Nine Days and Counting...

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by Rodless_Jim, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Mexico, DF, Mexico
    Name:
    Jim
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    Strictly a Rider
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    So it's almost time again. Rodless is going back on Intrepid on a 15-day limited load adventure to see what can be seen, catch (hopefully!) what can be caught.

    Yes, I promise I will try to take notes. No, I DO NOT PROMISE THAT I WILL WRITE A REPORT. I only promise that if I post a report here, I won't even start to post it until the report is actually finished. My memory has been so bad the past couple of years that once I start, I lose track. That's not going to happen this time. All or nothing.

    This is a bit of a mixed group. There are a lot of people I know well and like...maybe 65% regular's from Ken Bush and Miles Callison's October variety trip, including charter master Mike Boshard, one of the truly nice people in the world. Lots of good Summer/Fall anglers, but some a little light on big fish experience. The whole group, though, is a great bunch of folks, and I am totally geeked at this point.

    On the water reports will depend on:

    1. How the Internet is going
    2. If I find I have time
    3. If I find I have the motivation

    For the rest, busy getting prepped these days. So many little tasks to complete, but that's the fun of it.

    Here we go...
     
  2. Fyremo

    Fyremo Newbie

    Location:
    Seal Beach
    Name:
    Scott
    Boat:
    I wish
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    With your invaluable help, I am almost prepped. Sooooo much to do.
     
    tugasangler, Rodless_Jim and jiggyn like this.
  3. potuna

    potuna Unknown member

    Location:
    San Diego Ca. USA
    Name:
    Pete
    Boat:
    Royal Star, Excel, Royal Polaris, Red Rooster, Shogun and somebody else's.
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    Have a great trip Jim, go get em.
     
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  4. Bill W

    Bill W tunaholic

    Location:
    Chino Hills, Ca.
    Name:
    Bill Walsh
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    Red Rooster
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    Wish you the best Jim, sounds like a good group...
     
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  5. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Mexico, DF, Mexico
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    Jim
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    Thanks, gentlemen!
     
  6. Brad I

    Brad I Common Sense Isn't Common Enough

    Location:
    San Fernando Valley
    Name:
    Brad I
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    Nope
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    Have fun and catch fish!
     
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  7. screamingreel

    screamingreel Long Range Fanatic

    Location:
    Hayward CA
    Name:
    Jeff Burroughs
    Boat:
    Long Range and Private
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    Bon chance! Have an awesome trip, Jim.

    - Jeff Burroughs
     
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  8. RockHopperNCKA

    RockHopperNCKA Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Name:
    Dustin
    Boat:
    Do kayaks count?
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    Good luck!
     
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  9. Pangamaster

    Pangamaster Cow Town Here I come!

    Location:
    San Ramon, CA
    Name:
    Dave
    Boat:
    SD Long Range or Bay Area Day Boats.
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    Have a great trip!
     
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  10. hilltop

    hilltop lurking in the shallows

    Location:
    sb 805
    Name:
    hilltop
    Boat:
    sold, pangas, Intrepid, and diggin the RRIII
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    Jealous!!! Rip it up and have fun!!!!!
     
    Rodless_Jim likes this.
  11. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Mexico, DF, Mexico
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    Jim
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    Thanks guys! I have a really good feeling about this trip. Really well prepared, done a lot of thinking ahead of time, and ready to roll!
     
  12. vegasandre

    vegasandre I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Andre
    Boat:
    Any Boat that I can go on
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    Hi Jim good luck on your trip !

    I am sitting here on the RP with one day left to travel under calm seas. looks like we are starting at Clarion first . will know soon .

    If anyone is interested I am posting several daily updates on the water style on Instagram @bluechum also on FB but Instagram is better- all with pics.
     
  13. picasso

    picasso Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    los angeles
    Name:
    joe
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    17 Boston Whaler
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    "Laissez les bon temp roulez!"
     
  14. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Mexico, DF, Mexico
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    Jim
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    Again, thanks for the good wishes! I am really keeping my fingers crossed!

    Andre, it was great meeting you at dinner with the Intrepid charter on the 28th. I would follow your Instagram report, but I'm not ON Instagram, and I can't even figure out how to sign up.
    :(
     
  15. Steve K

    Steve K Hey, I'm gettin' bit...

    Location:
    Bishop
    Name:
    Steve
    Boat:
    18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
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    Instagram? I'm lucky when I get just the right amount of water in my Instant Oatmeal.;)

    Good trip to you, Jim.
     
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  16. Squid Sammich

    Squid Sammich Well-Known "Member"

    Location:
    Texas
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    Matt
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    To be determined
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    Jim, could you give us an in depth account of your rod arsenal and what specific tasks/line rating you intend to use them for. I know I read one of your accounts before but I believe your weapons cache has grown and things may have changed. Also if the sardines are not good sized like this last batch what contingency plans or alternative techniques might you try to boost your odds of adding to your cow tally?
     
