Risky Business

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by hot tuna, May 4, 2017.

  1. hot tuna

    hot tuna Member

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    In a recent trip report from the RP titled, "Wrong tackle" the author explains what happened when unexpected bigger fish moves in. Heavy losses on bigger fish due to light line, small hooks etc.
    This brings up some interesting questions. The conditions have been tough down there, and much smaller grade fish making up the catch. In addition the taxman has been relentless taking his share.

    So Is it appropriate to fish 80# at times when slow to get a bite or be patient and stay with the heavier gear?

    Just wanted to hear how others approach it.
     
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  2. Fishybuzz

    Fishybuzz fishybuzz

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    Not a simple question.....IMO a lot depends on the individual skill level of the angler....proper technique is very important when hooked up to large fish especially with light tackle and small hooks...if there are lots of sharks I probably would not fish 80# just a waste of resources......

    I rarely go down to 80# and seem to catch my share. But it's your vacation .....so if you are confident throw the 80#....
     
  3. spinner

    spinner Well-Known "Member"

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    you still fish the conditions/ fish the big gear when it is your know in the past price time and drop down during the slow or dead zone periods
     
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  4. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    To a certain extent, line weight and hook size are different issues, at least partly. Yes, there are times when a smaller hook helps get a bite when things are really picky...and in general it is easy to get in the habit of using a hook that is bigger than you need.

    For me, though, hook size mostly depends on bait size. On my most recent trip, I never did drop to 80lbs, but our bait was so small that I was using 4/0 circle hooks...and even considered dropping to 3/0. I just felt like I would need too much luck to get a fish to the boat with such a small hook.

    When I started long range fishing, the people I most admired had a saying: "friends don't let friends fish 80lbs." Yes, Fishy, you told me that several times. Lots of experienced anglers said "you don't need fluoro to get bit" and "you shouldn't even fish 100lbs...I get bit on 130 all day long." I believed them then, and I believe that was true then too. I am just not sure it is true now.

    More and more I see really superior anglers (better than I'll ever be!) routinely fishing 80lbs in the daytime, unless there are more than a couple of jumbos around. On tough trips you see guys fishing 60lbs by day three. The attitude has clearly changed, and quite a lot of people seem to feel that lighter line and smaller hooks are really the only way to get bites, whether you can land the fish you hook or not.

    Yes, it's risky business. I feel like it's a desperation move, but a legit one. From what I can tell, this has been, by and large, a very tough year in the cattle pasture. There have been big fish caught, and some really impressive overall trips too, but most of the fish have been smaller, and a whole lot of trips have been extremely scratchy. I don't ever remember hearing/reading about a more difficult year.

    I don't blame people for trying. I think it's a mistake most of the time, but that's also what I have been taught to believe by people who know a lot more about it than I do. I'm not ready to change my opinion based on one really tough trip.
     
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  5. NoLDR

    NoLDR OG BD member

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    Yes IMO sometimes it is more about getting a bite in order to lift ones interest and or spirit. Have to go in with the mindset you most likely not land the fish but I do it all the time. We all do it every now and again just to feel the rush of a bite well the group I fish with do.
    I have several good friends on this trip and I know they are part of the crowd that dropped down in line class, I know because I have fished with them on a handful of long trips over the years. What ends up happening is you get caught with your pants down in front of a bunch of other guys (uncomfortable) you learn your lesson on that fish then rack the 60 or 80 most likely 60 in this case and go back to 130lb. Only problem is it may have cost you the one fish you really wanted. I am fine with it so I can continue to justify 6k in search of my 200lb fish. Last season was a 196lb yellowfin on the right gear close but no cigar or patch :(.
    Have fun and spice it up every now and then is the way I feel about the topic.
    Brad
     
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  6. Josa1

    Josa1 Well-Known "Member"

