Being properly prepared for your First Long Range Trip

Dexter Outdoors

fishordie

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 31, 2005
2,101
1,385
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Calabasas CA
Name
Jamie
Boat
2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
For those of you who do not know me please be aware this is not going to be a short post. If longer posts bother you then please get out now while you still can. Most of this post will be directed at Ultra long trips but the same ideas will absolutely apply to shorter length long range trips.

I honestly believe most of the folks on these Ultra long range fishing web sites have great intentions when they make suggestions or answer questions. Unfortunately, I also find this well intended advice to not be appropriate for most every and all anglers and in some cases may not be appropriate at all. In many cases some of the issues are really subjective with no clear and proper general answer. If someone asks which is the best cow reel there will be several manufacturers named and several sized reels suggested. At the shop I always have my customers mix and match rods to reels in an area where we can duplicate pulling from a rail or in a harness. The correct answer will be angler specific as the best rod and reel will be the one which feels and performs the best for the individual angler. Of course, the feeling in the shop may be different from the feel on an actual large fish so it is the job of the tackle shop to best give input into the differences.

Ultra long range trips, in my world, requires a completely different approach to the entire psychology and actual participation portions of the trip which is quite different from the shorter range trips. However, after understanding the joy of the ultra long trip I find the same values can be applied to shorter range trips resulting in a better attitude and level of enjoyment for most anglers. It is important for each angler to determine, hopefully with the help of a knowledgeable long ranger and or tackle shop, what parameters go into not only the catching portion of the trip but the understanding of the relaxing portion of the trip. Part of the relaxing portion of an ultra long range trip may be not having to absorb so much information or take so much time to learn certain steps that the free time is exhausted. Many time consuming tasks can and should be taken care of before the trip departs especially for newbies. I absolutely DO NOT BELIEVE any angler should simply sign up for the Ultra Long Range trip and then come aboard with only the bare essentials and not bother trying to get as much education as you can prior to the boat departing if their goal is to maximize all aspects of this fishing trip/vacation.

With that said, the topic of Newbies coming on long range is a favorite of mine but I tend to go against the flow of comments made on these sites. The psychology of being a newbie is something I address on my charters and sponsored trips I am associated with well prior to the trip leaving. I have had seminars for our groups at Bob Sands Tackle or I make sure I contact each and every passenger to discuss what their questions or needs are well prior to the trip. Almost every newbie has the same questions and concerns but the answers are very much individual angler specific so here is my take on the answers.

Question 1: I have been on several 2 -5 day trips and my biggest fish was a 48 pound Yellowfin Tuna or a 30 pound Yellowtail which kicked my butt. How is this trip going to be different and if those fished beat me up what is a 200 pound tuna going to do to me? Should I move up to ultra long range in small steps?

A. I would ask what size gear the 48 or 30 pounder was landed on and then go on to discuss how that angler would have felt had he used a light bass rod for the job. I would then ask how the angler might have felt using a trolling rod and reel or heavier gear to catch that fish. I would then explain how the quickly and easily learned techniques combined with appropriate gear, will make the catching of the bigger tuna much easier and not as intimidating as it first appears. I would tell the individual the techniques should be learned as soon as possible both prior to the trip and on the trip down and to have that person ask a crew member, me or other knowledgeable person to show them these techniques when things have settled down and there is spare time. I will show them in the shop or on the boat how 25 - 30 pounds of drag vs. the 8 -12 pounds of drag they had on the smaller fish, can easily be compensated for with proper technique and may actually make the landing of the bigger fish easier. This discussion will come up when some of the better anglers ask the newbie about their previous long rang experience or the newbie offers up their lack of experience in conversation.

AS A NOTE, it is incumbent upon the newbie to try and learn from chatting with others who the passengers are who are genuinely open for teaching the new comer. It is also incumbent upon the newcomer to get a feel for when the right time to approach a giving passenger and to offer up something like a cigar, beer or cocktail as a thank you for the help. The teaching angler may not accept any of your offerings but it is a good habit to get into. Be prepared in advance by bringing an extra bottle or better yet two bottles of the good stuff, or a few good cigars, etc. to be offered to those individuals and deckhands who really go out of their way to help you out. Do not over use the newbie card on any one passenger unless that passenger really shows you they are always available. Make sure you filter in some crew teaching with some passenger teaching so as to not overwhelm your teacher by taking too much of their time. Take the time to practice what you have been taught before going back for more instruction. By the way the words "Thank You" go a long way when they are given in a heart felt manner rather than just a matter of fact statement.

