So Cal tuna Help

Hookum Greg

Newbie
Jun 14, 2014
12
1
63
Name
Greg
Boat
Sea Ray
My friend and I are heading south the second week of Augest for Tuna. We're new to Tuna Fishing and could use advise on a good charter boat, 1 or 3 days, will our largest Salmon gear be enough, should we buy plugs, spoons, Jigs or should we buy gear from the skipper? Thanks in advance, Greg
 
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johndtuttle

Angler/Client
  • Mar 20, 2008
    5,594
    1,784
    Carmel, CA
    Name
    john
    Boat
    not crazy enough yet
    Hey Greg,

    The SoCal tuna fishery is very different from ours here up North because it primarily is a live bait fishery.

    Any of the boats out of Fisherman's Landing or H&M Landing are recommended. It is a large fleet and arguably the most professional of it's kind. You need to book right away as the SoCal season is on fire and during the week is best if you can swing it.

    What you need are good 7-8' live bait sticks with a 3/0 sized reel that you can cast a sardine with (about 10 yards+) to get it away from the boat. You have to be gentle and all you are after is the bait away from the boat and in good condition to swim and attract a fish.

    If there was a "classic" set up it would be like a graphite star drag spooled with 300 yards of 30# test on a 7' live bait rod rated 15-40 or 20-50. If any of your salmon setups are close to this you will do fine. Be advised that compared to Tuna, Salmon are the pussies of the Sea. :D

    1/0-4/0 live bait hooks (depending on size of baits available) etc but all available on the boat that day.

    Practice casting a small (4-5") rubber swim bait, unweighted, before you go and let the crew help and you will have a great time.
     
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    riceeater25

    Ling Slayer
    Jan 3, 2015
    22
    17
    23
    Name
    Willie Tang
    Boat
    N/A
    I think john covered most of what you will need down south

    However, if you guys are using anchovies as bait, then #2 or #4 hooks will be needed. Personally, I like ringed hooks for tuna. You guys will also need some fluorocarbon, 25, 30, 40, and if the big 'ol bluefins are around, then 50.

    For jigs, if you guys have heavier krocs, bring that. Grab yourself some shimano flat falls in 100g and 130g in the black anchovy and sardine color, lots of people has been getting them on those. Tady in the blue/chrome has been working for some bluefins.

    Call the landing a few days before, they will tell you what has been biting/working. When you get on the boat, introduce yourself to the deckhands, they will help you guys set up and teach you the basics. Listen to what these guys are saying.

    BTW use this website to find your trip, it will save you A LOT of time
    http://www.usasportfishing.com/trip-finder/

    Go slay 'em :D
     
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    ckster

    Member
    Oct 8, 2009
    488
    288
    SD
    Name
    Chris
    Boat
    F/V Rubber Ducky
    I use mostly size 2 and 1/0 owner ringed flyliner hooks for my 20 and 30 pound rigs and 3/0 ringed gorilla for 40# as far as hooks go. 20# reel has about 250y of line, and 30# has 350y of line. I use 30# 90% of the trip. 40# for anything with a jig on it.

    Tribute and new lo-an are the only boats I ride in the 1 - 2.5 day range. Best service, helpful, courteous and knowledgeable deckhands, and best food you'll find in the fleet in my opinion (for that range of trips).
     
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    huntindog

    Almost A Member
    Aug 17, 2010
    112
    92
    philbrook lake, CA
    Love the aztec and pride. Always a great experience. Most of your salmon gear will get tore up by a 15 lb tuna. If you have a levelwind reel leave it at home.
    Honestly I wouldnt bother with too many plugs or jigs. Maybe a couple megabaits or flatfall jigs. Get on board...be nice to the deckhands and let them show you the way.
     
