Archive for the ‘Okuma Trips and Events’ Category

Okuma Azores Spinning Reels Continue to Dominate Saltwater Fisheries

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

It’s pretty exciting as a company to begin with an idea, draft the plans and map out a road for a product’s development – all to see it come together with one outstanding result. One of these such new products from us here at Okuma, is the new Azores saltwater spinning reel line.

“We’ve really been on a terror this week with the Azores reels,” said an excited Mark Coleman, one of Okuma’s West Coast-based product testers. “We’re up to 50+ albacore on the one and 30+ on the other. The third has about 20 fish. All reels are functioning like new.  In the big scheme of things that is a lot of tuna on one reel. More than any of the others I’ve tested! Honestly this is the best saltwater spinning reel I’ve used.”

A happy group of anglers showing off the fruits of a successful albacore trip.

A happy group of anglers showing off the fruits of a successful albacore trip.

The new Azores line is our latest saltwater spinning line up here at Okuma, and boasts some exciting features that set this real apart from others.

“The Azores Z-65S is everything an angler looks for in a reel,” noted Jason Schall, another key Okuma tester based out of Charleston, SC.  “The corrosion-resistant coating and gearing, the Mechanical Stabilizing System combined with the water tight drag seal is perfect.  The rigid aluminum body and side plate give it the strong, solid, heavy-duty look and feel on the outside that it also is on the inside. I caught over 250 fish in a week on this reel, with most of them large sharks and very large redfish.  One of the redfish I caught was only 3 inches from a new IGFA length record!”

The Azores is right at home on both inshore and offshore waters.

The Azores is right at home on both inshore and offshore waters.

In Southern California, Okuma tester Capt. Bob Woodard has been putting the Azores to use on one of the best SoCal saltwater seasons in a decade. Woodard has scored numerous yellowfin tuna, yellowtail and some quality dorado on a spinning set up consisting of the Azores 65-size reel paired with a Makaira MK-C-701M spinning rod.

West Coast Okuma Capt. Bob Woodard displays a quality dorado taken on the Okuma Azores reel.

West Coast Okuma Capt. Bob Woodard displays a quality dorado taken on the Okuma Azores reel.

While the majority of fishing for yellowtail is done with conventional outfits, Carmen Macdonald and Brandon Cotton, both part of Okuma’s Marketing front, switched it up a bit while on a recent fly-in trio down to Cedros Island, BCS Mexico.

Paired with an Okuma Maikara spinning rod, the Azores makes a sweet combo for all kinds of hard fighting fish.

Paired with an Okuma Maikara spinning rod, the Azores makes a sweet combo for all kinds of hard fighting fish.

“You might see a few guys on a sportboat fishing spinning tackle for yellows, but most guys are gonna be using conventional tackle most of the time. We’d caught a good amount of the forkies on conventional tackle already, so we figured let’s mix it up and tag a few on the new Azores spinners,” said Cotton. “I tell you what, that reel is extremely strong and stable, and the drags are super smooth and powerful.”

Azores doing work in the surf on a quality striped bass.

Azores doing work in the surf on a quality striped bass.

The new Azores will be shipping to retailers starting early November. Check out more information, including a complete product video, here at www.okumafishing.com/product/view/reels/2015-new-reel-series/azores.

Okuma’s Newest Bass Offerings Help Scott Martin Take Down FLW Potomac Event

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

When you’ve designed, crafted and delivered rods and reels of the very highest caliber, it’s a natural extension to put them in the hands of elite professionals and have them perform on the major fishing tournament trails. With the release of Helios rods and reels, Komodo high-speed baitcast reels and completely redesigned and upgraded C3-40X rods, that’s exactly what we did.

Scott Martin has been with Okuma Fishing Tackle since November of 2011, and just 6 months into fishing the gear, his performance on the Potomac River last weekend was dubbed “unstoppable” by FLW reporters, jumping out to a massive lead, then following up for three more days to seal the victory.

Martin bested 145 top professionals, leading the tournament from day one through the finish.

Martin focused on grass throughout the Potomac River FLW event with a three pronged approach: chatterbaits, stick worms and flipping. Here’s the gear that got it done:

Chatterbaits & Stick Worms: Helios HS-262V reel on Helios HS-CM-701MH Mini Guide rod.

The lightest rod and reel combinations in the Okuma lineup, Helios models are purely tournament-driven for extreme sensitivity, minimum fatigue and all-day comfort…necessities of four day, high-pressure fishing marathons. The Helios HS-262V weighs just 6.3 ounces total. Constructed on an all-aluminum drive system, featuring an aluminum frame and right side side plate, the reel defines refined power and strength. Premium ABEC-5 bearings are stock equipment, setting free absolutely effortless casting that’s governed by an internal 7-position centrifugal cast control system. In Martin’s chatterbait & stick worm applications, the 6.2:1 gear ratio delivers precise control over every presentation.

