254 lb Big Eye weighed at South Jersey Marina and is the largest of the season. My crew led by Captain’s Steve and Tom along with mates Vinnie and Ray did a hell of a job throughout the trip as they were hard at work every minute of trip. Vinnie spent almost 9 hours prepping for this trip on Friday knowing we would be targeting those Devil Tuna (Big Eyes). We also had a second Big Eye cut off by another charter boat but that is another story. The Big Eye bite came at (9:15 pm) just like the last one we caught a week or so in the same canyon. We ended up with 17 Yellowfin of various sizes, The Mako and a Blue Marlin release.
I have been trying for the last couple of years to get more charter customers to book 24-30 hour overnight trips as they allow for so much more fishing time during the best time of day (late afternoon into the night and just before daybreak) for tuna especially Big Eyes. It also allows us to run farther to the canyon offering the very best tuna fishing and this really holds true this season with the world class Big Eye bite. Great trip with action almost the whole trip and one of the finest trips on the Hooked Up II this season and in recent years. My crew deserves a job well done and the credit for putting such a fun and productive trip together for our customers.
PS: This is the second Big Eye in 2 weeks that we caught on a 30 class outfit. From what I was told the customers beat this one in about 40 minutes stand-up which is putting some big time heat on the tuna. We are fishing hollow core spectra either 100-130 lb test with 130 mono top shots and 150 lb leader. We fish only custom Calstar rods from JPR with almost all Penn and Shimano 50’s but we do have some Tiagra 30’s in the 12-14 rod spread we fish. Mate Vinny handles the cockpit and determines what lures goes where and how many rods go out depending on what we are targeting. We troll for Big Eyes about 5-5.6 knots most of the time but this is a personnel preference and may not be what others do. We do fish lots of drag and even pump up the drag when we go to low gear when the tuna is around the boat. We put the heat on all tuna on the Hooked Up II.
As of now, the only canyon with fish that we know of is the Washington. We are making the long trek to the Washington for your best shot at a bigeye and having a productive trip. The more local canyons had a great bite earlier last week, but it has seemed to die off and the Washington is on fire again!