Pacific Queen 7/13-7/15 Trip

bohuntr

Newbie
Sep 7, 2017
8
39
13
55
San Jose, CA
Name
Bill Tittle
Boat
None
To start out with I am new to this bluefin/yellowfin tuna fishing. I have fished freshwater extensively throughout my life but, just getting into this saltwater fishing. Three years ago I moved to San Jose, CA from Atlanta GA. I have done some salmon fishing on the charters out of Berkley.

I will tell you I am hooked on this Tuna fishing! I read many of your posts on the appropriate gear, tackle, modifying flat-falls, etc. I want to say thank you to all who provided input on my gear selections. I bought five different 2 speed Shimano reels from the Talica 16's to the Talica 20's. I paired the reels up with the appropriate Calstar rods per the member suggestions on this forum. I even brazed solid rings added single hooks with trailers and crimped 150 lb leader on shimano flat falls.

Again thank you for all the input.

The story to follow was absolutely unbelievable.

On Friday 7/13 evening we left the dock and headed out on the Pacific Queen. Captain Gavin said fishing has been slow with some good sized bluefin's being caught. Saturday throughout the day we "runned and gunned" chasing boiling schools of 10-30 lb bluefins. 8 out of the 30 fisherman caught small bluefins. It took a couple hours for me to get the feel of flylining but I soon picked it up and gained confidence. I was using my 40lb and 60 lb outfits off and on. We had to go down to 25lb flouro leader with #2 hooks to get the few fish that were caught. The boat was running a kite with a yummy flyer and we caught 3 jumbo bluefins with two over 140lbs and one over 200lbs. We ate dinner that evening and headed towards San Clemente.

This is where the caos begins. At 12:30 am the night captain, Captain Dave was hollering for help landing a jumbo bluefin he caught on a flat fall. The fish was one of the many caught over 143 lbs on this trip. I threw on my boots and ran up top grabbed my 80lb outfit with the Talica 20 II and modified flatfall. I had marked my MaxCuatro at 20, 30 and 50 fathoms as I had read on this forum. The Captain said the school was at 180 feet...perfect...I had that marked. I dropped my flat fall to 30 fathoms made 4 cranks of the reel and slam the fish engulfed my flatfall. Remember this is the first time I had been at the rail with a fish of this size. The deckhands coached me for the next 1 hour and 15 mins through the battle. The fish took over 200+ yards 3 times throughout the battle. Finally we get the fish to the boat and one of the deckhands said the tuna was one of the biggest they had to the boat this year. He thought easily top 250lbs. The fish was making large circles at the boat and we eased the drag lever forward to gain some more line on the tiring jumbo tuna. At 6' from the boat with 2 gaffs in the water and another deckhand with a gaff at the ready the 80lb braid cleanly snapped and the fish was gone.

I had the fight of my life and was worn out by the end of the fight. We had 11 fish hooked up that night on flat falls. 2 of the 11 made it in the boat one just under 250lbs and another was in the upper 100's maybe 170 or 180lbs.

We fished Sunday with a kite and Yummy flyer drawing numbers for the lucky fisherman to do battle with these jumbo tuna. We ended up with 12 bluefin between 143 lbs and 281lbs. What an unbelievable trip. My hats off to Gavin and his crew. The entire crew was unbelievable and worked flawlessly together.

I realize now a Talica 20II and Calstar 7470xH 80lb max rod was way undergunned for these large bluefins. So today I upgraded to Talica 50 II and a 7470xxxH. If I ever have a chance to tangle with one of these cows again I will be better prepared for the battle. Oh by the way I am going to Izorline Spectra. I am all done with the Max Cuatro. A confidence thing, I am sure Max Cuatro is good line but I am really struggling how 80 lb can snap like that with a Talica 20II with maybe 27lbs of drag.

I am sold and will be back many times on Pacific Queen as well as other boats chasing these tuna! Thanks again to all those who contribute to this forum. I would never have had the opportunity to tangle with a cow on Saturday night with out the help of all of you!
fish2.JPEG


Here is a pic of all the big fish caught on this trip.
 
