New to offshore
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Thread: New to offshore

  1. #1
    New TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Default New to offshore

    I am picking up a NTM 24’ Shamrock this coming week. Looking for advice to make it to the blue water for mahi and tuna.

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  3. #2
    New TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
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    Home port is Virginia Beach

  4. #3
    Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber NightFisher's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    24 Shamrock, nice boat. Never been on one but I have heard they are beasts that can handle seas great. Not the fastest thing out there but you will be comfortable when those light, fast newer boats and giving their crews a pounding.

    5 or 10 years ago this board would have been your best resource to learn from, now it seems to be a mostly dead place with a few posts that read "look at what I caught" with no background on what was used, where they fished or what tricks they tried. Not sure where to tell you to go.

    Spend some time learning your new rig. Learn your fuel burn, learn to operate your chartplotter and sounder. Plan on always getting back to the dock with 25% of your fuel left, on my boat that means I have a maximum run radius of 65NM which will take me as far north as the Norfolk Canyon or as far south as the "000's". Make sure you know how all of your equipment works and have a backup plan for anything that fails, I know that Shamrock is a single engine boat and there are people that will tell you that they would never go offshore without twins but if you keep up with the maintenance you should be fine. I recommend getting an EPIRB, having it gives me peace of mind that I can always call for help if needed. Get good offshore rated lifejackets in case the worst happens, remember its your job as a captain to put on the worst life jacket so have enough.

    Most Tuna, Marlin, and Mai fishing happens on the 100 Fathom line out there and a lot of the location references go back to the old Loran System . When someone says they fished the "400" line they are referring to where the 9960 Loran Chain 400 Time Delay line crosses the 100 Fathom line. Most charts still show these old Loran numbers, I put waypoints on my plotter to mark every 050 so I could easily see them there. Some of the more important places are the Norfolk Canyon, Waynes World, Virginia Beach Weather Buoy, Cigar, and "000's".

    I use BillFisher rods and think that Roller Guides are a waste of money and added maintenance problems for 90% of the fishing we do around here, a #30 pound class reel will handle everything you are likely to catch out there except for an occasional Bigeye or Bluefin and with time you may be able to get them to the boat. I upclass my reels by spooling 100# PowerPro with a 200 yard topshot of 50# mono. My Everol 30's and TLD30's can put out 14 pounds of drag suitable for 50# class line. I have a couple of Everol 50's with 80# test running 20 pounds of drag and I can barely handle them standup.

    For lures learn how to rig a Ballyhoo and get some from Baitmasters in January or February when they put them on sale. I never run a spread without a Blue/White Islander over a 'Hoo on one of my longriggers, naked chin weighted 'hoos have caught a lot of marlin on my flatlines. Another must have is a 13" Boone bird with a Green Machine 6-9 feet behind it on the Way Back line. Beyond that I play around till I find something that works that day. When the bite is hot I believe you can pull a flip-flop with a hook and catch well.

    EDIT: Oh, by the way. Welcome to your new life, your old life as you know it has ended, you will have neither the money or the time to do anything else. Your wife will find herself wishing you would sell that boat and get a mistress.
    Caper Cut
    Carolina Classic 25
    MMSO #338032246

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