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  #1  
Old 07-21-2013, 2:15 PM
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Default 3 day offshore trip, what gear?

Hey guys, I'm a pretty good freshwater fisherman and have done some inshore fishing and a couple party boats off point loma. But I'm going on a 3 day trip out of point loma in September, and maybe a 1.5 day in August to prime for that trip.

I'm a gear junkie, and really enjoy researching and owning good gear. I understand the basic terminology and functionality of offshore gear (star vs lever drag etc). But what I'm unsure about is what line strength and capacity I'll need for the type and size of fish that are caught on these longer excursions. I'm going to put together a couple offshore rigs (I'll also have a 20lb inshore type setup to bring). What line strength and capacity will I need? Thanks,

---------------------------------
Chris
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Old 07-21-2013, 2:19 PM
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I would have a 40, 50 lb setup ready to go, as you can throw the rope at em' when they get fired up and really load up. With the huge bluefin around this yr, I'd bring an 80 lb rig along to troll with/ quickly tie a hook or jig to if the big boys crash the party. I have slayed a crap load of fish on the last 2 2.5 days I've taken in Sept. The yellowfin love megabaits and you can really hammer them without worrying about bait... I filled a trashcan in about 30 minutes by myself on the bow! Have fun!
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Old 07-21-2013, 2:25 PM
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20-30-40#backed by 40- 65# braid. The do all choice.

Last edited by toby; 07-21-2013 at 2:28 PM..
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Old 07-21-2013, 2:38 PM
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I agree with the last two posts but I recommend just going down to Squidco and having them set you up.
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Old 07-21-2013, 2:41 PM
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Fluorocarbon in 30/40/50 Big reels use 80# spectra backup. Misc iron. mexican flag/ black purple feathers. cedar plugs.
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Old 07-21-2013, 2:52 PM
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Thanks guys. Do I need 300 or more yards on these rigs to keep from getting spooled?

---------------------------------
Chris
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Old 07-21-2013, 3:02 PM
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Yes. I have 300-500 yards of 80# spectra backing then i wind on a top shot of fluoro. You need an 80# trolling rig. Some boats provide them on longer range. If you were near sfv I'll lend you a 50sw 2 speed with roller trolling rod. Lose it you buy it.
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Old 07-21-2013, 4:27 PM
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Thanks that's kind of you.

So to symmarize I should have a rig with 300+ yards of 50# braid w flouro top shot and another with 300+ yards of 80# braid w flouro top shot?

I have an eight foot shimano terez rod rated for 65# I think, I suppose it would serve either setup. Is there any advantage to having a longer rod as the trolling/heavy setup, or vise versa?

Thanks again for your help fellas, cal guns kicks ***.

---------------------------------
Chris
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Old 07-21-2013, 5:13 PM
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Good luck
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Old 07-21-2013, 5:18 PM
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Go with a short stout trolling, heavy rig with roller guides
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Old 07-21-2013, 8:24 PM
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I've been fishing the overnight and long range boats out of San Diego since 1997. In fact, I just got back from a 4 day on the Indy on the 14th.

We've got big bruiser bluefin tuna out there right now. This is why the guys are telling you heavy line -- as in 80 lb test. And yes, I hooked and landed two 50+ fish on 80 lb test during a WFO bluefin bite.

THAT SAID, an 80 lb outfit is a pretty rarely used outfit (at least for bait). (This was my trolling rig, which I bring every time for exactly this scenario -- even though the boat has great loaner trolling rigs.) Conditions change pretty quickly offshore. Plus, you'll be fishing your 3 day in September -- when it's usually yellowfin, yellowtail, and dorado rather than bluefin. These fish tend to be much smaller. So, my recommendation, based on what I've used most over 16 years of San Diego offshore fishing, is as follows:

20 lb outfit, 7'-8' rod. You've already got something like this, so you might as well bring it. Good outfit for the smaller yellowtail, dorado, and yellowfin. And a lot of times, the fish are line shy. I'd be careful, though, if your rod is "noodle" rod. There is a difference between a 20 inshore bassin' rod and a 20 offshore tuna rod.

30 lb outfit, 7' rod. I usually start with this outfit on a stop, unless I know that the bruisers are out there or the fish are line shy. In fact, on my four day, we fished mostly 30 lb -- except for two stops where the captain told us to bring out the heavy gear.

