First Fishing Trip In Nov. Rod - Reel thoughts and input

May 1, 2022
21
12
23
California
Name
Stavro
Hello, sorry if this has been beaten to death, but I am wanting some input on my rigs for my first Bluefin Trip in November (I’ve caught bluefin before up here in NorCal but it’s completely different fishing - trolling live Macks on downriggers, usually). I’ll be going on either a 2.5 day or 3 (will know once schedule comes out). Essentially, I am trying to see your guys’ thoughts on eliminating some rigs and just fishing down line classes on certain rod and reel combos.

Rig 1 (25-40#) Okuma PCH-C-761H (20-50# rating) with a Okuma Cavalla 12 with 65# braid backing and 100 yards of 40# mono. (Flyline)

Rig 2 (50-60#): Phenix HAX-780X2H (40-100# rating) with AVET LX Raptor with 80# braid and 100 yard 65# mono top shot. (Flyline & Light Sinker Rig)

Rig 3 (80-100#): Phenix HAX-720X3H (60-130# rating) with Makaira 20 - SEa with 100# braid. (Heavy Sinker Rig and Flat Fall)

Question 1: Is rig 1 ok to fish down to those lines? Or should I get a designated 30# setup?

Question 2: If I add a short 80# mono topshot to Rig 3 can I use it for a heavy sinker rig (will remove topshot for flat fall fishing)? Or should I solely be a 100# set up and buy a designated 80#? I bought the 60-130# rated rod instead of 80-130# rated rod thinking I could fish down for a sinker rig and still be within line rating.


Thank you guys in advance for the input.
 

Big_Tuna_

I Should Upgrade My Account
Aug 3, 2017
1,292
1,610
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Bigtuna
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Parker 2310
I dont wanna be a negative Nancy but im not sure bft will be in socal in November. Hopefully they will circle back to tanner/cortez....
 
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May 1, 2022
21
12
23
California
Name
Stavro
I dont wanna be a negative Nancy but im not sure bft will be in socal in November. Hopefully they will circle back to tanner/cortez....
Understood. Looked at 976 Tuna for fish counts and although not as good as August - September. Still seem to be getting some BFT in November in years past. I’d rather have the chance to catch a fish than sit at home
 
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surfgoose

active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    4,095
    8,030
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
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    whichever has the longest bunk
    I'm on a 3-day the few days before Thanksgiving, and we will absolutely, positively be catching tuna. Both bluefin and yellowfin will be around then. It all depends upon the boat/Captain and the attitude. I'm on the Polaris Supreme, and if you aren't on the rail when he finds a school at 2am he sends a crewman to wake you up and tell you to get your butt in gear and FISH. There is a reason why they almost always come back with Mexican tuna limits, year around, and why they stay almost completely booked-up a year and more in advance.

    Not many operations are that hard-core. The boat you are on may well opt to fish yellowtail or paddy-hop for whatever they come across. Nothing wrong with that, I enjoy that fishing too. You will have a good time if you make the most of your opportunities, and in three days offshore you WILL have opportunities.

    I think that your tackle is fine. You made smart choices. If the boat will be doing kite rotation, you will be possibly fighting bigger tuna than your Mak 20 is comfortable with, but then you will be using the boats' gear. If you are on a boat that you haven't ridden before, you might speak to the lead crewman at the start of the trip and tell him that you are a good tipper, and if you end up with a tuna over (your dream size) there is an extra hundred on top. It will help, trust me.
     
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    May 1, 2022
    21
    12
    23
    California
    Name
    Stavro
    I'm on a 3-day the few days before Thanksgiving, and we will absolutely, positively be catching tuna. Both bluefin and yellowfin will be around then. It all depends upon the boat/Captain and the attitude. I'm on the Polaris Supreme, and if you aren't on the rail when he finds a school at 2am he sends a crewman to wake you up and tell you to get your butt in gear and FISH. There is a reason why they almost always come back with Mexican tuna limits, year around, and why they stay almost completely booked-up a year and more in advance.

    Not many operations are that hard-core. The boat you are on may well opt to fish yellowtail or paddy-hop for whatever they come across. Nothing wrong with that, I enjoy that fishing too. You will have a good time if you make the most of your opportunities, and in three days offshore you WILL have opportunities.