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  17. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

    Location:
    The "718"
    Name:
    John
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    A big Steel One
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    Why in gods name would you ask him that question!!!!!

    There isnt enough bandwidth in the entire web for an answer of that magnitude from Rodless (who is far, far, far from Rodless).
     
  18. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Mexico, DF, Mexico
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    Jim
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    Actually, Matthew, my weapons cache has shrunk a little...or I should say I am not planning to bring so many this time. Taking the advice (and following the example) of more experienced anglers, I intend to utilize the versatility of my gear. That doesn't mean that I am going "bare bones" exactly, but I definitely won't be the person on the boat with the most outfits.

    The thing that matters (in my opinion) is that I plan to be ready to fish in a lot of different ways. That may mean re-rigging when I want to change my approach, which is something I have avoided in the past when I could. This time around, I expect to change things up as needed, fishing the same combination of rod and reel two or three different ways.

    So to best answer your question, I'm going to paste here my answer to potuna's question, with edits and comments.

    When I'm making my tackle list, I consider the various ways in which I plan to fish and how to rig for each tactic. I want to go ready to use all of the following techniques/tactics/outfits:

    - 200lb Kite
    I have my own kite outfit, and I dedicate that outfit just for the kite...one of two setups I don't plan to re-rig. Mine is a Makaira 50W II SEa, mounted on a UC Gladiator. The reel has 900+ yards of hollow spectra. This trip I will splice on a short top shot of 220lb Fluoro...long enough to make sure that even a very large tuna isn't whipping the spectra with its tail, but not a whole lot longer. I'm going to crimp on a 300lb Escape-proof swivel, and following a suggestion from Bill W, this trip I will include a kite ring.

    I make my kite leaders according to the directions the crew gives me. I use ringed grommets (I get mine from www.bhptackle.com) to connect my leaders to the swivel. Given a choice, I will always use circle hooks instead of J-hooks (had a bad experience where I lost a gigantic tuna on my first ever kite rotation on my first ever cow trip, because I didn't set the hook correctly with a big J-hook...just ask fishybuzz or harddrive). I never use less than 200lb fluoro, and I prefer to use 300lb, or even 400lb Makai Punisher, which is a very hard, extremely abrasion-resistant leader material (www.tunafishtackle.com).

    200lb Big Bait
    This is my other "dedicated" setup, because I want it to be ready to go at any moment. I don't even want to take the time to convert my kite outfit, though that would be easy enough to do in this case. The outfit is a Makaira 50 II SEa on a Calstar Grafighter 770XXXH. The reel is full to the brim with 130lb Seaguar Threadlock. I splice in a 25' top shot of 200lb Seaguar Blue Label or Makai Deception fluorocarbon. I either use an 11/0 Mustad 7698 swordfish hook, Or a 12/0 Quick Rig Charlie Brown circle hook. If I use the circle hook, I make it a trap rig by tying a 6/0 ringed Owner Flyliner to the bend of the Charlie Brown, using 50lb dark green spectra. I like the trap rig because the thin wire Flyliner does next to no damage to the bait (skippy), allowing it to live longer and swim better. The hook is also not buried in the bait, so I can fish it exactly as I would a 5/0 circle hook in a sardine.

    I will never turn down an opportunity to fish a bait-sized skippy or yft, even though I personally haven't had great luck with it so far (haven't had that many chances). The biggest tuna I have seen caught have almost all been hooked using skippies for bait. 'Nuff said.

    - 130 Nighttime Sinker
    I used to keep a dedicated setup for this, but on my upcoming trip I will probably just re-rig. I will probably use a Makaira 50 II SEa on a UC CX 76 Viper for this and other 130lb applications. It's the same as a 130lb flyline setup, except with a 16oz torpedo sinker attached to the line above the hook. I was astounded on a previous trip to see a very clever guy attaching the swivel by simply using electrical tape to attach it to the line. This was dope because the sharks were really bad, and they seemed for some reason to really want to eat the sinkers...shiny new ones especially. But blacking out the sinkers kept the sharks from biting them, and really helped you get your bait down below them.

    On the same trip, I saw a sport boat captain from Florida get bit on the sinker rig more than anyone else...on his first ever long range trip. His trick was to have a really long distance between the sinker and the hook. I'm talking 15-20 feet. Turns out that was his trick for catching reef fish in the Atlantic off Ft. Lauderdale, and he just naturally rigged that way. Man was it successful! HIS problem was that, while he was using good hooks and 130lb line, he was undergunned in his reels, and especially his rods. He was getting bottomed out on 140lb fish and 24lbs of drag. He simply wouldn't use heavier tackle, and he lost maybe 7-8 nice tuna to the sharks. He couldn't get the fish to the boat, and when he did, the tax man was waiting. If he had been willing to use more drag and a more powerful rod, he would have had at least two cows, and probably tagged 12+ tuna over 120lbs. As it was, he had a heck of a time getting any tuna in the boat. I think he went back to the dock with three.