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    Simon Bon Bowery

    Lizard Fish Hippie
    Feb 18, 2007
    10,277
    1,444
    O'side
    Name
    Simon
    Boat
    Chris Craft 19 cc "LiL Lizard"
    Jump on the pride or the Aztec.,rent your rods. You will be in good hands with Greg and his crew, just tell them that you want some help. They'll dial you in
     
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    huntindog

    Almost A Member
    Aug 17, 2010
    112
    92
    philbrook lake, CA
    Couple other things worth noting..parking at H and M landing can be a nightmare if you dont know your way around whereas seaforth is pretty easy. Learn a polomar knot and a san diego knot and a good knot to tie flourocarbon to mono... when it gets going fast you can be tieing new leaders often. What else? When in doubt...ask for help...seems obvious but yiu would be surprised
     
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    huntindog

    Almost A Member
    Aug 17, 2010
    112
    92
    philbrook lake, CA
    Look at the so cal sport boat planner ..there is a giy on there with 2 spots on a 12 person charter open for $300... if it wasnt opening weekend of archery deer I would be all over that. Smokin deel on a limited load...which is the other piece of advice I would give...pay extra to go on a limited load trip, especially your first couple trips...crowded boats can be a little tough on rookies
     
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    wils

    lazy-ass well known "member"
    May 31, 2003
    9,188
    5,836
    not a spoiled bitch from san diego
    Name
    bill
    Boat
    I hate boats
    since you're making a fairly long drive, do a 3-3 1/2 day trip. Since you obviously are new to this, you are going to want multiple consecutive days to get the hang of it. The First String would be a good boat to get hooked on.
     
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    yessokk

    Luck favors the well prepared.
    Sep 18, 2006
    1,250
    1,902
    Costa Mesa, Cailf
    Name
    Walt
    Boat
    11 ft Sears W/Duel 5.2hp
    Go Here: http://www.sportfishingreport.com/pages/landings.php?selCountry=226&state=6
    Go to: H&M Landing, Seaforth Landing, Point Loma Landing and Fisherman's Landing.
    Go to each landings website and hit .... " Complete Schedule ". That will list all the available
    trips. Take your pick. Then post up your pick for "Unbiased" opinions.... LOL !!!
    Equiptment:
    If you are wondering if your Salmon gear will work, depends. If you have the
    long very limp whippy type rods that I see a lot of salmon fishermen using then leave
    it home, it will be useless. Take the advice above and rent your equipment, about
    $15 per day. Also excellent recommends above if you have other sources. If you rent
    make sure the drags are smooth and have no sign of jerkiness. If the drags are
    sticky or rough hand the rod back and ask for another unit.
    And strip off about 20 feet of line to make sure the beat up section is removed.
    The posts above all contain useful information worth considering.

    Best of luck you are in for an awesome adventure.
    Walt
     
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    sitonmyface

    SEXNOW
    Oct 20, 2008
    1,109
    212
    San Marcos
    Name
    Brandon
    Boat
    Sportboat
    The main thing is keep it simple. You don't need any swivels or any of that crap. Don't fish flouro unless getting a bite necessitates it. More knots equals more chance for failure. I prefer a rusty mustad without rings. Pick the slimiest cleanest bait in the tank and get bit. But I'll agree with the above, you will get smoked on light salmon tackle and leave the levelwinds at home.
     
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    rockfish123

    Almost A Member
    Jul 6, 2011
    122
    16
    Pleasanton
    Name
    Stan
    Boat
    None
    Check out 976 tuna and the BD SoCal offshore reports/ San Diego long range. There have been MONSTER bluefin tuna around as well.
     
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    johndtuttle

    Angler/Client
  • Mar 20, 2008
    5,594
    1,784
    Carmel, CA
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    john
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    not crazy enough yet
    Be ready at the bait tank and always be the first bait in the water.

    No, actually I would consider this bad newbie advice. I would take my time at the tank and avoid the stampede. It's not worth it and can lead to bad feelings and being considered "that guy".

    This is another good reason to go on a little longer trip. They are more relaxed and less likely to have people rushing the tank.
     
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    *****

    Member
    Mar 12, 2014
    724
    263
    San Diego
    Name
    Blake
    Boat
    25' Skipjack FB
    No, actually I would consider this bad newbie advice. I would take my time at the tank and avoid the stampede. It's not worth it and can lead to bad feelings and being considered "that guy".

    This is another good reason to go on a little longer trip. They are more relaxed and less likely to have people rushing the tank.

    I've fished a few sporties over the years. Spent 3 days on the Shogun recently taking my time. Consistently watching the same 5 guys pulling in 90% of the bluefin on every stop. They were the same ones always ready at the tank with hook in hand.
     
