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Ultra-light, light line catches galore

February 19, 2016
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON (captgeorget3@aol.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

At the book stand, getting a free peak at the various outdoor magazines, I came across a recent copy of Sport Fishing. This particular magazine is at the top of its game.

It holds in-depth, informative articles, testing, maintenance tips, destinations, pro and local knowledge, and really top-notch photography.

Thumbing through a copy I was amazed at some record catches on ultra-light lines. This is high-art big game ultra-light angling at its very most refined peak only possible as a total team effort.

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

What drives anglers to pursue the biggest fish with tiny lines or big and often dangerous game with tiny bullets? Ego? Record books? A demonstration to themselves or possibly to show others that can it be done? Because its there, syndrome! I'm sure it's a mix of many factors as well as being plain fun.

Most anglers go through a light line/big fish faze and to some it becomes a life long obsession, travelling the globe to catch the largest big-game giants on incredibly tiny test lines.

What's light line fishing to most? A 30- or even 40-pound fish on 10-pound test? Sure! A 100-pound tarpon on a piece of 20-pound leader material? Both fine catches, testing your skills and knowledge of your fish, your lines and equipment's capabilities, and considered ultra-light to light by most.

Learn from the masters what ultra-light fishing is really all about.

How about a 735.2-pound Australian black marlin on six-pound test line? This was monofilament tested wet to comply with strict IGFA guidelines for the catch to be eligible for record consideration. Mr. Capozzi's ALS (Actual Line Strength) was measured wet, testing at 5.19 pounds.

The fight is listed as lasting for only 15 minutes!

5.19 pounds is rope compared to Leo Cloosterman's catch in the Azores. In a mere 18 minutes, he bested an Atlantic Blue Marlin of 573 pounds. ALS? 3.55 pounds!

Eighteen minute fight!

Guy Jackobsen Line class 2 pound. ALS? 1.93-pound test. Using less than 2-pound test he beats a 231.4-pound Striped Marlin of 231.4 pounds.

A 150-pound Mako shark on 1.52-pound test? Skilled angler David Kahlenberg has been there, done that, in 38 minutes.

These record attempts are usually only possible with surface fighting giants like marlin. A deep diving 500-pound blue fin tuna would require a reel the size of a car tire to hold 10,000 yards of two-pound test that would come apart quickly.

For those of us without the typical 60-foot offshore craft capable of being shipped to Australia's ports on a whim and short crew notice, in preparation for our first class private jet ride arrival, let's talk local light line challenges.

As always the biggest challenge is not for the angler, it's for the fish. August in Pine Island (I wish) and dissolved oxygen levels are down while a 100-pound tarpon eats your dead bait. You somehow keep a hook in its jaw and your 10-pound test line from parting on the first giant jump and head shake.

Follow as close as possible and wear him down quickly using alternate rod angles to tire him as well. A prolonged battle with hundreds of line in the water and over an hour long fight may be the tarpon's undoing as it dies from exhaustion or becomes shark bait during its long struggle.

Dirty water and photos are causing cancellations affecting not only my business but the whole area's economy. News of the water flowing south is encouraging. This is the natural path intended, through the Everglades to be purified then on to Florida Bay and The Keys.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or captgeorget3@aol.com, or www.flyingfinssportfishing.com.

 
 
 

 

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