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Old 07-13-2011, 02:22 PM   #1
Kingfisher W
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Default Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Ok guys there has been plenty of talk lately about large blue fin out there. No question at all there is a good chance they are there. I will be bringing my 50 wide reels down this weekend and see what we can find. Been waiting for a perfect time to play with them and now looks like the timing might be right.

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Old 07-13-2011, 02:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Ok guys there has been plenty of talk lately about large blue fin out there. No question at all there is a good chance they are there. I will be bringing my 50 wide reels down this weekend and see what we can find. Been waiting for a perfect time to play with them and now looks like the timing might be right.
Go get'em Wayne! I wanna see some pictures too never seen a bluefin next to an albie but people make them sound Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

just make sure you guys have proper gaff rigs or whatever is needed to contain a 300lb fish once boatside. i don't want to be hearing any stories about losing a giant tuna next to the boat because you had nothing to secure him with! i'm rooting for you guys.
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Look, the First Nation folks on Vancouver island were catching BFT hundreds of years ago out of dug out canoes as evidenced by the bones recovered from digs on the island, so its possible. I've yet to catch the tuna fever nor do i have the boat to do it, but surely one of you guys can get it dialed in and make it happen soon! Those of us that live vicariously through others on this board are waiting...........
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I have a Puffin Proof gaff, that should take care of it. Wayne with those 50's you'll need some beef in the rods to go along with them
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

In a chop, I often have to back down to "dory speed" which means 11 or 12 knots. I usually drag a zuker on the big Penn 114h stick when transiting to the grounds at dory speed. Who knows what could happen....
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I have some BIG gear, 2 50W and an 80 with 100lb JB on it( think 2800 yds of 100lb) all on appropiate rods. you are wlecome to borrow anytime. Also have some 2 ft boat fenders painted to look like albies for attractors (toads) a couple of BIG bar setups and some terminal tackle. Anytime you want you can use any or all.

Jeepers, I get excited with these BIG tuna.

Need 2 big gafs, perhaps Halibut harpoon with float ball and rope for the tail. I have Harpoon also.

Steve

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Ok guys there has been plenty of talk lately about large blue fin out there. No question at all there is a good chance they are there. I will be bringing my 50 wide reels down this weekend and see what we can find. Been waiting for a perfect time to play with them and now looks like the timing might be right.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I think a harpoon or a flying gaff is a good idea for the endgame. But where to harpoon? I think maybe top shoulder into the gut sack and then attempt with hand gaffs. I have no experience with a flying gaff, can someone who does comment on where to try to sink it? Dylan has experience landing cows, how is it done there? Do long rangers attempt flying gaff or just hand gaffs?

Has anyone in Oregon or Washington landed a tuna over 100 pounds since Uglygreen did it?
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I read the same report a few years ago...gotta target em!! not Albie's..peanuts as bait bridled and slow trolled..
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Yea, we caught a really small albacore on Saturday and I made the comment we should use that one for bait. Not sure we will have exactly what we need to land a monster Blue Fin but we do have 3 gaffs and 2 harpoons so the fish might win but we will put up one heck of a fight.

It might be gaffed in places that it should not be but we will do what we can to get it in the boat. Wouldn't that be something?
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

hehe...you guys are a little whacked with the harpoon idea.


When any one of the hundreds of big yellowfin caught on LR boats are brought to the boat, they are tired out. It does big death spirals, just like an albie. But the circles are 30 feet across.

The crews get the first gaff in the head, and pull it alongside. Then the 2nd gaff, 3rd, and if necessary 4th or 5th.

So assuming that a big bluefin fights similarly to a big yellowfin, if someone hooks and fights the mythical Oregon giant bluefin, and gets it to the boat, it will be after a fight of some 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Gaff it just like a yellowfin. Unless you have this captain Ahab fantasy, then put a harpoon into that prime belly meat
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Wayne, maybe you should start with salmon and work your way up.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Good one over on BD site:

http://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/was...northwest.html

Be sure to click on the PDF and read it.