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    Lipripper007

    Double Digit
    May 13, 2010
    583
    126
    El Cajon, CA
    Name
    LIPRIPPER
    Boat
    Sprint
    Circle hooks 2/0-4/0, hardest bait to catch in the bait hold, nose hook on long soaks, butt hook on wide open bites....get bit count 3-4 secs....put reel in gear and let the fish do the rest to set the hook....don't need to set the hook like on standard j hooks, also helps keep the hook away from those teeth...especially on the bigger Bluefin. Might want to just stick to using bait for first trip, keep it simple. No reason to spend more dough on jigs, poppers etc...and give yourself one more learning curve. Learn as much as you can from the 10% that catch 90% of the fish, ask questions, then you will have more of a clue as to what works and what doesn't, then buy what you think you may need besides a rental rod and a hook. Good Luck!
     
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    jayyyy

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Oct 7, 2008
    1,073
    322
    NorCal
    Name
    jay
    Boat
    '04 Sea Pro 220 WA / 225 Honda
    Seaforth landing has more parking availability close to the landing.......Talk to the crew members let them know your new to this type of fishing, they will give you the best information / advice.
     
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    johndtuttle

    Angler/Client
  • Mar 20, 2008
    5,594
    1,784
    Carmel, CA
    Name
    john
    Boat
    not crazy enough yet
    I've fished a few sporties over the years. Spent 3 days on the Shogun recently taking my time. Consistently watching the same 5 guys pulling in 90% of the bluefin on every stop. They were the same ones always ready at the tank with hook in hand.

    Good for them? But I promise you the others on the trip that know how to fish were looking at them like they were being jerks and should have said something, unless I misunderstand the situation (some people are too lazy to be ready but being ready is perfect. However, always being first in line is rude).

    So, I stand by my statement. If you are brand new to live bait fishing on the SD boats then do not rush the tank. Take your turn despite what 5 pushy guys are doing. If the same 5 guys are always first in line then they are being rude and are ruining the trip for others.

    If everyone followed your advice it would be one very un-enjoyable trip.

    I first went long range in 1983. Playing nice with others and being considerate is an important part of having fun yourself, I find.
     
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    *****

    Member
    Mar 12, 2014
    724
    263
    San Diego
    Name
    Blake
    Boat
    25' Skipjack FB
    I think we're on the same page. Be polite and be ready to fish when the capt makes the call. My point was that bluefin don't normally stick to the boat.
     
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    johndtuttle

    Angler/Client
  • Mar 20, 2008
    5,594
    1,784
    Carmel, CA
    Name
    john
    Boat
    not crazy enough yet
    I think we're on the same page. Be polite and be ready to fish when the capt makes the call. My point was that bluefin don't normally stick to the boat.


    Yes, I totally agree. There most definitely are times when they don't want to stick with the boat and the first baits in the water are the only ones to get bit after a jigstrike. In a tough bite this IS a sharpie's trick for getting bit.

    I go right around the whole process by dropping back a swim bait or small iron (Megabait or Flat Fall) to avoid the tank. :)


    best
     
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    pieter

    Newbie
    Dec 26, 2014
    13
    19
    45
    Name
    Pieter
    Boat
    private
    Seaforth Sportfishing in mission bay. Way less stress and free parking. The Eclipse, if you can get on, book way in advance. Great crew, nice boat and the food is a few notches up on the rest of the fleet. As far as tackle, you've got that info already
     
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    Peg North

    Peripatetic
    May 22, 2009
    350
    322
    West Sacramento CA
    Name
    "Buggywhip"
    Boat
    Slow Poke
    X2 on the aztec. He runs Ltd loads for open party trips. Call the boat a few days before and ask what is working, limit yourself to buying that. They actually keep hooks on deck for people to freely use, of the size that is working in case you dont have it. I agree to flyline until you have mastered the ability to stay in constant contact with your bait, working with others on deck to alwaysstay in front of your bait. No angles, windy side of boat. You will be moving all day long if you are doing it right. Keep it simple, listen to the crew, and enjoy your trip and making new friends!
     
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    bkaz

    Pharmfisher
    Jul 30, 2015
    147
    137
    Novato, CA
    Name
    BKAZ
    Boat
    None
    New to tuna fishing... rent rods or spend a lot of time doing your homework before buying an outfit. Be polite with fellow passengers and deckhands, and listen to their advice. You will find most fishermen are very willing to help out newbies.
     
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