Tuna 101?

Discussion in 'Pelagics' started by Steve/NH, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Steve/NH

    Steve/NH Junior member

    17
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    OK newbie (to Tuna) here. I have the boat, the fishfinder, the permit, the rod(s), reel, 65lb braid, 60lb fluroleader, (which I have learned that my Albright knot may cause eyele's to pop and the "wind-on leader system I've read about on here has me all freaked out) I have a fair amount of tackle to get me started which I have changed out all the hooks and snap rings over to heavy duty hardware.... Obviously specific spots are off limits and up to me to figure out over time. I do know some of the general areas they have been caught in the past. I will be heading to Cape Cod for a week in August.....anyway what are your top 5-10 tips on how to score a SBFT or two?

    Any help would be greatly and humbly appreciated.:eek:
     
  2. gman

    gman Senior Member

    2,941
    16
    Dom, Rich and Chip are the best to respond but here are some basics

    1. First find life ... birds or whales will do (please keep your distance from whales) and beware of the birds as they will eat your lure every chance they get

    2. If you find one of the above look for tuna around them.

    3. If you see tuna ... approach with care, do not run into the fish, place yourself in a good spot to cast from with wind at your back so you can shut down and drift into them

    4. If you cant find life dont be afraid to blind cast as it has produced several amazing fish

    5. Bring a selection of lures from soft baits such as hoggy's, sluggos and Ron z's to hardbaits such as rapala's, or japanese lures such as shibukis, baby runbohs etc. Pink, white and blue seem to be hot colors this season

    6. Before casting take a second to understand the fishes directional movement so you can position yourself be ahead of them, try to cast to outskirt of school to make a fish breakaway

    7. Grey light and late afternoon seems to be best time

    8. IMHO slow retrieve with pauses and twitches works great
     

  3. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

    1,387
    30
    Dom, Rich and Chip are the best to respond but here are some basics

    1. First find life ... birds or whales will do (please keep your distance from whales) and beware of the birds as they will eat your lure every chance they get

    2. If you find one of the above look for tuna around them.

    3. If you see tuna ... approach with care, do not run into the fish, place yourself in a good spot to cast from with wind at your back so you can shut down and drift into them

    4. If you cant find life dont be afraid to blind cast as it has produced several amazing fish

    5. Bring a selection of lures from soft baits such as hoggy's, sluggos and Ron z's to hardbaits such as rapala's, or japanese lures such as shibukis, baby runbohs etc. Pink, white and blue seem to be hot colors this season

    6. Before casting take a second to understand the fishes directional movement so you can position yourself be ahead of them, try to cast to outskirt of school to make a fish breakaway

    7. Grey light and late afternoon seems to be best time

    8. IMHO slow retrieve with pauses and twitches works great

    Gman has given you some good starters on how to find the fish and get them to strike. The first half of the battle. Once you've gotten a fish on your line, the "fun" has just begun. Now you have three more problems, assuming you'd like to get a quality fish home (then more problems about what to do with 100-150 lbs. of fish and carcass).

    1. Will my tackle--rod, reel, line, leader, swivels, hooks--be up to the task?

    2. Will my body give out before the fish does?

    3. Now that it's near the boat, how do I release it or get it into the boat?

    There are many great posts on this site about all of these topics and an amazing amount of expertise. Search the site for answers as many of your questions will have already been discussed at length.

    As for question 1 above, you'd be amazed at how easily these fish will highlight every fault in your rigging skills. When we started tuna fishing we all thought we were good at rigging. Tuna have taught us that we had much to learn.
     
  4. Anuvat

    Anuvat Senior Member

    1,330
    191
    Gman has given you some good starters on how to find the fish and get them to strike. The first half of the battle. Once you've gotten a fish on your line, the "fun" has just begun. Now you have three more problems, assuming you'd like to get a quality fish home (then more problems about what to do with 100-150 lbs. of fish and carcass).

    1. Will my tackle--rod, reel, line, leader, swivels, hooks--be up to the task?

    2. Will my body give out before the fish does?

    3. Now that it's near the boat, how do I release it or get it into the boat?

    There are many great posts on this site about all of these topics and an amazing amount of expertise. Search the site for answers as many of your questions will have already been discussed at length.

    As for question 1 above, you'd be amazed at how easily these fish will highlight every fault in your rigging skills. When we started tuna fishing we all thought we were good at rigging. Tuna have taught us that we had much to learn.

    And as for number 2: Tuna will teach you how to be humble and how to leave your ego at home, staying calm and settle in for the fight as it's not a sprint, more like a mini marathon. As I have said to my buddies who's never hooked one up on spinning gear, it truly is a life changing experience.
     
  5. gman

    gman Senior Member

    2,941
    16
    Very humbling to say the least one thing I will tell you is when you get tired it is better to back off the drag than get sloppy. I had some sloppy issues when fighting my 3rd and fourth fish the other day. They will humble you and make you not pay attention to whats going on because you are too tired.

    Kilsong said it one day and its true ... take your time, its not a sprint its a marathon
     
  6. Steve/NH

    Steve/NH Junior member

    17
    0
    Thanks guys can't wait to give a go in a few weeks. I think I have enough to get started anyway...I will do more seaching on topics here and try to consume as much as I can before I go. I think the hardware is good to go....at least as good as it's going to get for this year and my budget. I've learned a few things already about terminal tackle, line, split rings, solid rings, hooks and knots so I will cross these off the list for now.

    I think I'm good to go on searchng and finding "life" ie....birds, whales, etc...I'm prepared to burn some gas doing so. I guess my next question(s) are when the fish are deep, what does a school of tuna look like on the finder? How do you differenciate them from maybe a school of blues or bait...I have a Lowrance 525c DF. And how do you know which direction they are going?
     
  7. dingoatemebaby

    dingoatemebaby Senior Member

    770
    2
    hmm my first post!! tuna feeding on the finder will look like arches ^ ^ ^, this is the fish feeding on any particular baitfish, the footballs(50-80lbs) have been pretty steady off of Chatham on Crab Ledge, but I hear the Bay side and Provincetown are LOADED!!! Hook em up!
     
  8. Steve/NH

    Steve/NH Junior member

    17
    0
    hmm my first post!! tuna feeding on the finder will look like arches ^ ^ ^, this is the fish feeding on any particular baitfish, the footballs(50-80lbs) have been pretty steady off of Chatham on Crab Ledge, but I hear the Bay side and Provincetown are LOADED!!! Hook em up!

    Can some one PM me where "crab ledge" is.
     
  9. SpecialK

    SpecialK Super Moderator

    1,569
    18
    You might also invite some of the guys who live close by and have been seasoned in the area to go out with you. A little experience goes along way and can save time from being wasted in the long run.