A little Bluefin redemption / Barracuda Bonanza

Discussion in 'Private Boaters and General Saltwater' started by B8DHOOK, Jun 27, 2021.

  1. B8DHOOK

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    So Butch and I thought we’d take another stab at the big bluefin bite going on at the 371 / 425 areas on Saturday. We launched at 3:30 out of Shelter Island, got bait and headed out. Water was a little snotty, but we got to the grounds around 5:30 AM. We marked fish at several areas and dropped flat falls, and live sardines on rubber band rigs but no takers.. Butch hadn’t slept at all before the trip so he went into the cuddy for a snooze around 8:00. I tied on a Rapala X Wrap to the 50w International and started trolling my way around the fleet that was spread out for several miles.. 15 mins in, and the clicker goes off. Bzzzzzz.. Yes ! Butch gets up and sinks a gaff into the fish. It’s not the jumbo cow we were looking for, but it’s a nice 25-26 lb fish and was much appreciated.. After icing the fish, we continued trolling and dropping jigs from time to time without much success for the next few hours. There was lots of radio chatter of guys that were hooked up on light line and were playing hell trying to get their fish in. We watched one boat for about 20 minutes as he was frantically backing up on a big fish while trying to maneuver in between all the other boats that were soaking bait, and flying kites. Circling back and forth backwards with a deckhand and the guy hooked up trying frantically to gaff the fish, and there was a bull seal in tow making things even more difficult. Not sure if he boated the fish, but it was entertaining to watch. At around 2:00 we headed into the Islands to poke around and see what we could find. We pulled into the leeward side of north island and threw a couple jigs. Whack ! Jumbo barracuda were on the chew, and they were thick. All fish were running 32”-36” and super fun to catch on a long cast with a 60gram Colt Sniper. The Seals were out in force, and were stuffing themselves with barracuda. We saw something kinda interesting on this trip with the seals. Instead of stealing your fish while you were hooked up, a group of seals would just lurk underneath the stern of the boat and let you fight your fish, and boat it.. Then they would dart out and grab the stunned fish after you released it. Easy pickins! Lol. This didn’t happen on ever hook up, but it was definitely a thing.. I’m kinda hoping the trend continues.. polite seals ! Who knew.. Anyway, here’s a few pics.

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  2. Fishnagent

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    Great report! Did the slime stick get your shorts?
     
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  3. Kian.K

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    Good idea with the XRAP

    The guys in ensenada told me some days they dont work but on others they are able to get some takers with 30, 40, and 50 foot divers
     
  4. B8DHOOK

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    Oh man ! The slime was extra thick on these fish. I actually kept one and threw it on ice, thinking I would eat it. We used to eat them all the time when I was a kid. At the end of the day, I cleaned the tuna while we were near the middle grounds area, and I went to clean the barracuda, but the snot was so thick, I ended up giving the fish to a seal. I don’t remember them being that thick of goo / stink.
     
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  5. B8DHOOK

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    Ya, it’s definitely hit and miss with these fish.. In the past, I’ve had real good luck catching both Yellowfin and Big Eye tuna on a variety of Trolled Rapalas. Big Eye loved the jumbo black and purple Rapala. Yellowfin eat everything.. These damn Bluefin are picky little bastages.
     
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  6. Noms

    Noms Dirty taco maker
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    Take some coarse salt with you next time. Salt that sucker and rub it down. Rinse the gunk away. Yeah I know, it's more work than just cutting a fish. Also wear a glove. Unless your into stinky hands.
     
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  7. William Ritchie

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    Thanks for the report . Seems as though the dogs are indeed learning new tricks . Any big sounder marks under those Barracuda? I heard through he grapevine that the WSB can be found under them at times . We also ate barracuda , particularly the skeins of roe , sautéed in butter and garlic , tasty sausages so to speak . Tight lines WR
     
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  8. B8DHOOK

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    Haa ! Great tip my friend.. I’ll keep that in mind when the time comes. I’m definitely no fish prude by any means. I eat everything.. But.. it’ll be awhile before I feel the need to deal with those little rockets as far as eating goes. Sure are fun to catch on the jig stick though.
     
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  9. B8DHOOK

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    That’s interesting William.. There were indeed lots of big marks on the graph at the time, but between the seals and the barracuda, it was hard to cipher what’s what. We were in pretty shallow water at the time as well, so it looked like a glop of thick and thin red lines underneath. I was chucking the jig way out and letting sink to bottom before burning in with occasional pause. I did hook a bigger fish on one cast that burned drag real good and I wasn’t sure if maybe a seal had ahold of my barracuda, but then it slowed and made head shakes before peeling off again. It was a good fish, but it eventually came unbuttoned.. Good tip on the WSB possibly running under the barracuda William, I’ll be thinking about that the next time we run into a big school of those things. Barracuda roe sack sausages ? I’ll need to try that as well !
     
  10. oldfogey

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    Barries are fun to catch on the iron. When it's wide open I usually switch over to a jig wth a single fixed hook.....makes for a much easier release. Back in the day my jig of choice for that was a Tady A1 light in all white. Many times over the years when the barries are biting the WSB would be around too
     
    #10 oldfogey, Jun 28, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
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  11. Fins in the Bin

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    Great report as always Butch.
    I was out there on Saturday too with you, your 1000 friends and the fleet. I threw jigs at breaking fish with no love and dragged a flying fish around that nothing wanted to eat so other than some bass on my way in I got the tuna skunk. Classic Bluefin fishing, fish everywhere but none wanted to eat what I threw at them. I should have stopped for Sardines.
     
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  12. Midnightpass

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    Nice bluefin Jason...I haven't caught a log like that cuda in a long time.. They can be a hoot...
    Butch
     
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  13. B8DHOOK

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    Good stuff Mike. The trebles are a pain to deal with, and it’s my belief that fish can pry a treble from their mouth, as opposed to a nice big single that swivels with the fish and also gets a nice big dig into their jaw / mouth.
     
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  14. B8DHOOK

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    I hear ya, Fins.. We did the same and would have come up empty if it weren’t for the good ol Rapala doing it’s work. We did try dropping deans down on meter marks but no takers. It’s a game.. it’s a hunt.. and it’s a lot of hours searching and searching, and dropping and dropping. Big rewards can be had, but for me personally, I’m just as happy catching anything from halibut to Bonito, to yellowtail, to rock fish, and every other bottom dweller that lurks in our waters. I like the mystery of what I can’t see and the eats of most bottom fish. Tuna are great.. but for me, it’s all about casting and catching and the size of fish I catch probably doesn’t matter like it would for most people. A trophy bluefin to me is just that.. A Trophy.. sure I’d like to gaff one, but overall, my fishing style is to poke around and throw different jigs / plastics / live bait on the bottom, and see what lurks underneath. I guess I just like a good variety over a big thug tuna.. I know.. I’m retarted.. ( by the way, I’m Jason.. and my buddy is Butch ).
     
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  15. B8DHOOK

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    Thank you Sir.. much appreciated. Anytime you can chuck a long cast jig and get whacked on a speed retrieve is blast in my book. It’s just fun..
     
  16. Fins in the Bin

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    My bad Jason I knew that but blanked out
     
  17. B8DHOOK

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    No problem at all my friend..
     
  18. Tunakillerjoe1

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    I heard of recipes for cudas, cooking them in your dishwasher! Tin foil, butter, a little garlic, skip the soap nugget!
     
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