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Old 03-20-2017, 06:39 AM   #961
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Default Tuna

We had ambitions of a long run but ran into diving birds and blackfins on the way out. Two plus hours of chasing the birds and several tuna later, we had to stay within 35 miles for my young crew. Good day but hard to toss back sow red snapper and some large gags. Tuna were in 110' west of PAG.

Last edited by Elbow2; 03-21-2017 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:54 AM   #962
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Default Need a ride....

My plan was to go to the Bahamas or at least the keys on my week off, but weather on the east side killed that dream. If anyone is in need of crew for a extended day or overnight trip I am more than willing to cover more than my share as I can't crew my own boat on this short notice. Send a pm if you have a spot. I can bring any gear needed.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:11 PM   #963
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We had ambitions of a long run but ran into diving birds and blackfins on the way out in. Two plus hours of chasing the birds and several tuna later, we had to stay within 35 miles for my young crew. Good day but hard to toss back sow red snapper and some large gags. Tuna were in 110' west of PAG.
What was your approach to the tuna when you ran into them busting? Always interested in hearing other's techniques?
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:22 PM   #964
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We guessed which way the pod was moving and tried to get in that line with live baits deployed. I was not sure what they were at first so we had a bait on wire and a bait on fluorocarbon leader. Luckily the pod popped up behind our baits a few times. The bait on wire got hit while reeling it in right behind the boat. So when they want to eat, they eat. Cedar plug has worked many times, but not this time.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:23 PM   #965
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How do you tell that a school is Blackfins instead of Bonito (without actually stopping to catch one)?

I see schools of Bonito's busting on bait under birds all the time. I don't mind catching a few Bonito, but if I stopped for every school of those I see, I probably would never make it out to 100'.

And I do understand that I'm not likely to find many Blackfin inside of 100', but was just making a point that unless one jumps clear of the water that I'm not likely to know the difference.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:31 AM   #966
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How do you tell that a school is Blackfins instead of Bonito (without actually stopping to catch one)?

I see schools of Bonito's busting on bait under birds all the time. I don't mind catching a few Bonito, but if I stopped for every school of those I see, I probably would never make it out to 100'.

And I do understand that I'm not likely to find many Blackfin inside of 100', but was just making a point that unless one jumps clear of the water that I'm not likely to know the difference.
Yes, 100' is my general rule on blackfins in West Central FL. If I am in less than that, I also would not stop unless I was fairly certain the fish were tuna or I needed a Bonita for bait. One time we caught tuna behind a shrimper in 85' off Clearwater but that was a rare occasion.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:49 AM   #967
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I am usually in or near the shipping channel when I head out. I have seen Tuna near the end of the channel when the bait is thick in the spring. I had a friend even catch a Mahi there. Most of the time they are Bonita though.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:58 AM   #968
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So is there something that tells you that they might be Blackfin rather than Bonito? Or is it just a shot in the dark?
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:03 AM   #969
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No not really. If we are close we will cast a lure to them. If you are close enough you can see the black backs.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:35 AM   #970
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Well if I can free myself of the shackles of work tomorrow then I'll plan to run out to the 110' - 130' and keep my eyes open. Forecast is looking good.
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:53 PM   #971
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Well if I can free myself of the shackles of work tomorrow then I'll plan to run out to the 110' - 130' and keep my eyes open. Forecast is looking good.
What channel you keep your radio on? I will be venturing out to that same area to spear an AJ or 2 before the closure. I will be on 16 & 68
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:13 PM   #972
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We are headed to Christmas Ridge at 3 am in the morning
Our first planned stop is at 90 miles.
Hope to have the High speed gear in the water at first light.

If any one plans on being down that way give us a shout on 68.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:55 PM   #973
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We are headed to Christmas Ridge at 3 am in the morning
Our first planned stop is at 90 miles.
Hope to have the High speed gear in the water at first light.

If any one plans on being down that way give us a shout on 68.
Good luck! Send us photos.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:27 PM   #974
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What channel you keep your radio on? I will be venturing out to that same area to spear an AJ or 2 before the closure. I will be on 16 & 68
I'll be listening for ya on those channels and answer to Mackerel if you call.

I found one heck of an AJ honey hole while out there last week over what appears to be "nothing". I'll be taking home the smallest legal one I can find if I don't stumble onto something else that tastes better.

Good Luck!

-Mac
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:28 PM   #975
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How do you tell that a school is Blackfins instead of Bonito (without actually stopping to catch one)?
BLKFT seem to get out of the water more when when moving or busting bait. I doubt you will ever come into a schooling BLKFT only...always gonna be some boneheads in the mix.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:49 PM   #976
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I agree with spearnreel you will tend to find them together but more in 120 + ish blacks tend to peter out around 250 to 275 but that's the deepest i have got them, depends on bait around and the bottom but the deeper you go the less bone heads more blacks.

tj
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:48 PM   #977
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I'll be listening for ya on those channels and answer to Mackerel if you call.

I found one heck of an AJ honey hole while out there last week over what appears to be "nothing". I'll be taking home the smallest legal one I can find if I don't stumble onto something else that tastes better.

Good Luck!

-Mac
I tried you on 68 a couple times. Saw some boats out near me.

We didn't see any good AJ's but we loaded up on big mangos and lion fish. The lion fish paid for the trip with some extra....We just dove, no fishing.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:16 PM   #978
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I agree with spearnreel you will tend to find them together but more in 120 + ish blacks tend to peter out around 250 to 275 but that's the deepest i have got them, depends on bait around and the bottom but the deeper you go the less bone heads more blacks.

tj
I've caught blackfin at the peaks many times. Trolling and also dropping jigs down when we see marks around 100'. Had them hit pinfish meant for grouper there also.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:57 PM   #979
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I tried you on 68 a couple times. Saw some boats out near me.

We didn't see any good AJ's but we loaded up on big mangos and lion fish. The lion fish paid for the trip with some extra....We just dove, no fishing.
I heard you once, just after 2, loud and clear and responded a couple of times. Got concerned when you didn't answer back and used the "automated radio check". Nope. I was about 60 or so out and have had it work from there before.

I tested again later from 30 out, nope. Finally again when back at the dock where it worked fine. Obviously I have some issue, but I'm glad to have found out now!

I was out there today doing the solo thing, which I really enjoy. I can experiment with all sorts of stuff which may or may not work out, with no concern about "producing" for someone else. Today's experiment was basically doing pelagic trolling over an assortment of areas, both known and new and comparing the results of 3 lures that were competing for top dog status.

I was hoping for the intended target to be Blackfin or maybe a Wahoo, but the only willing players turned out to be AJ's and Bonito. But I did catch a whole bunch of AJ's, all in the lower 30" range, just under the legal size. But that was fine, because I was only looking for 1 fish to take home today and I found a really nice Red Grouper instead.

Anyway, it was a long day. Left the ramp before 6 and back to the ramp at 7. The boat and fish will have to wait till morning as I'm beat!
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:15 PM   #980
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Spearnreel call me we need to do a trip together 9418095457.

There is no pelagic friendly water within 130 miles of this coast currently. The loop eddys that have been relatively common the past few years have been absent this year. They should be spinning towards the coast in the next few weeks. Time will tell.
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