tough as I hooked it across the side of the face and a fish that size not hooked properly was torture. So this year I was using a 8/0 Shout Kudako single which I rigged off the front swivel and then used an elastic band to hold the hook in place onto the center swivel of the lure. Not pretty but I thought it would work, but so far I was 1/0. We pulled the teaser till we got to the main area with a lot of the commercial boats fishing with Green Sticks, which is the first time I had seen it and was very interesting to watch. Dan marked a few fish on the finder and we put down the jigs. Tosa-san decided to cast his lures to test the action. We were jigging and we heard a big commotion behind us and when we turned Tosa-san had hooked up right close to the boat and the fish had taken off like wild fire with Tosa-san trying to hang on and slow the fish but after about a 100m run the braid pulled into the spool between to top of the line and the top of the spool and a very brief and fast hook up came to an end! We all stood there for a few moments trying to figure out what had just happened! And Sami in all his wisdom turned around and said “that tuna fishing baby” and carried on jigging! Welcome to Hatteras, home of the Giant Bluefin!

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    New single hook set up I was trying on the Siren Bad Mon 250. Nothing to looked at but works!

    We carried on moving around and marking fish and dropping jigs and casting stickbaits. On one of the markings I decided to put in a few casts as Dan saw a fish jump in the area. The wind was still pumping and with the Siren Bad Mon 250 and RP200 the lure was flying about 100m with the wind so I was covering a lot of water. On about the 5th cast I saw a splash behind the swell and was not sure if it was a fish or white horse I gave a few more pulls and I saw the fish come again and I hit the fish but still did not see how big it was! I hit the fish a few times and the fish started coming towards the boat and I thought it was a small tuna as I felt a light tapping on the line and the fish was coming easily, but then all hell broke loose and the spawn of satin was born! The fish must have seen the boat and took off for the depths!

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    Early in the fight when things were still fun! Wearing the fighting hat for the trip! Was supposed to give you power, don't think it works....
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    Putting in the hard work on the Race Point 200

    Line peeled off at an alarming rate and I thought it was never going to end but finally the rod and reel took the pressure and the fish stopped and I started the long slow task of trying to work the fish to the boat. The fish sat deep and under the boat and it was truly an epic and painful battle. As per last year I thought I could manhandle the fish like a GT and pull the fish to the boat but this was not to be and finally after a long fight of back and forth I had to ask for help and the guys stepped in to bring a bit of relief. I got taught a very good lesson is that these fish are just way to big and you have to be patient and wait for the fish to let you regain line., not muscle them to the boat. The fight lasted over an hour and finally we managed to get the fish to the boat, a very humbling fight but seeing the fish and shear beauty was amazing and my trip had already been made! We got the fish to the side of the boat and got a few pictures and released her to terrorize another fisherman another day. This was the toughest and most grueling fight I’ve ever had! As Sami said it was a stud fish and a demon!

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    Leadering an awesome fish! Estimated at 280lbs
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    Siren Bad Mon 250 Blue
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Site Sponsor

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    Another angle the fish coming around!

    After a few minutes rest and reflection on an amazing fish we started looking for bluefin again and Dan would mark the fish and then we would stop and put the jigs down and try for a while and then move on, after a few times Chris hooked into a submarine which took him on the drop and he clicked the bail arm over and the fish had swum under the boat at about 120ft and pulled the rod under the boat and snapped, absolutely nothing he could have done and was another example that these fish are serious competitors and to land one you have to have some form of luck on your side!

    Sami had a hit but didn't manage to hook up and then again Chris went tight on another big fish with a drift tune jig and line started flying off the reel. Chris got the fish under control and the slow back and forth again started but then on one of the big runs the line again cut into the spool at the same place as Tosa-san between the top of the line and top of the spool. Bang bye bye!

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    Chris bending on the Hots 56XH with a Drift Tune 330gr.
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    Mike trying to give Chris some help wearing the fighting hat! Always good fun on the boat!