When a newbie asks about the long travel time I will go into a discussion about how important relaxation time is, where the angler is not working on or discussing how to work on tackle. I will give suggestions on how to prepare for the down time, prior to leaving on the trip, so the newbie is not that guy who sits in the galley with his knee going up and down a million times a minute while he drives himself crazy for 4 days waiting to get to the fishing zone.

I encourage a few minutes or more per day where the angler takes time just by himself by going to the upper deck or place a folding chair on the aft deck and just look around, have a smoke or do what ever it takes to fully realize just how lucky he or she is to be where they are. Sometimes these few moments to yourself are enough to realize the minor crap which is somehow lessening the enjoyment of the trip are just B.S. and are best let go. For most of us we just love the camaraderie of ultra long range but taking a few minutes to be with just you and nature cannot be over rated.

As far as stepping up the length of trip I ABSOLUTELY believe an angler who just loves to fish in the ocean from a boat should sign up for the longest trip he or she can afford. You will learn more on one Ultra long range trip than you can from a dozen shorter range trips as there will be time for others to help you without giving up fishing time. You will learn to make connections correctly each and every time as the quality of your connections will be tested on each and every big fish. Once an angler has landed a big tuna I have never heard any one of them say they are worried about how they will do catching a Yellowtail or Albacore.

I will also attempt to discuss sea sickness precautions which should be taken until the angler know for certain this will not be a problem.

Question 2: What and how many rods and reels should I bring?

A: I would ask what gear the angler currently has. I would also ask about their financial situation. I would then ask about how they feel about having at least one rig for each long range application they can call their own and how they feel about using boat loaned gear. Some folks really do want at least one rig, with their own custom colors and sized to them regardless how great the quality of the boat loaned gear is. For these folks I do recommend they come in to the shop so I can show them the options. For others, the boat gear works great.

I also find out if any of their presently owned gear can work for Wahoo, any rigs which can be used for bait, any rigs which can be used for trolling if set up correctly for ultra long range or if their current big reels meet he requirements of fishing cows. I tend to ask most of these folks to meet me at the shop with their tackle box and rigs so we can sort through what is appropriate and what is not.

I cannot emphasize how many new comers to the sport have thanked me for setting them up correctly for their first trip both saving them money on non necessary items as well as selling them the appropriate gear when needed. Though many folks are told on these boards they can come with some t shirts, shorts, etc. the reality is a Newbie is going to look at the guy fishing next to him who is catching fish and the first thought which comes to mind is the Newbie wishes he had brought that kind of hook, that color rod, that reel, that lure, used that Spectra or that Flouro or colored mono. So for me, I need to explain that situation to the individual newbie and ask them how they would react in that scenario. The answer will tell me if I need to sell this person more or less gear. I have to tell you I am finding on the terminal tackle end of things folks are really loving it when they have the right stuff rather than having to hope the boat has some for sale or they can mooch it from a fellow angler. Again, the stress of a newbie having to deal with these issues is rarely worth the possibility of the terminal tackle they purchased prior to the trip being inappropriate for the task. This is why a newbie really should go into a truly ultra long range knowledgeable shop, look and touch the gear then get any help they can well in advance of the trip. Go in many times as a good shop will work with you and teach you but cannot give hours on end in any one day. You many save a few bucks by purchasing on the internet but the real cost of not having a reputable and knowledgeable ultra long range person showing you the ropes or making you the wind ons will really be felt once on the boat.

Boat gear is a great option but when I give advice I try to find out a bit more about how the particular angler thinks and give a full explanation of what they can expect about the gear they will be using from each individual boat. I also explain when they might get their boat loaned gear in their hands so they are not pacing the decks waiting to touch and feel the gear being lent to them. Again, for some folks they want the comfort of knowing what their gear is, where it is, etc. and do not want to be waiting 2 or 3 days for the crew to set them up with the boat loaned gear. There are certainly times where I will highly recommend the angler purchase at least one new rig for cow type fishing. Other times, when the newbie tells me he really does not care and will be happy just getting a line wet, the answer will be appropriately tailored for him.

Question 3: How much Wahoo stuff should I bring?

A: I attempt to find out how much the angler likes to cast artificial lures and how much they like to fish bait. I will show when and why to use lighter rigs for the task and how to set up using wire or non wire alike. I am finding more and more folks, at least on my trips, are really getting into the casting of artificial lures so I am setting them up with what I believe are the right jigs and bombs for different current and water color situations. I will actually set up the following scenario for the newbie to get their thought process: You are fishing bait for wahoo with a 45 pound wire to hook setup but you watching as half the boat is hooting and hollering as they cast a variety of jigs and bombs at these toothy critters. You see a camaraderie building of the artificial guys and you note the crew almost exclusively fishes jigs or bombs during their personal times. Would this scenario make you want to fish jigs and bombs or give it a try. I would then setup the scenario of If you find a certain jig and or color pattern is really working and the other jigs are not doing so great how would you feel if you ran out of that jig.
The answers to these real scenarios will dictate the amount the angler purchases and of what product he is purchasing. In truth, the boats have no where near the amount of options and will absolutely run out of hot jigs or bombs as soon as the passengers determine they are working. It is amazing how many times I have seen an angler get angry, either at himself for not buying enough or at the boat (Not the boat's fault) for not having the jig or bomb de jour.

