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OK. Going out this Sat (Nov 17)for tuna. Our boat is meeting a capt from Destin who is an expert and we're meeting at his 'special' spot, somewhere 30-40 miles out-no rig. We plan on chumming and chunking. Just to let you know I'd be excited to catch just a blackfin, but.....I'd love to get a shot at a yeller, even if it was small.

1. We're using TLD 30's with 80 braid. We're willing to re-spool with mono, but if we can, we'd like to top it with mono. Any thoughts? If OK to top, what size and how long? We'd have Outcast or GBBT do it for us.

2. I don't even know what 'rig' to use for these suckers. I'm thinking 150# mono, 4-5' length with a circle hook. Big chunk-o-bait, drift it out back. Any thoughts? Also what knot to use on the swivel and hook?

3. If we do catch even a BFT, much less a YFT, how do I bleed it? I've seen the posts where you cut the main artery while alive and immediately in the cooler with lots of ice. Do you let it bleed out completely before the cooler? Does it matter?

4. While chunking and chumming- what size chunks are we talking about? 2x2", 3x3", orlarger? Chunk continuously or intermittently?

5. Any other fish I should be prepared to see? Gonna have some live bait on flyline's and have rods pre-rigged in case a dolphin or wahoo shows. Just want to be prepared.

Thanks for all the reply's in advance. I've been looking for a trip like this for a while and now that I'm getting a shot, I feel a little under educated.
 
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bigfishrookie (11/12/2007)OK. Going out this Sat (Nov 17)for tuna. Our boat is meeting a capt from Destin who is an expert and we're meeting at his 'special' spot, somewhere 30-40 miles out-no rig. We plan on chumming and chunking. Just to let you know I'd be excited to catch just a blackfin, but.....I'd love to get a shot at a yeller, even if it was small. This time of year, I would not waste my time really trying to target tuna east of the rigs. There was a big school of 200# fish swimmin around the double nipple area for awhile there, but I have not seen them or heard of any reports from anyone else lately. Go west young man.

1. We're using TLD 30's with 80 braid. We're willing to re-spool with mono, but if we can, we'd like to top it with mono. Any thoughts? If OK to top, what size and how long? We'd have Outcast or GBBT do it for us. Nothing wrong with your setup. If I was using that setup, I would top off with about a 100 yard topshot of 60 pound mono or so, and that of course is before I would tie on my leader. Farely easy to do if you get someone to show you the knot.

2. I don't even know what 'rig' to use for these suckers. I'm thinking 150# mono, 4-5' length with a circle hook. Big chunk-o-bait, drift it out back. Any thoughts? Also what knot to use on the swivel and hook? I am going to answer your questions as if you were chunking at the rigs. We use only somethin like a 6-8 foot leader if I remember correctly for chunking. Usually 130# mono, but definately have a few rigged as light as 60 if the fish are finicky. Always flouro on our boat. Capt. Eddie is notorious for snaggin his yellers on very light leader. He can help you out if you're wanting to go that route. Circle hooks is usually how I like to chunk...but I'm definately not opposed to J-hooks if I don't have "rookie" anglers in the boat. I will snell most of my hooks, or use a uni knot for both hook to line and line to swivel. Just make sure to bury your hook into the chunk of bait. I am not afraid to use a softball sized chunk of blackfin on my boat to really hook a big boy and thus weeding out the little schoolie tunas (50-80# fish).

3. If we do catch even a BFT, much less a YFT, how do I bleed it? I've seen the posts where you cut the main artery while alive and immediately in the cooler with lots of ice. Do you let it bleed out completely before the cooler? Does it matter? Bleeding tuna is all personal preference. I don't fool with it on the boats I work. Adequate ice usually isn't a problem. However, if you choose to bleed it, stab it right behind the pectoral fins. Let it bleed before putting it in the cooler, as all that blood will melt some of the ice.

4. While chunking and chumming- what size chunks are we talking about? 2x2", 3x3", orlarger? Chunk continuously or intermittently? When chunking, the idea is to lure the fish to the back of the boat, NOT feed them. Keep that in mind. I cut up my chunks to around the size of a strawberry, or maybe (if using whole pogies), a slice of cheese. If you're not marking fish after about 15 minutes, I usually switch rigs.

5. Any other fish I should be prepared to see? Gonna have some live bait on flyline's and have rods pre-rigged in case a dolphin or wahoo shows. Just want to be prepared. When at a rig, I always bring a dipnet, and when (not IF) I snag a few flying fish under our lights, I immediately hook them on the lips and freeline them back behind the boat. These guys don't last long. I also have used the Yummee and Frenzy Flying Fish with TREMENDOUS success. If fishing night around the rigs, anything from juvenile billfish, dorado, flyers, squid, swords, tuna, triggerfish, makos, just about anything will show up under the boat. When chunking, it wouldn't hurt to drop a couple sword lines out with glowsticks on em'.
 

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Very generous Blue Hoo (Woody) and thank you for your time. We'll have some fun and maybe catch a tuna or 2 (dozen!). Of course we'll post a report with pics and maybe video. Thanks again.
 

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If you are going 30-40 miles out of Destin to an open water "hot spot" (no rig), you are blackfin fishing. Therefore you are way over gunned. I would leave the "heavy tackle" at home and break out the 20-30 lb spinners for your trip. With 30lb you could just go no leader but may want to step up to 40-50lb depending on your preference. Chunk small but consistent. Chunks should be sized so as to be just enough to hide your hook. Circle hooks are perfect for this type fishing. This tackle will also handle any dolphin that may swim up. May want to have a livie ready for this. Good luck.
 
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