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Yellow Fin Tuna On The MV Independence


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#1 Kevin G

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:53 PM

The scene is the deck of the MV Independence ( http://www.independe...g.com/index.php ), Morgan Bank, 50 miles north of Cabo, 40 miles offshore, the date is 01-02-08 at around 1:00 in the afternoon.It has been a very slow morning, chasing schools of Black Dolphin and crashing birds. Catching a fish or three each time we attempt to chum up the deep running Yellow Fin Tuna with brails of Sardines. We just stopped on a school of Black Dolphin and boated several 70 to 120 pound fish. Capt. Jeff Debuys decides to shut down the mains and soak some bait here to see if we can get some more YFT to come into the chum line and take a live bait or two being offered.“My” fish: Capt. Jeff called over the Independence’s PA system: “There are 100 pound fish between 25 and 20 fathoms under the boat”. Read the SONAR call-out as an “under estimation” of the weight of the SONAR fish below the boat. (Death by bunga . . . or is that death by 60 pound mono . . . it all became a blur in VERY short order). I grabbed my 60 pound setup: A Cofe blueprinted 16S with a ‘Jillion yards of 80 pound spectra and a 100 yard top-shot of 60 pound Berkeley Big Game on a custom rolled, full roller CalStar 6460H.I have an 80, a 100 and a 130 pound rig right next to them. Not needed on 100 pound fish right? I am (without a doubt) WAY more than good to go all day long on 100 pound fish with this setup. I pulled out a pre-rigged 2-ounce rubber band weight out of my pocket and spun it around the mono just above the Seagar knot. Pin on a frisky ‘Dine and plop it in just shy of the ‘down wind’ (down drift/up drift . . . up something) center of the stern. No wind, no current, no nuth’n. The conditions had all the ear-marks of being able to create a macramé knot from Hell with 29 people fishing.Oh well . . . show time. Walk around the Starboard corner with about 20 yards of Mono on the reel when I am picked up. Count to 5 and advance the 16S drag to strike at 25 pounds. Oh . . . this one is stout . . . watch line peel off. Hmmmmmm . . . this one has some shoulders to ‘em. Watch more line peel off. Hmmmmm . . . 100 pound fish . . . ehhhhhh . . . I don’t think so. Watch more line peel off. Oh . . . This is not good . . . nutz. (Expletive deleted) Watch more line peel off. Listen to Capt. Jeff bitch at me ‘cause I went in with 60 pound gear. Watch more line peel off and hang on for dear life. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Listen to Capt. Jeff bitch at me ‘cause I went in with 60 pound gear.Watch more line peel off and hang on for dear life.ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Listen to Capt. Jeff bitch at me ‘cause I went in with 60 pound gear.Become slightly annoyed and confused at being continuously chastised by Jeff at this juncture . . . Watch more line peel off and hang on for dear life.ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Remind Jeff what he said about 100 pound fish being 20 to 25 fathoms under the boat. Capt. Jeff stops bitching at me. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Jeff comes down from his vantage point on the Independence’s Portuguese Bridge and takes the rod on the next trip around the bow, STANDS UP on the dang bow with his feet on either side of the anchorway and pulls on the fish ‘cause it is fun (really). He walks the rod to the stern and works on the fish for a bit and sizes up my gear. Oh (Expletive deleted) . . . this is a really big fish Kevin . . . 60 pound mono . . . not good. Very nice rig by the way . . . 60 pound mono . . .Jeff is frowning . . . this is a really big fish. 60 pound mono.Jeff barks at the other fisherman to NOT go into the water with anything less than 100 pound mono. Death by Bunga. No kidding? DOH! Oh look . . . Jeff just handed me the torture stick back. Gee . . . thanks. It sucks to be me at this moment. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Walk and kneel on the deck and put the wood to the fish from bow to stern and back again, repeat a dozen or so time. Up, down, up, down, over, under, over, under. Take a knee and put the wood to ‘em. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Sweat 500 gallons of sweat, soak everything you are wearing. My shoes squish. Ewww. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Try and wipe my hands dry on my soaking wet T-Shirt. No joy.Leave sweat puddles where ever you go. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Tilt my head down and watch the sweat pour off the bill of my hat. Realize your trick as snot harness is useless as the fish never ‘fought’ away from the boat . . . the dang fish was straight up/down the entire time. He just likes to go from bow to stern and back again. Endlessly. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Pitch the harness and plate on to the bungee wrap up on the bow. Wow . . . I can actually kneel without the rod plate digging into me.ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Wish you had knee pads ‘cause the deck is very rough and the anchor chain and rode really sucks to kneel on while putting the wood to the dang fish. I am loosing skin on my knees. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.My arm pit hurts. Why . . . I do believe I will take a knee here and put the wood to the fish . . . isn’t this ‘fun’.ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. If matter accelerated to the speed of light stops being matter and becomes energy, what does it turn into once de- accelerated below the speed of light? The cleat on the bow with the chain wrapped just ‘so’: is a really good place to put the wood to the dang fish . . . lay the foregrip of the rod on the cleat in between the links . . . watch the rod go through a most amazing range of twists and bends. Dang . . . the rod hasn’t exploded yet . . . cool. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. My right hand is beginning to terra-form to the shape of the reel handle. It isn’t natural. (But amusing just the same) Jump up and wind as best you can (heh . . . yeah . . . “jump up” . . . right . . . I now believe I am very lucky to still be able to stand unassisted) while coming from bow to stern. Repeat while going from stern to bow. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Over under, over under . . . continue for a long time. I can’t feel my legs . . . Jell-O. This up/down is for the birdsANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Have your son stroll up to you and tell you that you have been fighting this fish for an hour and a half now. Try to ascertain what the hell just happened to time. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Successfully banish the thought of killing your son for providing this (mostly useless, but somewhat relevant) information. Try to guess what GPH of sweat you are loosing even though your son continues to bring you ice water. Concentrate on the rod tip . . . ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Keep the line straight out. Keep the line off the boat. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Oh yeah . . . breath. It’s a good thing. Hand off the rig (again and again and again and again and again) when the fish went to the bow (or stern). The boat was ‘drifting’ stern first. EVERYONE ended up in the bow . . . me too, but I was on a frigg’n big fish and 60 pound mono. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Over under, over under, over under, up down, up down, up down . . . wind, wind, wind. Take a knee here, put the wood to ‘em: take a knee there, put the wood to ‘em: take a knee everywhere! ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Everyone from Capt. Jeff to BamBam has pulled on this fish. No ‘fight’ . . . simply a STUPID amount dead weight, straight up and down.Oh my God . . . It weighs a frick’n ton. I want my Mommy . . . milk and cookies please . . . ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Did Steven say I was on this fish for an hour an a half already? How long ago did he say that? Whaaaaaa . . . ? Oh? An hour and a half?ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Hmmm . . . I no longer care about the jackpot. I want this fish. Grab child-unit when he foolishly returns with more ice water for me . . . ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Inform said child-unit this is now a father/son fish and by the way . . . this REALLY hurts on 60 pound mono. Here . . . hold this son. Have a nice day. Manically laugh for reasons that were absolutely beyond me at that moment. Watch child-unit fight the fish for another hour and change. Attempt to re-establish blood flow to my extremities. Become somewhat amused that my left hand had attained something similar to a ‘kung-fu’ grip from holding onto the rod and note that you could use my right hand to injection mold new Penn International reel handles. Yeah . . . this is fun. I wonder if they will ever return to ‘normal’?Change out the 3” saltwater deck hose from saltwater to fresh water. Drink lots of water. Amuse yourself watching the Spectra to Mono connection knot move from the spool to about 2 feet past the tip, then back on the spool and then two feet past the tip then back on the spool then 2 feet off the tip. I swear (really, really, really swear). . . I watched this seesaw ‘battle of the knot’ take place for over a half an hour while Steven put the wood to the fish in the bow. Watch Steven take a knee here, take a knee there, take a knee everywhere. Wind, wind, wind.ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Put the wood to ‘em here and put the wood to ‘em there, then put the wood to ‘em everywhere.ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.After hour and several trips from bow to stern and back again, on a knee on the bow, on a knee on the side and on a knee in the stern, Steven gave me the torture stick back. Gee . . . thanks son.Allrightfinethen. I now have feeling in my hands, arms and back. My legs were shot but what the hell. I took a knee on the bow and planted the rod under my arm and rod on the anchor chain and cleat. Hammer the drag and hang on. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. WOW that rod can BEND! DaaaAAAAAaaaannnnngggggg. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Up and down the boat three more times. Over/under, up/down, over/under, up/down, over/under up/down, wind, wind, wind.Back down the rail to the stern for what would be the last time. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or threeTake a knee in the corner and watch the rod tip.“Take What You Can, Give Nothing Back”. Wind, wind, wind.ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. S-L-O-W-L-Y gain mono. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. This hurts. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or threeI need to loose weight. I need to work out. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Enjoy life . . . eat out more often. Move about three feet up the Starboard rail, take a knee and put the wood to ‘em.ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Contents may settle during shipment. Shaken not stirred. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three.Back to the corner. Take a knee and watch the B E N D in the rod . . . Oh My God, please don’t explode. One lump or two? ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Is that your cheese? Frog butts really are water tight. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Move back up the rail 3 feet to where I just was. Take a knee and put the wood to ‘em. I need a beer and a nap. ANY time that tip relaxes . . . take a wind or three. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two. I am light headed and winded, my heart is crashing in my chest, I can’t feel much of ‘me’ anymore, but what I can feel simply hurts and is taxed to the limit. I have no other purpose in life at this moment in time but to: Watch the tip . . . crank a wind or two.20 or so more yards left . . . Sneak a peek at the fish over the rail . . . OMG . . . it’s a FREAK’N Toad! Suddenly notice there are three deckhands with gaffs hovering around me . . . I might just pull this off . . . 60 pound mono. The big silver blob 20 yards below the boat kicks into its last effort . . . Two ticks shy of three and a half hours (by Steven’s watch) into the fight . . . plink. Done. The fish won. 60 pound mono . . . not good.My terminal rigging held. A three turn Seagar Knot at the mono to Fluro connection. A double San Dog on the hook and the Spectra to Mono knots held. No tackle failure here . . . the mono let go. It was WELL past beer-o-clock. Steven and I piled into the Salon and had a beer or two and don’t ‘cha know . . . as if in a dream (nightmare?): I found myself pinning on another frisky bait. This time on my 100 pound rig and dropping in again at the stern to start the game all over again . . . It IS a sickness. It IS a cry for help. There IS no cure. There IS no hope. Tuna Fever: Ya gotta love it. Shut up and fish . . . Kevin Gleason
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#2 KNOCKED UP

