Tuna, Tails and Tackle!

Testing the waters and new Penn gear off Bimini

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Pure Fishing (makers of Penn, Berkley, Shakespeare, Abu Garcia, Fenwick, etc.) invited media, including Sport Fishing's editor Chris Woodward, to test some new tackle (Penn Squall and Fathom conventional reels) and line (Berkley ProSpec premium mono) off Bimini, Bahamas, this past week. Our group ran out of Bimini Sands (www.biminisands.com - pictured) and fished aboard six center-console boats, sampling a broad species smorgasbord including yellowfin tuna, sailfish, kingfish, yellowtail snapper, grouper, jacks, 'cudas and sharks. Look for more coverage of the reels and line in our upcoming New Products columns.Chris Woodward
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Miami angler and custom-rod builder Albert Castro, left, and his mate, Joey, scan the horizon for birds, and, of course, yellowfin tuna, northwest of Bimini near an area called the Gingerbreads.Chris Woodward
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The bird marks the spot. A flock of birds hovered over bait and tuna north of Bimini. All we had to do was dunk a few live baits, and let the fun begin!Chris Woodward
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Fish on! Angler Rodney Smith starts the Day 1 tuna frenzy with the first hook up on a Fathom reel.Chris Woodward
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Castro and Smith celebrate for the camera with the first yellowfin. One down, three to go.Chris Woodward
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Pure Fishing brand manager Chris Derrick sacrifices his new white shirt to pose with his contribution to the evening's sashimi menu.Chris Woodward
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TV host George Poveromo anchored his Marc VI off a reef edge so anglers could chum and drift baits for yellowtail snapper, kingfish, jacks and more.Chris Woodward
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Castro and a yellow-tailed buddy who came home for dinner.Chris Woodward
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Castro prepares to tail a hefty kingfish that took a live bait fished in the chum slick.Chris Woodward
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Castro puts the kingfish in a knee squeeze to remove the hooks for release. Kings exert so much effort during a proper fight that they can be somewhat docile in the boat - though it's always prudent to watch out for those teeth!Chris Woodward
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Smith and Castro pose for one quick photo with the weary kingfish before release.Chris Woodward
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After a successful day, the gang begins to assemble at Mackey's Sand Bar before supper.Chris Woodward
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During supper, lure designer Patrick Sébile, whose company (www.sebileusa.com) was recently acquired by Pure Fishing, offers a clinic on rigging his Magic Swimmer baits for trolling and casting.Chris Woodward
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On the boat the next day, Sébile begins rigging an assortment of baits for trolling at all speeds, and a few for jigging and casting.Chris Woodward
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A barracuda was the first taker as we trolled several deep divers over the reef. We had hopes for a chunky black grouper, but the 'cudas stayed hungry.Chris Woodward
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David Lund, vice president of marketing for Pure Fishing, was closest to the rod on the second hit. He fought first a barracuda, which turned into a shark for a short while after the predator ate the 'cuda. Eventually, only a 'cuda head came boat-side.Chris Woodward
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Sébile and a feisty jack that couldn't resist that big-lipped plug.Chris Woodward
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On the reefs south of Bimini, sharks took a good number of the yellowtail hooked on Day 3. To catch this one, the angler had to speed-reel the fish to the boat and dip it with the net on approach.Chris Woodward
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Poveromo (right) and SF publisher Dave Morel are glad this fine flag made it aboard before it became a shark meal.Chris Woodward
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Using a Torque spinner, Poveromo hooks up on one of the Caribbean reef sharks that prowl these waters and harass snapper anglers.Chris Woodward
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Here's hoping that little pinch in the corner of the mouth and the prolonged aerobic workout make this shark head to another zip code.Chris Woodward
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Nicknamed "The Partridge Family Bus" because of its paint job, this mass-transit vehicle links Bimini Sands with Mackey's and its restaurant, among other stops.Chris Woodward
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Mike Rice, Penn's senior product manager, prepares to show various models of Fathom and Squall reels to attending media representatives.Chris Woodward
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Two different sizes of Fathom reels.Chris Woodward
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Two different sizes of Squall reels.Chris Woodward