First time going out - have some questions!

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by dangerhsun, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. dangerhsun

    dangerhsun Member

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    Hi guys! First post, glad to be here. I am actually up in Orange County but plan to make the trip down. I’ve been wanting to go tuna fishing forever and I checked with my wife on dates and got the OK to do a full day trip next Wednesday the 11th. I’m stoked! I’ve never gone offshore before and I am super excited and I’ve been doing lots of research, watching videos, etc.

    I know there are quite a few options, but I’ve read lots of good reviews about the Liberty out of Fisheman’s Landing and Seaforth as well. Any opinions on either one? Is either more friendly for first timers?

    I am open to any other suggestions for boats. This is for next Wednesday the 11th.

    Aside from that, I have a few other questions:

    • I do not have a tuna rod, so I plan to rent, but how to I ensure I have the right rod for what the boat is targeting? My understanding is that it may change throughout the day and it seems that most people equip a few rods depending on the size of fish... will I be OK with the rental rod?
    • Should I just plan to fish the live bait? Or should I buy lures as well in case I need to switch it up? Will the rental rod come with all the tackle I need? Or should I come prepared with terminal tackle?
    • How early do I need to arrive for the 5:30am departure?
    • Do the fish go on ice on these trips? Or do they just sit in the bags all day until we return to dock? Do I just keep my cooler in my car and just pack my fish in my cooler at the end of the day once I’m off the boat?
    Now this is a bit of a loaded question: Can you guys recommend me an affordable, all-around saltwater rod/reel? I still plan on renting a rod for this trip, but I do want something that I can use for surf fishing, 1/2 day trips, etc. So it doesn’t need to be able to handle big tuna, but perhaps good enough for yellowtail. For spinning I was thinking about a Penn Battle 6000 combo, or a Jigmaster with an Ugly Stik?

    Sorry for all the newbie questions! Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. geofish

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    Can’t go wrong with the Liberty. The Grande and San Diego have had good counts.

    Pick a boat. I’m sure you can’t go wrong during this time in the season....

    Lots of questions......

    • I do not have a tuna rod, so I plan to rent, but how to I ensure I have the right rod for what the boat is targeting? My understanding is that it may change throughout the day and it seems that most people equip a few rods depending on the size of fish... will I be OK with the rental rod?
    You will be fine with a rental rod. They will rent you a rod knowing what boat is targeting (tell them boat).....Attend the pre-trip meeting. If something is said you don’t understand, ask for a translation. Make the Deckhands your best friends. When they see the rental rods, or after you show it to them, they will rig them up for you. Ask questions then. If target changes, have deckhand change your set up.....My guess, you’ll be flylining all day....:with success.../

    Many of us, do, take a few rods. My quiver on a trip like that is....8....However, you are there to experience it all, learn and hopefully get the fever and come back for more.

    I would suggest, once you book, to inform us of your boat and day you’re going. Chances are, an SDFISH member will be on the same trip.
    • Should I just plan to fish the live bait? Or should I buy lures as well in case I need to switch it up? Will the rental rod come with all the tackle I need? Or should I come prepared with terminal tackle?
    Yes. Plan to use live bait. Don’t complicate things right now. After you mastered “flylining “ live bait, then you can try other techniques....

    It’s a given that renters do not normally have gear. The Deckhands will rig you up free. However, tip them well.

    Make sure you tell them you’re a “noob.” Chances are they’ll hand a loaded up pole to you.
    • How early do I need to arrive for the 5:30am departure?
    Every boat is a little different. If you don’t reserve a bunk when you book, the earlier the better. I like the Liberty because you can get a bunk, even for a “Full Day Trip.”

    I’m an early bird. 1 hour for me. No later than 5am......
    • Do the fish go on ice on these trips? Or do they just sit in the bags all day until we return to dock? Do I just keep my cooler in my car and just pack my fish in my cooler at the end of the day once I’m off the boat?
    They go into RSW (Refrigerated Sea Water). Yes, bring cooler for after to take home. You can buy ice at the dock. Keep cooler in car. They hand you your fish from a cart at the end of the dock, in front of the ticket windows (usually). You have time to get cooler from car.

    Also, coolers are not allowed on boats.
     
