Offshore 7/10 Newport BFT - Epic Battle - Failed

FishingFiend

Almost A Member
Nov 5, 2003
187
365
SoCal
Name
FishingFiend
Boat
Cayman 226
With all the reports of BFT foaming along the coast from Oceanside to the Channel Islands, we were fired up and ready to go. Based on tides, we wanted to be near the 14 at high tide so we agreed to a late start. In the morning, saw the fleet at the 289 and made an audible to make the run with the awesome conditions forecasted. Launched at 9am (bankers hours) and got a 1/2 scoop of bait and cleared the harbor at 10am. Within 3.5 miles of clearing the harbor, we started seeing boils. Pulled up to the first boil and turned out to be dolphin. We started towards the 289 again and like magic, foamers all around us. Looked hard in disbelief and finally realized these are BFT less than 4 miles from the harbor! We pulled up on a foamer and all of the sudden there are 4 boats on it. As usual 1 of the boats full speeds over them. Not sure why people do this??? As we we're shaking our heads, we see a new spot of foamers behind us. We turn around and full throttle there. We wait and see which way it's heading and position ahead of them. We see what looks like 20# to 60# fish boiling. We fire off poppers, surface irons, colt snipers, sub-walkers and stickbaits as the foamer is heading towards us. We get a hook up on the surface iron and ZING POW within 30 seconds on that fish, FAIL! We get a second bite with a perfect cast into the boil with a Coltsniper StickBait with upgraded 7/0 Owner hooks. We're on! It's now 10:20am.

I let my bro use my Phenix 90H with a Tranx 400HG, filled with 50# braid and 40# flouro leader. Yes, it's bass gear, but figured on a private boat we would be ok as long as the fish was fun sized. I told my bro, just get bit and we'll deal with it. Damn was I wrong! My buddy was facebook live streaming this and it was all fun and laughter through the first hour of the fight. We were guessing 50-60# fish after the first hour. By the second hour, we were like this must be foul hooked and we can't turn it's head. By this point, we've almost been spooled twice and we're chasing it down with the boat. All this time, we're thinking the odds of the fish winning are increasing the longer the fight goes on. At the 3 hour mark, we're all gassed from taking turns pulling on this fish and we're not winning. We decide as a team to turn up the pressure as we had nothing to lose. Drag is buttoned down, we're using our thumb to hold to spool and 2 of us are helping to lift the rod. For 2 more hours we are putting the wood to this fish rotating in fresh arms. We get this fish to deep color and cannot believe how big it is. We get it to surface 2 more times but can't get it near the boat.

At the 5 hour mark, out of desperation, we started pulling with all of our might to end this fight. We finally bring it to color and see that it's bigger than us! Our first hand experience is with BFT up to 150# and this fish is way bigger! As I stared at it broadside next to the boat, I started to freak out on how we would even get this beast onto the boat. While we were preparing for the gaff, the fish made a move to the stern of the boat. We held our ground as the fulcrum to ensure we could get it to circle back to us. 2 of us were holding up the rod to get through this death circle. Less than 20' from the boat, the rod broke! When the rod broke, the braid got caught up on the splintered composite, the line came tight and BAM, the line broke and this giant won it's freedom! It's now 3:45pm.

We hear about these long epic battles, but never thought we'd experience it firsthand. To be on the losing end of this fight resulted in so many mixed emotions. This fish beat 3 men down and won it's freedom! Well played Mr. BFT!

Rod Bent 3.jpg


Rod Bent.jpg


Rod Bent 2.jpg


Rod Broke.jpg


A couple of observations from this experience:

- That Phenix 90H is no joke. We didn't expect it to break, but man did we pull on this rod. I can say with confidence, the Phenix 90H Died an Honorable Death!
- The Tranx 400HG is also a beast! The last 2 hours of this 5.5 hour battle, we had the drag buttoned down and both thumbs on the spool to hold our ground. Even after that epic battle, the reel still feels as smooth as before the battle. Amazing engineering Shimano!
- JBraid 8 attached to 40# Seaguar Salmon Line was damn impressive! We pulled so hard and the RP Knot (Braid to Fluoro) never failed. In the end, the leader broke about 6" inches up from the original knot based on how much leader we got back.
- Cush-It is a life/hip saver on a private boat!
- At 10am when the fish came up, they were foaming hard for 45 minutes. Since we were still on the same fish, we saw the BFT come up again for the afternoon slack tide. Tides are everything!

To have this type of opportunity within 4 miles of the harbor is beyond Epic!!!! We're grateful for the opportunity and stoked that monster BFT won it's freedom! The agony of defeat is real, but the will to try again is unyielding!

