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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

It’s been quite a while since I used to frequent these boards looking for jigging and popping advice and recommendations….I’ve still been fishing but using more conventional methods.

We’ve been doing quite well on the troll and using the kite but those methods just aren’t as fun!

Recently, we’ve been in areas full of life and tuna foamers but they are very skittish and on VERY small bait, 1”-2”’anchovy. So, it makes it quite a bit tougher when they won’t touch anything that doesn’t match the hatch, and they want to sink out before you can get close enough with a lure that can actually reach them. We are using mostly “west coast” style rods and techniques, 9’ conventional rods and “surface iron”, as well as my limited selection of swim baits and poppers with a Black Hole Challenger Bank 801H and a Stella 14k.

So I guess my question is two fold:

What techniques or particular lures have you thrown with success in this situation, 50-250lb BFT feeding exclusively on tiny bait? I mean, I know they are going to eat, I’m watching them doing just that right in front of me….just nothing I’m offering them.

Part 2 - Rod recommendation for pairing with a Stella 14K that is a bit more swimbait centric but doesn’t mind an occasional popper cast.
I’ve used the Black Hole long enough to want to try something different.
 

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An 10~14cm sinking pencil or small jig with a larger assist hook will give you good hook up and the weight of the sinking lure will give you enough casting distance even with pe6 or pe8 heavier braid.

Let it sink under line tension. They will usually bite on the "fall".

Small trebles just dont have enough strength for 100+ bft. I am located in Japan but we get the same schools of tuna you guys get through migration routes. This is how we get em. Good luck! I am still testing the double assist hooks so not sure about hook up ratio with these yet.
Fish hook Surface lure Fishing lure Fishing bait Spoon lure
Fishing bait Fishing lure Surface lure Hook Fish
 

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You could use smaller tungsten jigs on the surface iron setup you have. Daiwa TG Baits, Bozles, Majorcraft they're all more dense than the lead jigs so even the 30-60g sizes can be around 2" long. Using an assist hook or a long shank ringed hook that is split ringed on seems to work fine, just make sure your line is connected to the solid ring.

Smaller floating stickbaits have been working well on the foamers as well as larger sinking stickbaits. Clear lures have been popular since they can mimic a smaller silhouette, but other colors work just fine with the right technique. Usually you'd want to get in front of the school and shut the engines off that way you don't spook the school when they come through, staying outside and casting in also works. Guys have been using 150-175mm tackle house feed poppers with a lot of success so that would be a good option since you already have a popping setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone! You’ve got me pointed in the right direction! I’m definitely eyeballing a RP 200, and got me thinking about the smaller lures.

I do have a few of the “Ghost” clear poppers but hadn’t really fished them too hard. I guess I was sticking to what I had confidence in the last few seasons but the last couple of trips have been a little frustrating on the foamers.
 

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Thanks everyone! You’ve got me pointed in the right direction! I’m definitely eyeballing a RP 200, and got me thinking about the smaller lures.

I do have a few of the “Ghost” clear poppers but hadn’t really fished them too hard. I guess I was sticking to what I had confidence in the last few seasons but the last couple of trips have been a little frustrating on the foamers.
I'm here in Socal too and fish the same waters. So frustrating to see football fields of foaming fish just for them to ignore your $60-100 popper/stickbait. You hit the nail on the head with matching the hatch- I get bit on the Shimano baby orcas in anchovy and they're relatively inexpensive. I picked up a TH clear feed popper but haven't had the opportunity to throw it at foamers that would stick yet, hoping to get some more topwater action as they fish move towards tanner/cortez.

Seems like you got some solid advice up top, good luck out there and hope you get them on spinning gear!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm here in Socal too and fish the same waters. So frustrating to see football fields of foaming fish just for them to ignore your $60-100 popper/stickbait. You hit the nail on the head with matching the hatch- I get bit on the Shimano baby orcas in anchovy and they're relatively inexpensive. I picked up a TH clear feed popper but haven't had the opportunity to throw it at foamers that would stick yet, hoping to get some more topwater action as they fish move towards tanner/cortez.

Seems like you got some solid advice up top, good luck out there and hope you get them on spinning gear!
Nice! Good to hear it’s not just me. Lol

Good call on the Baby Orca, those caught my eye the other day when looking small, heavy lures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
An 10~14cm sinking pencil or small jig with a larger assist hook will give you good hook up and the weight of the sinking lure will give you enough casting distance even with pe6 or pe8 heavier braid.

Let it sink under line tension. They will usually bite on the "fall".

Small trebles just dont have enough strength for 100+ bft. I am located in Japan but we get the same schools of tuna you guys get through migration routes. This is how we get em. Good luck! I am still testing the double assist hooks so not sure about hook up ratio with these yet.
View attachment 124549 View attachment 124550
@Ryan Dezwarte - is the photo on the right a Baby Orca? That color is money!
 
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