Offshore Pacific Queen March 13th-15th

Pjstevko

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  • Nov 12, 2015
    1,022
    973
    46
    Three Rivers California
    Name
    PJ Stevko
    Boat Name
    N/A
    I left the home around 8:30 and headed south to Bob Sands Tackle shop for fresh topshots and a new Okuma pch 7'4" xxh rail rod to use for flat falls and big baits. After my quick stop I continued south to Oceanside to meet a friend for a late lunch of chicken wings and tacos. I arrived at the landing right about 4pm checked in and then starting putting my rod and reels together. I grabbed a quick dinner at mitch's seafood then got in line to board. There were a few people already checked in when I got in line at the dock ramp so we began the small talk about our hopes for the trip. The trip ran 2 shy of full giving us a tiny bit of extra room at the rail which we'd need for most of the following day! We boarded at 7pm and we're told we'd be heading down into Mexico where they found the BFT last weekend. The recommended tackle set up was 30-50# flouro and size 1/0 hooks. A quick stop at the bait barge to load up with great quality sardines and we departed south. After rigging up and chatting with fellow anglers I hit the bunk at about 10pm.

    I slept like crap and headed to the galley around 4:30am to grab some coffee and waited for the throttles to slow down. The captain metered a few small schools early but they weren't big enough to bother with until about 8am. The boat slowed and the captain said there was a nice sized school of bigger BFT below us and asked the crew to throw some chum as we began flylining baits. After about 10 minutes we had our first hook up and the fish took a nice long first run as another passenger hooked up too. Within about 20 minutes of the first hook up we had 5-6 anglers hooked up and pinned to the rail. The first fishes hooked were way bigger than anticipated and a bunch were lost due to the 30# flouro recommended by the crew. I think only 2 fish were landed with light leaders. The fish in this school were over 100# so we were instructed to use 40-60# leaders only. After that announcement I switched over to 50# and started using the biggest bait I could find and around 9am I'm hooked up along with 6 other people!

    I'm using my shimano speedmaster 12ii with 65# braid to 15' of 50# flouro to a 1/0 hook on my okuma pch 801XH and the rod is doubled over and line is racing off the reel until the spool is 1/2 empty before the fish stops running and I can start gaining line back. Trying to fight this fish with 5 or 6 other people hooked up proved very difficult but the crew did a great job making sure everyone worked together. This fish took me 2 1/2 hours and 12 trips around the boat before I gassed out and handed off the rod to the captain to finish the fight. I wanted to finish it off myself but my arm cramped up so bad I couldn't move it or turn the handle anymore :[ I figured the captain would step in and get the fish on deck quick but the fish was still so green it took him about 20 minutes to get it within gaff range. Seeing that made me feel a little better I couldn't finish it off myself.... Once the fish hit the deck it was estimated to be 120#making it the biggest fish I've ever caught (besides a shark)! I know technically I can't count it as a catch because I handed it off but I hooked and fought it the majority of the time so I'm claiming it as a new personal best
    Grin


    After a brief break and a shredded chicken taco lunch I resumed fishing to finish out my two fish limit. At this point the school has become a mix of 30-75# fish making them a little more manageable. People are hooking up and landing good sized fish as I made my way back to the rail. About 2 o'clock I've got half a spool out on a long soak and I get picked up, fresh one! Not wanting another long battle I put the reel into low gear and winch the fish to the rail in about 40 minutes. It was a great size fish, estimated 65#, to finish out my limit!

    The first drift lasted until 4:30pm when we lost the school or they got lock jaw so we motored up and went in search of another school to try to get limits for the rest of the boat. We found another good school around sunset and people started dropping the flat falls. Only one person got a fish on the last stop and it was a quality fish around 130#. The captain called to stop fishing around 8 pm due to the long steam home. The trip ended with a total of 46 bft with 14 @ 120-170 and the rest being 20-70#. A couple people caught more than limits so everyone got to go home with at least one bft!