Helios Mini Guide rods begin on a foundation of 40-Ton carbon, fast-action blanks. The HS-CH-701MH weighs just 3.7-ounces, bringing Martin’s rod and reel combination to 10-ounces total, prior to line winding. To reach the minimalist weight while retaining all the inherent power, Helios Mini Guide rods feature ALPS Mini Guides with ultra-hard Zirconium inserts. Martin fished 17-pound fluorocarbon, but the guide system is up to the task of any line type desired. ALPS Mini Guides deliver 100% confidence in strength at micro-level weight. The system improves both sensitivity and casting by maintaining a superior, close relationship between line and the rod blank. At the handle end, Helios Mini Guide rods feature an EVA split grip, delivering outstanding balance and again reducing every bit of sensitivity-robbing weight. Rated for 1/4- to 1-ounce casting weight, the 7-foot HS-CM-701MH and Helios reel are perfect choices for the applications the conditions called for.

Flipping: Komodo KDR-273V reel on Helios HS-CM-761XH.

Scott Martin, Day one Potomac River

A monster bag on day one provided a powerful lead, and continued clean execution brought the win home three days later.

At 6.5 ounces in total weight, the Komodo KDR-273V delivers speed and power by the tonnage, again in a platform driven by comfort and minimalist weight. The Komodo features a full aluminum drive system, aluminum frame and both right and left side aluminum side plates. Eleven stainless steel bearings include ABEC-5 spool bearings…just as Helios does. Key separating features of Komodo from Helios are apparent in the massive gear box. For flipping, Martin relies on Komodo for the high-speed 7.3:1 gear ratio. Commanding 31.5-inches of line with every turn of the handle, the reel extracts fish from cover and puts them in the boat with authority and conviction, backed by the strength of the aluminum drive system and full Carbonite drag system. Komodo is an angler favorite also, with models available in both right and left hand retrieve.

The Helios Mini Guide HS-CM-761XH is a lighter choice in flipping rods for Martin. The cover on the Potomac is not as demanding as other locations. For heavy flipping, you’ll most often find the C3-40X, C3-C-7111H in Martin’s hand. He’s dubbed it the best balanced 7’11” rod available in the market and relies on it’s longer length for increased distance and leverage. On the Helios HS-CM-761XH, features are exactly the same as the medium heavy: 40-Ton carbon blank, ALPS Mini Guides with Zirconium inserts, split EVA grips and Pac Bay MINIMA reel seats with zero fore-grip. The 7’6″ XH takes the lure ratings to 1/2- to 2-ounces, with exceptionally fast action.

For complete coverage of the FLW Potomac River event, check out FLW’s website here, FLW- Simply Unstoppable, and BassFan’s coverage here, North South Grass Combo Kept Martin On The Right Fish.

The Bass Federation-A Model Of Success

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Youth, Conservation, Fishing, the foundation principles of The Bass Federation. If there are three better concepts to build an organization around, we have yet to see it. Okuma believes heavily in the Federation model.  It’s important. And because of that we sponsor the State Federations of Florida, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Virginia, Tennessee, Utah, Northeast Mississippi and Idaho. These groups don’t ask for much, and return far more to the sport than they ever take from it. We’re very proud to be involved and appreciative of the feedback we receive, from photos to product feedback on rods and reels like Komodo, Citrix, Krios, Helios, EVx and more.

bass federation

Since 1968, the independent state bass Federations have worked together to support the grassroots growth of fishing and the growth of the entire sport fishing/outdoors industry in their states.

If you’re an avid bass angler, there’s little doubt that you’re already familiar with The Bass Federation. If your new to the sport, or simply haven’t connected with an organization, the following outline, provided by the Tennessee Bass Federation, provides a lot to look forward to.

The Bass Federation

TBF is a 100% member owned company; it’s owned, controlled and governed by its members through their home state federations like the Tennessee Bass Federation. The “federation,” TBF, is the oldest and largest organized grassroots fishing organization in America, the only member owned national fishing organization. Our sole purpose is to support our core values, which we have held for more than 40 years; youth, conservation and fishing.

TBF is made up of individuals and groups that believe in the organization and its future as a way a life, not just a company, but a “family.”  As a family, TBF’s members step up as club leaders, officers and presidents all over the country, without these volunteers TBF could never be successful. Unlike other companies, TBF’s national office line is always open, and there’s never, never an automated response. The TBF family takes care of its family.

Tennessee Jr. Bass Federation Championship

A great bunch of kids involved in the sport thanks to an exceptional group of adults. There will never be "an ap" for this.

TBF’s sponsor partners make the federation unique in the industry, as well as, successful long-term. They offer federation members and their clubs an array of member benefits and opportunities. TBF’s sponsors partners make it possible for TBF to pay back 100% of membership dues to member programs, which include industry leading insurance coverage, a host of No–Entry Fee events, a TBF member-only online store, individual member discounts, falling price auctions, tons of special offers, and massive support of their youth, conservation, state team, and state federations. Taking advantage of one or more benefits can save any member more money than their yearly dues costs to belong to BOTH TBF and FLW Outdoors, plus so much more.

