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The key to any endeavor is preparation, a lesson learned!

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rangerdog

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The key to any endeavor is preparation. The tale I am about to tell you also reminds me of the elusive “Big One That Got Away” told by our own Captain Kevin aboard the Megabyte last year. He took some mild ribbing about it, but none the less here it is.

I splashed the boat Sunday with plans for a kind of shake down to get used to the new electronics and to spend some time trolling for some trophy rockfish. It was just the wife and I and she is not very interested in fishing but agreed to work the boat if we happened to hook up.

Because it was really just me, I was pulling a three rod spread: #1 and #3 was a chartreuse umbrella with a 9” bait at 25 and 35’ and on #2 were chartreuse 9 and 4 ounce tandem rigged big eye ruby mouth parachutes with 12” shads at 30’. The tandem rigs are on 80 pound fluorocarbon, crimped. Note that these two did not have trailer hooks as did the umbrella baits.

I was crossing from East to West from 82 towards the Radar Towers just coming out of 100’ of water in the 35 - 40’ of water that I was looking for. I had been marking very large bait balls for the last 5 or 10 minutes. #2 went down hard. I said, “Fish on, Alice can you take the wheel?”

As I struggled to take the rod from the holder I could feel the fish working the line (GREAT feeling) and I immediately knew it was a monster.

The reel involved is a Penn 320-GT2. I rebuild each of my reels every year. I have added an extra drag washer and I lube the HT100s with Shimano grease. They also have Senator 4/0 power handles and I use Blue Yammi lube on the gears and reel-majic on sliders. They will smoothly pull up to 20 pounds of drag; I measure that as well. Normally, with 50 pound Power-pro, a set of 12 pounds will pull up anything in the bay.

Now, having the confidence in my equipment, I was surprised that the fish was taking line, not much, but perhaps half of what I was gaining by cranking. I tightened the drag. Knowing that this was going to be a fight, as I struggled to keep the rod tip up, I asked Alice to drop the RPMs to idle, and to put the motor in neutral. (Actually I said “Push the red handle down all the way, and pull the black handle halfway back till you feel the detent.” :lol: ) Then I had her clear the other two lines. As the boat slowed, I was beginning to make some headway on the fish, and believe it or not she was actually making some vertical movement. I could feel her head shake as it neared the surface, approximately 70 feet from the boat. (You know, that place where you expect to see the fish..) I think I let go a little in order to “pump” the rod. (A no-no when reeling in a Chesapeake rockfish on a troll) As I did, the fish humped and with a huge swirl was gone. It had spit the bait. :shock:

Now this has been posted on the projects page. My next project is to ensure that all of my trophy sized baits have trailer hooks, and to do curls to increase my arm strength. I am guessing from the fight and from the flash as she escaped, that this fish was in the 50 to 60 pound range. If you were there, you would agree. And like The Old Man and the Sea, I am going back after her.
 

Themis

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Reading your account is like reading a good book you can't put down.... wish it were longer. Sounds so exciting....
 

DaleH

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I think a sequel is in order ...


Sorry to hear about the one that got away :( .
 

Porkchunker

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Isn't the 320 GT a bit light for spring trophy season? Charter captains tried them but abandon them very quickly when they realized they couldn't hold up to pulling the big umbrella rigs.

I use a couple 320s, but only on tandems and stretches. I use 330s or 113s for UBs.

In the summer, my 320s end up being used for bottom fishing.
 

Megabyte

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That fish... ('the one that got away'), mocks me to this day. :lol:

Went out today in the wind and rain... only 1 knockdown in 6 hours of trolling. :(
 

rangerdog

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Porkchunker":1pv80zpw said:
Isn't the 320 GT a bit light for spring trophy season? Charter captains tried them but abandon them very quickly when they realized they couldn't hold up to pulling the big umbrella rigs.

I use a couple 320s, but only on tandems and stretches. I use 330s or 113s for UBs.

In the summer, my 320s end up being used for bottom fishing.
I was pulling tandum parachutes on that rod with the 320. As for the other two rods that were pulling umbrellas; one was a 320 and one was a 330. When fishing the 320s with umbrellas, I only use 7" 4 arm umbrellas and with 12" I use 330s.

You know how we like to LTJ? I like to Lite Tackle Troll in the summer. I have a Peerless 9(?) that I have had since I was a young lad that gets trolled later in the summer along side a pair of 209Ms and 320s. The 330s really only get used in the spring and fall

And as I said I have beefed up all my penn reels so they perform quite much better than out of the box.
 

DaleH

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rangerdog":3l9trx1x said:
And as I said I have beefed up all my penn reels so they perform quite much better than out of the box.
Me too, which is usually just a:

* Quick cleaning
* Coating all interior parts with waterproof blue synthetic grease
* Cleaning bearings and applying coorosion X to them
* Adding Shimano drag grease to the HT100 drag washers
* Lubing reel handle with Break Free CLP

I tell you, even the Penn 320 GTi has an impressive drag stack of 5 huge HT100 washers. I love these reels! IMHO, if someone loses a big fish on these reels, it'll be the line or rod that gives way ...
 

rangerdog

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Dale you can also replace the fiber washer (pn 004-349) with an additional greased HT-100. Add a Squidder power handle (pn 24-56) and you are good to go!
 

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