Good luck out there and bring heavy gear just in case!
 
crazzygar
crazzygar
I still Hurt…!!! I pulled HARD on Her. But on my break while FBing and drinking water while driving…I saw it for the first time out of the corner of my eye….(It ran to the starboard side.) All I could see was a shadow. I was pissed cuz I thought a Sea Lion was on us….as I yelled “Fuckn Sea Lion..!!!” (Continued)
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crazzygar
crazzygar
I get a response back….”That’s NOT a Sea Lion…that’s our Fuckn Fish….!!!” 😂😂 It was WAY BIGGER than my 150#….!!! Easy 200# Class Fish. Absolutely No regrets…!!! We did everything we could with what we had. It was just great to get it to the boat a few times to see her. The icing would have been landing her. But it wasn’t meant to be…!!! On to the next one….!!!
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onehottip

I Should Upgrade My Account
May 8, 2006
1,367
1,307
So cal
Name
Guerms
Boat
18.5 Wahoo cc , Evinrude Etec V6 135 HO
Was this yesterday ? That was a great story thanks. Memories for life!
 
FishingFiend
FishingFiend
Negative, Saturday. I tried again Sunday and it was definitely not the beginning of a pattern.
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mike82

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 19, 2013
1,046
736
west coast
Name
mike
Boat
a fish killing center console
Sounds like too many mistakes on your part from the get go. Live and learn. Fight of a life time you will never forget. And at least you can say you brought it to gaff.
 
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Willdoggy

Willing Member
  • Jun 25, 2014
    2,278
    3,066
    Chula Vista
    www.youtube.com
    Name
    Will
    Boat
    Purr-Sea-Stance / Montauk 170
    Thanks for this entertaining report. Sorry that the rod broke but it sounds like it earned it's keep for that long of a battle. These BFTs are sneaky and wiley. You don't win until it is actually in the kill box or bag. But, what a fun day with your buddies! Thanks for the report.
     
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    Baja Belk

    Long sappy fish stories.
    Sep 8, 2009
    887
    2,223
    San Diego/CA/USA
    Name
    Mike
    Boat
    18.5 Striper CC - Puro Grande
    Bummer. I'm impressed you got that far with a 400. Says a lot about the reel!
     
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    FishingFiend
    FishingFiend
    Definitely next level respect for the Tranx 400. Drags are still smooth today. With all the pressure we put on the spool, I'm totally blown away that it still freespools like a top.
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    Tallguy

    Newbie
    Aug 14, 2018
    10
    10
    44
    WA
    Name
    Tallguy
    Boat
    NA
    Awesome story, nicely done. That's a serious battle.

    After a couple rod breaks, I got some advice to play fish with the rod low as much as possible to keep the pressure on the butt of the rod. The higher you lift the rod, the more you load the tip and the more chances you have of breaking.

    It's hard to train yourself for, but the more you focus on short low lifts with the rod tip near the water, the better chances your rod has.
     
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    gettingbentwithbo

    Subscribe to my YouTube Channel!
    Mar 7, 2009
    2,808
    1,617
    Riverside
    gettingbentwithbo.com
    Name
    Bo
    Boat
    16' Starcraft SF SS
    You took the .22 when you should have had the .270 awesome story and something you wont forget for a long time!
     
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    fv1500

    Fishn' Frank
    Jul 6, 2006
    219
    385
    San Clemente
    Name
    Frank
    Boat
    n/a
    Odd place for a rod to break. Curious if you think the rod was resting against the boat hull as leverage during the epic battle and got weakened or ground a spot on the blank were it broke?

    Great story.
     
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    brian fulton

    Can’t help it
    Aug 13, 2008
    112
    186
    lake forest.ca
    Name
    brianfulton
    Boat
    Happy Hour.
    With all the reports of BFT foaming along the coast from Oceanside to the Channel Islands, we were fired up and ready to go. Based on tides, we wanted to be near the 14 at high tide so we agreed to a late start. In the morning, saw the fleet at the 289 and made an audible to make the run with the awesome conditions forecasted. Launched at 9am (bankers hours) and got a 1/2 scoop of bait and cleared the harbor at 10am. Within 3.5 miles of clearing the harbor, we started seeing boils. Pulled up to the first boil and turned out to be dolphin. We started towards the 289 again and like magic, foamers all around us. Looked hard in disbelief and finally realized these are BFT less than 4 miles from the harbor! We pulled up on a foamer and all of the sudden there are 4 boats on it. As usual 1 of the boats full speeds over them. Not sure why people do this??? As we we're shaking our heads, we see a new spot of foamers behind us. We turn around and full throttle there. We wait and see which way it's heading and position ahead of them. We see what looks like 20# to 60# fish boiling. We fire off poppers, surface irons, colt snipers, sub-walkers and stickbaits as the foamer is heading towards us. We get a hook up on the surface iron and ZING POW within 30 seconds on that fish, FAIL! We get a second bite with a perfect cast into the boil with a Coltsniper StickBait with upgraded 7/0 Owner hooks. We're on! It's now 10:20am.