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Old 07-13-2011, 05:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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hehe...you guys are a little whacked with the harpoon idea.


When any one of the hundreds of big yellowfin caught on LR boats are brought to the boat, they are tired out. It does big death spirals, just like an albie. But the circles are 30 feet across.

The crews get the first gaff in the head, and pull it alongside. Then the 2nd gaff, 3rd, and if necessary 4th or 5th.

So assuming that a big bluefin fights similarly to a big yellowfin, if someone hooks and fights the mythical Oregon giant bluefin, and gets it to the boat, it will be after a fight of some 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Gaff it just like a yellowfin. Unless you have this captain Ahab fantasy, then put a harpoon into that prime belly meat


Hmmm,,,have you done this or seen this done before??

No flying gaffs are used, just reg gaffs, as Mark says the fish are dead tired, if you happen to get one along side the boat, just like any other fish, it's laying there on it's side or pretty close to it, it's just a tad larger. Breathe directly thru your nose and try and stick the first gaff in the head, after the first one is in the head,no need to rush around as the fish is not going anywhere. Take your time putting the other gaffs in preferably on either side of the head as this helps pulling the sucker onboard.

Maybe Bud can say something as he just witnessed some nice BFT recently.

If you guys run into mackerel and have a live bait tank, try and catch a few as bft love em.

Leave the harpoon for halibut and swordies.................
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

This is funny stuff...

In all the trips to Hatteras for BFT the last couple years the guys have never used a harpoon or flying gaff.

Boat handling and the end game are very critical and I don't have time right now to elaborate on that but I can tell you one of the keys is to gaff them in the head and get their head up...then you can control them.

You'll probably need a couple gaffs to be able to get them over the rail and whatever you do don't gaff them in the body as it will not hold...

20-22lbs of drag on the reel to start with the ability to go to about 30lbs to finish getting them to the boat is probably what your going to need...and boat handling is the other key component..
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Wayne, maybe you should start with salmon and work your way up.
At least he is out looking for them and not just talking about it....
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:53 PM   #17
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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. . .

. . . but I can tell you one of the keys is to gaff them in the head and get their head up...then you can control them.

. . ...
Yup.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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This is funny stuff...

In all the trips to Hatteras for BFT the last couple years the guys have never used a harpoon or flying gaff.

Boat handling and the end game are very critical and I don't have time right now to elaborate on that but I can tell you one of the keys is to gaff them in the head and get their head up...then you can control them.

You'll probably need a couple gaffs to be able to get them over the rail and whatever you do don't gaff them in the body as it will not hold...

20-22lbs of drag on the reel to start with the ability to go to about 30lbs to finish getting them to the boat is probably what your going to need...and boat handling is the other key component..
Tuna dog has got it right he has fished with the best. Tunas are tunas but giant fish are another story. Cool heads prevail when dealing with big fish in my experience. They go where there heads go. I have caught my share of giants in Hatteras and pulled off or broke off on the leader my share also. We used to have three on at a time for a good part of the day in the late 90s. I would leader,tag,realese rebait and hook up the next one till the party was spent. With that said, I have learned from bluefins and blue marlins that big fish are not wreckless in there fight to stay alive the longer you fight them the wiser they get and the statisics of you landing them decrease the long fight favors the fish. But that does not mean you try to heat them up to early either. The man on the wheel catches the big fish just as much if not more than the angler. A captian I worked for taught me that trying to force a big fish on the rod or leader was usually fruitless and I came to a point where I could finess the biggest fish at boatside to the surface with one wrap or even my fingertips and not becuase they were tired but becuase me and the boat would meet them where they were going. Good Luck
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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At least he is out looking for them and not just talking about it....
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:12 PM   #20
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

'Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?'
in a word Wayne................YES!! Go get 'em!!
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:53 PM   #21
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Notice the title was catch not land. I am going to guess that landing one will be far more difficult than hooking into one. But with that being said one has to start somewhere. I don't think catching anything very large will be easy. If it were everyone would be doing it. I am sure if we are fortunate enough to hook into one landing it will be a very long shot. But it will not be for lack of trying. Like Mark says it will take many gaffs to the head. I am not sure that one can tire a fish of any size out enough to gaff it when fighting in the stand up position. But be fun to try.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:55 PM   #22
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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. I am not sure that one can tire a fish of any size out enough to gaff it when fighting in the stand up position. But be fun to try.
The rail is your friend in a fight with a large tuna.
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:13 PM   #23
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The rail is your friend in a fight with a large tuna.

Boy isn't that the truth but most private boats won't have a rail high enough to make it feasable, guess one can sit on a cooler and make do, or even have someone's knee helping out.

As Keta, Mark, Spoonplugger and a few others know, a big fish comes up just like an albie at the end of the fight and all the LR fishermen going outta San Diego are either on the rail or in a harness nowadays but they are all standing up. Now alot of things can go wrong during the fight and cause a casulty, pulled hook, bad connection, breakoff, sawed off, gear malfunction,whatever, but if you indeed are fortunate enough to get the thing alongside barely swimming or floating on it's side, you better stick that thing onboard,,,,,or else don't let nobody else know........
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:28 PM   #24
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you better stick that thing onboard,,,,,or else don't let nobody else know........
I forget not many are as short as I am, I can use a much lower rail than most.

I want this to be the year we start to figure these fish out. In have a few of my heavy rigs ready for this Sunday out of Chareston.
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:59 PM   #25
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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just make sure you guys have proper gaff rigs or whatever is needed to contain a 300lb fish once boatside. i don't want to be hearing any stories about losing a giant tuna next to the boat because you had nothing to secure him with! i'm rooting for you guys.
Something that size would constitute an out rigger on my 17' SR. I will be taking my neumatic spear gun with my starting this weekend, just in case.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:43 PM   #26
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Guys, look at this. I took this short video of Terry landing a 220-ish yellowfin, after about an hour fight. The fish is tired, the angler is tired, get the fish close to the boat, get a good shot with the first gaff.

Notice how they calmly wait for the #3 gaff? The fish isn't going anywhere; he's done.

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Old 07-13-2011, 09:02 PM   #27
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

That was great Mark. Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:03 PM   #28
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Gaff it just like a yellowfin. Unless you have this captain Ahab fantasy, then put a harpoon into that prime belly meat
Yeah, losing 5 pounds out of a 250 pound fish would be a huge problem.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:07 PM   #29
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Kurt my friend, I am open to enlightenment. Please tell me what the benefit is, of plunging a harpoon into the soft flesh of a tuna. What is it that you gain from this, compared to putting a gaff in the hard head.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:08 PM   #30
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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That was great Mark. Thanks for posting.
They were supposed to sink the gaff in, when the fish was on the port side in front of me & camera. But they didn't follow instructions!
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:08 PM   #31
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Yeah, losing 5 pounds out of a 250 pound fish would be a huge problem.
5 lbs of muguro.

Like Mark's video shows with 3 or 4 of the right gaff you can haul a large fish over the rail.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:24 PM   #32
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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5 lbs of muguro.

Like Mark's video shows with 3 or 4 of the right gaff you can haul a large fish over the rail.
I noticed in Marks long range vid and many others I have seen that they frequently sink those gaffs into the belly and the shoulder near the head. I wouldn't want to try to lift a 200 plus pound fish by hooks in the gillplate, It looks to me like they target the collar.

Any of you guys with long range or other giant tuna exp see fish lost at endgame, or is it usually a done deal if you get the fish alongside?

To me, it's a moot point until someone starts hooking some big fish while actually targeting them. I wonder how much money has been spent in the pursuit of these giant fish off the Oregon coast. Guys buying 3 grand of gear to target these fish. If I was in the tackle biz, I would stoke this fire pretty regular. My days and funds are way too limited, I will probably have to keep wasting my time making bait.

