10/7 Big Bluefin on Flat Fall @ SCI

Pablo2fish

A humble student of the game.
Oct 27, 2008
137
241
43
Newport Beach
Name
Paul
Boat
Aquasport 250 Explorer
I love this. Can't help but wonder if it would end up having the "treble hook effect" where you can't a get a good hook set on any one hook because the pressure is being spread across so many hooks. Then again, maybe he just comes up a hooked, snagged, bloody mess.
I have to admit I ripped this idea off the guy's on the Thunderbird. Jeff and Andrew have caught a bunch of big Bluefin this year on the Hell Raiser and haven't lost one with these jigs yet. If one pulls another seems to just bury more. I'm guessing the more the fish shakes his head the more hooks set.
 
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Jeremiah Lubas

Jeremiah
Aug 10, 2017
66
67
18
Rancho Mirage, CA
Name
Jeremiah
Boat
Jackson Cuda HD
So, my question is, if you want to put on a single hook using a split ring, how strong does th split ring have to be? Say you are aiming for 150lb bluefin, do you need a 150 lb rated split ring? How hard can a bft pull. Or, do you use a split ring rated just above your top drag setting? Just curious.
Would love to hear an educated answer to this man’s question if someone could share...
 
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surfgoose

active geezer
Jul 29, 2010
2,680
3,713
113
Long Beach, CA, USA
Name
Gary
Boat
whichever has the longest bunk
Jeremiah, I re-rig all of my falling-leaf lures (Shimano or other brands) with a big, strong Owner split ring to hold the big single hook, which varies from 6/0 up to 9/0 as I consider appropriate for the size of the lure. The manufacturer's assist hooks get moved up to the top of the lure, where another multi-hundred pound Owner split ring is installed. I'm not concerned with them holding, they are extras, just to help.

I think that a lot of the time people fishing the falling-leaf design lures are bit&spit and don't even know it. I know that it has happened to me. I have several lures that wore the original assist hooks that have teeth scratches and I haven't fought a fish with them. The fish rockets up from below, inhales the lure and goes "GAH!" and spits it out, all in a second of time. The assist hooks never get a chance to get a purchase in the mouth unless the fish turns to the side.

I don't know if this is an "educated answer" but it is what I do, after watching a friend out-fish me three to one with his tricked-out lure while I was using the factory hooks, and getting spit.
 

jake luz

Newbie
Jun 21, 2016
60
62
18
25
San Diego
Name
Jake
Boat
15ft 1982 Glass Arrow/ The Prowler
I'm on the water every single day and the best piece of advice I can give is don't rig with one single j hook, recipe for disaster. The more low profile hooks the better, a stinger at the top and at the bottom of the big is perfect. J hooks have a smaller chance at catching in there mouth and they ware a hole in the sides of there mouths.
 

RideHPD

Enthusiastic Idiot Rookie
Aug 14, 2016
1,407
1,060
113
28
Del Mar/Marina Del Rey, CA
Name
Eric Marin
Boat
10' Model T
I'm on the water every single day and the best piece of advice I can give is don't rig with one single j hook, recipe for disaster. The more low profile hooks the better, a stinger at the top and at the bottom of the big is perfect. J hooks have a smaller chance at catching in there mouth and they ware a hole in the sides of there mouths.
Have you seen anyone using circle hooks on them be effective?
 

afraser

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 20, 2008
1,574
1,062
113
sf, ca
Name
aaron
Boat
NA
Rig the circle ahead of the lure, tie lure to bend in hook with Kevlar leader, corner hookup every time.
 

J_Rudd

Member
Oct 18, 2009
36
112
33
San Diego, CA
Name
James
Boat
none
J_Rudd how many yards of braid did you have on the 665H?
Not sure. Borrowed setup from my buddy. It was moderately full. Not that it matters. I had him hooked at about 25 fathoms and horsed him from there. He didn't run much, so the line capacity never came into play. Having said that, I always say more line is better.
 

Barkoff

Member
Oct 6, 2010
153
38
28
Hollister CA USA
Name
Mike
Thanks for the informative report, still a year from retirement and able to tow my Parker down, look forward to put all the education to work.
 

Blackfish

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 20, 2005
5,979
4,168
113
Monroeville
Name
.
Boat
toy
I made a conscious decision to wear black socks on this day. I wore white socks the day before and got skunked, so I wanted to see if the socks would change my luck. I need to go buy some more black socks.

LOL Nice job and great post.
 
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2tuna

Member
Feb 21, 2011
65
170
33
Salinas/CA/USA
Name
Craig H
Boat
le barge
8 months later and this post is still selling flat falls.

Everytime I look at that first picture I buy another one. The I read the report again, and put another couple in the cart.