    Got back to the dock at 6am, offloaded my gear and checked in with 5 Star fish processing. My gilled and gutted fish weighted 98 and 58 pounds respectively and the 5 Star guys say to figure out whole fish weight add 12% to dressed weight giving me 110 and 65#! My biggest fishes ever caught
     

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    afraser

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  • Apr 20, 2008
    1,901
    1,734
    sf, ca
    Name
    aaron
    Boat Name
    NA
    which 1/0 circles are best for 120# bft? I always thought the 1/0's were too small to have enough purchase.

    Also, never drop on "bigger" tuna with 30#, that's a no-no. Min 40#, realistically 50-60#. If I can get a bigger bait, I drop with a long 80# leader.
     
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    jochi

    chance favors the prepared mind
    May 31, 2006
    48
    19
    central coast, california
    Name
    robb
    Boat Name
    22' cc mckee craft
    Very nice report and congrats on a couple of nice fish. I've handed off fish to the crew or even a fishing buddy to finish off after long fights. You tend to want to pull harder to end it but you just end up pulling the hook or breaking off losing the fish. We spend a lot of money and time chasing these things so nothing wrong with getting some help.
    Besides lost fish don't show up on the counts!
     
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    chachi10

    Moderator
    Aug 28, 2018
    315
    542
    San Diego
    Name
    Chachi
    Boat Name
    None
    Could you give some info on how much chum it was taking to get the school up in the morning and then keep it with the boat? Last years early season bft run took TONS of chum which all but kept the private boat guys out of the action for a bit until they started with the foamer deal. The one sportboat trip i took end of april, we blew through all 90 scoops for 18 guys limiting on 60-80 lb tuna on a 1.5day.
     
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    Jan 7, 2020
    128
    751
    San Diego
    Name
    DTS
    Boat Name
    Boatless
    Nice Job I hope it continues to bite I depart Friday for a 2 Day. I plan on fishing 60 Primarily because I always end up in those long brutal battles on 30 or 40. I recently got new top shots, I am going to try that new soft steel floro stretch. My buddy has been raving about how nice it fishes. I’ve got 30,40,50,60 served on my Talicas 10,12,16,20 ready to do battle.
     
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    Pjstevko

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Nov 12, 2015
    1,022
    973
    46
    Three Rivers California
    Name
    PJ Stevko
    Boat Name
    N/A
    Could you give some info on how much chum it was taking to get the school up in the morning and then keep it with the boat? Last years early season bft run took TONS of chum which all but kept the private boat guys out of the action for a bit until they started with the foamer deal. The one sportboat trip i took end of april, we blew through all 90 scoops for 18 guys limiting on 60-80 lb tuna on a 1.5day.
    They never threw more than a couple sardines per throw after the initial couple full scoopps. It was just a steady chum of a few fish every 30 seconds.....
    Hope that helps
     
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    Pjstevko

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  • Nov 12, 2015
    1,022
    973
    46
    Three Rivers California
    Name
    PJ Stevko
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    N/A
    I used ringed 1/0 and 2/0
    I used Gamakatsu ringed live bait hooks but I fish them like circle hooks just don't yank back when you're bit.....

    The captain and crew were adamant about using circle hooks but all I use are live bait and obviously they work just as well.

    I like the live bait hooks better because it makes hooking the bait easier thus the bait ends up in better shape but to each his own
     
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    woodfish330

    I'm to smart to figure out how to edit this.
  • Aug 14, 2012
    2,667
    6,375
    San Fransisco,CA USA
    Name
    John
    Boat Name
    Fishead
    I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say most anglers DO NOT KNOW just how hard they can pull on #30 / #40 /#50 line. Seriously.

    While doing nationwide angling seminars put on by SALTWATER SPORTSMAN magazine in the 80's and 90's....I learned and saw many things. You know we test our knot break strength at the shows.... and line break strength as well.... but never take that thought and info a step further.

    During those seminars.... I participated with a few well know skippers.... In a demonstration that put "light" on the whole subject. They would call "random" angler participants, to pull on a rod and reel (like fishing) with 30# on it....until they thought it was "just about to break".

    Hooked up to a digital scale.....that they could not see (yet the audience could)... they pulled and pulled and would say "stop" when they thought they were at the MAX. before breakage occurrence.

