Friday, July 24, 2009

Stealth bluefin fishing

Today we used stealth techniques on bluefin, and sure enough a few consistently bit the sardines. The crew loves to fish for bluefin on this trip- and everyone was on the decks as Norm consistently put us in the large bluefin tuna schools. We opened archival tagging station 1 led by Robbie Schallert and Dr. Barb Block. We were able to deploy 5 archival tags into small bluefin ranging in size from 20-35 lbs. Anglers from the Shogun and TRCC used a variety of newly tied gear which included smaller circle hooks, 25 # test, and stealthly tied knots. The bluefin than proceeded to bite some of this gear along with the typical heavy tackle we used to get fish in quick. However, we also got bit on 40 and 50 lb test raising the point that maybe some of these fish would have bitten anything we put out! But most did not bite at all. They just go down when we go over them- a bit skiddish. We were rewarded today with 5 really nice bluefin for tagging and 3 for collecting. About five more got away either at the swim step- on the first bite or after a long fight. Currently the cut off for tagging is about a 20 lb bluefin- above this size we tag them as they get a bit too large for the wells for collection of live specimens. There are scattered bluefin in the region. Some larger schools of small jumpers, boilers. Our camera crew got some awesome shots with their super fast digital arrays. Weather could not be finer and armed with a tremendous dose of enthusiasm- I hope tomorrow will be the day we get our wells filled.

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