Thread: Tuna on the fly
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Tuna on the fly

Vans-- that sounds like a blast-- i haven't fished for tuna except for some small ones in Baja and around here in the Northeast (Bonito and False Albacore) but if you're chasing the "real" Albacore (aka Longfin Tuna) in the PNW you'll probably be going well offshore 50-60 miles (so in a bigger boat and probably involving an overnight trip to be on the grounds at day break) You might troll feathers with conventional gear until you get slammed and keeping the hooked fish on the line to hold the school and attracting them close to the boat with scoops of live bait thrown over the side-- then casting into boiling water-- I think you'd want to have imitations of the baitfish they'll be using to attract the tuna-- probably live anchovies, so 4-7" long imitations of Northern Anchovies on 1/0-3/0 hooks would be a good bet. Since tuna will often trap bait of the surface to feed, you'll want something with a good profile that stands out when viewed from below as well as in a side to side profile-- so something cigar shaped like an Abel's Anchovy, Sea Habit etc. white with greenish-blue back and some flash would be good.

Carrying imitations of sardines and squid couldn't hurt either, and you might run into bait balls of Pacific Herring and Pacific Sand Lance. We have a lot of squid, herring, and deep sea sand eels found along the tuna grounds off our Northeast coast too, along with mackerel and menhaden.

You'd also want sticky sharp, super strong hooks for tuna-- i would tie flies on something like Owner Aki's

Tackle probably would need to be 12-14 weight considering you may also run in to school sized bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna-- and if fish are boiling on bait, it probably wouldn't be unusual to have more than one hook up at a time-- so you'd want to be able to have tackle heavy enough to handle the fish since the boat more than likely wouldn't be able to chase your fish to recover line if it takes off, and you'd want to be considerate of other fishermen on the boat that also want to get their shot at fish.

As far as a boat goes you'd want to have a captain with lots of experience operating offshore (essential) and some previous fly fishing for these fish (if possible) and a very seaworthy boat that has a plenty of room for casting and an easy 360 degree walkaround if a hooked fish circles the boat. You'd also want to be with a good group of folks that are all on the same page regarding fly fishing as the agreed upon method.

Also once you're out in blue water you never know what might show up-- having an extra outfit rigged up with a large 6/0 shark fly on a wire bite tippet might be good to have if you get a chance to throw something at a mako.

Good luck with this and keep us posted-- it sounds like an absolute blast.
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