Offshore Personal Best Bluefin

PENN

gheldoorn

Newbie
Jul 22, 2006
9
68
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Name
Geoff
Boat
35 Cabo Flybridge
Short report: 285# Bluefin on 80 # IGFA for Chris Bailey's personal best. 2.5 hr battle.

Long Version: Left Dana Point at 10:30 pm Friday night with my friends Chris and Jay. Heading for the SCI ridge by grey light. We found small YFT early and couldn't get a bite. Live sardines, mackerel, stick baits, iron, poppers. Nothing worked for us. We were about 6 mi below the island. We kept moving west to the 81 area and found school size BFT but again no love. We turned NW and ended up N of the 381 and started to see larger grade BFT swirling on the surface in sporadic small areas. We decided to set up a drift with the balloon rig and kite rig. We drifted 2 dead flyers for about 2 hours and were talking about calling it a day around 3 pm. "Let's give it a few more minutes." At 3:30 Chris' balloon rig gets blown up and he's on! We get him in the harness and have to start following the fish before it settles down. He fights it for 2.5 hours and it comes to gaff. Jay sinks the first gaff and I get the second. We get a tail rope on it and drag it through the swim step. It's crazy how big these things look and we're all guessing at the weight. We tape it at 292# and head for home. We go to the fuel dock at Dana and weigh it the next morning and it tips the scales at 285.7#. This is a new personal best for Chris and a Dana Angling Club record. Coincidentally, he set the record last year with a 274# BFT almost to the day! Anyway, it was an epic day and congratulations go out to Chris and thanks to Jay for securing the first gaff shot.

Here's a video of the trip:

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Tom123

Member
Jan 31, 2020
446
419
LA
Name
Tom
Boat
None
Congrats! Beautiful fish. Chris is probably dreaming about that fight right now. He deserves some well earned rest. Great job!
 
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2NAKLR

Almost A Member
Feb 28, 2006
162
7
SC
Name
Chris
Boat
21' Parker - "Kingpin"
Thanks for posting this Geoff!!! Almost a year to the date of the 274# we get this 285#.

Now it's your turn for a large BFT.
 
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Robert c. Sample

Almost A Member
Feb 11, 2019
172
429
65
Snowflake arizona
Name
Robert sample
Boat
Reel rage
Walking that fish back from the bow to the cockpit if he went over with that belt on .Not much time to unhook. Put it in free spool.your going to die.Best to hand rod off then get back in the game.
 
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2NAKLR

Almost A Member
Feb 28, 2006
162
7
SC
Name
Chris
Boat
21' Parker - "Kingpin"
Many clubs follow IGFA rules. Its not for everyone...

As for walking back, drag was backed off enough and kept thumb pressure to not dump the spool....
 
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