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Chunking 101. Capt. Bryan Wentworth Notorious Sportfishing. Chunking Intro. Sportfishing Charters. What is chunking? Throwing cut bait to attract fish, create a feeding frenzy, and feeding them hook baits

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chunking 101

Chunking 101

Capt. Bryan Wentworth

Notorious Sportfishing

chunking intro
Chunking Intro

Sportfishing Charters

  • What is chunking?
    • Throwing cut bait to attract fish, create a feeding frenzy, and feeding them hook baits
    • Main objective is attracting and keeping fish by their sense of sight and determination to eat
    • Not chumming with ground bait/blood to lure fish by smell (studies show some smells actually deter tuna)
  • When to chunk?
    • Typically later in the season (tuna fall into a routine)
    • When fish have gathered over/around structure
what is a chunk
What is a chunk?

Sportfishing Charters

  • Most common chunk bait is fresh/fresh frozen butterfish
    • Also squid, mackerel, menhaden, and various clams
  • An average size butterfish is cut into 3-4 chunks
    • Don’t cut your chunks too small
  • A full day of chunking will require up to 100lbs. of bait
  • Make sure to examine the bait before purchase if possible (garbage in-garbage out)
the gear
The Gear
  • Typically 30-50lb. class rods/reels
    • Avet EXW 4/02, Penn 30/50s, Shimano TLDs, etc…
    • Chaos Custom Rods, Penn International, Penn Mariner, Penn Tuna Sticks, etc…
  • Stand-up fighting belt/harnass
    • You might need several of each
  • Balloons/floats, weights (8-24oz.), rubber bands
  • Any CONTENDER boat will do
hooks leader
Hooks & Leader
  • 30-80lb. Flourocarbon leader (8 ft.)
    • Line class depends on target species, avg. size, water clarity, seas, and ACTION…
    • Tuna have excellent eyesight
  • SPRO 80lb. Power Swivel (only choice)
    • Smaller (less visible), powerful, wind-on
  • 7/0 or 8/0 Circle Hook (snelled)
    • Penn Bluewater, Mustad, Gamakatsu
finding fish
Finding Fish

Sportfishing Charters

  • Bait – the food chain at work
  • Structure – lumps, canyons, wrecks, etc.
  • Water Temp/Color – find the best water for your target species
  • Draggers – the ultimate tuna magnet
  • – internet forum provides valuable information and reports for recent activity
prepare to chunk
Prepare to Chunk

Sportfishing Charters

  • 5-6 rods rigged and ready to go
    • 2 feeder lines and 2-3 deep lines
  • Cut or slice your chunks into a bucket
    • Chunk cutters are the real deal
  • Find the best looking baits for hook baits
    • No torn flesh, no sunken eyes, no scars
    • Garbage in = Garbage out
  • Bury and hide the hook inside the baits
    • Heads or tails?
    • Inny or outy hook points?
start the slick
Start the Slick

Sportfishing Charters

  • Start by throwing chunks around the boat in every direction
  • Begin setting lines and continue tossing chunks into a single 10x10 foot area (NEVER STOP)
    • 5-6 chunks at a time, waiting until the last set of chunks is about to disappear before throwing another set
    • Watch the chunks fall to help determine the speed and direction of the drift
    • The speed will also tell you how deep/far to set your deep baits
the deep lines
The Deep Lines

Sportfishing Charters

  • Find the fish, bait, thermocline
  • 5 rod spread = 50, 35, 20ft. deep w/ 2 feeders
  • 4 rod spread = 45, 30ft. deep w/ 2 feeders
  • Set the furthest/deepest bait first
    • Weights should be no closer than 30ft. from the bait
    • Place the float up 50/35/20ft. from the weight
    • Feed the float out until you think the chunks are drifting by the hook bait (approx Depth x 2)
  • Bluefin around? Drop a line off the bottom
  • Rods should be set at or just below “strike” (approx.10lbs)
the feeder lines
The Feeder Lines

Sportfishing Charters

  • One person on each rod (almost free spool with clickers “on”)
  • Pull off 40 feet of line (no weights) and toss the bait into the middle of the chunks
  • Feed line, maintaining a slight amount of slack to keep the baits drifting with the chunks
  • After about 100 feet of line, pull the feeder in slowly and start again
catching fish
Catching Fish
  • When reels start screaming, don’t forget to keep chunking (why let someone else hold your fish?)
  • Move drags to “strike” to set the circle hooks (no Jimmy Houston hook sets)
  • When fighting stand-up, use your legs and let the harness do the work on big fish
  • A good gaff shot is any gaff shot that puts a fish in the boat (or just aft of the pec fins)

Sportfishing Charters

Capt. Bryan Wentworth

Office: 410-798-7491

Cell: 410-279-9237