Tuna Madness

fla28_12_05.jpgYup, it’s that time of year.  Tuna madness has gripped the entire Northeast.  Vacation days are being burned, gear is getting destroyed and there’s been a run on wasabi at Bread and Circus. 

To those that haven’t done it, you can’t possibly imagine the addictive nature of the sport.  Think of it as "Fisherman’s Crack" – a drug of the most virulent and insidious kind.  The truth is that it is a sport of truly bipolar nature, one in which you are an utter hero on one day, and utterly humbled, if not out right humiliated the next.  It is a time when we test our gear and ourselves at the utmost of their endurance, and often are found wanting.

I walked into Lower Forty Outfitters yesterday and Jim Bender, the owner, was talking with Brad Gage from Sage.  Before I even said a word, the comment was "Well, Mark Cahill, what would bring you in today?" Then they pointed to the bin containing the extra large crease flies.  I’d say there’s been a bit of a run on tuna tackle as of late.

Brad noted that the incidence of broken tackle is way up, particularly with the run of 20-40lb. fish off the RI coast.  Primarily it comes from a couple of things, and we’d all do well to remember them:

  1. Your gear is stressed to the max.  If you bang it, or grab it in the wrong spot, it’s going to snap like a twig.
  2. Do not let your rod hit the gunnel during the fight.  Often you’re going to get the fish near the side of the boat and it’s going to sound.  DO NOT LET THE ROD HIT THE GUNNEL.
  3. At the end of the fight, the fish will often dive under the boat.  Be prepared for this and if needed, dip the rod tip under the water to help it clear. 
  4. If you’re using under gunned tackle, you’re going to at some point think it’s a good idea to get a little extra leverage by grabbing the rod further up, away from the butt.  If it isn’t cork, don’t touch it.

There’s a discussion thread for this topic on our forum located here… http://reel-time.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44971

Okay, that’s it for today.  I’m now 8 hours away from 2 weeks of vacation.  See ya on the water!


Mark N. Cahill has been writing and editing for Reel-Time.com since 1995. He started fishing in the mid-1960's and caught his first striper off World's End in Hingham in 1966. From there on in it was an obsession. He loves fishing for tuna, and fly fishing for striped bass. In a pinch, anything with fins will do...

Posted in Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Introduction

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