Fish Hard And Far! - Our Bags don't leak!


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  • December 04, 2023 3 min read

    The plan was for 4 of us to hop on a Slayday Rental center console boat and shoot out to Catalina looking for some football sized tuna. All the other boats were hunting the bigger models that were hitting south so we were hoping to get away from that mess. We started at 4:30 AM, but went down a man before we left the dock because he had car trouble in the parking lot. 
    It ended up being Chris (@chris_fish_page), his 8 year old and me (Mike, @salty_fressh). It was a last minute trip and I forgot a bunch of stuff I had specifically packed for this trip. We wanted to maximize space on the skiff so not having everything and forgetting some items continued the rough start to our trip.
    We got all loaded and brought extra fuel for the run, got our bait and shot out with Chris at the wheel. Found the temp break and followed that for a few hours but only found dolphins not holding anything.
    We switched gears and shot out to the 9 mile and it was dead, nothing… no signs of life at all. Halfway through the day we shot to Catalina. Along the way we didn’t find any kelp paddies at all and started feeling the pressure and looking like a rockfish stop to at least get some meat. 
    We got within 5 miles of the island and started seeing birds working. Chris spotted a breezer and we made our way to it. As we got up to them they sunk out. 
    While marking and seeing life, we continued to chased them, pitched baits try to see if anything would work. Chris was slinging jigs, Donavan was driving or fly lining. Nothing. We’re fishing 30 pound thinking we were light enough but the fish had didn’t think so. Fish started busting all around is now and Chris looks over and says “You wanna drag the mad Mac?!?!” We had been running it all morning with no luck but that was our last shot. Dropped it back and we started trolling it at 13mph. Fish were still busting everywhere and getting closer to the boat as we’re trolling. Chris points out another big splasher and I instinctively looked back at the rod as we’re passing a wad of kelp in our path. A short tap and instantly full bend. Reel clicker screaming off I’m on the reel in 2 steps and winding. “Kelp?” 
    “Strongest kelp I’ve ever tried reeling in if it is… it’s fighting back haha” I laughed back. 
    15 minutes later Chris and I tag teamed it and had it boat side. 
    BFF! BIG! F’n Fish!
    I missed 4 gaff shots which just made it mad. Good thing Chris is a freaking giant cause damn!  Now we’re wishing we had another gaff or a longer one than 3’. Chris got it beasted up without it even taking any more line, just a brutal tug of war on a small boat!
    Donavan was operating the boat like a boss, he’s 8 years old!
    Finally got the gaff to stick, Chris reached over poked it once and it was a wrap. 
    Fished a rope through behind the gills while navigating some gnarly treble hooks in the throat… It was secured.  We Lifted it up from the stern and it took up most of the cockpit in the boat. 
    Gutted, gilled and bled it out. 
    Chris Madison catching a big blue fin tuna on Slayday Boat Rental of San Diego
    The kill bag that was with the rental wasn’t even close to big enough, but held the extra ice well enough. (48" Deckhand kill bag) 
    Outta nowhere Chris pulls this massive bag out and no clue how I didn’t notice it. 
    Ended up barely fitting in the Dekhand 72" kill bag, but so big the tail was poking out… I started thinking and just laughing to myself imagining if we actually got bit on 30 pound! (and not the 130# trolling rig).
    Filled the bag and body cavity with plenty of ice.  Head East back to docks.
    When I opened it up when I got home and we started cutting it up, the meat was completely chilled all the way through the core. We guessing the weight of the blue fin being 175-200 with 30ish pounds of ice and the bag didn’t bust at the seams or handles. Made me wanna buy a Deckhand kill bag that day! Hands down a top tier high quality bag. It’s good to fight your fish not your gear!
    Zips easy even busting at the seams. All in all, an awesome day and it all came together to get our big blue fin! 
    - Mike