    Surprise. ....Most yelled "stop" around 12# to 15# of pull. Less than 35% - 50% of the actual break strength! Yet we all know most major mono or leader brands break at least at the "listed" strength. Most brands even "boast" of better break strength than the listed size.

    Of the hundreds of anglers we did this demonstration with... across the nation, NOT ONCE....did an angler break the line while pulling on that scale. ZERO!!

    What I learned..... take your rod and reel.... with your preferred brand of leader and line...and do your own test. Make a loop at the end... attach a carabiner and your digital scale. Attach it to a post or pole....what ever you have. Have your buddy watch the scale... and step back about 20' - 50' feet. Then PULL like you were on a big fish. Again...until you think the line is just about to break. You'll be suprised...to say the least!!

    Learn just how "hard" you personally... can REALLY pull on that size of line. I dare you to even try to break it while doing this test. You'll not only learn more about your line....but just how far YOU can pull on that rod and reel before line breakage happens. Then teach yourself how to hold that pressure for extended periods of time.... ie like the actual battle would be in a real life boat situation. World class angler / Record holder Ralph Michelson did this all year while preparing for his big tuna trips!

    Once you've done this on a few of your rod and reel combos. .... and lines sizes, you'll be a much better angler.... leading to more fish and less time per fish caught. YOU NEED TO BE THE BULLY IN THAT FISH FIGHT with bigger tuna.

    Take them....or "break" Em....
    My motto when tuna fishing any size fish.

    For those "naysayers" who say they know how hard they can pull..... that's what those well know Skippers said nation wide.... before they participated in those demonstrations. Even they were surprised... big time. Nows the time. I dare you to try it. These are the things.... "advanced" anglers can do... to "up" their game. It's also why they say ....
    "
    10% of the anglers.... get 90% of the fish"

    Good luck my brothers....
     
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    woodfish330

    I'm to smart to figure out how to edit this.
  • Aug 14, 2012
    2,667
    6,375
    San Fransisco,CA USA
    Name
    John
    Boat Name
    Fishead
    edited......
    Brother you did fine! You got 2 fish... including your largest to date! Congrats on that for sure....and happy you posted the picts and story. Great report.


    If course my earlier post about "pulling hard" has to include the a couple of things also the drop to "low". Personally I use low....almost always... but watch out for the fish.... charging the boat.... High speed then. Also learn to use the rocking of the boat to help time your "strokes". Lift on the way up....Crank on the way down. You'll get it.... keep practicing by going again. Good luck!
     
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    Pjstevko

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  • Nov 12, 2015
    1,022
    973
    46
    Three Rivers California
    Name
    PJ Stevko
    Boat Name
    N/A
    The long battle on the big fish was mostly due to my inexperience with fighting bft as this was only my 3rd ever trip fishing out of San Diego. I'm sure my fighting technique was incorrect but I believe my big mistake was not putting the reel into low gear sooner. The fish only ever charged the boat once so most of the time it was a slow grind.
    I'm just not sure when during the fight I should switch to low gear....
    I'm definitely still learning but feel extremely lucky to land a bft over 100# on only my 3rd trip!
     
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    afraser

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Apr 20, 2008
    1,901
    1,734
    sf, ca
    Name
    aaron
    Boat Name
    NA
    I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say most anglers DO NOT KNOW just how hard they can pull on #30 / #40 /#50 line. Seriously.

    While doing nationwide angling seminars put on by SALTWATER SPORTSMAN magazine in the 80's and 90's....I learned and saw many things. You know we test our knot break strength at the shows.... and line break strength as well.... but never take that thought and info a step further.

    During those seminars.... I participated with a few well know skippers.... In a demonstration that put "light" on the whole subject. They would call "random" angler participants, to pull on a rod and reel (like fishing) with 30# on it....until they thought it was "just about to break".

    Hooked up to a digital scale.....that they could not see (yet the audience could)... they pulled and pulled and would say "stop" when they thought they were at the MAX. before breakage occurrence.

