Tuna Fishing - Giant Bluefin in Nova Scotia

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Instructor: RJ Boyle

In this In The Spread fishing video, RJ Boyle and Any Moyes discuss baiting and fishing giant bluefin tuna in Nova Scotia's shallow waters. They discuss heavy custom tackle, specialized rigs, and baiting tactics for hand-picking. Although Nova Scotia's fishing is unique, the techniques and knowledge shared can be applied globally.

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Video Summary:

  • Deep Sea Species: The giant bluefin tuna is one of the fiercest deep-sea fishing species.
  • Journey to Nova Scotia: "In The Spread" traveled to learn offshore fishing tactics.
  • The Battle: Fighting a giant bluefin tuna is intensely challenging.
  • Instructional Video: Offers insights on custom rods, rigs, hooks, and baits.
  • Nova Scotia's Unique Bluefin Fishery: Distinct fishing techniques compared to other places.
  • Andy Moyes's Techniques: Describes targeting bluefin tuna around herring boats and drifting live baits.
  • Tackle and Gear: Importance of suitable tackle for giant fish.
  • Final Thoughts: Big fish fishing may not be for everyone, but there's much to learn.

The giant bluefin tuna, renowned for its immense strength and remarkable stamina, stands as a titan among deep-sea fishing species. Its formidable size, often exceeding a thousand pounds, coupled with its astonishing speed and agility in the water, makes it a highly sought-after prize for anglers around the world. The challenge of catching a giant bluefin tuna is not merely a test of skill but also a battle of endurance. These majestic creatures can engage in hours-long fights, pushing fishermen to their limits. The pursuit of the giant bluefin tuna is more than just a fishing expedition; it's an exhilarating dance between man and nature, where strategy, patience, and respect for the aquatic adversary play critical roles. This fish is not just another catch; it's a symbol of the ocean's untamed power and the ultimate conquest for any serious deep-sea fisherman.

The Journey to Nova Scotia

This In The Spread video offers an in-depth exploration into the world of offshore fishing, focusing on the skills and tactics needed to catch some of the most challenging fish in the sea. It takes us to the picturesque Ballantyne's Cove in Nova Scotia, a place renowned for its rich fishing grounds. The host, RJ Boyle, meets with Andy Moyes, a legendary figure in the big game fishing community. Moyes, known for his extensive knowledge and experience, shares his insights and techniques for successfully landing these formidable fish. This is not just a story about fishing; it's an educational journey that equips the reader with the wisdom and strategies of a seasoned fisherman. It's an opportunity for enthusiasts to learn from the best, to understand the intricacies of offshore fishing, and to gain a deeper appreciation of this challenging sport.

Battling Giants

When you venture into the world of giant bluefin tuna fishing, it's an entirely different ball game compared to other fishing experiences. These colossal creatures of the deep push the boundaries of what you might have previously considered a "tough fish." Engaging with a giant bluefin tuna is not just a battle; it's an epic struggle that tests your physical strength and mental endurance to the utmost.

Imagine this: You're out on the open sea, the line goes taut, and suddenly you're locked in a tug-of-war with a powerhouse that seems to embody the very essence of the ocean's might. The giant bluefin tuna, renowned for its massive size and incredible power, turns fishing into a Herculean task. It's like trying to rein in a force of nature. Each pull from the tuna is a reminder of its raw power, as it stretches your arms to their limits and strains your back. You're not just fishing; you're engaged in a high-stakes dance with a leviathan.

The analogy of trying to stop a runaway dump truck with no brakes going downhill captures the essence of the challenge perfectly. It's an uphill battle, both literally and figuratively, as you struggle against the relentless force and sheer will of the tuna. This is not just a test of your fishing skills but a confrontation with the unbridled power of the sea. The experience leaves you with a newfound respect for these magnificent creatures and the realization that, in the world of fishing, the giant bluefin tuna reigns supreme. Good luck, indeed – you'll need it, along with every ounce of strength and determination you possess.

Deep Dive into Bluefin Tuna Fishing

This instructional fishing video is a comprehensive guide designed for anglers who are passionate about catching giant bluefin tuna. The video features Andy Moyes, renowned for his expertise in big game fishing. Andy is celebrated not just for his skills but also for his humble demeanor and deep understanding of the ocean's giants. Throughout the video, he shares his wealth of knowledge on custom fishing gear, including specialized rods, rigs, hooks, and baits, all tailored to the unique challenges of bluefin tuna fishing.

