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Shelf Off Sydney 28th Feb


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Me , Caige, Buddys Joe and Dave ventured to shelf today for beautifull blue water to 23.2 deg but absolutely sloppy conditions, no bait to be seen but the water looked promising, set spread 5ks south of 12 mile heading SE to shelf into some decent 3.5m sets of swell at times and wind up near 20kn blowing SSE, just inside shelf near kink we had the shotty get wacked and maybe bill wrapped as it ran for around 100m before dropping and not comming back, set spread again still heading south had long rigger wacked and pulled 1/2m and within 15 seconds the fish comes back and nails it big time, peeling line on the 24 Tiagra 50w at a rate of knots, pulled at least 500m off in one consistant run(Not showing itself once) before we had Joe harnessed up and started to chase it down, within a minute of turning boat we had an almost empty spool then all of a sudden slack line. Retrieved the line to find the main line with clean cut through, no marks or sign of stretch, it seemed to be cut not far above the plait as no evidence of curled line at end , generally shown if break at double. Turned around back over mark after copping a few over side of boat with conditions worsening and trolled back to 12 mile before returning home in poor conditions.

A couple of questions for the experienced game boys if you please.

(1) Could the line breakage not showing sign of stretch at cut be due to increased drag on an empty spool after being set at 8kg on a full spool or would have line shown signs of stretch at end.

(2) I believe we had hooked a sizable blue, but did not show it self at any time during run, is this common. Have Hooked a Black, 2 Stripes and a presumed Blue once at PS but all breached water at begining of fight.

(3) Do i need to look at decreasing drag pressure on stubborn fish when spool empties with over 500m of line out on a Tiagra 50w

(4) Am i right in saying if main had broken at the double then the end would have shown signs of curling which would be at beginning of double.

THEORIE. Maybe the line had a previous nick in it.

Also line was 24kg Stren Clear

Thanks and good luck out there. Dave

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Hi Dave

Sounds like an eventfull day, i saw the seas today :1yikes: must have been tuff.

Sounds like what happend to me up in Coffs empted the spool in 30 seconds our so, after speaking to a few people they all said could have been a big blue.

better luck next time.


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Mate i reckon good chance a big blue,i was fishing a couple years ago in trailerboat trolling some big

pusher's just over the shelf off botany,the long shotgun out the back a big 14inch blue/red pusher

with 2 x 14/0 hooks,went off big time with a huge maybe 600m run on 24kg,didn't see nothing for 3 hours

it went deep down & stayed there,after eventually using the boat to plane it up we had a big blue marlin come up just about dead at the trace didnt really even need to gaff it as i just grabbed its bill & held it

beside the boat,it went 216kg & took 3 of us 30min to get in onboard,but it was too big for the inside of

the boat,its tail hung over the top of the motor's.

Maybe in the sort of sea out there today,a big blue in a trailerboat would be very tough work with standup


cheers mate

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badluck Dave.

sounds like a good day out besides the weather. and the lost fish of course!!

when you have alot of line out you need to back that drag off as water pressure increases on the line. this is why we fish strike at 1/3 drag as you have a bargaining point for some situations.

the more line out the more pressure and the more bow in the line you will get.

when you have out as much as you said you end up in a bit of a conumdrum. especially in rough weather.

if you back off the line may not break but you may not be able to stop the brute.

time to run a few 80s dave :) :) :)

I normally start to reduce drag pressure if we have a fish more than say 250-300 out.

ill drop it a bit away from strike (ive got marks on the reels for ppl to drop too)

then the more out the more i drop it.

could have definetly been a big blue. its not uncommon for fish not to jump at all. not uncommon for them to dog it out down deep too blues love to do that.

normally if it is your double that has gone you will have some bent line.

like you say the line could have had a weak point. unfortunately this is gamefishing. they will find your weak points everytime. this is i guess why we all spend countless hours checking and rechecking our gear and making sure its all ship shape.

even when it is all solid sometimes things happen. we had one fish we lost what we think is due to the plait knot making a bubble trail, a wahoo came and tried to eat it. game over.

i would honestly put it down to your drag being at strike still and possibly a weak point in the line.

good to hear you guys saw a few though.

warnie will have some better info to add :) im a bit sunstroked i think from a day of zzzeroessss


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Hey Dave I think it was a blue also. Of all the species of marlin, it is typical for blues to fight down deep throughout the whole fight, you will hook them and not see them for hours.

I also agree that excessive drag pressure may have been a likely cause of breakage, with half your spool out, with the addition of water pressure. But since it was a clean cut it may have been perhaps another fish passing over the line, same thing happened to us a few months ago and that was something we considered. Although blues are not renowned for travelling in packs so who knows really.

A nick in the line is another thing that obviously comes to head. I specifically check my lines before we go out, as its a bitch when you lose fish from tackle failure. One thing you got to really watch out for is after cubing season there are often plenty of nicks on the line due to birds etc.

With blues there really isnt time to stuff around. Everyone has to know their job, and do it, because before you know it half your spool is gone! Clear the lines, back off the drag on a running fish, and remember you can always increase it back up to strike once the fish has stopped running. The key is get on the chase as quickly as possible. Once they go deep you really have to use the boat to try and plane the fish up, or else you could be there for a very very long time :1prop: - even if it means paying out a bit of line, once the fish is on the surface you can back up on it easily (or chase with the pointy end on a trailerboat) and recover a lot of line, more easily.

All sounds easy in theory, but Blues come as a bit of a shock to the system the first time!!!

Good luck Dave,


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Hi Dave....

Guess you best get used to the joys of game fishing for im sure getting done over

like you did wont be the last time it will happen but as each time it happens you

get to know a lot better not what to do in the given situation of which what has allready been

suggested to back the drag off would of been the better option......

a lot of guys will tell you after a while....... a feeling will develop

were by the pinging and the crackling of the line you will get to know when its time to back it off

but you would want to still maintain at least a min of 8kg of drag on the fish......

and the change in direction of the fish and the belly in the line alone would do just that....

its a fine balance and combination of a few things along with a certain amount of luck that can come into play that eventually gets to wear the fish down....

maybe in this instance on joes part it done him a favour there and then rather than battling it out

in worsening weather copping waves over the back and then getting done an hour and a half later

with the same result and maybe still not getting to see it.......

here lays the funny part ask any one who loses a fish and it dosent seem to hurt no way as much if you at least get to see what it was that you bust off on...

so to answer in part your questions i would say

(1) no

(2) yes

(3) YES

(4) more than likely


The reason the line broke...............gee numerous reasons

as said line pressure excerting way over stated 24kg

particuarly with that much line out and change of direction by fish

as you said nick in line

lure running up leader and then raising interest of another fish which in turn

comes in to contact with line.....

The line picking up an object in the water for example a bit of weed just enough to

add more pressure to an allready stressed line

the list is endless the result been the same we all go through it hopefully the result

next time will be in you favour....

Cheers Warnie....

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The drag ratio is 1/2/3, if you set 8 kg of drag you would get 8 at full, 16 at half full, 24 at empty!!!! add to this drag due to water pressure on the line and you had no chance!


Edited by bluefin
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