Bruce Smith (Shogun) on pulling on cows.

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range Fishing' started by Holi-e-Mackeral, Jan 18, 2009.

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  1. Holi-e-Mackeral

    Here is a post form the Shogun website... FYI..

    Shogun Sportfishing - Current Conditions

    January 18
    Written by Shogun
    Sunday, 18 January 2009 08:29
    Travel day, still with lots of rain. No wind though which is nice.

    So let me jump up on a soap box here, since we are traveling and we are done scrubbing the boat. This is not pointed at any one person, but these are things or circumstances that I see and hopefully can help you on future trips to land a fish of a lifetime.

    A passenger had hooked a nice fish, a big one, maybe even over 200 pounds. He fought the fish admirably, but after a time his line broke and the fish swam free. After a few minutes of recollection, he came to me showed me the end of his line and asked what happened, what did he do wrong. Well, I could have just told him his knot broke and have been done with it, but thats not it. That is not the whole story.

    The reason he lost that fish was because he didn't pull hard enough, early enough in the fight while his terminal tackle(knots, crimps or whatever) still had the strength to be pulled on. Actually what happened was that he had crimp his mono and the crimp slipped which terminally cause the line to break at the hook. He could have done a better job of crimping, but really this is beside the point. If he had put the coals to that fish in the first half hour that sleeve would have held fine. Now, you don't want to try and stop a big fish if he is going away from you. You won't, something will break, give him his head, let the fish go under a relatively tight drag, but not stupid tight. When that fish stops is when you start gaining line.

    Line should be going off your reel or coming back onto your reel. I would say that there are maybe 5% of the anglers that come out here that understand just how hard you can pull on 100 pound line, much less 130. You will say "I don't want to pull the hook", well you really don't have much choice in pulled hooks. Its a sad case, but sometimes luck isn't in your favor and the hook pulls, really it doesn't have to do with how hard you are pulling on the fish. This is more with the size of hook you are fishing, bigger the hook the less often they pull. A good comparison is that when you hook that big yellowfin a timer has started.

    When that timer goes off is when your line breaks, because its going to break eventually and the longer you are on that fish the bigger the chance you are going to break something. Then I had another instance, the fish is just outside of deep color, its been there doing circles for fifteen minutes, I suggest that we should push the drag up. I got this answer "its already at 33 pounds". I don't care if that drag is at 133 pounds if you aren't moving that fish and standing there watching him wear a hole in it mouth its time to increase the drag!

    That poundage number is over rated and should only be used as a mark nothing more. 33 or 23 pounds means nothing if you can't gain line when you need to. Its great to use a scale to set your drag, but don't let that stop you from increasing the amount throughout the fight. Towards the end, as that fish gets close you will almost always be bumping your drag up in small increments, to keep gaining line.

    There are very few times that you can't move that fish or it hangs at deep color doing circles. Each circle is one more closer to your line coming apart. Be smart with the amount of pressure you are applying, have respect for the fish, use the proper tackle for the size of fish you are angling for, and most of all have a good time.

    Sometimes it takes a few trips to land that fish you have set your goal at. Many very good anglers have made trips for year after year before they got their first 200 pounder. They deserve our respect.
    Bruce A. Smith
    January 16
  2. Yellowtail Dan

    Words to live by on any lenth trip.
  3. longranger

    A really good crew will check all your equipment, connections, hooks, drag settings etc. if you let them. Almost all of the crews are superb so take advantage of their experience. They want you to catch that fish almost worse than you do.
  4. Steve K

    "You will say "I don't want to pull the hook", well you really don't have much choice in pulled hooks. Its a sad case, but sometimes luck isn't in your favor and the hook pulls, really it doesn't have to do with how hard you are pulling on the fish."

    Had that talk with Bruce a few years ago. I had been on a fish for a short time and was pulling pretty hard when the hook pulled. I asked him if I had pulled too hard and he kind of laughed and asked me if I really thought I could pull hard enough to pull the hook out of a tuna that was properly hooked. I guess we both laughed and I decided it was a rhetotical question.

    If the hook is going to pull because it's not in the jaw or the corner of the mouth, do you really want to baby it and have it come out after half an hour or an hour, or would you like it to pull early? Either way, it's coming out and you're not going to land the fish.
  5. Professor

    Bruce is the man and knows his stuff. I’ve had the hook pull at all different times. The most perplexing was a 21/0 mustad circle at 45 minutes, but for every minute the clock ticks the fish is having the odds shift in its favor. If you’re fishing for big fish gear up and pull hard. When you decide to drop to 60# or 80# you just quit fishing for big fish.
  6. bluefin grin

    For all of you out there who have caught a cow or even a really big fish you know that Bruce speaks the truth. For those of you who aren't sure. I have fished and caught with Bruce and this is the way it's done. Anyone getting ready to go for the first time please take note.
  7. rza007

    Im banking on this info.
  8. Ali Admin

    The Timer analogy is perfect. Something bad is going to happen sooner or later when you have a giant on the line long enough.

