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View Full Version : Rpt-Sun-08-19-12 Bluefin Tuna and Do Do's!



Tunaslam
08-20-2012, 09:58 AM
Fishing for the first time with Chris on his 50í Viking, ďBad to the BoneĒ, Sunday, 8-19-12. I met Chris at the Police Dock in Shelter Island at 9:30 pm Saturday evening, along with crew Drew and Steve. Also on the trip were crew Phil and Chrisís son Steve. We locked and loaded gear and were off to the bait receiver to pick up three scoops of lousy
Sardines, of which 70% rolled and 50% of the rest were bloody and half dead. We also picked up a scoop of anchovies for a separate bait tank, with almost all dying by morning. So much for having chum?

The game plan was to motor down at 10 knots to the Tuna Pens and try our luck there, before heading to the Hidden Bank to look for kelp paddies. We took shifts of two for driving, and Drew and I arrived at the Pens at 5am, about 45 minutes before grey light. There were a half dozen Sport Boats and a few private boaters drifting in the area. Drew set us up on the far west pen, one of three in the area. Drew used to own the Pacifco in Puerto Vallarta and recently sold his boat, due to the difficult economic times.

We were all alone at grey light and my first bait in the water was inhaled on my 30 pound outfit. The Bluefin took a long first run, then settled down and resulted in a short battle when he sounded. Drew performed a perfect head gaff and there was blood on the decks early. This was our smallest fish of the day, about 15 pounds. During the battle Chris, Drew, and both Steveísí hooked fish, and all were lost due to a variety of reasons, pulled hookís, frayed line, and drags too tight?

I threw several more baits on my 30 pound outfit for nada, then switched to 20 pound and was instantly rewarded with a solid hook up. This was definitely a bigger fish, and ran more than a hundred yards on his first run. The fish sounded and went into the usual dawg style swim, where it leans on you side ways and you canít budge him. What seemed like forever in this mode, gaining 2 yards and losing six, the fish tired and I started gaining some line back. I finally saw deep color and Drew was ready with the gaff. However, the fish wasnít ready to die and got close to the boat and said no way, Iím out of here and dived deep. Gad these fish are tough on light line. For an eternity it was a tussle to the end, when Drew performed another nice gaff, this time in the eyeball.

This one was my second smallest at 25 pounds:

http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i394/tunaslam/Chris/100_2284640x480.jpg?t=1345469475

We had drifted quite a ways from the pen, and it was now surrounded by several Sporties and private boaters. We eased our way up past the boats and up swell from the pen. The fish meter lit up. Drew hollered let them go, and I think five lines hit the water and four were bit. I was on number three and this one took even more line, at least 150 yards on its initial run. The big Bluefin stopped, I gained back a bit of line, then it took another 50 yard run, I was getting dangerously close to being out of line, under 50 yards remaining. We played tug and pull for about five minutes, before the fish sounded and I gained back about 100 yards. It fought and fought and I never thought I was going to gain any line or see color, and then there it was, real deep color. I short pumped the fish up and down it went again and again. Gad, did I say these fish were tough? Then it circled up and Steve
stuck him right behind the gill plate, nice gaff Steve. This Bluefin was well over 30 pounds.

Whew I was beat. Grabbed a beer and watched the rest of the gang fight their fish. Both Drew and Chris lost big fish right at gaff, after long battles. Steveís fish had come unbuttoned at deep color and Phil was still pulling on his.

Finished my beer, re-tied my hook, as the first couple of inches were frayed, which seemed to be the case on all my hook ups, sure do love the abrasion resistance of Flour Carbon leader line? Let my bait run out about 100 yards, pumped the bait in three or four times, stopped and free spooled and bam, Iím bit again. Another long first run and another battle to the finish, and number four hits the deck, easily 30 pounds. Philís fish took him forever, and we played the tuna two step shuffle a number of times while fighting our fish. They always want to circle each other and if you donít move quickly, your tangled and lost fish usually result. Phil finally won his battle and another 30+ pound Bluefin Tuna hit the deck.

