Mako on The Fly Part II

Discussion in 'Southern California Inshore & Islands Fish Reports' started by BiggestT, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. BiggestT

    BiggestT I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Did a trip Friday for a guest (Ben Lew) from New Jersey who was on his return leg from a fly fishing trip to Loreto where he caught 3 sailfish on the fly. Ben sought me out over at www.danblanton.com, as he had read about my wife and I's efforts on light tackle records for threshers and makos. He wanted his first mako on the fly and his dream was to get an IGFA World Record mako on the fly. I don't run charters, but I agreed to take Ben out for a record effort as I'm always game for those when I have the right people and Ben filled that bill. Ben helped out with costs and it got me down to SD where I was to fish Yellowtail on Saturday. I stayed at my brother-in-law's in Rancho Santa Fe.

    We launched out of Mission Bay to fish La Jolla Canyon. Conditions were not great with green to grey blue water. Did a drift in the Canyon for nada and then moved up to Carlsbad Canyon where a buddy got 4 on Tuesday. Conditions were worse there with green water. Did a short drift for nada and pulled to head to the upper 9. By now I'm getting frustrated as I'm mostly just running, looking for condition. I decided not to head to the 9 mile and turned back to do another drift deeper in tight in LJ Canyon. This was the right decision.

    As our last chum bucket was nearly drained and beautiful, petite Ukrainian wife "Val" says "look at the big shark!" I was in the middle of receiving casting instructions from Ben who specializes in tarpon. He could cast the feather duster of a shark fly and easy 60' into the wind with a beautiful type loop that just punched into the wind. Myself, I could get a 30' to 40' cast out there with a big floppy, dumpy loop. So I was all ears on the instruction. But when I heard "big shark" I was all captain and handed my guest the fly rod.

    He really wanted the Men's IGFA 16# tippet record which is currently a 72 lb 8 oz fish. I came prepared with a load cell scale and a stretcher to weigh a 100 lb mako live from Scripps Pier and then release it for a record. There are a number of charter guides who target makos on the fly gear out of San Diego. Anyone of those guys could easily break most of the IGFA mako records on fly, but they are all strident about releasing these fish. Being a newb, I really don't want to step on their toes by killing a fish for a record. Nope, if we're going to do it, it would be a live weigh and release. But really, this is no easy task. IGFA fly rigging allows only a 12" bite tippet (wire) and then you must have at least 15" of the 16 lb class tippet before you can have any semblance of a leader. All this means is that your 16 lb is right next to the fish which will abraid through it and you can't horse the fish on the leader. You can't use flying gaffs, only straight gaffs, but since we were aiming for a live weigh and release, I'd be tail roping it to subdue it. Then I'd slide it into the stretcher and haul it in, subdue it, sit on it and stuff a wash down hose down it's throat for the short run into Scripps Pier. We'd hang it from one of the chain ladders on the Pier, weigh it, dump it and be done with it. All very simple. Right. Somehow, 95% of that catch I just described is all in the end game. Did I say we were looking for about a 100 lb fish?

    Well what showed up in our chum slick was the biggest mako I've ever seen. I'm not experienced with estimating mako weights, but this was an easy 250 lb, if not 300 lb fish. Ben tried a green/yellow fly on 16 lb tippet rigging and the mako showed no interest. I quickly switched him to a pink/orange tube fly and for 20 minutes we played with this fish. I teased it with filets and it would swim at the fly, roll and eyeball it. It even chased it when it was stripped in, nosing it and turning away. Reality was we stood no chance with this fish on the fly gear. Eventually, I grabbed the only conventional gear I brought which was a 16 lb line class rig consisting of a TLD 15 and Shimano rod with Light Weight Roller Guides. I nervously tied a bimini and then connected up to a mako leader made of 2' of 175 lb single strand and 12' of 200 lb mono, for 14' total. (This is what I'd use for my wife to target 100 lb makos on 4 lb conventional for an IGFA record.) Threw out a mackerel filet and handed it to my guest. He got picked up and the fish went on a run but he got back everything. So he threw out again and this time he was on good.

