Excel Okuma Trip Lessons

Pangamaster

Cow Town Here I come!
Jul 1, 2008
1,967
1,177
San Ramon, CA
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Dave
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SD Long Range or Bay Area Day Boats.
Great write up Jim. Thanks for all the details....oh the mysteries of tackle failures...I'm still paranoid about my failures from my last trip. I do know that when your fishing you have to be confident...confident in all your connections, your abilities etc....Sounds like you are doing a lot of things the right way....stay confident! The cows will come.
 
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FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
2,124
2,995
Alaska
Name
JAM
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Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
I think the only really good strategy was to fish a proper-sized big bait whenever you got a chance...even though that meant catching a lot of sharks.

Jim,

Could you elaborate a little on what you feel was/is a "proper-sized big bait"?
 
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Rodless_Jim

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Apr 3, 2008
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Mexico, DF, Mexico
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Jim
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Strictly a Rider
Jim,

Could you elaborate a little on what you feel was/is a "proper-sized big bait"?

It has been a year, and I forgot to reply to this question. Sorry!

First of all, I am probably not the right person to ask. There's at least one very good video out there that shows how to hook and fish a big bait. It's a few years old, but I imagine it's as good an instructional video as you're going to find. It was posted by Wahoodad.

As far as what is the "right" size, all I can give you is my opinion, and plenty of people are likely to disagree.

The size skippy or yellowfin I always jump on is actually a little smaller than what seems to be the average size you find at the Bank. I think that in general we underestimate the size of skipjack or baby yellowfin that a giant yellowfin will eat. Even when we (and the deckhands!) think that the skippy is too big to use as bait, the really big tuna will still hit it and (sometimes) eat it. I've seen that a few times, but also that on the really big baits, the tuna will hit them but quite often won't come back to swallow them. Not sure why that is.

But just trying to estimate, if the "normal" size of skippy that you'd use for bait is around 18" long, then I would say the ideal size of bait would be 14-16" long. That is for two reasons (both just my opinion). First that size skipjack seems to be absolutely irresistible to a big tuna. If they see it, they'll eat it. More importantly, though, the tuna is more likely to inhale the bait. That makes a hookup much more likely.

To be honest, I have no stats on this. It's all just my supposition, except that in my experience (relatively limited), what I've seen bears out what I say. Just a little smaller than usual seems to attract more bites, more quickly, and results in a higher percentage of hookups. However, that is just in my own observation. Take it for what it's worth.

And once again, I apologize for the late answer.
 
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ZZZZZ

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 11, 2003
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Maybe the tuna is playing with the xl bait. Like cat and mouse

And maybe the smaller bait is strictly targeted as food and not play

My pb. Came from pv. The baby ahi was on the short line that got bit first. 2 seconds later the long skippy got bit. Fish ate 2 big baits in 2 seconds but ate the ahi first. Buddy's hook pulled mine stayed true. I guess we needed to hook the fish with 2 lines and not 1 to land it.
 
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