All New Valiant 500N Plus - Live Bait Fishing Just Got Better

All New Valiant 500N Plus - Live Bait Fishing Just Got Better

The Boss Valiant 500 Narrow Plus was designed to give both Jiggers and live bait fishermen an added advantage of an extra 150yds of 50lb braid when fishing hard pulling gamefish, that added line is a plus in a narrow reel.

The BV 500N Plus has been the answer to many of the anglers fishing school size tuna with 40 and 50lb braid and hooking a little bigger fish where drag and line capacity keep you in the game.

The last couple seasons live bait fishing on the drift has been very productive for the long-range fleet in San Diego on southern California outer banks. The fish have been finicky about size of fluorocarbon used so it has been necessary to drop down in size to 20 to 25 lb fluorocarbon leader with a #2 or #4 ring circle hook to get a bite. Normally we match the hook to size of bait but most trips they want it smaller. When dropping down to smaller line tests to increase success rate a circle hook is key. There are a lot of circle hooks out there, and people tend to use light wire hooks but the 3X wire hooks tend to work better when hooking a better fish.

The key to successful school tuna fishing is having a rod that has a moderate tip to cast a smaller bait but still has a slower action with mid-range power to lift the fish once hooked. We have been using a 7’10” to 8’ M or MH in the past which is a perfect fit for the BV-500N Plus. We have been using 50lb braid on the reel and the 475 yds of 50lb braid with a very short 3’ leader has been the trick.

Earlier last year we were fishing the BV-500N and some of the bigger school fish would take us down to the arbor while fishing lighter leaders. The 500N only holds 325yds of 50lb braid so the difference between the 500N plus and the 500N is an additional 150yds which makes a big difference hooking a 60 to 80 lb bluefin. Anglers talk about school tuna and that usually means fish between 20 to 50lbs but there is always a few of the bigger models in the batch that you do not expect. These fish will test you as an angler and the best way to be prepared is understand what they are going to do, and make sure you have the right tackle to respond.

Preparation includes making sure you have the right rod for you, one that is not too stiff but has the right action, so you are applying pressure to the fish and not you. Secondly, there are two ways to look at fishing a reel, one with more drag which is counterproductive when fishing lighter leaders, the other is making sure you have adequate line on the reel, so you are comfortable with some of those long runs these fish make. The 500N Plus gives you the added confidence of 150 more yds which is the difference between catching them and not. This reel comes in single or 2-speed models depending on your personal preference. The 2-speed models work extremely well for tuna fishing and the 3.1 low and 6.1 high make gaining line easy in the middle of a heated battle.

Once you have the proper tackle set aside the next thing is to pick up some good fluorocarbon leader in sizes 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 80lb. Sounds like a lot of products but you would rather be prepared for whatever is coming than not. It’s always a good idea to start with heavier leader and let the fish dictate what they will eat.  We use both seaguar Gold in the smaller sizes and AFTCO Saiko for 40 and above. One thing with tying leaders on is using good, solid knots that are smaller in size to go through the guides easier and making sure you cinch your knots. This has become more important to anglers and Accurate introduced a knot puller tool that helps you pull tighter on both ends without cutting your hands. Most important thing when getting tackle ready is to have your knot cinched. There are many different knots you can use but figure out what is the best one for you. We use an FG knot for leader to braid and a uni-knot or San Diego jam to the hook or lure. If you want to see a listing of knots, please visit the Accurate YouTube channel.

Once you have the tackle ready and feel comfortable with your knots it’s time to book a trip. Locally some of the best times in the California bight have been September and October, but November has been hot too in the past.

Fishing live bait can be a very challenging way to catch the Bluefin but a couple things you need to practice include change bait frequently, make sure you can feel your bait in the water, follow you line down the rail, and try to keep your bait right in front of you to avoid tangles.

When you get bit with a circle hook remember it’s not the same as a regular hook where you put it in gear and swing. With a Circle hook put the reel in gear and slowly lift the tip, the fish will set the hook itself.

Couple ways to hook your baits for success are belly or breast plate hooking or through the rear-end. Ask your deckhand and he will tell you the what’s working.

Last thing to remember is set your drag on your reel to ¼ or 1/3 of the breaking strength of your line. Fishing 50lb braid 12 to 15 lbs with light leaders works great but remember when fish starts taking line off the spool,  your drag will continue to rise. If fish takes half your spool  of line and your drag is set with full spool at 15lbs it will be 30lbs as the diameter of spool gets smaller.

If your line is tinging, it’s too tight.

Well, we hope this helps you with your fishing trips and give the BV2-500N Plus and a try, you won’t regret it.

Click here to check out the all new Valiant 500N Plus available in 2-Speed as well as Single-Speed.

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