A note from Captain Ian Bragdon:

“On previous guide trips I had seen an absurd amount of Bluefin Tuna and bait move into the waters of Cape Cod, so I knew there was a quick window of opportunity. It was rough going through the Nantucket Sound by once we made it out east there was life everywhere.”

“Whales, bait, and I began marking small fish as well as seeing them blitz on schools of Sandeels. You have your best shot on the fly when they are feeding on Sandeels because they tend to stay up longer and the feeds are much more violent.”

“I was actually trying to put Zento on a feed, while also casting off the stern of the boat because there were Bluefin everywhere. I had my full sinking line (8+ IPS) almost all the way out when I bumped the boat forward to feed. Trying to get the bow close enough for Zento to cast. All of a sudden I was tight!”

“I was fishing a Hatch 11+ loaded with 60lb hollowcore with drag locked around 15 pounds on the bite which is what you want. Big drag and a rod with great lifting power is what you need to land these immaculate fish.”

“After spending fifteen minutes of big pressure, the rod broke in three different spots. Landing it with no gaff, and a quarter of the rod was interesting. Zento had to grab it by the mouth and gill plate and it barely slid through the stern Tuna door. The total fight time was just over twenty minutes after palming the spool.”

There has been many things I have learned after many failures with big, Bluefin Tuna…

Bluefin Tuna Tips & Tricks

  1. Use Hollowcore
  2. Splice your fly line into hollowcore
  3. Check your knots, then check them again
  4. 12-14 weight set up with full sinking line to get away from the birds
  5. Short leader, 6 feet of 60-80lb fluorocarbon
  6. Non-slip loop not to the fly
  7. Best flies are white sand eels, or blue and white 5-8 inch baitfish flies mimicking half beaks
  8. 6/0 – 8/0 hooks (Gamakatsu Sl12’s or stronger)
  9. Pull extremely hard, and either pop it our stop it. For the anglers sake and the fishes health. No fly reel has adequate drag, so palming will be necessary.

Catch Ian and Zento out on the water chasing big East Coast Bluefin, while also having one of the newest fly rods on the market, the 7 piece fly rod!


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