I also believe in making or purchasing the wire leaders in advance unless you really love to work on gear on the boats. I personally do not do a lot of bait fishing for Wahoo but I can tell you those who do never have enough leaders when the Wahoo bite is even slightly reasonable. Trying to make more wire leaders after a full day of fishing and perhaps not quite enough sleep is just not fun so purchase or make a bunch before the trip and store them so they will not get bent. You can always make more to wile away the hours but not having the pressing need to do so will enhance the spare time portion of the trip. Having a full size Plano plastic box with long separators is a great way to go and you can keep your bombs/jigs in the same box.

Question 4; What are these wind on leaders I am hearing about and what is wrong with me just tying my Spectra to mono/flouro??

A: I am of the KISS school which dictates simplicity and as much mindless acts as possible to keep the angler from worrying while on the fish about things such as did I tie my spectra knot correctly, why did I not change out my top shot after a big fish or I did not inspect it for kinks when I pulled it out of the racks, etc. This means whatever technique makes it easiest for me to change out my leaders is the one for me. In this case I use pre made wind ons and top shots. I am one of the few folks who encourages folks to learn how to make their own but on their first ultra long range trip to buy plenty of quality pre mades before they get on the boat. The last thing I want is for the Newbie to use their own made wind on wondering the entire time on the fish "Did I do it correctly"? Just as importantly the time spent making top shots on the boat might be better used to get to know others, smoke a cigar,chat, read a book, etc.. I find out the priority of non fishing related activities from the newbie before I can make recommendations Again, this is very much angler specific.

It is also important to note even the most giving of us who like to teach have a point where we just want to be allowed to relax without interruption. I help out 23 hours a day so I like at least one hour to myself. Okay, maybe I teach or help out a bit less than that but I do want and need some of my own time. I fully understand the need of the Newbie to make sure he is doing everything right or to learn more and more but please be aware there are very few of us who really enjoy giving large amounts of our free time on a long range boat to teach so coming to the trip prepared as best you can by learning stuff from a tackle shop or on the internet such as how to make top shots and then have a teacher, crew or passenger, review your techniques is WAY better than if you just come with no knowledge at all. I and a few other folks on this site I know love to teach but again, when we see the newbie has or is taking some initiative to learning on their own it goes along way to our wanting to help even more.

As far as tying the top shot to the Spectra or mono to a flouro top shot on giant fish I always recommend against it for the newbie. However, on the shorter range trips perfecting your plastic to Spectra connection on lighter line is a great way to go though for me all of my top shots and wind ons are premade from 30 pound on up when doing any sort of long range work targeting hard to catch or wily fish. In a wide open bite or fish you are throwing back tying on your top shots is great. Very much personal preference but if you have not experienced all the options you really have no way to make an educated decision.

In short; Making your own wind ons/top shots on the boat can be a great way to pass the time but I cannot stress highly enough how important it is to bring enough pre purchased wind ons or make sure you arrange for the boat/crew to make them for you well in advance of the moment you need them. Just like in life, for many of us, being self contained is just better than having to wait for others to take care of you.

One other note: Many of us, who learned long ago how to make top shots and are very competent at it have no desire to make any more (Thank you Basil for taking the time years ago to teach me how to make them right). For me, I prefer to purchase them in advance as I just do not like to work while on a fishing trip. Making wind ons for some folks is fun and helps pass the time but for me I have no desire to play with those things any more other than to attach them to my Spectra loop. Besides, if you store your premades in a reasonably cool and dark environment at home they should last for several years to be used on your next trips.

Question 4: How much lead should I bring and what size?? I have read it is easier to buy what I need from the boat.

A: I have noted this on many posts I do not believe any angler should leave it up to the boat to have what they need when they need it. Every trip I have been on where really heavy amounts of lead was required to combat a raging current the boat has run out of it's supply of heavy lead the very first day with the most knowledgeable, or anglers, who make themselves aware of what is going on and possibly greedy anglers taking as much of the heavy lead as they can once they find out it is the route to go. Having a bag of light sliding sinkers, several 2 - 4 ounce torpedoes, several 8 ounce torpedoes and a bunch of 16 - 28 ouch lead torpedoes to me is a must even if they do not get used on your first trip. Also having the right rubber band sizes to attach them with is just an inexpensive thing to purchase. I also show how an 8 ounce torpedo can but cut, attached to an anglers line and then thrown away from the boat to get the line untangled from something under the boat. I also show how a pre rigged rubber banded weight in the anglers pocket can be used to change from a fly line rig to a weight rig in seconds.

I know many of you are flying into San Diego and are limited as to how much weight and size of gear you can bring. I always tell those coming from far away to come a day early, walk or take a cab to several of the long range knowledgeable shops near the landing, and purchase what they need at those shops. I also recommend some sort of prepaid box and label, which can be kept at the boat office at the landing during the trip, to send back home the extra stuff. As the non local resident begins to build up an inventory of goodies he or she will learn to ship the gear out in advance of the trip and be prepared to send it back. Yes, this adds a bit of expense to the trip but no one said this is an inexpensive sport. To me, once an angler commits over 2 weeks of his or her time and the cost of the trip including incidentals and tips, the angler should also commit to doing what it takes to maximize the pleasures and relaxation the ultra long trips really are all about. On the extra long trips we are really talking about at least a week of not fishing activity or lack of activity so please do not scrimp on items which will keep you happy. Now, are there a few anglers who come out with nothing much in the way of gear and are just happy as pie using the boats gear and purchasing everything from the boat? Absolutely, but from my experience they are few and far between. Most all of the anglers I have spoken with who come with very little wish they had brought a few or more specific items with them or purchased them prior to the boat departing.

Question 5: How will I make acquaintance with all the folks on boat? I am going by myself and do not know anyone.

A: Ultra long range fishing is one of the best venues for meeting and getting to know strangers. Because those who sign up for these things already have a built in love for the sport of fishing it becomes easy to find an opening for discussion with anybody by introducing yourself and asking how many trips has the other person experienced. From there the conversation can go a hundred different directions even to the point of finding out more personal and non fishing related issues. It turns out fishermen have many non fishing issues which other fishermen can relate to and enjoy discussing.

However, it is up to the Newbie to go the extra step or 5 to make sure he is going out of his way to make it easy for others to talk to them and then want to continue talking to them as the trip progresses. One cannot express how important it is to keep negative discussions to a minimum regardless what they are about. Folks go on these trips to get away from negativity and tend to run away, mentally or physically, from those individuals whose discussions are not up beat. Political and moral debates are best left alone until you really know the person or the group. No matter how much important stuff you can add most folks do not want to hear your side of it so keep most of the discussions to less Subjective issues until you are really ingrained in the group and know how far the debate can go. Even then tread lightly.

You will notice many folks get the ball rolling by posting on these web sites which trip they are on and asking who on the web site is going to be on the same trip. It is always fun putting a face to an on line alias and gives the angler another in road to start up a new conversation.

Please remember, nobody owes you anything in this world and nobody cares if back home you are rich or poor, a lawyer or a ditch digger and nobody really cares about the names of important people you claim to know. By the way, if you are a politician you might want to refrain from letting anyone else know. In short, you are working on a fresh slate. Folks are going to judge you both by what you contribute to the fun and what you take away or cause to diminish the good times of the trip. How hard do you try to learn without over stepping the boundaries of others and how you do try to work with others at the rail or anywhere else inside that vessel. Funny how a big, long range boat becomes much smaller if there is friction amongst the group.

Respecting every person on the boat is a must. Learning the crew and skipper are every bit as important as you are, and in many cases more important, should be figured out well before your board and will lead you to treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve. Letting the crew know your limitations, working within their available time frames to get some help. Have the crew set up a time which works in their schedule to work with you on learning things. Be aware, time is sort of a general thing for experienced anglers and crew on Ultra long range boat so if the exact time is not met bend to meet their time frames. As a newbie, your time frames might have to be altered as it is you coming to them for help and to improve your techniques however these crews are amazing and really want you to have the best time possible. I assure you they and certain passengers will be available if you show respect and keep everything up beat. And please remember, no matter how cool you are there might be a few passengers who just do not get you nor do they want to get you so, just like in life, keep things as cool as you can and let them do their own thing.

And of course, there are times you need to analyze who "That Guy" is. There are times there is just nothing you can do about him. Sometimes, it takes two to make "that guy" and sometimes "That guy" is you. If you discover that guy is you, apologies and changing your approach to things can go a long way to making amends. Anyway, if you follow the other steps I have noted you will not need to worry too much about this issue.

Question 6: What kind of hooks should I bring. Circles?? J hooks?? Ringed???