http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i394/tunaslam/Chris/100_2288480x640.jpg?t=1345469485

We were way off the fish by this time and again moved back to the pens, a few more boats had joined the party and every where you looked there hook ups and anglers fighting fish. Same deal, the first baits to hit the water and instant bites, myself included. Again there were heavy losses, I put number five on the deck, over 30 pounds, and Chris was in a battle for his life. He pulled something in his back, and had to hand the fish off to Drew. Drew also fought the fish for sometime before finally bringing it to gaff. The fish hold on one side filling up:

http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i394/tunaslam/Chris/100_2282640x480.jpg?t=1345469474

Steve Junior was bit for the second time and the line was ripping off so fast he forgot to put the reel in gear. I reached over and put it into gear, but it was too late, the fish had spit the hook, darn. Steve senior was not getting bit and so he dropped down to 15 pound line. He hooked fish but just couldnít put one on the deck, as the light line could not hold up to these bad boys.

I remained hotter than Hades and hooked my sixth tuna, again on the pumped bait. This fish was acting squirrelly, and became tail wrapped. I got it to the boat, but everyone was busy fishing and we missed a gaff opportunity, the fish unwrapped and dove deep. I got the Tuna back to deep color and it kept on shaking its head, while moving from side to side. Just as Drew went to stick him, he unbuttoned, bummer my first loss.

I took another break, and inhaled my second Corona while Drew and Steve both got bit and both landed their fish. Everyone but Junior was on the Board. When I hooked my seventh Tuna, I thought about handing it off, but it was another big fish and was dogging me good, I didnít think he could handle it, as I barely could. After another long battle I was done for awhile. Not using a belt, my belly was sore, my arms ached, my back was killing me and my legs were wobbly. Yikes!

The bite had all but died, we didnít see any other hook ups elsewhere, and it was now 9:15 am. We made one more drift alongside the pen, and only Chris got hooked up. His back felt better and he was determined to land this one on his own. It was a long battle, often with Chris resting as he sat on the rail, breathing hard. Finally the battle was won and he landed the biggest fish of the day a solid 35+ pound Bluefin. Way to go Chris, you earned that one. You can see the Tuna Pen in the background.

http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i394/tunaslam/Chris/100_2287640x480.jpg?t=1345469485

Looking at our bait situation, we had maybe 8 to 10 baits still swimming. It was 10am and we headed off to the Hidden Banks to look for kelp Paddies, hoping we could find one that would eat the mostly dead bait or bite our lures. We came across a number of nice Kelp Paddies and caught several Dorado and a few rat Tails. Saw fish on most of the Paddies, but they wanted nothing to do with our dead bait or iron. We started doing troll byes for mostly nothing, stopped a few more and slowed trolled dead sardines. We heard from others also having bait problems.

Here is a picture of Steve Junior who caught a 12 pound bull Dorado:

http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i394/tunaslam/Chris/100_2290640x480.jpg?t=1345469495

With water temps at the Hidden reaching 73 degrees, it was over 70 at the Pens, and five miles off the islands it rose to 74.7 degrees, wow thatís warm. I heard of one boater on the Butterfly call in with wide open Dorado and Yellowtail fishing, with one Bluefin Tuna. It all looks good for the balance of the year.

We called it a day at 3:30 pm and were at the dock at 6:30 pm. A picture of my haul:

http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i394/tunaslam/Chris/100_2292640x480.jpg?t=1345469496

http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i394/tunaslam/Chris/100_2291640x480.jpg?t=1345469495

I arrived home in Diamond Bar after 10 pm, one tuckered out angler. The traffic driving home was simply awful, was this a Holiday weekend?

Thanks a bunch Chris, had an absolute blast, your yacht is sweet, hope it is the first of many trips. Nice meeting you Steve, Drew, Phil and junior, hoping we share a rail together again real soon!

Hook up! Cory

Poxy Boggards
08-20-2012, 01:22 PM
Congrats on an Epic trip! Not to many reports like this one the past couple of years. Perhaps the Tuna bite will heat up this year with the warmer water. Congrats again!

