I know your into tuna fishing , and I plan on heading to the canyons this season to target Bigeyes. Have you any suggestions on what I need in the form of a trolling spread or drifting technics to catch these puppy's?
Jay, The first thing you should know is that bigeye are almost invariably a first thing in the morning or a last thing at night type of proposition. You'll rarely catch one between 9Am and 4PM. Anything between 6 to 8 inches or so that runs straight will catch them. Kona jets and big eye clones are two of the best but I've caught them on green mchines as well.
Drifting at night you want to be right on the edge where there is a pronounced temperature break. Be careful to avoid the lobster pots! Most of what you catch at night will be yellowfin.
Spreader bars trolled at 2-2.5 knots have proven to be deadly . Dusk and dawn are the prime times to be on the edge. Watch yer scope for bait and stay on top of it. Live squid work well at night . There don't seem to be as many eyes as in years past, but you never know what will happen this season, good luck. LATER
The Big Eye bite has been very eratic the last couple of years. Last season was late. We have landed big eye on everything from kona heads, rigged ballyhood, rigged eels, slant heads and even very small jet heads. The one lure they hit most two years ago was the small jet head. Typically, they do hit during the sunrise - sunset hours but have also appeared midday. I like to set my spread up with larger lures on outside and smaller inside with jets right behind wash trolling 6-8 knots. Never had an eyeball with a spreader bar but if it works, try it. Alot of times we'll get a runoff or two and we'll keep the boat in gear or at the same speed for a minute if we are into longfin because the eyebals tend to be swimming with them. At night, it really is hit-miss although they are there.
I?ve been slow due to a nasty virus/flu but I thank you for chiming in!
Ever since we had the major controversial with the tuna fishery with the recreational vs. commercial vs. politicians and the NMFS? The fishing was never the same and I took several steps back on my tuna fishing!
Without getting too emotional?. Here what I remember doing with some deal of success?and it?s pretty much the same as what my tuna sharpie friends (MakoMike and Squeri Boy) are recommending! In the early season we would troll with jets and clones along the temperature breaks and try to locate bait as bucktail indicated. We would keep our eyes open for birds and watch the monitor carefully until we saw some kind of life. When we spot a change (water temperature / bait / birds) and not connect? We would circle the grounds and change speed and really work hard for a knock down. With the enough perseverance (change colors, lighter Fluoral leaders, size, etc) ? you will be surprised how well it works.