    I will fish the Mak 50/Viper with 130lb Threradlock, a 12' top shot of 130lb Seaguar Premier, and a circle hook that fits the bait size...anywhere from 6/0 to 9/0. Best bait ever for this tactic is a live puffer.

    130lb Chunk

    I may need to dedicate a setup to chunking too. I definitely plan to chunk...that's a given, as long as the boat runs a chunk line. The thing is, I have been advised (by JohnTFT and Basil, among others) that I would be wise to use a 100' top shot of mono to chunk. I can do that, but that makes re-rigging this outfit a little less desireable. I typically just fish a short fluoro top shot, 11-15' is all, and no mono at all unless the weather is rough and I want the shock absorber effect. I don't really want to be splicing on and cutting off 100' of mono every time I change tactics, so this may turn out to be a third "dedicated" setup. Or I may just chunk using a short fluoro top shot as if I were flylining. I'll make that decision on the boat when I rig up.

    If I use a dedicated setup, it will be a Mak 50 II SEa on my other Grafighter 770XXXH. Again full of 130lb Threadlock, with 100' of 130lb Momoi smoke blue mono. I'll make my chunk leaders out of 130lb fluoro, either Blue Label, Makai Deception, or Yo-Zuri pink. I won't crimp here...a Reverse Trilene on one end to a 200lb ball-bearing swivel, six feet of fluoro, and another Reverse Trilene to an un-ringed circle hook, size depending on the size of the chunks. I especially like the Trokar TK619i hooks (slightly lighter wire, no ring, no kirb on the hook) for this.

    - 130lb Jig/Flyline
    This is the really versatile outfit I plan to use a lot. I will use it ti fish jigs and to flyline, at least salami macks at Clarion. I may decide to use it to chunk too. The reel is an Avet EX 50/3, filled (again) with 130lb Threadlock, and the rod is my brand new UC CX 76 Invictus. From where I sit, this is a total dragon slayer setup, and I hope to put it to the test.

    Rigging is easy: tie on a:

    1. Jig
    2. Hook
    3. Chunk Leader

    Fish. The 4.0:1 high gear of the reel is ideal for grinding a jig back to the boat, and the drag is massive. It remains to be seen how good the free spool is on the reel (I have heard conflicting reports), but I want to give it a try.

    Flylining a sardine, I'll use a small ringed circle hook, most likely a Charlie Brown. Flylining a mackerel, I have had really good luck using trap rigs. I use a tiny #4 hook tied to the bend of a 8/0, 9/0, or 10/0 circle, and I hook the mack through the upper lip. The bait lives forever this way, swims fast and freely, and when/if you need to bring it back to the boat, you can "fish" it in. I've caught half a dozen big tuna with salamis since I started using trap rigs, and every single hook set has been just perfect in the corner of the jaw. I'm sold.

    - 100lb Flyline
    Mak 20 II SEa, brand new UC CX 76 Centaur, short 100lb fluoro top shot, circle hook appropriate to the size of the bait. I have different brands of fluoro to use. My go-to has been Seaguar Premier, but I have heard that on recent trips the Yo-Zuri pink seems to be getting bit a little better, so I'll start with that.

    Typically 100lb flyline has been with sardines, but if I fish a daytime salami (I might try it if we have the bait available), I'll once again use my preferred trap rig.

    - 100lb Sinker
    A daytime sinker outfit can be deadly. The difference is, instead of a 16oz sinker and a deep drop, I use anything from 1-6oz (depending on current) and try to fish my bait at mid-depth. It gets the bait closer to the tuna, but hopefully not too deep. This has worked quite well for me personally, from early morning, throughout the day, on through sunset.

    Rigging is as easy as it gets: cut the hook off my flyline outfit, put a sliding sinker on the line, use a 3- or 4-turn surgeons to tie on a 6' piece of additional fluoro, tie a hook on the end of the leader. Pin on a bait and go catch a tuna.

    Counting to myself, I think I really only need maybe six outfits to fish all of these different ways. I'll probably bring seven, just because, but that's how I plan to rig.

    Answer the question?
     
  19. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Mexico, DF, Mexico
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    Jim
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    Guilty, your honor.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
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  20. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Mexico, DF, Mexico
    Name:
    Jim
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    In the interests of full disclosure, I have exactly 0 cows to my credit...on long range boats, anyway. I now have two yellowfin over 200lbs, but they were caught stand up on a private boat, and as Fishybuzz reminds me (endlessly), it's not the same thing.

    I have managed to lose really big tuna in the most creative of ways, and I have three fish over 190lbs. I also have more than I can count between 170-190lbs. I've done pretty well, in fact, and all by watching and listening and learning from better, more experienced anglers. I do OK.

    As Curt Whisenhutter told me a couple of years ago, now that you know how to do it, you still can't control which fish eats your bait. If you're getting bites from big fish, you're doing something right. If you're catching the fish you hook, you're doing the rest of it right.

    My long range cow will come, maybe as soon as this trip. Trying as best I can to be ready.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
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