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Tuna Help

Old 03-01-2011, 05:05 PM
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JJL
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Hello all,

My dad and I are looking to get out to try and battle some bluefin and dolphin this summer on our 23' Key West CC. I am turning to you guys for some help on this issue regarding tackle, rigging, safety, and other aspects. We have done a few trips that were 15 miles out to a ridge trolling for false albacore and bonito a few times this summer with success. We have also been out on a few of our buddies boats that were bigger and better equipped. A little about the boat: it is a 2006 23' Key West Bluewater with a 225 hp Yamaha 4-stroke. The boat does not have outriggers, it holds 100 gallons of gas, has a Humminbird 767 GPS/FF ( black and white, not color and came with the boat) and does not have a full transom. We are in the process of adding a fuel management system (floscan). This summer we really ran that boat through some crappy seas and figured how to run it in bad weather. We fish the off New Jersey, Barnegat Light, and anybody who knows NJ can testify for the afternoon South winds. Over this winter we are also adding a few offshore life vests with whistles and safety mirrors, a little tool kit, and a good first aid kit. We also have all of the standard equipment, life vests, fire extinguisher, throwable etc. We do not have an EPIRB or life raft because its too much for the budget for the few times well get offshore. We know to pick our days when we go out. We typically would only go off in 2-3ft or less forecasted the whole day. I think our max range would be 30-35 miles at most but more like 20-30. Some help i could use from you guys is how to rig the boat more for offshore fishing. Like i mentioned earlier we do not have outriggers but we do have outrodders which we used for the false albacore and what we use for trolling stripers. What I was thinking was adding a set of bolt on rod holders angled out toward the water so that we could troll 2 from the t top 2 in the gunnel straight up and 2 flatlines in the gunnel and possibly 1 shotgun down the middle. Do you guys think this is a good set-up? Also i have heard that the fish sometimes do not like the sound of the 4-stroke engine and there are ways that you should trim the motor and trim tabs so that it creates cleaner water. Could someone clarify this for me? Also what kind of lures do you guys like for bluefin? We've got a few things: feathers, cedar plugs, daisy chains but would it be better to just go with ballyhoo? And also what is the typical speed and how far back should the lines be set? We also plan on buddying up with a few boats. Any thing else that could be added please let me know. Sorry for it being so long, i am just trying to read up on as much as possible. Thank you for any replies and feel free to e-mail me if you do not want to put the info here.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:20 PM
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BFT can be found as close as a mile from shore. I've seen them but, was never able to hook up in that close. The only BFT I've caught were about 45 miles out from Manasquan Inlet. That might be a bit out of your range although I know guys who regularly run the canyons with 23' boats. I'm sure others will chime in. You may also want to post this in the northeast section. There might be some local knowledge there. Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:52 PM
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A good bluefin spot is the glory hole about 42 miles from barnegat ,but you can try the dusky hole and some wrecks that are on the way out to the hole ,make sure you do not have any bad weather predicted for 2 days and watch the temp charts so you do not waste fuel going out to find too warm or too cold water. Generally speaking june is the beginning of the BFT in the area with a lot of school fish moving in, i would troll the wrecks around 20 miles out ,and then move farther offshore. Your spread is going to vary depending on conditions, overcast days will require dark color lures with purple and black my favorites ,sunny days light colors . Mimic a school of fish with a lure falling behind and your cedar plugs have to be set up close to the boat to have the action needed which is darting in and out of the blue water holes by the prop wash . Make sure you have 2 spreader bars of tuna clones ,jap feathers or smokers but do not go too large on the lures 7" are large enough (match the hatch). When it comes to mahi troll around the lobster pots or weedlines and they seem to like yellow and green lures quite often ,later in the season try a downrigger with a chrome head lure for wahoo ,and if you get lucky you can also find white marlin in the glory hole (my boat made the star ledger in 2006 with a 100 lb marlin caught in the hole on 20 lb gear. normally 30 class reels will do the trick with a quality rod matched to it ,mine are 6' calstar graphigter. other guys fishing the area that day can help you out with advise needed . Always have a spinning rod ready for sight casting in the event you find schools of mahi . every boat needs a different speed, but try 5.5 to 7 knots to find the right speed for the boat ,unless you target wahoo whigh can be up to 10 knots . PM me if you want to more advise.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:55 PM
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Carrying 100 gallons of gas, your range is much more than 30 miles,which is not to say you should fish further.Just sayin...
More importantly, Get an EPIRB! Regardless of cost. Good fishing!
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:23 AM
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Purchase the EPIRB before any tackle!!! I have fished off shore for 30 yrs,almost sank @ the 30 fathom line once, that's all it takes to convince you!
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:49 AM
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Thanks for all the replies so far guys
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:14 PM
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Give me a call or shoot me an email. This is the one thing we do alot of.. BFT fishing!

We are also from NJ so we fish the same waters.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminator Tackle View Post
Give me a call or shoot me an email. This is the one thing we do alot of.. BFT fishing!

We are also from NJ so we fish the same waters.
Thanks Terminator, e-mail sent.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:37 PM
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A rod holder on the leaning post for down the middle, 2 staight back off of each corner, and 2 lean outs slightly ahead of the capatain so he can see them will handle 5 rods, which is all 3 guys can handle IMO.

TTop rodholders for trolling are not recommended. Reserve these for rods not in use like spinners with jigs.

Outriggers on a 23 are tough are tough as they bounce a lot.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:56 AM
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Your going to wish you had an EPIRB if you need it. That's crazy talk!
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
Your going to wish you had an EPIRB if you need it. That's crazy talk!
I wonder how boaters survived before these were invented?
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bullshipper View Post
I wonder how boaters survived before these were invented?
Some didn't!
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