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Discussion Starter #1
Hit the Nipple Sunday, was rough getting out there, but once the waves organized and smoothed out it was pretty nice.

Flying fish were scattered and so were the patches of blue/green water. We had a triple or quad knockdown on a wide range but no hookup... couldn't figure out how that many hits without a hookup... pulled the lure in and the point of the hook was broken off. Probably just about 1/16 or 1/8" of the tip, but plenty enough to keep it from sticking in good.

There were lots of boats but didn't see anyone hooked up.

We are new to the area, what VHF channel do most in the area chatter on? I scanned most of the day and couldn't find any good comm. There were lots of boats out there, figured somebody would be talking.

Anybody else have any luck Sat/Sun/Mon?
 
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What was your spread? Rods/Reels, line class, lures, baits, speed, etc?
This ^^^

May seem like a bunch of questions, but it'll help you fine-tune for our area. There was a tournament this weekend which usually minimizes radio chatter but 68, 69 and 72 typically have the most communication
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
What was your spread? Rods/Reels, line class, lures, baits, speed, etc?
3 x 50 Wides (2 x 80lb mono, 1 x 130lb dacron with 100lb mono topshot)

4 x 30's (1 x 80lb mono, 3 50lb mono)


My main spread this weekend was....

Naked small ballyhoo shotgun (circle hook rig on 60lb fluoro)
Naked small ballyhoo flatline short shotgun (circle hook rig on 60lb fluoro)

Bird/teaser short flatline port
stripteaser with tuna feather trailer short flatline stbd

Moldcraft Wide Range Senior Blue/White/Pearl port rigger
Moldcraft Wide Range Senior Black/Silver/Purple stbd rigger (this is the one that got hit)

Worked multiple lures in shotgun and short shotgun... anything from small tuna feathers, 6" flat nose...etc.

I started out trolling around 7knts, but it seemed like I was going faster than most boats out there, slowed it to 5-6knts, but didn't see any change in action.

I have a box full of skirts/feathers/lures. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Here is a pic of the boat if it helps.

 
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welcome to the area.

There were some nice fish caught out there this past weekend. Seems that you had something out there that they wanted. I'm anxious to hear what the rest of the spread looked like.

Biggest question is, did you have a hook file on board and do you check your hooks every day plus touch them up. Broken hook points and curled hook points usually mean that your filing angle is too fine. Hooks can be sharp without having extremely 'long' points. Fished with a guy recently who insisted that this is the way he always fished his hooks. Points ended up getting curled on several fish. Sharp doesn't mean 'long' points.

Bites are just too hard to get. All possible variables need to be eliminated.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
welcome to the area.

There were some nice fish caught out there this past weekend. Seems that you had something out there that they wanted. I'm anxious to hear what the rest of the spread looked like.

Biggest question is, did you have a hook file on board and do you check your hooks every day plus touch them up. Broken hook points and curled hook points usually mean that your filing angle is too fine. Hooks can be sharp without having extremely 'long' points. Fished with a guy recently who insisted that this is the way he always fished his hooks. Points ended up getting curled on several fish. Sharp doesn't mean 'long' points.

Bites are just too hard to get. All possible variables need to be eliminated.
Hook file was in the truck at the marina... :thumbdown: I re-rigged that lure on the water with a good hook and put it back in the spread, of course no more knockdowns on it :D

I will be checking all hooks for sharpness from now on before they go in the water. That lesson has now been learned :)
 
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Are your hooks carbon or stainless steel? Do you know the hook, model number? The reason I ask all these questions is that there is something for a lot of people to learn here. You have been very forthcoming and it is much appreciated.

You guys got yourself into the right area, with the right bait and something, seemingly, as insignificant as a hook file, on the truck seat, derailed the result.

You sound like a guy who won't make that mistake again. It is tough. You are up till late hours, getting everything ready but filing the hooks every morning is a 'MUST DO' and scaling the drags often or every day is also a must.

Keep at it. The fishing is getting as good as it's been all year and will probably just get better. Let us know how you do in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When you got the bites, did the bait just pop out or was some drag being pulled? Sounds like a perfect opportunity to have a 'pitch' bait ready with a small moldcraft chugger in front and pull the Wide Range away.

Of course, it all came down to a broken point on the hook.
It popped the clip and stripped drag hard! I'd say there was 2-3 secs of heavy pulling then nothing.... Lure pops up and it's hit again... same thing, and again... I'm like WTH?? It was on one of the 50w's with 80lb mono.
 
