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Thread: 9/5- Found the big boys

  1. #1

    Default 9/5- Found the big boys

    Sorry for the late report, been stuck at work playing catchup.

    On 9/5 i took my parker out in hunt of the Blue Fin Tuna. A few days prior, there were reports of 20-40lb BFT outside of oceanside so i planned to hunt for those fish. As each day passed, the tuna reports became bigger and bigger. The day before, reports were coming in that the fish were in the 100-200lb range and have moved out to the 43.

    With that in mind i changed up the gear and planned to find them.

    Met up with my crew at 2am and we headed down to Dana Point. I got the boat launched at 4am and picked up 2.5 scoops of bait. I read earlier this week that it was a bait heavy bite to lift the tuna up and 2.5 seemed just enough without overcrowding my 60+gallon tank.

    I set a course on my plotter and headed out in the dark towards the 43.

    As grey light appready i saw the fleet just off the horizon. Every few seconds, the horizon lit up with what looked like 100 boats. As we got closer, i realized it wasn't 100, but more like 40, which was pretty much the entire damn sport boat fleet. Being a Tuesday, i knew the private boat pressure would be low since it was a long weekend that just passed.

    We get close to the group and everyone is on the hook. I didn't have enough rode to drop down in 300+ feet so i decdied to drift. 1st drift i marked some big boys down at about 90ft which got us all pumped up. Grabeed the flat fall 250 and gave it a go, but no takers. Didn't realize the drift started getting close to others when 2 of the boats started yelling at me. I know i was "that " guy... i moved the boat outside the fleet and started 2nd drift but really was not sure how to target these. I put out a fly line bait on 2/0 circle hook and waited. 2nd drift, no bites. I really was not sure what was going on.

    3rd drift i see the Ranger 85 bent over and another private boat bent over. This was promising as I knew the fish started to get hungry and it was just about 8am.

    4th drift i jumped on the binos to scout and when looking, my buddy yells at me that my line is peeling out. I grab the rod, put it in gear and the beast took off like a bandit. This rod had 80lb braid to 80 flouro, talica 12ii. The line literally peeled off non stop and i saw that I would get spooled in about 20 seconds. I yell to my buddy to start to engine so we can chase it down. But it was too late, I put a bit more drag and the tuna ate through the line. Surprised the circle hook didnt catch.

    This got us pumped, so we reset the drift.

    5th drift, my buddy hooks up, but he too came unbuttoned.

    6th drift, i'm in free spool and the line starts to run, but not crazy fast. I said to my crew, i think the bft is hooked up and he doesnt he know it. I set the hook and it starts to run. This time, we got the game down, buddy jumped in captains chair and we started to fight the beast. I've never realized the enormous amount of power until i hooked up into this fish. The fight was back in forth. I was literally on my knees head down in the corner of my boat just using the low rail to gain line. I would take 100 yards only to lose it all in one run.

    Slowly i gained the line and after 45 min we see color. 2 gaffs in and we have the fish on the boat! I was exhausted and spent, but the goal was to get everyone a fish so i reset the boat and started to drift again.

    Next drift, my buddy hooks up again. He made a mistake of buttoning down the drag half way through the initial run and lost the fish.

    Drift 8, my lucky rod goes off again. I ask my cousin if he wants to fight it and he gives it a go. Line peeling we redo the same deal. He's going back and forth with the fish and the talica is at full draf. He's spent after 30 min and still maybe 200 yards out so my other buddy takes over. They take turns fighting the fish and both are exhausted so i jump on and help gain back some line. after almost 2 hours, the blue fin came to color. At color we realize he got wrapped around a buoy at the 43 and was dead. He exhausted himsself to death. We dropped the gaffs in and are all stoked. Goal was to try to get everyone a fish on the boat but we also had an issue. The 2 fish alone were already too big for my kill bag. At this time it was close to 1pm and didnt want the fish to go bad.

    We gave it another drift and decided to call it and head back. By then it was 2pm and was expected to blow and would be a 2.5 hour ride uphill. We made it back to dana around 5. gutted and gilled the fish before docking. Cleaning the boat took forever as there was blood everywhere but we had smiles ear to ear.

    I chased my bucket list fish for the past two years and am really happy to finally caught one over 100. Hopefully i get a chance at a 200 :D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Yeah,I’d say you found them,amazing and cool report,that sushi/sashimi looks awesome too,thanks!

    Cya Tuna Vic

  3. #3


    Ditto what Tuna Vic said - that sushi looks incredible!

  4. #4


    Nice. A lot of fat. A greasy fish with no burn through. Core looks nice. Good color
    I can give you $21 a pound for it. Deal?
    Joking aside. Great fish and nice post as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Long Beach, CA


    Thanks for the post and pics. Great story!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    redondo beach


    great read, and good report-nice sahsami there

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