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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have often looked for and not found any info on tuna fishing in the gulf of mexico.Explain a trip say from freeport out,how far do you go,how deep is the min.,general technique's,i just need a little help to wrap my mind around it.Thanks in advance..I choose this forum because i've learned so much already.
 

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Lifes 2 Short 2 B So Serious All Da Time
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First, I assure you, I'm no expert, just a good ole boy who likes to catch fish too... so here goes.... forgive me, if I make a mistake, Im sure this will be long (im long winded sometimes) and I wont have time to proof read it since, Im writing it while at work when Im suppose to be workin.... :dance:

Now, yall dont lie, yall do the same thing...:spineyes:

Thank goodness my boss loves offshore fishing as much as I do... :) (he would still get upset tho if I wasnt on break)

Everyone has their own way of doing things, times to leave, what and what not to take (listen to the What Not to take in your mind more than the other)

So, with all that said, and I think most folks who read this will agree, theres no right or wrong way to do it, theres only the problem of taking to much cr-ap with ya...

so, heres what you asked
Explain a tuna trip
I have often looked for and not found any info on tuna fishing in the gulf of mexico.Explain a trip say from freeport out,how far do you go,how deep is the min.,general technique's,i just need a little help to wrap my mind around it.Thanks in advance..I choose this forum because i've learned so much already.

so, here goes a weekend warrior version
Explain out of freeport how far? (dont hit me with exact measurements, Im not on my MapQuest :spineyes:) Boomvang and Nancen are just a bit over 100 miles out. They are around 9 miles apart. And there was a 4 legged rig close to BV there in September. Most weekend warriors like my self seem to be heading to one of those two. On the way out, you will pass the Sunrise and Tequilla rigs at around 75 miles and just a bit farther but a bit east from them are the Cervesa Rigs. Years ago, before spars such as boomvang and nancen came to be, those four rigs along with another we call Little Sister were were folks normally went to catch tuna at rigs or troll for bills.

It was almost unheard of for a center console boat to venture that far out with only twin engines. The fishing fleet was limited to rich folks with big long hatterias or similar sport fishers with a paid captain. Of course thats all changed now days with technology of boats, engines electronics, safety etc.... We all wanna go tuna huntin now... :)
Of course, now spars or deep water rigs/ rigships are popping up quite a few spots in real deap water..

how deep is the min.,??? I dont know. I think I remember hearing that one of our own 2coolers caught the state record yellow fin pulling a hard tail near one of the Cervesa rigs this past summer. I just know its deeper than heck at the BV and nancen spars. Im sure someone knows exactly, but my uneducated guess would be around 3000+feet. Black fin can be caught in alot shallow'r water, say, summertime behind a drifting/anchored shrimpboat in 300+ feet of water.

general technique's,?This is like asking a Florida bass fishing message board "how do I catch a bass?" :) Theres no right or wrong answer, but, heres a shot at it... I feel a person needs 3 rods at hand--

1. A rod with your favorite top water popper ready to throw...

2. A rod that can be put in the rod holder with nothing but a good demon 7-8/0 circle hook to put chunked up red meat fish out the back of the boat to drift along with a hand full of other chunks. Or better yet, maybe you have a hand size hardtail live bait you caught on the way out at a rig or you might have dip netted up a flying fish (tuna candy) with your small webbed long handled dip net as they came up to invistigate your bright boat lights on the water.

3. A verticle jiggin rod with your favorite verticle jig...

You never know which one you will need. I would say, most start out verticle jiggin trying to catch black fin to cut up for chunk bait or maybe catch one thats big enough to keep. Be sure and bring the wasabi and soy sause to dip thin pieces in...MMM MMMMM

When you drift, you will fish one of the three ways normally I just listed... Lets say your jiggin,,, then all of a sudden a dang yft comes up to invistigate your lights... now you might want to get the chunk out or throw a popper... You missed him--you go back to jiggin or peeling out a chunk line----alll of a sudden another tuna and all his buddies start jumping out of the water.... you immediately grab your top water and throw over and over until your arms get tired.---- you go back to the chunk to rest.... all of a sudden the depth finder thats set on 2-300' starts showing a line of red at 200' thats probably your black fin again, so you drop down your jig again... all of a sudded you see big single red spots at 100' thats either your yellow fin or your mako/or baracuda.... You catch a baracuda,, you re rig your chunk rod and put a steel leader with two hooks, you hook the dead baracuda in the lip and one in the back and cut you some cross section slices on both sides of his back to release his arroma----you put a break away weight on the fish with about 10# test line, drop him down to 150-200' and wam-- Hello Mr. Mako...

Bottom line is.. It'lll be love at first fishing trip if the water doesnt beat you up...

The absolute BEST ADVICE I CAN POSSIBLY GIVE YOU IS THIS----Bite the bullet, pay for the whole trip yourself and take you a couple seasoned folks with you that have gone several times and let them teach you what to do.... If the trip is free to them, they would have to be idiots to not want to help you... and make it clear thats what they will be doing is teaching you how to fish the floaters...

Once again, theres no right or wrong way in my opinion... you just got to wet a hook and experience the thrill of it all and STAY UP ALL NIGHT... dont go to sleep...thats when the fish will be biting...