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Old 07-13-2011, 09:37 PM   #33
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Kurt my friend, I am open to enlightenment. Please tell me what the benefit is, of plunging a harpoon into the soft flesh of a tuna. What is it that you gain from this, compared to putting a gaff in the hard head.
Well, if I ever got a shot at a once in a lifetime fish like this off the oregon coast:

A. I would use any tool I had to secure it. Most of the time, we have a harpoon on board.

B. I would not fool around.

C. I think the best way to do this would be to secure a harpoon in the fish on the first pass in range, and let it drag a rope and A3 buoy. Then you can mess with the gaffs and getting it over the rail.

Spearfishermen use slip tips on cow tuna in mexico connected to a floatline and 3 floats. They land green fish like this. It's not without any basis.

Your video shows that gaffs don't neccesarily wind up in the hard head anyway, even in the hands of experienced pros. I can see why a long ranger would want to use a harpoon, as a fish with a rope and buoy could cost another customer the fish of a lifetime.

On a small boat, sinking multiple gaffs into the head of a tuna will result in some pretty severe angles to the fish as the gaff men can only stand so close together. On a boat higher off the water, these angles become less severe. Bigger angles, less control, and you also have alot smaller rail space on a small boat unless you fish a center console. If a big fish forces you downrail, after you lift his head, you can only go so far.

I have no experience at anything like this, if I was serious about it, I would probably try to emulate what they do on small boats in mexico, hawaii, or on the east coast. I think longrange is a different game.

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Old 07-13-2011, 10:37 PM   #34
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Kurt, from my limited experience what I have seen is....the most common time to lose the fish is when it's straight up & down, only 50 feet away, and the guy is trying to finish it off / pull it just a little closer. It's when they go from 30 - 35 lbs of drag, to 45-50 lbs. And then KA-POW the sound of an exploding 130 lb leader, or the serve or the knot exploding. Like a gunshot, followed by a stream of expletives.

I can not recall seeing one fish lost once the first gaff is in it. In order to get a swipe with the gaff, it needs to be on the surface, and he is mostly beaten by then. It's the one step before that...getting him from deep color, to the surface into the death spiral.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:24 AM   #35
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Originally Posted by Threemuch View Post
I have no experience at anything like this, if I was serious about it, I would probably try to emulate what they do on small boats in mexico, hawaii, or on the east coast. I think longrange is a different game.
Kurt,
I'm a big harpoon fan for butt but for tuna I feel gaffing is better choice. It bothers me to see a gaff in meat but after 45min to an hour all I want to see is a gaff hook ANYWHERE in the fish. Once gaffed, get more gaffs into the fish, for most of our boats a heavy 6' gaff is a good length. Once you have two or three gaffs in the fishes head, and use all of them to pull the fish into the boat. I feel you have much better control of the fish when gaffed and after fighting a large fish to the boat you do not want to loose it., I know this as I had my largest hooked YFT break 120lb line 2' before it was in gaff range.


As for extra cost of targeting larger BFT I feel they are much closer to the coast than the albacore and we are passing over them in the way out to make bait. Less run time means less fuel use so BFT should be cheeper to fish....unless you count the cost of large reels and rods. BTW, I'll lown you and CD a heavy rig or two if you decide to target larger BFT. I should try to make it up if you do.


