2 Cool Fishing Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
90 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone read the May/June issue of Big Game Fishing Journal? The article regarding Tred Barta's bigeye tuna trip in the early 80's was an interesting read, to say the least. Controversial or not, the dude knows his tuna.

I would post a link, but the article was not duplicated on their website.

A few chronological highlights, basically verbatim from the article:

- Some commercial buddies told him their longline gear was getting torn up by giant tuna between the Atlantis and Hydrographer canyons

- He fueled up his 47' Ridgeway with 500 gallons of diesel and loaded 8 additional 55 gallon drums

- Tore all the furniture out of the cockpit and put tarps on the carpet. Installed 2 huge coffins that held 2,000 pounds of ice each. Installed 2x4 uprights to support the salon deck so it would not collapse. Put another coffin in the cockpit that held 2,500 pounds of ice.

- No alcohol. Lots of Hungry Man dinners, chocolate milk, bread, salami, and peanut butter

- Eight Penn 80W's and six 130's spooled with fresh line

- Two Japanese tuna buyers were onboard (along with two of his friends) and the Japanese gentlemen were not fishermen, nor could they speak english. They apparently knew how to cut tuna, however.

- With all the extra fuel and ice, the exhausts were six inches below the surface as they left the dock.

- The trip was planned for 4 days. Forecast was light and variable for the first 3 days, with the barometer falling like a rock on the 4th day, when winds would increase to 35-40 knots with 12-16 foot seas.

- Lines were set from two 40 foot riggers, three center riggers, and two wing riggers, trolling 12 rods at once, with reel drags set at 15-20 pounds at strike. All lures were rigged with 12/0 to 16/0 Mustad 7754 hooks with no lures less than 14 inches long, all on 500 lb test mono leaders or double twisted 12 or 16 wire.

- They found bigeye tuna at 3 a.m. the first night with one weighing 275 lbs. on a 61-68.7 degree temperature break - a fog bank laid on the cold side of the break and a 3/4 moon and stars were visible on the warm side. They fought the fish with 50-60 lbs. of drag and with the rods "creaking at the guides."

- The next morning they found a temperature break on the 100 fathom curve and it was on. Nine lines at the same time and nine 60-75 lb yellowfin hit the deck. Three hours later they had 35 yellowfin and 20 albacore. The entire cockpit was crimson red.

- That afternoon they found the bigeye with eight on at one time. They wired and gaffed 7 of 8 from 225 to 310 lbs dressed.

- Lines out again with 6 more albacore and 5 more yellowfin 135 nm from home and not a boat within sight or radio range.

- At 5 a.m. they boated 2 swordfish at 120 and 165 lbs.

- The next morning they get spooled on one of the 130's by what they believe was a giant bluefin

- That afternoon they got into acres of bluefin in the 80-200 lb range, but left the area because bluefin were of no value during that time

- The next afternoon they found another temp break and put thirty huge albacore (45-60lbs) in the boat. No bluefin or yellowfin were present, which was a good sign. The seas kicked up to 6-8 feet and they found the bigeye again when they switched to larger lures - 5 bigeye on at once - 4 were boated and the hooks pulled on the last one at the boat, however one of Barta's buddies free gaffed it and got it on board. 5 bigeyes from 200 - 235 lbs dressed.

- Seas were now 10-12 feet and they made the call to make the 85 nm run to Martha's Vineyard as opposed to the 160 nm run back to Shinnecock. Survival suits and emergency buoys were laid out, and the Japanese were petrified. Pitch black. Seas washing over the boat with every wave.

- They made 8-9 knots, taking 10-11 hours to make the inlet. The 20-30 fathom area in front of Martha's Vineyard had shoaled up, with 2-3 feet of green water making it over the bow on every other wave. Water poured into the stateroom and the hatch leaked.

- With 45 knot winds at their beam, they almost knocked over the gas dock when they tied up. Nonetheless, they were alive. Everbody passed out.

- That afternoon, over 100 people joined them for a tuna barbecue, with the rest being sold. The Japanese "blew everyone away with their culinary ability".

If you can get your hands on a copy, the full article is a great read.

1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.