Oh so close.....BFT report 6/10/2009

Discussion in 'Jigging and Popping' started by Capt. Dom, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Capt. Dom

    Capt. Dom Site Sponsor

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    Today was one of those days with a full spectrum of crazy stuff and nasty weather, and to top it all off a very looong frustrating day. However, this day was not to be ruined by the pea soup fog, 3 plus foot rollers from multi directions, and a building NE wind and waves in the afternoon. Did I mention that we saw zero tuna all day long, and by 1:58 PM it was getting ridiculous. 30 miles from the dock, a few BIG Stellwagen striper releases and 2 alligator blues(Im talking 14-15 pounders) destined to become tilefish dinner, and the random dogfish on the jig were all we had to show for running from GH to the SWC, to PH, to Wood End, to SWC, to SEC, to east of SEC, back to PH, then just east. The run and gun game becomes simply a run game when charlie doesnt wanna show himself.

    I actually debated even heading further east into the swell with the Northerlies brewin, but the sturdy Dusky handled the ride at 22 bumpy knots with minimal jarring and zero water. Lad I didnt stay and rot on the bank, because at 2PM everything chatnged. We had the first real signs of life, a few birds over nothing in particular, so I had the guys blind cast at some suspicious acting cartwheeling birds, and sure enough Kil looks at me and says real calmly, "oh yeah, tuna."......understatement of the year. A 1 hour and 20 minute battle then ensued at around 16-17 pounds of drag on a Saragosa 18000F with an extremely experienced angler on the rod. I had to stay on the sticks the entire time, and we never got closer than 20 feet, the top of the leader. I tried swinging in when Kil finally tired the fish somewhat to where it came up 20-30 yards away from the boat at the surface, bnut each time I tried getting in, the fish simply sounded and took another 30-100 yards at will. This occurred 4-5 times at the hour mark, then the fish got squirrelly and stayed deep and hot for a good ten minutes, going under the boat, near the props, up the bow, and back again, and there was nothing I could do at 2 different points in the fight when the fish went vertical. Thankfully Kil is pretty nimble and was able to point the rod at the fish and guide the line out several times until I could swing around or back the stern away for him. Epic battle to say the least, but the fish won its freedom when the leader finally snapped, and it was over.

    The adrenaline levels, in combination with the pit in your stomach hammering dread of what could go wrong as the fight grew longer paled in comparison to the charge I got when I actually saw this monster from above. I have landed enough 70 inch fish in the past year to know an 80 plus inch monster when I see one. This fish was every bit of 330 plus, maybe even more as the girth looked immense in addition to the 7 foot length it was sporting. We actually had a very good chance of landing this pig, if it had just let us get near it when it was at the surface. The poon harpoon was ready to launch, but never got close enough to let it fly, and the fish was still peeling line at a good clip when it won its freedom.....amazingly strong animals. Kils dream of the 300 plus pound tuna on topwater gear will have to remain just that for now.....

    It is battles like todays that make me the rabid addict that I am, and those fish I lse that keep me coming back for more, frothing at the mouth, day after day.

    Rather than cry about it, I turned the boat towards some more bird activity, and we began casting again(Roger and me anyway, as Kil had enough for a bit) and I got hammered on the big OTI Komodo Popper on the 3rd cast. Call me Capt. Dropappotomus, as I couldnt keep the hooks in the fish, and away it swam. We continued to blind cast for an hour at no surface tuna, but good marks in the zone, and birds cartwheeling had me confident, when Roger came tight at 4:15. This fish got handled but good on the OTI sniper and the big Shimano Stella, and I sank the iron home on a nice lean 60 inch fish after only 8 minutes of fight time. Roger is a tall guy at 6 something, and absolutely burned this fish out with heavy drag and relentless up strokes with the long 8"6" rod, it circled only twice and rolled on its side, happy to be done with that ass whipping. Blood on the deck, vindication on the monster that wasnt to be and the day long torture; a sloppy, hour and a half wet ride home 30 miles from where we started the day 13 hours earlier, exhausted but elated from the overtime battle, and the sudden death victory.

    Had to get one of those nice long winded reports out of my system. whew...

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  2. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    Great report Dom
     

  3. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    That would be a heart breaking experience. (Losing a 300# tuna on a popper)
    Getting one hooked up is rare alone. I'd love to have that happen to me once in my life. I'm sure Kil was disappointed, but at least he can say he was on one for over an hour. A 300# one will fall to a popping outfit in the near future. Thanks for the report. It got my blood flowing.
     