Shimano ought to pay mr. rudd residuals
 
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bonefish bob

Flats rat
May 25, 2015
67
31
18
Riverside CA.
Name
Bob
Boat
none
Fished our annual charter on the Cortez with Captain Jim Hughes over the weekend. It was a 2.5 day charter trip (fished Friday and Saturday). I caught this beast on a 250 gram glow-in-the-dark flat fall just before gray light using an Accurate 665H 2-speed reel spooled with 80# braid connected via a San Diego Jam knot (6 turns) to a swivel that is connected to a 2 foot long 130# flouro leader with crimp-ons at both the swivel and the jig end. Keeper hooks upgraded to wire connections instead of factory braid connections.
View attachment 873443
It taped out over 140 lbs and weighed in at the processor at 140 lbs after it had been gilled and gutted, so I'll go with 150 lbs (processor estimates 15% loss when gilled and gutted).
I'd like to make a note about flat fall fishing:
I hated it.

Every trip I have been up at the hairy butt crack of dawn and dropped and reeled in endlessly for nada. Never a bump nor a bite. I've seen people get hooked up on them, heard about people getting hooked up on them, but they have never worked for me. I was starting to think the whole thing was a Shimano marketing scam... until Saturday morning.
After about 30 minutes of working the water column between 10 and 15 fathoms I got picked up on the retrieve. Felt like I was snagged, reeled up tiny bit of slack to load the rod and did one quick hook set. Got him right in the lip.
View attachment 873445
View attachment 873444
I almost missed him. It's amazing how hard you can pull on those lips. It was a short fight, thanks to the crew, Kyle and Tanner. They helped me horse him in by keeping the rod on the rail and wouldn't let the fish run down the rail. Kept the fight straight up and down. I barely moved during the 15 minute fight. I feel like if the fight was any longer or if he took me around the boat, I would have pulled the hook.
Post-catch inspection of the jig and leader reveals teeth abrasions about 12" up the leader, 6" up the leader, and teeth marks on the jig. This means he inhaled the lure right away, and took a couple of chomps as I took up the slack and set the hook.
I am seriously considering rigging my Flat Falls with a single hook connected directly to the jig with a split ring or with the keeper hooks attached to the top of the jig. This was pretty close to NOT landing the fish of a lifetime. I'm not really sure what I could have done differently in terms of rigging or setting the hook that would have given me a better hook placement.
Anyways, I hope this post helps others better understand how to target and fight these fish. Have the right gear along with the right crew and you have a fighting chance! And there's that thing about persistence because it is bluefin fishing after all...

Edit:
I made a conscious decision to wear black socks on this day. I wore white socks the day before and got skunked, so I wanted to see if the socks would change my luck. I need to go buy some more black socks.

Additional analysis:
Here are the bite marks on the leader and lure. Shows he inhaled 15" at first. Again, it was on the retrieve so there wasn't much slack in my line when he hit. I started winding and set the hook once pretty much right away. I can see how they could inhale the lure much deeper if it's on the fall and the angler takes a few extra seconds to realized he's bit. This is why these fish get gut hooked. Anyone ever try a wire leader like a Wahoo setup?
View attachment 873655
Nice fish. good report. I like to bridal my large flat falls with a 9/0 circle hook.
 

bonefish bob

Flats rat
May 25, 2015
67
31
18
Riverside CA.
Name
Bob
Boat
none
What has been your experience rigging that way?
I have only caught tw posto fish over 100lbs with this setup. Nither of them caused damage to the flurocarbon leader. The circle hook does it's job and hooks in the corner of their mouth.
I was using multiple strains of braid from the bend of the hook to eye of the F/F. However, the first fish almost chewed through it. Now I use wire and crimps, leaving loops at both ends. Did not seem to interfer with the action of the F/F as I was picked up on the drop.
 

Jiggermeister

Well-Known "Member"
May 27, 2012
431
364
63
San Diego
Name
David
Boat
None
Thanks, I have found that a single beefed up hook like a 9-0 Jobu will interfere with the action and I like the idea of marlin rigging it, but just didn’t know if it affected the action or decreased hook up rates.
 

bonefish bob

Flats rat
May 25, 2015
67
31
18
Riverside CA.
Name
Bob
Boat
none
Thanks, I have found that a single beefed up hook like a 9-0 Jobu will interfere with the action and I like the idea of marlin rigging it, but just didn’t know if it affected the action or decreased hook up rates.
As far as hook up rates, I can't speak to that. Had two chances in two years. Both successful.
Like you fihed it a lot.
I dropped mine in a swimming pool and along side a private boat to watch the fall. Looked go and worked twice. I was using a Owner Moto 9/0 with about 2 to 21/2" length bridal.
Great teeth marks on the F/F.
Skippers on the Condor and SA80 (Scott's) said it was the way to go.
Going on an 8 day aboard the Excell in Aug. Hope to try it out then if not before.
Just find something you like and I with it.
 
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seaserpent

Newbie
Sep 2, 2004
44
3
8
59
ca
Name
Ken
Boat
21 seaswirl striper
Bonefish Bob - Are you able to give a picture of what the rig looks like. thanks in advance.
 

RideHPD

Enthusiastic Idiot Rookie
Aug 14, 2016
1,407
1,060
113
28
Del Mar/Marina Del Rey, CA
Name
Eric Marin
Boat
10' Model T
Good call, seems like a great setup. How to you tie the bridal so it doesn't slip off the hook? What knots do you use?
Double up a piece of line and tie a square knot to make it a loop. Cats paw it around the flatfall eye then again with the hook.