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    Seems impossible, but my biggest (283 pound) tuna came on 60 pound and a single speed reel many years ago at the Lunker Hole. That's the fish pictured in my Avatar.
    I've been known to fish at least one and sometimes two line tests less than the crew is recommending. I do this because, within reason, I have good confidence that I can't break fishing line pulling on it with a fishing rod. I fish 80 pound with the same drag setting I fish 100 pound. If I'm using 90/100/130 fluoro the line at the fish has good abrasive quality.
    I've seen people fish 150 pound with 18 pounds of drag pressure and I think they are more likely to lose a fish than someone fishing 80 pound with 26-30 pounds of drag pressure.
    I do think that heavier lines are more forgiving of unforeseen circumstances. For instance if someone hooks a wahoo and it burns across your line that's connected to a fish, or the fish makes a few wild swings under the boat and rubs the line on the bottom and all of the other things sticking out down there, or someone casts a fresh mackerel across your line, and on and on, the heavier line will definitely save you.
    Its always seemed to me that I get bit better with lighter line. Take the kite for instance. Two hundred pound line, baits dangling and splashing with no line in the water. They get bit very well, and I think it's because there's really nothing there to shy the fish away from your offering. I think that if you are content to set there and fish heavy line and you're not getting bit, then you're not apt to catch much!
    I guess after all this you can put me down as someone who would vote for fishing the lighter line when necessary, and as someone who wouldn't be too upset if a random cow sized fish jumped on and for some reason I lost it. However, I wouldn't hesitate to change to heavier gear if the "big guys" show up in quantity.
    josa1
     
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  7. Workplacesafety

    Workplacesafety Reducing workplace injuries and illnesses

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    I drop down, Way down. And I get smoked every now and then.
     
  8. Fishybuzz

    Fishybuzz fishybuzz

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    You will never see me fish 60# at Hurricane or the buffer zone.......I have seen to many heartbreaks with inadequate tackle......sure people have caught cows on Long Range boats with 60# line but I would wager many more were lost than caught....
     
  9. screamingreel

    screamingreel Long Range Fanatic

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    Great question, Steve!

    The quick answer is sure, fish 80 lbs.! We have fished a couple of long trips together and as you know, I am not afraid of using lighter line and a smaller hook to get bit. You have to get bit first. The chance of landing a fish that does not bite is nil. Listen to the crew, but remember: they want to land them all; that is their business so they recommend what gives us the best chance.

    Be smart about it. If all the fish landed are over 150, I would recommend not using below 80 lbs. but which 80 lbs.? Seaguar Premier 80 is the same diameter or thinner than some 60 lbs. lines ad Premier 100 diameter is like almost most other 80 lbs. Use the heaviest line you can and still get bit or use whatever you want. It is your vacation and prerogative.

    Everything we do and use makes a difference, but bait selection and sea conditions are some of the most important factors in the fly line presentation equation. The fish react to the bait. Heavier lines and hooks have greater negative effect on the bait. If anything seems the least bit unusual, the tuna will hesitate to bite.

    Getting bit and the first run are the most fun for me. If I lose a fish, so be it! I have successfully landed several 140 to 180 lbs. fish using 60 lbs., and caught a few cows on 80 lbs.; but as previously said, your margin for error goes way down and the chances of something going wrong goes way up.

    So the real question is: how much of a gambler are you?

    - Jeff Burroughs

    Good luck to you and Cathy; have fun on your June Ahi Excel trip!
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  10. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    You won't see me doing that either, David...not unless the captain himself says to do it. I don't even come prepared to fish 60. And in fact, I have never even fished 80. Not once. I come prepared to fish 80, though.

    My comments were about how the attitude has changed, how the bite seems to have changed.

    One thing that I have thought many times this year is that the pressure at Hurricane has been way heavier than ever before. For whatever reason, the Buffer Zone at Clarion was mostly unproductive, all season long. I think a couple boats did well there on a trip or two, and a few more had some decent luck, but from what I understand, it was almost all smaller fish, and often not much of anything. So everyone went to Hurricane, with seiner pressure and just about every long range boat. I know fish populations move in and out, but a lot of the time, the place was fished hard for weeks.

    Is it any surprise that they became a bit line shy?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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  11. Brad I

    Brad I Common Sense Isn't Common Enough

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    Been there, done that. Sometimes I got the fish, sometimes I got the fishing experience. ;)
     
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  12. Soda Pop

    Soda Pop I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    I only fish 100 LB seaguar fluoro premier in the day. When its dark I use 130 LB seaguar fluoro premier. I have seen many anglers use 80 LB fluoro and do ok with it. The fish in my Avatar I caught on 100 LB... or should I tell the truth... LOL .... Capt. Sammy had to get in there a few times while I rested my old tired bones. Thank god for young strong deckhands. I am not out there to kill my self anymore. In fact the only part is the bite I like. After that its hard work.... LOL ... but I also love the challenge.
     
