Put tuna fishing on your bucket list
The Sportsmanís Report
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By Bill Hanson  June 21, 2013 12:00 am

One of the items on your bucket list should be a deep water tuna fishing trip. Pick a boat by recommendation, if not from a friend then your tackle store because they often have information and experienced customers. 

Pick one whose accommodations are elegant and spacious; trips can go up to 17 days, so comfort is important. Many deep water tuna boats berth in San Diego. There are others, but San Diego is closest to the tuna waters you seek.

One of the benefits of long-trip tuna fishing is the relaxation time on board. The deep Pacific waters also produce creatures that like to feed next to your boat. 

The sharks can get so bad the captain has to move the boat. When you are reeling in a fish and the line goes slack, you know you’re in trouble. Sometimes you just land the head.

Deep water fishing has given birth to some innovative methods. Balloon fishing is one, as your bait and hook set-up are suspended by helium balloon. When the fish strikes, the balloon lets go and is reeled in on a separate line.  

Kite fishing is similar. 

A huge live squid is attached to your rig, which is fastened to a kite tied to the boat. When the tuna hits the bait, the kite lets go and the fight is on. 

One fisherman said: “You should see a 90-pound tuna come clear out of the water with your squid in his mouth. What a thrill that is!”

Experienced tuna fishers have their own way to get the “bacon” home. 

One guy built a special insulated transit box in his truck so the tuna can ride nice and cold on the way home. It is common to see lots of whales, including killer whales and the giant whale shark. At the top of the food chain are the hammerhead, great white and Mako sharks.

Visit the American Angler web site at www.americananglersportfishing.com or Google long trip tuna fishing off California for more information.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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