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It's the one step before that...getting him from deep color, to the surface into the death spiral.
Mark,
I have been on a rod when 120lb broke and it did sound like a rifle shot. The only thing that kept me from flying back and possibly injuring myself was Fransisco holding my belt to keep me from being pulled over the side due to the high drag pressure we were putting on the fish. A few days later the captain told me the fish was most likely several pounds above 300, my elusive supper cow. I personally do not like having the drag over 25lbs but my reels can and do fish much more when needed. Once the death spiral starts you gain line 1/2 crank at a time, holding off cranking until the fish makes it's turn toward the boat. Do not let the fish have ANY line if possible and KEEP YOUR ROD LOADED. My Penn 50SW and one of my 70's have been converted from 1.3:1 to 1:1 just for the final stage of the fight.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:30 AM   #36
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Kurt, from my limited experience what I have seen is....the most common time to lose the fish is when it's straight up & down, only 50 feet away, and the guy is trying to finish it off / pull it just a little closer. It's when they go from 30 - 35 lbs of drag, to 45-50 lbs. And then KA-POW the sound of an exploding 130 lb leader, or the serve or the knot exploding. Like a gunshot, followed by a stream of expletives.

I can not recall seeing one fish lost once the first gaff is in it. In order to get a swipe with the gaff, it needs to be on the surface, and he is mostly beaten by then. It's the one step before that...getting him from deep color, to the surface into the death spiral.
Exactly! Once that first gaff is in, I too have never seen a fish lost.

Jerry

P.S. Mark, I'm ready to go again.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:40 AM   #37
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Old 07-14-2011, 06:41 AM   #38
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Two? What about shooting them and tail looping them? I don't know anything about this, but when some personel things get out of the way, I will be on my way.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:45 AM   #39
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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Two? What about shooting them and tail looping them? I don't know anything about this, but when some personel things get out of the way, I will be on my way.
It's much easier to gaff and pull them over the side head first. No need to shoot, when one of these big fish is ready to gaff they have little energy left....so will you.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:06 AM   #40
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

The biggest thing is just finding them so you can actually fish for them.

We need more reports like Kens to help locate them although with my boat still in Portland and me in Vegas at ICAST it's nerve racking to hear a report like his and not be able to get after them...

The tagging studies from previous years would indicate these fish come thru later in the summer and early fall but obviously there are some around right now...Hopefully someone will get to have a rodeo with one.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:08 AM   #41
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

While I hesitate to post this, it may help someone finish off the deal.

We had one at the corner of the boat two years ago. It was about 5 1/2--6 feet long and probably 24 inches or so across the back. It came to the boat much easier than I would have thought and that is where part of the problem started.

First off make sure that the fish is ready to come to the boat. A Green or Semi-Green fish of that size is too much to handle. In our case the initial fight lasted somewhat longer than the typical Albacore but was not an Epic battle by any means.

Second be prepared for the sight. I had a gaff with a short handle and needed to lean way over or lift the head to meet the gaff. When I saw the size of the fish there was no way I was going to take a wrap of 200 lb mono to lift him, and I instantly knew that leaning way over was a bad idea. The shear unexpected size of the fish rattled me and cost us time at the boat. Time as it turns out that we did not have to waste.

We had cranked the drag way down to control the fish at the boat. While that works with smaller fish with one of that size it did nothing but caused us problems.

The boat quarter rolled and slapped the rear corner right above the fish which was about 18" under the surface. He took off like a shot straight down and the tackle wouldnt put up with the strain.

In terms of the total situational chaos that was present in the rod handler and myself the gaffer, I can explain it this way. I very clearly had a thought that there was not enough room on the back deck for the fish and three guys, and was well on the way to deciding who was going outside to the swim platform while we dealt with the fish.

It will happen at some point. My belief is it will someone who has experience with that sized fish, or it will simply be a matter of pure dumb luck. I can honestly say that if my experience is any guide the vast majority of us are in no way prepared, gear wise or skill wise to handle that situation. I truly felt for a few seconds like a complete rookie, that had no clue how to land a fish. ( while that may be debatable, I at least dont usually feel like it)

There was another Salty Dog at the helm of the boat that day, who reminded me of the event yesterday. Had he been on the deck and I was driving, or both of us on the deck and someone else driving the outcome may have been different. But I should emphasize the word MAY.

