09-17-2000, 08:56 AM
What were the techniques used to catch the tuniods during the boneclave? I mean what did the boat captains do? Did they run and gun, drift, or try and move up to the fish slowly etc. When you hooked up, did they make several runs? I was down there on Saturday before the offical start of the clave and we didn't hook up. I was in my canoe (4 horse motor) and I was unable to get hooked up though we had several shoots at them. Anyone willing to share their secrets and what they learned from the experienced boat captains.
Lots of backing,
09-17-2000, 05:16 PM
Almost all of the fish that I saw caught at the boneclave came either from anchored or drifting boats. I observed very few run & gun types in the area (none of us, mind you ;)), and didn't notice them doing anything.
BTW - did you hear that Wianno exploded last weekend with multi-tunoid flyfishermen from shore right where we yakboned?
As far as tunoids, spanish and albies were different and bonito (and skipjack) weren't prevalent in the area although I hooked one that came off at the boat.
Spanish were fun because they were aggresive and reasonably easy to hook with a small pogie, sand eel or silverside pattern. The trouble with them was landing them! Their sharp teeth and hard runs combine to make lots of cut offs. Because they are generally blind casted for, it pays to "milk" the fly with a slow retrieve (shock and stop) in the rip current. You could anchor if you wanted but we drifted the rip to keep the variety going. They would take a fast retrieve as well but it would wear you out over the course of a day.
Albies on the other hand are a different story. They are caught run-n-gun, milking a rip (see above), or blind casting and fishing the fly deep in the path of busting fish. I have caught most of my albies and bonito using the third method - primarily because I learned to fish tunoids from shore and could not run-n-gun on foot http://18.104.22.168/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif
The technique is to cast well ahead of the pack, allow to sink, and use the shock and stop retrieve to attract a fish moving to the next pod of bait. In other words you are using the busting to target the pod, but fishing for them as they move from bust to bust. This has been the most effective for me of all techniques.
Next: run-n-gun. Where you see them bust, motor hard for them trying to predict their direction. When you reach the red zone, cut the throttle to a speed that won't put them down and finally cut it at the distance that allows you to glide under the boats momentum to casting range, or better yet casting range as they proceed in their frenzied state. Then there are several fly retrieves to try. One is to let the fly sink and twitch in the pod. I use this one a lot but in hordes of pea bunker it wasn't automatic this year (but then again nothing was). Another is a rippin' strip two handed surface slicing retrieve, which definitely gets them excited to strike. One mentioned often is to leave the fly in the bait and hold it back as the bait is pushed away by the attack, leaving your fly as the exposed one. This is very similar to the live-lined herring or pogie tactic used by bait guys. I feel that a weighted eye pattern increases your chances of hooking up because of the distinct action and ability to control depth by waiting. I hooked up on a small deep eel in the rip off Wacky, blind casting on the incoming. I was using the very same retrieve I used to hook my first tunoid at the mouth of a southside river, cast across the current and let it swing with a twitch.
Craig - there is no panacea, but the best thing you can do is maximize your time with these elusive speedsters. I felt real confident about my ability to tempt them with certain flies and presentations but this year as they fed on tiny pea bunker I think many, many of us were humbled.
Overall the number caught at boneclave was impressive considering the finicky nature of these fish this year - and what a small percentage of those we saw were caught!