Nov 2021 lower banks gear and rigging

Dec 5, 2011
467
355
Santa Monica, Ca.
Name
Tony O'Connell
Boat
Hardcore
I just came of an 11 on the Spirit and luckily get to jump on the Indy for another 11 on 12/7 so I know what is going on in general. I would greatly appreciate current info from someone who has just returned from fishing these big fish. I hate to bring too much stuff on the boat and want to keep it simple. Advice on line and reel size, leader weight and length, and especially hooks and size would be of immediate help. Thank you, T
 
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RichG

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Jan 20, 2007
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Richard G/
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none
I just came of an 11 on the Spirit and luckily get to jump on the Indy for another 11 on 12/7 so I know what is going on in general. I would greatly appreciate current info from someone who has just returned from fishing these big fish. I hate to bring too much stuff on the boat and want to keep it simple. Advice on line and reel size, leader weight and length, and especially hooks and size would be of immediate help. Thank you, T
Tony, I know a guy on the Indy now, but won’t know till he gets off the boat. So I suggest you be prepared for the big boys, cows and wahoo. Have a a few extra lighter reels that you can trade out, if need be. The recent Accurate trip on the RR is posted. This was a fly back trip. Have fun my friend.

Richard.
 
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bigreddog

Get off of my lawn
Jul 18, 2005
460
467
Wallace Idaho, Antigua Guatemala, AZ
Name
Cliff
Boat
I always go back to the Royal Star
I came back a few days ago on the royal star. Tough fishing in general. Water temps are up so sardines and greenies don’t want to swim. I got a 282 and 232 using sardines on 100#. Others got bit on mackerel.

Finesse fishing with heavy gear and sluggish bait in light current will test anyone’s fly line skills. Patience required!

I used a Makaira 16, 100# solid spectra, 130# premier, and a 2/0 mutu hook. Connections were an FG and a Spangler.

I couldn’t get bit on anything bigger, and no way would I go smaller.

Do not go down on line or gear size. We had a few excellent anglers get worked when they did so. There are some absolutely huge fish there now. They are easily seen jumping around.

I suggest you try local bait- skippies and rockfish.

Rockfish.

Sea lions are a big factor on the bank at the moment. They are Eating hook baits and preventing bait from reaching productive zones. Bring plenty of fluoro, your best rigging skills, and a dose of luck. Luck was essential in the type of fishing that we had.
 
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ZZZZZ

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 11, 2003
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Brad Baron
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Royal Polaris
Well done. 1 big fish makes the trip and 2 is gravy 🤙🏾

Most won't notice or it was a typo

130lb premier has the diameter close to 100lb blue label. Also close to other 100lb fluorocarbon diameters.
 
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ZZZZZ

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Dec 11, 2003
8,648
11,485
Costa Rica
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Brad Baron
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Royal Polaris
After my 2 big lower bank fish on seaguar blue label 130lb. I got a email from seaguar. Asking for my address

IMG_20211127_223937.jpg


A big box arrived in 2005 to my front door. Included was the new 100lb premier. I did not notice at first that the diameter was thinner. Outside clarion. I realized that 100lb premier takes 80lb sato crimps.

Boat stopped on scattered fish. I was in the wheel house and saw the targets. Way ahead of the boat but coming straight towards us.

Pinned a greenie on and ran to the bow. Alone with the new 100lb premier. Deployed the greenie and hoped. It would swim far enough and fast enough. To cut the fish off while on their way to the chum. Full blown blow out. That was me. 220lb cowfish on the new 100lb premier that took 80lb sato crimps. Only fish for the stop.

FB_IMG_1638074664726.jpg
 
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Dec 5, 2011
467
355
Santa Monica, Ca.
Name
Tony O'Connell
Boat
Hardcore
Blue 100 has the same diameter as Premier 130 @1.05 mm
Blue 130 is 1.17mm and Premier 100 is .910. I see why BRD
goes with the P 130. I still feel that the hook is the weak link
in the system. It is my understanding that 4/0 is the smallest
Super Mutu. I would be afraid of a regular Mutu. Any other small
quality hook choices? I don't care about a ring because usually
crimp 100 up. Thanks, T
 
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bigreddog

Get off of my lawn
Jul 18, 2005
460
467
Wallace Idaho, Antigua Guatemala, AZ
Name
Cliff
Boat
I always go back to the Royal Star
For sure the hook was the weak link. The crew had us progressively downsizing until the fish would eat our sardines. Bigger hooks did not work for me, even in low light. Both of my hooks were deformed, and both fish were finished at 40# of drag. The fights were short at 30 minutes or less. If I was going to straighten a hook, I didn’t want to do it after an hour or 2.