Speaking of tournament opportunities, on a national average a TBF member pays less than $200 a year in total TBF member dues and entry fees to fish through their state, to the divisional, the Federation National Championship, the BFL All-American and the Forrest Wood Cup. You cannot fish for less anywhere…. on any circuit, much less one that offers berths in the biggest events in the business. It really does pay to belong to TBF.

Tennessee Bass Federations State Team

There's a lot more to the Tennessee Bass Federation than competitive tournaments and Okuma is very proud to have their state team wearing our jerseys.

Though being a TBF member is a bargain unequaled in the industry, TBF is about so much more. The federation is youth, conservation and fishing, not just tournaments. It is about the next generation, conserving our natural resources, fighting for clean water, as well as, saving money and qualifying to advance. All those things are important to the federation but they do not define what the federation is. The fun and camaraderie and the family-feel is what TBF is all about. Fishing for fun and bragging rights with life-long federation friends, and protecting the future of fishing and the rights to fish with our kids and grandkids is why TBF has grown and has continued to grow all these years. Family and fishing is why TBF exists; it exists 100% for its members and to support the things, the sport, they love. And like its members, TBF will continue to support the sport of fishing for decades to come.

Captain Todd Mansur and the Boardroom

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Captain Todd Mansur operates the 65′ Hatteras sportfisher, The Boardroom. Fishing the elite-level offshore tournaments on the Pacific side of North and Central America, Mansur’s travels have him on the water every fishable day during tournament season. A key product tester of Okuma reels and rods, few have access to the strength of fisheries, for the duration, that Mansur’s tournament crew has. On the way to the 2011 Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, Mansur kept some notes on both the fisheries encountered and the gear used that we thought we’d share with you…

Cedros Island Yellowtail

One of many Cedros Island yellowtail on a Cortez, Makaira rod combo.

This year in southern California was a challenge for every level of fisherman but just below our border, there was a terrific fishery brewing due to the currents and conditions that we have been missing. Our trip really started when we reached Cedros Island. With all of our inshore gear ready, we approached knowing that the Yellowtail fishing was on fire. We knew this was going to be our chance to fish some Okuma tackle that we had been admiring all season but hadn’t really been able to use much due to slow fishing in our local waters. In the arsenal of tackle to be used were the Cedros star drag 10 and the Cedros lever drag 10, along with the Cortez star drag 10 and one of my favorites, the Andros 5II. As we all know jigging and live bait fishing yellowtail is not only fun, but with fish weighing up to 40-pounds they can put inshore reels to a test. And test they did. Not one of the reels showed any signs of fatigue. We were fishing all these reels with Tuf-Line 65lb. braided line to 30lb. mono top shot. This combo was perfect for this application. The rods we were using were the Cedros jigging rods for the Cedros reels, Makaira rods for the Cortez reels and the awesome Cedros inshore rods on the Andros reel.

Magdalena Bay was holding quality wahoo on the troll.

I have to tell you guys, everyone on this trip has years of fishing experience. Aside from talking about how great the fishing was they couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the reels preformed. After a day of putting our tackle to the test, as well as our arms and backs, we started south for Mag Bay. Knowing that we would be seeing a great Dorado fishery down in Mag, we were very excited. Along with the Dorado we hoped to catch Wahoo as well and this meant it was time to get out some trolling gear. We paired up two Cavalla 30ll with the new Makaira 50lb. trolling rods and two Titus 30ll with the same and put out the Wahoo lures and some small Pakula Marlin lures. We thought this would be a great combo and it was. As soon as there was enough light we were hooked up. Dorado everywhere, again putting the inshore tackle to the test without failure. Throughout the day we released over fifty Dorado and boated three nice Wahoo. We really loved the action of the Makaira trolling rods they were beefy enough to pull hard, but still had great action to give the angler a thrill. Nice roller guides as well.

Grouper off Mag Bay

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10."

As we continued to fish Mag Bay each day was great. What a fishery.

There were days that we really put Okuma to the test.

This Andros set up is spooled with 60lb. mono to 65lb. braid we went 4 for 10 on the groupers. We never stopped the big ones, even when I put 100lb. on the Cedros lever drag 10. This was great. We really put the pressure on these fish to keep them out of the structure and again the tackle was bulletproof. At the end of the day it was like we just took the reels out of the box.

With fishing like this for over a week in Mag Bay we headed south to Cabo San Lucas to start pre fishing For the Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Tournament.

The tuna bite at El Banco was solid, along with the black marlin that would have been nice to have off Cabo instead of PV.