    I think that your tackle is fine. You made smart choices. If the boat will be doing kite rotation, you will be possibly fighting bigger tuna than your Mak 20 is comfortable with, but then you will be using the boats' gear. If you are on a boat that you haven't ridden before, you might speak to the lead crewman at the start of the trip and tell him that you are a good tipper, and if you end up with a tuna over (your dream size) there is an extra hundred on top. It will help, trust me.
    Thanks for the response. I was thinking the same. Going to book my trip tomorrow. What other boats do you recommend? PS is booked through all November for 2+ day trips.
     
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    tunanorth

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 4, 2005
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    7,064
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    Tunanorth
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    Bass Tracker 16
    My exact thought. But people bring so many setups and say you need all these setups that it makes me wonder. Thanks for the response


    On any given trip, you will probably only use two of the five/six "must have" bluefin setups.
    "HOWEVER", you don't know exactly WHICH two it will be until you get out there.
    What was appropriate yesterday is not necessarily what you need today.
     
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    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    4,095
    8,030
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat Name
    whichever has the longest bunk
    First of all, thanks for driving all the way down here to fish! Remember that there is a new checkpoint going north over the grapevine, the CHP will ask you "Have you spent all of your cash? Have you maxxed your credit cards?" If you don't say "Yes" they turn you around and send you back down south.

    At 23, you are still figuring out what you want to have in a multi-day trip. There are several dozen excellent boats out of the four San Diego area landings that do 2.5-day and longer runs consistently, and they all get their share of fish. Some are fancier in food and bunkrooms, but all have good crews and refrigerated holds to keep your fish nice. Once you book your trip, very quickly get ahold of the processor that you want to use and make a reservation with them to meet your boat and process your fish that day so you don't have to have it shipped and you don't have to stay over expensively.

    A good rule of thumb that I try to apply is to NOT book a trip over a weekend between May and the end of September. Every now and then I forget or get asked to join a friend and go then, but it always means that the fish are hammered by a thousand private boats and often the fishing is much harder. If you can start out on a Wednesday or Thursday it is much easier to find a school that will stick with the boat.

    Another rule of thumb is that a limited-load trip of two dozen fishermen or less is going to attract a much more experienced and mellow group of fishermen than higher (and cheaper) headcounts. Courtesy and cooperation tend to rapidly increase as the average age of the fishermen go up. You will still occasionally get "that guy" but not near as commonly as on the shorter trips and the mass quantity trips. It makes a huge difference in every way if there are an extra dozen or more rods around the bait wells.

    Having said all that, I usually try to book longer trips on the CONDOR, ISLANDER, OCEAN ODYSSEY and POLARIS SUPREME. They suit my personal style of fishing and have bunks big enough for me. Other fine boats that are dearly loved by many just don't suit me. For instance, I enjoy trolling and bring my own special lures to try out on my rotations. On one expensive tuna trip the boats' office had put all of the fishermen into alphabetical order for tag numbers, and I was almost the last tag, and then the captain wasn't at all interested in trolling rotations, they were a couple of hours long if nobody got bit, so over the entire trip I didn't get called to troll once, along with a quarter of the numbers. I didn't complain, but I have never booked that boat again. Any captain who believes that his electronics will find ALL of the fish in the area around his boat is cray-cray. I've stopped boats many, many times with blind strikes that surprised everyone.
     
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    2Rotten

    Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
    Jan 10, 2010
    854
    2,206
    Junction City OR
    Name
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat Name
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
    Definite bring all 3 rigs


    Question 1: Is rig 1 ok to fish down to those lines? Or should I get a designated 30# setup? Rig 1 will be fine for any of those line classes that you actually need. Can't believe I'm saying this on a fishing forum but... You don't need to purchase a new 30# rig!

    Question 2: If I add a short 80# mono topshot to Rig 3 can I use it for a heavy sinker rig? Absolute. Will totally depend on the size of fish your Captain is seeing on the Sonar. My last Sinker Rig fish went 162# and I was very happy to have it on 80# fluoro leader and a size 3/0 Charlie Brown circle hook.
     
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    Deadlift500

    Member
  • Jan 12, 2022
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    46
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    d
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    kayak
    Thanks for the response. I was thinking the same. Going to book my trip tomorrow. What other boats do you recommend? PS is booked through all November for 2+ day trips.
    FYI, if you don’t need to plan a trip far in advance, periodically check the websites of the boats you are interested in, it’s quite common for a spot or two to open up several days or so before the departure date.

