Offshore 499 to SBI. Bluefin advice

RicGao

Googan For Life
Jul 22, 2020
26
91
17
Socal
Name
Richard Gao
Boat Name
Wiener wagon
Tough day of fishing to say the least. 7:00 launch out of San Pedro and we were greeted with the sun beaming down upon us. No wind, no waves, it was certainly shaping up to be a beautiful day out on the water.

7:30- fueled up and dropped by San Pedro bait Co. where Mike loaded us up on a scoop of some of the best sardines we've seen this season. At this point it all seemed too good to be true. Looking back we probably should have just turned back and called it a day.

Bait Check, Fuel Check. We were off to the races heading straight towards the west end of Cat where we stumbled across a couple empty patties, only one loaded with bait.

Around this time we heard a call over the radio "two hanging at Avalon". Hmm... tempting... We eventually decided to stop wasting time and burned out towards the 499 stopping just short of the drop off where we would troll the rest of the way.

We threw out a purple marauder and a pink dtx minnow on two sixty pound setups and trolled around 10 knots towards the 499. As soon as we hit the edge of the canyon, the sonar lights up, we started marking small schools 80-100 feet deep. After doing a couple donuts without success, we decided to follow the canyon line up towards Santa Barbara Island.

10:30- The day was slowing down, everybody seemed to be trolling aimlessly. In the background, we saw the outline of Santa Barbara Island. It wasn't too late to go poke around for some rockfish and sheepshead...

11:00- As we continued to troll closer, we saw a school of dolphin jump in the distance. Wait... that dolphin seems to be travelling awfully fast... Those aren't dolphin! As we sped closer we were greeted with fins of blue racing around on the surface smashing microbait. These looked like mean fish, all between 60 and 150 lbs. We trolled through our first breezer school without success and turned back around to run them over again.

All of a sudden. Zing, Pow! Welp, there goes a $35 marauder...

The breezer school was still up so we decided to troll around them with our last trolling lure. Little did we know the pink dtx minnow would soon face the same fate as the purple marauder.

Zing, POW...
S!#*.

11:30- As if a by a flick of a switch, the ocean had become alive. Foamer ahead!! Wait, foamers everywhere. Acres of bluefin foaming up with only a couple boats chasing them. At one point, there were nearly 10 areas of foam sprouting up all around us. It looked like we were watching a National Geographic episode while we were stuck without any trolling lures...


"Bluefin 5 miles south of the osborne"- some guy on channel 72
We look over our shoulder and "Holy Smokes, Here They Come!" Weekend Warriors!!! NOOOOooo!!!
(It's a joke I don't mind spreading the love)
The fish are still up crashing on bait but now there are parkers and triumphs trolling at 14 knots straight through foamers disregarding any boat within a hundred foot radius.

12:30- As quickly as they appeared, they were gone...
By 1:00, it was as if they were never there. The only remnant was the parking lot of boats that came searching for these elusive beasts.

1:30- called it a day, back to the barn with our tail tucked between our legs.

We threw the whole kitchen sink at them today. Popper, surface iron, colt snipers 60-120g, sardine, slow trolled mackerel. You name it, we probably tried it.

Stats:
Best bet of spotting and catching fish is from 11:00a.m. -12:30p.m.
120 mile round trip. Just under 60 gallons burned.
Fish were found in 69-71 degree water
All 60-150+ lb fish.

Advice:
So now I come to the almighty BD community for guidance. Aside from upgrading the trolling setups, what else could be done to target these fish gorging on microbait? Spreader bar? The infamous MadMac? Downsize below 25?

Any help is appreciated and best of luck out there!

IMG_2528.JPG
 
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dudeman

Member
Apr 5, 2011
353
470
san diego
Name
jason
Boat Name
Fish Taco
Check all line, keep it fresh. Tie new knots every time. Did the line break at the knot or sqingly? Get more trolling jigs , marauderers ect. I'm thinking about a spreader bar with smaller bait like cleaer or purple squid pattern. Troll way back.
 
