Guys, i have never chunked before, but might give it a try this weeknd if i get out. If you don't mind i could use some info on chunking.
How to you typically rig up for chunking.... fluero leader attached to mainline with a circle hook on the end?
If so, how do you connect the leader to the mainline.....barrel swivel on the leader end attached to the snap swivel on the mainline end?
Crimp or use a knot to connect the hook to the leader?
How long should the leader be?
What is the best way to connect the line to balloons when setting them out?
Can drift chunking be done, or is anchoring pretty much mandatory?
Sorry for all the questions, i did some looking around online but couldn't really find the answers i was looking for.
Thanks in advance!
There are not many who chunk out of VA or NC anymore but still quite a few up in MD. Depending on the fluorocarbon you are using (80lb or more) I would crimp, with lower weight line I would snell or nail knot to the hook. Start with a mix of line weights and see how picky the fish are(may have to use very light leader for finicky fish). I used 6-10' leaders and you will get a million different opinions on each thing. You can anchor or drift but keep your feed of chunks steady when drifting so the fish will come to your boat. Never tried the ballooning so I can't help there. Good luck. Catch em up!!! Martin
Check out the "Tuna" section in FishingGearGuru.com, and you'll find some articles on chunking. I say they're good, but I'm biased. Also, drop down leader size; last time we were at the Dog they would eat baits with 50-lb flouro, but several guys I spoke with said they did better on 30. Also-also, feeder lines (strip line off the reel by hand so the baits sink at the same rate as the chunks) were the ones getting hit, not so much the baloons and bottom lines.
Ok, so if you guys aren't using balloons, do you just drop the lines over the side and stagger the depths?
Should i use weight on the lines or no? If so, how much weight, and where should i connect the weight?
To go along what ultangler was saying, you will want to cover the water column, a bait a few feet off the bottom, bait just below the thermal-cline, bait mid way between thermal-cline and surface all on balloons. Then you want 2 or 3 guys working feeder lines, meaning you are stripping out line by hand so that the hooked chunk mimics what the free floating chunks are doing and if the tuna are feeding in your chunk then these line will be the ones that likely will get hit. HINT for you, YFT like the hook bait to be of the same size as the chunk bait "match the hatch"... ie if you are cutting your chunks into thirds then your bait should be a third and not a whole butter. BFT tend to like whole butters especially if they are feeding close to the bottom. Tuna have great eye sight, hide your hooks well. Good luck out there, sure you will have plenty of company out there.
The boys down south use weight when chunking. Usually about 15 feet up from the hook. Out of OC as Ultangler said, no weight on your line. Throw a hand full of butterfish chunks over and throw your bait in with it and let it sink with the chunks.
Got it, appreciate the info.
Ultangler, thanks for the link, the chunking article lays it all out pretty well.
Plan is to start chunking inshore early and try to pick up our one BF, then head out trolling for YF after that.
130lb SPRO power swivel between ur mainline and floro that way u can windon the whole deal to gaff. I prefer 3 pulls of floro and attach my weight 6 pulls from the hook bait. Attach ur weight using a rubberband that way it can yanked off as the fish is coming in. I always used blocks of foam instead of ballons cuz I'm environmentally aware :). Been a few yrs since I've had out the old chunk king.
It can be exciting. Sometimes a few fish show up at the same time. Set your drag for your leader size.