Recommended tackle list for Gulf of Mexico long range fishing.

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Minnow, May 25, 2006.

  1. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    These lists are for first-timers going long-range fishing, usually aboard
    the Big E 36 - 76 hours trip, the Dolphin 60 and 80-hours trip, charter trips
    aboard the Pelican or other long-range vessels in the Gulf region. I am only
    recommending gear that I am familiar with, as there may be plenty of fishing
    gear out there that's just as good.

    I highly recommend buying quality tackle during your initial purchase. The
    reason I recommended this is because in the long run it will save you lots
    of headache and money. Graphite reels are good for people who aren't serious
    about getting into saltwater big-game fishing. But, if you are planning to
    fish long-range trips more often then you should definitely think about
    investing in some good quality gear. You will thank me someday LOL.

    3 rigs are a good start for first-timers. You always can acquire more tackle
    later.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Either myself, our
    moderators, or other members will have plenty of advice.

    Rig# 1 Line size 50-80#

    Recommended rods: Calstar, GF765M rated 40-100#, 760M rated 40-100#
    Seeker 6455XH rated 40(60)100#, 6460H rated 40(60)100#,
    CSTF60XH rated 40(60)100#.
    Reels: Accurate 12, 30
    Avet: EX 2-speeds series, and Pro 30
    Daiwa: Tournament series 30.
    Penn: 30 series.
    Shimano: Tiagra series 30WLRSA
    Tiburon: SST-20 and 30 series

    Line: Spectra 500 yards or more 80-130# Jerry Brown Line One spectra,
    Power Pro or Izorline.


    Top Shot; monofilament/Fluorocarbon 50-80#, 50 yards or more.

    Usage; This rig will be use for chunking for tuna, trolling,
    deep drop for grouper and Amberjack.


    Rig#2 Line size 40-60# Spinner

    Recommended rods: OTI 7 1/2 ft spinning rod.


    Custom build spinning rod on one of this blank
    USA Monster Mag rated 30-60#
    Gusa Predator rated 50-80#
    Seeker CJBF70H rated 30(40)80 #
    Calstar 700H rated 40-80#
    .

    Reels: Accurate Twin Spin 30
    Daiwa Saltiga Z6000, Z6000GT, Z6500 Expedition, or the Z6500 DF
    Shimano: Stella 16000FA, 10000 series, 20000 series.
    Penn: 8500SS, 9500SS, modification is recommended.

    Line: Fill your reel with 300 or 450 yards of 60-65# spectra and short top shot about 6 ft of 50-80# monofilament or fluorocarbon leader.

    Usage: Casting popper to a busting tuna and deep jigging.

    OR

    Rig#3 Line size 40-60# conventional casting rig

    Recommended rods: OTI 6 ft 50lb jigging rod.
    Calstar 700H rated 30-80#
    Seeker CJBF70H rated 40(50)60#
    Gusa monster Mag rated 30-60#


    Reel: Daiwa Saltiga series, and Saltist series
    Avet JX 6/3, 2-speeds
    Shimano Trinidad 30, 40, 40N, Kaikon series
    Accurate Boss 665 series
    NOTE: educated thumb will be necessary or you will have a big bird nest
    aka backlash

    Line: Fill your reel with 300 or 500 yards of 60-65# spectra and 50-80#
    Top shot of monofilament or fluorocarbon leader.

    Usage: Casting popper to a busting tuna and deep jigging.


    Rig#4 Line size 30
    Recommended rods: Calstar: 700M rated 20-50#
    Seeker: CJB70 rated 20(30)50# , CJB65F rated 20(30)40#

    Cape Fear: BW2030SU63, Cape Fear Man-O-War
    MOW2550-66
    Shimano: Tallus Blue Water TLC-58HRSA

    Line: Monofilament; 30-40# Momoi, Pline, Sufix, Berkley Big Game
    Spectra:300 yards of 50# or 60# Jerry Brown Line One spectra, Power Pro,
    or Izorline.