40 lb outfit, two speed, 7' rod. A lot of guys will tell you that you don't need a two speed for 40 lb. I agree that you don't need it. But it's really nice to have. This is my second most used outfit, after the 30 lb outfit. With a two speed reel, you can land some pretty big fish. Our two biggest fish (both over 100 lbs) on the trip were landed with 40 lb, two speed reels. That said, it took them a while to do so -- and one guy handed it off to the deckhand after 1.5 hours to finish it off.

At this point, I'd recommend a 50 lb, two speed outfit over an 80 lb outfit. But if you're worried about being undergunned offshore, then go with the 80 lb outfit. You'll be able to use it as a trolling rod, but most boats have loaners. As I said, I very rarely used my 80 lb outfit over the years offshore, compared to the 30, 40, 20, and 50 (in that order). A 50 lb should be able to handle the vast majority of the fish you'll hook on a 3 day. Since you're not going to the Islands on a 3 day, you won't need an 80 lb outfit for dropper loop fishing yellowtail.

Spectra backing is critical. Even on the 20 lb outfit you have. I would recommend 50 lb spectra for the 20 and 30. 60 or 65 lb spectra for the 40 and 50. 130 lb spectra for the 80. I usually want 350 yards of line minimum. But 300 will work. More on the heavier outfits.

Fluorocarbon. Lots of folks swear by it. I find it very helpful.

The Shimano rods have a reputation for being "noodle rods" that fish well below their ratings. The Japanese have a different style of fishing than we do on the West Coast. Go with Seeker or Calstar blanks. Trust me on this one.

Circle hooks vs. J hooks. You've fished a lot. If you're comfortable setting hooks, go with J hooks. I prefer circles, and most people on the long range boats will be fishing the "designer circle hooks." Owner are my preference. I like the ringed hooks.

Rod belt. Get one. I prefer one with a gimbal (if your rods are gimbaled). It prevents the rod from rotating when you're fighting a big fish.

Quality vs. price. You can spend quite a bit on quality fishing gear. Particularly the reels. When I started, I bought cheap -- and ended up having to sell it later to upgrade. So if you think this is something you'll end up doing (and it's addictive), buy the good stuff to start off with.

I like: Tiburon smart shift reels, Shimano Trinidad, and Shimano Talica's. All three of these fish really well "out of the box" for West Coast style fishing. No tuning required. I like Accurate's as well, but the top of the line reels are higher maintenance reels. I bought Avet's for my fiancee. I find that these reels cast well (you need to get away from the boat to get bit). They also stand up to pressure from the fish. I've fought two cookie-cutter fish -- one on my Trinidad or Tiburon and another on a Daiwa Sealine -- and you really, really notice the difference. By the way, Tiburon, Accurate, and Avet are US companies with US production facilities. (Tiburon is moving its production back.) The high end Shimano's are made in Japan.

Dropping down a level in quality, the Shimano Toriums are pretty good (these are my loaner reels). Made in China. Other reels that people like: Okuma (major quality improvements since they acquired Tiburon's technology) and Daiwa. I used to fish Penn exclusively, but they're a bit behind the times now.

Retailers. Go to a local fishing store that specializes in long range. Tell us where you're located and everyone will chime in with their recommendations. I like Charkbait down in Orange County and Bob Sands Tackle up in the San Fernando Valley. There are also a couple of stores in Northern California, if that's where you're located. Sports Chalet and Turners are OK for chain stores, but only if you run into a sales guy who actually knows something about long range. If you're in West LA, Brad -- who works at the store on Olympic -- has forgotten more about long range fishing than I will ever learn.

Last edited by SamIAm; 07-21-2013 at 8:34 PM..
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  #12  
Old 07-21-2013, 8:43 PM
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Whoa bro ^^^^^
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Old 07-21-2013, 9:06 PM
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Thank you thank you samiam, that should be a sticky somewhere.

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Old 07-21-2013, 9:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDM View Post
Thanks guys. Do I need 300 or more yards on these rigs to keep from getting spooled?

