The On The Water TV crew spent two days targeting tuna on spinning gear at Stellwagen Bank, catching the last leg of a great bluefin run off Cape Cod.... Continue reading
“Slow it down,” I reminded myself as I worked the lure through the school of breaking bluefin tuna. But, slowing down your retrieve is easier said than done when 100-plus pound fish capable of swimming more than 40 miles-per-hour are tearing up the surface right in front of you.
It was Captain Bobby Rice of Reel Deal Fishing Charters who’d offered me that advice on Monday, proving his point when a 63-inch bluefin tuna smashed his Strategic Angler Frantic stickbait. The following day, I was out again with Bobby hoping to put that advice to good use.
Using the same lure Bobby had caught the tuna on the day before, I retrieved with steady pumps of the rod to make it dart and flash like a wounded baitfish. The line came tight slowly, as a big tuna rolled on its side to engulf the plug. I barely had time to set the hook before the rod was doubled over and I was bracing myself against the gunnel as the first bluefin tuna I’d ever hooked on spinning gear ripped line off the Van Staal VM275.
With my back burning and arms aching—and after a little help from Craig Cantelmo of Van Staal—the 60-inch tuna came into view. As Bobby leadered the fish and released it, I marveled at the fact that these fish could be consistently landed on spinning gear. Years of trial and error have allowed Bobby to push the limits of spinning rod fishing for tuna, and land fish upwards of 400 pounds doing it. For more information on how he beats these big bluefin, check out the upcoming season of On The Water TV, starting in January 2015.
We filmed two days of tuna fishing on Stellwagen Bank, catching the last leg of a great bluefin run off Cape Cod. In addition to my tuna, Bobby hooked and landed three of his own. He even hopped aboard his friend Capt. Eric “Schooney” Morea’s boat to help battle an 86-inch tuna.