Towards the end of the trip the crew suggested even smaller hooks. The fish were simply not eating our baits, but were absolutely full of our chum and chunks.
 
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threewaves

Yellowtail
  • Feb 1, 2014
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    Name
    Dave
    Boat
    BFG - Pursuit 2870
    I just came of an 11 on the Spirit and luckily get to jump on the Indy for another 11 on 12/7 so I know what is going on in general. I would greatly appreciate current info from someone who has just returned from fishing these big fish. I hate to bring too much stuff on the boat and want to keep it simple. Advice on line and reel size, leader weight and length, and especially hooks and size would be of immediate help. Thank you, T
    Tony, I was on the Intrepid 14 day recently where we spent 3 full days and 1 morning down there after we already loaded up on ridge tuna, yt and dorado, thus we could focus 100% on the big boys to wrap up the trip. The boat appreciates you picking up one of the back-up rods that was cut off by a panga. We got 2 out of 3 back. Crazy experience.

    Short Version -

    1 or 2 Rods - XX,XXX or 4X rods all work fine, Calstar 770 XXH is my preference
    Reel - ATD 30T or 50T, Avet 30 or Mak 30 with 100 or 130 braid - ATD30T with 100 JB Line-one is my go to.
    Flouro top shot - 100 or 130 Seaguar (blue or premier)- Short 7-10 feet max to minimize drag on the bait. I use the Tony Pena knot rather than a wind on as it is less drag in the water which is huge in the conditions we had.
    Hooks - 4/0 or 5/0 Mustad Super Mutu pending bait size - go as big as you can.

    Other Observations -

    As you know the RR3 and Star were there as well before you guys arrived and they landed a few trophies as well. We were there 1 full day and had hoped that we would get 1 or 2 more before the other boats moved in, but in the spirit of everyone in the fleet helping each other the captain provide the update and it wasn't long before the RR3 anchored up 300 yards in our chum line with the Star another 300 down theirs on day 2. I am happy for their success, but have to believe each fish they landed would have been landed by our group if we were the only game in town. :)

    The grade was phenomenal as everyone has now seen. However as you mention it was tough to get bit, with minimal current and medium dines. A few bit macks but most wanted the dines. Some of the bigger fish bit real finicky / weird. They would pick it up and not run, but rather just leisurely swim for the first few minutes, then run once you came tight, however multiple times unfortunately they swallowed it and due to their slow swimming it did not catch and secure properly in the corner thus came unbuttoned or chewed off quickly. I personally hooked and lost 3 big ones. 1 chewed off after about 10 minute, 1 knot broke after 45 minutes, and the third my 3/0 mutu hook bent and then broke after 1 hour and 15 minutes.. Through out the day 40-50 lbers would circle through and there would be a flurry of 5-6 landed followed almost every-time by 2-4 big ones being hooked right afterward. It was a long time between with 1-3 hours going by then 2-4 big ones hanging with about 1/3 being landed. Last thing you want to do is wait for 2-3 hours or 1-2 days for some to finally get a bite and then wish you were on 130 with a 4/0 hook. Yes it was a lot of work, but those geared properly landed more fish than those not.

    Bottom line, do not drop below 100# line, the big fish that were landed were equally on 130 and 100 so might as well start with 130.. Even in the middle of the day, people were using 130 due to the size and fight in these fish and got bit. Jim's 392.5 was landed on 130 premier with a 3/0 mutu, Avet 30 on Calstar 770 XXH, fortunately it was perfectly hooked in the corner. I would not go less than 4/0 super mutu as my 3/0 mutu broke and the captain was not happy about it..:) nor was I, but it was a fun battle.

    Picking a good bait that wanted to swim was key but not easy to do. Some of our tanks had bigger models, but most medium to smaller sizes. There was a lot of frustration from many very seasoned anglers trying to get the baits to swim. Putting your time in at the rail was key as you never knew when the school was coming through. If your game plan was to wait until those putting in their time got bit then run out of the air conditioned galley and toss out a bait, you were too late. Through out the day, huge 300-400 lb fish would blow up 20-30-40 yards from the boat, making it all that much more frustrating.