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:24 PM

I felt like I was There, Fighting thatbad boy myself. My arms even hurt.Tom

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#3 Arise

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:31 PM

Great read. :signs1180lq: :signs1180lq:

#4 D-Man

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 07:30 PM

Great story. I am sitting here laughing so hard I am crying with all the of the descriptions.Darren
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#5 Fjold

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 08:01 AM

Been there, done that and had the same great time.Here's a 96 Lb'er that kicked my butt on 40 Lb test with my Cal's 2-speed, 12LT using a custom wrapped Calstar Graphighter on the Excell down at Alijos Rocks. Posted Image
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#6 basqueron

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 12:48 PM

Kevinnice meeting you and your son on the trip. When the fish left you the whole boat went quiet. Great fight. 80 lb+ is a must. You swore off the beer when you started the fight after 10 minutes. Did you keep the resolution. Those tuna have an attitude like my ex wife. You cant win. Lets do some shooting.ron

#7 Kevin G

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 10:41 AM

Howdy Campers!Yup . . . it was a rude dawg for sure.I only got a glimpse of it . . . per big Dave and BamBam . . . the fish would have gone 3 big ones.Try that on 60 pound mono . . . you can't put enough pressure on a fish that large with 60 pound string.The crux of the biscuit (is not the apostrophe) is that RIGHT next to my 60 pound rig was an 80 pound rig (Cofe blueprinted 30SW with a custom rolled, full-roller CalStar 6460XH), a 100 pound rig (Cofe blueprinted 50SW with a full-roller CalStar 6455XH) and a 130 pound rig (Cofe blueprinted 50SW with a full-roller CalStar 6455XXH).I actually thought at the very end that I would actually pull it off! I knew that the chances of that were slim to none . . . but I only had 20 yards left . . . PLINK! Nutz.I have caught 100 pound fish many times on 40 pound string. No biggie (per se), if you have a stout rod and play ‘em a bit.But 300 pounds of pissed off Tuna on 60 pound mono is a ‘program to fail’ process. And it hurts like the dickens as well!Next time it is gonna be a telephone pole, steel cable and a diesel powered winch (smirk).I do have some photo’s of Steven fighting the fish, but since I changed photo storage sites, I can’t seem to post the darn things!Steven was busy eating, watching a movie and wandering around the boat with me while I was fighting the fish. It was only when Steven ‘took’ the rod and fought the fish were any photo’s taken.You could photo-shop my head over Steven’s head and get the idea. You would have found either Steven or myself somewhere on the Starboard side of the boat, on a knee putting the wood to the darn fish.In retrospect: it would have been ‘nice’ if the darn fish actually ‘fought’ away from the boat so we could have used our harnesses. Nope . . . the dang fish was straight up and down the entire 3.5 hours . . . what a ball-buster.Hey Ron!I have an OK photo of you and your 175 pounder! I also have several blurry one’s I took while you tried to stand that bad boy up on its nose on the slippery deck. Those didn’t come out so good. If you want, I can (and will) email it (them) to you.I swore off beer? LMAO!!! I must have been delirious!If anyone wants to post the photo’s of Steven fighting the fish and a photo of Ron’s fish, send me a PM or EM and I will send you the photo’s.If anyone knows how to post a photo from Shutterfly . . . PLEASE clue me in!!!Kevin G
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