2 Cool Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going on a 50 hr tuna trip and I have a few questions about chunking for YFT.

I'm well equipped for jigging with butterfly jigs and for topwater action. However, when I get tired of jigging I'm going to try chunking for YFT.

Now to the questions.

What size chunk do you prefer? 2" X 4" chunk?

What is your favorite chunk bait? I figure I will cut up some bonita and/or blackfin to chunk with. Does this sound about right?

How deep do you generally let your chunk drift out into the chum line? I'm figuring from 50ft. to 150ft. Anyone caught any fish deeper than this chunking?

What is your favorite hook (style & size) to chunk with? I have some ringed super mutu circle hooks but they are big. I use them for grouper fishing. I figure the average size YFT I may encounter is in the 40 to 80 lb range so I don't want to over do it on the hook size.

Is flourocarbon a must when chunking? I am going to use it but just want to hear what other have to say.

Finally, for those of you who have caught a big YFT on the partyboats (Big E, Capt. John, Dolphin Docks, etc.) did the big fish come on chunk baits or jigs? I wish I knew what the percentages were. For example, lets just say that on the last partyboat trip 60% of the big tuna came on chunks, 20% came on jigs and 20% came on topwater. What is your estimate?

For those of you who are YFT experts, I would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Later,

Lumberjack93
 

·
Dis Member
Joined
·
349 Posts
I only have experience on one Big E trip, but I made a few valauble observations then. Of course, keep in mind, things always are changing.

I fished with an 11-0 circle hook to start with, and I got nothing. It seemed that most everyone was using 2" cubes of black fin. But then I spoke to one guy who caught five YFT on chunk bait, up to about 80 or 90 pounds. He was using about a 5-0 live bait hook hidden in the chunk(I was surprised the fish did not straighten it out!). I switched to a gamakatsu 6-0 live bait hook and caught my one YFT of the trip.
It seemed that the fish were very warry. The lighter the hook and leader, the better. I used 100# flourocarbon for a leader.

I bet you will get a wide range of experiences listed here. Good luck. Just send sushi!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,980 Posts
One major factor that will change alot of rigging will be if you are on a party boat or not. I myself use our own boat. I assume since it is a 50 hour trip it is. I have caught YFT on all size chunks bigger and smaller then what you said mainly blackfin bait. I use really really small ringed circle hooks I cant remember the brand. As too the amount of line to let out- I have hooked YFT letting my whole 75 yd top shot out. Theres alot of info on floro , but I have consistently caught 100 + YFT without it, alot of people use it. Keep in mind it has a lower break strenght. I use depending on how the fish bit 60-100 lb mono. There are many ways to catch them and chunking normally works best for the big ones unless you can get a flying fish!! There is no set time to bring your line in and rebait it. I have been on 4 hour drifts/naps where I caught 100 lbers.
Hope this helps and im sure others will help to.
Jeff
 

·
fish control my brain
Joined
·
7,797 Posts
What size chunk do you prefer? 2" X 4" chunk?

Big enough to hide your hook in and matching the size of chunks you toss out as chum

What is your favorite chunk bait? I figure I will cut up some bonita and/or blackfin to chunk with. Does this sound about right?
YES those will work, just make sure its fresh

How deep do you generally let your chunk drift out into the chum line? I'm figuring from 50ft. to 150ft. Anyone caught any fish deeper than this chunking?
I have caught fish up to 400 feet out behind the boat, thats why I have 600yrds of braid backing

What is your favorite hook (style & size) to chunk with? I have some ringed super mutu circle hooks but they are big. I use them for grouper fishing. I figure the average size YFT I may encounter is in the 40 to 80 lb range so I don't want to over do it on the hook size.

Its all personal preference but generally size 4 - 6, I use super Mutu's but small circle hooks work as well.

Is flourocarbon a must when chunking? I am going to use it but just want to hear what other have to say.

Some swear by it, but it all depnds on the fish, I use it and have not been dissapointed.

