Dropper looping yellowtail on a 5 day - need advice

boomboom213

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Aug 31, 2006
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Whats the best setup?

My buddies and I are all going on our first 5 dayer.

From what I've been reading if you're fishing the nite bite yellows, you want to be dropper looping heavy line.

What constitutes heavy line?

It 50lb or 60lb too little?

Here are my setups. Can you guys help me match up Line Lb's to each setup?

2speed 665 w/30-80 7ft Calstar 65lb spectra mono ?
2speed 870 w/ 20-50 7ft Calstar 50lb spectra mono ?
1 speed 665 w/30-80 6ft Calstar 65lb spectra mono ?
1speed 870 w/20-40 7ft Calstar 50lb spectra mono ?
1speed AvetMX w/15-25 Tiburon ? ?
1speed AvetSX w/10-25 Calstar ? ?

My other buddies all think im crazy for thinking i should use heavier test on most of the reels.

They think they will be fishing mostly 30lb, even on big homeguard yellows. Tuna, i can understand, because they usually dont break you off on the rocks. Yellowtail on the otherhand always break you on the rocks, if you fish structure.

I've gotten bit on lite line and couldnt land a fish because of it. I dont want that happening. Am i crazy to want to use heavier line in general. I would think my 40lb rig would be my go to reel.
 

FishStalker

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I'd suggest minimum 80# line for the DL. You are fishing on the bottom and these are big fish. You want to button down your drag and winch them in.

You'll be fishing mostly 40-50# line on a 5 day (I'm assuming at the Lupe). You really don't need anything under 40# except maybe for catching bait or for bait fishing if the boat throws out the trollers coming up or down the line and you get into some offshore tuna fishing.

Personally I'd leave the SX and MX at home. Put 30# on the single speed 870, 40# on the 2 speed 870 and the single speed 665, 50# on the 2 speed 665 and borrow a 30W or comparable (HX would probably do for 80#) and a stiff rod for the DL. I use an Avet 30W with a 760H for the DL at Alijos and will be using the same setup for the Lupe this October.

Edit:

For example, on our recent 8 day to Alijos and Cedros I fished a 40# bait rod 90% of the time for the 50-100lb YFT. I did some yoyo'ing on 50# and got a couple yellows as well. I was fishing 80# on the DL and also got some yellows both at Alijos and Cedros. At Cedros, we were fishing 40# on the long rods and 40# bait sticks most of the time. I and a few others did break out some of the light line (15-30) for the toad yellows on the lee side but that was more for fun than profit. We already had near limits of fish.

I fished my 25# albie rod on the last day while we were hunting around for tuna.
 
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FlyinFishOTI

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Take the first outfit in your list and put some 60# mono on top. 80# is nice to have, but it can be done with 60# just fine. If big stuff happens, use the boat gear. The key isn't really how hard you pull, its more how quickly you pull and how you do it.

Drop down a bait. Put your reel in high gear and keep it under your arm.

When you get bit, wind down fast until you can't wind anymore. Then, left up the rod firmly and get it up high and hold it there. I mean high! you really have to pull up to the point where you are basically on your toes. Sometimes it helps to turn your body sideways. And if you can, wind while doing so.

Hopefully, what you will feel is some strong headshakes or pulls and then the force will back off slightly and your rod will begin to recoil just a bit. If that happens, the fish took a slight break from trying to put his head down and you now have him ever so slightly pointed up. Start lowering the rod and winding, get a few pumps/lifts and winds, then switch to low gear and grind 'er in with the rod wherever you like. The rail works best, your gut or armpit maintains your manlyness the best.

Some of this is tough to explain but I hope that helps. If you can really pull up hard and high on the fish when it first bites, you can turn its head up slightly and have a chance.
 

Rubberhook2

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Like Fishstalker says, use 80 pound for nighttime dropper loop fishing for yellows. Yellows get big at Guadalupe as it is not uncommon to see several 65 to 80 pound fish get caught each year and the areas in which they live normally have alot of sharp rocky pinnacles. The 80 pound line will help pull the yellows up off the bottom while at the same time give you some chafing resistance against the sharp rocks.

I like to tie mine with a Spiders Hitch to a Double Uni knot with a very large forged hook, depending on what bait I am using, like a 9/0 Mustad 7691. You will be using 8 to 16 ounce torpedo sinkers depending on how deep you are fishing and the strength of the current.

All baits can work well but I have seen some huge yellows taken on slab baits. that is, a half of fish filleted with the tail left on like a large whitefish for example. Very deadly for those pig yellows down there.

As a interesting side note, the last trip I did to Guadalupe two years ago on the Polaris Supreme several 60 to 80lb yellowfin tuna were caught at night in 300 feet of water using the dropper loop while targeting yellows.
 

CHUBACA6

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Nothing less than 60# pound test for dropper loop with a big j hook and a slab of mackerel has worked great at Guadalupe for me per deckies advise 2 peed reel 6 foot rod.30# and 40# pound test will be your go to as Guadalupe is more often than not finesse type fishing,good luck Guadalupe is an awesome place
 

PLUNKER

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I like to use a san diego knot { 4 wraps } on a dropper loop when fishing for anything other than rockfish
 

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BTW, when dropper looping these big yellows, most prefer to use a 3-4 turn surgeons for the loop rather than a true dropper loop knot. The true DL knot has very poor breaking strength.

I just use a palomar to connect the hook to the loop but if you make it long enough, you can do a double San Diego no problem.
 

CHUBACA6

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;)The best part about fishing the DL at night is that only a few knuckleheads like me are willing to stay up late and put the wood to 30#+yellows so you'll have the back of the boat mostly to yourself
 

boomboom213

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Thanks for all the advice. Is it reasonable to say you can land a 30+lb yellow tail on 30lb test fairly easily, so long as its not in the rocks or too close to the kelp?
 

FishStalker

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Thanks for all the advice. Is it reasonable to say you can land a 30+lb yellow tail on 30lb test fairly easily, so long as its not in the rocks or too close to the kelp?
You can land a 30# yellow in deep water no problem, even near kelp paddies. In shallow water it becomes a bit more tricky if there is structure as the fish will often head straight into the rocks to bust you off.

A much smarter fisherman than me once answered the question "What pound test should I be fishing?" with "The heaviest you can get bit on". That's why they use the rope on the kite rods because it still gets bit. No point in screwing around with light tackle unless you are trying for a record or are just bored.

Trust me, you don't want to be 'that guy' that has a 50# fish on 20# test and fights it for an hour or two and the whole boat is waiting around for you to land it so they can pull anchor and move.