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RicGao

Googan For Life
Jul 22, 2020
26
91
17
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Name
Richard Gao
Boat Name
Wiener wagon
There are a variety of colt snipers on amazon. However you'll have to rig your own split rings and hooks.
Tried that size today as well.
 
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RicGao

Googan For Life
Jul 22, 2020
26
91
17
Socal
Name
Richard Gao
Boat Name
Wiener wagon
Check all line, keep it fresh. Tie new knots every time. Did the line break at the knot or sqingly? Get more trolling jigs , marauderers ect. I'm thinking about a spreader bar with smaller bait like cleaer or purple squid pattern. Troll way back.
One clean break and one connection failure. Definitely should still upgrade line
 
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KID CREOLE

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Sep 19, 2003
3,746
2,559
61
San Pedro, Ca.
www.yayacalls.com
Name
Stefan
Boat Name
Grady White 263 Chase
I am far from being knowledgeable with those bastard bfts, but we are having some success this year scoring BFTs 4 out of 5 trips

We do not bring bait
We go on BFT or bust trip, I wont slow down for a kelp, I wont stop on breezer yellows or mahis, I wont go codding or bass fishing just to bring something home, fuck that

I bring helium, kites, California Flyers and ballooons

I have a pile of Madmacs, DTX minnows and Madscads for trolling, I troll all of them with 200lb Jinkai mono leaders, straight tied to the lures, no crimps, no snaps, no swivels. Minimum 100lb braid and Penn 30 VISXs or larger. Every time we hook, fish land a fish we replace the leader

I have 12 spreader bars, most are 11" to 15" squids, with a few side trackers of 9" squids. All of my spreader bars have cigar floats, very important


We constantly change up what we are dragging, at times we will have DTX minnows out 50 yds, Madmacs 200 yds, spreader bars out 250 to 300 yds


Just our style, not perfect but it is working for us now
 
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ShadowX

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Oct 10, 2010
3,472
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Los Angeles
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Anonymous
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None
Make sure you have some sort of ring when you are tying to the jig. When you use 80lbs or less, it tends to wear back and forth until the line is weak and you lose your setup. If the knot isn't cinched tight, the small amount of play is enough to break your line when trolling faster.

Looks like you had a better chance than most of us. We were there last week and we didn't see a single splash on the water the entire time. Make sure you don't troll directly through the breezers or foamers. Figure out what direction they are headed and turn your boat slightly so your jigs go through the school only. As soon as any boat gets near the formers, they are going under.

Good luck and bring more jigs next time. Get some heavy setups with at least 100 lb line or heavier.
 
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ahidog

10000 atta boys
  • Sep 15, 2004
    1,426
    496
    San Diego
    Name
    Tom
    Boat Name
    105', Camcraft, 85', Ditmar, 65' Noreck
    I am far from being knowledgeable with those bastard bfts, but we are having some success this year scoring BFTs 4 out of 5 trips

    We do not bring bait
    We go on BFT or bust trip, I wont slow down for a kelp, I wont stop on breezer yellows or mahis, I wont go codding or bass fishing just to bring something home, fuck that

    I bring helium, kites, California Flyers and ballooons

    I have a pile of Madmacs, DTX minnows and Madscads for trolling, I troll all of them with 200lb Jinkai mono leaders, straight tied to the lures, no crimps, no snaps, no swivels. Minimum 100lb braid and Penn 30 VISXs or larger. Every time we hook, fish land a fish we replace the leader

    I have 12 spreader bars, most are 11" to 15" squids, with a few side trackers of 9" squids. All of my spreader bars have cigar floats, very important


    We constantly change up what we are dragging, at times we will have DTX minnows out 50 yds, Madmacs 200 yds, spreader bars out 250 to 300 yds


    Just our style, not perfect but it is working for us now
    Boy wherever I see your name I see the word spread in some form. 😆🕊🦆🦢🍣 (use your imagination on the swan)
     
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    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    4,029
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    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat Name
    whichever has the longest bunk
    All good ideas to cure the "Zing -- POW" scenario, which has happened to all of us from time to time. Personally, I found that the reason was I forgot to reset the drag after fighting the last fish. You don't need to be at STRIKE to drag a lure. I use just barely enough drag to prevent line slip. And especially on a private boat, you have no issues with running out of line because you can instantly slow the boat and turn back. On some of these newer, huge sportfishers the size of Frigates it takes several hundred yards just to slow them.
     