    Some blistering runs, but the fish never jumped. His wife Val took many photos that I hope come out. He's flying home today, but will send them to me. He was on the fish 1 hour and 13 minutes. Prior to this he had not so kind words for the boat handling skills of the Mexican panga captains while on big fish. I asked him if saw any difference in boat handling skills between the Mexicans and myself? He said that he now understands how much of a difference it really makes. He got an eyeful of some boat handling skills as I showed him how to raise a big fish on light tackle using proper boat techniques.

    Anyhow, we both agreed the fish would be released as neither of us had the need for the meat nor really wanted anything to do with this fish at the end game. Plus I had him on the rod and his 100 lb Ukrainian wife Val on the camera. So it was really just me at the end game. My best hope was to leader the fish, get some photo shots and stick a tag in it. I leadered it, got wraps on the leader and as I pulled the fish's head up for a photo shot, the leader blew up in my hands.

    Remember I said that the leader was 14'? Well I ended up with a 3' piece in my hands and it was severely frayed there. Subtract some for the filet being down it's throat and such and suffice it to say, THIS WAS A BIG FISH. Even though it was on "gear guy stuff" (his words for conventional gear), Ben was pretty stoked. I mean he just released the biggest fish of his life on 16# tournament tackle. I've never seen a mako that big, let alone catch one. I usually just usually focus on the small fish (150 lb and less) on light tackle.

    Fact is, I haven't even worked a mako on the fly gear yet. Only guests of mine have and the first was Just this week. I need to make some time for Steve to get this done for himself. Maybe that will happen this week.

    For the inevitable BS without pics, well the photos will be coming. Hopefully photos of the fish in the water came out ok. Oh this fish showed up on the south wall of LJ Canyon on the 300 fathom line in clear green water. Looks like Ben just arrived home as he posted the following photo over at www.danblanton.com

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  2. BuonaForTuna

    BuonaForTuna Newbie

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    Good shit steve we need to get out there soon..
     
  3. 26grumpy

    26grumpy who hooked who

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    Sounds like it ate the entire 2' single wire, imagine that belly ache.
     
  4. BiggestT

    BiggestT I've posted enough I should edit this section

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  5. BuonaForTuna

    BuonaForTuna Newbie

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    Its a distant shot you can tell fish must have been atleast 15' or so away from the boat here that thing i bet was huge. Shoulda wacked em and ate that fucker. LOL
     
  6. bloodykillah

    bloodykillah Newbie

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    Circle hooks when you fish the fillet are the way to roll. Sound like the "client" should have gone with a real charter capt. Then he could have gotten what he wanted... a mako on the fly!
     
  7. BiggestT

    BiggestT I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Oh fuck me! I have 4 world records as a captain. You can lick my fucking ass. And it was a circle hook, which if you had any experience yourself, would know they are not guaranteed to stick in the corner of the mouth, especially on sharks. Take a hike you fag.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  8. BuonaForTuna

    BuonaForTuna Newbie

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    LOL and then there was that:Kick_emoticon::Kick_emoticon:
     
  9. ConSeaMate

    ConSeaMate Legend in my own mind

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    :rofl:............
     
  10. el capo

    el capo Member

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    I'd like to see you do better asshat.
     
