Royal Polaris - OC Tuna 4 day trip report (part 1)

Mar 18, 2011
973
1,892
SoCal
Name
Doug
Boat
Royal Polaris
Going to try to keep this as short as possible. This is a very brief summary and there was a lot of other stuff going on that's not included in this post.

On the RP with Capt. Roy, Big D, Eddie, Doug, Trevon, Ryan, Dave and Adriel. We fished SCI during the night and scored on some of those jumbo BFT. Foamers everywhere during the day, but as we all know, they're conditioned to sound once a boat gets within a couple hundred yards. Best bite every single night was between 10pm - 3am....everything else in between was non existent. 400-500g knife jigs produced the bulk majority of fish.

I hooked a seriously large BFT that we couldn't stop....got spooled and bent my UC Viper all the way to the butt. Never in a million years did I think that was possible on a 76 Viper, but we all saw it with our own eyes. Reel seat to the butt was arched under immense pressure and sunset on the drag. Well over 40+ lbs of drag on my Mak 20 and it was flying off the reel like I was on a trout rig. Mak20 was getting super hot...crazy. 130lb threadlock eventually succumbed under all of that insane and immense pressure. Something to be said when the RP crew said they have never felt any tuna pull this hard ever on any trip in all their years of fishing. I can't even begin to explain the pressure, it was nothing like I have ever felt or experienced. My first thought was, this is a huge fish and split second later...I was like oh sh** this isn't good. We ended the trip with 37 big tuna and lost a lot more than we landed.

I think we only had 4 fish that were under 100lbs. Four biggest fish for our trip were a 238, 199, 160, 160. Lots of 100-140lbrs. If you're going soon, use at least 200lb fluorocarbon or just go with 300lb. Many of us were chewed off on 200lb since they're swallowing these big jigs.

Don't mess around with light drags, fish a super tight drag at strike and don't be afraid to ratchet past strike when up and down. Some of these mid grade fish (100-140lbrs) we were able to get to gaff in well under 10 minutes. Yes, they're still full of life but you won't be pinned at the rail for 30 minutes either....fight tight and grind. Good luck and thank you.

OC Tuna Club

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mmsblee

I Pity The Fool
Apr 3, 2012
98
100
So Cal
Name
marshall
Boat
Boatless
That is one crazy story. I wonder if you would have had a chance on a kite rig, 80 size reel and big stick?
 
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Mar 18, 2011
973
1,892
SoCal
Name
Doug
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Royal Polaris
That is one crazy story. I wonder if you would have had a chance on a kite rig, 80 size reel and big stick?
Maybe...... I think a 80 or 130 size reel with 300lb spectra and 400lb fluoro and a super unlimited rod we might of had the chance to at least turn it's head! We all know there are 400-500lb BFT swimming out there and we'll never land them.
 
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Mar 18, 2011
973
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Royal Polaris
NICE
WTG Doug Great Report And , Getting spooled on a mak 20 WOW :oops:

Thanks! You know how Roy is.....he always finds a way to get us on big fish at some point during the trip. Super fun times and the comedy was top shelf. Roy and I were giggling and laughing at 3am.....

IMG_3384.jpg
 
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Mar 18, 2011
973
1,892
SoCal
Name
Doug
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Royal Polaris
Suiper good fishing...
Superb write up!
Many thanks.
I wouldn't label this as super good fishing. Trophy hunting is more appropriate. We had more than our fair share of opportunities. Lots of chew offs, lots of pulled hooks. Most everyone was on the proper gear, you just needed to get lucky on where your hooks were buried on the fish. If you put in your rail time with the proper terminal gear, you were eventually rewarded. Those who caught at least 1 fish were "shooting par". Not going to lie, it was tough to get a bite. If you did, it was a good one and you needed to take full advantage of the opportunity because you never knew if you would get another bite.
 
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The Dr.

Almost A Member
May 5, 2015
222
307
40
Name
Kenji
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Ranger 521VX
Doug- Thanks for the write up. And, for organizing another epic trip. All in all slow fishing, but we still had the best time out there. Hard not to have fun with that group of friends!