HOW TO CATCH THE BIG ONE
The big fish varied on what they come on, sometimes TW is hot, other times chunking is the only way to go, and I saw Snagged catch a 100lb class YFT/Bigeye on a Jig.
Once again it all depends on the fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Syncerus said:
Syncerus, thanks for the link. Here is the best part of it IMO.

OK, the LR season is upon us, and I wanted more articles about "how to". Here goes my tips. One warning, I'm a dedicated chunker, and I'm opinionated, so take what you like, leave the rest.
Dutch gave out one of my secrets in a recent WON column, and that is I bring a small Igloo Playmate to put fresh chunks in every day. Clean it out at night, or you won't want to stick your hand in the smell. I bring a few 1 gallon ziplocks, one for ice, and fill the others with fresh chunks. I try to have a few different types of chunk in my stash. I like Skipjack the best, but Salami donuts are good too. When somebody gets a skippie, ask for it, and filet it, or have it cut into chunks for you. I like inch and a half, or 2 inch cubes. I don't like gobs o bait. Use the regular boat chunks, until they get too soft, or too small. Save your stash for when there are no good chunks in the bucket.
Invisible thread: I bring a spool of this(it looks like 2 or 4 pound mono), and wrap the line around the chunk so as to keep the hook hidden in soft chunks. I feel it is very important to hide the hook. I make my own chunking hooks with swivels on the hook, but Tim and Randy dont feel that is necessary if you wind in very slow(which sometimes can entice a bite, on the slow wind).
Sharks: NEWSFLASH: YOU ARE GOING TO CATCH SHARKS, A LOT OF SHARKS! Translated into a fairy tale, you are going to kiss a lot of frogs, before you find a princess. I have been on trips where I went through 30 sharks, and now I'm the only guy chunking, and Bammo, big mo grabs my bait, and I get a Fattie. The fair weather chunkers come back, and all they get are sharks. When I'm chunking, I start at or forward of the chunk bucket, and fish until I get to the stern corner, sometimes a little further out. If I'm getting sharks, I count the pulls. OK, shark bite a 75 pulls, fish it until 60, shark at 60 pulls, fish 50. I would have to say 90% of my tuna bites have been at 30 pulls or less. And bring lots of hooks. They arent expensive on the boat, but they usually don't have swiveled hooks for sale. I bring a lot.
Leaders: I try to stay with a straight tie, and no leader. Leaders are ok in the dark, but IMO, a little obvious in a touchy bite. I was on a trip, and chunking next to my roomie. I held my straight tie, up next to his bimini, leader, swivel, etc. Then I asked, which one do you think is going to get bit better. I proceded to give him a swiveled hook, and he straght tied, and five minutes later, he was hooked into a 177 # YFT.
Match the chum chunks: My chunk has a bunch of line hanging from it, and the chum chunks don't. So they sink at different levels. My feeling is to make my bait look just like those, so sometimes I add an egg sinker above the hook, or add a piece of stryofoam inside the chunk if it needs to be more buoyant(sp).
Let's face it, chunking isnt the most exciting method of fishing, but it can be very productive. A Rollo wise angler tip, "If you want a lunker, be a chunker". I was told to spend at least two hours in the am, and two in the pm chunking, and I would get a big one. It worked, and now I do it all day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,689 Posts
I have caught YFT on R2S knife jigs and seen them caught on others, mainly the bigger diamonds. Work them slower than when fishing for BkFT. It seems to be a lower percentage game than with chunking. ALso, my jigging outfit is 40# class, so the YFT are a little tougher to get in the boat. I do not really target YFT with jigs, they just hit them sometimes. And usually on the sink.

