Late (3 day) report....BRIDLE WORKS..."dont fish 80"..and other stories

effigy

Member
Jul 18, 2007
963
885
Oregon
Name
Mark
Boat
Which one? Too many....
There have been so many bluefin reports....so I wasn't going to bother with one more. But I did have a few "nuggets" of learning that might help others. So here goes.

Mid-July trip with Capt Lackey. So, you know the boat. After this trip, I believe his reputation as "bluefin whisperer" is justified. Just a fabulous, all-around trip. Great weather. Great people. Great fishing. Great crew, food. All boxes checked.

I guess I was a little lucky on the bluefin. 185, 165, 130, 90, and a couple schoolies. Big fish at night on the knife jigs. NOT flat falls ( which should be called " slow sink")

The bridle rig works! Thank you Afraser, and Danny Noonan. One fish on the bridle, when it hit the deck I thought I lost the jig. But wait...the jig is hiding inside the mouth & throat!

The 185 lb was on my 80 lb rig.....UC Centaur, avet HX raptor 3 speed. Got my ass kicked! Devil fish. The rod handled it, but the reel...even with the lowest gear....was hard to grind [small handle? Ergonomics?)

Switched to the 100 rig, Mak 20 on a SS 2 x 4. No problems

Lesson: when Capt says "nothing less than 80" that doesn't mean you should fish 80.

Fast dropping knife jigs and good freespool were key. Jig color did not matter.

Story: Daytime schoolies, mixed grade. On a long soak with fathom 15LD2, 35 lb fluoro leader. Get picked up. Fish just swam out over horizon....like it didn't know (or care) it was hooked. Put max pressure, rod straight up, etc. No stopping. Once I saw the spool arbor, locked it down. Broke at hook (yay, my FG knot held!,). Spool was hot to the touch. There's a couple lessons in there..

The biggest shock was....just how violent the big fish pull & shake after coming tight. Dropping to a knee and hanging on for dear life, with a shout of "holy crap!!"

The biggest part of trip for me was...how much I learned. Both from hooking the fish, and talking to Mr Lackey & crew. Most trips I'm happy to learn a few nuggets. This was a master class.

2 more trips in October; I can't wait!

Screenshot_20210714-094125_Gmail.jpg


Screenshot_20210727-230357_Message+.jpg
 
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Scold

Yes, that's my back.
Dec 1, 2009
3,506
2,173
San Jose, CA
Name
Jon
Boat
N/A :(
Mike is without a doubt one of the best captains we have. He is one of, if not the most knowledgeable bluefin guys and he is probably the friendliest skipper down there. I’ve watched a novice LR guy ask him the most mundane questions about electronics or what he’s looking for when eyeing the temp chart and he enthusiastically explains everything he is doing. He has undoubtedly answered those questions thousands of times but he never gives off that vibe. My only wish is that he had a bigger and more up-to-date boat. Clone the Indy or the RP and put him at the helm and I’d never fish another vessel down there.

Thanks for the report and great job man! You slayed em!
 
FishRock
FishRock
"My only wish is that he had a bigger and more up-to-date boat. Clone the Indy or the RP."

If Mike ran a bigger boat there would be another 10 new best friends to deal with on every trip.

I will stay with the smaller boats.

Though when the weather is up I sometimes have second thoughts.
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Scold
Scold
I don't just mean bigger for bigger's sake. I also mean all of the amenities and level of food. The vag is fine for short trips, but on my one long vacation a year where I get to go offshore for 9-12 days, I don't want to rough it. I'll take the extra people on board to have a smoother ride, better food, better amenities, and an overall more updated vessel.
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effigy

Member
Jul 18, 2007
963
885
Oregon
Name
Mark
Boat
Which one? Too many....
Mike is without a doubt one of the best captains we have. He is one of, if not the most knowledgeable bluefin guys and he is probably the friendliest skipper down there. I’ve watched a novice LR guy ask him the most mundane questions about electronics or what he’s looking for when eyeing the temp chart and he enthusiastically explains everything he is doing. He has undoubtedly answered those questions thousands of times but he never gives off that vibe. My only wish is that he had a bigger and more up-to-date boat. Clone the Indy or the RP and put him at the helm and I’d never fish another vessel down there.

Thanks for the report and great job man! You slayed em!
Thank you Scold for the kind words. I like to fish the bow as much as possible. So a number of times, I found myself next to Mike soaking a bait. I got to engage him in various topics, such as.....choice of monofilament . One thing that really impressed me was that....when I asked him "what (fill in blank) do you choose, he didn't just give the short answer. He explained WHY he chose X. Then I had the "aaahhhh....I understand" moment. And I had a bunch of those lightbulb moments.

That really meant a lot to me. Almost more than catching the fish.

So yea, I get what you mean.....exactly.

Cheerio, Mark
 

Scold

Yes, that's my back.
Dec 1, 2009
3,506
2,173
San Jose, CA
Name
Jon
Boat
N/A :(
Thank you Scold for the kind words. I like to fish the bow as much as possible. So a number of times, I found myself next to Mike soaking a bait. I got to engage him in various topics, such as.....choice of monofilament . One thing that really impressed me was that....when I asked him "what (fill in blank) do you choose, he didn't just give the short answer. He explained WHY he chose X. Then I had the "aaahhhh....I understand" moment. And I had a bunch of those lightbulb moments.

That really meant a lot to me. Almost more than catching the fish.

So yea, I get what you mean.....exactly.

Cheerio, Mark
Precisely what I mean. He loooooooves to share his knowledge and all one has to do is ask. Whenever I fish on the Vag I always come away knowing more than I did before the trip.
 
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aguachico

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jul 20, 2004
6,805
2,174
El Lago Tijuana
Name
Art
Boat
Trident Yak- Grady White Seafarer
Listened Mike at a BFT seminar. He said the fishery is always changing, so much so that he is still learning how to fish them everyday. Amazing.
 
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Cubeye

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jan 26, 2007
3,850
2,948
Los Angeles
Name
Kub
Boat
17' Gregor
There have been so many bluefin reports....so I wasn't going to bother with one more. But I did have a few "nuggets" of learning that might help others. So here goes.

Mid-July trip with Capt Lackey. So, you know the boat. After this trip, I believe his reputation as "bluefin whisperer" is justified. Just a fabulous, all-around trip. Great weather. Great people. Great fishing. Great crew, food. All boxes checked.

I guess I was a little lucky on the bluefin. 185, 165, 130, 90, and a couple schoolies. Big fish at night on the knife jigs. NOT flat falls ( which should be called " slow sink")

The bridle rig works! Thank you Afraser, and Danny Noonen. One fish on the bridle, when it hit the deck I thought I lost the jig. But wait...the jig is hiding inside the mouth & throat!

The 185 lb was on my 80 lb rig.....UC Centaur, avet HX raptor 3 speed. Got my ass kicked! Devil fish. The rod handled it, but the reel...even with the lowest gear....was hard to grind [small handle? Ergonomics?)

Switched to the 100 rig, Mak 20 on a SS 2 x 4. No problems

Lesson: when Capt says "nothing less than 80" that doesn't mean you should fish 80.

Fast dropping knife jigs and good freespool were key. Jig color did not matter.

Story: Daytime schoolies, mixed grade. On a long soak with fathom 15LD2, 35 lb fluoro leader. Get picked up. Fish just swam out over horizon....like it didn't know (or care) it was hooked. Put max pressure, rod straight up, etc. No stopping. Once I saw the spool arbor, locked it down. Broke at hook (yay, my FG knot held!,). Spool was hot to the touch. There's a couple lessons in there..

The biggest shock was....just how violent the big fish pull & shake after coming tight. Dropping to a knee and hanging on for dear life, with a shout of "holy f***!!"

The biggest part of trip for me was...how much I learned. Both from hooking the fish, and talking to Mr Lackey & crew. Most trips I'm happy to learn a few nuggets. This was a master class.

2 more trips in October; I can't wait!

View attachment 1303247

View attachment 1303248
Would you care to tell us about the knife jig that you used?
Weight?
Length?
Brand?
Color?
 
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Steve K
Steve K
I hate to be buying more tackle, but with a 2.5 coming up in a couple of weeks… I read Doug’s report on the RP 4 Day. Rip Roller, knife jigs, 400 grams, I believe.
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IronMikeAC

Member
Aug 2, 2013
946
1,053
torrance, ca
Name
Mike
Boat
Vagabond
There have been so many bluefin reports....so I wasn't going to bother with one more. But I did have a few "nuggets" of learning that might help others. So here goes.

