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  #1  
Old 08-14-2006, 11:55 AM
Shocktherapy Shocktherapy is offline
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Default Tuna in Mass bay

Hey guys, one thing I've never done is tuna fish.....I know people get all exciited about it this time of year and I know there are different types of tuna and certainly different sizes.....Can/will someone explain for me??

what is a "football tuna"
what is a False Albecore?

I know there are yellowfin and bluefin and I think black fin too.....
those to my knowledge are the big boys that guys go out to the canyons and whatnot for..

lastly I know sometime this time of year guys will catch smaller tuna with not too heavy equipment....what type are these?

any help is appreciated....thanks
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2006, 01:41 PM
nlarson nlarson is offline
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Football = schoolie (27-47"). Right now schoolies can not be taken, bag limit should open up in sept.

False Albacore = little tunny or bonito. It's a type of Mackeral actually. I am not sure if they are taken inside the bay at all. Not very good eating, but fun to catch I hear.

All the info you need can be found at the NMFS site... http://216.12.134.122/default.asp

I was at Race Point last weekend, saw 3 6-800Lbs fish bustin water chasing Bluefish. It was my fist time tuna fishing and since only giants were around it was fairly dull with 2-3 boats out of 40 or so hooking up. We had one bust about 75yds from our bait which got us all excited, but it didn't find our offering (a live blue). After 4 hours we gave up and went for stripers landing some great fish most 35"-39".
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:06 PM
Shocktherapy Shocktherapy is offline
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Good for you Nlarson........sounds sick!!!
would you have been able to reel those things in or would it have just snapped your line?

Thanks for the info
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2006, 02:22 PM
nlarson nlarson is offline
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we were using 130Lbs mono and 400lbs leader on bend butt rods set up in transom rod holders. If you hook up, you winch it in hard, back down on it what ever to get it to the boat as fast as you can to get a harpoon into it. After we got home I was thinking about it and it hardly seems fair, but there is so much money at stake so no one wants to take a chance actually fighting one in. I don't think I will do any more fishing of large/giant BFT's unless it is on my boat my way, I fish for enjoyment not money. It just doens't seem very sporting to hook up a big tuna just winch it in, with 4-5 guys taking turns winching it.

I'd like to try to land a big one on 50lbs stand upgear... now that would be fun! Lots of team work required to keep'em in range of the boat and not get spooled out or hung up.

BTW - here is some more info on the rec. catch limits.

The recreational daily bluefin tuna (BFT) retention limit through May 31, 2007, is 2 BFT (47 inches to less than 73 inches) per vessel per day/trip, effective in all areas, for the entire fishing year. There is one more window of opportunity to harvest school BFT (27 inches to less than 47 inches) during the 2006 season. The school BFT fishery will be open in the northern area, defined as north of 39? 18' N. lat. or approximately Great Egg Inlet, NJ, from August 25, 2006, to September 14, 2006, during which time a retention limit of 1 school size BFT per day/trip will be in effect. The school retention limit is in addition to the daily retention limit for large school/small medium BFT. Also, vessels fishing under the Angling category may retain 1 BFT (73 inches or greater) per vessel per year as a ?trophy? fish for the boat. The recreational yellowfin tuna daily retention limit is 3 yellowfin/person. The minimum size for yellowfin and bigeye tuna is 27" curved fork length. There are no recreational limits for bigeye, skipjack or albacore tunas.
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:31 PM
Shocktherapy Shocktherapy is offline
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So if you are going for the footballs with say 35lb test lead core (is that even possible?) what's to say a giant doesn't come up and grab it??

Did you cut the dorsal off the blue?
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:23 AM
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I dont know how many 4-600 lb tuna you have caught, but I've caught enough of them the tell you you cant winch 'em in... even with 130lb gear, a big tuna... over 300lbs will strip line off a spool faster than anything you have ever seen,backing down is only an effort to save line on the reel, rarely even backing down do you land them in less than 45 minutes to an hour, even in swivel rod holders you will be exhausted, as far as 50lb gear goes, you will need a tremendous amount of luck, boat skills and a long chase to land anything over 200lbs, Ive been there, I stood toe to toe with one, alone in my skiff for 4 hours I almost had the fish beat it was circling while i waitied for a neaby boat to stick it, sadly I lost the fish to a lobster pot, I didnt have the strength to drive my own boat home....

Here's a few pics from last year, a schoolie(football) and one a touch over 400lbs
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:21 AM
Shocktherapy Shocktherapy is offline
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Roc thanks!.......once agian you are the man...

Is it tough to reel in a football like the one in your pic?...

sounds like I really need to go with someone who knows what they are doing to learn what the heck to do out there!
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:32 AM
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Tuna are hard fighing fish, they swim fast, that one was caught on a popping plug tossed into a school that was attacking spike mackerel, It was caught on a 6.5'medium/heavy spinning rod, the reel was a shimano baitrunner 6500 loaded with #30 power pro with a #30lb floro leader 6' long, it took about 20-25 minutes...
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:07 AM
Shocktherapy Shocktherapy is offline
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And I assume several hundred yards on line on the reel??
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:20 AM
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Hey Joe, Did you catch the 400lber on your boat?

From my research of reports over the past few yrs it looks like the footballs are around 11 NM north-northeast from the mouth of the merrimac.

Put that 400lber in your boat and the stern is slumping deep in the water.

Great pics, that's one of my goals, first to reach the area in question,
land a football, and travel back home safely.

--cal
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:22 AM
nlarson nlarson is offline
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like I said, it was my first time out for big tuna, and when I say winch them in I meant the rod never leaves the holder... not litterally just haul them up.

As for luck, skill, etc... that's the point. I don't fish for an over and over win, I like a real challenge. Some absolutly huge fish have been landed on tackle of all sizes, I would much rather do that type of fishing... just a matter of personal preference.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:27 AM
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that particular fish was aboard the Double D, but I have taken them to 680 dressed from my skiff... one hell of a ride...

footballs range from the surf out to and beyond jefferies, but as september rolls around and bait becomes abundant, most mornings they are close to the beach, even the giants for that matter, I've been scorched within a mile of the beach live lining macs for bass when a giant grabbed my mac and blew up the Penn 113H, and this has happend more than once....


Here's how you get a 500 pound fish home from a small boat
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:39 AM
Shocktherapy Shocktherapy is offline
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wow...............can someone post pics of a typical tuna reel........I've seen the giant reels but the 6500 roc referenced looks like a normal casting reel...I guess you can reel anything in with the right line but I'm suprised the football didn't spool you.........Am I missing something?
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:40 AM
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The question would be whether to target them in that close.

I got a lot to learn!

--cal
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:33 PM
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The 6500 is for the footballs, I normaly troll for schoolies(footballs) with 50 or 80# gear, the big ones require the 130's, I have a pic with a 130 but it wont post, something is up
with the format....

I'll look and see oif I can find some others (Penn 130's are a grand each)
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