Night fishing for BFT from private boat

Big_Tuna_

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Aug 3, 2017
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Bigtuna
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Parker 2310
Any private boaters (<30ft) have any luck night fishing for bft? I've tried it a few times and the best bite was sunset and sunrise. Big lull at night, but I hear the big sportfishing boats do well in the middle of the night? What gives?
 
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lowprofile

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  • Dec 11, 2011
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    chris
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    15 ft Saturn inflatable
    It’s all about lights.

    Get near the schools and turn on the lights. Once the lights go out it’s a shot in the dark weather you get them or not. It helps when you have a bunch of boats in the same area with lights on fishing.
     
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    Dudley613

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  • May 20, 2015
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    21' Cole superhawk "Beep Beep", 20' bayrunner open
    I think it has to do with the number of people fishing at night on sport boats. Look at the top two boats in the fleet, they almost force passengers to fish at night. When you have 20+ people dropping, the school reacts.
     
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    998R

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    May 22, 2008
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    M
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    Blue Monkey, BM2
    No problems here slaying them at night.

    2493B41D-AAE5-4739-B844-8E04F7877ED7.jpeg
     
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    DOGHOUSE26

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    Feb 22, 2004
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    26 Blackman Billfisher
    You can't catch them where they ain't; you need a guy up on the sonar or up and down meter to tell the crew when the fish are below the boat, otherwise your crew will burn out quickly dropping for fish that are not there. First find the zone where the sports are fishing at night but give them plenty of room; drive around until you see schools from 75-300' feet and stop. Bait in the water column is a plus and chunks will help them find you. Set up your lights and start dropping, if you're in the zone they will pass by but don't be afraid to move often and find another school. And be sure to use a proven jig preferably in the 350-400 gram size if there is any wind at all chances are much better if your line is straight up and down.
     
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    ZZZZZ

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    Dec 11, 2003
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    I think it’s the quality of sonar and skill in finding/locating fish around contour lines.

    This. $50,000 in fish finding machines and a so cal captain. Including side scan sonar. Who is on the water using sonar to hunt 250 days a year as a career. Pro

    Technical and experienced private boaters do get them 🤙🏾

    But it's not easy so most pay a big boat. That does it for a living to take them over the fish. With full galley, hot showers, and a bunk
     
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    DOGHOUSE26

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    Feb 22, 2004
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    This. $50,000 in fish finding machines and a so cal captain. Including side scan sonar. Who is on the water using sonar to hunt 250 days a year as a career. Pro

    Technical and experienced private boaters do get them 🤙🏾

    But it's not easy so most pay a big boat. That does it for a living to take them over the fish. With full galley, hot showers, and a bunk
    Ain't that the truth! When the Big BFT were biting good the night before off Ensenada in May some 65-70 miles down a buddy and I left @ 6PM and got down to the fleet by 10:30PM and I made my rounds through the fleet and only saw 2-3 sportboats with a single fish going and after it was boated they picked up and moved on. We stopped and tried jigging on a couple of them even though I saw nothing but bait on the meter. This went on until 230AM when I crashed and my buddy went to a bait/sinker rig until dawn with no luck; most of the sportboats had moved out. We then switched to MadMacs for the next 6-7 hours for nada and ended up back on the 9 Mile Bank by 5PM for a quick limit of rockcod. Next morning paid $816 for 112 gallons of diesel; add the bait and it was a $900 tuna skunk. That's $450 each and after thinking about it We could have ridden a top LR Boat on a 1-1/2 day trip for limits, with warm food, cold drinks and plenty of time to sleep while somebody else drove. It didn't make sense then and now and I'll limit my future night time Tuna jigging trips to 30-40 miles max to keep the costs and time spent reasonable.
     
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    Cole418

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  • Jul 18, 2019
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    Ain't that the truth! When the Big BFT were biting good the night before off Ensenada in May some 65-70 miles down a buddy and I left @ 6PM and got down to the fleet by 10:30PM and I made my rounds through the fleet and only saw 2-3 sportboats with a single fish going and after it was boated they picked up and moved on. We stopped and tried jigging on a couple of them even though I saw nothing but bait on the meter. This went on until 230AM when I crashed and my buddy went to a bait/sinker rig until dawn with no luck; most of the sportboats had moved out. We then switched to MadMacs for the next 6-7 hours for nada and ended up back on the 9 Mile Bank by 5PM for a quick limit of rockcod. Next morning paid $816 for 112 gallons of diesel; add the bait and it was a $900 tuna skunk. That's $450 each and after thinking about it We could have ridden a top LR Boat on a 1-1/2 day trip for limits, with warm food, cold drinks and plenty of time to sleep while somebody else drove. It didn't make sense then and now and I'll limit my future night time Tuna jigging trips to 30-40 miles max to keep the costs and time spent reasonable.
    Yep. haha.

    I haven't done the sportie thing yet but plan to this next year for early season night BF.

    Night fishing already is tough....even when you aren't the captain IMO.
     
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    Danthefishman

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    Oct 30, 2006
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    Dan
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    Aquasport 215DC
    Ain't that the truth! When the Big BFT were biting good the night before off Ensenada in May some 65-70 miles down a buddy and I left @ 6PM and got down to the fleet by 10:30PM and I made my rounds through the fleet and only saw 2-3 sportboats with a single fish going and after it was boated they picked up and moved on. We stopped and tried jigging on a couple of them even though I saw nothing but bait on the meter. This went on until 230AM when I crashed and my buddy went to a bait/sinker rig until dawn with no luck; most of the sportboats had moved out. We then switched to MadMacs for the next 6-7 hours for nada and ended up back on the 9 Mile Bank by 5PM for a quick limit of rockcod. Next morning paid $816 for 112 gallons of diesel; add the bait and it was a $900 tuna skunk. That's $450 each and after thinking about it We could have ridden a top LR Boat on a 1-1/2 day trip for limits, with warm food, cold drinks and plenty of time to sleep while somebody else drove. It didn't make sense then and now and I'll limit my future night time Tuna jigging trips to 30-40 miles max to keep the costs and time spent reasonable.
    IMO that one fish caught with just you and a buddy on your own boat is so much cooler and memorable than one where a pro drives the boat, finds the fish, and tells you to "drop now!" Fighting fish takes skill no doubt, but finding them and being able to get them on board a private boat is what it's all about. For me atleast 😁
     
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    ZZZZZ

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    Dec 11, 2003
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    Of course but most private boaters don't have the electronics, skills, motivation, balls or money (a lot of night skunks) to fish that way and be consistent at night. Kudos to those who can. Experts 🤙🏾

    Most all of the expert small boat paid charters don't fish night BFT.

    Ain't that the truth! When the Big BFT were biting good the night before off Ensenada in May some 65-70 miles down a buddy and I left @ 6PM and got down to the fleet by 10:30PM and I made my rounds through the fleet and only saw 2-3 sportboats with a single fish going and after it was boated they picked up and moved on. We stopped and tried jigging on a couple of them even though I saw nothing but bait on the meter. This went on until 230AM when I crashed and my buddy went to a bait/sinker rig until dawn with no luck; most of the sportboats had moved out. We then switched to MadMacs for the next 6-7 hours for nada and ended up back on the 9 Mile Bank by 5PM for a quick limit of rockcod. Next morning paid $816 for 112 gallons of diesel; add the bait and it was a $900 tuna skunk. That's $450 each and after thinking about it We could have ridden a top LR Boat on a 1-1/2 day trip for limits, with warm food, cold drinks and plenty of time to sleep while somebody else drove. It didn't make sense then and now and I'll limit my future night time Tuna jigging trips to 30-40 miles max to keep the costs and time spent reasonable.

    The fleet also talk with each other constantly to stay on the fish as best as possible. They fan out and report back to each other

    The fleet has a huge resource of real time information to work off of

    When the weather is shit house and nobody is sport fishing. The foul weather will move the fish around. Takes the fleet 1-3 days to relocate the meat.

    Btw private boaters do not need to locate meat. Just a few fish to satisfy the boat

    Sport boats need allot more fish to be successful. Private boaters that stay outside the fleet in the day, do the best often
     
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