This fish weighed 70.35lbs on a certified scale. It also came while fishing out of Venice, LA. Like the 67 pounder, it took one of my Flying Fish patterns I developed. It took the fly on the top about 50ft behind the boat.
To address your questions . . .
When I say deep, I'm talking about flies tied with Tungsten heads that sink fast. I'm using 5/0 C71SSS Circle Streamer hooks on a 15WT Sci. Angler Billfish line. It's a full sink and I get my fly deep. Typically, if the fish are not on top (or are on top but can't get any takers), I'm running a squid fly or Pink T-Bunny fly down 35 - 70ft. You mention you can only cast 60ft . . . NO problem. Just get the sinking fly 30ft from the boat and keep throwing slack line into the water to let the fly sink. If you have much current it can be tough to get down. Once I get the fly to the desired depth, I make 4 - 6 quick strips and then mend the stripped in line back onto the water to get the fly down again. Watch your slack line carefully as it sinks. They will take it on the strip but will also crush a sinking fly.
Topwater flies can be very effective but there are things you need to consider. In my experience, the size of your fly is more critical than the color. If the Tuna are feeding on 3" baitfish, they usually want a 3" fly. You can get them to take a surface fly while stripping or popping it but sometimes the best presentation is to drop the fly into a Tuna boil and let it sit still. When a Tuna chases a baitfish to the surface, there is often more than 1 Tuna doing the chasing. More often than not, if I can get a fly right into the rise ring of a Tuna within a few seconds of the rise and let it sit, it gets PLOWED! That's how I got the pictured 70.35 pounder this past Monday. Fish busted 50ft behind the boat and I dropped the fly right on the fish as it rose again. It spun around and engulfed the Flying Fish pattern!
If you choose to fish a pencil type popper, try stripping it VERY, very quickly. A nice bubble/smoke trail behind the fly is very attractive to the Tuna.
We have chummed them up before but 95% of the time we do not need to chum at all. We are targeting schools of Tuna busting bait in open water OR we are targeting Tuna that are relating to deep water drilling platforms. We mark these fish on the sonar (usually in the 50-150ft range) and then throw surface flies and work deep flies until we figure out what they want.
No doubt, Tuna are a blast on the long rod. I'll be back to Venice, LA in late Sept. still searching for that 100lb+ Yellowfin on the fly
We had fish, busting on the surface last week. Just need a 12 or 14 wt rod. Only fear is at the canyons they can strip off all your line in a heart beat. Do you know if they were getting them in water less deep. That seems to be the only practical way to go for yellowfin unless you can get into some small ones. Can't imagine the run off on the flyrod on one that size.
The oil rigs in the gulf go to over 6000 ft, so they can be deep just like our canyons. Not to worry though, some of the larger fly reels now days will handle 1000+ yds of 50 lb braid. Even an LA style (which looks like one in the picture), can take 500 yds + fly line/sinking head.
When fly fishing for an IGFA record , a circle hook is often used when the fly will sink deep and be slow stripped. A large fish, like a tuna, can inhale the fly past the 12 inch shock tippet permited and then break off on the section of line class leader. When a circle hook is used in the fly, it will slide out to the jaw and hook there with much less chance of abraiding the leader.
Sorry Brian I had to delete the site for 2 reasons. #1 It was the same as you posted above & #2 There is a ton of advertisers on the site that are not connected with the barn. Again sorry, & possibly you could address my original questions. BTW, I frequent several forums on that site quite often. Ron