I use 60# gear when chunking. 6' rod with a TLD 30II, spectra backing of 300 yds 80# and fill with 60 mono. I then tie a 100-130# class ball bearing swivel to about 8' of 60# flouro leader. My thought is I want to get bit. If I tuna are thick, and I keep getting broken off, I will switch to 80 or 100# flouro. But it has not happened yet, as I set my drag accordingly and the circle hooks keep line fray to a minimum. If you start with larger flouro and don't get bit, then you have to move down in size. I just start from the lower end. I use an Owner 39950Bl black circle hook in 7/0 primarily, and sometimes a 5/0. The 7/0 is just about the size of your thumb print. I have not had much success in cutting a pocket in the chunk, so I bury the hook by running it thru the meat, but against the skin. It holds tight that way usually with maybe the eye showing, but I try to twist that in the bait to so nothing shows. 2x2 fresh tuna or bonita is about right. Lower the bait slowly and carefully in the water to the hook does not pull out into sight. Try to time it so your bait is in the water with a bunch of chum chunks, and freeline out so your chunk is sinking with the other chum. If the current is really bad I add a small egg sink in front of the swivel, and use a longer leader. I let out a lot of line so my bait keeps sinking with the chum. After maybe 150yds of line out, I reel in and repeat.

I also sometimes drift one of those frenzy ballistic flying fish as if it was a chunk. It floats on top of course but lets you fish topwater without having to cast. Just drift it out to edge of the lights, put the clicker on, and the boat movement gives it all the action you need.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
What size chunk do you prefer? 2" X 4" chunk?
Chunk size is relative. I generally use a chunk about 2-3". If the blackfin are think you may up your chunk size to about the size of your palm.
What is your favorite chunk bait? I figure I will cut up some bonita and/or blackfin to chunk with. Does this sound about right?
Yes
How deep do you generally let your chunk drift out into the chum line? I'm figuring from 50ft. to 150ft. Anyone caught any fish deeper than this chunking?
I generally let it out a good ways, just keep going. I feel it's more of a time thing rather than a distance thing. If you feel your bait hasn't been noticed after a while reel in and reset.
What is your favorite hook (style & size) to chunk with? I have some ringed super mutu circle hooks but they are big. I use them for grouper fishing. I figure the average size YFT I may encounter is in the 40 to 80 lb range so I don't want to over do it on the hook size.
4/0 to 6/0 is generally the size you want to stick with. I don't like big hooks, I feel the small circles get the job done just as well.
Is flourocarbon a must when chunking? I am going to use it but just want to hear what other have to say.
Not a must, I've caught them on straight 80 mono. I do feel it helps though.

Finally, for those of you who have caught a big YFT on the partyboats (Big E, Capt. John, Dolphin Docks, etc.) did the big fish come on chunk baits or jigs? I wish I knew what the percentages were. For example, lets just say that on the last partyboat trip 60% of the big tuna came on chunks, 20% came on jigs and 20% came on topwater. What is your estimate?
In my experience the bigger fish have come on poppers. How the bite works out will depend on the conditions (seas, moon, current, etc.) Jigs generally account for more blackfin than anything, whereas other methods are perfered by the yellows.

Brad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guys, lots of good info here. Thanks to all who posted. One thing thats real clear about chunking. It's cheap to do ;-) Catch a blackfin, cut him up and your in business. I can stand to lose a few hooks over the shimano knife jigs anyday.

LJ93
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
5/0 6/0 penn international circle hook color red, no bigger.
80# main line with a 3-4 foot leader of 60# flourocarbon. tie together with a blood knot.
Chunk size 1-1 1/2 inches and bury the entire hook in the chunck (cructial).
When chunking take 4-5 chunks all in at the same time along with the chunk you have a hook in and let the chunk fall with the other pieces. This is the second most important part. Have your rod secured so you can have both hands free and pull the line from the rod tip down over your shoulder directly into the water as if you were situated in the back corner of a boat with the rod in the rear gunnel holder. Allow no tension on the line so your hooked chunk is with the other falling chunks, it will fall a little slower than the free chunks but that is causes by the line. If fishing with a tiagra or international type leave your clicker on and set your drag just above freespool it should be about 1/2 pound. At strike have it set at 17-20# max drag around 27#. When a fish takes the bait "do not" I repeat "DO NOT" engage alotof drag, let the fish run for a long 3 count I repeat DO NOT RUSH, and slowly engage the drag watching the rod tip gradually bend over till you are around 10-12 pounds of drag, durring this time leave the rod in the rod holder. After you have a solid hook set fight the fish accordingly
 

·
The Jammer
Joined
·
3,594 Posts
DITTO THAT EXACTLY. Great job Bandolera. I strongly agree with your description.

