Posted Tuesday, January 2, 2007
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On todays North Carolina charter fishing trip we had my neighbors father in law and Tough Luck Jody (Salt Water Candy) on board. Jody has never been charter boat fishing onboard our boat, the Second To None when we have hooked a fish and he has gone about 8 times. And again from the get go the morning didn't start off the greatest. We got a new piece of gear to try, a 24 lb missle to put on the down rigger to get a little deeper. When I rigged the down rigger I forgot to go through the guide. Just took a second to fix but kinda screwed up the rythm.
Slow start for the North Carolina charter fishing fleet as boats were scattered out all over the place. Shane heard of a bite just inshore of us so started we started working the boat inshore a bit. We saw a buddy of ours fighting a nice tuna so we gave him his room as we made a wide circle around his boat. Shane saw a few good marks as we did. I had 3 fingers of my manhood hanging off the starboard stern and I hear the racket. I turned to look for Shane, cause he likes to sneak off the bridge and let one rip. He was on the bridge and I saw the deep 130 screaming. Clear the mess. I was trying to crank up that heavy ball and the 80 at the same time but was very slow. Jody took over on that so I could clear the other planer.
I looked back and saw Wayne laying flat on his butt after a slip and fall coming down from the bridge. Crank in the long rigger. I look over and The starboard deep line rubber band was stuck in the top guide. Rick we got to go Shane says. I pull as hard as I could to get the rubber band clear and cut it, I thought I did but I got the mainline, holy SH%T! No time to worry about that now. Wayne get on the fish and crank when you can, we got to get some line back. Shane backs the boat down hard and we get about 150 yds back. OK settle down. We move the rod to the starboard corner of the boat. Within a few minutes the fish was on top, looked like he was tail wrapped. He never made another run and we had him to the boat and Shane stabbed him with the dart, 20 minutes and done. Very nice text book landing but that was just a warm up, little did we know.
Morehead City, North Carolina Bluefin Tuna Fishing
Today is starting to turn out better than expected and the North Carolina bluefin tuna fishing off Morehead City is hitting on all cylinders so it is time to get serious. We are down to 3 lines now. I get em back in and were off. When thats done we drag the fish onboard and get him ready for market. We had gone a spell and I notice the fish bag is starting to rip in the corner from the weight of the ice and water. I pull out some rigging floss and Wayne and I start to repair the bag. We're both crouched down in the corner when I hear 2 short ZZZZZTTT's on the starboard deep line followed by a blistering scream. This really might be turning into a helluva day for bluefin tuna fishing. We scramble to our feet, "Wayne crank in a reel", "Jody get that planer." Hurry this fish is hauling ASS. Just about the time Jody was going to lift the planer over the back of the charter boat it grabs and goes under the boat and about takes 3 of his fingers with it. He also grabbed the mainline of the deep and had that on the deck.
"Jody get back on the fish", here we go. Shane backed down as I cleared the starboard top line. This is a mean fish, took about 800yds of 40 lbs drag. After some skillful backing and manuvering we finally got leader up. I am watching the braid and its not right. I use a double overhand knotwith about a 2 ft loop and attach the spro with a catspaw. One of the lines in the loop had broke, UH OH. When the leader cleared the last guide I started doing a 2 hand shuffle. We get this leader on the reel it can't come off or we are going to loose this fish. I push the drag all the way home and continue the shuffle. Leader was about 150 feet long in 100 ft of water so we are pretty safe as long as he doesn't make a mad dash out. I kept both hands on the line and Jody and I got a foot at a time, patience. Up and down in and out, he wouldn't come to the top.
After about 45 minutes Shane got him in the circle of death. We got him to about 15 ft down. I could make out the blue silver flash, a big bluefin tuna but not the monster we lost earlier this week. I went to the leader and hollered for Shane to get ready. I got 2 pulls on the leader, 6 ft away. Damn I can't move my left hand, its cranked to the top guide with 2 twists and 65 lbs of drag with the fish pulling the other way. I lifted the tuna with my right hand enough to see and unwrap my hand. One more time and he is in dart range. Heads up Shane makes a perfect shot in the gill plate. Get a gaff in him. We get a hook in his lower jaw. I got leader in the left hand and gaff in the right when the fish starts to buck. Knocks the gaff loose and I think it knicked the leader cause shortly after that the leader gives way. Get out of the way and dump the ball. This was one pissed off tuna. He took the 2 1/2 ft ball under water about a foot and ran for 10 feet before it popped back up.
Jody and I each got a gaff and Shane backed to the ball. By now we got a bunch of other North Carolina sport fishing charters circling us watching us try to get this bluefin tuna in the boat. We back to the ball and I start to pull him back to daddy when he says not yet and off he goes again. We let him sit for about 10 minutes then do it again. This time I can see he is done. As I pull him up he is doing the death circle. Up he comes and we get 2 good gaffs in him and a couple of swimming hooks. Whew!!!!!! If it wasn't for Poonmans dart that tuna would have been long gone. We have been using it for the last 2 yrs and this is the first time we have had to dump the ball and it was a life saver. As for lures, all we have pulled for the last 2 yrs is Salt Water Candy why change its been a winner for us! The small tuna was 75 inches cored 170 and the big tuna was 95 inches cored 365.
I'm surprised Shane could get on the computer last night, he was a nervous wreck after that 2nd fish. He wanted to head in after that but just dumped the lines back in and asked if the limit was still 3. He just laughed. It sure was a good day for us despite the mishaps. We were told the fish weren't going to Japan because no fat content, seems to be alot of that this year. Oh well, this is my story and I'm sticking to it.
God I love this job!!!!!
Be safe out there.
Merry Xmas to all and tight lines. Rick Evans
Morehead City Charter Fishing
This account of this exciting and action packed Morehead City charter fishing trip was written by Rick Evans, deckhand for Second To None Charters of Morehead City North Carolina. If you would like to get in on a Morehead City bluefin tuna fishing trip or any sport fishing charter on the Second To None then please visit Second To None's
Morehead City Charter Fishing website. As you have read the crew of the Second To None are at the top of their game when it comes to North Carolina bluefin tuna fishing. But during the spring and summer months you will find them in Morehead City fishing for yellowfin tuna, dolphin, and the many species of billfish that call the waters of Morehead City, North Carolina home. So the next time you come to town looking for some action packed Morehead City charter boat fishing look for the Second To None, a 44 foot Custom Carolina Sportfisher located on the Morehead City Waterfront in Morehead City, North Carolina. You can visit the site above or call Captain Shane Brafford at 252-422-0066.
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