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Are your hooks carbon or stainless steel? Do you know the hook, model number? The reason I ask all these questions is that there is something for a lot of people to learn here. You have been very forthcoming and it is much appreciated.

You guys got yourself into the right area, with the right bait and something, seemingly, as insignificant as a hook file, on the truck seat, derailed the result.

You sound like a guy who won't make that mistake again. It is tough. You are up till late hours, getting everything ready but filing the hooks every morning is a 'MUST DO' and scaling the drags often or every day is also a must.

Keep at it. The fishing is getting as good as it's been all year and will probably just get better. Let us know how you do in the future.
Hooks are carbon, Mustad J's. Not certain the exact model number.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Forgot to mention that drag on the 80lb outfits is set to 20lbs. Is this enough?
 
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Forgot to mention that drag on the 80lb outfits is set to 20lbs. Is this enough?
Yes, drag amount was fine.

I have seen people run every drag in the book from 4 lb. to 9 lb. to 12 lb. but I like 18 to 20 lbs. That's just me. I'm a 'hook in deep or gone' guy. All these slow pulls, etc. just don't cut it, with me, for lures. My opinion.

Lures are $40, $60, $80 or more. Fuel is expensive. Reels, not cheap. Spend the money and get the best hooks that money can buy. Replace them when they need replacement. File the points in the morning or just prior to deployment and use a Sharpie to coat the filed portion. Rinse the lures, with fresh water when they come out of the water and when you return to the dock. Make sure the storage container, lure bag, is not contaminated with salt water. Files are cheap. Keep a new one on hand. If it gets rusty, get rid of it. No point in putting rust into the hook when you file it. Coat your file with board chalk. It will keep it from oxidizing so fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Why 60# leader on ballys?
Wanted to use Fluoro, 60lb was biggest I could get my hands on at the time. What is the preferred lb test for this 100lb? Is fluorocarbon necessary?
 
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Yes, drag amount was fine.

I have seen people run every drag in the book from 4 lb. to 9 lb. to 12 lb. but I like 18 to 20 lbs. That's just me. I'm a 'hook in deep or gone' guy. All these slow pulls, etc. just don't cut it, with me, for lures. My opinion.
How about the troll speed? Was 7knts a good target? Too slow? Too fast?
 

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I have got a buddy who likes to use 80 lb. leader and it drives me crazy, to see him down there finger bending a leadering job on a YFT. That said, he has some success on YFT. I don't think flouro is important when trolling.

My philosophy is different than most peoples. I rig everything with a Blue Marlin in mind. I still catch Whites, Sails, Wahoos and Dolphins on these rigs. I like 550 lb. leader. Wait for the screams.....wait for it.

Finally, I like to pull lures and only lures unless I'm in the proximity of an oil rig and then I might still pull lures. Wow, the screams are deafening. I like to move at 7 1/2 to 8 knots and mixing lures and dead baits doesn't really facilitate those speeds. I like to keep a 'pitch bait' ready at all times and if something hits and pulls drag but doesn't stay hooked, that thing hits the water immediately and gets deployed to the area just behind where that hit took place. Chin weight so that you can stay at lure speed.

Now, go ahead with the screaming and gnashing of teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have got a buddy who likes to use 80 lb. leader and it drives me crazy, to see him down there finger bending a leadering job on a YFT. That said, he has some success on YFT. I don't think flouro is important when trolling.

My philosophy is different than most peoples. I rig everything with a Blue Marlin in mind. I still catch Whites, Sails, Wahoos and Dolphins on these rigs. I like 550 lb. leader. Wait for the screams.....wait for it.

Finally, I like to pull lures and only lures unless I'm in the proximity of an oil rig and then I might still pull lures. Wow, the screams are deafening. I like to move at 7 1/2 to 8 knots and mixing lures and dead baits doesn't really facilitate those speeds. I like to keep a 'pitch bait' ready at all times and if something hits and pulls drag but doesn't stay hooked, that thing hits the water immediately and gets deployed to the area just behind where that hit took place. Chin weight so that you can stay at lure speed.

Now, go ahead with the screaming and gnashing of teeth.
I usually run 150lb or 400lb on my trolling lures. Only thing that gets fluoro is tuna feathers and naked baits.

I normally only pull lures, but wanted to add in the ballyhoo. If I was running as fast as I like to run the lures the ballyhoo's weren't running properly (spinning/skipping) and washing out quick, but if I slowed down for the ballyhoo the lures didn't feel like they were running well.

I had some chin weighted ballyhoos as well, mixed and matched them in.

Would I be better off separating the two and pulling either an all bait spread slow, or an all lure spread 7knts +?

Thinking of heading to Petronius in the next week or two for an overnighter. Would a similar spread work well around the rig before we tie off for the night?

For a pitch bait would a naked ballyhoo be good? Or something with a skirt on it?
 
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Wanted to use Fluoro, 60lb was biggest I could get my hands on at the time. What is the preferred lb test for this 100lb? Is fluorocarbon necessary?
When trolling, I never have anything in my spread rigged on less than 130. And those are usually ballyhoo with dusters or naked ballys. These baits are hit by tuna most of the time when/where I pull them. Going any lighter than that is just asking for trouble, in my opinion, especially if using a swivel. With a fish of any size, especially a tuna that is sideways on you digging, you simply cannot take wraps on leader that light. You're going to break the leader.

Would I be better off separating the two and pulling either an all bait spread slow, or an all lure spread 7knts +?
Yes, in my opinion. Separate the two. Because of the differences in speeds required to traditionally pull naturals and lures, I don't like to mix the two. If I am pulling a spread of nakeds or near-nakeds when targeting tuna at first light, or perhaps on a weedline, there isn't much preventing those baits from washing out (like an ilander head), so you don't want to pull them much past 4-5.5 knots or so.

Lures on the other hand allow you to really cover some ground, and is a good option when trolling just open water or perhaps between two rigs that are relatively close. I'm pulling mine closer to 10 knots, generally.

Thinking of heading to Petronius in the next week or two for an overnighter. Would a similar spread work well around the rig before we tie off for the night?
Don't get your hopes up with that spread. If it is tuna you are after, you are better off sabiking up a well full of live baits from the pass buoys or perhaps a weed patch, using light leader and small circles matched to the baits you have, and live bait for them. Or chunk. But the chances of you putting 10 yellows in the boat trolling at Petronius are remote, to say the least. These fish get an awful lot of pressure and there is a reason your top tuna guides out of Venice do not consistently put 10 yellows on the board at the end of the day by trolling.

For a pitch bait would a naked ballyhoo be good? Or something with a skirt on it?
Pitch baits are pretty easy to rig. I should be doing some Friday before my trip and will try and get some pics. I like to tell people to assume every lure knocked out of the clip (but hooks don't find home) is a white, and fire a pitch bait to. At this point, I like to treat the lure as if it is a teaser, and have a guy reel it back to the boat. If you see the actual marlin behind it (or tuna/wahoo/dolphin, doesn't matter), reel just fast enough so that the fish is following it but don't let him get it. Have a second angler fire that pitch bait out and let it float back in freespool (no clicker) to the proximity of the lure or teaser. At this point, reel the lure completely out of the water. Get ready, cuz he is about to crush your pitch bait. I like to use horse ballys with a chugger head in front of them, with the bait stitched up along the back. Very easy to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Don't get your hopes up with that spread. If it is tuna you are after, you are better off sabiking up a well full of live baits from the pass buoys or perhaps a weed patch, using light leader and small circles matched to the baits you have, and live bait for them. Or chunk. But the chances of you putting 10 yellows in the boat trolling at Petronius are remote, to say the least. These fish get an awful lot of pressure and there is a reason your top tuna guides out of Venice do not consistently put 10 yellows on the board at the end of the day by trolling.
VERY good feedback, much appreciated.

When you say 'light leader on circle hooks'. I'm assuming we are going back to fluorocarbon here? What lb range? 60-100? More? 7/0 tournament circle hook or smaller?

Any particular bait size I should be targeting? Hard tails? LY's? Cigars? Pinfish?


Sorry for so many questions, just trying to get my bearings straight! Thanks again!
 

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Have to concur about not mixing. Lures cover ground. If you get into an area that you are seeing fish or other boats hooked up and want to change to a dead spread then, I don't have any heartburn with that. Problem is, most people just stay with what they have and hope for the best. It is better to have baits IN the water than OUT but sometimes a change is called for and it's work.

Live baits for YFT at the rigs and live baits for Marlin at the rigs (blackfin or hardtails) are best.

Yellowfins are smarter than most people give them credit for. Even in Hawaii, where you have some of the best YFT fishermen in the world who are 'greensticking', the fleet might catch 3 out of a pod and then the fish just shut down. It's almost like they have a communication system. Plus, they make the bait move and they move with it. But they can sometimes still see the fish and they have quit biting.
 
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