Well guys this is the only sad part of this story. There were really no fish to catch. After 4 days off pre-fishing we couldn’t come up with a good strategy. There was just no fish biting so we just decided to fish lures and cover ground. After the three-day tournament all we had to show for was a sailfish release and an empty wallet. So off to Puerto Vallarta we went, hoping that we would get over the really sore fishing in Cabo. We did, however, get to show off the beautiful Makaira 80-ll. They drew lots of attention and I hope to get a chance soon to put them to the full test that I know they can live up to. As we approached PV, our hopes were high before even checking in to port we fished the first day at what is called El Banco. Thinking that maybe live bait fishing with small skipjack tuna would give us a chance at a large tuna we put out the 30ll Cavalla’s and the 30ll Titus. A 30-ll Makaira would be ideal. Anyway we were right, live bait fishing skipjack worked but it wasn’t a tuna on the line after 2 hours and 45 minutes. We had a 320lb. black marlin to leader. I know that these reels aren’t in the making any more, but they worked great and still work great after that test of strength. I’ll get you picks of that fish I haven’t put them into my computer as of yet. After that we knew we were going to enjoy the next couple of weeks here. The target here was tuna and tuna we found on most days. It was the gyro’s that got us located on tuna either under Dolphin or bird schools. We caught fish every day. With fish being picky some days we had to fish much lighter line than we wanted, so Okuma engineering really got put to the test. Here is one of the amazing fish we caught.

This was caught on a Makaira 10-ll with 100lb Tuf-Line braid to 130lb fluorocarbon leader with a #8 circle hook. There has never been a reel that I have been more proud, to have and to fish, with than the Makaira. WOW! I have made a great career as a fisherman and have fished every type of reel on the market and I will gladly argue anyone that says that Okuma is anything but superior to other reels. You guys have definitely done it right.

My many thanks to all of the Okuma staff!

Captain Todd Mansur

Okuma Free Pro Jersey and Reel Cash Rebates, Now Through May 15th!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Now through May 15, 2012, consumers can take part in Okuma Fishing Tackles Free Pro Jersey and Reel Cash Rebate offers, delivering up to a $69.99 value with purchase of select Okuma low-profile baitcast reels. The Okuma Pro Jersey offer includes a free custom, die-sublimated Okuma tournament jersey by mail with purchase of either the all-new Komodo or Serrano low-profile baitcast reels. The Okuma Reel Cash Rebate offers $30, $30, $20 and $10 by mail with purchase of all-new Cedros saltwater, 6.3oz. Helios, Citrix and all-new Krios low-profile reels, respectively.

FLW Cup Champion Scott Martin shows off the Okuma Tournament Jersey

The custom die-sublimated Okuma tournament jersey is the same as shown here on Okuma pro and FLW Cup Champion Scott Martin.

Rebate forms are available at retailers, or can be downloaded for printing here:  Download Rebate Forms

2012 promotions include four all-new entries into the Okuma tournament low-profile product line. At the top end are all-new Cedros, Helios and Komodo baitcast reels, all of which feature high-strength drive systems (heavy duty Dura-brass brass in Cedros, tournament aluminum in Helios and Komodo), full Carbonite drag systems, ABEC-5 spool bearings and durable, over-sized EVA foam handles amongst a long list of elite level construction features.

Cedros low-profiles are dedicated saltwater baitcasting reels. Featuring Okuma’s proprietary T480 aluminum frame construction, the base alloy withstands 480 hours of alternating saturated saltwater and air, a period that deeply corrodes traditional aluminum alloys. Heavy duty Dura-brass gearing provides incredible strength in Cedros’ powerful 8.4-ounce build. A Carbonite drag system provides the stopping power, while a 7 stainless steel bearing system is effortless over the long-term. On the exterior, a titanium deposition coating fully protects the aluminum side plates for unbeatable durability in harsh environments.

The Helios, Okuma’s lightest baitcast reel ever, tips the scales at just 6.3-ounces  while maintaining a handle-side aluminum side plate for long-term durability and alignment of internal components. Komodo, weighing in at just 6.5-ounces features an 11-bearing system, choice of high-speed 7.3:1 or powerful 5.4:1 gearing, right and left side aluminum side plates and availability of right-and left-hand retrieve in the high-speed model.

Look for Okuma Rebate and Jersey displays in better tackle shops nation-wide.

The Krios low-profile baitcast reel will radically redefine performance levels at the $100 price point. Featuring an aluminum frame, 6-bearing drive system, dual cast control systems and high-speed 7.3:1 gearing, Krios is as easy to own as it is to fish, and even easier with a $10 rebate!

Introduced in 2010 and 2011 respectively, Serrano and Citrix baitcast reels continue to prove themselves every day as exceptional performers in the category. Serrano for its exceptional ergonomics, versatile 6.4:1 gear ratio, Carbonite drag and absolutely fluid casting performance, and Citrix for bridging the gap between affordability and tour-level features like 7.3:1 gear ratio, 8-bearing drive system and aluminum framing for right- and left-handers alike.