Key points which he said:

1. Hook size 5/0 6/0 and I like the red also, because no matter how well you bury your hook in the chunk, it will eventually work its way out and show- nice to have the red working for you. If not red available use black- DON'T USE SILVER.

2. Fluoro leader great- the only thing I might change there is instead of using a blood knot, I tie a very small spro ball bearing swivel between the main line and the leader to try and minimize the bait spinning. Otherwise you can end up with some very twisted line. Also be prepared to drop down to 40# leader sometimes.

3. Chunk size perfect

4. Throwing in some other chunks with yours and LETTING IT FALL NATURALLY- NO TENSION ON THE LINE- IMPERATIVE. It's like floating a dry fly for trout- if it has any un-natural movement at all, it won't get hit. Not quite as critical for yft- but certainly helps.

5. Hooking and fighting the fish- he said it perfectly. One thing I have erroneously done in the past- I have moved too quickly to get hooked into my harness. Bandolera's description is perfect- you just have to somehow maintain your sanity and remain calm when those bad boys hit.

Man I'm getting pumped up to get out there again.

THE JAMMER

bandolera said:
5/0 6/0 penn international circle hook color red, no bigger.
80# main line with a 3-4 foot leader of 60# flourocarbon. tie together with a blood knot.
Chunk size 1-1 1/2 inches and bury the entire hook in the chunck (cructial).
When chunking take 4-5 chunks all in at the same time along with the chunk you have a hook in and let the chunk fall with the other pieces. This is the second most important part. Have your rod secured so you can have both hands free and pull the line from the rod tip down over your shoulder directly into the water as if you were situated in the back corner of a boat with the rod in the rear gunnel holder. Allow no tension on the line so your hooked chunk is with the other falling chunks, it will fall a little slower than the free chunks but that is causes by the line. If fishing with a tiagra or international type leave your clicker on and set your drag just above freespool it should be about 1/2 pound. At strike have it set at 17-20# max drag around 27#. When a fish takes the bait "do not" I repeat "DO NOT" engage alotof drag, let the fish run for a long 3 count I repeat DO NOT RUSH, and slowly engage the drag watching the rod tip gradually bend over till you are around 10-12 pounds of drag, durring this time leave the rod in the rod holder. After you have a solid hook set fight the fish accordingly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Jammer, I'm going on the Capt. John 50 hr trip. I've done lots of blackfin tunan fishing in the past but I've never caught a YFT. I think my odds will be good if I chunk and throw tuna hunters at any YFT I see busting the top.

The trip is scheduled for Jan 19, 20 & 21. It's during the new moon which is on Jan 18th. So a full moon shouldn't hamper our efforts.

I'm pumped up about going on this trip and I have lots of time to get my gear up to snuff.

Let me know if your interested in going on this trip. $500.00 is not bad for a 50 hr trip. They leave the docks at 9am on Friday and get back to port at 11am on Sunday.

Also, thanks for the chunking info. That knowledge is invaluable.

Later,

LJ93

THE JAMMER said:
DITTO THAT EXACTLY. Great job Bandolera. I strongly agree with your description.

Key points which he said:

1. Hook size 5/0 6/0 and I like the red also, because no matter how well you bury your hook in the chunk, it will eventually work its way out and show- nice to have the red working for you. If not red available use black- DON'T USE SILVER.

2. Fluoro leader great- the only thing I might change there is instead of using a blood knot, I tie a very small spro ball bearing swivel between the main line and the leader to try and minimize the bait spinning. Otherwise you can end up with some very twisted line. Also be prepared to drop down to 40# leader sometimes.

3. Chunk size perfect

4. Throwing in some other chunks with yours and LETTING IT FALL NATURALLY- NO TENSION ON THE LINE- IMPERATIVE. It's like floating a dry fly for trout- if it has any un-natural movement at all, it won't get hit. Not quite as critical for yft- but certainly helps.