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Old 07-14-2011, 08:13 AM   #42
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I had a YFTdo something similar to this. It fought like a 75lb fish but on the surface. I quickly got it within 50' of the boat when it stoped and held it's position off the boat just below the surface and I could not get it to move for close to 10 minutes. The fish scaled at a small 165lbs.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:18 AM   #43
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I've never caught a fish close to that size but have read reports of bluefin out of Hatteras. As mentioned earlier, the man at the helm supposedly has a major role in getting a big bluefin.

Now, Mark's fish looks like a "keep the boat turned sideways to the fight" type thing which we are all familiar with. Maybe the big charter boats can't do much to assist with the battle. But, what is the story on playing a 300 pound bluefin from a smaller boat? What does the skipper need to do to get the fish to the gaffs?
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:21 AM   #44
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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While I hesitate to post this, it may help someone finish off the deal.

We had one at the corner of the boat two years ago. It was about 5 1/2--6 feet long and probably 24 inches or so across the back. It came to the boat much easier than I would have thought and that is where part of the problem started.

First off make sure that the fish is ready to come to the boat. A Green or Semi-Green fish of that size is too much to handle. In our case the initial fight lasted somewhat longer than the typical Albacore but was not an Epic battle by any means.

Second be prepared for the sight. I had a gaff with a short handle and needed to lean way over or lift the head to meet the gaff. When I saw the size of the fish there was no way I was going to take a wrap of 200 lb mono to lift him, and I instantly knew that leaning way over was a bad idea. The shear unexpected size of the fish rattled me and cost us time at the boat. Time as it turns out that we did not have to waste.

We had cranked the drag way down to control the fish at the boat. While that works with smaller fish with one of that size it did nothing but caused us problems.

The boat quarter rolled and slapped the rear corner right above the fish which was about 18" under the surface. He took off like a shot straight down and the tackle wouldnt put up with the strain.

In terms of the total situational chaos that was present in the rod handler and myself the gaffer, I can explain it this way. I very clearly had a thought that there was not enough room on the back deck for the fish and three guys, and was well on the way to deciding who was going outside to the swim platform while we dealt with the fish.

It will happen at some point. My belief is it will someone who has experience with that sized fish, or it will simply be a matter of pure dumb luck. I can honestly say that if my experience is any guide the vast majority of us are in no way prepared, gear wise or skill wise to handle that situation. I truly felt for a few seconds like a complete rookie, that had no clue how to land a fish. ( while that may be debatable, I at least dont usually feel like it)

There was another Salty Dog at the helm of the boat that day, who reminded me of the event yesterday. Had he been on the deck and I was driving, or both of us on the deck and someone else driving the outcome may have been different. But I should emphasize the word MAY.
AHHHH Yes, that would be me actually driving the boat.....I greatly remembering giving the guy on the rod a little ribbing about how long he was taking to bring in the fish. I never did see the fish, but when Deeman yells HOLY SH**! and starts diving towards the water with the gaff it pretty much got my attention. As the fish went screaming down at a pace I can't remember an albie doing I asked how big was that thing? I got this... I jumped to clear the other gear immediately as the line was still going then hear the noise. POP. We all looked at each other in amasement what we just missed an opportunity on. That was about 4-5 years ago now and since that day I've always had gear that may be a bit large for strictly albies, but will give me a shot at that big boy again.

"Chance favors the prepared"