I felt very fortunate to land my single fish on the first night (120lb). I was one of many that didn't fair so well the rest of the trip. I ended up losing my next three hookups. My last being a heartbreaker, that chewed through the 200lb bite leader like it was 20lb. We hooked 6-7 fish in that school, losing 5 to breakoffs and pulled hooks. The two that did hit the deck were 199 and 238, so you can imagine the size of those that got away.

Those were some of the biggest. Meanest. And strongest fish I have ever seen.

My kit for next trip: Mak20 100lb hollow, spliced to 100ft 200lb hollow and 300lb bite leader. I'm still blown away they were snapping 100-130 spectra and 200lb bite leaders!
 
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Mar 18, 2011
973
1,892
SoCal
Name
Doug
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Royal Polaris
Doug- Thanks for the write up. And, for organizing another epic trip. All in all slow fishing, but we still had the best time out there. Hard not to have fun with that group of friends!

I felt very fortunate to land my single fish on the first night (120lb). I was one of many that didn't fair so well the rest of the trip. I ended up losing my next three hookups. My last being a heartbreaker, that chewed through the 200lb bite leader like it was 20lb. We hooked 6-7 fish in that school, losing 5 to breakoffs and pulled hooks. The two that did hit the deck were 199 and 238, so you can imagine the size of those that got away.

Those were some of the biggest. Meanest. And strongest fish I have ever seen.

My kit for next trip: Mak20 100lb hollow, spliced to 100ft 200lb hollow and 300lb bite leader. I'm still blown away they were snapping 100-130 spectra and 200lb bite leaders!

Doug- Thanks for the write up. And, for organizing another epic trip. All in all slow fishing, but we still had the best time out there. Hard not to have fun with that group of friends!

I felt very fortunate to land my single fish on the first night (120lb). I was one of many that didn't fair so well the rest of the trip. I ended up losing my next three hookups. My last being a heartbreaker, that chewed through the 200lb bite leader like it was 20lb. We hooked 6-7 fish in that school, losing 5 to breakoffs and pulled hooks. The two that did hit the deck were 199 and 238, so you can imagine the size of those that got away.

Those were some of the biggest. Meanest. And strongest fish I have ever seen.

My kit for next trip: Mak20 100lb hollow, spliced to 100ft 200lb hollow and 300lb bite leader. I'm still blown away they were snapping 100-130 spectra and 200lb bite leaders!
Those were all jumbos in that school for sure.....Yours, Derek's, Stroh's...all jumbos. Remember the very next drop after my big one was the one I passed off to Cam. That fish was even bigger! I can't believe that fish turned over with only 1/2 circle to go before all 4 gaffs were to sink in. Just seeing that monster laying on the surface just outside of gaff range was incredible...
 
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nicodemus

Fish, he said softly, aloud. I’ll stay with you...
Apr 10, 2012
759
1,128
The 505
Name
Nick B
Boat
African Queen
With all the bitten through leaders... did anyone try the bridled method, i.e. circle hook above the lure?
 
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Tom Honaker

I Should Upgrade My Account
Sep 27, 2015
1,149
1,938
63
Hotchkiss Colorado
Name
Tom Honaker
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Royal Star
Going to try to keep this as short as possible. This is a very brief summary and there was a lot of other stuff going on that's not included in this post.

On the RP with Capt. Roy, Big D, Eddie, Doug, Trevon, Ryan, Dave and Adriel. We fished SCI during the night and scored on some of those jumbo BFT. Foamers everywhere during the day, but as we all know, they're conditioned to sound once a boat gets within a couple hundred yards. Best bite every single night was between 10pm - 3am....everything else in between was non existent. 400-500g knife jigs produced the bulk majority of fish.

I hooked a seriously large BFT that we couldn't stop....got spooled and bent my UC Viper all the way to the butt. Never in a million years did I think that was possible on a 76 Viper, but we all saw it with our own eyes. Reel seat to the butt was arched under immense pressure and sunset on the drag. Well over 40+ lbs of drag on my Mak 20 and it was flying off the reel like I was on a trout rig. Mak20 was getting super hot...crazy. 130lb threadlock eventually succumbed under all of that insane and immense pressure. Something to be said when the RP crew said they have never felt any tuna pull this hard ever on any trip in all their years of fishing. I can't even begin to explain the pressure, it was nothing like I have ever felt or experienced. My first thought was, this is a huge fish and split second later...I was like oh sh** this isn't good. We ended the trip with 37 big tuna and lost a lot more than we landed.