  4. kidflex

    kidflex Senior Member

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    definitely gets you pumped up reading that. someone soon will get that 300lber on topwater for sure
     
  5. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    That would be a heart breaking experience. (Losing a 300# tuna on a popper)
    Getting one hooked up is rare alone. I'd love to have that happen tme once in my life. I'm sure Kil was disappointed, but at least he can say he was on one for over an hour. A 300# one will fall to a popping outfit in the near future. Thanks for the report. It got my blood flowing.
    I am in a hotel in Ct because I couldn't drive as I didn't sleep last 48 hours.
    When the line popped, it was a disheartening for a moment as it was so close.
    But I am very grateful to get the chance to fight a 300 plus lbs tuna over an hour on a popper. Surprisingly the fish took only 150 - 200 yard at initial run and I thought It was 150 - 200 lbs tuna. but I immediately felt it is not a normal tuna and asked Dom follow the fish as soon as the fish made a second run. When told I was fighting over one hour, I said it would take another hour and I was ready for it by concerving enegy. So close.....
     
  6. Fishhead56

    Fishhead56 Senior Member

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    WOW!!
    Great read, had me pushing the throttles also here at work trying
    to help Kil get his fish...

    But in the end a long hard day put in, paid off with a tuna in the boat.
    Thanks for the report.

    Kev
     
  7. bdfishguy

    bdfishguy Member

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    What a great test for the Saragosa?
     
  8. Bret

    Bret Senior Member

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    That was a great read!! Kil, sorry you lost your fish.. but it sounded like one heck of a fight.. You will get one soon.. you are a persistant man!!
     
  9. fishingeek

    fishingeek Senior Member

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    I am in a hotel in Ct because I couldn't drive as I didn't sleep last 48 hours.
    When the line popped, it was a disheartening for a moment as it was so close.
    But I am very grateful to get the chance to fight a 300 plus lbs tuna over an hour on a popper. Surprisingly the fish took only 150 - 200 yard at initial run and I thought It was 150 - 200 lbs tuna. but I immediately felt it is not a normal tuna and asked Dom follow the fish as soon as the fish made a second run. When told I was fighting over one hour, I said it would take another hour and I was ready for it by concerving enegy. So close.....

    Kilsong, I am sure you will land one or more that size this year and I hope I get to see it!!

    Dom, YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. ToneyC

    ToneyC Senior Member

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    That sucks, sorry you lost the fish Kil. There will be another day.
     
  11. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Today was one of those days with a full spectrum of crazy stuff and nasty weather, and to top it all off a very looong frustrating day. However, this day was not to be ruined by the pea soup fog, 3 plus foot rollers from multi directions, and a building NE wind and waves in the afternoon. ...

    Glad I didnt stay and rot on the bank, because at 2PM everything chatnged.
    ... Kil looks at me and says real calmly, "oh yeah, tuna."......understatement of the year. A 1 hour and 20 minute battle then ensued at around 16-17 pounds of drag on a Saragosa 18000F with an extremely experienced angler on the rod. I had to stay on the sticks the entire time, and we never got closer than 20 feet, the top of the leader. I tried swinging in when Kil finally tired the fish somewhat to where it came up 20-30 yards away from the boat at the surface, bnut each time I tried getting in, the fish simply sounded and took another 30-100 yards at will. This occurred 4-5 times at the hour mark, then the fish got squirrelly and stayed deep and hot for a good ten minutes, going under the boat, near the props, up the bow, and back again, and there was nothing I could do at 2 different points in the fight when the fish went vertical. Thankfully Kil is pretty nimble and was able to point the rod at the fish and guide the line out several times until I could swing around or back the stern away for him. Epic battle to say the least, but the fish won its freedom when the leader finally snapped, and it was over.

    ...



    I was there yesterday, thanks to a last minute invitation from Kil and John, to fish my home waters. (That's me with the 60" fish.) Kil drove up from NJ and because I had to make a quick decision to join, I had a 5 hour drive that night to get my gear. I got 4 hours sleep in a local fleabag joint and Kil and John said they had about 2 hours. Captain Dom arrived at 4 a.m. and we pushed off 10 minutes later. It was worth the effort!

    The conditions were as the captain described, except I distinctly remember him marveling at the 5 footers that his Dusky was taking with a pretty dry ride. Dom worked his butt off for us and that is no exaggeration. In 14 and a half hours, I bet we had no more than 15 minutes when we weren't either fishing or moving at 20 knots through the slop.

