I have a scheduled tuna charter tomorrow. I should be prepping rigs, checking the drags on my Accurates and readying boat right? Instead I am doing something MUCH more important, I’m on the phone. Having all your gear ready and baits prepped is important, but not as important as WHERE you are going to put them in the water to catch. it’s a big Ocean out there, and fish have tails and can move. So how do you decide where to go? Many of us use Sea Surface Temperature services and chlorophyll charts to help us narrow down potentially good areas, but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING is better than a solid network of captains all sharing information on a daily basis. In fact I think it is safe to say that you are only as good as your network. But these information sharing circles are not easy to come by and even more important are the unwritten rules of forging and keeping these important tools of your tackle box. First and foremost is that information MUST be a two way street. I have had many “Leeches” in come in and out of my network. “Leeches” call, looking for information on where the fish are, you help them out and then the following week they call looking again for the same. If information is shared, it is of utmost importance that you share the results of your day. Maybe it was an epic day, or maybe it was dismal, either way the rule is that that person gets the report, and in a TIMELY manner, old information is useless! I spend the majority of my trip back from the grounds, texting and calling my network with my reports. It is imperative that the information be a two way street, otherwise “leeches” don’t get any more information.
The second rule is DETAILS. Once you have a network of captains and have weeded out the blood suckers, the focus shifts to the quality of the information your receiving or providing. “We caught 11 Yellowfin at Massey’s Canyon” is not enough! Trolling or chunking? If trolling, what was the hot color? What position in the spread was hot? Hot lure? If chunking, what depth had the bites? What leader strength? Were the fish line shy? Anchored or drifting? The more detailed the report, the better the information you have to go on to make your plan for the day. But remember rule number 1, you must provided that level of detail to others if you expect to get it from them.
Rule three is to give unsolicited information. Your network should be listed in your favorites on the cell. EACH AND EVERY time you leave the dock, your network gets a call with your detailed results whether they ask or not. While its nice to call and say “WE CRUSHED ‘EM” , a skunk report is just as important as the later. And while the others you call may not be fishing the next day, regular information is valuable in tracking fish movements and condition. So matter what let your network know when you get home from a trip.
Rule four, “loose lips sink ships” information that your given or give to your network should stay in your network!!!!! If information given is leaked and is traced back, you won’t be part of that network for long, or you’ll be less apt to give good info to the “leak“. If a situation does arise that you feel you need to pass on the information, your cousin is fishing and needs help on where to go and such, ASK if its ok to share that info. Better to ask then be considered the “ leak”
Finally, keep your network close. Each year after the season or before, get together with them. Have a few beers at the local dive bar, or meet at a house. This kind of bonding and camaraderie will go far to solidify those relationships that EVERY good captain needs to be successful.
Tight Lines Team Accurate