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Old 07-14-2011, 10:04 AM   #45
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I have read most of the above post in this thread and the first thing that comes to mind is that you guys are putting way more into this what’s required. Hooking into a large Blue Fin is one thing and getting into the boat is another, but if you take a few simple steps, most anyone can have a better than average chance to bring one back to the dock. The first thing to understand is that most of the people on this board fish out of smaller boats. Most are less than 28 feet and that is probably a stretch. 50W, 2-speed reels, or similar types of reels are not necessary or practical in a smaller boat. If you’re fishing out of a larger cruiser and strapped into a fighting chair, then the larger 2-speed reels would be required as following the fish in reverse is difficult at best. In the smaller boats we fish out of up here, you can follow your fish in most cases thereby the need for an $800 dollar 2-speed Gold coffee can isn’t necessary. A 4/0 sized reel with a good drag system, (Lever Drag Preferably) spooled with 80# braid and the appropriate top shot will work. Set the drag at 20 to 25% and there’s no reason for a break off at all. As most of us troll here for out tuna, so I would suggest that you get rid of the old faction double tuna type hooks and switch to the Mustad 7691 single hooks in 7/0 to 9/0 size crimped with a pair of double sleeves and chafing sleeve attached to 6 feet of 150# Floro Leader and you should be able to handle just about anything that comes along. Any good forged type hook will work, but the Mustad 7691’s have been around since I was a boy and they’re still the hook of choice for most big game fisherman around the world. As far as a gaff goes, anyone who has been on a San Diego long range boat knows they don’t use Flying Gaff’s. They use regular gaff hooks in the 3 to 4” size on a Bamboo pole just like many of the people here do and they work just fine. One thing I’ve learned fishing out of my boat is if you stick a large Tuna in the underside right below the Peck Fins and get him on his back in the water, he’s pretty much through. Keep a dock line handy to use as a tail rope and you in the record books here. Some of the posts here have said that they keep a large reel at the ready just in case they see something. Well, if it ain’t in the water, what good is it? I can tell you for sure that if you’re fishing a 4 rod spread with lines weights from 40 to 80 pounds, that big Blue Fin will hit the 40# rig just as sure as the sun raises in the east every time. If you think you’re in an area where there’s a better than average chance that something big will happen, then you better have your big guns in the water and not sitting in the rod holder. If you do manage to get the fish to the side of the boat, put a gaff in it and lash it the cleat, be careful if you try and pull it over the side. A 6’ tuna is going to be somewhere in the 250# class most likely. Combine that with 2 or 3 full grown men trying to pull it over the side and you’re looking at maybe close 800 to 900 pound pulling down one side of your boat which could be trouble in the making in more ways than one. Anyhow it’s just a little something to think about.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #46
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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The boat quarter rolled and slapped the rear corner right above the fish which was about 18" under the surface. He took off like a shot straight down and the tackle wouldnt put up with the strain.
This is sort of the scenario I was thinking of when I was thinking harpoon shot. 18" under the surface, you could have sunk a harpoon in it and you might be telling a different story. On a small craft you may be able to use your maneuverability to get close to a fish that isn't quite ready and get a harpoon in it even if you are undergeared and don't have the fish on your 35# drag two speed setup.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:55 AM   #47
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I'd get another line on that thing any way I could. Two handed harpoon from over head should get through both gill plates. Get the head up with some gaffs in it and then just hoick it into the boat, right?

And many have hinted about an important thing. Don't freak out!!!!

Calm in the cockpit will beat just about any fish.

Me .. I'm wondering about how to get it over the rail and into the boat. I don't have a door on my transom.

Guess we'll solve that problem on our feet, bent rod in hand.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:00 AM   #48
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

There is some good information in the later posts of this thread. If you guys in a small boat hook a BFT and get it boat side it will be much much greener than any long range fish. Shallow water and small boats equal green fish boatside.

Keep the boat in front of the fish and wait for the right shot at them. Also, saw no mention of tail rope. That is one thing they do on the skiff in long range fishing that will apply here. If you think a gaff in a fish is a dead fish you are sorely mistaken and someone will lose a fish because of it, get a rope around the tail after the first gaff is in.....then worry about getting a dead fish in the boat. Although a gaff in the rich fatty belly meat will sure but a damper in most fish's spirits.

Are any of you guys trolling skirted mackeral out there? If not, why? No access to them?