Mid-July trip with Capt Lackey. So, you know the boat. After this trip, I believe his reputation as "bluefin whisperer" is justified. Just a fabulous, all-around trip. Great weather. Great people. Great fishing. Great crew, food. All boxes checked.

I guess I was a little lucky on the bluefin. 185, 165, 130, 90, and a couple schoolies. Big fish at night on the knife jigs. NOT flat falls ( which should be called " slow sink")

The bridle rig works! Thank you Afraser, and Danny Noonen. One fish on the bridle, when it hit the deck I thought I lost the jig. But wait...the jig is hiding inside the mouth & throat!

The 185 lb was on my 80 lb rig.....UC Centaur, avet HX raptor 3 speed. Got my ass kicked! Devil fish. The rod handled it, but the reel...even with the lowest gear....was hard to grind [small handle? Ergonomics?)

Switched to the 100 rig, Mak 20 on a SS 2 x 4. No problems

Lesson: when Capt says "nothing less than 80" that doesn't mean you should fish 80.

Fast dropping knife jigs and good freespool were key. Jig color did not matter.

Story: Daytime schoolies, mixed grade. On a long soak with fathom 15LD2, 35 lb fluoro leader. Get picked up. Fish just swam out over horizon....like it didn't know (or care) it was hooked. Put max pressure, rod straight up, etc. No stopping. Once I saw the spool arbor, locked it down. Broke at hook (yay, my FG knot held!,). Spool was hot to the touch. There's a couple lessons in there..

The biggest shock was....just how violent the big fish pull & shake after coming tight. Dropping to a knee and hanging on for dear life, with a shout of "holy f***!!"

The biggest part of trip for me was...how much I learned. Both from hooking the fish, and talking to Mr Lackey & crew. Most trips I'm happy to learn a few nuggets. This was a master class.

2 more trips in October; I can't wait!

View attachment 1303247

View attachment 1303248
Congrats Mark. Nice haul. And yes Lackey is the best.
 
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Blind Luck

Member
Feb 14, 2015
357
873
Temecula
Name
Mike Grieco
Boat
MALAKAS
Mike, Cam, and the whole crew has the bft gift.
My freezer has been packed every year for about 4 years. JUST LISTEN TO WHAT THEY TELL YOU. Last 3day...Phenix Rods...Seth kept yelling pressure...look at picture...no pressure ...no fish

Resized_Resized_Resized_Screenshot_20210724-140637_Instagram.jpeg
 

Fincutter

Member
Oct 3, 2016
602
606
60
Bartlett, IL
Name
Greg
Boat
Looking for a new one
If Capt Mike had a boat like the Indy or X, I'd be on it every single trip. Don't get me wrong, the Vagabond is a great boat. It's just that I've gotten a bit fussy about boat size for longer trips. For anything 5 days or less, I'd ride the Vagabond in a heartbeat.
 
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effigy

Member
Jul 18, 2007
963
885
Oregon
Name
Mark
Boat
Which one? Too many....
Would you care to tell us about the knife jig that you used?
Weight?
Length?
Brand?
Color?

I'll answer your question but preface it with this: the guys who were really getting bit (about 3 or 4 of us) had completely different color gigs, mostly non-glow or very little glow. What we all had in common were long skinny (and somewhat heavy) jigs that sank fast.

I got bit well on the Williamson Kinsaki, 280 gram. That was rigged with a single, Mustad heavy cord big-ass assist hook at the bottom.




I got a couple others on this knife jig (same as photo, but 400 gram and close to a foot long) bridle rigged. I bought these like 15 years ago; they are no longer made. But you get the idea.

20210728_104020.jpg


One other tidbit. On both my 80 & 100 lb rigs, I used JB hollow core. 30 to 40 ft of heavy mono on top (L 2 L insertion), then 150 feet of white hollow core, then spliced to the JB "patriot" which changes color every 30 ft. This way I could let it fly with the white line and not have to start counting till it was 150 - 180 ft down.


20210728_104143.jpg
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,685
7,765
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Congratulations, Mark! Good catching, great trip! I’m booked on my first trip on Vagabond next year, mid July. Whether it’s Cameron or Mike, I’m enthusiastic!
 
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Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,685
7,765
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
Measured line, I have it on top. Going to do what you’ve done. Will put 100’ on top and then use the metered stuff for getting it dialed.
 