Reel Cash Rebates and Pro Jersey offers end May 15th 2012.

Team Rezkill Wins Islamorada Dolphin Tournament!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Conditions were downright ugly for the Islamorada Dolphin Tournament, which took place on June 4th and 5th, but not unfishable. Capt. Luis M Perez, Ryan Smith, Audie Lim Sang, Mike Walker and Ray Ragolta pulled off the dock Saturday morning with a full load of goggle eyes.

Team Rezkill 36' Contender

Team Rezkill's fishing platform is a 36' Contender with triple Yamaha 300's.

The plan for the tournament, run-and-gun using feeding birds to locate the dolphin that were pushing up bait from below. “Run” might be an overstatement, as 10-12 foot seas made the going slow and the visibility challenging. The rig of choice: size 65 Cedros baitfeeder spinning reels loaded with Sunline 40-pound mono. 60-pound leaders, looped via Bimini Twist and finished with 8/0 Gamakatsu offset hooks.  Live goggle eyes were cast to schools, baitfeeder released to allow the bait to swim freely, then wait for the take.  Allowing plenty of time to eat the bait, with a turn of the reel handle the baitfeeding function is ceased and the drag system engaged.  A straightforward approach, and in calmer conditions, a ton of fun.

Dolphin at gaff

Big seas made for few photos and interesting conditions for locating solid fish.

Thirty miles Southeast of Islamorada, the birds became plentiful, as did the fish. The problem…small fish. Loads of 5- to 8-pound models. A dime a dozen. The kind of fish that make for a fun day, but not a tournament win. In the Islamorada Dolphin Tournament, teams are allowed to weigh just 2 fish a day, with the top three fish creating the final team weight (if a team weighs 4, the smallest is dropped). Quantity in this case is of little value, it’s quality and locating good fish on each day that wins.

Taking a beating at every turn only to find ongoing numbers of small fish, Team Rezkill changed the plan mid-morning. Instead of looking for the next school in hopes of scoring a quick big fish, they chose to sit on a large school in hopes of working a larger fish from below the more aggressive bailers. The tactic produced a standout 9-pound fish in fairly short order. Sticking with the approach then yielded the first really solid fish, an 18-pound cow, but no more from the school.  Rezkill is forced to go back on the hunt.

Whale Shark

A visit from a whale shark is taken as a good omen and always a welcomed sight.

Now getting late, the next batch of birds has just two fish beneath it. One beautiful bull that takes 2 baits but spits them both, and a 20-pound cow that finishes Rezkill’s day one total weight of roughly 38-pounds.

Day two is no nicer than day one, although Rezkill’s 38-pounds has them in second place behind a weight of 42-pounds.  In the running, motivation is as high as the seas.

Fishing is tough.  Again lots of small fish, but no quality.  The day becomes a long grind and finally after 3pm, the bow is pointed for the marina.  Still working for fish on the way in, a very thin weed line shows off the starboard side. With no fish on board and a never-give-up attitude, two baits are set to slow troll the edge of the weeds on Cedros CLD-20 lever drag reels, custom rods and the same line/leader setups.

Team Rezkill and Tournament Big Fish

Team Rezkill with the both the tournament's big fish and the one that put them into first place.

Not 30 minutes into the trolling effort a 17-pound cow awakens a clicker.  Now with one worthy fish on the boat, the visions of a second place finish are growing stronger.  Short on time, new baits are slid out the back and it takes less than 10 minutes for a 27-pound bull, the big fish of the tournament, to inhale the bait.  Bottom of the ninth, two outs and Rezkill jacks one out of the yard.

In baseball the game would be complete, but in sport fishing you have to make the dock. With less than an hour and a half to make weigh-in and still over 20 miles out, Rezkill had to press the 36′ Contender and triple Yamaha 300’s through the still relentless 10- to 12-footers.  Victory often comes with a bit of a price.

The last minute 27-pounder sealed up first place honors paying $6,000 and the tournament’s big fish honors, worth another $1,000.  Bragging rights until 2012, however, are “priceless”.

Congratulations to Team Rezkill from all of us at Okuma!

Mark Romanack’s Fishing 411 Now National

Monday, March 7th, 2011

The Midwest is a sportsman’s paradise.

Mark Romanack with Largemouth Bass

Fishing 411 host Mark Romanack with a largemouth bass.

Through all four seasons of the year, anglers in the Upper Midwest  have the ability to chase a wide variety of game fish from small farm ponds to the big water of the Great Lakes.  For years now, we’ve sponsored Mark Romanack’s Fishing 411 television with the goal of increasing angler success and enjoyment within the local markets of the Upper Midwest.