A: I am a big believer that things like this are very subjective. Like anything else we should all try everything we can and then make an educated decision. Sometimes trying everything means making mistakes but without mistakes we do not learn. The knowledgeable tackle shop will pretty much insure you do not purchase too much of the wrong item.

Some folks will only fish circle hooks while others will only fish J hooks.
I am a big ringed hook guy while others feel their connection supplies enough free range of motion the do not need ringed hooks. Most folks I know use ringed hooks but this does not mean those who chose not to are wrong.

I always suggest the Newbie angler brings a reasonably large assortment of appropriately sized circle hooks and J hooks from a variety of manufacturers. I have them get both ringed and non ringed hooks so the individual angler can make an educated decision after using both styles. I can show the differences in wire gauge or if the hooks are forged or not and why that may or may not make a difference. Yes there are a few anglers I have come across who just want a few hooks and do not care about finding out for themselves what hooks are best for each situation but the vast majority enjoy finding out which hooks work best for them. You can always donate hooks you find do not appeal to you to a fishing organization or to the boats if they want them. This also applies to big bait hooks be it a big J or big circle hook though I tend not to get these big bait hooks ringed. I also recommend a reasonable selection of chunk hooks including having some with swivel attached to the hook and others where the anglers places the swivel above a proper leader. I also let the angler know to try an appropriate chunk hook with no swivel so they can make their own determination. For most of us, overcoming the fear of using the wrong hook at the wrong time, or that the hook is going to make some magical difference, can be spiritually uplifting.

Question 7: Should I use Mono or Flouro?

Again, I cannot stress highly enough that each angler should make this decision for themselves. Like an Eagle scout, being prepared in advance should be a motto and watchword. The newbie really should have an assortment of windons and topshots, either pre made or using smaller spools of material to make their decisions upon. I would recommend some pink Yo Zuri, Smoked blue/gray mono, clear flouro, etc. and try each in different conditions. Perhaps just having the option of emulating the hot stick for the day is enough to relieve the stress of not having the right stuff. I would explain to the newbie when I use each and why I use each but, again, I cannot stress highly enough, what I like to use might not be best for you so go out and experiment on your own.

Always pay attention to what the hot stick of the day or hour is using. Being able to use similar terminal tackle, bait hooking locations and line might just help.

Question 8: Does the boat have a full bar or am I allowed to bring booze, cigars, cigarettes???

Let me start this conversation by noting none of us should bring booze or smokes of any kind. The boats absolutely do not promote or encourage this kind of behavior. However, for those of us who might enjoy this sort of thing and speaking purely hypothetically, let me address this issue as it applies to the newbie or old timer as well.

Cheap booze should be left at home as the results of consumption of lower grade alcohols is just not pretty. Okay, this is really not true for everyone but If someone is going to offer me a drink I would much prefer it to be a premium brand. For me, I give extra help for those who ply me with great Scotch. With that said, the newbie should make sure he brings enough for others as the free distribution of a cocktail to your new acquaintances at the beginning of a trip is a great way to break the ice... especially if you are making margaritas or mojitos. NEWBIES should never get anywhere close to being drunk. This is just not a good way to make a good impression or maximize your trip. If others around you choose to imbibe a bit more than they should so be it but do not go there yourself.

The same applies to Cigars. If you like the cheap ones no problem but do not offer these turds to those who have helped you in your learning process. A good cigar is a great thank you to those who smoke such things. Padron 40th or 80th anniversaries work for me but admittedly I will go lower in quality but not much lower. Okay, I admit it, offer me even a moderate cigar and I will be tickled.

Cigarettes must be brought in amounts commensurate with your addiction as you cannot purchase these from the boats. Don't set yourself up for failure by being that guy who is always bumming a smoke using the words I did not know how many I would go through...Please do not use the long range trip as a time for you to quit. Nothing worse than being around a cigarette smoker or any other addictive substance going through withdrawals. Quit well in advance or after the trip.

Tobacco chewers: Same deal and only spit into containers you are holding onto. Do not place those containers anywhere others might accidentally pick up or stare into it and do not spit onto the deck. I will leave this discussion there as it can get ugly.

ALL SMOKERS: If you have not already discovered the world is no longer our smoking oyster. It is our responsibility to make sure we do not smoke in or near the galley, galley windows or galley doors or anywhere inside. Some boats state you can only smoke on the upper deck. Find out in advance the policy regarding smoking on whichever operation you are choosing. Always keep the other non smoking passengers in mind when you light up. In many cases there is no way to keep the smell and smoke completely away but being respectful is part of the deal. In general I light up only on the top deck away from doors or windows, aft deck or when at the rail fishing. If I am smoking I make sure there are no open windows anywhere near me.

