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CaptDan_Kauai
(Unknown Angler )
10/29/00 06:01 AM
A tuna story... [Post#: 23 ] Reply to this post

Heartbreaker of the summer!!!
Went out 4 hr. trip. Had 3 guys on board, 1 guy went a couple days before & caught a wahoo around 30 lbs. he looked pretty healthy. The others were a father son team, dad was a big guy around 45ish, I felt pretty confident looking at him, his son was 16ish, pretty healthy looking kid.
I run 4, 50 sw's packed with 80 lb. on 5'6" rods. 85% of our fish are less than 200 lbs. throughout the year. I have gotten 8 tuna over 200 with this tackle, biggest - 223 lb. Biggest marlin was just over 500 with the Stand Up.
We started the morning out without a strike for the first 3 hours working some big bird piles in deep water, (500 to 1200 fathoms, 3 to 7 miles offshore) that didn't have fish for us. I was looking at the 40-fathom ledge, thinking about ono, (wahoo) to bend a rod for these folks.
We were about 2 miles outside of my harbor & I saw about 15 birds "look funny?" Went over to where they were. I troll about 7 kts, roller trollers on the long lines & #33 rubber bands on the short, with a pretty stiff drag for the strike this time of year. By the time we got close to where the birds were, they were gone, I just kept going strait towards the ledge. About where the birds were, (now nowhere to be seen) The long rigger came slamming down screaming, I thought it was a marlin, so I kept going looking for it to come up & show itself. 4-5 seconds later the long corner went off, COOL, Tuna!!! With tuna I stop the boat ASAP. Keep as much line on the real as possible with the lighter tackle.
After the xxxx firedrill, they seemed normal, took about 250 to 300 yards on the first run & kinda settled. The single guy & the kid ended up with rods bent & not knowing just exactly what they signed up for. (I guess nobody ever "really" told them about standing up to big yellowfin) Things were going good, both fish were coming in pretty good, the single guy's fish was really coming in fast, there have been a lot of 120-130 lb. tuna coming up, I figured these were the same, which is good for the average Joe who doesn't stand up to big fish often. About 20 minutes into it, the kids fish was giving him a little bit of a hard time, the kid was doing good, nice & easy, I thought to myself, "Cool, he'll be able to do it all himself, if not, his dad is rite here to take over, so I'll concentrate on the single guys fish.”
The single guy spent himself, I didn't see it till it was too late! He was in that kinda funny bent over almost on his knees position you have probably seen or been yourself, after the stand up rod has kicked your butt. Heck!!! His fish was close, it made a big surface circle & ended up 20 ft away, rite in this guys face, perfect sun, could see it clearly swimming on the surface, a Big Bugga! My leaders are 16 ft. he only has to give it a few cranks & I can get the leader. I keep the boat moving forward at gaff, to keep them from getting under the boat. I tell the kid to be patient & just hold his rod & hopefully there won’t be too much line out when we are done with the first fish, his fish was perfect, off the back & down. Meanwhile, the single guy is still in that funny bent position, staring at his fish at double line, it’s only been less than 25 minutes. The guy is piled up in the corner I need to be in for leader/gaff, I ask & explain about having to move away from the back corner of the boat. (I give a through rundown before we leave the harbor & explain as much as possible about some of things that are done during a fight) He can’t move! Heck!!! The fish stays just outside of double, I have to keep the boat going to keep it out to the side, the fish turned towards the boat. “Perfect”. OH Shoot!!! The guy has stage freight! He just watched it. The fish swims rite off the hook & we got to watch it. It was a very BIG, YFT!!! Heck!!! OH WELL, we still have the other one going.
The single guy is spent, bummed & thinking about the strongest biggest fish he has ever imagined. He got to look rite in its eyes. Now a fish story. He asked me what he did wrong, I told him, in a nice way, “you have to turn the handle”, he understood. I really felt for the guy, he knew what happened & knew it was too late to change. Hate it when that happens!!!
So, back to the kid, he has about 300 yards out & I now know what he is up against, possibly the biggest YFT I might of caught? After watching what went down in the other corner, he is doubting himself & feeling the pressure. I have done well with young guys so I tell him to not think & keep the pressure. He does, actually getting it down pretty good. After 1 hour & working very hard, he is tired so I ask his dad to take over. Dad says, “I can’t, I’m diabetic”
So here I am, just lost one of the biggest tunas I’ve seen behind my boat & still tight to another. The kid is heading toward “THAT” bent over position, his dad is afraid of the pressure & the guy that forgot to wind. Man I love this job!!!
The kid lasts for another 20 minutes & the single guy takes over, this time he is different, he has a heart after all, only thing, the fish does also. Ten minutes into him, I hear a Snap, the harness breaks. Shoot!!! We put the other one on & get back to work, the fish must of known I only have a single screw & can only back one way, so of course it stays to the wrong side.
By now the single guy is looking at that funny position again, were stuck.
I decide to hand line, this is a big fish & it’s been on long enough, the folks are spent so it is all I can do. They agree, 80 lb stretched is not easy to pull, I’m pretty sure all the stretch is gone & can’t believe the line is that strong. I pulled for 30 minutes, got the fish close, 50-60 foot away, FULL pressure. We strap the kid back in & he is working good. The fish is now doing circles under the boat, this is fun, we play that game for 10 minutes & have it almost to double, from the bridge I can see it down as it circles, I also saw it give a big head shake & break the main line. OUCH!!!!!!!!!

So, what did I learn?
1) It sure can be a quiet ride home at times.
2) Some folks don’t understand my since of humor, I try not to be angry so often I will joke about this kind of thing.
3) Don’t assume the folks will pull hard on their own, some Need a push.
4) After putting Full pressure on a fish, when it gets close, maybe lighten up a little?
5) BIG tuna can be a bitch!!!
6) The Big guy might only look that way.
7) I need to try & find some anglers that WANT to do this kind of thing.

Anyway, just another fish story.
I’m trying to work on my writing skills?

Capt. Dan
Stand Up Fishing Charters Poipu Kauai Ink.
http://fishingkauai.con
You want to Try!!?




Capt. Dan
Stand Up Fishing Charters Poipu Kauai Inc. toll free 877-887-0412

Anonymous
(Unregistered)
8/23/02 04:18 PM
Re: A tuna story... new [Post#: 886 / re: 23 ] Reply to this post

I have just read your exciting article regarding the tuna! Talk about memories. I had the opportunity to fish for giant bluefin tuna out of Conception Bay, NFLD, while in the Navy (1969). I knew where the story was going after reading a few paragraphs. My article is on the Mercury Marine web site, "Bluefin Memories". I fought mine for 1 hour and 50 minutes, in a chair! My 23 year old muscles had never been tested (especially my back) in an athletic life! The skipper had the double line in his grasp but could not bring the giant fish to gaff. The hook was straightened out! They calculated his weight to be around th 750 lb range. I, too, had him swimming on his side in 180 degree arcs approximately 30 feet behind the boat. It was a trip of a lifetime! I cannot imagine being able to live this life and doing it for a living. I know it would be a job and not an easy one, but to be able to fish for a living would be next to heaven! GREAT ARTICLE!...../MikeW)




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