    Surprise. ....Most yelled "stop" around 12# to 15# of pull. Less than 35% - 50% of the actual break strength! Yet we all know most major mono or leader brands break at least at the "listed" strength. Most brands even "boast" of better break strength than the listed size.

    Of the hundreds of anglers we did this demonstration with... across the nation, NOT ONCE....did an angler break the line while pulling on that scale. ZERO!!

    What I learned..... take your rod and reel.... with your preferred brand of leader and line...and do your own test. Make a loop at the end... attach a carabiner and your digital scale. Attach it to a post or pole....what ever you have. Have your buddy watch the scale... and step back about 20' - 50' feet. Then PULL like you were on a big fish. Again...until you think the line is just about to break. You'll be suprised...to say the least!!

    Learn just how "hard" you personally... can REALLY pull on that size of line. I dare you to even try to break it while doing this test. You'll not only learn more about your line....but just how far YOU can pull on that rod and reel before line breakage happens. Then teach yourself how to hold that pressure for extended periods of time.... ie like the actual battle would be in a real life boat situation. World class angler / Record holder Ralph Michelson did this all year while preparing for his big tuna trips!

    Once you've done this on a few of your rod and reel combos. .... and lines sizes, you'll be a much better angler.... leading to more fish and less time per fish caught. YOU NEED TO BE THE BULLY IN THAT FISH FIGHT with bigger tuna.

    Take them....or "break" Em....
    My motto when tuna fishing any size fish.

    For those "naysayers" who say they know how hard they can pull..... that's what those well know Skippers said nation wide.... before they participated in those demonstrations. Even they were surprised... big time. Nows the time. I dare you to try it. These are the things.... "advanced" anglers can do... to "up" their game. It's also why they say ....
    "
    10% of the anglers.... get 90% of the fish"

    Good luck my brothers....
    Yeah, but it's really about abrasion resistance. Your 30# is more like 15# if the fish tail wraps, crosses other lines, or line crosses the fish to the other side of the mouth. If you have 60, and lose 15# of strength, you still have 45#. You CAN pull harder than you think in perfect conditions. I used up to 35# of drag on 50# once without breaking during a 4hr fight, but as soon as it came in contact with something else, ping!
     
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    afraser

    I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Apr 20, 2008
    1,901
    1,734
    sf, ca
    Name
    aaron
    Boat Name
    NA
    The long battle on the big fish was mostly due to my inexperience with fighting bft as this was only my 3rd ever trip fishing out of San Diego. I'm sure my fighting technique was incorrect but I believe my big mistake was not putting the reel into low gear sooner. The fish only ever charged the boat once so most of the time it was a slow grind.
    I'm just not sure when during the fight I should switch to low gear....
    I'm definitely still learning but feel extremely lucky to land a bft over 100# on only my 3rd trip!
    Honestly, I almost never use low gear, even for cows. If you have the right technique, you don't need it. Only when I need a break AND I have the fish settled down into death spirals do I use it. But then you have to be ready to switch quickly if the fish turns toward you. You just have to practice changing gears quickly. It is harder under 20#+ of drag.
     
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    gettingbentwithbo

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    Mar 7, 2009
    2,855
    1,761
    Riverside
    gettingbentwithbo.com
    Name
    Bo
    Boat Name
    16' Starcraft SF SS
    I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say most anglers DO NOT KNOW just how hard they can pull on #30 / #40 /#50 line. Seriously.

    A couple years ago I was on the Outer Limits and we got into a 20-50lb bite I was running 25lb floro and hooked into a GOOD one. Instantly bent and was in for a good (long) fight. Short story.. thought the line broke at the end of the fight when I reeled in my line the hook was still there straight as an arrow. So yes if you have your drag set properly and tie good knots you can pull hard on 30-50lb line.
     
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    gettingbentwithbo

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    Mar 7, 2009
    2,855
    1,761
    Riverside
    gettingbentwithbo.com
    Name
    Bo
    Boat Name
    16' Starcraft SF SS
    How do you like that Speedmaster 12ii? How did it handle the 100#+ bft? Do you wish you would have had the 16, or was the 12 plenty?
     
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