Question 9: I keep reading less is more on long range trips. Should I really just have a few essentials in a small day box as far as tackle goes?

A: I sort of addressed this issue but here is where I differ in my answers from many on this board. Now those who know me are aware of my being a tackle ho on steroids and I do bring a ton of stuff but somehow I am always the guy testing product or providing gear for others to try or use. Though I do bring 3 or 4 Punjabi shirpas to haul my stuff I keep most of it in my room or up on top so it is not too bad.... normally.

Getting back to my answer I always start off with the statement the only person or operation you can count on to have the gear you want, once the boat leaves the dock, is you. Now, this does not mean you bring an entire tackle store with you but there is nothing worse than the newbie thinking he only has one more lure, hook, weight, wind on, wire leader, etc. and is sweating thinking about what happens when it is gone. This tends to lead the new angler to not change out top shots when needed or worry more about loss than concentrating on fishing and having a good time. My premise is always, having a great time may consist of catching fish but I prefer to think of having a great time on a long range trip is reducing the stress risers we can control in order to increase the odds of having a great time. Worrying about what is left in your tackle box, or not having that jig that seems to be getting hit most, is just not something I recommend. Like all things the newbie should weigh the option of purchasing perhaps one or two more jigs, a couple of extra lead weights or a few more top shots to alleviate the dreaded "Oh Crap, I ain't got no more of that thing that is working" syndrome. Yes, there are those who can throw out a corn cob and get bit but rarely will that apply to the newbie.

In conclusion, a knowledgeable ultra long range tackle shop or wind on leader maker which also fully understands shorter range needs can really get you set up properly well in advance. Please do not leave your long range shopping until the last minute unless you are flying in. If you are flying in try and have prepared a shopping list of things you have heard or know you want to purchase in San Diego. This will make it quicker and easier for the tackle shop person to work with you and get you back to the landing quicker. If you do not live by a tackle shop there is usually no problem getting set up over the phone. However, if you feel you need more than a few minutes of help from the tackle shop make sure you call on Tuesday thru Thursday and ask in advance if there is any problem for the employee to spend 5 or 10 minutes with you and order the right terminal tackle over the phone. The same applies to going into a tackle shop. I will spend a ton of time with the newbies as long as we set up a convenient time frame during the week to go over everything or I give them time during slow periods on Saturdays. Be prepared to interrupt the discussions when other clients come in. However, do not be afraid to ask questions.

At the end of the day, Ultra long range fish fighting is not all that much different than what most folks are used to. The gear is bigger and heavier and the rail will undoubtedly be used more often. Leverage becomes more of an issue but the bigger gear really takes care of much of that. Of Two folks using the same technique and having the same style the one in better fishing shape and condition will have a better time pulling in the fish but you certainly do not need to be in great shape physically. I highly encourage you to up your cardio work out well before a trip but unfortunately most guys just do not worry about it. The amount of learning a newbie goes through on their first big fish is enormous to the point most folks wonder what they heck they were scared of in the first place after the fish is landed. Sure they might be tuckered out but they usually are not afraid or worried about hooking up again. However, Ultra long range relaxing is some of the best in the world and should be maximized so please make sure you do not overlook that aspect of the trip.

Hope this helps a little bit

Jamie
 
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Crashburn

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Feb 26, 2013
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Never Ever Again 7 has been enough !
Your Dragon just got delivered LOL I'll bet !
 
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vegasandre

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Aug 20, 2010
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Jamie, you are the man, Very well written. You are definitely a inspiration for sure. Looking forward to testing out many of your spin techniques on my coming Excel trip in a few weeks. Looking forward to having fun. I am very glad I went the BHP wind on route for this trip. Makes it easier on my mind. thanks again!
 
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The Bushman

The Bushman
Mar 5, 2005
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everyone elses
So Jamie... Got a lot of newbies on your next trip? :) Nice write up!!
 
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kahuna bass

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Sep 24, 2005
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Mel
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Extremely impressive Jamie! Heck, I want to go fishing with you!!

Well thought and very helpful!!

Mel - Kahuna bass
Phenix Rods
 
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hydro

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Nov 10, 2010
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I wish
Great info Jamie! Especially good advice on attitude and newbie interactions with other passengers.

Jamie was on my first long range trip in 2012 and really helped me learn as much as possible and have a great trip. I encourage anyone who is considering their first long range trip to sign up and try out this great sport.
 