Now, what I want to learn how to do this year is fish for tuna in the day time like they do over their in venice rather than heading home when the sun comes up... over there, those fellas are getting to the rigs when we are leaving... doesnt make sense to me... A TUNA IS A TUNA.. doesnt make any diifference if it speaks Texas or Cajun, its the same dang fish..:spineyes:

Good luck in what ever way you learn how to do it... Its a great experience that you will remember for ever and develope some sure nuff good friends as I have made..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
YEP! that hit it on the head,i was thinking tequila,east and west cervaeza for my first trip out.Hog you are the man!
 

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Will hopefully be able to give you a play by play after this weekend.....gonna try to make the run saturday afternoon if the seas drop like they are supposed to ....its a small window, but thats all we get this time of year.....
 

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break out the 80's and them fancy lures
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Huh? Have you been awake the past few years. There have been NON STOP tuna posts and topics.

Brandon
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
KSONG that is correct sir;yeah most talk about is going to bomvang no real techs or jigs used or anywhere else.[and let me tell you this;i felt good on this board that none of you bluewater experts would chime in.I'll bet you didn't know it all when you first started,if you did, then you wouldn' have crapped in your pants!]
 

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Hog, have you been holding out on us all this time? Jimmy, hope to see ya Jan 2nd.

I always learn something new when I go out, everyone has their own trick. I think Jimmys advice about getting some seasoned veterns to go with you is good advice. Better have the right equiptment to handle the big tuna though. Good rod, good reel and good fresh line are a start, but right jigs and lures are pretty important too. And don't forget your live bait, hardtails or the like. I don't like to go out undermanned so to speak.
 

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A tuna trip around here is 52 hours of boat ride, interrupted by 20 hours of fishing at it's finest. I love to deep jig, personally. It's easy on my tired back, and very rewarding when you get to clear the rail chasing your fish.
 

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Well like many tuna trips, unless you're off Stellwagen on Cape Cod, you drive out to sea for hours and hours and hours. Your muscles get cramped and your back aches from the uncomfortable ride. It's boring as heck and even the bean-bag chairs make you sore.

Then you're there.

This is a great time to stop and do some exercises. You need to limber up all those tight muscles. Most can't wait, and want to slay some blackfin tuna for chunk bait, which is OK, let 'em. But even if you're in "marathon shape," you should really stretch your muscles so you don't seize up later on. When you get to about the age of 50 or more, this makes even more sense.

Unless you have visual, which means large tuna breaking the water on top, you really want to start off jigging. This is a straight vertical drop using speed jigs, no casting except for a short flip. Be careful about getting strikes with your thumb on the reel - it can ruin your thumb for the trip, split it wide open. Fish the top 150 foot of water, sometimes lazy and sometimes fast.

If the fish aren't responding, time for some chunk. This goes piece by piece, not all at once or you'll attract sharks - about one per second or so is OK. Often this can "call" tuna to the top ... keep jigging up.

When and if tuna bust the top, you want a slightly different kind of rod meant for casting long distances. This is more like sight-casting and you have to aim 30 feet or so in front of a splash because tuna are speedsters. Poppers are very popular for this. If you don't have a sighting, throw long and rip, rip, rest, and then rip the remainder in. Some tuna will follow the lure remarkable close to the boat, just curious, or even hide underneath your boat.

If all else fails, try chunk on a hook. This is a bare S/S tuna hook so you need a fairly hefty size of blackfin meat or a whole hard-tail (hide the hook) so you can cast it a good ways. This is NOT popping or jigging, but desperate times require desperate actions! I am not so sure Kil would agree with me though. ;)

Suddenly, the tuna will all seem to disappear. Hopefully it is not due to large schools or shark and barracuda - but they will move on after feeding for 20 minutes or longer. They seem to disappear, often in a direction that doesn't make any sense - like way behind the boat and way deep again, or a thousand yards left or right. Often they will not bite, and will set there stacked up like cordwood.

Give it a well-needed rest, take a break, clean the boat, get some water and some munchies, and start the whole process over again. Hopefully they will show some love, so every fisherman gets two YFT between 40 and 110 pounds, perchance a monster.

Remember that the Bigeye Tuna is making a come-back in the Gulf, and these can be quite deep (think deep jigging). They are nearly the same as YFT in the eating department, but usually below 100 feet to about as far as you have fishing line, some say 1000 feet. There may be some Bigeye records yet to be broken off Texas waters, although I honestly don't know that that record is today. Anyone know?
 

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A tuna trip around here is 52 hours of boat ride, interrupted by 20 hours of fishing at it's finest. I love to deep jig, personally. It's easy on my tired back, and very rewarding when you get to clear the rail chasing your fish.
Hi Mont, Some fishermen in Gulf of Mexico might take it as granted. But there are very few places like Gulf of Mexico you can enjoy fine yellowfin popping/jigging at oil rigs. The 52 hour trip in Gulf of Mexico can be much better than 5 -7 day trips on long range boats out of San Diego.

I fished Capt Tomeney out of Forchon, LA, the Big E out of Freeport and Scat Cat and the Pelican fleet out of Port Aransas. They are not like long range boats out of San Diego, but are much better than East Coast party boats in terms of comfort and accommodations.
 

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Just grab a 52-60hr trip on the Scat cat or Big E (whichever is closer to you) take as much tackle as you can possibly carry and do whatever the people who are catching the fish are doing. All of the above advice is really good for techniques but, to learn "how" to tuna fish is a heck of a lot easier when your not worried about running/cleaning/watching the boat.
 
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