As it happens when you have a host that cares about the viewers and delivering information that will positively impact their fishing, Mark Romanack’s Fishing 411 has gone national!  The show is now available on the Sportsman Channel at 8:30pm Saturday nights as part of the network’s Strike & Set Saturdays.  We’re excited for Mark and very happy to have another avenue for customers of Okuma Fishing Tackle to connect with the fisheries we all enjoy so much.

Fishing 411 centers on the bread basket fisheries of the Upper Midwest:  walleye, panfish, bass, trout, salmon, pike and musky.  The show provides the perfect platform to showcase the broad breadth of the Okuma product line from Trio spinning reels, to linecounters, to Citrix rods and reels and the technique-specific EVx rods.

Romanack’s format is educational, delivering not only the “where,” but the “how,” interspersed with helpful tips that will serve anglers well as they pursue similar opportunities in the fisheries local to them.

Marck Romanack with Great Lakes Salmon

Viewers of Fishing 411 will enjoy a wide range of the Upper Midwest's best fishing opportunities.

For news on upcoming shows, or to view past episodes, visit the Fishing 411 website at http://www.fishing411.net.

Operation Catch Fish

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Here in the United States, we fish for many reasons: relaxation, competition, to share time with family and friends, or simply to become closer to our environment by actively participating in it.

For the members of our Armed Forces in Iraq, motivations for fishing certainly include all of same reasons, but perhaps a few more: to let their guard down if only for a short time, to connect with a passion enjoyed back home, to create an experience that is easily shared with loved ones and to truly find the “relaxation” in R&R.

In the Spring of 2010, Okuma was approached by Operation Catch Fish, a program put together by Joe Mercurio, host of the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series. In conjunction with Armed Forces Entertainment and the Bagdad Anglers Club, Operation Catch Fish III was headed to Bagdad to put on a weeklong series of base visits, casting competitions and clinics, culminating in the Bagdad Fishing Derby held at Camp Victory in a lake formerly reserved for use only by Saddam and his guests.

The goals of Operation Catch Fish are simple: boost troop morale, create a fun event to serve as a momentary diversion and to offer a gift to every service member met as a symbol, however small, of our appreciation and support for the sacrifices they make every day.

Joining a group of sponsors that included Mustad, Costa, Reactor Sport Watches, Yamaha, Skeeter, Bullet Weights and Guy Harvey from the fishing community, Okuma donated 500 rod and reel combinations to the event that would stay with the troops.

We just received some photos back, and it’s with tremendous pride that we share them with you. It’s your support of Okuma Fishing Tackle that made this donation possible and we thank you with our deepest respect and gratitude.

Okuma Reel Cash Rebate Available Now!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

In early 2010 the release of Serrano and Cayenne low-profile baitcast reels began what has been one of the most dynamic and exciting category introductions in Okuma Fishing Tackle history.   These two

Okuma Serrano low profile baitcast reel

Serrano is a lightweight powerhouse optimized for salt water. Click image for product details.

reels authoritatively raise the bar on performance: Serrano as a salt water optimized ultra-premium workhorse that’s also one of the lightest reels in its’ class, and Cayenne as the freshwater counterpart, delivering not just tournament-level, but obsession-level performance along with a dollar value that’s simply unmatched.

The reviews on Serrano and Cayenne baitcast reels, from both fishing media and consumers, have been exceptional.  As these reels were proving themselves, however, our product development teams were putting the final touches on the next round of low-profile baitcast introductions:  Citrix, Alumina, Calera

Okuma Cayenne low profile baitcast reel.

In freshwater, Cayenne delivers ultimate performance. Click image for product details.

and Tormenta.  With MSRP’s of $119.99, $99.99, $79.99 and $59.99 respectively, it’s these new reels that will reach enthusiastic Federation, club level and recreational anglers and bring them a better fishing experience through better equipment performance.  To serve all anglers, we’ve made all four of these reels available in models for both right and left hand retrieve.

At Okuma we’re excited.  Including heart and soul into each of these reels in order to make them exactly the reels we want to fish ourselves, at every price they are the best they can be.  We want you to share our excitement, and our Reel Cash Rebate program makes it easy.

Now through May 15, 2011, make your best deal on a

Okuma Citrix low profile baitcast reel.

Citrix features high-speed 7.1:1 gearing and a matching rod line. Click image for product details.

new Okuma Serrano, Cayenne, Citrix or Alumina low-profile baitcast reel at an authorized retailer and receive a $30 rebate on Serrano, $20 on Cayenne or Citrix and $10 on Alumina by mail.  Rebate forms are available in better stores or get yours on our website here:  http://okumafishingteam.com/media_5.php

Rebate’s are limited to four per household, in combination and in total.  Whichever reel fits your needs, we’re confident that once you try your first… you’ll be back for more!

Okuma Alumina low profile baitcast reel

Alumina features dual cast control systems. Click image for product details.

Okuma, Western Outdoor News and the Big Game 90

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Ever wonder what six days offshore on a premier sportfishing vessel would be like?  Okuma and the FV Big Game 90 recently partnered with Western Outdoor News to shed light on the topic… and the incredible excitement, comraderie and unadulterated fun that can accompany these trips. 

Should you have interest in a trip like this for yourself, look no further than the Big Game 90.  One of the many proving grounds for Okuma product like Makaira, Cedros, Andros and Cortez reels, Capt. Mike Jewett and his crew were chosen for thier ability to locate and connect with bigh fish, while taking tackle to its limits. 

 
SAN DIEGO — The late Sunday afternoon start for this year’s WON charter aboard the legendary sport fisher Big Game 90 meant it would be tough getting to Cedros in time for a decent bite the next day. But patience and trust in the crew would be the watchwords for this trip that paid off in the end.

With everyone aboard, BG 90 departed H & M Landing. Captain Mike Jewitt held his safety briefing and on-board fishing seminar with a wry sense of humor and wit while bait was being loaded. The plan to run south would include paddy hopping our way and a stop first thing in the morning past Isla San Geronimo at the Sacramento Reef to fish rockfish and possible yellowtail in the area.

Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield was on hand with Okuma Catalina Rods and Reel bags for all participants in the Won-Big Game 90 2010 Charter as well as the Okuma Soltera reel for a top raffle prize. Other trip sponsors Turner’s Outdoorsman and Sufix provided line spool ups and gift cards, while Lazer Sharp sent along dozens of hook packs. Williamson trolling jigs and jig packs and spools of Seaguar fluorocarbon rounded out the swag for charter participants.

• CHICK FARR WORKED THE IRON for a nice forkie gaffed by BG90 Chef Jacob Hensley.

• STEVE TOMIYAMA SOAKED SQUID to trick this bluefin displayed by deckhand Bryan Holtan.

• RUSS CARMONA WITH LING taken while fishing near the Sacramento Reef. The reef was named after the side wheel steamship that wrecked here in 1872.

BG 90 second-captain Justin Brands moved the boat down the line overnight in calm seas and light winds and at grey-light trolling rotation was begun. Just past 8:00 a.m. the first kelp paddy of the day showed off the starboard bow. Sliding up alongside, baits were tossed out and jigs thrown beyond the kelp.

“I’m metering plenty of fish down to 10 fathoms” called Captain Jewitt over the loud speaker.

Immediately, small 15-pound-plus yellowtail began to be pulled over the rails with 12 fish at this first stop. Definitely a good sign this early in a 6-day trip.

While working the paddy angler Steve Tomiyama of Poway fished a fly-lined ‘dine on one of his own custom rods for a lone 25-pound bluefin, gaffed and hauled over by deckhand Bryan Holtan.

After working each paddy for a short while and the bite having tapered off, Captain Jewitt would sing melodiously over the P.A., “ Up, up, up…let’s get back to work, looking around,” meaning it was time to reset the troll rotation.

The day continued without much distance covered when plenty of paddies holding fish fell along BG 90’s path to Cedros. As evening approached the captain announced we’d be fishing the “Reef” in the morning, then early the next day we’d be arriving at the island.

Anchoring in the darkness of the early morning hours Captains Jewitt and Brands along with the deck crew made squid using the crowder and hand nets for 30 scoops of bait. The current ran steadily southward forcing the crew to sweep the heavily-laden crowder net along from bow to stern as they loaded it with lively squid.

True to his word Captain Jewitt moved Big Game 90 to waters off the point, east of Cedros, at the salt works and the early morning hours were spent wrangling in bottom fish along with big yellowtail to 35-pounds while fishing dropper loop sardines and squid.

Okuma Rep Mansfield soaked a dropper loop squid from his Catalina rod and Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix line when his reel began screaming as line paid out on a big fish. Once the drag had done its job and the fish turned, Mansfield was joined by Captain Jewitt at the rail saying, “That’s gotta be a black sea bass! Go easy, and wind!”

• OKUMA PRO STAFFER ROBERT MANSFIELD worked a Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix to land and release this black sea bass estimated at 145-pounds. Deckhand Bryan Holtan, left, and Captain Mike Jewitt, right, brought the fish aboard for photos momentarily then carefully returned the fish to the water. • RICK ROSANO WITH SHEEPHEAD pulled from cove near Punto Morro Redondo at Cedros Island is shown off by deckhand Brad Morgan. • GORDON GOULD WINS OKUMA REEL presented by Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield.
• OKUMA PRO STAFFER ROBERT MANSFIELD worked a Makaira reel loaded with 30-pound Sufix to land and release this black sea bass estimated at 145-pounds. Deckhand Bryan Holtan, left, and Captain Mike Jewitt, right, brought the fish aboard for photos momentarily then carefully returned the fish to the water.

• RICK ROSANO WITH SHEEPHEAD pulled from cove near Punto Morro Redondo at Cedros Island is shown off by deckhand Brad Morgan.

