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Spring & Early Summer Articles

Fishing Techniques for Albacore, Bluefin, Yellowfin and Bigeye
By Ed Heller IGFA Fishing Guide.
I like to use small lures Jet Heads, Zuckers, and small feathers rather than big plastic skirts or big feathers. Most of all, use lures with small hooks; make sure that your lures are rigged with a minimum of 150lb leader. What I am going to talk about will bring you back fish at a rate much higher than you are accustomed to.

Troll SLOW 6.5 knots to 7.8 knots and troll a large spread. I like to troll doubles on the outriggers at the 3rd wake. I then will run 2 flat lines in the gunwales on both sides. In addition to this, I like to put out 2 short flat lines off the stern. If you have rod-holders center and high near the helm, use at least one for your longest line. Donít worry if this is some distance off your deck. The action you will get from the high rod holder will surprise you. With this style spread I always get multiple hookups. You might be asking yourself, how this will increase my hookup percentage ?

When trolling 7-10 lines, the handling of the boat is very important. When you get the first hookup back off the reel drag that has got bitten and get it out of the spread, I like to bring the boat speed back slowly to about 4 knots. Once the boat has settled down to this new speed I make a hard turn 30 to 40-degrees to the right hold it 6 to 7 seconds. Your out side baits to the left will speed up and the right side will drop down a couple of feet in to the water column. Itís my feeling that this makes the bait appear in a panic state. Once again, I repeat these steps. Increase the throttle speed back up to 6.5 to 7.8 knots, 5-6 seconds later slow the boat down to 4 knots, and make the 30 to 40 degree right turn once again. Hereís whatís going on during these maneuvers; every time you make your turn, you are creating a barrier of air bubbles. The bait pass through the wake into blue water, which is where they get hit. These crazy maneuvers are what get you bitten. You should continue this process until the strikes have stopped. By this time your boat has traveled about 300 yards . Remember, there are those times when you will only get a single.

So many times I see boats trolling for hours on end, get a 1 fish strike, stop the motors bring in the other troll lines start chumming and end up with one fish. When in fact the reason that fish came to the boat in the first place was due to the boat and wake theory, together they look like a school of bait fish. Donít miss your opportunity for 6 or 7 jig strikes by trying to bring up a school of fish with only one jig fish on and 10 pieces of chum. Ask yourself how many one and two jig strikes did I have last year.

When you have made the decision that the strikes have stopped donít due the obvious and put the boat in neutral. With this many lines out and fish on keep the boat in gear at an idle speed, this will help to keep everything straight behind the boat.


Remember
  • Small lures

  • Slow troll speed 6.5 knots to 7.8 knots

  • Use tight drags on strikes and back them off when they get bitten

  • Use a minimum of 150lb leader

  • Make the 30 to 40 degree turns

  • That no fishing technique always works every time



Yellowtail and Albacore Techniques
By Ed Heller
Refresh your yellowtail Techniques for your first trip out this year. When a kelp paddy is spotted from the ďbridgeĒ begin to decrease your speed as you near the spot. Once you are within 100yrds you should be at an idle speed 2-4 knots. (Remember the fish are all around the paddy, not just underneath it.) The size of the paddy doesnít tell you the quantity of fish it can hold so donít pass up the small ones. To avoid spooking the fish lurking underneath approach the paddy at 45 degrees on the windward side or above the paddy, and start your drift no closer than 30 to 40 yards.
As soon as you are in position let the live bait run but donít wait until youíre on top of the spot to make a cast. Drift down past the paddy and make at least two drifts before moving on. (If you have the bait capacity, throw a dip of live bait over and see whose home.)

Refresh your Albacore Techniques for your first trip out of the year.

Start with the basics Black and Purple feathers and Black and Purple Rapalas in the morning tm. Have the bait sticks ready pre-rigged for fly lines and be alert. Talk to your crew ahead of time about whose covering troll lines, who is taking the excess lines in, and who is on the fresh bait setups.

When choosing jigs one of the biggest mistakes that I observe is the over- trolling of a ďspreadĒ. Meaning, if you arenít getting bit donít be complacent. Get up and change out the colors, styles and sizes you have to work and never let up. As a rule of thumb the dark colors are best in the morning and light-colored jigs in the afternoon, generally. But on many occasions you will find that just the opposite gets bit. When I put out the morning spread I always put out the Curve Ball (a jig that is totally different in color and style from what I am running...something that I think doesnít fit the scene based on the color of the sky or the color of the water ex.Hoochies or daisy chains or teasers) and this on many occasions gets hammered.

Strategies to attack a day of fishing Ė If possible work with another boat and plot your courses ahead of departure. You increase your odds by 50% if you follow these steps.

Divide the area to be fished into 2 pieces one for each vessel. Cover lanes up and down the grid with an ďSĒ style of trolling just like working 50 Yards of a football field sideways up and down each line with ďsĒ turns. This method can be used for each area within a fathom spot to be fished. Once a high spot, temp break or sighting is covered thourghly move on to the next area pre determined in your float plan. Stick to what you have previously decided and donít get caught second guessing your plans out at sea.

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