Trophy Fishing Tackle Viking Fivestar 5 day trip EPIC!!!

Discussion in 'East Coast Fishing Reports Forum' started by JohnTFT, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

    Location:
    The "718"
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    John
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    A big Steel One
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    This was a great trip. I have been tuna fishing a long time and have never witnessed 100's of Bigeyes from 30-60lb under the boat.

    It was an intense experience since everyone works so hard to catch Bigeye and here we are off the edge with no bottom structure and a school of Bigeye tuna under the boat.

    When Bobby Schroeder, Steven Forsberg Jr and Carl Forsberg came to my shop one Sunday afternoon I asked them if they wanted to go to the Bear Seamount. Steven wanted to go I wanted to go so a trip was born.

    We never made it that far. Couple of reasons. The High Seas forecast was calling for a great deal of east wind towards the end of the trip. The Offshore forecast was calling for great weather. The forecast was right on both accounts. Steven made the right call and it made our trip.

    The other reason is never leave fish to find fish. We found a school of Bigeye tuna! How friggin cool is that.

    Bigeyes on Jigs. Bigeyes on Poppers. Bigeyes on the troll. It was Bigeye mania. To see a Bigeye come up aggressive on a popper and have several fish competing for that same lure is a sight to behold. We experience this with the multiple hook ups while trolling.
    The poppers were being hit so close to the boat in gin clear cobalt blue water, that you could see firsthand the aggressive nature of Bigeye. I have seen this in Hawaii but never here. Maybe some longliner has seen this but, I will go out on a limb and say not many if any sport boats get to see this.

    After releasing at least 100 Bigeye, keeping 35 for the box we left to go find some larger fish.
    Made our way back to Block Canyon. Trolled up some 100lb class Yellowfin. Anchored for the night and started chunking. Slow bite until 4am when it broke open. 4 fish on. 3 fish on. Fish on chunks, fish on jigs. It was typical NE canyon mayhem. Lost a few due to too many fish hooked and too many people in the rack! But, it’s all good.

    That day we caught fish on the chunk throughout the day. We never trolled. I was happy, as this is my favorite way to tuna fish. Daytime chunking is great when its productive. The boats trolling were not doing well at all. Staying on the chunk we had a slow pick but we were holding our own and doing better than the trolling fleet.

    Some observations: I fish heavy leader. Always start out with the heaviest leader for the size fish and the type of fishing we are doing. I fished no lighter than 100lb fluorocarbon. In fact all of my chunk fish were caught on 130lb leader and all of my jig fish were caught on 200lb leader.
    I day timed chunked 130lb leader and caught fish. Imagine that. I also did no fancy Butter fish rigging with needles and floss and hiding this and that. Nope.
    Slap hooked butter fish chunks or sardines and caught just fine. The main difference was the size of the hook. I was fishing a 6/0 circle hook. Not the usual 8 or 9/0 hook you see so often.

    Observation #2 - Rail rodding works in the Northeast just like it does on the West Coast. Several of us were fishing 7'3" rail rods and were doing damage. Taller people have a harder time but there is no denying how effective the technique is.

    Observation #3 - Longer trips make sense. We had so much time to move and cover ground. We fished in 1500 fathoms, the Claw, Dip, Middle Grounds, Block Canyon and the Fishtales. Some places were productive some not so much. Long trips give the captain options. Opportunity to gather information.
    Longer range trips are the future of Canyon fishing.

    Check out our Facebook page to see some great shots.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.679664225448166.1073741839.113165145431413&type=1
     
  2. aguachico

    aguachico I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
    Mariano Matamoros Tijuana
    Name:
    Art
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    Trident Yak- Grady White Seafarer
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    Wow. What an amazing fishery. How f far offshore are you talking?
     
  3. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

    Location:
    The "718"
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    John
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    A big Steel One
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    Hi, We were between 135 and 100 miles offshore.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  4. Corndog

    Corndog Landlocked

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    Northern Colorado
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    Jason Jones ( Lone Shark)
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    Century 1801, Hobie PA14 & SoA
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    I've seem em that wide in 99 but they since went extinct in the Pacific :D Thanks for sharing!
     