---------------------------------
Chris
It depends if you want to handle a big heavy reel!
It's been my experience that you need to get on the
fish quick and get his nose turned around towards the boat
before the freight train can pick up speed going away.
I've had luck on 7 day trips using a Penn 4/0 narrows in a Tiburon kit
with Cal's grease on carbontex drags and a SS gear sleeve Extra thin metal washers/ extra drags
to bump up drag a few #'s running 40# line.
Works good on 40-50 class tuna, but if you looking at 80#'s and up, It's a whole new world..
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:55 PM
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X2 on heavy line right now. I would use 40# 50# line with floro....floro is a must have on trips....30# take one rig just incase they are line shy but that why you have floro. I just got back from an over night on the 18th and I was fishing 30# and 25#. I caught a 70Lb BFT on 25# with 40# floro. Much wasn't caught on trolling.....you might still be fishing the pens in August...Avet reels are GREAT for their price.....I fish them in purple, easier to find on big boat like that.....and mark all rods with bright colored tape to fine easy
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Old 07-22-2013, 4:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EffrenPadilla2012 View Post
X2 on heavy line right now. I would use 40# 50# line with floro....floro is a must have on trips....30# take one rig just incase they are line shy but that why you have floro. I just got back from an over night on the 18th and I was fishing 30# and 25#. I caught a 70Lb BFT on 25# with 40# floro. Much wasn't caught on trolling.....you might still be fishing the pens in August...Avet reels are GREAT for their price.....I fish them in purple, easier to find on big boat like that.....and mark all rods with bright colored tape to fine easy
Thanks. I'm looking at an Avet reel for my main/40-50# rig. I notice their standard models drag only goes up to 14#. You gotta get the Raptor model to get 30+# drag, but the price goes way up also. How much drag will I want on my main rig? I'll spring for the raptor if needed, it has some nice other features also that should make it worth the $...

Thanks again everyone for the info.

---------------------------------
Chris
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Old 07-22-2013, 5:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDM View Post
Thanks. I'm looking at an Avet reel for my main/40-50# rig. I notice their standard models drag only goes up to 14#. You gotta get the Raptor model to get 30+# drag, but the price goes way up also. How much drag will I want on my main rig? I'll spring for the raptor if needed, it has some nice other features also that should make it worth the $...
If you're talking about the MX, it should work. General rule of thumb is that drag should be 20-25% of the line strength. So, for 40lb, 8-10 lbs and for 50lbs, 10-12.5 lbs. My fiancee uses the MX for 30lb and the JX-2 speed for 40lb.
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Old 07-22-2013, 6:57 PM
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So you've got all kinds of great advice on your fishing gear, but the best thing I ever bought was some tall rubber rain boots. Dry feet all day. $15 at Big 5.
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Old 07-27-2013, 9:42 AM
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This is what I run:
16#, 25#, 30#, 40#, 60# troll rig. I take my easy gear and that can pretty much catch whatever we need from albis to yellowfin. Sub 5 days you are good. Bring cold cloths too. You dont need more then 60 for a 3 day boat. I have yet to see a bigger then 85 pound fish on one those these trips. 5 day i bring my 80 and 100 rods.
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Old 07-31-2013, 7:49 AM
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Alright so I got 3 Avet reels, including a couple raptors. They will be 20#, 30#, and 50# flouro topshots backed by 40-65# PowerPro.

I ordered some Okuma Makaira rods for them. I looked at the high dollar/custom type rods, but these Makaira rods seem to offer same materials with better components for much more affordable prices than the Calstars etc.. Besides I needed to save a few $ after paying for those reels.

Next will be some circle hooks, feathers, jigs, a rod belt and some rubber boots. If my rifle/scope I have for sale here sells I'll add an 80# trolling rig also.

I really really appreciate all of your help. Thanks again and if you guys have any more advice for me I'm all ears.
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Old 07-31-2013, 8:08 AM
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Also, what circle hook sizes are most used? And can you guys recommend a good belt? Thanks,

Last edited by ChrisDM; 07-31-2013 at 8:19 AM..
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Old 07-31-2013, 8:40 AM
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Surprised nobody mentioned febreeze and earplugs.
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:30 AM
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What boat? If you give us the boat some of us can give you some good inside details to make sure you have a great trip.

For me it's spectra then 100 yards of mono and then fluorocarbon. I usually go with no mono on my reels until I get on the boat and see what the boat recommends. I like to have two setups of the most common line weight recommended by the boat so you don't have to retie your hooks during a good bite. Then when the boat moves retie everything that caught a fish if you get on the bigger fish they will shred your line so a fresh hook tie is a must. I use a Palomar knot it’s easy and fast and plenty strong enough to hold the fish.