    The kite was not really a factor so just plan on using the boats rig rather than bringing your own. It got bit a few times, but due to the nature of the soft finicky bite, may did not stick and many times it was a 40 lbr. Fly lined sardine was your best bet.

    For the rest of the trip if you want to go light - 4 additional rods will cover you.

    - 2 ridge rods - one 30-50lb set up for the yft 15-50 class, can be used for wire for wahoo as well and one 15-25lb set up for small grade yft and dorado. I like to use 20 lb test so I can easily break-off smaller dorado and yft if I don't want to tag them.
    - 1 wahoo bomb rod, can be used for Iron for YT as well.
    - 1 dropper loop 80lb set up for YT and Grouper and yes YFT, (we had wide open 30-50lb yft on dropper loop after dinner one night on the ridge before it changed over to wide open yellow tail almost immediately.

    All in all an incredible trip, maximum fishing time 13/14 days, awesome weather and trip limits for everyone who wanted that much fish. I hope your 11 days is just a good.
     
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    Dec 5, 2011
    467
    355
    Santa Monica, Ca.
    Name
    Tony O'Connell
    Boat
    Hardcore
    It seems that the boats lose their sat. connection when they are down on the lower banks so there is little info. I leave Tues. am. on the Indy. Is their anyone else who has just returned that can give us fresh intel? I will post when I return 12/18 with the same. Thanks, T
     
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    nicodemus

    Fish, he said softly, aloud. I’ll stay with you...
    Apr 10, 2012
    863
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    The 505
    Name
    Nick B
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    African Queen
    No first hand knowledge, but I did notice the Royal Polaris had a 270ish fish taken on the chunk.
     
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    Fishybuzz

    fishybuzz
    Apr 4, 2003
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    David Tang
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    Intrepid
    Tony, I was on the Intrepid 14 day recently where we spent 3 full days and 1 morning down there after we already loaded up on ridge tuna, yt and dorado, thus we could focus 100% on the big boys to wrap up the trip. The boat appreciates you picking up one of the back-up rods that was cut off by a panga. We got 2 out of 3 back. Crazy experience.

    Short Version -

    1 or 2 Rods - XX,XXX or 4X rods all work fine, Calstar 770 XXH is my preference
    Reel - ATD 30T or 50T, Avet 30 or Mak 30 with 100 or 130 braid - ATD30T with 100 JB Line-one is my go to.
    Flouro top shot - 100 or 130 Seaguar (blue or premier)- Short 7-10 feet max to minimize drag on the bait. I use the Tony Pena knot rather than a wind on as it is less drag in the water which is huge in the conditions we had.
    Hooks - 4/0 or 5/0 Mustad Super Mutu pending bait size - go as big as you can.

    Other Observations -

    As you know the RR3 and Star were there as well before you guys arrived and they landed a few trophies as well. We were there 1 full day and had hoped that we would get 1 or 2 more before the other boats moved in, but in the spirit of everyone in the fleet helping each other the captain provide the update and it wasn't long before the RR3 anchored up 300 yards in our chum line with the Star another 300 down theirs on day 2. I am happy for their success, but have to believe each fish they landed would have been landed by our group if we were the only game in town. :)

    The grade was phenomenal as everyone has now seen. However as you mention it was tough to get bit, with minimal current and medium dines. A few bit macks but most wanted the dines. Some of the bigger fish bit real finicky / weird. They would pick it up and not run, but rather just leisurely swim for the first few minutes, then run once you came tight, however multiple times unfortunately they swallowed it and due to their slow swimming it did not catch and secure properly in the corner thus came unbuttoned or chewed off quickly. I personally hooked and lost 3 big ones. 1 chewed off after about 10 minute, 1 knot broke after 45 minutes, and the third my 3/0 mutu hook bent and then broke after 1 hour and 15 minutes.. Through out the day 40-50 lbers would circle through and there would be a flurry of 5-6 landed followed almost every-time by 2-4 big ones being hooked right afterward. It was a long time between with 1-3 hours going by then 2-4 big ones hanging with about 1/3 being landed. Last thing you want to do is wait for 2-3 hours or 1-2 days for some to finally get a bite and then wish you were on 130 with a 4/0 hook. Yes it was a lot of work, but those geared properly landed more fish than those not.

