Offshore I Suck Again - BFT Own Me

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MattFred1414

Member
  • Jan 3, 2020
    494
    1,036
    27
    San Diego
    Name
    Matt
    Boat
    20ft Skeeter Zx20Bay
    You’re more than welcome to chase fish on my rig If you wanna forget about that trip.

    I had three break offs as well so I feel your pain.
     
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    pascuale

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Aug 14, 2004
    1,730
    766
    39
    San Diego
    Name
    Ethan
    Boat
    3rd world country panga fleet
    I caught a 235 on 80lb Avet HX Raptor that was an absolute Demon. Thing was insane, the runs, then charging the boat nonstop. Those things are mean. It was just one of those trips. We all have em. Then its like you end up second guessing every move. Its tough to shake.
     
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    FISHNFRANK

    Almost A Member
    Dec 24, 2004
    136
    68
    57
    Fullerton, CA
    Name
    Frank
    Boat
    Cabin
    You got a lot of bites. I only got four in 2.5 days and I was one of the luckier ones, recently, and ended up with a 101 but losing a much bigger fish. It’s a numbers game - with about 50% losses on bigger fish due to every reason you can imagine. I used to fish bigger YFT - it’s the same thing. Hang in there. Once I got two plus 200 YFT I quit fishing for them, mainly because it’s frustrating and so one dimensional. I like variety but big BFT is what we have now so that’s what it is.
     
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    terryc.

    Member
    Mar 12, 2006
    906
    453
    Chatsworth
    Name
    Terry
    Boat
    20 ft. Marlin cc
    Dude let it go its just fishing no rhyme or reason to it I sucked also. Too bad we didn't know each other before the trip I could have have picked up your new rods for ya.
     
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    Rivergil

    Newbie
    Apr 20, 2011
    59
    106
    Mammoth, CA
    Name
    Kevin
    Boat
    Whichever I can afford
    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!
    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.

    Echoing what others have said; Once that fish is hooked, the clock starts ticking and that time is always different and always finite. Kinda have to fight it like you stole it...but everything has to be up to the task.

    We're all gonna make mistakes. My goal on fishing trips is to make only new mistakes😄
    I enjoyed your "by the bite" reporting format!
     
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    NaClAddict

    Member
  • Jul 18, 2008
    549
    422
    torrance
    Name
    Greg
    Boat
    22 glasstron
    There are lots of posts about fight duration. Lots of fish see the boat once before the fight begins. Time to lever on the rail, you can get a gaff shot at them then. If they run big, settle in. I’d rather pull hard and lose it in 20 min than 2:20.

    I agree if the bite is on rope up. My FF/heavy drop is a 4/0 avet pro 130 hollow to 150’ 100 lb izor. Using a 6455 xxh calstar or 760xh.
     
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    Krsone

    Newbie
    Jul 16, 2014
    44
    166
    43
    Name
    kris colin
    Boat
    seaswirl 2101 wa "clown show"
    Epic report,I have been talking with some buddies and I think a bluefin tuna support group might be useful.I was thinking about setting something up down at the landings right next to the fish processing.While other guys are turning in their catch we can all cry together about how those bluefin have kicked us in the balls.Remember it’s not you it’s them.
     

    Senko888

    Newbie
    Dec 8, 2020
    40
    40
    San francisco
    Name
    Scott
    Boat
    Hobie outback
    Some parts of fishing you just can’t control.

    It’s hard to remember to check your knots and leader. Clear your mind of the stuff that doesn’t help, and have a mental checklist of what to do. It’ll become automatic over time.

    Get plenty of rest. Sleep deprivation during the night bite may result in lost fish. Can probably sleep during the day when the fish don’t want to play and not miss a damn thing. Just have a buddy wake you up when they do.

    For chew offs- fish a heavier leader 200lb for flatfalls. If they are line shy and won’t bite the heavy leader, can downsize to 80 lb florou but compensate by bridling large circle hook.
     
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    NaClAddict

    Member
  • Jul 18, 2008
    549
    422
    torrance
    Name
    Greg
    Boat
    22 glasstron
    You and the crew want you to catch fish. Lotta guys get butt hurt and the crew has to not offend people. Ask, if you don’t understand, ask them to show you. Maybe not possible on a hot bite. Rigging, bait selection, jig drop time, weight selection, can all be crucial. Listen to their suggestions. Watch “hot“ sticks, emulate them but only fish gear and styles you have confidence in unless you’re trying to learn.

    I look at riding a big ticket as an opportunity to learn from the pros. Deckhand, cook, captain, they’re all to notch fishermen. They’re usually pretty good teachers. It’s funny how donkeys don’t listen with their big ears.
     
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    jiggyn

    Do you even fish?
    Jan 26, 2008
    6,331
    3,608
    Torrance
    Name
    Jerr
    Boat
    shit talking
    man you put your time in for sure and worked hard at it

    Here is my 2 cents

    blue fin run and pull but do not fight as hard as most would assume
    We slayed a lot of big ones last year and starting it again this year
    They are warm blooded and want to hit that thermal to cool off

    Fight them with heavier drag, lay it to them from the start and they will give up quick

    Remember guys are killing big ones on long rods and non cow gear

    get back out there and bring them over the rail
     
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    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    9,212
    3,175
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat
    several
    After 60+ years tuna fishing, some simple advice...
    1. Never SWING on a Tuna using circle hooks. Just wind tight. Same w/J-hooks, half my life. LOL
    2. Never think you have to COWBOY tuna. They will burn out themselves IF your use PATIENCE
    as your ally. Stay tight/no slack. GL Fishing them.
     
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