    I’d 2nd surfgoose’s recommendation of the Islander, especially if you want to plan ahead because they have a lot of availability right now for trips this fall solely because they were going to do shark diving charters then, but the Mexican government closed the shark diving area so they recently switched those dates to fishing trips. https://www.fishermanslanding.com/b...762.948805458.1664075245-213327125.1664075245
     
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    May 1, 2022
    21
    12
    23
    California
    Name
    Stavro
    On any given trip, you will probably only use two of the five/six "must have" bluefin setups.
    "HOWEVER", you don't know exactly WHICH two it will be until you get out there.
    What was appropriate yesterday is not necessarily what you need
    First of all, thanks for driving all the way down here to fish! Remember that there is a new checkpoint going north over the grapevine, the CHP will ask you "Have you spent all of your cash? Have you maxxed your credit cards?" If you don't say "Yes" they turn you around and send you back down south.

    At 23, you are still figuring out what you want to have in a multi-day trip. There are several dozen excellent boats out of the four San Diego area landings that do 2.5-day and longer runs consistently, and they all get their share of fish. Some are fancier in food and bunkrooms, but all have good crews and refrigerated holds to keep your fish nice. Once you book your trip, very quickly get ahold of the processor that you want to use and make a reservation with them to meet your boat and process your fish that day so you don't have to have it shipped and you don't have to stay over expensively.

    A good rule of thumb that I try to apply is to NOT book a trip over a weekend between May and the end of September. Every now and then I forget or get asked to join a friend and go then, but it always means that the fish are hammered by a thousand private boats and often the fishing is much harder. If you can start out on a Wednesday or Thursday it is much easier to find a school that will stick with the boat.

    Another rule of thumb is that a limited-load trip of two dozen fishermen or less is going to attract a much more experienced and mellow group of fishermen than higher (and cheaper) headcounts. Courtesy and cooperation tend to rapidly increase as the average age of the fishermen go up. You will still occasionally get "that guy" but not near as commonly as on the shorter trips and the mass quantity trips. It makes a huge difference in every way if there are an extra dozen or more rods around the bait wells.

    Having said all that, I usually try to book longer trips on the CONDOR, ISLANDER, OCEAN ODYSSEY and POLARIS SUPREME. They suit my personal style of fishing and have bunks big enough for me. Other fine boats that are dearly loved by many just don't suit me. For instance, I enjoy trolling and bring my own special lures to try out on my rotations. On one expensive tuna trip the boats' office had put all of the fishermen into alphabetical order for tag numbers, and I was almost the last tag, and then the captain wasn't at all interested in trolling rotations, they were a couple of hours long if nobody got bit, so over the entire trip I didn't get called to troll once, along with a quarter of the numbers. I didn't complain, but I have never booked that boat again. Any captain who believes that his electronics will find ALL of the fish in the area around his boat is cray-cray. I've stopped boats many, many times with blind strikes that surprised everyone.
    Hopefully the turn me back around with the amount of money I will burn 😂
     
    Upvote 0
    May 1, 2022
    21
    12
    23
    California
    Name
    Stavro
    FYI, if you don’t need to plan a trip far in advance, periodically check the websites of the boats you are interested in, it’s quite common for a spot or two to open up several days or so before the departure date.

    I’d 2nd surfgoose’s recommendation of the Islander, especially if you want to plan ahead because they have a lot of availability right now for trips this fall solely because they were going to do shark diving charters then, but the Mexican government closed the shark diving area so they recently switched those dates to fishing trips. https://www.fishermanslanding.com/boats/islander.php?_ga=2.259621762.948805458.1664075245-213327125.16640752
    On any given trip, you will probably only use two of the five/six "must have" bluefin setups.
    "HOWEVER", you don't know exactly WHICH two it will be until you get out there.
    What
    On any given trip, you will probably only use two of the five/six "must have" bluefin setups.
    "HOWEVER", you don't know exactly WHICH two it will be until you get out there.
    What was appropriate yesterday is not necessarily what you need today.
    Thank you for your response, I have learned a lot from the videos you are featured in. I (and I assume, many others) appreciate you responding to so many newbies like myself. My first Bluefin ever caught here in Nor Cal was a 172 pounder on PENN VISX16!!
     
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