Long heavy leaders for when the fish turns around on you and the sharp tail fin is beating the crap out of your 40# line. Troll fish are not often line shy.

good luck.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:10 AM   #49
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I would get more than one gaff in that fish before I tail wrap...
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:15 AM   #50
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Harpoon, Flying Gaff, Long handled Gaff, Tail rope, or 12 Gauge, It all will work.
The Moral of my story is that you better have it figured out BEFORE you hook up.
There is simply not enough time with our gear, boats and general skill level to make something up on the fly and think it will work out. The margin for error is simply to small.

We have had 4-5 shots at tuna that I can honestly say were larger than 100 lbs, over the last few years. I can tick them off individually as if they happened yesterday. Of those chances we have only seen 1 fish. We have landed ZERO.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:37 AM   #51
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Yes!!! I am buying the bait as we speak. Outriggers are in the works too.

Now if we can just get the screw to turn.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:08 PM   #52
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

I love how gently the the third gaff is applied and then the body slam...!

What LRB was that? Polaris? I could not make it out of the crews shirts.

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Guys, look at this. I took this short video of Terry landing a 220-ish yellowfin, after about an hour fight. The fish is tired, the angler is tired, get the fish close to the boat, get a good shot with the first gaff.

Notice how they calmly wait for the #3 gaff? The fish isn't going anywhere; he's done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xgJV87HMrw
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:11 PM   #53
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:13 PM   #54
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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There is some good information in the later posts of this thread. If you guys in a small boat hook a BFT and get it boat side it will be much much greener than any long range fish. Shallow water and small boats equal green fish boatside.
Some of the spots we fish aren't shallow but nether is The Bank. Post your world famous cow YFT photo Scot, I can't find my disk.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:18 PM   #55
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Ummmmm......... No thanks! I would be finding a different place to haul that fish or be calling for assistance from a larger boat.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:33 PM   #56
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

If they would lower the fish so it's head is in the boat and pull, it in the fish will slip right into the boat. This fish is tied high on the structure and they are trying to lift it's weight onto the boat.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:30 PM   #57
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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If they would lower the fish so it's head is in the boat and pull, it in the fish will slip right into the boat. This fish is tied high on the structure and they are trying to lift it's weight onto the boat.
That's what I was thinking. Let the weight of the fish allow it to slide into the boat.

Thought to ponder: If you find a school of Mackerel (Greens or Jacks) don't you thing there may be some big TUNA! around?
AND is there a way to search for the schools of Mackerel? Depth sounders, water temp, bait balls.......
I'm planning on some days in August. I at least want to be in the game!!!
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:38 PM   #58
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

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I love how gently the the third gaff is applied and then the body slam...!

What LRB was that? Polaris? I could not make it out of the crews shirts.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:24 AM   #59
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Does attaching a second rod/reel to the one getting spooled and throwing it overboard really work? Has anyone actually done this with success, or does this belong on Myth Busters? If so, how is the best way to attach the two in what I assume is a very limited time window?

Since we only carry 1 or 2 wimpy gaffs and no harpoons, my vote is for a couple of carefully placed 9mm shots and a tail loop. Think we have a chance ?


Reminds me of my favorite “Dumb & Dumber” quote…


Lloyd: "What are the chances of…"
Mary:" Not good"
Lloyd: "Not good as in 1 in 100?"
Mary:" I'd say more like 1 in a million"
Lloyd: "So you're saying there is a chance?" Yeahhhh!"

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Old 07-15-2011, 07:29 AM   #60
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Default Re: Is it time to catch a large blue fin tuna off the Oregon Coast?

Does attaching a second rod/reel to the one getting spooled and throwing it overboard really work?

Yes

Has anyone actually done this with success, or does this belong on Myth Busters?

I've seen it done more than once on LR trips.

If so, how is the best way to attach the two in what I assume is a very limited time window?

A heavy snap on the rod in the boat attached to harnes lugs on the disposable rig.

Since we only carry 1 or 2 wimpy gaffs and no harpoons, my vote is for a couple of carefully placed 9mm shots and a tail loop. Think we have a chance?

It would be foolish at best, the right gaffs aren't that expensive. Save the gun play for swordfish and mako.
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