Offshore is a lot different than fresh or inshore fishing. I too like the circle hooks with the ring. I usually get a wide range of sizes to match the line and bait. The circle hook requires no setting of the hook if you do try to set the hook like a "j" hook you'll just jerk it out of the fishes mouth. All you do is just bring your rod tip down to the water level and slowly wind and lift your rod tip up at the sametime. These hooks are a must for the bigger fish so your line doesn’t get cut by the hard/sharp mouth. Now when your flyline at a stop pick the liveliest bait and hook it through the eye socket or through the bottom jaw bringing up thru the nose or hook the bait towards the tail so it swims more freely. Sometime this can make or break you if the fish are picky eaters. Now once you have the bait on you need to cast the bait out far from the boat and keep the wind in your face. Otherwise the boat will just drift over your line. Casting is more of a toss, you first say going out so everybody around you knows your casting. Then you do a pendulum swing of you bait and as it goes up toss it out in the water. Now once your out make sure you keep you line right in front of you at all times and if you have crossed anybody’s line do the over-under to get clear of the other fisherman. Now as you drift your line is going to move with the drift so you must do the tuna shuffle to keep you line straight in front of you. Some bites are plunkers and some are quick and done you just never know so be polite if it’s wide open and be prepared your going to loses a few fish it just happens.

Now these fish don’t nibble well some BFT do but most will just start taking line fast I give them a few second with my thumb lightly on the spool so I don’t get a back lash and then slowly start the winding and lift to set the hook. Don’t use your thumb as a drag you’ll end up with a nasty burn and the rest of your trip will suck. Another thing the salt water is nasty when it comes to infections on cuts so if you feel any pain from a cut wash it out and try to keep it dry the infection can put you in the hospital real quick via a helicopter ride to shore I’ve seen this twice and it’s no fun! Now if your fishing paddies and you will be make sure to set the hook and start winding rather soon otherwise the YT especially will drag you into the kelp and it’s all over if that happens. Now if you get a Dodo they will start to jump as soon as they realize they are hooked. They can and will toss a hook so keep you line tight and work it like a native trout when it starts to jump and once it’s on the deck get a picture quickly before it dies and turns gray.

When trolling if one of the other trollers gets bit free spool at once and maybe jerk the line a little to add some action this is called the slide and it works. If I'm not trolling and a hookup occurs by a troller I grab a bait or have a jig or some other iron to toss over the edge to work the slide. The key is get in the water fast as the fish are coming up and may not be there for long and you help to bring the rest of the fish up so you can have a good drift. The boat will have all the trolling lures so just bring hooks, weights, line, and jigs and irons. When you’re trolling if you want a different lure on just ask the crew and most of the time they will accommodate you if it’s not too crazy. But a lot of the time the crew has a good idea what’s hot and what’s not and they may have a game plan for the trolling spread. You don’t want to tie one of your trolling feathers/lures on the boats trollers unless you don’t mind giving it up if you forget about it.

For live bait I have a rubber weight in my pocket all the time. Some times the bigger fish are deeper and a weight is key to get down below the smaller fish. On some trips I’ve had to kill the bait so the smaller fish on top won’t bite and the bigger fish just slam the dead bait because it’s the only thing getting down to them.

Other things too bring, a towel to wipe you hands off while fishing just tie it to your fighting belt or use a golf towel with the clip on.
Pliers and cutters also on your belt, no knife while fishing you don’t want to stab anybody and if you see someone using a knife during a bite tell a deck hand so they can tell them to put it away.
Bring a change of clothes all the boats have showers and it’s real nice to get clean before or after dinner. Make sure the clothes you plan on fishing in are not your best the blood from the tuna will stain and not come out
A change of shoes to relax in.
Get lots of sleep a 3 day will wear you out standing on deck fighting fish from sun up to sun down, but don’t over sleep the morning gray bite can be some of the best fishing. In fact I’ll bring a squid lure and catch a few and hook them up while you’re still anchored from the night. Drop it to the bottom and wait for a BFT nibble. But don’t put the squid in the bait tank otherwise you’ll have some pissed off deck hands the squid will eat the bait in the tank and that’s not good.
Make sure to tip 10% of the cost to get on the boat, if you win the JP I usually pay my tab and fish cleaning with it and give the rest to the crew if they did a good job and did not ask for the JP money, but it’s really up to you if you want to share it with the crew some guys will give you a hard time if you don’t give it to the crew but it’s your winnings and you can do what you want with it.
When you get your fish cleaned I like them to filet the fish and save the tuna bellies or the collars/bellies on the YT. If I want to smoke some fish I do it whole for better flavor and it keeps it from drying out.

And just to be clear a 3 day is really 2 days of fishing from sun up to sun down and the third day is like an overnight trip. You fish till noon or early afternoon just depends how far you are from the dock.

