So you wanna try your luck in catching a cow? The thought of possibly catching a cow or even a supercow can be very exciting and extensive but sometimes the prize is worth all the effort. Just recently our friends at the Royal Star had a remarkable day fishing on a 10 day trip. The big tuna were reported on the Lower Baja Banks.
Courtesy of Royal Star
It's trips like the ones that are mentioned on the Royal Star's current conditions section that make it all worth while. On one of their trips it was reported that Herb Jenson from Alaska caught a 225# beast. Think about that? Can you imagine the epic battle that goes on when you are fighting with a 200-300# cow? The sweat, the sore arms, the adrenaline rush, the balancing act, and the sense of victory once that big cow is in the boat. It can be very refreshing and one of the most memorable vacation's ever!
So you're hooked and now getting ready for your trip. There's alot of planning and plenty of checklists to cross off to make sure you have all the necessary gear. Here's a few tips from the gang at the shop that you might find helpful:
Let's start with tackle:
Plenty of the long range fishing boat website's have a terminal tackle list. We recommend you visit some of them to get a feel for the tackle of choice.
The staff here at the shop are fans of the:
- Super Mutu (Steve's personal favorite for long-range)
Size 4/0, 5/0, 6/0
- Offshore (One of Sam's favorite for long-range)
Size 5/0, 6/0, 7/0
- Gorilla (Ed's favorite)
- Mustad Sea Demon Hooks (Allan's personal favorite)
One of the reasons why this is a favorite is because it has a small wire diameter. They are XXX strong, forged, and have a knife edge long point.
Size 7/0, 8/0, 9/0, 10/0
Our staff member, Allan, recommends the Seaguar Fluoro Premier. I asked him why he likes it so much and his simple statement, "because it works!"
Recommended fluorocarbon to carry in your bag 50#, 60#, 80#, 100#, and 130#.
Pull out the reels you are going to take on your trip and look over them. Get them serviced ahead of time so you can guarantee your gear is working flawlessly. Don't start checking your gear a few days before the trip, do this several weeks ahead to make sure your gear is worked on properly.
The Okuma Makaira 20II and 30 Special Edition has been a big hit here at the shop. It doesn't hurt that this reel is backed up by a 5 year warranty. The folks at Okuma are pretty confidant about the design and durability of this reel.
Choosing the right rod can be tricky due to the many factors in fishing conditions. Generally the Calstar 7' Tuna 770 Series are a good choice. One factors you may want to consider before buying a rod is how much recoil does the rod have? This is important if you are going to be fishing the rail. You want to look for a rod that is going to have plenty of backbone and help you in not working so hard to get that cow in the boat.
We recommend coming down to the shop and having one of our staff member custom fit you with the right rig. If you already own a few rods, come down and we can help you in figuring out which one would be best for your trip.
If your reels already have existing line, look over and inspect the line and the spectra. When should you replace your line? Much of it depends on how much exposure it has had to the saltwater elements and how well you maintained them. If you fish and never wash your reels after use, then more than likely the spectra will last about 2 years. If the spectra is maintained and thoroughly washed after use, it can last up to 10 years.
With mono it's a bit trickier. As soon as the mono has been exposed to the saltwater elements it starts to decay. Combine that with a minimum of maintenance and the salt starts drying on the spool causing oxidation. It is always recommended to wash down your reel after each use. If you are getting ready for a big trip and you've had mono on the line for some time, don't be cheap. Change your line. You don't want to spend all this money on your fishing trip and have gear that won't bring in the big cow.
Practice Makes Perfect
Now remember with all this gear, you are going for BIGGER fish, therefore your gear is going to be BIGGER. You might regularly go out on local boats and be a great caster, but with the bigger gear you will need to adjust.
A tip from Sam at the shop is to get familiar with the tackle. Take out your gear in the backyard and practice casting and walking around with the bigger gear. Imagine yourself in the middle of the battle and start practicing. The more you are familiar with your gear, the better chance you will have in catching the super cow. It's amazing how much heavier super cow gear vs our everyday fishing gear can be. Don't be that guy, that's hurting right at the beginning of the battle.
Downtime on The Trip
Don't forget this is a vacation and it's all about having a great time, getting away from the rat race and getting refreshed to do it all over again.
Bring some of those comfortable items. Sam at the shop has a few essentials for the downtime:
- iPod/iPad loaded with your favorite movies and tunes.
- Small fold-able chair to enjoy on the sun deck.
- Favorite book.
- Your favorite micro brew or something something to keep you warm at night.
Might we recommend a nice bottle of 1942 Don Julio to sip with and enjoy the sunset? Live it up, live it up!