  13. CaptJgray

    CaptJgray I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Ive had this discussion a number of times but in reverse.

    Say your fishing yellows at Rocky Point

    If they will eat 25 then they will eat 30, if they will eat 30 they will eat 40, if they eat 40 they will eat 50, and if they eat 50 they will eat 60. Thats why I start with 60...

    If they are gonna bite they are gonna bite, but then again I learned how to pick a bait from Choate when i was in my moms womb...
     
  14. $norkle

    $norkle Well-Known "Member"

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    No risk, no reward. I'm inclined to fish 100lb whenever there are larger models anywhere in the area. To relieve boredom during slow times when nothing is happening I'll drop as far as 60lb. What the hell, the bite is the rush and sometimes it works out okay. I've gotten two 170+ on 60 at hurricane and a cow on 80. Not what I'd rather be doing, but I'd rather hook up than not. One requisite is that you be in sufficient shape to hold up to a long (or very long) knock down-drag out battle.
     
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  15. Bill W

    Bill W tunaholic

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    You do what you did, you get what you got...
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  16. Steve K

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

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    I would always like to be hooked up with a legit 130 lb topshot, something like Seaguar Blue Label with a diameter of 1.17 mm. Would like that with a 7/0 Super Mutu hook, on a 50 size reel and a 4XH rod.

    I'll fish that for sure with a big bait like a Salami, even heavier and a bigger hook with a Skipjack or Baby Giant, 8-10 lb Yellowfin.

    But, I'm usually fishing a 4/0-5/0 circle hook with a Sardine or a 5/0-6/0 VMC Dynamic hook tied onto Seaguar Premier 130 lb. Usually something like my Avet 30W, an ATD30T or Mak 20, Seeker 2X4 or Calstar 770XXH.

    But, I'm going to have my newest rig at the ready on the next trip. Mak 16SEa, 15-20 feet of 100 lb Seaguar Premier or 80 lb Berkeley Pro Spec, smaller hook, definitely a circle hook and pull like hell with at least 30 lbs of drag at strike. Pulling with my newest rail rod, UC 76 Viper in the rod wrapping lathe as we speak. Unless the cows are biting nails, gonna fish it a lot.
     
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  17. Josa1

    Josa1 Well-Known "Member"

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    Hey Steve,
    I like a man with a plan. Sure sounds like you given this its deserved amount of thought and will do your best to try to make it come together.
    This thread mostly deals with line and hooks but I believe that the reel you apply the line and hooks to are of ultimate importance. Like you, I fish a 16 (16VSX) with 80 over 100, 90 pound fluoro, and try to set the drag at around 27 and "pull like hell!". However, I always think the 16 is a little under gunned.
    Will be very interesting to hear how your plan comes together. Given my druthers, I would rather fish 80 on a MAK 30 or Penn 50, more line, and the possibility of getting "smoked" will diminish somewhat. But, there's something pretty awesome about hooking a fish, watching your line disappear, and knowing that there's not a darn thing you can do about it!
    We just enjoy it, huh?
    josa1
     
  18. tunachris

    tunachris Member

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    Its all about picking the right bait, sticking with what works, and time at the rail! I don't fish less than 100 ever at the islands and Hurricane. I suppose with circle hooks, and some luck, 80 can do the job, but too many things can go wrong. I don't want to hook the fish of a lifetime, and end up under-gunned. Although I fish all my heavy gear at 28 pounds at strike, which is fine with 80, I ramp WAY up when the fish is doing deep circles, and I want line that can endure the heavy drag if the fish runs. Also like the abrasion resistance of heavier line.
     
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  19. caballo del mar

    caballo del mar Well-Known "Member"

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    I fished 80 lb. at Clarion and caught a 314 lb. YFT. I used no spectra, a 200 lb. monofilament leader, j hook and a single speed reel. It was kinda hard to turn the handle. That's the way it was done in the 80's. I'm sure the hook to land ratio has gone up with improved rigging.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  20. spinner

    spinner Well-Known "Member"

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    the 80 you were using was probably more like 100+ UP TO 130/ if it was Berkley or Mizo way over 100/ but a single speed/wowwwwwwww, you are the man
     
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