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  • Trolling Question

    When trolling for tuna, after a single or multiple hookup, do you take one engine out of gear and do large circles or take both engines out of gear. My crew is trying to convince me to take both engines out of gear instead of one.They're complaining that its too much pressure on the fish and it's hard on the angler.Obviously the one engine will go into gear when the fish comes close to the boat. I've always had my boats in gear either one or two engines. Any opinions?
    28 Carolina Classic 2003 (sold)
    18 Cobia 2001
    Perry

  • #2
    I come out of gear and go in and out of gear to maneuvre as necessary during the fight.
    Tigerlily - CC 28
    Algarve, Portugal

    www.Leadertec.com

    Comment


    • #3
      What Spike said and

      I try and put the boat downsea of the fish and just bump the boat as little as needed to keep it aligned with a following sea with the fish straight off the transom. Going downsea the fish, once past the initial run will swim with you till it sees the boat.

      If its a big fish as it gets closer I'll go to one gear and try and put the fish off the starboard corner at about 4 o'clock - that allows me to get in front of it qucikly if it goes down and tries to get under the boat and allows the angler to work it in without fighting the boat's speed.

      We've been seeing at least 1 100 pound bluefin the past 3 weeks and you cannot muscle them in like you can a 40 pound yellow.

      Yesterday we were in Carolina Classic conditions, NE 15-20, 3-5's w/ some bigger beraking waves and the only way to safely fight and boat a 57" fish was the downsea bump and neutral approach with a lot of focus on my part to avoid the boat going sideways in the seas.

      Comment


      • #4
        My experience in this is that the first thing you should do when trolling for tuna is keep running your spread after the first hookup until you get at least 1-2 more hookups. Remember that Tuna (especially yellowfin) run in schools. Do not miss a triple hookup because you only get 2-3 chances for hookups on any given day. That's the difference between boating 2-3 tuna to 6-9 tuna. If you have your strike drags set properly, the first hookup should take 3/4 of your spool because you are trying to get 2 other tunas to take your other lures.

        If you are not using spectra by now on ALL of your setups, you are not up to speed in offshore fishing. I have 50 VSW's spooled with 800 Yds of 130 lb hollow spectra and 200 yards of 100lb top shot. I can handle 98% of the fish on the east coast. The other 2% (fish over 350 lbs.) is a waste of time in my opinion and can turn a possible 12 tuna trip to 1-2 tuna with "THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY" story at the docks.

        As far as what you should do after you have all off your hookups set:

        1. Keep your first hookup away from everything, maybe on a rocket launcher. This is the last rod anyone should touch.

        2. Start positioning the bow of the vessel with the direction of the wind or current. Then you can take both engines out of gear. You have to remember that every fish fight can be different, so you have to go with what the conditions call for. You may have to reposition your boat several times. I've never heard of running in circles with multiple hookups. That is an easy way to cross you lines.

        3. Boat the closest fish first. If your crew is complaining, then they're using their arms more than their legs when battling a fish.

        4. All bets are off when you hook into a BIG fish. Backman has some good pointers on this. You have to use your best judgement when a big one is on. If it is practically spooling you, you have to get the other fish boated first because it will cause a HUGE mess with crossed lines if you don't. If you don't have enough line on your reel, it may be over before you know it. That's why spectra is the way to go.

        If you dont have spectra on your reels yet, "Wind-ons by Basil" is the way to go. You can mail your reels to him and he'll spool them for you for a great price. Here's the website:

        http://www.bhptackle.com

        Hope this helps ......
        Capt. Sak
        Armageddon
        '99 Carolina Classic 28

        Twin Volvo Penta KAMD44P (260's)

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the help. Very informative. Armageddon, you are correct about the spectra I had my reels done by Basil over the winter.
          28 Carolina Classic 2003 (sold)
          18 Cobia 2001
          Perry

          Comment


          • #6
            armegedon, question for you, we have our strike drag set at 21-22lbs when were trolling we knock them down to just enough to set a hook.. 6-9lbs or so.. do you let them run off 1/2-3/4 spool in hopes to get a double, triple etc, before slowly pushing your drags into the strike position for battle.. in years past we could only muster singles.. the past two years we've had the most multiples we've ever had, even looking on producing more.. thanks in advance.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LuckyStrike View Post
              armegedon, question for you, we have our strike drag set at 21-22lbs when were trolling we knock them down to just enough to set a hook.. 6-9lbs or so.. do you let them run off 1/2-3/4 spool in hopes to get a double, triple etc, before slowly pushing your drags into the strike position for battle.. in years past we could only muster singles.. the past two years we've had the most multiples we've ever had, even looking on producing more.. thanks in advance.
              If I get a tuna hook up I keep going for another 10 - 20 seconds in the hope of picking up extra strikes. It isn't long but it seems it when the rods start going down!
              Tigerlily - CC 28
              Algarve, Portugal

              www.Leadertec.com

              Comment


              • #8
                When trolling for schooling fish (like tuna), it is important to maximize your hookups because you may only get 2-3 shots on any given day. At the first hookup, I will let that fish take as much of the spool (within reason of course) until I am sure there are no other takers. Do not slow your speed. Keep it at the speed of the hookup. That is the speed that the first fish took the bait. The others are usually not far behind. If you alter the speed, you are telling the tuna that the party's over (in my opinion.)