    Reel: Accurate; Boss 270
    Daiwa; Saltiga 15, 20, Saltist STT30T
    Shimano; Trinidad 20, Calcutta 700, Torium 16 or 20

    Usage: for making bait, casting to Mahi-mahi, Cobia and casting bomb/ or swim
    bait.



    Hooks: Mustad 39950BL, 39952BL Size 5/0, 8/0 and 10/0, 1 package of 25 hooks each
    Sizes for chunk fishing.
    39965D circle hooks 10/0 and 12/0, for deep drop fishing 10 each.
    7691 8/0, 9/0, 10/0, 10 hook each sizes for trolling lure.

    Owners Mutu and Super Mutu 4/0, 5/0 and 6/0, 10 hook each size for chunk
    fishing.
    Gamakatsu/ Owner Assist hooks size 4/0, and 8/0, 10 hook each size for jig
    fishing.


    Lure: Islander 4 pcs, popular color are blue and white, but red and black work just as
    well.
    Marauders type lure in 10”, one in purple and one in black/orange. Make sure the
    hooks are super sharp.
    Moldcraft Hooker Softhead - Standard 8"
    Moldcraft Soft Bird - Senior Bird 13", combine these two together you
    will have a great tuna lure.

    Jigs: OTI Jager, Jumbo, Jinkster and Jitterbel, in , 200 g, 300g,400 g and 550g, 4 each. Pink color Jumbo has proven to catch grouper.
    OR
    Shimano butterfly jigs, River2sea jigs, Braids jigs and diamond jigs will work as well.


    Leaders: Mono Leader 100 yard each of 80, 100, 150, 200, and 300#. Momoi, Pline, Big
    game, or Izorline.

    Fluorocarbon one spool each of 50, 80, and 100#, Seaguar.

    Tools: one hand crimper, appropriates crimps for each leader size.
    One needle nose, one scissor for cut spectra, and drag scale, split ring plyer.

    Swivels: ball bearing swivels 100#, 200#, 10 each. 300# ball bearing snap swivel 5pcs.
    Barrel swivels 50#, 80#, and 100#, 20 each sizes.

    Sinker: 16oz and 24oz trolling sinker 2 each. 4oz, 8oz and 16oz Egg sinkers 5 each size.
    1/2oz and 1oz Split shot 10 each.

    Sabiki rig: Hayabusa size 14, and size 10, 5 sets each size.

    Wire: Marlin single strand wire 80#, 119#, and 275# one roll each size.

    Last but not least Make a rod holder out of milk crate, you will need 2 inch pvc pipe as a rod holders.


    Personal Items: Pillow, Sleeping bag, towel, tooth brush and tooth paste, hats, sun glasses, sun block, rod belt and harness, boat shoes/rubber boots, rain gear, sea sick medications and personal medications
     
  2. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

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    That is a great article TJ.

    I want to add that one can get a good buy in used reels. Many find that they desire to purchase the latest and greatest. Their older gear is offered at cut rates. The key is knowing quality equipment and its value.

    The fish just do not know what kind of rig you are using to catch them. ;)

    I will LOUDLY agree that you are going to be very pleased using Jerry Brown Line One Spectra on your reel.
     

  3. bighead

    bighead Senior Member

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    Thanks for the recommended list Minnow! I've got a question for anyone using the Kaikon reels. Are the EV models (graphite) what you are using or the all aluminum ones and are you using them for jigging? The light weight and low cost of the EV's is attractive but if they won't hold up I'll go with something different.
     
  4. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    Why use graphite reel? I don't think graphite reel will handle the as well as aluminum reel will.

    My 4000 series Kaikon was real good reel, it generated 22# of drag out of the box, smooth drag and has a spool lock feature. This reel is design for botom fishing (snapper was the main target).

    I used to own couple of TLD's, but ended upgraded to aluminum. If you think in the near furture you going to upgrade, I would highly recomend the kaikon 4000 with line counter (if you like line counter).

