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As already discussed previously the bow of party boats can get really congested by those desiring to cast, which can result in more tangles as well.

Question: What would you venture is the rate of hookup upon the lure just hitting the water from a cast (topwater) - - versus simply working the lure as you reel it in ?

Is it 50-50 ? Or, are more of the hookups in the process of reeling the lure in ? What has your experience been ?

I experimented with a different strategy last Tuna trip that allowed a barracuda hookup, but did not use it enough to hookup a YF.

I figured when drifting close to the rig, I would just underhand or side cast from the drift side (the port side after a lot of guys gave up and thined out jigging), allow my lure to sink/drift for 25 to 30 seconds, then rip it in for a few feet to give it "some action" - - - then, let it drift/sink back towards the rig, repeat.

Halcos are heavy enough that they likely sink too much if you are really targeting topwater action.

But perhaps some poppers or plugs that really do float might work better though for targeting the topwater action.
 

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In my personal experience i would say is more like 70/30 most time the fish eat the lure just seconds after hitting the water i think is more of a reaction attack that trigger the fish to eat vs chasing the lure, a few years back in a private charter boat whit some friends we saw just that a 100# YFT was chasing our lures but would not eat it my friend Vincent was trow in a buck-tail because he tough he saw a cobia and boom he got that tuna at the moment the buck-tail hit the water so when i fish for big yellows i have more hope in the cast that the retrieve but that is just me, on another note halcos are a excellent lure but i would recommend you to bring at least 3 more different lures some times for wherever reason tuna just do not what to play whit certain style lure so i have being lucky some times just by changing the lure some times i would also step down the leader from 80 to 50 even 30# fluoro and some times that is the ticket
 

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I would take the opposite perspective. On a trip with Bruce (BJD76) we threw three poppers in a row and all three were hit the second the popper hit the water. I have also seen one night when we started reeling before the Halco hit the water and caught more fish that way then reeling them in. Most of the time with Halcos, I catch them reeling in probably 70% of the time. To me that means the tuna are feeding slightly deeper e.g. 60’ down and responding better to a 5 second sink and reel. If the tuna are hitting instantly, I will break out a popper or yummy because that topwater smash is just addicting!
 

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Assuming that your Halco is roughly 60' down when retrieving it, if a good amount of YFT are being caught on the Halcos at the time would it make sense to work a glow jig at 60' to try to target them on the jig? I've heard that jigs are more used to catch BFT and are not usually responsible for the majority of the YFT catch. Is it possible that most people are fishing their jigs too deep in an attempt to stay below the BFT, and end up missing the best zone for the YFT? Has anyone ever tried targeting the Yellows shallower in the "Halco Zone" and had success, or a lack success?
 

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Assuming that your Halco is roughly 60' down when retrieving it, if a good amount of YFT are being caught on the Halcos at the time would it make sense to work a glow jig at 60' to try to target them on the jig? I've heard that jigs are more used to catch BFT and are not usually responsible for the majority of the YFT catch. Is it possible that most people are fishing their jigs too deep in an attempt to stay below the BFT, and end up missing the best zone for the YFT? Has anyone ever tried targeting the Yellows shallower in the "Halco Zone" and had success, or a lack success?
That is where a flat fall jig shines. Casting a flat fall off the starboard side just like a Halco and letting it sink while still holding tension works great at times. Tad catches more YFT like that than anyone, maybe he will chime in on this.
 

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Guys stop torturing yourself with crazy theories. Conditions on these trips change hour to hour or drift to drift depending on bait available, weather conditions, weather fronts, fish available at the rig etc.
if you want to know the best strategy for GOM yellowfin here it is :
Go out there as much as you can ( a lot of the trips will be canceled due to weather anyway ), pay attention to the people catching and fish your heart out all night ( really out your time at the rail ). Want to target yellowfin predominantly: fish topwaters . Want to target variety : fish jigs . Capt Russell always insisted people switch after a while and we had different teams throwing topwater, jigging and Chunking. He believed that way you create an energy that puts them in a feeding mode. I believe he was right as the scat did pretty good most of the time!
 

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That is where a flat fall jig shines. Casting a flat fall off the starboard side just like a Halco and letting it sink while still holding tension works great at times. Tad catches more YFT like that than anyone, maybe he will chime in on this.
Good to know, will definitely have to try this if there is a strong Halco bite and I get tired of winging them off the bow. I think it's always a good idea to have as many tools as possible to catch fish. Innovation and improvement comes as a result of experimentation!
 

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Guys stop torturing yourself with crazy theories. Conditions on these trips change hour to hour or drift to drift depending on bait available, weather conditions, weather fronts, fish available at the rig etc.
if you want to know the best strategy for GOM yellowfin here it is :
Go out there as much as you can ( a lot of the trips will be canceled due to weather anyway ), pay attention to the people catching and fish your heart out all night ( really out your time at the rail ). Want to target yellowfin predominantly: fish topwaters . Want to target variety : fish jigs .
WINNER!!!!!

 

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Just out of curiosity, I have kite fished and targeted BFT in Southern California. Does this method of fishing work in the GOM where you dangle a flying fish or yummy on a kite or balloon and have caught YFT on the New Buccaneer? View attachment 122455
you likely won’t have enough time to setup a proper kite setup. BUT a flying fish is hands down the best way to get a yft to bite. You may get robbed by a cuda or a jumbo blackfin but you will get a bite. Even with a dead flyer
 
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