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Anglewood

Up to no good...
Feb 16, 2012
1,249
1,080
Culver City, CA
Name
Connor
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Intrepid, New Del Mar
Great writeup Jamie! My longest trips have only been 7 dayers, but a lot of what you wrote about translates well there too. Especially the part about getting to know your fellow long rangers.

-Connor
 
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salty brain

Nothing but salt between the ears
Sep 25, 2012
616
279
OC
Name
Dave
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what ever floats
Jamie that was the best write up to date, just wish you wrote it 10 years ago when I was getting started. Spent a lot of money and made a lot of mistakes, BUT HAD A LOT OF FUN DOING IT, hell I'm still doing it just to fun to stop!Great read
 
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darrenforeal

Say no to bad info
Jun 24, 2012
891
73
Santa Ysabel
Name
Darren
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36' Uniflite/Vagabond
well done Jamie.

Regarding premade topshots. I know how to do my own and I still use Basil's. BHP topshots are simply outstanding. They are just so well done. Saves me a lot of time. Only way i'll stop using them is if I start doing the sato crimp deal I suppose. And even then...
 
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Fishnut

Newbie
Jan 3, 2004
88
9
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Lemon Getto
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Bill
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25' Skipjack Gut Barge
Andre , Jaimie is spot on. I will work for beer on your trip with my limited knowhow. This trip should be awesome just for the fact that you can win a killer LR outfits in the business . Saltydawg does premium rod wrapping and creative art work in his rods, and you have the chance to win a Makara 3o SEA that is arguably one of the new " go to" cow reels. All you have to do is fill it with Spectra and a top shot. Any of you that are on the fence for this year, with the weather and the fishing conditions so far, should consider seriously hopping on it! Bill Havens will be more than willing to help you the whole trip tying your hooks on and doing any extra topshots that you need... he's a sweetheart !:) Bill
 
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Feb 25, 2013
441
16
Snohomish, WA, USA
Name
Scott
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Intrepid
That was fantastic - thank you for all the time spent on it, and the time spent with newbies like me, in the past, Jamie. I wish I'd read that a month ago but it will be re-read by me many times before my next trip, I know for sure. Great piece of work.
 
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Sactotuna

I Should Upgrade My Account
Oct 20, 2005
1,767
138
sacramento
Name
jim
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Royal Star
Very nice. What you wanted to say required that length, never apologize for good writing. However, I'm sure your Sherpas would prefer you spell Sherpa correctly.

When I started LR you couldn't get a straight answer out of some of the experienced guys if you had waterboarded them. Thankfully now that's not the norm. Most of the guys with the greying hair are quite happy to help or advise, just ask. Helps us pass the travel time too!
 
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vegasandre

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Aug 20, 2010
1,964
2,035
San Diego
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Andre
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Any Boat that I can go on
Andre , Jaimie is spot on. I will work for beer on your trip with my limited knowhow. This trip should be awesome just for the fact that you can win a killer LR outfits in the business . Saltydawg does premium rod wrapping and creative art work in his rods, and you have the chance to win a Makara 3o SEA that is arguably one of the new " go to" cow reels. All you have to do is fill it with Spectra and a top shot. Any of you that are on the fence for this year, with the weather and the fishing conditions so far, should consider seriously hopping on it! Bill Havens will be more than willing to help you the whole trip tying your hooks on and doing any extra topshots that you need... he's a sweetheart !:) Bill

Hi Bill - sweet. Going to be bringing a case of stone IPA or similar (do you like IPA?) Let me know what you like. And Im on it(I don't really drink much at all besides my Rockstar addiction). I have a ton of mid range experience and east coast experience, but I am stoked about this first ultra range foray. Going to be great meeting you. Kind of happy I went the Basil route. I will have some crimpers and floro /momoi/pink yozuri to make some of my own. But that will just be to learn mainly on the way down. Not going to stress about it anymore, As I pretty much stressed over the topshot crimping thing for three years and never even went on a cow trip. Just going to chill, have fun and maybe pop a cow on the stella (know the odds are slim but I will give it a whirl- only 2 comfirmed cows on the spinning gear , My life goal is to make it 3)

Yeah we got to get some more peeps on this trip , still like 7 open spots Feb 18-march 5 on the Excel. I tired to get my Vegas buddies to go but they couldn't swing it. So I will be solo.
 
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Fishnut

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Jan 3, 2004
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Bill
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25' Skipjack Gut Barge
Andre;These trips will have you introducing yourself to new friends made from passengers and crew. Jamie has some good advice to not take yourself too seriously and don't take what others tell you in stressful or jestful circumstances. I appreciate the offer of IPA beer. But I am a lightweight. I will be more than happy to help you in any way I can in the fishing part of the journey.
 