    If you are planning to use it for jigging, you might want to check out Shimano Ocea jigger 4000P, it has narrow spool so level line won't be so much of a problem.

    Ksong has one, you might want to ask him.
     
  5. Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke Senior Member

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    Minnow,
    Great list. I printed this as I have a 52 houp trip on the Big E planned. Let me ask you a few questions about the Big E. I haven't been on a head boat in 20 years. I've decided to take another stab at it.
    1) Do most people arrive with rods and reels broken down?
    2) Has there ever been a problem with not enough rod storage on the upper deck? (not enough rod holders)
    3) Is ice an issue? Is there any on board after yours is depleated?
    4) How are fish cleaning facilities? Is it there a wait after the trip?
    5) Is there drinking water on board?
     
  6. txseadog

    txseadog Moderator

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    Minnow,
    Great list. I printed this as I have a 52 houp trip on the Big E planned. Let me ask you a few questions about the Big E. I haven't been on a head boat in 20 years. I've decided to take another stab at it.
    1) Do most people arrive with rods and reels broken down?
    It's about half and half


    2) Has there ever been a problem with not enough rod storage on the upper deck? (not enough rod holders)
    Yes, take a milk crate rocket launcher

    3) Is ice an issue? Is there any on board after yours is depleated?
    It can be depending on the temperature. We almost ran out on the Memorial trip. Tip the deckhands well (15-20% of the fare) and they take care of you.

    4) How are fish cleaning facilities? Is it there a wait after the trip?
    They have decent cleaning tables at the office. I haven't had to wait on 3 trips I've done.

    5) Is there drinking water on board?
    There is a water fountain in the galley but I would suggest you take at least a 12-pack on half-liters with you. You can lay them in bait well that runs the length of the boat and grab a drink between fish.
     
  7. feeder

    feeder Senior Member

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    Hey Minnow,

    Thanks for the information. Going to take my first tuna trip on the Big E and had a few questions for you.

    1) I noticed the list you posted has some trolling lures in there. Does the Big E actually take the time to troll for tuna? If so, how much of the trip would you say is dedicated to trolling vs. jigging vs. top water fishing in your opinion?

    2) Is it true that all the coolers on these trips are usually stored on the top level of the boat?

    3) How long does it usually take to get out to the fishing grounds?

    4) Is the baitwell stocked by the boat or do they depend on the passengers to fill it?

    Any more info you can give would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  8. mcgolfer

    mcgolfer Guest

    i'll chime in for you.
    1. the big e usually doesn't troll for fish. the slower boats out of port aransas do troll.
    2. the bigger coolers are usually stored on the upper deck and if seas aren't rough some store coolers under the seats on the outside of the boat.
    3. depends on which floaters they fish. any where from 4 to 8 hours. however most trips they make a bait stop which can take a while.
    4. bait is made by the passengers on bait stops and also the crew will fish for baits when you bottom fish.

    have a safe and productive trip....rick
     
  9. feeder

    feeder Senior Member

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    Thanks for the quick answers Rick. Got a few more for you (or anyone else).

    1) What's the best way to store your rods on the Big E? I've heard people sometimes use milk crates but was wondering if there were any other options. I've been on the boat before for the 12 hr trips and remember there didn't seem like enough rod holders for 40 people x 3 rods each.

    2) Does the boat move around as much as they do on the 12 hr trips? I remember that annoyed a lot of people when we would stay on a spot for 15-20 minutes and then pull up anchor and take another 30 minutes to drop anchor again.

    3) When you say "floaters" are you referring to seaweed patches or oil rigs? Are the oil rigs the best bet for YFT?

    Thanks
     
  10. txseadog

    txseadog Moderator

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    Thanks for the quick answers Rick. Got a few more for you (or anyone else).

    1) What's the best way to store your rods on the Big E? I've heard people sometimes use milk crates but was wondering if there were any other options. I've been on the boat before for the 12 hr trips and remember there didn't seem like enough rod holders for 40 people x 3 rods each.