DockRat
08-21-2012, 05:48 AM
Awesome report Cory. Time for a Rubber Ducky Tuna report ?
Great color on the DoDo.
DR


With water temps at the Hidden reaching 73 degrees, it was over 70 at the Pens, and five miles off the islands it rose to 74.7 degrees.
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb29/steppinontoes/funnies/0001.jpg

Which Way Out
08-21-2012, 06:49 AM
Living Large that's for sure. Great report and pic's guys.
Thanks for sharing

WWO

Tunaslam
08-21-2012, 08:27 AM
Awesome report Cory. Time for a Rubber Ducky Tuna report ?
Great color on the DoDo.
DR


With water temps at the Hidden reaching 73 degrees, it was over 70 at the Pens, and five miles off the islands it rose to 74.7 degrees.
http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb29/steppinontoes/funnies/0001.jpg

Waiting for a call from Lal to head offshore, since we both returned from successful trips might be as late as this weekend.

Cory

murrieta angler
08-21-2012, 06:55 PM
Great report Cory!
You did excellent, going 6 for 7...:Smile:
I enjoyed the picture of Phil with his eyes closed...:LOL:
Take Care,
Robert
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HawgStalker
08-21-2012, 07:24 PM
Now thats a fish report! Really enjoyed the read Tunaslam.... I gotta find a way to get out this year!

Enjoy all that tasty Bluefin!

fishandhunt
08-21-2012, 07:51 PM
Hello there Tunaslam,
Congrats on your tuna and do dos; I will be making a trip down south to Mexican waters in about three weeks. Hopefully I mimic your trip. A couple of weeks ago I went to Fisherman's Access in Brea, and trips like yours are not uncommon right now, hopefully it doesn't slow down for me.

DockRat
08-22-2012, 06:59 PM
Hi Cory, do you think the Catalina Channel will go off soon ?
Dorado the other day in the channel.
A nice south swell would be great to bust up more kelp for paddies.
Almost 70 degrees in SMB.
DR

Jackpot Jimmy
08-22-2012, 09:31 PM
Good going on another great Tunaslam trip! :Thumbs Up:

It makes you wonder if the bluefin are treating the pens like kelp paddies, or if it's some instinct that they know their kin are trapped in them. :LOL:

Tunaslam
08-23-2012, 03:20 PM
Good going on another great Tunaslam trip! :Thumbs Up:

It makes you wonder if the bluefin are treating the pens like kelp paddies, or if it's some instinct that they know their kin are trapped in them. :LOL:

Hi Jimmy, yes and yes. The pens get fed daily and the bait washes off and they dive under the pens for safety, just like kelp paddies.

Tunaslam
08-23-2012, 03:21 PM
Hello there Tunaslam,
Congrats on your tuna and do dos; I will be making a trip down south to Mexican waters in about three weeks. Hopefully I mimic your trip. A couple of weeks ago I went to Fisherman's Access in Brea, and trips like yours are not uncommon right now, hopefully it doesn't slow down for me.

Good luck, I often visit Fishermen's Access and they do most of my reel repairs.
Cory

Hooked Up
08-23-2012, 04:19 PM
Awesome report as usual! And the bait has been terrible! Friends of mine went out twice last week and both times their bait rolled early in the morning! I told them to chunk it as chum. Sometimes that works? Those BF fight great and with no belt you have to be hurting! LOL You must have an extra freezer with all the fish you catch! Great eating! #1 eating fish by many peoples standards? Nice Dodo for the Steve Jr. You can tell he's happy! Weather and water look good for an awesome day of fishing! Boy do I miss it! Do to health issues I can no longer go out after those bad boys! Your reports always bring back memories so thank you for them and the pics! I will be looking forward to your next post. My friend I used to go out there with are out there now as I type this on his boat (Trophy)the Dreamcatcher. If I am lucky I might get a taste of BF. He brought me some Dorado last week! Uhm good! Lol PS. Next time bring a belt? lol (: