When you want to stalk your prey, no one does it better than Regulator. And when it comes to strategizing how to make it happen, no one does it better than our boat owners!
What follows are some great hand-on tips from our seasoned anglers to make your life on the water more enjoyable and rewarding.
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Here are a few tips for targeting the most magnificent fish in the ocean from our newest addition to the Canyon Runner fleet - the Regulator 32 Classic center console.
Hit the water before dawn and watch the radar and fish finder for telltale signs of bait. If a large school of bait is located, start fishing right there, it’s a sure sign of bluefin activity. I recommend two rods in outriggers and two lines fished 30-60 feet deep on a downrigger/planer set up. Whether it’s an 80 or 130 class bent butt trolling outfit or stand-up gear with 50 or 70 class reels, always use a quality hollow core braid with a mono top shot, like Berkley’s hollow core braid and top-shots by Basil. For stand-up gear, drag settings of 30-34 lbs. range are about right and for the larger trolling set-ups, 40-55 lbs. Use fluorocarbon leaders from 180 to 220 lbs. with a 10/0 or 11/0 Mustad 7698B or Owner Jobu hook attached. For bait, use horse ballyhoo with good color, intact eyes and tails. Start with two skirted baits and two “naked” baits, with one of each on the surface and one of each on a downrigger/planer. The Ilander or Seawitch type lure with the hand tied rigs are my personal favorites. Prepare baits the night before, keeping them cold with a mixture of salt and baking soda, never allow the bait to touch the ice or melt off.
Troll between 3 and 5 knots, depending on preference. A 300-pound test spectra on the planer set-ups helps the planer/downrigger dig deeper. Our deep bait gets set 300’ behind the planer and the shallower bait 275’. The fishing line is attached to the planer line with a double-ended snap swivel and a #64 rubber band wrapped 7 to 8 times around the main line. Position the surface rods the same distance back to increase the odds of a multiple hook-up. Once there’s a strike, clear the rods and planer/downriggers and turn the boat towards the fish while moving the angler into position. Attach safety lines port and starboard sides to an amidships cleat so that it will reach both the stern and bow. It allows a safe transfer of the rod from the stern to the bow. Avoid slacking up the line, it can allow the fish to throw the hook. When stand-up fishing, always wear a fitted bucket harness. Use your body weight to lift the rod, and crank the handle.
When harpooning the fish, aim for the gill plate to pectoral fin area to push the dart through the fish. We prefer to harpoon our fish and keep one rigged with 300’of 1/4” rope with a poly ball stored neatly in a basket. In addition, we have two heavy duty gaffs and spare darts ready. Stay clear of the dart line in case the fish runs after being harpooned. Moderate pressure should be used to control the fish, but don’t tie off to a cleat as you may pull the dart out of the fish. Have additional crew gaffs and tail ropes ready. Bleed the fish before bringing it onboard and bring it up through transom door or over the side with a block and tackle. Be sure put it in an insulated bag, and always carry enough ice to care for your catch and ensure it’s cooled down quickly. Catching one of these magnificent fish is a team effort and a huge accomplishment. There is no greater feeling than hunting, finding and landing one of these behemoths.
Capt. Mark DeBlasio has been with the Canyon Runner Team for four years and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. Adam LaRosa, owner of Canyon Runner Sport Fishing can be reached at email@example.com.
The first offshore species many people will be targeting this season in the northeast will be sharks. Sharks can provide great sport, so it’s no surprise there are many articles covering this topic. My approach is to discuss “boating a shark.” Thank goodness, conservation has a come a long way since I started shark fishing in the 70’s.Back then, if a shark swam into your slick and you caught it, it would wind up on the dock for pictures and in the case of a mako or thresher, food. Personally, I still love to eat fresh fish, so I usually do keep a mako or thresher each season.
In many places, there are shark tournaments almost every weekend. Whether you’re boating sharks for competitive purposes or for recreational fun, in order to be successful, you have to be ready and take some precautions. Please remember, SAFETY FIRST! I can’t stress this enough, as I see a lot of unnecessary recklessness on some of the shark fishing shows on TV, and unfortunately, people do learn by example.
First of all, clear the decks and stow away any deck clutter. I think many of us have seen the video of the guy fighting a blue shark standing up, when suddenly, he winds up in the water. How did that happen? He was standing on a coil of garden hose! The hose rolled under his feet, and before you could blink an eye, he was overboard. Not exactly where you want to be with a shark swimming nearby.
When leadering a shark, keep the boat in gear. This way, you can leader the fish alongside the boat and give the gaff-man a clean shot of the gills. If you’re in neutral, the shark will not stop swimming, so he will either make a circle or spin, or both. This means the gaff-man might have to reach out and could lose his balance. Keep the boat moving, and if the shark is too crazy, back off the drag, let him take some line and wear him out.
Once the gaff shot has been placed (sometimes two gaffs are necessary so always have a back up ready), get a tail rope on him, and hang the shark from the bow cleat. This prevents the shark from rubbing against the hull, or “sanding” the gelcoat. We always tape a knife to a mop handle with electrical tape and then slice both gills to bleed the shark, which is the best way to end the game. Once the shark is subdued, get a rope around his head; a straight gaff will help.
When you’re ready to bring the shark aboard, lay a tarp over the gunnel to protect the finish and the coaming bolsters, and pull by the tail rope. When you have him where you want him, cleat off the tail rope and use the rope around the head to “hog tie” the shark to another cleat. This way, if he still has some “nerves”, he can’t swing very much. My father always said, “Treat a shark like a gun - it’s always loaded”. I have seen sharks still have nerves several hours after being boated and brought to the dock, so watch out for those teeth!
As an extra precaution, I always like to place a five-gallon bucket over the head. Now you can dump some ice over the beast and use the tarp to keep the sun off the shark. To keep the shark’s skin moist, be sure to occasionally douse the tarp with some seawater. Ice is a wonderful thing, so bring as much as you can - it will make a difference.
When boating a shark, be sure to keep him away from the engines. One quick snap, and he could bite through a fuel line or hydraulic steering line. If this happens, you won’t make the weigh-in for the tournament.
If you’re not planning to boat the shark, place a tag at the base of the dorsal fin and snip the leader a couple feet from the mouth. Tagging is great fun - for more information, contact NOAA’s APEX Predator Program at 401-782-3200. Last year, we fished a tournament out of Point Judith, Rhode Island. While we didn’t catch any weighable fish, we did win a gift certificate for the tagging division. Better than nothing, and we did catch a blue shark that had been tagged a year earlier. We removed the old tag and placed a new one. The scientists were psyched over the re-tag.
Good luck and great fishing!
A great evening of swordfishing starts with a few basics in boat setup and preparation. While I have almost exclusively used the Regulator 26 to hunt large broadbills, the following tips apply well to all Regulator models.
The first and most important additions are rod holders – the more the better. We complement the original four factory-installed 30-degree polished stainless holders with eight more identically matched and mirrored on each side of our 26 as follows: one-pair on the transom (note: same as factory option), one-pair amidships (straight out from each side of the helm walk-thru), one-pair abreast of the cooler seat and one-pair on the bow (just aft of the anchor locker, facing out, perpendicular to the curve of the bow). We fish six lines (four off jugs and two off rod tips) all off the starboard side. During tournaments we often add a seventh off the transom and a bait rod off the port side. This works well with a Hydro Glow™ tied to the port spring cleat (you may want to use a jumper box with alligator clips to power the light).
There are two keys to not
having a tangled up mess! 1.The boat must be kept “parked” perpendicular to the wind and waves by using
a sea anchor attached to the starboard spring cleat. We deploy a Para-Tech® 12
sea anchor for typical Gulf Stream conditions. 2.The jugs must be slowly “walked
out” individually, keeping a clean in-line spread. The rod
tip baits are last to set with a live bait off the bow and gunwale bait
drifting out slowly into the spread. (Be ready for one of these
For swordfishing at night, knowing your 12-volt battery supply is a critical component to your success. Newer Regulator 26’s have all you need (three-series 27 batteries paralleled) to run electronics, pump(s) and adequate lighting (above and below) for an entire night of fishing. You only need to isolate your batteries with their switches and monitor voltage usage periodically. For lighting, we installed four spreader lights under the T-top, a pair in the back, one centered forward and one on the right side only. To conserve power, these lights are controlled by a 30-amp “Black Magic” dimmer switch.
Underwater, we are experimenting with the previously mentioned Hydro Glow™ Night Stick. We minimize the rest of our 12-volt usage while drifting with only the anchor light, VHF, combo plotter and transom livewell pump running. Monitor battery reserves at least every 30-minutes to be safe.
The full use of a Regulator 26 can be realized when you easily conceal and protect your 100-pound catch (60” average fork length) in the fish box! Bigger fish will have to remain on deck when it’s time to head home. Remember to have your current HMS permit, release juvenile swordfish and report all catches.
There’s nothing better than “getting tight” on a swordfish, and Regulator provides the perfect platform!
This tip comes from Captain Stan Jarusinski, or “Captain Stan Man” as he is more popularly known. He is the owner of a Regulator 23’ and a member of the Southern Kingfish Association, and winner of their 2004 Sportsmanship Award.
You don’t have to use heavy tackle to catch Spaniards -- light and medium-light rods with 2000 spinning reels or Abu Garcia 5500 or 6500 reels are fine. If you don’t have anything that light, then use your live-bait king outfits.