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Cubeye

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jan 26, 2007
3,850
2,948
Los Angeles
Name
Kub
Boat
17' Gregor
I'll answer your question but preface it with this: the guys who were really getting bit (about 3 or 4 of us) had completely different color gigs, mostly non-glow or very little glow. What we all had in common were long skinny (and somewhat heavy) jigs that sank fast.

I got bit well on the Williamson Kinsaki, 280 gram. That was rigged with a single, Mustad heavy cord big-ass assist hook at the bottom.




I got a couple others on this knife jig (same as photo, but 400 gram and close to a foot long) bridle rigged. I bought these like 15 years ago; they are no longer made. But you get the idea.

View attachment 1303385

One other tidbit. On both my 80 & 100 lb rigs, I used JB hollow core. 30 to 40 ft of heavy mono on top (L 2 L insertion), then 150 feet of white hollow core, then spliced to the JB "patriot" which changes color every 30 ft. This way I could let it fly with the white line and not have to start counting till it was 150 - 180 ft down.


View attachment 1303386
Thank you for the information. It's very much appreciated. I always wondered how long a jig could be used with the Afraser rigging (bridle method) and still hook the fish. Now I know.

Can I assume that you used only one circle hook at the top of the jig?
 
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effigy

Member
Jul 18, 2007
963
885
Oregon
Name
Mark
Boat
Which one? Too many....
Thank you for the information. It's very much appreciated. I always wondered how long a jig could be used with the Afraser rigging (bridle method) and still hook the fish. Now I know.

Can I assume that you used only one circle hook at the top of the jig?

Yep. Owner Super mutu 10/0. Had Guy at ringedhooks put the extra large / thick ring on them.

20210728_131018.jpg
 
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Spear or rod

Member
  • Aug 31, 2008
    352
    147
    San Francisco
    Name
    Tommy T
    Boat
    Anything that floats
    I'll answer your question but preface it with this: the guys who were really getting bit (about 3 or 4 of us) had completely different color gigs, mostly non-glow or very little glow. What we all had in common were long skinny (and somewhat heavy) jigs that sank fast.

    I got bit well on the Williamson Kinsaki, 280 gram. That was rigged with a single, Mustad heavy cord big-ass assist hook at the bottom.




    I got a couple others on this knife jig (same as photo, but 400 gram and close to a foot long) bridle rigged. I bought these like 15 years ago; they are no longer made. But you get the idea.

    View attachment 1303385

    One other tidbit. On both my 80 & 100 lb rigs, I used JB hollow core. 30 to 40 ft of heavy mono on top (L 2 L insertion), then 150 feet of white hollow core, then spliced to the JB "patriot" which changes color every 30 ft. This way I could let it fly with the white line and not have to start counting till it was 150 - 180 ft down.


    View attachment 1303386
    Are these the Mustad assist hooks you were using on the bottom of the Kajiki jigs? Could only find them to 7/0. Thx for detailed report. Fishing w/Mike & crew in Sept so will use this info!! Congrats on quality fish. Tommy

    A8839D06-E1EE-4DCA-BFB9-F34DDEEF3757.jpeg
     
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    effigy

    Member
    Jul 18, 2007
    963
    885
    Oregon
    Name
    Mark
    Boat
    Which one? Too many....
    Are these the Mustad assist hooks you were using on the bottom of the Kajiki jigs? Could only find them to 7/0. Thx for detailed report. Fishing w/Mike & crew in Sept so will use this info!! Congrats on quality fish. Tommy
    Tommy, that hook & cord is perfectly fine..... "Lackey approved." However, since it is on a solid ring, now you need a split ring to attach it. So you have to make SURE to use a very high quality split ring.
     
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    2Rotten

    Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
    Jan 10, 2010
    536
    1,202
    Junction City OR
    Name
    Rod Lathrop
    Boat
    24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
    Great job Mark, nice load of fish, interesting and useful report.
     
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    effigy
    effigy
    Hello neighbor! This is ongoing, endless learning. I learned from your last report (and your FG knot coaching) so I return the favor. And let me know if you need a chunk of bluefin....
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    Mr. DRE

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Sep 23, 2019
    1,219
    1,317
    West Hills, CA
    Name
    Andre
    Boat
    Private
    Great job. I've been lucky enough to get quite a few triple digits (no cows though) on a similar set up.