  11. BuonaForTuna

    BuonaForTuna Newbie

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    Mustad 4480 DT and 2330 DT hooks are what i use on my cable rigs and have never lost one so no need to use a Circle hook havent lost one yet this year and so far to date we have hooked 10 makos released 7 kept 3 over 120lbs here is one that was caught 2 days ago on the rigs i make.
    fish 005.jpg

    fish 003.jpg
     
  12. BiggestT

    BiggestT I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Well, I've talked in detail with Conway Bowman who lead the small field of charter guys who target makos on the fly. He never rigs IGFA. When you're charging $700 to $800 a day, clients expect fish. He's using 24" of single strand wire and 50 lb mono for a leader. That will get you most fish up to 150 lbs on a release basis. Rig to IGFA standards with just 12" of wire bite tippet and 9 times out of 10 you will be on for a very short time, like less than a minute. Been there and done that. I had guys from Australia e-mailing me asking how to rig to get around this constraint as they could never come close to landing one due to the abrasion factor. So I looked into the rules in detail. The IGFA will allow a double hook rig with the second hook no further than 6" from the bend of the first hook. I suggested that he wire rig a second circle hook to the eye of the first hook, then cut the first hook at the start of the bend. That way there was no chance of hooking it on the first hook and quite possibly he'd get it with the second circle hook in the corner of the mouth. That way, he'd effectively get 18" of wire bite tippet when the basic rule says only 12". I'm always thinking of ways to maximize advantage within the rules and this is one example. So when this asshat here suggests a "real charter captain", I'll tell you that in this area I'm prabably one of the more innovative and forward thinking in the world.

    After this outing, we went out to dinner and Ben asked me a simple question: "why don't you run charters?" I responded "because I fish for recreation. As soon as I start running charters, it becomes a job and that's not spelled FUN!" Besides, I make better money using my mind.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  13. DaGoose

    DaGoose Go pound sand

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    Big T,

    Sounds like an epic day on the water!!!

    It's one thing to go out and whack a nice fish one day, it's another to do it with regularity.....and to do it with one day on a layover on the fly gear.........

    SWEEEEEETNESS

    Congrats and enjoy!

    :hali_ruahahaha::appl::doh::D

    Rick
     
  14. Tues

    Tues Not my job...

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    Sick!
    But the world is a Bigger "W" :D
     
  15. BuonaForTuna

    BuonaForTuna Newbie

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    Very true I see tons of Captains just get worn out on the whole joy of things because they are so damn stressed out about catching. I say we go out and fuck some shit up with mikey.
     
  16. el capo

    el capo Member

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    After this outing, we went out to dinner and Ben asked me a simple question: "why don't you run charters?" I responded "because I fish for recreation. As soon as I start running charters, it becomes a job and that's not spelled FUN!" Besides, I make better money using my mind.


    I can confirm this as I hated to fish when it was a job. Fish would be close to home, I would have free fuel, big boat loaded with bait, huge refrigerated fish holds, and every other thing that would make the average Joe want to fish but I was so over it because it was my job.
    <hr style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0);" size="1">
     
  17. BiggestT

    BiggestT I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Imagine if fucking was your job?:rofl:

    Honestly, I would never charter due to the pressure to produce. I'm used to performing and I know damn well that the vagaries of nature won't always allow that. I could not take $700 from someone and not produce the targeted species.

    Look at my report. I was running all over the place to find conditions for fish. Then look at that photo and how green that water was. Those were the best conditions I could find within 20 miles. In fact, I was on the phone with different people several times during the day trying to get up to date chlorophyll info to help in the search. How many "charter captains" would do that. Fact is, I saw all the boats of those "charter captains" and they were tied up at the dock. Everyone is a hero when the fishing is easy. When it's not, they're tied up at the dock.:ashamed:
     
  18. BiggestT

    BiggestT I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Jesse, I need you and Mikey to go out and troll swords at night when they're in good. Now that is a fish I don't mind fucking up and it takes guys with some serious cajones to do it.
     
  19. BuonaForTuna

    BuonaForTuna Newbie

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    LOL you dont have to ask me twice.. I have some new swordie ideas that mike (jagernauthunchback) and I decided would be smart to make. And I have tons of Swordie shit I havent used yet. You tell me when.
     
  20. Tunahead

    Tunahead Long Time Tuna Abused Member

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    GREAT READ STEVE and what a neat report...way to go!
     

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