Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Magical North Carolina 3/15/2013

North Carolina was magical, just the way it is suppose to be for this time of the year,
My second group also came in all the way from Russia excited like all the others with an exception that I cannot guarantee them a day out, all of a sudden Mother Nature start giving us a sign of break and things start to fall into places.

Igor, Dima, Oleg & Dima met me at the shop at 9:00am and we took the drive to Hatteras hoping that the road will be open, my concern was to cross Oregon Inlet bridge before 7:00pm as they were shutting down the road.
We made it safely to and started working on the tackle right away, by the time I was done the clock was pointing at 2:00AM,
Knowing our chances were slim, we still hoped that we might be able to get out, Captain Dan called me at 4:30AM to inform me that the trip is cancelled for the day,
The guys were disappointed and were sick from the long flight, everyone had flu symptoms and I think we infected each other.
We have a long day of rest and I personally took full advantage of it to catch up with emails and other stuff,
The day of the 15th arrived and we all jumped on the Tuna Duck with excitement, we all had that optimistic feeling and I know from the previous couple of days that the fishes are present and in great numbers.
After an hour and a half we made it to the “spot” and Captain Dan shouted from the bridge that he is marking fish,
I asked the guys to divide the group into half, 2 guys jigging and 2 popping but from what they heard and seen they all wanted that topwater explosion, they wanted to see it with their own eyes to believe it,
That didn’t take long.
They launched their lures in a different direction trying to cover different ground but their retrieve was too fast from the excitement,
Trying to slow them down took a shout and things started to get right when the fish start hammering their lures one after the others,
They’ve been taken by surprise and they had never experience the power of a Bluefin tuna,
So many hook up and losses that we forget to count them until Igor get a nice fish and he manage to set the hook properly, the fish wearied him out and signs of fatigue start to show up upon him especially when he is down with fever,
After 25 minutes and right at color the fish took off and his line touch the gunnel and he end up losing the fish, it was a nice fight and he did very well for an angler that never fought a tuna before,
We moved on and now come Dima’s turn, a big fish went airborne and inhaled his Gamma, did all he can but I was sure it is not going to last, his reaction to the strike came too late and I knew it is a matter of time before she will shave him,
We saw the brass of his spool on the Stella and all of a sudden he had slack on the line,
The expected happen.
With one guy down, I went to the bow paired with the new Stella 18000 and the Moutoukenmaru,
I had 1 cast and fish on! The Stella was screaming and I was making my way to the back,
I fought the fish for 10 minutes before the fish pulled the hook, it was a fair descent fight and the reel performed flawlessly, so happy just to get to feel the power of it and hear that drag screaming, Shimano had passed me the reel to push it to the extreme and resend it back for examination,
In the mean time the guys kept on casting and getting bitten with no solid hook up,
Went back again to the bow and made few cast with no taker till I heard Captain Dan shouting at me,
Hold on Sami, I have to make a quick run to put you on the fish, he turn the wheel and off we go, the image started to clear up from a distance.
The tuna are busting big time on topwater, as we approach I saw 6LB to 8Lb Bluefish getting hammered.
Believe it or not they have bruises on them,
The tuna were so occupied with the bluefish that I personally think they didn’t even notice us, we were 30 yards away from that feast,
I made a cast at the edge of the school in order not to spook them and it took 2 twitches,
While the other guys had blow after blow on their lures with no takers,

I set the hook and it came off and then another fish grabbed it and I was fighting right at the Bow, it was a beautiful take from the top and I will sure remembered for life,
Especially it was on the new Stella, the fish dumped my spool while I am still standing and fighting from the bow, Captain Dan kept me in good angle and in control with his maneuverability to the boat,
It took couple of rod shake to stop the fish from dumping more line.
I moved to the back fought it for 20 minutes and Mike the mate took the ultimate harpoon shout,
That is the first tuna landed in US on the new Shimano Stella, happy and proud.
A nice fatty 69 inch hit the deck.
We celebrated the victory and made it to dock and ended up in the kitchen preparing the food for the guys.
I will not give a full testimony on the reel as I still need more time to use it and abuse it,
A simple question comes to my mind, when Shimano failed to deliver.

Tackle used:

Rod: Carpenter Monster Hunter 80H, Hot’s Tide Lez 77XH & Hot’s Tide Lez 77XXXH,
Race Point 250 & Race Point 300
Reel: Shimano STL18000SWBHG (2013), Stella SW18000 & Stella SW 20000
Line: Power Pro Hollow 130lb, Sunline PE8, Varivas SMP PE8 & PE10
Leader: Saltywater Twisted Leader
Lures: Moutoukenmaru, Hot’s Keiko, Carpenter Gamma

Tight lines