Offshore Bluefin Foamer Fishing - Numbers, Lessons Learned and a Request for Cow-Fighting Tips


Master of Nothing
Apr 24, 2003
San Diego
That Guy
SeaVee 340Z
Really good post. Lots of great tips here.

Leave the bass gear at home is my suggestion. We have been messing them up with 5500 size spinners and 80 gram jigs. These can handle fish up to 100# or so.

Over that size, get out the kite gear.
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Jon Cook

  • Sep 28, 2017
    San Jose CA
    Jon Cook
    • I had dark green braid on my reel and once the sun went down it was nearly impossible to see the line and determine which way to maneuver the boat. Is there some sort of device that I could clip onto the line that would sit on the water, making it obvious where the line entered the water? I think connecting a small balloon to a snap swivel and connecting the snap to the main line would work, but just wanted to see if anyone had any better ideas.
    Yeah, a balloon to a snap swivel would work. I've used a casting bubble (not the kind you fill with water) attached with a snap swivel. The casting bubbles are white and are easy to see, relatively low profile, and reusable.
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    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    Costa Mesa
    Really excellent post! You gave lots of good ideas from your experience.

    I too cast small pinhead-sized lures with upgraded single hooks. I get them to go the needed distance by using a three foot fluoro leader to a 3 ounce torpedo sinker, which is the weight that I can cast on my heavy spin gear. Modern spin reels and rods can absolutely handle tuna up approaching triple digits.

    I have watched a number of excellent charter captains whip huge fish for their fishermen by keeping the boat in gear and always moving in a decreasing concentric circle. Make the fish always use the same side muscles to wear out faster. If he zig-zags in the other direction, run ahead and get him back into that same side circle. Keep a curve to the line in the water, it adds drag to the fish.

    This tactic also means that the fisherman doesn't have to keep moving around the boat. While it originated with fighting chairs, it works fine with either stern corner, and quite likely means that a rod holder might be used, which of course is a lot safer than a rope around the neck. If two or three people can trade off pounding on the reel handle while the captain stays alert at the helm, a fight can be greatly speeded up.

    Running gear is always a hazard, which is why sportboats have a gaff handle with a Y head on board, to push the line down and away from the gear. It is worthwhile to carry, I think.
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    Apr 24, 2017
    Los Angeles
    Big One
    Not much you could have done, but you went to a gun fight with a knife.

    1.) A Lexa400 isn’t cow gear, or for any fish over 30lb unless it’s for a personal acheivement of some kind. You were overmatched and your reel failed because it wasn’t designed to catch mid size and up bft. I’m guessing the rod matched the reel, so you couldn’t pull hard enough to get it to circle. When you can’t put enough pressure on it, the best boat handling won’t matter…luck will. Also, don't bother with a harness for that kind of setup either. Use a rod belt and hand off. The less the fish rests, better chance you have.

    2. Fish any color spectra except green or red. Those are hard to see at night. If you make that mistake again, an investment of $9.99 in a handlamps for everyone will help you see better. Plain white spectra works for me, although you could go with yellow or blue. If you are worried about the fish seeing your spectra, use a longer leader or use a 25-50 yd topshot.

    Get a good conventional shimano, penn or Daiwa single speed reel without a level wind and a rod with a low line rating that matches or is close to the actual line you are fishing (I.e 40-60 Rod to fish 40lb.). If you do that, you have a shot.

    Good luck next time.


    Part-time Angler | Full-time Kook
    Oct 18, 2017
    Jordan Jennings
    Everglades 325cc
    BOOM!!! Great write up + observations + and love the questions to help learn further/progress!

    I'll echo a lot of the other comments but here's 1 kook's 2 cents: definitely dunk the rod tip down if you really get in a pickle but when they're higher in the column, circling & you're on lighter line (not heavy gear that can turn the fish) - there's no replacement for communication (where's the line) & I tend to be more proactive of following the fish to where its going to avoid hangups. Also, I'm a big fan of "stop em or pop em" when undergunned - I've had too many heartbreaks on long fights that I would rather put the heat on em with higher drags out of the gate and try to end the fight ASAP or pop it then (vs. 3-4-5 hours later).
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