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  3. Slater

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    Tell them you want a rod with the lightest weight line offered, that is key.....
    Will most likely be 25lb test, maybe 20lb if you're lucky but most likely not...
    You MUST bring 15lb & 20lb floro carbon, blue label seagar from walmart is fine $10 each...
    MUST bring #4 hooks, pack of box of $2 mustard 94150 are great for this, forget the gucci designer hooks...
    I just did a 2 day private charter on The NLA & so much boat pressure on these fish due to so close to home & everyone with a bathtub are on them, the few that were prepared & had the light gear got bit hands down more frequent than those without...
    Was crazy to see something like the very small size difference of a #4 vs #2 hook out produce so drastically!
    Have the deckies tie your rigging & set your drag if your questioning it. Would suck to lose a fish due to improper floro to mono connection...
    You can get an inexpensive rod from big5
    Sabre Chaser Saltwater Casting Rod | Big 5 Sporting Goods

    I also here if you mention any of the other penn saber rods to an employee at big 5 & ask them if they will honor the last sale price, they will...
    don't waste you effort & time with a spinning reel for this time of fishing, no benefit more cons than pros....
     
  4. Slater

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    you want a cooler w/ ice for the trek home,
    Most of the boat have raw these days & the fish dont sit out in gunny sacks all day to rot....
    refrigerated sea water, fish hold under the deck...
    Pay the $5 per fish, get them filleted on the boat & youre money.
    You will need to further clean your fillets when you get home, remove additional blood-line, remove skin..
    DFG has made the fillet requirement very stupid & deckies can no-longer provide a freezer ready product....

    my trip we mostly had tiny anchovy size sardines & that's what they were chumming with, the tuna wouldn't eat the few larger sardines that we had in the tank if we chose to pin one on as was never a problem in the past....
    One theory from Capt Adam was seems like they stick with the size of the bait we initially chummed with..
    Small firecracker size dine required a tiny hook & skittish fish due to pressure, even though some boats are getting into wfo stops, those are hard to find out there....
     
    #4 Slater, Sep 2, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  5. galen

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    Good info, X2 on letting the crew know it’s your first time. To be honest, it will probably be pretty easy to tell. No shame in accepting a “hook and hand” fish or two to get the feeling of it.
    You will probably hear it alot, but change your bait regularly, I mean like after just a minute or two. Lots of boats have gotten into Lights Out fishing recently on school size YFT. The fish are next to the boat, not 100 yards out. If you need help picking one out and getting it on the hook, ask.
    As mentioned, don’t spend extra cash on jigs and poppers for your first time. If you guys find a biting school, bait will work just fine.
     
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  6. Slater

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    My trip, belly hooked baits worked best....
     
  7. kyle12345

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    For the first time around I would not buy any rods and reels, rent, see if this is your thing. I didn't need flouro on my trip, but wouldn't be a bad idea to have it, the deckhands will tie it on for you. Renting a rod comes with hooks already so no worries there. Like others said I wouldn't mess with jigs as of yet, 96% of fish caught on my trip was on bait. If you do like it, than I would search this forum for gear recommendations. Also sometimes you can get good deals on used gear.
     
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  8. dangerhsun

    dangerhsun Member

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    Thank you for the thorough response. I will post the boat as soon as I book it. This is a great message board, would be great to meet some members.

    If you don't reserve a bunk do you just find a place to chill while we are driving out? I imagine there is a good amount of time just boating around, looking for the schools? Do you recommend I book a bunk?

    What is the tipping etiquette? Do I tip 'em at the end of the trip?

    And to clarify, when I rent the rod they will give me hooks and swivels and whatever else I need? And the deckhands use my stuff to rig me up? Or do they have stuff on hand as well? The poster following you recommended I bring some stuff just wanted to make sure I understand you correctly.

    Thank you!
     
  9. dangerhsun

    dangerhsun Member

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    Thanks for the great advice! Good to know about the lighter line. Should I just plan to fish with a fluoro leader? How long do I need? 6 foot leader ok? Yes I'll definitely ask a deckhand to do my mono to fluoro connection... maybe I'll practice at home a bit lol.

    Any reel recommendations?
     
  10. dangerhsun

    dangerhsun Member

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    If I land any fish (knock on wood) I was planning on bringing them home whole. I want to learn how to clean/filet myself. I also feel like they go so fast on the boat and you lose a lot of meat.

    So what is the logic behind that? The bait swims better because it isn't hooked on the nose? Is that the idea?

    Awesome thanks! I'm not opposed to used gear, I'm just up in OC and it's a long drive down to San Diego. I'll check Craigslist up here though...
     