    Slowly the day started to come to and end and we started to head back to the marina but Dan said he was going to head for Oregon Inlet as the weather was changing and that in Hatteras we would not be able to get out to easily and so the ever thinking captain made a plan to try and give us the best possible option to fish. We pulled into Oregon Inlet Marina and was great to see the marina. We moored up the boat and then headed back to Hatteras about an hours drive away. Really good to have the option to run from either marina, opens up a lot more possibilities!

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    Coming into Oregon Inlet
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    Some good looking boats!
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    The big one we were looking for!

    We stopped off at the market and bought dinner which was going to be a South African BBQ (Braai) and with a few cold beers ended an epic day. A lot of banter and talk about the fishing around the fire and table ended with us going to bed with a few new tactics and game plans.

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    Chris respooling in the Kitchen
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    Sami showing Tosa-san the Saltywater leader system
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    Awesome dinner of BBQ (braai) and sashimi!

    But when we woke up this morning the wind had changed again and the predicted storm was coming in earlier than expected so the day was called off, but luckily with great accommodation it has been a day filled with looking and going through tackle and really spoilt to have Chris, Minami-san, Sami and , Tosa-san to pick their brains and talk about the gear they design and future products. Yes very interesting and exciting and almost as good as fishing!

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    Tosa-san and Sami sitting around the table eating and designing a new sneaky lure, going to be awesome!
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    Upstairs work area overlooking the marina, lives not to bad, even if the weather is!

    We have another 2 days fishing and the weather looks like it is going to behave so a few more days reports to follow! Then we have another group next week so a lot more fishing to come! Hit it!!
     

  3. hyperman

    hyperman Senior Member

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    Great wordsmith, and an epic battle. Thanks for getting me stoked for next month!!
     
  4. rippindrags

    rippindrags Banned

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    nice...drooling & jealous .

    Thanks Sami
     
  5. Buddha

    Buddha Senior Member

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    Nick - another great report!
     
  6. Courtland

    Courtland Site Sponsor

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    Best of luck for the rest of the week.
     
  7. Badfish1

    Badfish1 Senior Member

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    Great report! Good luck the rest of the week guys!


    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  8. Khalid

    Khalid Senior Member

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    nice report. keep them coming.
     
  9. JerseyBrian

    JerseyBrian Senior Member

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    great pics and report Nick! Great group of guys right there!
     
  10. Cookinman

    Cookinman Senior Member

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    Awesome Reading !!! Made me feel like I was there ! Best of Luck on the rest of the trip !
     
  11. silky23

    silky23 Senior Member

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    Congrats on the big blue beast Nick! Awesome write up yet again! Looks like you are in very good company as well!
     
  12. BigAnchovy

    BigAnchovy Senior Member

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    Well done, Nick. Where do I sign up for one of those "Pink Abalone Motoukenmaru's?"
     
  13. mtamim

    mtamim Senior Member

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    HABIBI! great write up and congrats on the tuna! looks like you guys had a blast! Best wishes on the rest of your trip and safe travels back to Oman brother. Send that funny looking Leb my best!
     
  14. dizz81

    dizz81 Senior Member

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    This just looks like such a great time!
     
  15. T Burke

    T Burke Senior Member

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    Awesome read. Best of luck to you all. What a great group and what a great fishery. Thank you.
     
  16. BigTomF

    BigTomF Member

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    Outstanding report Nick...
     
  17. mag

    mag Senior Member

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    To bad with the weather, but it sounds like you han a god workout :).
    God luck rest of the week
     
  18. Nick

    Nick Site Sponsor

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    Many thanks guys! Has been an awesome trip so far with a great group of guys and the fishing when we can get out has been good with a good few chances, and when the fish are hooked they feel like they have 2 tails they so strong, very exciting stuff and experience!

    Cheers,
    Nick
     
  19. ugly

    ugly Senior Member

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    Thanks Nick! Always a good read. Keep the reports rolling in!
     
  20. Zonke ne mushe

    Zonke ne mushe Member

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    Great report Ox, that's a mighty fine fish, must have put on one helluva fight for you to be complaining of tortured limbs.
    Bet the visa woes are now a distant memory. Tight lines for the rest of the trip and regards to Sami.
    Nick do you think that single hook set up will work geets ? Might be worth a shot in SO next week.

    Cheers- Rob