10/7 Big Bluefin on Flat Fall @ SCI

Barkoff

Member
Oct 6, 2010
146
27
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.
 

2tuna

Member
Feb 21, 2011
58
162
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
415
349
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
58
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
1,364
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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.
 

AndyJ

Undocumented "Member"
May 8, 2008
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Dana Point CA
Name
Andy Jakubas
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18.5 Cobalt
With the 9/0 hook bridled to the jig eye, you tie the main line to the ring on the hook?
 

Schweitzer

Fur/Feathers/Fins
Jul 11, 2018
5
2
3
47
The North
Name
Shawn
Boat
Campion 602Br
Congratulations, really like the detailed explanations of tackle and rigging.
Very informative c/w with great pictures, Im going to get some black socks for the next time I head down to SD.
 

Let em eat 74

Well-Known "Member"
Jul 12, 2016
648
998
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45
Irvine
Name
Kevin
Boat
Whichever1is leaving
I use doubled 80 solid to make the loop and squareknot both ends. The jig really flutters well this way as an added benefit.