• GORDON GOULD WINS OKUMA REEL presented by Okuma Pro Staffer Robert Mansfield.

After several runs by the fish, and a lengthy workout for Mansfield, the huge black surfaced near the boat amid cat calls and shouts from anglers at the rail. Mansfield decided to release the fish after a few quick pictures and the fish, estimated by the captain at 145-pounds, was carefully deflated and let go.

Twenty huge, almost cookie-cutter, 30-pound-plus yellowtail took crocodiles, jigs, and dropper
looped sardines before lunch.

The highlight of any long trip has to be the fishing but when the food is as good as the meals served-up by Big Game 90’s long-time chef, Jake Hensley there is always something to look forward. Hot spaghetti and meat balls for lunch and a filling pork loin dinner were typical of the delicious and tempting meals for the charter group.

Throughout the day stops around the area produced good numbers of yellowtail with a short wide open bite around 3:00 p.m. netting dozens of fish to 25-pounds. Ralph “Chick” Farr of Laguna Niguel pulled in several nice forkies using the Tady 77 scrambled egg surface iron for great success while saying, “Man there’s nothing like cranking the iron for yellowtail!”

Another open bite followed as Big Game 90 found the schools of mossbacks again and again.

Rick Rosano of Carson, and pal, Jacinto “Jack” Quisquirin of Murrieta, took their share of forkies at nearly every stop throughout the trip and usually could be found fighting fish side-by-side. “This trip has been outstanding!” exclaimed Rosano after the day’s catch was safely stashed in the refrigerated hold.

Okuma had sent along several rod and reel combos with their Cedros and Makaira reels rigged and ready for action. Testing out the equipment gave those aboard an opportunity to get acquainted with the gear in a real-time fishing environment.

More than half of the boat’s legal limit of yellowtail had been taken through the day and by sunset most everyone was ready for a rest. A final raffle drawing gave lucky angler Gordon Gould of Winnetka the new Okuma Solterra reel ready to be loaded with Sufix line.

Tucked in close to Cedros the anglers shared other feast, an hour or so making mackerel with Sabiki rigs and it was time to hit the rack.

The bright morning dawn found Big Game 90 working inshore at the cove near Punto Morro Redondo. Several stops produced plenty of whitefish, reds and a few sizable yellowtail throughout the morning hours when the captain announced, “We’re going to run back down and see if we can’t find the schooling yellowtail off shore.”

A little more than an hour’s run along the inside channel and a feeding school came up in front of the boat just as the engines were eased. The bite on 20-pound forkies would be a wide open frenzy that caught some anglers napping in their bunks.

Plenty more of the feeding fish filled the afternoon and around 4:00 p.m. Captain Jewitt announced that the boat limit had been reached and it was time to shut off the yellowtail action.

Plenty of discussion and argument about where to go next took place until the captain held an impromptu meeting in the galley to announce his plan. “You guys all did a great job,” said the skipper. “We are heading offshore to possibly find some tuna and work our way back up the line toward home. That way we can possibly hit a school of yellowfin and see what we can do,” he concluded.

The assembled anglers actually applauded the skipper for his success at finding so many quality fish and for going the extra mile by taking the boat out chasing tuna.

Overnight the boat moved offshore to a point twenty miles west of Islas San Benito and at dawn a small paddy produced a few football yellowfin and another shortly after that.

Heading northward trolling rotations kept up throughout the day and through the next until at last the final hours of the thirty hour return trip were winding down.

• MIKE NIXON WON CAPTAIN'S CHOICE award, taking home a valuable prize package and plenty of yellowtail. • OKUMA PROVIDED COMBO GEAR like this Cedros reel and Catalina rod for ‘tail busting action. • MANNY FREY OF SAN DIMAS limited on yellowtail and also took his share of big whitefish.
• MIKE NIXON WON CAPTAIN’S CHOICE award, taking home a valuable prize package and plenty of yellowtail.

• OKUMA PROVIDED COMBO GEAR like this Cedros reel and Catalina rod for ‘tail busting action.

• MANNY FREY OF SAN DIMAS limited on yellowtail and also took his share of big whitefish.

• JACKPOT WINNER KEVIN MARTIN with huge yellowtail taken while fishing a dropper loop squid near Cedros Island.

Longtime Big Game 90 deckhand Brad Morgan matched up the biggest fish of the trip to determine the jackpot winner and Kevin Martin of Lakewood proved to have the biggest catch with a yellowtail that looked to be close to 40-pounds.

Off-loading at H & M landing everybody enjoyed the fruits of their trip when bag after bag of fillets and plenty of whole fish hit the docks. There’d be lots of great stories and shared experiences to tide these anglers over until next year’s WON-Big Game 90 Charter.

Contact Info: H & M Landing www.hmlanding.com 1-619-222-1144 2803 Emerson Street, San Diego, 92106; Big Game 90 www.biggame90.com 1-858-270-7525             1-858-270-7525