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Left out of Pensacola Pass friday evening. Arrived after dark to Petronius. Not much happening at night other than a ton of sharks and Almaco Jack. Once the sun came up the tuna / mahi were everywhere. There were weed patches everywhere! We got a few BFT and hooked into 5 big big tuna but couldnt get them in the boat..

Overall a very nice first rig trip and we learned a lot.

My question is what size hooks / leader do you use? We tried everything we had and the big tuna cut the line multiple times. We were trolling at the top and saw the tuna hit so it wasnt sharks.

We had a big yellow fin hit a top water lure while throwing at BFT with a 6000 size reel... 2 hour fight and got it to the boat. Went to gaff it and the YFT went ballistic spun around and threw the gaff, ran straight down and line cut. Heart breaking. Need some advice for our next trip. Thank you guys!
 

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Your not gonna catch 100+ lb YF on a 6000. Wasting your time out there. You can use spinning tackle up to about 80lb YF. If they are bigger than that, even with Stella loaded with braid and a harness with the perfect angler, in this heat, your 50/50 on a 100+ YF. You generally have about an hour with a 100lb mono leader to land the fish consistently. You need appropriate tackle to achieve those k perimeters.
 

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Like said above, need to upsize a little.

I broke one off Friday night at Horn Mountain after about 45 minutes on 30lb gear. Put another in the boat at 68lbs and he took close to 30 minutes.

I’m not a pro but I’d stay with 50lb gear.
 

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Never fails. The biggest tuna will hit the lightest rig you are throwing. I usually hook them up on a jigging stick when trying to catch blackfin for chunking. Win a few, lose a bunch.
 

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Your not gonna catch 100+ lb YF on a 6000. Wasting your time out there. You can use spinning tackle up to about 80lb YF. If they are bigger than that, even with Stella loaded with braid and a harness with the perfect angler, in this heat, your 50/50 on a 100+ YF. You generally have about an hour with a 100lb mono leader to land the fish consistently. You need appropriate tackle to achieve those k perimeters.
The 6000 was not our only reel. It was being used to catch bait and black fin. Happened to get picked up by a yellow fin and a 2 hour fight ensued.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Patience. Properly set drag.

60-80lb floro leader. 30-60 main. 6/0 owner mutu circle hook.
Yea, we were using 100# flouro leader with 80 as our main lines for the internationals. They were still getting through the line. I guess we put too much pressure? They were 100% tuna. We were dragging on top water.
 

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Great info on this forum!


I've heard people miss fish, get broke off, and hook undersized fish, but have never experienced it myself.


It helps to get that perspective.


(I have asked for a friend and seen it on another boat though..... you people need to work on your fishing stories :) )






.................................
 

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Are you sure the tuna were getting through the line and you weren't getting sharked? That long of a fight calls the sharks/cudas in like puppy dogs.
 

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50-80lb is more than enough to land just about any yellowfin in the gulf assuming you didnt hook him right behind a shrimp boat. Check your drags and also like previously mentioned, you very well could have gotten sharked.

60lb fluro and 5/0 mustad demon.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You might want to consider getting a harpoon for use on the big ones instead of the gaff. Nothing sucks worse than loosing them right at the boat.:(

Yea it really did suck and we now have one of those. Much easier than trying to gaff such a strong fish even when you think it's done it's insanely powerful. Saw another boat out there that lost their gaff to a tuna and we went over and handed them ours to land it. Beautiful fish and I was slightly jealous we couldn't land one.
 

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Are you sure the tuna were getting through the line and you weren't getting sharked? That long of a fight calls the sharks/cudas in like puppy dogs.

So, we were trolling top water and we were both watching the baits as they got smashed. Pretty damn sure it was tuna hitting our baits. What happened after that could have been a shark getting to them but the only sharks we saw / caught were maybe 4 feet.


The 2 hour fight was on our smallest rod and that's why it lasted so long. Trolling we were using Internationals and the 4 connections we had only lasted about 30-60 seconds before they were gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
50-80lb is more than enough to land just about any yellowfin in the gulf assuming you didnt hook him right behind a shrimp boat. Check your drags and also like previously mentioned, you very well could have gotten sharked.

60lb fluro and 5/0 mustad demon.

Really..... I had 100lb flouro and was having issues. As I said before we could see the baits getting smashed. Where was your hook on the tuna? I'm assuming we were trolling too slow and they just swallowed it. Not sure.


I thought I knew fishing till I went out there and was stumped on what to do to make one stick on our trolls..
 

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What were your drags set at? Have you tested the 100lb fluoro? We use 60-80 all the time and no problem on 100lb + fish.


If you were getting cut that quickly I'd vote for barracuda. How far away from the rig were you? Those jokers come at a hooked fish like a rocket around the rigs. Few weeks ago we had a blackfin hit by a cuda right at the boat. Just as the cuda hit it I gaffed the blackfin. Both fish came out of the water and I had to hold the blackfin over the water and shake the 40lb cuda off of him, had I swung him into the boat the cuda would have came too and we would have had a full throttle chainsaw loose in the bottom of the boat!


Have you checked/tested the 100lb fluoro since the trip? I'd do a couple of tests til complete failure to see what it's really breaking at.
 

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Yep on the pressure. Patience is the key. Takes an hour to land a big one (with a few exceptions of course).

A harpoon might be a good idea if you regularly run into them. I've never used one. Just a couple of gaffs and wait until they are done.

They always wake up when they're right by the boat. I loosen the drag up as they get close - at that point they're too tired to run off a ton of line again but 20 yards is not uncommon.

The main exception to the above is a big one with a long jig stuck in it's mouth so it's forced wide open - they'll come right to you. Then you have a green one in the boat. It could get real interesting real quick.

30-60 seconds sounds like something's wrong. Either the line is breaking too easily or the drag is too tight. That is, assuming it's tuna. Sounds more like something with teeth if not...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It very well could have been a cuda or a shark. But we were watching the lines as we trolled around and it looked a heck of a lot like a tuna rolling on it. Drag was probably too tight, are you supposed to keep it loose like when trolling for Kings and just let them do their first big run?


I'll give the line a check and make sure it's not weaker than it's supposed to be. I'm learning so much just from you guys responses and the single trip I've done out there. I can not wait to get back out there and try again. Hopefully reporting back with a success story next time.
 

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What were your drags set at? Have you tested the 100lb fluoro? We use 60-80 all the time and no problem on 100lb + fish.


If you were getting cut that quickly I'd vote for barracuda. How far away from the rig were you? Those jokers come at a hooked fish like a rocket around the rigs. Few weeks ago we had a blackfin hit by a cuda right at the boat. Just as the cuda hit it I gaffed the blackfin. Both fish came out of the water and I had to hold the blackfin over the water and shake the 40lb cuda off of him, had I swung him into the boat the cuda would have came too and we would have had a full throttle chainsaw loose in the bottom of the boat!


Have you checked/tested the 100lb fluoro since the trip? I'd do a couple of tests til complete failure to see what it's really breaking at.

A couple of the times we were maybe 200-300 yards away from the rigs. The other 3 times we were quite a bit farther away. We tried trolling around the rigs to begin and just kept catching ~4 foot sharks before we could even get the baits set.


We did have some success around the weed patches though hooking and landing a nice size Mahi.
 
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