WOW! What a super trip we had on our four day charter. This is always a great trip, but this year was over the top. About half the folks on the boat were on the same trip last year, so they thought they knew what to expect... We hit it big time, and again Andy, Nick, Tom, Fernando and Chapman really showed why the Rooster is at the top of the long range fleet.
Day one - Well OVER 400 yellowfin, up to 40lbs. plus a few dorado and bluefin.
Day two - 300 very nice size yellowtail, all coming in at 30 lbs.
Day three - Skipper Andy Cates put us on the big bluefin tuna. At about 9:30 we got our first bites. Marilynn hooked one, I hooked one, and I believe Andy got hooked up. After about an hour Marilynn got hers in, fishing an Avet LX two speed, and it looked like I would too. We got a few more hookups and more dumped fish. 50# got bit best, I was using an Avet MXL Raptor. More hook ups, a couple more fish taken. I'm still on my fish. Every time I got to my topshot of about 100 feet, the fish would turn it's head and blow off more line. First call for lunch, second call for lunch, third call for lunch...I'm still on. Now it's after 1:00 and I'm still on this stinking bluefin. I'm whooped! I tired using the rail, tried sitting on the deck and grinding, tried everything, all for the same result. I'd get to leader, and then thar she blows, more line stripped off. I could not keep the fish's head turned my way. Finally skipper Andy came back down and thought he'd give it a try. Same result, gain back line to the mono, and then there goes the fish for another 50 yards, Nick gave it a try, same darn thing. We could not budge the fish. Any closer than 75 feet to the boat and it would turn it's head and run from the boat. Finally, the hook pulled. I was on that fish for four hours! Maybe if I'd been on a different reel, with lower gear than 4:1 I'd have had a chance. But, ultimately the fish won this battle, and deserved to do so. The folks on the boat had maybe 12 hookups with the big bluefin, landed 4. The ones we caught went 135 to 145 lbs, and who knows how big mine would have measured out.
Downside to being on that fish for four hours, I couldn't shot any pictures of the big fish day. No video of the crew saving a fish that was hooked on a Newell that bit the dust, tying off the line in a few seconds to a back up Makaira and getting the fish boated. No video of Marilynn fighting hers or of the other fish taken or lost.
GREAT TRIP!!! And, as expected, this charter is already half filled for next year. Pictures to follow and video of the first two days fishing as well. Look for the link and pic of the week on the index page of the site.
It's two days later and I'm still sore, hands don't close, arms like jelly and my back feels like someone's been hitting it with a hammer. I've taken yellowfin over 200 that didn't kick my butt like this bluefin did...but those were on a 50, this one was on a little MXL Raptor. If that reel had a 2 to 1 bottom gear I'd have had a chance. I'm buying a HX Raptor next week.
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