    I let my bro use my Phenix 90H with a Tranx 400HG, filled with 50# braid and 40# flouro leader. Yes, it's bass gear, but figured on a private boat we would be ok as long as the fish was fun sized. I told my bro, just get bit and we'll deal with it. Damn was I wrong! My buddy was facebook live streaming this and it was all fun and laughter through the first hour of the fight. We were guessing 50-60# fish after the first hour. By the second hour, we were like this must be foul hooked and we can't turn it's head. By this point, we've almost been spooled twice and we're chasing it down with the boat. All this time, we're thinking the odds of the fish winning are increasing the longer the fight goes on. At the 3 hour mark, we're all gassed from taking turns pulling on this fish and we're not winning. We decide as a team to turn up the pressure as we had nothing to lose. Drag is buttoned down, we're using our thumb to hold to spool and 2 of us are helping to lift the rod. For 2 more hours we are putting the wood to this fish rotating in fresh arms. We get this fish to deep color and cannot believe how big it is. We get it to surface 2 more times but can't get it near the boat.

    At the 5 hour mark, out of desperation, we started pulling with all of our might to end this fight. We finally bring it to color and see that it's bigger than us! Our first hand experience is with BFT up to 150# and this fish is way bigger! As I stared at it broadside next to the boat, I started to freak out on how we would even get this beast onto the boat. While we were preparing for the gaff, the fish made a move to the stern of the boat. We held our ground as the fulcrum to ensure we could get it to circle back to us. 2 of us were holding up the rod to get through this death circle. Less than 20' from the boat, the rod broke! When the rod broke, the braid got caught up on the splintered composite, the line came tight and BAM, the line broke and this giant won it's freedom! It's now 3:45pm.

    We hear about these long epic battles, but never thought we'd experience it firsthand. To be on the losing end of this fight resulted in so many mixed emotions. This fish beat 3 men down and won it's freedom! Well played Mr. BFT!

    View attachment 1298290

    View attachment 1298291

    View attachment 1298293

    View attachment 1298294

    A couple of observations from this experience:

    - That Phenix 90H is no joke. We didn't expect it to break, but man did we pull on this rod. I can say with confidence, the Phenix 90H Died an Honorable Death!
    - The Tranx 400HG is also a beast! The last 2 hours of this 5.5 hour battle, we had the drag buttoned down and both thumbs on the spool to hold our ground. Even after that epic battle, the reel still feels as smooth as before the battle. Amazing engineering Shimano!
    - JBraid 8 attached to 40# Seaguar Salmon Line was damn impressive! We pulled so hard and the RP Knot (Braid to Fluoro) never failed. In the end, the leader broke about 6" inches up from the original knot based on how much leader we got back.
    - Cush-It is a life/hip saver on a private boat!
    - At 10am when the fish came up, they were foaming hard for 45 minutes. Since we were still on the same fish, we saw the BFT come up again for the afternoon slack tide. Tides are everything!

    To have this type of opportunity within 4 miles of the harbor is beyond Epic!!!! We're grateful for the opportunity and stoked that monster BFT won it's freedom! The agony of defeat is real, but the will to try again is unyielding!

    Good luck out there and bring heavy gear just in case!
    i know where your coming from I too fought a 300 plus pound Bluefin on a trance 400hg and used a calico special for the rod,fought it for over 3 hours got up to only have my partner stick the gaff hook into the motor the tail and pissed it off like it had a shot of nitros injected into it and that was all she wrote.my fault though I had the fish dead to rites.anyways the tranx handled the fish pretty much it did it’s job .
     
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    ShadowX

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Oct 10, 2010
    2,519
    2,943
    Los Angeles
    Name
    Alex
    Boat
    None
    Your back must be in great shape after fighting that fish for that long on a 9 foot rod. It hurts my back just to hear about it. It looks like you high sticked it and the rod finally broke. It happens. When the fish is up and down, use the rail to get leverage. Good luck next time.
     
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    Omarkayak

    I've posted enough I should know better...
    Jul 26, 2007
    1,307
    663
    Northridge, CA
    Name
    Donald W. Clarke III
    Boat
    11+ ft, Ocean Kayak Scrambler, P 'N' Queue Pod
    :hali_parkutuli: You ALMOST got that sucka on the "trout pole!" What a valiant effort by all. These reports are beginning to drive me batty.

    Good fishin'!
    BDC OK
     
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