A significant portion of the video is dedicated to the art of baiting. Andy explains in detail how to prepare and use baits specifically designed to attract these massive fish. He delves into the tactics of sight feeding, a critical skill that involves identifying and feeding individual fish to increase the chances of a catch. He also covers the nuances of hooking these powerful creatures and the techniques necessary to maintain a strong connection once they're hooked, ensuring a successful catch.

RJ Boyle asks Andy probing questions that get to the heart of bluefin tuna fishing. These questions address common challenges and misconceptions, and Andy's responses are filled with actionable advice and strategies. Viewers can expect to learn about the habitats and behaviors of bluefin tuna, the best times and locations for fishing them, and the safety measures necessary for handling such large fish.

The video is not just an instructional guide; it's a deep dive into the world of bluefin tuna fishing, offering viewers an opportunity to learn from some of the best in the field. Whether you're a novice angler or an experienced fisherman, this video promises to enhance your understanding and skills in pursuing these magnificent ocean giants.

The Nova Scotia Bluefin Fishery

The bluefin tuna fishery in Nova Scotia presents a fascinating and unique scenario in the world of big game fishing. Unlike many other locations, the relatively shallow waters off of Cape george, Nova Scotia's coast influence the behavior of giant bluefin tuna. Instead of diving deep as they might in other regions, these tuna are known for their long, powerful runs along the surface or at shallow depths. This behavior necessitates a different approach and set of techniques for successful fishing.

In contrast to the more publicized bluefin fisheries in the United States, where deeper waters and different tuna behaviors might demand varied strategies, the Nova Scotia fishery has developed its own set of methods. These might include specific types of lures, bait, and fishing gear adapted to handle the high-speed surface runs of the tuna, as well as unique boat maneuvering techniques to keep up with these fast-moving fish.

Despite the distinct nature of the Nova Scotia bluefin fishery, the skills and knowledge acquired here are invaluable. Understanding how to adapt to the specific behaviors of fish in different environments is a crucial skill for any angler. For instance, the expertise in tracking and anticipating the movement of fast-swimming surface fish can be applied in other fisheries. The ability to quickly adjust tactics, gear, and techniques based on the behavior and environment of the target species is a universally valuable skill in big game fishing.

Moreover, the experience gained in Nova Scotia's bluefin tuna fishery can offer insights into the broader patterns and behaviors of bluefin tuna across different regions. This knowledge can contribute to more sustainable fishing practices and a deeper understanding of the species, which is beneficial for conservation efforts and for maintaining the health of marine ecosystems globally.

Andy Moyes's Techniques

This detailed exploration into bluefin tuna fishing techniques with Andy delves into two distinct scenarios, each with its own set of strategies and challenges.

Fishing Around Herring Boats:

  • Avoiding Nets: The first critical aspect involves navigating around herring boats' nets. This requires understanding the layout and operation of these nets to ensure that your fishing activities don't interfere with them or become entangled.\
  • Creating a Chum Stream: This technique involves strategically releasing smaller fish or fish parts into the water to attract tuna. The key here is to create a consistent trail that lures the tuna closer to your fishing area without overfeeding them.
  • Baiting the Fish: Selecting the right bait and presenting it in a way that appeals to bluefin tuna is crucial. This might involve using certain types of fish or mimicking the movements of the tuna's natural prey.
  • Mimicking the Natural Fall of Bait Using Dead Bait: This advanced technique requires skill in manipulating dead bait to make it appear lifelike. The aim is to mimic the natural movement of baitfish as they fall through the water, which can be more challenging than using live bait.

Drifting Live Baits in the Water Column:
  • Utilizing Kite Fishing Techniques: Kite fishing allows for presenting the bait at the surface in a more controlled and dynamic way. This method can be particularly effective for tuna as it keeps the bait at the surface, making it more visible and enticing.
  • Suspending Bait with Floats: This involves using floats to keep the bait at a specific depth. Adjusting the depth of the bait can target tuna that are feeding at different levels in the water column.
  • Dropping Baits Deeper: For tuna that are deeper in the water, it's sometimes necessary to drop baits below the surface. This requires different rigging and weight systems to reach the desired depth.
  • Impact of Tides on Tuna Feeding Habits: Understanding how tides affect the feeding patterns of bluefin tuna is crucial for success. Tides can influence the location and activity level of fish, and thus, adjusting techniques according to tidal movements can greatly enhance the chances of a good catch.

Overall, Andy's approach combines a deep understanding of the tuna's behavior, the marine environment, and the intricate techniques of bait presentation and positioning. This comprehensive guide not only improves the chances of a successful catch but also promotes responsible and sustainable fishing practices.

