Rick's tips on catching a Blue fin Tuna
Rick Evans is
the first mate on the very successful charter boat Second to
None docked at the Morehead City NC waterfront captained by
I would like to first start with " This is just the way
I do things, there are many ways and none of them are wrong".
Take what you want, tweak it to what works for you and catch
BFT season is just around the corner; time to look at your gear,
130's, 80's and 50's. It's gunna set you back a bit $ to get
them spooled up and ready. DON"T wait till the last minute.
Start looking for deals on, line, leader, planers, harpoon and
gaffs, and lures. For the guys just getting in to it make sure
you have all your safety gear, licenses and are registered where
you are going to sell your fish. Last year was a slow year and
a lot of folks didn't even cover expenses. We went the first
9 days without a sniff before we started catching. That took
a big chunk out of the first fish $.
Rods and reels, we are using 2 130's in the chair and 80's in
the corners. The 130's are packed as tight as we can get them
with 200lb and the 80's have about 600yds 130 Spectra for capacity
with a 200lb top shot. We set the drags at 32 lbs and fight
them at 40-45lb. When we get the fish close we will bump it
up a bit if needed.
Planers, we use 2, #24 and #32 cleated off. Some folks like
to use a planer rod, easy to trip and crank in that is an option.
We use it for a bit and had problems breaking off planers. If
you set the drag right it will creep out and you will be resetting
the planer every 15 minutes. Pain in the butt. We run the 32
on 100 ft 400lb mono and the 32 on 60 ft. They're not hard to
trip once you get the hang of it and we didn't loose a planer
Rigging the rod and planer. I rig up about 1/2 dozen release
lines. Take about 20" of 130 lb mono and tie a big snap
swivel to each end. You want a swivel that is going to be easy
to work with when your hands are freezing and the wind is blowing.
I run my down lines about 130' behind the planer, let your lines
out to where you want them and take 2 #64 rubber bands and wrap
them tight around the line so the line doesn't slip. Notice
I said WRAP not 1/2 hitch it. I don't like the rubber band stuck
on the line when we are fighting the fish to get hung up in
a guide. Put one of the swivels through the loops of the bands
and clip it and the other to your planer line. Same rig used
for Kings just easy to work with a longer line. Let the line
down till you see it stop or you are at the depth you want then
crank in the slack, this will take some practice to get the
feel for it.
Leaders, We use all 30' Wind-on leaders floro-carbon size is
your choice. Remember when every one is catching and you are
pulling 300lb and not getting a bite it may not be your lures.
Lures, we pulled Blue Water candy Island head lures all colors
but you may want to have a pink in the spread everyday. Big
lures and baits aren't always the ticket, Have caught a lot
of BFT on simple old Sea Witches. The standard bait is Horse
Ballyhoo, you might want to throw out a Split tail mullet, Spanish
Mack or even a squid. Up north they catch a lot on hard baits.
Don't be afraid to mix it up.
Next installment we will talk about landing the