  5. hagridfish

    hagridfish Well-Known "Member"

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    I have a lot of questions about the trip. How many days? How many passengers? Were meals included? Was this like the San Diego long range trips? Cost? If the long range style goes to Montauk, I will be really stoked!
     
  6. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

    Location:
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    We had 12 passengers on the boat. Originally we were taking only 10 but took two additional since we were so stoked about reports we were getting about the fishery offshore.

    The trip was 5 days and meals were included. We also brought catered Italian food! because that's what Italians do bring waay more food than necessary. Water and soda were included alcohol was on the passenger. Fare was $1800.00

    It wasnt like the SD LR experience because the boat was designed as a large sport boat doing over nighters and two day trips. Not a long range sport boat. The Viking Fleet has been in business for 77 years and is really onto something with these multiple day trips. I think as the company sees the potential of longer trips you may see them offer a true long range schedule. For now they are planning many 3 day trips and at least 4 five day trips on the schedule.

    All of the passengers had a blast. It was something that many of them had never experienced. We had three passengers on board who have done at least one fifteen day trip on the Excel so they had something to compare it too.

    I have been on 14 LR trips on the Excel. While its a very different experience, this trip on the Viking Fivestar was a real eye opener for me. The potential for a LR fishery on the East Coast in the summer months exists. My hope is for the Viking Fleet to continue to develop the fishery.
     
  7. Tim Turis

    Tim Turis Well-Known "Member"

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    Tim Turis
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    WTG Nappo; congrats!!!
     
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  8. Northeastfshman

    Northeastfshman Moderator

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    San Clemente
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    Brett Weinberg
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    Parker 2120SCDV
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    WTG John! Psyched for you guys Chris said he had an amazing time. You are right that program is there for the taking! I'm so interested to see what that banks way out there hold. Never been farther than Hydrographers. I bet Ali and Jason would be all over something like that for BD.
     
  9. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

    Location:
    The "718"
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    John
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    Brett - It was great. I have never seen so many Tuna of any size under my boat in those kinds of numbers. There were hundreds of fish.

    The Hudson is on fire right now. Buddy of mine had 4 Bigeyes today and 11 YFT.

    Coming back for old times sake?

    Thanks.
     
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  10. hagridfish

    hagridfish Well-Known "Member"

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    Thanks John.
    The idea of L.R. coming to NY is great. I will have to look into it.
     
  11. Chris Penning

    Chris Penning Member

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    Laurel, MD
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    Chris
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    Total Ho
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    I fly out of BWI for SD on 9 Sep for a 8-day on the Intrepid. I would love nothing more than to be able to have access to a similar experience on this side of the continent. The price is comparable per day, so if the experience and fishing are comparable, it might be a no-brainer. Live bait is the key to their fishery. Has anyone explored that aspect?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  12. Northeastfshman

    Northeastfshman Moderator

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    Brett Weinberg
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    I've been telling Ali and Jason I am going to put something together where we can fish with Hughie out in MTK and then do a canyon trip...I'm thinking a 5 star run would be perfect. If you are doing one next year keep me in the loop. Congrats... and remember

    "In the housin thousands seen early graves, victims of worldly ways memories stay engraved"
     
  13. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

    Location:
    The "718"
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    And a better tomorrow for you too Bret!
     
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  14. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

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    We fished live Jacks with some success. They would hit them on sinker rigs but not on the flyline.

    Live bait is an issue in the NE. Nothing like Anchovies or Sardines exist here to generate that kind of live bait source. We can catch Mackerel and live squid for hook baits but, as far as chumming with live baits dont see that happening anytime soon.
     