I think we only had 4 fish that were under 100lbs. Four biggest fish for our trip were a 238, 199, 160, 160. Lots of 100-140lbrs. If you're going soon, use at least 200lb fluorocarbon or just go with 300lb. Many of us were chewed off on 200lb since they're swallowing these big jigs.

Don't mess around with light drags, fish a super tight drag at strike and don't be afraid to ratchet past strike when up and down. Some of these mid grade fish (100-140lbrs) we were able to get to gaff in well under 10 minutes. Yes, they're still full of life but you won't be pinned at the rail for 30 minutes either....fight tight and grind. Good luck and thank you.

OC Tuna Club

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What were the hot knife jigs? And what color patterns got bit best?
 
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2Rotten

Live in Oregon/Love to Fish San Diego!
Jan 10, 2010
535
1,202
Junction City OR
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Rod Lathrop
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24' North River Seahawk Hardtop "Sun Dog"
With all the bitten through leaders... did anyone try the bridled method, i.e. circle hook above the lure?

Yes, some were trying that method with minimal success.
I checked in with AFraser, the +/- original bridle guy, he says the 400-500 gram knife jigs are too large for effective use with the bridle method. The Tuna has trouble completely swallowing the hook and jig. I used the bridle with a 300 gram SK jig, a 12/0 Eagle Claw 2004G circle hook and 100# fluoro to go 3-for-3 on triple-digit Tuna on a May 1.5 Day on Tomahawk, with largest being 185#.

My 185# came to the boat on my 7'6" UC Viper/Mak 20 combo in just 19 minutes, finished at 40# of drag. Bend was at most 3/4 of the way down the stick; there was more to give. I can't even imagine how Insane that Super-Jumbo must have felt with the Viper bottomed out!
 
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Mar 18, 2011
973
1,892
SoCal
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Doug
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Royal Polaris
What were the hot knife jigs? And what color patterns got bit

@Let em eat 74 was telling me the story over the phone about your freight train fish. But reading it, man….. I wish you could have at least glimpsed it.
@Let em eat 74 was telling me the story over the phone about your freight train fish. But reading it, man….. I wish you could have at least glimpsed it.
That would have been nice, but those fish are big for a reason. The only good thing that came out of this

What brand of fluorocarbon are you using at 200-300#?
Blue Label and Blackwater
 
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Mar 18, 2011
973
1,892
SoCal
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Doug
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Royal Polaris
@Let em eat 74 was telling me the story over the phone about your freight train fish. But reading it, man….. I wish you could have at least glimpsed it.

You might have hung into one of those fish like they wrapped years ago up there. Those were 800# bluefin.
I done think they disappeared.
Roy told me the same thing about those 400-500lbrs that were seen by the Spotter plane earlier this year..... The only way to even have a chance at these true giants is having a skiff to run it down. Otherwise you'll never get them to the boat.....they're just way too big.
 
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screamingreel

Long Range Fanatic
Jan 14, 2006
2,484
3,062
Walnut Creek CA
longrangesportfishingsandiego.com
Name
Jeff Burroughs
Boat
Long Range and Private
Hi Doug, looks like another fun adventure with a great group! It is possible you may have hooked another species... possibly Elvis? (swordfish) Depending on how deep you were and if it was a glow jig.

Good advice on gear recommendations. Some folks go too light and pay the price. I prefer the Mak 50 with 200 lbs. spectra with 400 lbs. Seaguar blue fluorocarbon leader for night jigging the 400-500 gram jigs. 48lbs. of drag at strike on a Calstar 775XXXH. You have to hold on tight and use the rail. I get bit on it. I also get bit-off too! I believe it is wise to bring the appropriate sized gun to a gun fight...

Cheers!

- Jeff Burroughs
 
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