Jump to content
Robalo Boating Forum
2-N-TOW

Tuna Fishing 12/21

Recommended Posts

Had a invite for a tuna trip out of Oregon Inlet on Saturday.  Marine forecast was borderline at best, 10-15 knots out of the NE and 3--5ft swells, 6 second period.  Would  be 3 of us on a Kencraft Challenger 25.

Cleared the inlet at 6 and found a little sporty conditions, but boat was able to run 30 mph the entire run out.  Starting point was The Point.  Crossed into the Gulf Stream and 73.5 degree water.  Also, water conditions were choppy and more like 5-7 ft.

Lines in at 8; 5 lines on top and one planer.  Trolled out overboard about 5 miles and saw porpoises and sharks, but no tuna.  Reversed direction back to the Continental Shelf and worked the dropoff heading north.  That was a miserable ride going into the wind that was blowing against the current, so we were fighting rough water and spray.  Darn good thing we all had good rain suits! 

Around 10 we had a hit on the planer rod.  Pulled in a cute little blackfin that was barely bigger than the 8" drone spoon!  No more bites after that, so we worked further north to the Tuna Hole where a few charter boats were catching sporadic fish.  Got there and had one hit but it came unglued when I chopped the throttle too much and we lost tension on the line.  After that, nothing for over an hour.  

Worked our way back to the deep water at the Tuna Hole and the planer gets hit while I am standing next to it.  My crippled butt managed to get a barely legal yellow fin to the boat, but the skunk had been kicked off the boat!  Before anybody gets offended, the reference to crippled butt is due the strength I have lost due to all the surgeries last summer.  I say this in a light-hearted manner!  But, that fish whipped my butt!  Back to fishing....

We go a little while before another line gets tagged and in comes a decent tuna.  Head back across that same spot and get one more that I had the honors to real in.  The boat owner was giving me a ration of crap that I was waiting for the fish to have another birthday before I boated it.  I told him to grab a beer, enjoy the show, and he could have the honors the next time a fish hit the way back line. 

Then it goes dead for a while.  It is getting close to 2 and we are discussing when to pull lines and head in.  Jokingly, we commented how nice it would be to finish up with a bang!  Well, around 2:15, one rod goes off, then another, then another, and one more for good luck!  4 rods and 3 guys on the boat...I did the honors of driving the boat, clearing lines, and helping get the leader to gaff the fish since I had already reeled in 2 fish today.  When it was all over, we had 4 fish flopping in the back of the boat and blood everywhere!  What a way to end the day.  Final tally; 9 hooked, 8 boated.

So, get the fish boxed, tackle stowed, and it is now 3:00 pm.  We get out of the Gulf Stream and are able to make good time (25 - 30 mph) in some big waves that were spaced out just right so the ride was not too uncomfortable.  Wet yes, but semi-manageable.  Then we were about 10 miles out where the water was around 110 ft and it got rough!  Swells and a bad chop, plus the wind was now 15-20 knots out of the NE.  We could only make 12-15 mph.  Finally cleared the bridge at 5:15 and back at the ramp at 5:30 pm.  Loaded the boat on the trailer and headed back to the beach house to clean fish last night.

Overall, had a great time.  Rough water combat fishing is a lot different than summer fishing.  We were in some troughs of waves where the tops were as high as the boat.  Thankfully, they were spaced out enough that it was not really dangerous, you just had to be aware of what was going on at all times.    Having decent rain gear really made the day, too.  I improvised with a pair of Grunden bib overalls, white boat boots, sweatshirt with an oversized North Face water-proof jacket and hood.  I got just a little wet where the seams of the jacket did leak a tiny bit, but not enough to be uncomfortable.  The only downside to it, though, is I am paying for it today.  Stiff from the pounding, but it was worth it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a fun day all in all. My son-in-law has been out several times down there recently and keep me in tuna, but I miss the fun of catching them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was the fun that pulled me back into venturing out looking for tuna.  It had been too long since I last did it and I think I enjoy the "chase" as much as reeling them in.  One thing for sure, though, this kind of fishing is better suited for the youngsters.  Years ago I could bounce back the next day...2 days later and I am finally getting rid of remnants of this adventure.  I tink have satisfied the itch for a few weeks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know what you mean, but the lure of blue water fishing is strong.  Just love being out there and catching fish is the icing on the cake. I don't always catch my target fish, but only been skunked once in about 20 years.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan..wheres the pics?

We made a tuna trip charter in the gulf in October for a bachelor party. Doing an overnight trip in April. Got on some Nice yellowfin..

And yeah recover time from the boat ride and beer ain't what it used to be..

IMG_2729.jpg

Edited by greauxpete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No pictures on this trip.  Water conditions were such that you had to have a hand on something the whole time.  Plus, this ended up being a 12 hour trip.  Too dark when we got back to the ramp, so we ended up cleaning fish at the beach house.  It was after 9:00 that night when we finished cleaning up the boat and fish.    I can post a picture of a freezer full of vacuum bagged tuna, though.

Unfortunately, ours were not as big as yours!  I bet those put a whoopin' on you seeing what look like a 50  in the rod holder!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We caught 4 pretty nice tuna. I think they were all around 80 lbs give or take. 

That's a dynamically positioned floating offshore drill ship (no anchor)...about 120 miles offshore.. a tuna haven. Chartered a 32 ft catamaran. Slept like a baby on the beanbags on the way out.

Was impressed with the guide team they worked hard for 10 or so hours trying to get us on fish.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering about that rig as it did not look like what I see a lot of the Gulf guys fishing near.  

Those are some nice tunas!  Thankfully, we only need to run out 40 miles to work the edge of the Gulf Stream.  3 times the distance makes for a long round trip.  I learned a long time ago the beauty of bean bags on the boat.  The kids give me a hard time about the cheap Walmart one I keep in the cabin.  Then when it is time to head in, out comes the bean bag and toss it against the transom, then tell Jr. to punch in the Sea Bouy location on the GPS and let me know when we get to the inlet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan, 

Just curious, Do you by chance have an auto pilot on your boat? Wondering if it's worth the money?

I'm looking into the garmin compact reactor which is only $1000.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I do not have one.  If I get another boat or do a full refit on this one, an autopilot will be at the top of the list.  Long runs would be nice, but I think I would get even more out of it when trolling.  Besides, as long as I have one of the boys on the boat, that is my autopilot for the long runs!

Member FullThrottle has one on his boat and I believe he also had one on his previous Robalo.  Hopefully he will be along in the next day or so to comment on his set-up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, having a son as a boat buddy and standby autopilot is as as good as it gets. Looking forward to when mine can come along for offshore trips. That's what it's all about..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...