  15. Chris Penning

    Chris Penning Member

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    Hey, thanks so much for your reply. I surely cede to your expertise, as I have very little time fishing for pelagics and even less time on the east coast, but when I think the thing through here's where I'm left confused. By and large I assume tuna predatory habits are the same world wide, in so much as they target bait fish in their habitat. Now while that might not be sardines or chovies, I would assume they are small baitfish that school together; those bait balls we see on the sonar and the ones we see pushed to the surface.

    Why not target those bait fish like the west coast does the does sardines? Are the bait fish in the Atlantic not as prevalent as sardines are in the Pacific? Is it a lack of an industry to target these bait fish (no consumer demand)? If there was consumer demand, is this a growth opportunity? Is the east coast angler just stuck on their model for fishing? Largely trolling, some chunking? Why don't more east coast anglers jig or use poppers, as you did in the report you posted?

    Again, just curious why some methods that are successful in other places aren't embraced on the east coast?

    Chris

    P.S. My Mrs. was more than excited to hear the opportunity to do "LR" from the east coast! Less expensive on the wallet!
     
  16. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

    Location:
    The "718"
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    Hi Chris,

    Great questions. The bait situation in the NE is complicated. There are schooling small bait fish that would hold up well in live wells. Herring, Mackerel, Squid and Whiting are all great Tuna baits. They are different than sardines as they are bigger and would require some different live well configurations but it is possible.

    Why it may never happen. Boston Mackerel, Squid, Whiting and Herring are baits and food fish. On the East Coast they are worth more as food fish. Herring has it worse since the species is a food source and a great source of bait for lobster fisherman.

    There is tremendous effort to catch these fish but, much of it goes to Europe as food. Its just worth more.

    As far as jigging and popping I feel North East Fisherman are some of the most accomplished jiggers and poppers in the world. Bluefin in the cape. Yellowfin in the canyons and all the inshore species Striped Bass, Weakfish, Bluefish and a wide variety of bottom fish. There is huge effort to do what we did on my trip.

    I have long advocated that there is a LR fishery to be had on the East Coast. It would be flexible as the weather in the winter makes it impossible to fish in the winter months with any consistency. But, the operation could flourish if it moved up and down the coast following the Tuna and Swordfish and the water boundaries.

    The Viking Trip I was on was an eye opener. Longer trips with more options to find fish of different grade and species.
     
  17. Northeastfshman

    Northeastfshman Moderator

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    Being fortunate enough to have spent a lot of my life fishing the canyons and now living here for the last 5 tuna seasons what John wrote is spot on. I used to get up a 1 A.M. before any fishing trip to gill net my own bait. No one was going to go through the costs of penning and curing bait when it can be sold for the retail market. That being said people think about going to crazy places to offshore fish. Not many other places where you can catch BFT, BET, YFT, Blue and White Marlin, Mahi and Wahoo all in the same block. It's a pretty special place and one I miss very much. Thanks again for sharing John
     
  18. Chris Penning

    Chris Penning Member

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    Chris
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    Total Ho
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    Thanks so much for the education/information. You live up to your profession. I think there are a lot of regions prime for a LR market. Just takes someone willing to commit the resources. I might just have to look into on of those 2 dayers I saw on their website.

    Until then, here we come Intrepid! 12 and a wu!!!
     
  19. chamackO

    chamackO Well-Known "Member"

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    Alex
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    that's a nice haul and those prices are reasonable. what is the quality of the fish after being in the hold? my buddy relocated out to NYC. will need to show him your report.
     
  20. JohnTFT

    JohnTFT Insomniac

    Location:
    The "718"
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    John
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    The quality was excellent. The Bigeyes were in the hold for a day or so and then the Fivestar crew did an unbelievable job loining the fish packaging them then icing them down again.

    The YFT and larger Bigeye were all cared for by piking the brain, bleeding, scrubbing the internal cavity and then icing the fish both internal and externally.

    They are making some improvements on the boat over the winter. One of which is another 1500 pound ice hold. We had 3000 pounds blown into the fish hold at the start of the trip. Another 1500 will really make for a great fresh product.

    We had a blast!
     

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