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Montaukmaniac

Thats my son, not me.
Feb 8, 2011
878
800
Westchester NY
Name
Steve
Boat
miss ion/fish on, "Wish on"
SO MUCH knowledgeable info in there... (some fishing & some life). As a novice with four LR trips (4, 7, 10 & 10) day's duration & 98 BD posts: MANY , many thanks for the great write up! I look forward to doing an ultra, just as soon as the budget permits.
 
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Olddog8

Member
May 13, 2012
942
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Poway,ca
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Rick
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Sold long ago
Jamie - thanks! I copied your post to my computer so I can refer back to it easily. As a potential ultra long range newbie, I too appreciate that people like you are willing to share. I've been stressing what I need to go on one of these trips next year and be successful, you helped. I need to pick a trip now, Saltydawg's next year sounds good but so do a couple others, I really like the crew on the RR.
You mentioned a shop?

Thanks again,
Rick
 
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fishordie

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Aug 31, 2005
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Calabasas CA
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Jamie
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2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Jamie, you are the man, Very well written. You are definitely a inspiration for sure. Looking forward to testing out many of your spin techniques on my coming Excel trip in a few weeks. Looking forward to having fun. I am very glad I went the BHP wind on route for this trip. Makes it easier on my mind. thanks again!

Thank you Andre and yes, with BHP wind on and top shots you do not have to worry at all about that aspect of the task at hand. If you happen to be up in the Van Nuys area let me know so I can meet you at the Tackle shop to show you some things.

Jamie
 
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fishordie

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 31, 2005
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Calabasas CA
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Jamie
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2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
I am glad you all like this post and thank you for the replies. I have old posts in the archives which go into a bit more detail on specific aspects of long range fishing. For you new comers you might want to go back and take a look. Some of them are broken into multiple parts and are more comprehensive.

Jamie
 
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fishordie

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 31, 2005
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Calabasas CA
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Jamie
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2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Jamie - thanks! I copied your post to my computer so I can refer back to it easily. As a potential ultra long range newbie, I too appreciate that people like you are willing to share. I've been stressing what I need to go on one of these trips next year and be successful, you helped. I need to pick a trip now, Saltydawg's next year sounds good but so do a couple others, I really like the crew on the RR.
You mentioned a shop?

Thanks again,
Rick

Hi Rick,

Glad you enjoyed the post. Bill (Saltydog) puts on a great trip but you can always ask on these boards about any charter or sponsored trip which might meet your time frame.

I donate time to Bob Sands Tackle in Van Nuys, Ca. We are one of the last great old fashioned tackle shops which actually have fantastic customer service and a huge selection of product. We are unusual in that if for some odd reason we do not have the best product for a given application we will tell you how and where to buy it usually from an OEM who does not use middle men. We love to teach newcomers and kids as well as seasoned veterans.
 
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fishordie

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 31, 2005
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Calabasas CA
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Jamie
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2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Hi Ken,

We almost always have newbies on our trips but they seem to be getting fewer and fewer because the trips are usually booked shortly after we get back. I guess that is a good thing as it gives me more one on one time with the newbies. Like you, I love to have the new folks come with us to really introduce them to the wacky and fun world of long range fishing. No cliques on our trips as everyone becomes part of our family shortly after they come aboard.

Jamie
 
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jarhead

Member
Nov 19, 2007
514
42
Southern NJ
Name
Jim
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Maycraft 2550
Great read, just what I was looking for.
My buddy and I were just talking about our first LR trip ( 5 Day For us is LR ).:D
Coming from the other coast NJ.
Going to check the archives for more.
Thanks again
 
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fishordie

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 31, 2005
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Calabasas CA
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Jamie
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2013 Ranger Z521 with 250 Merc.: Now deceased.. Thank goodness
Hi Jim,

I only hire Shirpa's and only have skinny girl friends who cannot spell. Lord knows I want them doing their jobs, shirpas and girl friends, rather than correcting my grammer, spelling or punctuation...... LOL. Besides, I did not go through college on my grasp of the English language. Rather than placing my nose in a book I preferred to keep the book closed, without breaking the binder, so I could sell the books back to the school at a higher price. Additionally, I just could not justify reading English books as I was too busy working, Fishing, Racing Boats and having a great time. The result of my actions placed me, every year, on the Dean's list... No not the deans list where you are nothing more than a number, rather I was on the Dean's list where they knew you on a first name basis. The one where you were called in to the Dean's office regularly to discuss your academic performance or rather lack of academic performance. Hey, any advertising is good advertising as long as you get noticed. It was also a good thing my Engineering professors were more interested in the developmental work I was doing in the Aerospace field and were not as concerned that I rarely showed up to take their exams.
 
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