5. Hooking and fighting the fish- he said it perfectly. One thing I have erroneously done in the past- I have moved too quickly to get hooked into my harness. Bandolera's description is perfect- you just have to somehow maintain your sanity and remain calm when those bad boys hit.

Man I'm getting pumped up to get out there again.

THE JAMMER
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
bandolera said:
5/0 6/0 penn international circle hook color red, no bigger.
80# main line with a 3-4 foot leader of 60# flourocarbon. tie together with a blood knot.
Chunk size 1-1 1/2 inches and bury the entire hook in the chunck (cructial).
When chunking take 4-5 chunks all in at the same time along with the chunk you have a hook in and let the chunk fall with the other pieces. This is the second most important part. Have your rod secured so you can have both hands free and pull the line from the rod tip down over your shoulder directly into the water as if you were situated in the back corner of a boat with the rod in the rear gunnel holder. Allow no tension on the line so your hooked chunk is with the other falling chunks, it will fall a little slower than the free chunks but that is causes by the line. If fishing with a tiagra or international type leave your clicker on and set your drag just above freespool it should be about 1/2 pound. At strike have it set at 17-20# max drag around 27#. When a fish takes the bait "do not" I repeat "DO NOT" engage alotof drag, let the fish run for a long 3 count I repeat DO NOT RUSH, and slowly engage the drag watching the rod tip gradually bend over till you are around 10-12 pounds of drag, durring this time leave the rod in the rod holder. After you have a solid hook set fight the fish accordingly
Well put and as Jammer said, be prepared to drop down your leader size if you're not getting bites.

Brad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Hiya

Some insights from a spearfisherman half-way across the world!!

When chunking, we spear the YF's in the chum trail. Its very difficult to spear these fish, as they're moving at extreme speeds, whilst eating the chum. So, we've learnt to wait by one peice of chum and shoot a fish when it tries to eat that specific peice of chum.

The benefit of actually seeing how these fish feed has helped my fishing success rate.

When chunking, the YF will ALWAYS eat the biggest peice first!! So, we would chop up a baitfish into small 1-2" squares, but use a 4" peice of bait. This works very well, BUT, you do get the occations when the fish are extremely shy and you have to resort to using bait which matchs the chunk size you're using.

Hooks. We use mustad hoodlums and gamgatsu's in 9/0 and 10/0 sizes for chunking. These worked VERY well, but i've recently converted to 8/0 Owner hooks and they work PHENOMINALLY!!

Fluorocarbon. Once again, being a spearfisherman has helped!! When diving, you can SEE normal mono, but NOT the Flourocarbon!! It DEFINITELY pays to use it!! 100lb Flourocarbon works well, but i've been bitten off by a 200lb fish a couple of weeks ago. When using lighter tackle, like 30-50lb class, YF's in the 200lb class WILL bite through the 100lb FC during the long fight. Rather use 130lb Flourocarbon if there are larger fish around.

Picture 1 - First fish is a whole pillie.
Second one is the one i use for bait, with the head simply cut off. If the entrails are hanging out, due to a bad cut, REMOVE it. The bait MUST look neat.
Third is the way we cut our chum.
The block of pillie on the left, is slighly larger than a normal blocklet of chum. This is what i use if the fish are very skittish, or if there are plenty of albacore around. Albies LOVE this size bait. They tend to leave the whole pillies, even the headless ones. We use this to our advantage, as often the YF swim with the Albies, so this enables you to consistantly hook up on YF's instead of albies!!

Picture 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 - This is how i put my bait onto my hook.

NOTE: this is VERY old bait which i dug out of the freezer!! ALWAYS use FRESH bait!!!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
One of the most important things is to tie your hook with a loop type knot. This allows the hook to swing freely, making the bait look more natural in the water.

There are many types of loop knots, but this is the one i use exclusively. Very easy and fast to tie. IT WILL NOT FAIL!!! I use this knot EXCLUSIVELY on my hooks and fish them on 100, 130 and 200lb flourocarbon with 20, 30, 50, 80 and 130lb line classes and have NEVER lost a fish to that knot failing!! Even pulling 200lb class YF's with 35lb's of drag!!!

