Did you check to see if your split ring could fit through the gap where the eye of the hook is bent back to the shank on the jobu? I'm pretty sure that's the only option with an intact split ring.After much reflecting how bad I sucked last week at converting bites into fish on the Memorial 2.5 Day on the Pacific Voyager I figured the first stage of my ego recovering is admitting I sucked. Pretty much everything that could go wrong in catching them big blue bastards, did. Here is a bite by bite recap of the calamities occurred:
Bite 1- 330 am Talica 20 with an 80lb wind on UC GP80 Terminator
The boat had us in the zone around 1am and maybe 10-12 of the 17 anglers on board started the arduous process of flat falling. Weather was a little sporty and the fish weren't reacting so by 315am or so I was the only one left fishing. 2nd Captain Charlie had went up to the wheelhouse to inform them i was the only one at the rail as my bait gets a little scared and a bite occurs. Slowly engage it from free spool to about 1/4 of the drag (set at 26 pounds). Fish still running, I am confident the 2/0 circle hook is in the right spot, I move the drag to strike and it is game on.
This is a new rig to me (borrowed as I am in between reels and my new sticks are at Rob's house in Van Nuys awaiting me) that I was fairly happy with the performance. The fish never settled in and pretty much dictated where it wanted to go. The deck hands implored turning its head to get it stabilized and into a circle but I was unable to do so. Around the boat 7+ times with only one major tangle which was rectified in short order.
After 90+ minutes and maybe 40 feet from the gaff, the bastard of a fish made a run from the bow to the port stern and simultaneously rolled over. The line caught on what I imagine was his dorsal fin which stopped it from taking line, breaking the line. Game over not in the good way. I high five the deck hands to thank them as they went above and beyond with coaching. encouraging and coordinating the under/over dance. I rack my gear and head straight to the galley for a big swig of Woodford Reserve to gather my thoughts. The fish that was hooked 10 minutes after me comes aboard and it was a 190.
Bite 2 - 5am the next day Avet JX Raptor with 50lb test paired with a UC GP80 Mega
Flat falling with a 100gram in the chartreuse white color option, upgraded assist hooks. I hook a bluefin on the retrieve at about 130 feet and bring on a 50lb fish in 15 minutes or so. Skunk off the board, although 1/4th the size of the fish I lost the day before, feel somewhat better
Bite 3 - 830 am or so, same combo as #2
Flat falling with a 130G Katy Perry with a 8/0 Jobu hook and get short bit on the sink. Nothing to do or learn form here as the fish never gave me a shot
Bite 4 - 845 am Same rig
Bit on the retrieve, thirty second deep dive, drag at strike, I suck again. The fish drops the jig
Bite 5 - 848 am Same Rig
Bit on the sink, solidly on for a minute or so, gets weird. Fish un-buttoned. I check my set up and the 8/0 Jobu hook is gone. Split ring still attached, not bent, hook just went poof. Racking my brain trying to figure out what happened and I am in shock. Grab a beer or two and lament WTF could have happened and I cant come up with anything. Charter master comes over and tells me he had the same thing happen to him a few years back with a fish he caught. They gaffed his fish, the FF fell out of the fish's mouth without the hook. Split ring still attached and as strong as ever. I get over it and chalk it up to some times weird things happen
Bite 6 - 10am Same rig
I add 2 assist hooks to the top of the 130g Katy Perry and a 5/0 treble hook to the bottom. We are still on the same drift in a plunker bite with fish anywhere from 40 - 65 lbs coming aboard.
Fish are deep, I drop deep and get hammered on the retrieve at the same time my new buddy gets bit. I run up to the bow where the fish alternates from the surface to straight down, deep. 15 minutes through the fight I get chewed off. 2 hours or so later after multiple hand offs, my new buddy lands a 170 or so on 100lb test! Lesson to be learned here is i stood zero chance at landing my fish. Chalk it up to the price to pay for using 50lb gear where there are monsters around. The big ones had not shown in this new area but we all know they are out there.
Bite 7 - 6pm Talica 20 with an 80lb wind on UC GP80 Terminator
We motored further south about 18 miles with some intel that bigger fish are biting. Crew says nothing less than 80lb and we settle in for a plunker bite. I get bit on the slow retrieve and it makes a long run. plenty of line, no worries. Slowly gain 10 feet, lose 8, gain 15, loose 10, etc. Drag at strike as the fish is settling in nicely. 45 minutes in after a few trips around the boat, the line goes slack. FML. 3/0 hook attached was bent and opened up considerably.
Not feeling great about my abilities I chalk it up to the fish not being hooked in the corner of the mouth. Bad luck, back in the water I go
Bite 8 - 730 pm same set up
Deckhand Mitch set me up with a nice green back that gets inhaled as 5-6 of us hook up at the same time. I slowly engage the drag from frees pool to 1/4, then slack. The fish broke the line about 2/3 up the wind on. I feel stupid as I should have inspected. I made the same mistake 4 years ago and I guess that is how long it takes to forget about checking each connection, knot, line, etc. after each bite.
I am having an internal pity party as I have been humbled the last two days. Once I get my panties out of a wad and lick my wounds I do a little reflecting. Not sure on the numbers, but I got bit more than the average and had a nice 50lb fish in the RSW. Certainly my land ratio sucked and I hope that getting kicked in the teeth by these mean bastards makes me better.
The deckies were of the opinion that cold water bluefin this time of year are meaner now than fish in the summer or early winter. Certainly I would agree as all 5 of my 125lb - 150lb bft I had wrangled previously all succumbed to the gaff in under 20 minutes on similar gear. Maybe they were just massing my ego on my multiple failures but maybe not?
It is what it is, a little bad luck, a lot of sucking on my end and lots learned. A great crew and a great group of anglers would have had me enjoying myself with no bites. Made some new friends, caught up with old friends. Only real bad part now is I don't get to seek my revenge until early July as I have work trips scheduled out of town most of June. I will be ready with the rest of my new sticks and a few new reels!
Blacktail Mutsu. Most of my other big fish were on the same hookAwesome report! Same question as 2Rotten...If you don't mind, on Bite 7 just curious what brand and model of your hook? Again, great report and thank you for taking the considerable time to draft and share.