Tackle and Gear

Dealing with giant fish, such as bluefin tuna, requires specialized, heavy-duty fishing gear. It's crucial to choose the right tackle to minimize the fight time with these large fish, ensuring both the safety of the angler and the preservation of the fish, especially in catch-and-release scenarios.

Firstly, reels used in this context are robust upgraded 130's. They come with enhanced features like upgraded bearings, gears, drag systems, and cams. These improvements are necessary for handling the immense stress and tension caused by large, powerful fish. High tolerance in these reels means they can withstand considerable force without failing.

The rods, on the other hand, begin as line handler poles, emphasizing the importance of lift. The concept of "lift" refers to the rod's ability to help raise or "lift" the fish from the depths. This is a critical factor in managing and eventually landing giant fish. The blank of the rod, a core component, is typically an "unlimited 180" for maximum durability. This indicates the rod's strength and ability to handle the extreme pressure exerted by large fish.

When it comes to rigs, especially for targeting species like bluefin tuna, there are various configurations. The evolution of the bluefin tuna rig reflects the ongoing learning and adaptation among anglers. You'll find that there are at least two primary types of rigs used. One is more complicated, likely involving multiple hooks, leaders, and perhaps sophisticated knotting or crimping techniques. The other is a simplified version, possibly for quick setup or ease of use, which may be more suitable for beginners or those preferring a more straightforward approach.

In both rig types, the quality and strength of the hooks and connections (like swivels, leaders, and knots) are paramount. These elements must be discussed and chosen with care, as they are critical in not only landing the fish but also ensuring the rig's overall integrity.

Ultimately, the choice of gear and rig depends on the angler's preference, experience, and the specific fishing conditions. What works for one person might not necessarily be the best for another. The key is to find a balance between personal comfort, effectiveness, and the sustainability of the fishing practice.

Final Thoughts

Giant bluefin tuna fishing is indeed a niche within the broader world of angling, demanding specific skills, equipment, and a high level of physical strength and endurance. It's a challenging endeavor that may not be suitable for every fisherman, particularly those new to the sport or those who prefer more leisurely fishing experiences. However, even if you don't plan on targeting giant bluefin tuna specifically, there's a wealth of knowledge to be gained from understanding the techniques and principles involved in this type of fishing.

First and foremost, fishing for any large species teaches patience and respect for the aquatic environment. The methods used in giant bluefin tuna fishing can be applied, in some form, to other big fish species. Skills such as reading the water, understanding fish behavior, choosing the right bait, and handling heavy tackle are universal in big game fishing.

The importance of conservation is another critical lesson. With giant species, there's a strong emphasis on sustainable fishing practices, like adhering to catch limits and using techniques that minimize harm to the fish, especially in catch-and-release scenarios. These practices are vital for maintaining healthy fish populations and can be applied to fishing for any species.

In terms of tackle and gear, the principles of selecting the right equipment based on the target species and fishing conditions are universal. Understanding why certain reels, rods, lines, and rigs are used for giant bluefin tuna can help in making informed choices for other types of fishing.

Moreover, watching a video on giant bluefin tuna fishing can be educational and enjoyable. It's an opportunity to see expert anglers at work, observe their techniques, and listen to their insights. Such videos often contain valuable tips that can enhance your fishing skills, regardless of the species you're targeting.

Finally, the ethos of "never stop learning" is pivotal in fishing. The sport continually evolves with new techniques, gear, and understanding of fish behavior and habitats. Embracing a learning mindset not only makes you a better angler but also enriches your fishing experience. Every trip to the water, every cast, and every fish you encounter can teach something new, contributing to your growth in this rewarding sport.

What makes the bluefin tuna such a formidable catch?

The power and stamina of the giant bluefin tuna are unparalleled, making it an extreme test for any angler.

How is Nova Scotia's bluefin tuna fishery unique?

Unlike other fisheries, the water here isn't deep. As a result, tunas run instead of diving deep, necessitating distinct fishing techniques.

Who is Andy Moyes?

Andy Moyes is a big game fishing legend known for his deep knowledge and unique techniques in catching bluefin tuna.

What are the two primary techniques Andy Moyes uses?

Andy targets bluefin tuna around herring boats and by drifting live baits throughout the water column.

Why is selecting the right gear crucial for bluefin tuna fishing?

Using the right gear ensures the safety of both the angler and the fish. Proper equipment minimizes the fight time, ensuring less stress on the fish and more effective catch and release.

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Mike Roy 05.27.2020


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