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    Bradyxxx

    Member
  • Sep 21, 2014
    457
    364
    San Diego
    Name
    Braden
    Boat Name
    Catchalot
    I am far from being knowledgeable with those bastard bfts, but we are having some success this year scoring BFTs 4 out of 5 trips

    We do not bring bait
    We go on BFT or bust trip, I wont slow down for a kelp, I wont stop on breezer yellows or mahis, I wont go codding or bass fishing just to bring something home, fuck that

    I bring helium, kites, California Flyers and ballooons

    I have a pile of Madmacs, DTX minnows and Madscads for trolling, I troll all of them with 200lb Jinkai mono leaders, straight tied to the lures, no crimps, no snaps, no swivels. Minimum 100lb braid and Penn 30 VISXs or larger. Every time we hook, fish land a fish we replace the leader

    I have 12 spreader bars, most are 11" to 15" squids, with a few side trackers of 9" squids. All of my spreader bars have cigar floats, very important


    We constantly change up what we are dragging, at times we will have DTX minnows out 50 yds, Madmacs 200 yds, spreader bars out 250 to 300 yds


    Just our style, not perfect but it is working for us now
    So, if you don’t use crimps,
    What knot do you use to tie 200 lb. Mono directly to the jig?
     
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    Big_Tuna_

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Aug 3, 2017
    1,245
    1,549
    San Diego
    Name
    Bigtuna
    Boat Name
    Parker 2310
    I am far from being knowledgeable with those bastard bfts, but we are having some success this year scoring BFTs 4 out of 5 trips

    We do not bring bait
    We go on BFT or bust trip, I wont slow down for a kelp, I wont stop on breezer yellows or mahis, I wont go codding or bass fishing just to bring something home, fuck that

    I bring helium, kites, California Flyers and ballooons

    I have a pile of Madmacs, DTX minnows and Madscads for trolling, I troll all of them with 200lb Jinkai mono leaders, straight tied to the lures, no crimps, no snaps, no swivels. Minimum 100lb braid and Penn 30 VISXs or larger. Every time we hook, fish land a fish we replace the leader

    I have 12 spreader bars, most are 11" to 15" squids, with a few side trackers of 9" squids. All of my spreader bars have cigar floats, very important


    We constantly change up what we are dragging, at times we will have DTX minnows out 50 yds, Madmacs 200 yds, spreader bars out 250 to 300 yds


    Just our style, not perfect but it is working for us now
    Have you hooked any on DTX minnows???
     
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    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    4,029
    7,825
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat Name
    whichever has the longest bunk
    I personally have never once had a crimp fail. I've had knots fail. But I was taught to use the RIGHT size of double-sleeve crimps, and use the right tool, and crimp with care and carefully check the end result. After watching a lot of fish being caught, and lost, over more than six decades I've learned that being hasty and overconfident with knots and any other part of your connections to a fish is a time-bomb waiting to go off. Usually just outside of gaff reach.
     
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    KID CREOLE

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Sep 19, 2003
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    San Pedro, Ca.
    www.yayacalls.com
    Name
    Stefan
    Boat Name
    Grady White 263 Chase
    We are having good success with zero fails straight tying but to repeat, we constantly re tie

    In this pic is the result of a 300lb +/- Mako, same knot, thrashed jig

    Just as we were contemplating killing the shark, it cam unbuttoned

    20220715_164354.jpg
     
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