We were off the fish for the better part of the day but managed to get back on them just before dark. With only one fish over 200 aboard at 4:00 pm, we slid into a spot and were treated to an incredible show and boated 9 fish, 6 of which were over 200. A fitting way to end our stay in the big fish grounds. We are enjoying a beautiful ride this evening and plan to fish our way up the line trying for a little variety.
I guess I started some conflict with the short topshot groupies with my prior posts so I'm going to try to give a little insight into rigging for this particular bite. Keep in mind that no one wants to land these big ones more than my crew and I, if a method of rigging or certain product was superior to another, we would be the first to embrace it.
Short topshots (under 20 yds) have one advantage, they get bit better because there is less drag on the bait, thus making it look more natural. Once the fish is hooked, the disadvantages come into play. Spectra has no stretch so when you combine choppy weather and 200lb plus fish, your losses will skyrocket due to pulled hooks and gear breakage. What has been so unique about this Fall's fishing has not only been the size of the fish but how well they are biting. With this in mind, the short topshots haven't been the way to go for the fishing so far this season. Short topshots, and even fluorocarbon have their place and can be an important part of one's arsenal but don't commit all your outfits to such rigging. This gear comes into play when it is scratch fishing, which it hasn't been.
If you are on an upcoming Royal Star trip I recommend two main rigs for the big fish: a 50w with comparable rod and 100yds of 100lb mono over 130lb spectra. A 50w with comparable rod and 100yds of 130lb or 50yds of 150lb over 130lb spectra.