                If there are no more takers, you may not be "matching the hatch" with the other bait presentations. Look for similar size lures as your hookup bait and you should expect a triple on the next hookup.

                It's not that these fish are all of a sudden offering double or triple hookups from previous years. You have to adapt to what is working for the fish. With more bait presentations in the water in your trolling pattern (spreader bars is a perfect example), you are now providing your target species with a school of bait following your boat instead of random lures with different sizes.

                I have trolled my first hookup for almost a minute at times, and then had quadruple hookups. That's 12 tuna for a days work instead of 3 or 4. You have to be active in changing your baits and patterns sometimes until something works.

                You'll be amazed at how they will flock to your boat at times. Good luck and I hope this helps
                Capt. Sak
                Armageddon
                '99 Carolina Classic 28

                Twin Volvo Penta KAMD44P (260's)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I like this thread...

                  So I leave the boat in gear for 30 sec or so after the first strike hoping to get multiple hook-ups as Armageddon describes. Unless of course we get hammered with multiples from the start. But then, a couple of us bring in the troll fish quickly while the others fly line live bait. Catching tuna on the troll is fun - but not nearly as fun as getting picked up while fly lining with lighter gear. As for positioning/maneuvering the boat - we don't do it unless we hook up something really big or seas are really rough - and as far as tuna go -a 100 lb bluefin is about the biggest we see and they are infrequently encountered out here. My crew are expected to be able to fight fish while they work 360 degrees around the boat. I always hear that you east coast boys don't generally use live bait and don't generally follow your fish around the boat. Is that true? I realize you guys get into much bigger tuna than we do and I'm not going up front with a 100 lb bluefin either. That's why I'm coming to see Backman this fall. (he does not know it yet)

                  Here's a pic of a few Albacore we caught on July 5th.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by TwinFin; 07-09-2007, 12:49 AM.
                  Steve on Reel Screamer
                  2004 Carolina Classic 28

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No one goes forward on my boat

                    we only fight fish from the cockpit and I spin the boat as needed to keep the fish between 4 PM and 8 PM behind the boat.

                    Sept 20th to Oct 20th is prime time.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nice insight TwinFin on the west coast. A lot of us use live bait on the east coast, but not usually when trolling. Ballyhoo is big here for trolling, but this is a frozen product for us. When it comes to live bait, overnight trips are when we use this bait. Live squid and live sardines are cuaght on my vessel for every night chunking trip.

                      4 ft Hydroglows, Sabiki rigs and long scoop nets are my choice in catching my bait, but I'm sure others will have other successful techniques.....
                      Capt. Sak
                      Armageddon
                      '99 Carolina Classic 28

                      Twin Volvo Penta KAMD44P (260's)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like this thread......

                        Hey Steve......good job on the fish box full of albies (minus the buckets of blood at the marina). We leave the boat in gear for a count of ten......unless we load up on all four trollers right off the bat like we did yesterday! I do not want anyone fishing from the bow......we do our dance in the center ring. We got a pic of our fish box from yesterday.........

                        only......we got both boxes plugged with 15!


                        all in fun buddy........keep getting 'em. Talk to you soon.
                        Laukia

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey Dave!

                          Good job. Did you get those on Monday?

                          I am hoping they stick around for a while. Much better Albie season than last year.

                          Steve
                          Steve on Reel Screamer
                          2004 Carolina Classic 28

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sunday. Done by 11:30. 371 and South on a line to the Hidden Bank.....but we never made it that far. We got hit on a Marauder above the Coronado's in U.S. waters while I was cutting fish on the way home. It came off.......but I wonder what that was?
                            Laukia

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              armageddon

                              How long do you leave spectra on the reel? IE how many seasons?
                              Obviously you would not keep going for a minute with a big fish, a big blue marlin will dump an 80 in about 2 minutes!
                              I have never been dumped out here by yellows up to 190lbs, they seem to settle at the thermocline here so with multiple hookups we just turn down sea and bump in and out of gear on 1 engine as needed this is done with depths of 2000 fathoms. This does not work for laterally moving fish(big mahi/wahoo) as they will tangle all your lines unless moving slowly forward from my experience, marlin the same.
                              Code Blue

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