    Since I fish this area all the time, I can't tell you how great it is to have someone else do the work. I learned a lot on this trip and one of the big takeaways for me is the value of experience and persistence. We could have quit at 11 hours and Captain Dom would have done his job. In spite of the tough conditions, he stayed with it.

    I'd like to make a few comments about how Kil handled this big fish that he might not make himself. It was exciting to watch and a great lesson in angling. He arrived at the dock with a half dozen rods and reels, plus a big plastic box of lures, line, leader material and reels. He patiently assembled them, tied on leaders and lures and set the drag, all while we were underway before dawn, on a rough ride in an open boat. For anyone that says you can't tied a Mid Knot in sloppy conditions, on a moving boat, on a cold morning in low light, I witnessed it being done. Every leader was measured and every knot was tested.

    The fish was much bigger than any I'd seen before and the fight was long. We had been fishing for something like 11 hours when Kil climbed to the bow pulpit for his, I don't know, thousandth cast of the day. He launched a Shibuki at nothing but birds and whales and said something about ... tuna ... .

    Kil is a strong, patient angler, kept constant high pressure on the fish and made all the right moves, no mistakes--including two dashes from bow to stern to keep his line clear of the boat. Both times when he got to the stern I thought he was going to go overboard since he dunked the rod right up to the reel to keep his line clear of the boat.

    We were all let down when the leader let go, worn by a long fight. Kil took it in stride after a moment's reflection (photo) and then started preparing for the next one (photo). There are some great photos of Kil fighting the fish that I hope he posts.

    My 60", 130ish fish was an anticlimax. It took about 8 minutes on a 20K, OTI Tuna Sniper 40/60, Shibuki (great lure, I'm ordering more from Kil), 60# JB hollow line and a windon 80# leader (tools and parts from BHP Tackle). I think I had tons of adrenaline still flowing from Kil's fight, Captain Dom kept the boat in perfect position and Kil grabbed my belt for me and he and John offered encouragement. Lot's of high fives and smiles, and then we turned to Green Harbor for the trip back to the dock.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Kil will get his giant on a popper.
     

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  12. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    congrats on your fish glad to see you got out on the water and were rewarded with a tuna.

    Glenn
     
  13. rtran

    rtran Senior Member

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    looks like i better pack warm clothes
     
  14. MrBill

    MrBill Senior Member

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    "Life is Good"
     

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  15. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    "Life is Good"

    Thanks Mrbill. I got to fish hard while I can as I know I can not do it anymore some day even I want to. :)
    Bluefin showed up off Virginia now. To go jigging bluefin to Maryland/Virginia or to go bluefin popping in Cape Cod, that is the question. :)
    I got to postpone to Gulf of Mexico for yft popping for a while.
     
  16. Muddskipper

    Muddskipper Senior Member

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    Kil

    Question, do you think the Saragosa was enough reel and something like the stella could of handled it better?
     
  17. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Kil

    Question, do you think the Saragosa was enough reel and something like the stella could of handled it better?
    Saragosa is a minumum standard for starters or who doesn't want to invest lots fo money in tackles. I found Saragosa can do the job done, but it is not Stella. If you can find Stella 20000FA in $400 range, I think that is better option than buying a Saragosa.
     
  18. Capt. Dom

    Capt. Dom Site Sponsor

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    I use the saragosa as my charter reels, with the upgrade carbontex washers from smooth drags. They all have the new caps.

    I think they do the job on the big tuna nicely when matched to a nice big game spinning rod for those who cant afford a 700 dollar rod and 900 dollar reel. One reel stood up to 8 nice fish from 56-68 inches last year, and lost another fish around 75 inches after a 3 hour fight.

    That being said, the Stella is an awsome reel, no question, and if you have the bucks why not get the best?

    I dont have the money for 4, nor would I want such a reel in the hands of unknown skill level clients on charters, but have my own stella 20K for personal use.
     
  19. HWK

    HWK Senior Member

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    WOW, Great report !!!!
     
  20. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    I was pretty relaxed and paced myself for the whole fight as I knew it woudl take long.

    It was funny that Dennis Braid called me before I hooked up the big tuna and asked whether I got Braid's spinning reel harness. I told me I would test it if I have a nice tuna. But I couldn't use it when I fought the monster as I had hard time to adjust it with my harness and I eventually decided to fight without any help of fighting belt.
    Braid's spinning reel harness is simple, but a great idea as I had pain in my arms after long fight without harness.

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