Tuna fishing 101
I got bit by the blue water bug in '04 while in Hatteras catching dolphin for the 1st time off DS Light in my 22' GW cc. I was mighty proud and excited about my 5 dolphin in the box that day. Caught them on Penn Slammer rockfish poles w/ Penn 320!!!
This Sept. I bought a new 232 GW Gulfstream w/ twin 150's. All new TLD 2 speed 30's and 50's. Yeah you could say I got it bad.
I want to start going to Hatteras this month to catch a tuna, but I don't know where to start. First, I plan on taking a charter to learn the game a little. I want to start buying / building some stuff to catch tuna with. I can pull 6 to 7 rods comfortably. I would really appreciate if some of you blue water veterans would take a moment and tell me what to buy to have a good spread to catch some fish. I have an e-mail in to Reel draggin tackle about this too, so hopefully they will be of some help.
So far I have a few daisy chains( one is a greenmachine daisy and a couple are 6" squid w/ a b/w Illander sail lure) and a few Zuker w/ feathers on 90# fluoro w 8/0 Gamagatsu hooks. I rigged them and they actually look decent.
Do I need meat on them? How do you use spreader bars? Do you use them to tease or to catch? Am I on the right track so far w/ my selection of colors/lurers? Where out of Hatteras is the best place to start fishing and what do you look for before you drop the lines in?
Let the professors start the lesson! Thanks.
Blue Water Disease
Simplicity is the best medicine to cure your new disease
Seawitches, squidwitches, with med hoo's for the most part. Maybe a bird/green machine on the shotgun, or a spreader bar with meat on the tralier. Plastics and feathers don't work too well down in OI/HI area, save that spread for VA and north.
Your selection of an area to fish is all depending on the water, temps and color are the factors. Find the right conditions on structure, and you'll get bit.
Find a ride as a "ho", you'll learn more on a private boat than on a charter, and save lots of $$. Turn your b-mail on too.
Team Hogchoker 2010 & 2013 Flounder Bowl Champions
The best sign is what is in front of you on and in the water. Look for birds working the surface, look for a few degree temperature breaks, look for a actual color change in the water, find a weedline, look for the purpoise's. Pay close attention to bait balls you can see running in the water. What sometime's happens is people chase the radio-meaning they listen to where others are catching and pick up and run there--wasting time traveling when what might have been a banner day right where they were.
-As far as adding meat to the daisy chains--you can not go wrong putting some hoo's out. The key to finding the right rigs, daisy chains, meat, spreader bars--is fine tuning a nice spread that works for your boat. Start with things that are easy to handle for the people fishing on your boat. Spreader bars are great if you can easily deploy them, and if the anglers are ready to fight a bar and a fish (a lot of drag)--but simple fact is they catch fish.
My advice would be read all you can and learn about the species you are targeting.
A tip that was given to me one day in the past was run your lines further out than you think they should be. For example don't run that flatline 10 feet off the back of the boat--run it 30-40 feet back. It has worked great for me, and as I grew on the water my hook up ratio increased. One last tip--Every spreader bar I put out there has a hook in it. I actually rig them with a snap swivel at the end squid, so I can change up my hook bait if I need to or want to. I can run a ballyhoo, a lure, a ballyhooo with a lure or something to that effect.
Ok forgot one last and final tip---keep a log for yourself when first starting out.
-Temperature outside and in the water
-where you were fishing at
-was there any wind that day
-what the fish were caught on meaning lure or meat
-what position in the spread were the fish caught on
-There is so much to this addiction offshore, each time out try to learn something new, and take it all in all the advice people give you and try it out there!
Tight Lines to you in 2007!
Last edited by Brandon; 03-12-2007 at 04:24 PM.
Keep it simple man a couple of naked ballyhoo on flat lines,Blue & White witch's and hoo's on your riggers and an ilander hoo down the middle.As you go you will experiment but this will work in hatteras.
Anyone advise on trimming outboards when on the troll...Trim em up a little...leave em be...??? Always ran an inboard, but have now gone to the "darkside"....heheh
Any tips, tricks, or techniques?
....sorry for 'jackin your thread, but it'll benefit both...
Last edited by CRYSTAL_CLEAR_D; 03-11-2007 at 11:35 PM.
I sent you a a reply with a proposed 7 line spread option built around a couple spreader bars and included jets, Hoo rigs, and a big bird/chain rig for down the middle. We are currently offering an additional 10% off custom spreads until April.
Be careful around the charter fleet down there, they run several lines WAY back.
Troll on one motor. I trim mine all the way down and put the tabs all the way down. I try to reduce the propwash a bit. I know others that trim up to generate lots of wash and get the flat lines to jump in/out of the wash. It is probably best if you try both and see what works best for you. Having a plan and fish it with confidence. To get there you will have to try lots of options and prove them to yourself on your boat.
Reel Draggin' Tackle
Fall fishing for trophy rockfish will soon be here. Now is the time to expand your spread or replace your worn out gear
Thanks to all and keep sending the advice.
How do I turn on my b-mail????
Ken, I'm interested in your help and proposal, but I HAVE NOT received a message from you. Do you have a # I can reach you today?
We fish out of OI, HI and MHC if you would like to go with us sometime when we are looking for an extra person. The simple spread seems to work the best south of the DMZ naked 'hoos, B/W, P/W, ilanders, etc with medium 'hoos. Learn to rig a hoo the best you can to make it swim. North of the DMZ the "Dupont" stuff will work pretty good, but I still like to run a lot of meat. Learn to run and catch on the basic stuff and it will serve you well.
Like Ken said, I too use one motor on my GW330 alternating @ even hour increments. You'll also want to experiment w/ various speeds, generally 5-7 KTS depending on wind/seas/current etc. When conditions permit, always adjust your course since fish & bait don't swim in straight lines.
I pull two flat @ the transom, one naked, one seawitch, or a planer instead of one of the flats. Next is one on either side medium distance (2nd-3rd wave) back w/ a green machine bird/squid chain, then a jet head w/ a medium hoo on the other side. I'll also pull a WWB & a WWWWWB w/a bar or another chain w/ meat hanging on the end. You may also want to think about a planer for deeper fish i.e. hoos/Kings etc. off of one of your corners.
Like the others said, experiement and see what happens. Beats staying home and mowing the lawn or something similar.
Catch 'em up.
Give me a shout and I will help you all I can!