Tuna trips are awesome and can be quite addicting. For tuna we troll feathers and plugs, and at times, slow troll live mackerel for bluefin. When we get a bite it’s usually instant adrenaline, especially as more rods start to go off with more fish because we just trolled through a school of tuna or bonito.
Bluefin – The Bluefin in Monterey Bay can range from 80 pounds all the way to 250+ pounds. Because of the size of these fish, much sturdier rods and reels are required if you ever want to see your fish that is. We supply Avet 30W and Shimano 30W two speed reels spooled with 100# test on United Composite and Calstar rods. Even though we supply trolling gear, if you have some gear you’d like to get wet by all means bring it! You’re going to want to make sure you have 100# test so you go home with a fish and not a fish story. Top off your braid with about 20+ yards of #100 or #130 fluorocarbon. Alan Tani, our local gear guru, states “friends don’t let friends fish with 80#”. You also want to make sure you have a two-speed reel. We will be trolling live mackerel, and high-speed troll Rapala Magnums, cedar plugs, Zukers, and Konas. Getting the chills yet?
Albacore and Bonito – We use Penn Senator 4/0 reels spooled with 40# braid on Shimano Talavera rods. When we first hookup we continue to troll for another minute or so all the while the other rods continue to hook up with fish. Once it seems were getting away from the school we circle back and start tossing out anchovies and whatever else we have to keep the fish interested and continue hooking up and gaffing fish. It gets busy, real busy. It gets messy, real messy. It’s chaos at its finest.
Highly recommend boots and waterproof slicks/bibs. There’s probably going to be a lot of blood and it won’t wash out of clothing.
October 2021 – Chris Pruitt of Los Gatos and deckhand Kai
Table full of Bonita