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yrd

BS on no pics ..!.,
Jun 14, 2009
410
83
28
Flux
Name
Ted
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anything w/ HOOK-UP!!!
At 6' from the boat with 2 gaffs in the water and another deckhand with a gaff at the ready the 80lb braid cleanly snapped and the fish was gone.
was it at the knot, just a straight cut or frayed?
There is not much stretch in spectra. For this reason I have 50-100' of Mono on top of my braided line just for stretch and abrasion resistance in case it rubs on the bottom of the boat...just saying
Congrats on a great trip and write-up, you'll get em next time
 
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FishAcquisition

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 19, 2005
1,203
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113
La Quinta
Name
Dan
Boat
Only Aspirations-not the name of my boat-just have aspirations
Love your passion and smarts. You are probably in San Jose for that reason. Sounds like you left nothing to chance. Sometimes the fish wins. Great report!!
 

SouthBayKiller

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 27, 2003
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Long Beach, CA
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Robert
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Nice work! Next time you will stick that beast!

BTW, I'm not particularly a fan of max-quatro either, I feel like its basically IFGA level spectra but not marketed as such, most all spectra brands way over test, most 65 breaks around 90ish lbs and 80 even higher still. Same with most mono as well so when using max cuatro you have to keep that in mind. Regular power-pro is rope and over tests significantly.

27lbs of drag doesn't factor in instant sharp changes in stress. If you threw a 27lb weight off a roof connected to your rod, the line would likely snap before the drag could "catch up" and accommodate the pull.
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,110
6,332
113
Bishop
Name
Steve
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18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
27lbs of drag doesn't factor in instant sharp changes in stress. If you threw a 27lb weight off a roof connected to your rod, the line would likely snap before the drag could "catch up" and accommodate the pull.
I suppose that’s why Loc is breaking stuff. :)

Congrats on getting out there, at least you got to engage.
Bummer about the broken line and the lost fish! When are you going back?
 
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Bill W

tunaholic
Jan 12, 2006
4,971
5,739
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Chino Hills, Ca.
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Bill Walsh
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Red Rooster
27lbs of drag doesn't factor in instant sharp changes in stress. If you threw a 27lb weight off a roof connected to your rod, the line would likely snap before the drag could "catch up" and accommodate the pull.
Reminds me of a plus 100# fish that i caught on 40#. One deck gaffed it and i relaxed the bend in the rod, and the fish took off and got off the gaff, snap... Just 14# of drag.
 

bohuntr

Newbie
Sep 7, 2017
8
39
13
55
San Jose, CA
Name
Bill Tittle
Boat
None
was it at the knot, just a straight cut or frayed?
There is not much stretch in spectra. For this reason I have 50-100' of Mono on top of my braided line just for stretch and abrasion resistance in case it rubs on the bottom of the boat...just saying
Congrats on a great trip and write-up, you'll get em next time
I do think it was a straight cut or seperation. There wasn’t any fray in the braid. Definitely not a knot. Who knows the tuna could have rubbed against the hull with his circles and caused the braid to fail. Maybe my inexperience and the “no stretch” of the braid caused the failure. On my Talica 50 II I did as you suggest an add a 50 yard mono topshot. Thanks for the tip!
 

bdubs73

Well-Known "Member"
Feb 7, 2008
431
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63
San Diego
Name
Brian
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none
Great write up and welcome to a lifetime obsession. If there is any upside to losing that fish it's that you will certainly have a drive to increase in your knowledge and skill level for the rest of your life right? It really sounds like you came more prepared than many anglers do on 2 day trips, sometimes the big ones just get away.
You know I posted a report on a 186b fish I picked up on a Taclica 16II using 80lb Izorline braid and a topshot of 80lb Izorline mono. I swear by Izorline, always have and will from now on especially. That particular fish was really mellow at gaff though..
I hope you have another trip planned. I actually think the fall is going to be much more consistent with these guys..
 

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,110
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Bishop
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Steve
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18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III

tunacraze

Well-Known "Member"
Nov 27, 2006
578
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Santee
Name
Steve Brunton
Boat
The Big Ones
Sounds like you did everything right. I've gone back and forth on mono or no mono for a few years now. I still don't have an answer. Nobody can ever take that story away from you though! Good luck in September....they'll still be here.
 
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afraser

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 20, 2008
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sf, ca
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aaron
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NA
Your braid twists with the death spirals and at the end of the fight the twists stack up. It is worth using a swivel to a bite leader for me, although it is 2 more points of potential failure. I'm sure that was art of the problem on the 250lb or so fish I lost at gaff too, but that was on 50lb spectra.