    Bottom line, do not drop below 100# line, the big fish that were landed were equally on 130 and 100 so might as well start with 130.. Even in the middle of the day, people were using 130 due to the size and fight in these fish and got bit. Jim's 392.5 was landed on 130 premier with a 3/0 mutu, Avet 30 on Calstar 770 XXH, fortunately it was perfectly hooked in the corner. I would not go less than 4/0 super mutu as my 3/0 mutu broke and the captain was not happy about it..:) nor was I, but it was a fun battle.

    Picking a good bait that wanted to swim was key but not easy to do. Some of our tanks had bigger models, but most medium to smaller sizes. There was a lot of frustration from many very seasoned anglers trying to get the baits to swim. Putting your time in at the rail was key as you never knew when the school was coming through. If your game plan was to wait until those putting in their time got bit then run out of the air conditioned galley and toss out a bait, you were too late. Through out the day, huge 300-400 lb fish would blow up 20-30-40 yards from the boat, making it all that much more frustrating.

    The kite was not really a factor so just plan on using the boats rig rather than bringing your own. It got bit a few times, but due to the nature of the soft finicky bite, may did not stick and many times it was a 40 lbr. Fly lined sardine was your best bet.

    For the rest of the trip if you want to go light - 4 additional rods will cover you.

    - 2 ridge rods - one 30-50lb set up for the yft 15-50 class, can be used for wire for wahoo as well and one 15-25lb set up for small grade yft and dorado. I like to use 20 lb test so I can easily break-off smaller dorado and yft if I don't want to tag them.
    - 1 wahoo bomb rod, can be used for Iron for YT as well.
    - 1 dropper loop 80lb set up for YT and Grouper and yes YFT, (we had wide open 30-50lb yft on dropper loop after dinner one night on the ridge before it changed over to wide open yellow tail almost immediately.

    All in all an incredible trip, maximum fishing time 13/14 days, awesome weather and trip limits for everyone who wanted that much fish. I hope your 11 days is just a good.
    Great report...but not every trip is the same.... I always bring my own kite outfit always.....sometimes the kite is all that gets bit....
     
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    CMYSIX

    Member
  • Aug 22, 2020
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    Opelika al
    Name
    Quinn L Chenelle
    Boat
    Independence
    No first hand knowledge, but I did notice the Royal Polaris had a 270ish fish taken on the chunk.
    How could that be? I started a "chunk" thread and everyone said no one fishes the chunk anymore. WTF?
     
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    nicodemus

    Fish, he said softly, aloud. I’ll stay with you...
    Apr 10, 2012
    863
    1,376
    The 505
    Name
    Nick B
    Boat
    African Queen
    How could that be? I started a "chunk" thread and everyone said no one fishes the chunk anymore. WTF?
    And now the Excel reports a 319.8 taken... on the chunk! Go figure...
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
    8,648
    11,485
    Costa Rica
    Name
    Brad Baron
    Boat
    Royal Polaris
    Nice observations.

    Personally I would drop in with true 130lb line and not even touch 100lb. The amount of 300lb fish per bite ratio is impressive. Or that 250+ fish. Huge fish

    Intrepid
    392, 300, 294, 282, 280, 276, 262, 258

    RR3
    351, 304, 302

    Excell
    319

    Royal star
    390, 343, 274, 256

    RP
    278, Dave Marciano lost a great big cow he was on for 2 hours.

    Indy
    341, 287, 281, 271

    Want a great big cowfish. Lower banks or Osunas imo.

    Bigger grade avaliable then the standard Hurricane Bank Largers

    Good luck fishers. Who will get a shot before its over soon

    Congrats to everyone involved. WTG skippers
     
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    ZZZZZ

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Dec 11, 2003
    8,648
    11,485
    Costa Rica
    Name
    Brad Baron
    Boat
    Royal Polaris
    Tunafish are one of the hardest fishes to land in the 3x larger then the line class.

    :D
    100lb x 3 = 300lb

    130lb x 3 = 390lbs

    Like landing a 150lb yellowfin on 50lb line. Thats 3x the line class. Now a 200lb YFT on 50lb line is very hard and the chances go way down. Which is equivalent to a 400 pounder on 100lb line

    Give me the 130lb when there is a good shot at a 300 pounder. With the proper hook size.

    Much better odds of landing a 350lb super on 130lb line then 100lb line. On 100lb line your at 3.5x. On 130lb line your under x3

    3x on 130lb line is 390lbs. Doable
     
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