These fish like the Clark Spoons, both the silver and gold, in various sizes. Also try some small Tony Spoons, or Drone Spoons from L.B. Huntington. Experiment with two or three different sizes to "match the hatch." Once you get two hits on the same lure, switch over and put the same spoon on two or three rigs.
I like to use about 3 to 4 inches of Single Strand #3 American Fishing Wire on my spoons attached to a 35# Spro Swivel. To that, tie about 20 to 25 ft. of 20 lb. Fluoro Carbon tied to another Spro Swivel. Tie 25 ft. of regular 50 to 80# fishing line on that swivel, then add another Spro swivel tied to your trolling sinker that is tied to the main line on the reel.
Troll 6 to 7 MPH - any slower and you will catch bluefish. Trolling sinkers come in different weights to get your spoon in different depths of the water column. You must find not only what size baits the fish are eating, but at what depth the bait is by trolling sinkers of different sizes. Again, when you find bite, switch your lines over to that weight sinker.
Spanish mackerel like 8 to 18 ft. of water, and prefer to swim on the edge of the first wave that is going to break. Don’t get into that first breaker, but the next wave just offshore of it. Keep your eyes peeled for birds and fish breaking on the surface and fish those spots.
Visit Stan's website: www.captainstanman.us
My dad’s fishing tip was, “You have to hold your mouth just right”, which I’m sure meant, “Quit talking!”
– Lorraine Bass, Regulator Marin
When setting up an offshore high-speed topwater trolling pattern on your 23, 24, 26 or 32 Regulator, a lot of folks put emphasis on the outrigger and long baits. With the excellent wake pattern and well-defined lure channels that the 24-degree aft deadrise running bottom creates, I've found that a potential sweet spot that many Regulator owners are possibly overlooking is setting their lures right behind the boat in the first and second waves.
When I take owners out on their Regulators as a guide, fishing Long Island's south shore waters, I find that almost 90% of our day's tuna and mahi catch comes from this very fertile area. Even the occasional wahoos that venture north are suckers for lures and baits that are fished up close and personal.
One secret to success in fishing tight to the transom is to employ weighted lures that have no problem staying down in the water at your typical 6.5-to-8 knot trolling speeds. I've had really good luck with burley diving plugs, like the Braid Speedster Jr and Marauder set in the base of the first wake. Attaching these to flatline clips set really low to the water, just above the trim tab pistons, will help keep the lures swimming nicely in rough seas and provide a distinctive early-warning "snap" a millisecond before the reel's clicker begins to wail. These clips will also help to stagger the line heights to practically eliminate tangles with the short baits in tight turns. I also place an additional pair of lures out in the second wake, positioned near the top of the wave, swimming down the face of the wave. Proven standards like the Sevenstrand TC-200 Tuna Clones, Stalker and Chaos jets (6-inch length) are my favorites here. I always put these second wave lures on longer flatline clips tied off on the Regulator's stern hawse pipe cleats, which allows the first wave lures to slide harmlessly under these in tight maneuvers, keeping tangles to an absolute minimum. Every boat is different, even similar models, due to power options, engine trim, sea conditions and boat speed, so be sure to experiment with this baseline advice to suit your situation. You can then run a pair of 'rigger rods and a long solo shotgun rod 100-to-125 yards back to complete the spread.
Remember to keep some lures tight to the transom when you target bluewater tuna, billfish, mahis and wahoo this coming season and see if you can't help to up your score.
If you have any questions about this advice, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or in this case ... Fish where there are other boats and where the birds are working.
– Lori Rudman, Oyster Harbors Marine, Osterville, MA
Buy some oversized plastic eyeballs with the pupils that roll around inside them, and some glitter, at your local craft store. Glue these on your favorite lures for the utmost realism.
Next, paint your lures with a clear fingernail polish to seal in the glitter and eyeballs. You can also try a wide variety of colors of polish to further improve your design
– Joe Myers, Catawba Moorings Regulator Dealer, Port Clinton, OH
When offshore fishing for tuna, dolphin, wahoo, etc: a fish hits and either pulls off or misses the hook after being on for a few seconds … our natural tendency is to say “Man, I missed him!” and move on. DON’T!!! Grab that rod and jig it! Hard and vigorously! You will be amazed how many fish will come back through this action … and usually they come back aggressive enough so that you can hook them to stay.
– Sam Maxwell, Team Regulator
Regulator – The
Finest in Offshore Sportfishing Boats
From 23 - 34 Feet
Regulator Marine, Inc. • 187 Peanut Drive • P.O. Box 49 • Edenton, North Carolina 27932 • 252-482-3837