  11. Chrisdlc11827

    Chrisdlc11827 Well-Known Member

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    I second the belly hook but no long soak change every minute to 1.5
     
  12. Chrisdlc11827

    Chrisdlc11827 Well-Known Member

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    Shimano speed master and if your serious Shimano talica 10 ii exspensive but amazing the speed master is almost the same but more budget friendly but if you get a good deal on the talica ii it will hold its value and will never sell for less than $400 you can check all the for sale adds online
    Also 20lb mono has been perfect for me the floro is great as well but have seen a lot of fish lost to it but most likely was user error but in regards to that I don’t fish sport boats so I don’t have to deal with a ton of fish graby people throwing elbows and cutting lines so if I was in that position a little heavier line mine be a benefit so you can try an horse your fish in
     
  13. NextMikeSays

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    I totally agree with this. Buy some 15# and 20# fluorocarbon. Buy size 2 & 4 hooks. Most rentals come with bigger 1/0 and 2/0.

    I recently bought 15# mono and 15# fluoro and added more size 4 hooks. I limited out a few weeks ago on 20# and size 2 hook but the week before that, on 25# barely got bit. Seems like a small difference that the human eye can't tell but when it's pressured, small these differences are greatly magnified. You can't be in the game if you aren't bit.

    Any of the boats from the San Diego, Liberty, Mission Belle, Grande will all put you on fish.
     
  14. Slater

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    belly hook makes a dine just swim better, down & away from the boat.
    Tip: when you belly hook & your keeping in contact with your bait using your line..
    Every once in a while when your bait isnt swimming, pull the slack out & give your bait a little tiny tug so he feels the resistance of a pull-back...
    Its like snapping a horse with a whip in the azz & he will all of a sudden start bolting again...
    Sometimes you lob a belly / anal fin bait out there & they immediately turn around & attempt to swim under the boat, that tug I mentioned corrects that.
    If you come home with at least two tuna, boat isnt going to waste much meat during the cutting process, not worth the trouble. Theyre big fish & you aren't going to see much waste while theyre cutting...
    4-6 feet of floro is plenty, just easier to keep the knot out of the guide to avoid hang-ups during your cast or lob...
    Isnt going to matter at all if you find a suicidal school, then they will bite the 30lb & big hooks, but need to find them first.
    For the least complicated knot to tie floro to mono is a 4 turn uni on both ends...
    I love the uni knot & use it for my hook connections all the time also, simple, never slips, or fatigues on the cinch...
    Everyone learns the clinch knot as a kid, too many failures.... BAD!!
     
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  15. dangerhsun

    dangerhsun Member

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    I saw people moving around each other quite a bit in the videos I saw on Youtube. (Is Jigslinger on this message board? His vids are great:emoji_smile:) There's lots of ducking under and moving around people, but if I get tangled up with someone are they likely to cut my line??

    Great tips, thank you!
     
  16. Vito1023

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    The last time I went I noticed a lot people were using a small sliding egg sinker, but there was nothing to stop the weight from going all the way down to the hook I have never seen that before, what do you think bout that? I switched to tail hooking when I wasn’t getting bit and I got bit after I started tail hooking.
     
    #16 Vito1023, Sep 3, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  17. Slater

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    the weight eventually always slides away from the hook in the slack if the line, so the weight is never really pegged up against the bait like you would think...
    Anal fin / belly hooking just works, bait just swims better!
     
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  18. dangerhsun

    dangerhsun Member

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    So Grande and Liberty are not going out on Wednesday the 11th.

    I'm thinking either New Seaforth, Mission Belle, or Dolphin. Anyone planning on going out on any of those boats?
     
  19. DPevin

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    I'm with Slater butt/belly hooking is just better and more natural. The slider is for real small baits or if you can't cast well. And generally only works with nose hooked baits. Butt hooked baits are awesome if you don't cast well cause they swim away better and you can get the bait further from the boat without having to make the cast. And useful even if you can cast well to get the bait down to fish that aren't up.

    A note about fishing sliders. After your cast, its a pretty good idea to not just let it free spool right away, and to thumb the spool til your line comes tight and you can feel your bait. Otherwise if you just cast and let it free spool right away, your line may be tight and seem like its right in front of you....but that is just the weight sinking. It could have sank 10 feet and your bait is still up on the surface just doing circles and tangling everyone. I thumb the spool for a few seconds then periodically as I am fishing a slider. Just to keep that weight within a few feet of the hook (at least in theory).
     
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  20. Chriwilson

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    Knocker Rig...
    I tail hook when letting the bait swim, face hook when I'm retrieving it
     
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