I used dyneema just so that its easier to see.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the info. It's interesting to see all the different ways that there are to accomplish the same task. It's amazing that there are so many variations of chunking for tuna.

I like the loop knot that you are using. Do you know what that knot tests out at? 90%, etc?

Thanks again.

LJ93
 

·
The Jammer
Joined
·
3,594 Posts
This knot is almot a Homer Rhode knot. If you had continued on your second loop and finished it with another overhand knot on the main line it would have been a Homer Rhode. I use this knot a lot when attaching heavy shock tippets to flies, and when attaching Tyger wire leader to flies for kings/dorado/bonito, etc.

Compared to other common knots, I don't think it has a real high rating- i.e. percentage of line strength. I think you can accomplish the same result by using ringed hooks, which will definitely test more than your line.

THE "KEEP IT SIMPLE" JAMMER
 
Joined
·
203 Posts
bandolera said:
5/0 6/0 penn international circle hook color red, no bigger.
80# main line with a 3-4 foot leader of 60# flourocarbon. tie together with a blood knot.
Chunk size 1-1 1/2 inches and bury the entire hook in the chunck (cructial).
When chunking take 4-5 chunks all in at the same time along with the chunk you have a hook in and let the chunk fall with the other pieces. This is the second most important part. Have your rod secured so you can have both hands free and pull the line from the rod tip down over your shoulder directly into the water as if you were situated in the back corner of a boat with the rod in the rear gunnel holder. Allow no tension on the line so your hooked chunk is with the other falling chunks, it will fall a little slower than the free chunks but that is causes by the line. If fishing with a tiagra or international type leave your clicker on and set your drag just above freespool it should be about 1/2 pound. At strike have it set at 17-20# max drag around 27#. When a fish takes the bait "do not" I repeat "DO NOT" engage alotof drag, let the fish run for a long 3 count I repeat DO NOT RUSH, and slowly engage the drag watching the rod tip gradually bend over till you are around 10-12 pounds of drag, durring this time leave the rod in the rod holder. After you have a solid hook set fight the fish accordingly
I AGREE WITH BANDOLERA. THE ONLY THING I DO DIFFERENT IS 4/0 CIRCLES AND 60# FLUROCARBON. ONE TRICK I LEARNED CAME FROM A FRIEND WHO WAS OUTFISHING ME PRETTY GOOD. I WAS HIDING THE HOOK PRETTY GOOD IN BONITA AND BLACKFIN CHUNKS BUT HE SAID NOT GOOD ENOUGH. HE WAS CUTTING A POGIE IN HALF AND HIDING THE HOOK COMPLETELY INSIDE HIM. THE ONLY DISADVANTAGE IS IF THER IS A LOT OF CURRENT OR YOU EVER GET TENSION IN YOUR LINE THE BAIT WILL PULL OFF. HOPE THIS LITTLE TRICK HELPS, IT CERTAINLY MADE A DIFFERNENCE FOR ME.
 

·
It's all about the kids!!!!
Joined
·
427 Posts
I have fished out of San Diego since I was born. Even worked the long range boats for eight years.
My advice.
1. Use the same size of chunks as what is being chummed.
2. What every they are chunking. (When I worked on the Royal Polaris we chunked Rainbow Runners, Slab Macks, Sardines and whatever we caught).
3. Remember it will all depend on the current, Always make sure to "toss" your bait into the same spot they are chunking, put you reel in free spool and peel off line. There should be NO tension on your line because you want your bait to drift the same as the chum. Also remember that your chunk will have a hook in it and will fall faster in the current then the chum. I would see what the current is doing before you make a decision on how far to go back.
4. Match it up to the *****. Only hook it through once. Always use a circle hook. The main reason is that you are going to have a lot of slack line out and by the time you feel the fish he's had it a while. When you feel him on the line just reel as hard as you can.
5. Yes use flourocarbon!!.

Good Luck and good fishing....
 
1 - 20 of 44 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.
Top