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:15 PM
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And if you get sea sick make sure to take something I don't get ss so I don't know what works but I do know you need to put or take it way before you get on the boat.

To get your sea legs just dance with the boat and you'll have it in no time. Most people fight the rolling and that's what gets you going.
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Old 07-31-2013, 5:34 PM
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Quote:
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Also, what circle hook sizes are most used? And can you guys recommend a good belt? Thanks,
It depends on the size of the sardines. But just to be safe, bring a pack of 1/0, a pack of 2/0, a pack of 4/0, and a small pack of 6/0 (6/0 only if you get the 80# rig). You'll mostly fish the 2/0, dropping down to a smaller 1/0 if the bite is scratchy. I would fish the 4/0 on the 50# rig, because if you're fishing 50#, that means it's pretty wide open. And if it's WFO, 6/0 and 80# test is the way to go. General rule: small bait, small hook; big bait, big hook; a big hook is less likely to pull, a small hook gets you hooked up more often.

As for belts, it's a matter of personal choice. I like the Aftco belts (Socorro is my choice) and the Braid belts. I tend to fish bigger belts. Some guys will fish something small.
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Old 07-31-2013, 5:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDM View Post
Next will be some circle hooks, feathers, jigs, a rod belt and some rubber boots. If my rifle/scope I have for sale here sells I'll add an 80# trolling rig also.
Don't bother with the feathers until you get the 80# trolling rig. The boat should have feathers and trolling rods. As for "iron," get one or two Salas 6X for your first trip. No need to go overboard. Make sure you get at least one blue and white. You won't be set up for the surface stuff.

Neosporin for the cuts and hook punctures you will no doubt get.
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Old 07-31-2013, 6:41 PM
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as stated before say "going out" when casting. along with that always look behind you, you will never miss the ocean.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:03 AM
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Be sure to let us know how you do.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:19 AM
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I usually prefer J hooks I like the bend in the rod. Many people say circle are better but it really what you decide and how it make you feel. Will I ever fish circle hooks maybe not just a preference. I would say take some 2/0,3/0, 4/0 hooks I used 3/0 J hooks on my last trip but bait was HUGE....good thing.
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  #30  
Old 08-13-2013, 6:47 PM
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Well?????

How was it?

Circle hooks are used on BFT because they are known for dropping the bait as soon as they feel the line go tight. Circle hooks twist and catch in the corner of the mouth and are hard to drop.
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Old 08-13-2013, 7:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

Circle hooks are used on BFT because they are known for dropping the bait as soon as they feel the line go tight.
That doesnt make sense to me. Ive never used circle hooks and let them run a bit longer and don't have problems.
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Old 08-13-2013, 7:50 PM
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When they get funky on the bite or on a long soak it really helps.
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Old 08-13-2013, 9:19 PM
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The hardest part about using circle hooks, is learning not to swing when they bite. Talk about a tough habit to break!
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Old 08-14-2013, 5:28 AM
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the fish go funky by not biting and lighter line is the trick. If you are loosing fish from the line going tight they haven't swallowed it. If the line goes tight and they are hooked then they have swallowed it. So you probably tried to set the hook to early.
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Old 08-14-2013, 6:56 AM
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Nope.....funky means pick up, drop, short bite all the stuff BFT do that they do.
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Old 08-14-2013, 7:56 AM
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I don't buy that. I'd say trolling you get a short bite. The problem lies in setting the hook early is why you get a short bite.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:57 PM
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Thanks guys, I appreciate it again. I just did the one day trip, as a trial run to my 3 day trip last month. I learned 2 things: My gear selection was awesome, thanks to you guys... And that I need some stronger medicine for motion sickness. It was a really rough sea trip, and ti didnt go over well with me, or a number of other people on the boat... I took Dramammine, but it didnt seem to help much. The guys with the prescription patches seemed to handle it the best. So before my big tripnext month I'm gonna ask my doc for those.

The good news is a caught a BFT and a yellowtail. The BFT was in the running for the jackpot, around 45 lbs... We caught 50 fish in all, but they said we lost more BFT than we landed, so I'm proud I got mine in. Here's the pic (yes, the cigar was at the end of the day after the sickness finally subsided):

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Old 08-14-2013, 3:03 PM
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Way to go.
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Old 08-14-2013, 3:15 PM
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Nice!
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Old 08-14-2013, 4:10 PM
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Nice catch!

Sea sickness can ruin any trip! Glad I don't get it
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