    Strong, steady pressure kills big fish. If you apply enough even cow class tuna will come fast.

    What say you Choate?
  9. Holi-e-Mackeral

    Pulling hard..

    It is only through experience that one gets the right "feel" for how hard they can pull with heavy tackle. Until that time, the wise angler listens to the professionals (crewmembers) as to how high they should set their drags at any one point in the battle.

    It is really amazing how hard you can pull and nothing will break..

    I was on a trip at the HB several seasons ago.. We called it "shark fest" as the bank was covered with sharks.. every bait in the water for days on end was a shark... We would try to break them off... lock our drags... walk backwards.. do everything we could think of to break the line.. and it never would break...

    Guys started asking the questions "why don't I pull this hard on a tuna ? " It was a great experience and a lot of practice...

    Tight lines.. Jeff
  10. wahoodad

    All good stuff. I heard it somewhere, if the lines not going out, it should be coming in :D

    On that last trip, I got a 289 in like 24 minutes, the 316 in 30, and Chris Baldylocks got his 347 in 12 minutes.
    Like Bruce says, let them run at first, but there should be none of this gain lose just due to the swell/ their weight.

    The longer you are on the fish, the less likely you will land it.
  11. MikeyLikesIt

    excellent stuff. thanks for posting it, I would have missed it.

    Even when fishing the school size tuna, you will occasionally (at least I have a few times) get picked up by the bully of the school......a big one compared to the rest. Sometimes you get out line classed.....and reach a limit on how hard you should pull.......I thought. I think I shall pull harder, earlier.
  12. branman

    Just as an experiment take you 40 pound rod with 40 pound line and tie it to a vise or something anchored and try to break the line using the rod (no straight pull), you will be surprised.
  13. Ali Admin

    Exactly. Hook the bottom on 40# string and have to cleat it off.

    Now think about 130# spectra tied to 130# flouro or even 200#.

    Pull like hell, you'll be glad you did.
  14. wahoodad

    Hang your yoyo jig on the bottom with 50 pound, and break it loose without a deckhands help.
    I pulled hard on that 90# fluorocarbon. I knew it would hold up.
  15. eightmd

    Great info for the guys that are getting ready to take their first long trip. I took my first 10 day trip at the end of last year and got a cow. I had the right gear and all the help and coaching I needed on the Indy, but I got to say that I didn't really understand what I was in for, before hand.

    Since this was my first time I really didn't know, even though I had read a lot of these posts. I was amazed at how hard you need to fight and stay on them. Some call it combat fishing. I've caught a lot of big yellowtail on the dropper on my 5 days, but the cows are a quantum leap from that.

    I got to see what to do first hand, the first couple of days, and when it was my turn I was ready, and of course the crew is always there telling you want to do and encouraging you. I was giving it all my strength. I was on my knees at time, using all my weight, and certainly using the rail. I was putting as much on that fish as I could, in every way I could.

    It's truly amazing, hard work, exciting, and a big step up to a different kind of fishing.
  16. Sactotuna

    And that's why cow fishing is soooooo addicting.
  17. sdangler

    Like David's tag line says; "if the line isn't going out is should be coming in."

    I've tested the top shots I've made to 70# of dead weight (that's what my neighbors kid weighs) and haven't been able to break them, the rod, or the reel.

    Watching others pull really helps the technique learning curve... I'm a big guy and I can't pull half as hard as some of these other guys. It's about the technique and the leverage that you get.

    Also doing it on a private boat makes it a lot easier too. A good skipper means that you're in the corner and don't have to move, which is nice.

    I don't know about you guys but I'm addicted to big tuna fishing cause all of the sexy guys on the boat.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  18. Steve K

    Ya know, Jim Hall was on a 170 lber on the November trip that was handed off by Ray Jarvis. Jim had been pulling like a mutha, cutting off circles, giving back nothing every time he gained line. He palms the spool and refuses to give an inch after he's gained it, especially at color. And it was precisely at that moment that Ray mentioned to him that he was fishing the 90 lb Fluoro. So, Jim now knows as well, just how hard you can pull with it.
  19. wahoodad

    That's how it was with me and the 299. Close to the boat, I acted like the 90# FC I was using was 130#! I'm not quite at full, but darn close, and I palm the spool.
  20. Steve K

    If you give them an inch, they'll take it.