Angler Story of the Week: Bluefin tuna landed on the fly

“On previous guide trips, I had seen an absurd amount of bluefin tuna and bait move in Cape Cod waters, so I knew there was a quick window of opportunity. It was hard going through Nantucket Sound after we got out east, there was life everywhere.”

“The whales, the bait and I started marking the small fish as well as seeing them fly in schools of Sandeels. You have your best shot in flight when they feed on Sandeels because they tend to hang around longer and the feeds are much more violent.

“I was actually trying to get the Zento into the feed while also throwing the back of the boat because there were Bluefin everywhere. I had my full sinking line (8+ IPS) almost all the way when I bumped the boat forward to feed. Trying to get the bow close enough for Zento to throw. All of a sudden I cringed!”

“I was fishing a Hatch 11+ loaded with 60lb core with closed drag about 15lbs on the bite which is what you want. Big drag and a rod with great lifting power is what you need to land these pristine fish.”

“After fifteen minutes of intense pressure, the rod broke in three different places. Landing it without a gaff, and a quarter rod was interesting. Zento had to grab it by the mouth and gill plate and barely slipped through Tuna’s rough door. Total match time was just over twenty minutes after the reel was folded.

There have been many things I have learned after many failures with Big Tuna, bluff…

Bluefin tuna tips and tricks

  1. Use Hollowcore
  2. Split your flight line into the core
  3. Check your joints, then check them again
  4. 12-14 weight set with full sinking line to get away from the birds
  5. Short leader, 6ft fluorocarbon 60-80lb
  6. Non-slip loop to fly
  7. The best flies are white sand eels, or 5-8 inch blue and white flies that imitate half beaks
  8. 6/0 – 8/0 hooks (Gamakatsu Sl12 or stronger)
  9. Pull extremely hard, and either open, stop. For the sake of the fishermen and the health of the fish. No fly reel has enough drag, so palming will be necessary.

Catch Ian and Zento on the water chasing big East Coast Bluefin while also having one of the newest fly rods on the market, the 7 Piece Rod!

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