My name is Jackson and my dad and I met you at the Castafari Seminar. I am here to ask you a couple of questions on casting for bluefin.
1. I just got a new combo a 20000 saragossa on a 7’8” terez rod by Shimano and wondering what should I get it laced up with meaning braid, or mono and how much pound test should I get on it and what type of line brand? (Shimano recommended Power Pro).
2. What leader should I tie when going casting/jigging for BFT?
3. What lures should I use and ounces when fishing for BFT?
That’s a sweet outfit you have there. I’ll break it down for you.
Line: Power Pro is just fine and if you were to go with it, I would recommend 80lb test. That said, I have 100lb hollow core on my Stella 20000. I sent the spools to be filled by a gentleman named Basil Pappas in NJ where he professionally spools reels – and in my opinion he is the VERY best. His website is here: http://www.bhptackle.com/index.php. I think I have Jerry Brown on mine, but would listen to what he has to say. He’ll also splice a loop into the line so you can easily swap out wind on leaders. If you don’t now how this works, you can watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTVBJjocCVM
Leaders: A lot of guys say that wind-on leaders are appropriate for jigging only. When you cast with them, they are noisy through the guides. Also they will wear out over a long period of time of casting. But I personally think the ease of swapping leader without tying difficult knots on the water is well worth the trade off. I use 80lb flouro wind-on leaders and sometimes go up to 100lb if jigging for larger fish. I cast with wind-on leaders all the time.
Attaching the Lure: Use crimpers and appropriately sized crimps to attach the lure. On 80lb test, it’s usually a 1.2 or 1.3mm crimp sleeve. Be sure to color the aluminum crimp with a black sharpie so it doesn’t reflect light and startle fish. Check this video about crimps on tuna jigs.
Lures: My favorite lure is our newest one, the Hogy Harness Jig. What I like about it is that it can be cast, jigged or trolled. The flared gills help it track in and out of the wash. The bait drops relatively fast and imitates a sand eel or herring depending on what tail you put on. Soft baits pretty much fish themselves, the tail will have a very natural quiver in the water. The profile is perfect.
Casting: Cast the bait out and either start reeling at a rapid rate, or letting it drop first, and then start reeling fast, so the bait has the presentation of the baitfish being pushed to the surface.
Jigging: I like to send the bait staight down to the bottom and reel it quickly to the surface; letting the oft tail give the action. Be very mindful when doing this, tuna very often pick the jig up on the fall. You can hardly feel it when that happens. It will feel like a subtle tap. If that happens start reeling as fast as you can to seethe hook on the fish.
Trolling: I like to fish the Hogy Harness jig in the flat one clips. The lure will dart in and out of the wash. Fish it further back than you would normally fish a lure in the flat line, say 20-25’.
Some helpful videos: