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Thursday, March 18, 2010

CITES Listing Approved by US: UPDATE

Update: UN Rejects the CITES listing and therefore the international trade of bluefin. Read more here.

Well, today the US decided to throw their name in the hat in support of a CITES listing for bluefin tuna which would ban international trade of the species.

See this article for more details.

This is very unfortunate for US fishermen as we have been abiding by all of the rules set forth by ICAAT while the countries in the Eastern Atlantic have not. It seems that we are now paying the price for others' irresponsibility.

It is unclear as to how this will effect the domestic commercial fishery or the recreational fishery at this point.

We will be watching this one closely and will be sure to update as we learn more.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fighting Big Tuna

Everything in life demands planning. Whether you're mapping out your day's activities, creating a business plan, or fighting a fish- you are always better if you have a plan of attack and strategy. I have caught many big tuna in Cape Cod, but I have to say that I was not prepared for how different tuna in North Carolina fight.

What are the differences you may ask?

The most significant is water depth: in Cape Cod depths range anywhere from 50'-400'. In Hatteras the water can be as deep as 900'.

Water Temps: in Cape Cod the water averages in the 60's- in Hatteras the water is in the 70's.

Fish Size: In the Cape, fish generally range from 64" and up- in Hatteras they are averaging 69" and up.

On our first trip to Hatteras I was amazed at how hard these fish fought, and was excited to observe that they all seemed to act the same way at certain points of the fight. With that in mind I decided to create a better game plan for the NC fish.

Here is what I did and why. Please note that this is just my game plan and what I feel comfortable doing- take these ideas or leave them as you see fit. For me these tactics have made a world of difference- we went from 3 for 8 on one trip to 12 for 15 on the last trip.

Step 1: Burn baby burn
Situation: First run following the hook up
Action: I set my drags to 15-18 pounds.
Reason: at this low setting they will rip off line and move far away from boat. I do this because I want them to burn themselves out. In NC I've noticed that they peel off about 150-200 yards of line. Once they slow down I will bump my drag up to recover line from the initial run.

Step 2: Settling In
Situation: Once you've settled in above the fish it will likely be around 60-100' under the boat. At this depth the fast current will take hold of the fish. IT WILL FEEL IMPOSSIBLE TO MOVE THE TUNA AT THIS POINT. If you don't do something to change things up, it will be you who will burn out- the tuna will swim in the oxygen rich warm waters and won't move.
Action: Palm the spool
Reason: By palming the spool you will eventually turn the fish and break his stronghold. I don't believe in giving back line once i get it. By working the angles you will eventually get their head.

Step 3: The end game
Situation: The fish is at color and in circles but you can't get it to come up that last 10 feet.
Action: As the fish moves from the 12 o'clock position to the 6 o'clock position I short pump the the fish.
Reason: This will gain line as the fish swims towards you. When you hit the 6 o'clock position and the fish starts swimming out and away from you, palm the spool. It is very important not to give up line here or you will just keep going in circles. At this point the fish will have less line to work with, and with none going back out the fish will come up towards the surface. Repeating this on every circle will quickly have the fish in gaffing range.

Hopefully whatever strategy you put in place will work for you. If for any reason it doesn't, however, give this game plan a try. Tight lines & screaming drags from

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NC Bluefin ... Part 2

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ A common sound on the water although Adam would say that was me snoring the night before. LOL I was really excited to get to fish with such great anglers such as John Flores, Adam and Dante. They each have their own styles and man can they fish. They get all the credit for a great day on the water. Seriously I was wondering how I would even fare with these heavy hitters on the boat with me. John as you know is the most complete angler I have fished with other than Sami. Dante can bring the f*** heat to a fish in short time and Adam kicked ass on some really big fish on his first tuna jigging trip and although he never jigged tuna before his fishing background reads like a world tour highlight reel. We left at 5am out of Hatteras with high hopes and captain Dan, first stop it was all albacore so we went to the captains suggested spot based on temps and history. We were not disappointed. I was slammed immediately followed by John, Dante & Adam. We release Johns fish, then Dantes fish and Adam and I fought on. We decided to take my fish as Adam was having reel issues and soon after I boated my first 70" tuna of the season Basically all day it was non stop action of being lit up, but in the end I am proud to say our group went 12 for 15 on all fish over 67". Only two fish were lost and one was eaten by a hungry shark. Some Hightlights - we went 12 for 15 - I had had 4 fish including a 70" fish - John Flores had 3 fish including a 71" 200 pound brute - Dante had 4 fish and really beat their asses - Adam had 1 fish in the 70" class but an assist on several others Personally I enjoyed the company of my friends & my Bojangles fried chicken

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shirts and Hats are on their way!

For those of you who have been patiently waiting to get your hands on Jigstrong gear, the wait is almost over. We just gave final approval for a shipment of hats and shirts and they will be here in less than 2 weeks!

Here is a little taste…

We hope you like them!

Team Jigstrong

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jigstrong Takes on NC Bluefin

Oh the memories lasted all offseason, its been way too long, it almost feels like forever since the last time I was offshore. The distinctive sound of a Shimano Stella being dumped by an unknown pelagic deep below, that distinctive ting of tightly spooled braid going through your guides, the smell of the salt air during grey light hours and most of all the riveting pain that pushes you to near exhaustion. All of these memories came absolutely rushing back in warp speed as I found myself attached to some angry bluefin tunas off the fishy waters of Hatteras North Carolina.

Anticipation & excitement turned quickly into pain & sweat which then turned into heartbreak & joy all with the drop of a 230g jig

OK, let me back up a moment. I was invited last minute on a jigging trip with several high profile jiggers such as Kilsong from and Sami from saltywater tackle, also joining us was a new tuna jigging addict Johnathan from Noreast. We had booked Captain Dan from the Tuna Duck Tuna Duck Charters and I couldnt be more impressed with his operation. He runs a custom 50' Carolina sportfisher and certainly knows where to find these fish. One of the finer captains I have had the pleasure of fishing with

We headed out of the Hatteras inlet around 5am and made our way to the grounds when Capatin Dan immediately noticed porpoise, he instructed us to drop and within seconds Kilsong was hooked up.Over teh next several hours over 8 tuna were hooked of which 3 were released. We had many heartbreaks but a lot of joy as well. It was a banner day for all

Until next weeks reports tightlines and screaming drags ......

Team Jigstrong

Kilsong hooked up with the first of many tuna

Johnathan and his first tuna

Glenn Hooked up

Sami Hooked up

Laying the wood to a tuna

Glenn and his Tuna

Doubled up