    2) Does the boat move around as much as they do on the 12 hr trips? I remember that annoyed a lot of people when we would stay on a spot for 15-20 minutes and then pull up anchor and take another 30 minutes to drop anchor again.

    3) When you say "floaters" are you referring to seaweed patches or oil rigs? Are the oil rigs the best bet for YFT?

    Thanks

    I'll add to this:
    1. There are almost 100 rod holders on the top deck but those go real fast so I always take my milk crate. BTW -- the rail around the top deck angles in so you only can use about 1/2 the space of the milk crate. There are a couple of other spots along the stair railing that you can get full use of the milk crate. Take at least 5-6 bungees.

    2. not as much but they will move if not catching fish. IMO, on the day trips they don't want to over fish the spots so they only pull a few fish off and then leave but the spot they hit on the longer trips don't get near as much pressure.

    3. floating oil rigs. This may help http://www.eagle.org/news/PRESS/redhawk-mar03.html/
     
  11. feeder

    feeder Senior Member

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    Thanks for the answers txseadog. Good tip on the railing angling in as well. I guess I'll have to make sure and check it out when I go down for the next 12hr trip to see what my options are. Any other tips anyone wants to share would be appreciated as well.
     
  12. DeepBlueGulf

    DeepBlueGulf Senior Member

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    Someone posted a question about drinking water on the Big E. They do have a water fountain, but both trips I've been on it has been disconnected. The first trip was a surprise for me, as I had not taken any water, expecting that I could drink cool water from the fountain. I ended up drinking water from the Gallon jugs that are taken on board for the crew and to make coffee from. After that trip I was told the water tank would be fixed before the next trip I was scheduled to go on.

    Went on the Big E again on the Memorial Day trip, and was told the water tank was was still not good to drink from. Ended up drinking a few bottled waters I took, and also got a few from the crew/coffee box.

    Maybe the tank will be clean for the September trip. It would be nice not to have to carry around a case of water.

    Tom - DeepBlueGulf
     
  13. bellyup

    bellyup Member

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    They need to just put a reverse osmosis system on the boat
     
  14. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    With water maker on board, they will be able to stay offshore for 10 days or more.

    10 days fishing trip in the GULF OF MEXICO ?
    Just think about those areas that never been fish before, One fishing trip like that will bring back few state record fish or even world record.

    I am just dreaming LOL.
     
  15. bellyup

    bellyup Member

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    I can't wait for a 5 day one day from the Texas coast. It will put the guadalupe islands to shame (Well, I think our 2 day trips already do that).
     
  16. Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke Senior Member

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    If I bring extra coolers to put fish into, and leave them in the back of a truck, what are the odds they will be there after a 52 hour trip? Is there a place in the office I could rent? I might not have time to process and might have to haul back headless or whole on smaller fish. I understand ice can be purchased at the office. What do you guys do with extra coolers?
     
  17. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    I locked mine in the car, some people just leave them in the back of a truck but I would recommend you to lock it with bicycle lock JMO.

    It wouldn't be funny to come back from 52hr trip to find out you don't have cooler for your fish.
     
  18. Gunsmoke

    Gunsmoke Senior Member

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    Minnow,
    You must have a big car. I was thinking of taking 3 extra 162 Qt marine igloo coolers just for fish and ice. Maybe I'll just rent a motel room for three days, that way I can just store those empty ones in the room. Is there a motel near the Big E dock?
     
  19. Minnow

    Minnow Administrator

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    Gunsmoke,

    Sorry, I didn't know you are going to have 3 big coolers.
    There are motels in Clute area about 10-15 minutes from Capt. Elliot.
    Talk to the Big E office, they will likely let you put your cooler there.
     
  20. Bazztex

    Bazztex Senior Member

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    There is a Hotel just across the street from Capt Elliots.

    "Country Hearth Inn" I think it is called and they have a discount for Elliots customers.

    If several of you get together on a room for gear storage would be cheap insurance.

    Bazz