Tips and Pointers Please share your winning tactics.

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  1. #1
    Senior Member troutman57's Avatar
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    Tips and Pointers Please share your winning tactics.

    For now i would like to stick this thread
    Last edited by troutman57; 02-26-2014 at 02:04 PM.
    This place Rocks if yer a crabber

  2. #2
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    amen, there's always learning to be learned. I try to absorb as much as I can from each and every post, article or show I see.

  3. #3
    Senior Member troutman57's Avatar
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    Reef rig.
    Last edited by troutman57; 02-26-2014 at 02:05 PM.
    This place Rocks if yer a crabber

  4. #4
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    You will catch more fish when bottom fishing if you use barbless circle hooks. The smooth hook point penetrates the hard part of a grouper's mouth more easily and you will waste less time releasing shorts. You can usually just lift the head of the fish out of the water, grab the bend of the hook with a needle nose plier, and twist the hook out with a flip of your wrist. Spending less time wrestling with fish in the boat while you pry a barbed circle hook out of their mouths lets you spend more time fishing. Since grouper often bit in short flurries, you don't want to be wasting time releasing shorts.

    Grouper, snapper, and other bottom fish don't shake a barbless circle hook. You won't lose any because of the absence of the barb. Barbless doesn't work as well for fish like kings and cobia that change direction rapidly while shaking their heads and often run toward the boat. You wiloccasionallyly drop one of these when fishing barbless.

    I use a dremmel to completely remove the barb and leave the hook point smooth.



    Kyle removes the barb with a pair of conventional pliers. He twists as he crushes the barb, which causes the barb to break off. Just crushing the barb leaves a burr that makes it harder to remove the hook.

    Leader length isn't very important when using cut bait for grouper. You can use a knocker rig, but I find that even a short leader will improve the hookup ratio. I find that 0.080" 60 lb test mono is a good compromise between abrasion resistance and the ease of tying knots. Be sure to use true leader material sold in narrow spools rather than fishing line. It is stiffer, which minimizes tangles, and more abrasion resistant. I like Ande but all of the brands seem to work OK. Fluorocarbon makes no difference since grouper are not leader shy. That being said, you will get far fewer hits with a wire leader for some reason or other.

    I like to use a leader length beween 24" and 30". This is long enough to allow live bait to move about freely yet is short enough for cut bait. I get this length by holding the leader at arms length and measuring the distance to my chin. This is not technical and it's fast. I use nail knots at the hook and swivel, because they hold up better than anything else that I've tried. A loop knot at the hook helps a little with hookups, but that type of knot isn't as strong as a nail knot. I also use a nail knot to splice a 3'-4' piece of 60 lb mono leader to the 65 lb test braid main line. This allows the sinker to slide on the smooth mono without fraying the braid and also lets me rapidly switch between the bait rig and jigs.

    Nail knots are hard to tie in a boat, so I pre-rig the hooks, leaders, and swivels at home and store them on arbors made from pipe insulation.



    I have seen other folks use pool noodles for arbors.

    If I have to tie rigs or leaders in the boat, I use uni knots, which are much easier to tie.

  5. #5
    Senior Member troutman57's Avatar
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    Doc has the barbless hook thing dead right. I like to crush the barb when the bite gets going. With a crushed barb there is a lump or burr left. That still makes it easy to release fish but the lump helps keep the bait on. Never had a Rapala loop knot break but I have flubbed tying it before and had it fail.
    This place Rocks if yer a crabber

  6. #6
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    wow, excellent info guys!! unfortunatly most people dont seem to be as forethcoming with knowledge, i guess they feel like our catching 10 of the millions of fish might cut into their catch???

    unfortunatly the only knowledge i can add about lures and what not is my "go to" lures. when NOTHING is biting i can almost ALWAYS get something on a new penny (gulp) shrimp under a cork in ~4' of water with patches of sand/rock/hard bottom. this REALLY works for trout when the water temp is 70 or above (like two days ago he he he)

    for knots i use polomar for line to lure and uni-uni for line to line...

  7. #7
    Senior Member troutman57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk232 View Post
    wow, excellent info guys!! unfortunatly most people dont seem to be as forethcoming with knowledge, i guess they feel like our catching 10 of the millions of fish might cut into their catch???

    unfortunatly the only knowledge i can add about lures and what not is my "go to" lures. when NOTHING is biting i can almost ALWAYS get something on a new penny (gulp) shrimp under a cork in ~4' of water with patches of sand/rock/hard bottom. this REALLY works for trout when the water temp is 70 or above (like two days ago he he he)

    for knots i use polomar for line to lure and uni-uni for line to line...
    Thanks Dave. When i moved here there were a few neighbors that wouldn't tell me anything. I heard through the grapevine that they figured i would camp out on thier "secert spots". And a few that shared what they knew freely. I would rather share what I have learned and have it come back to me in good karma. When I show new folk around this area I take them to any or all of my secert spots and fully expect them to fish those areas whenever they want. It has yet to interfere with my fishing in any way shape or form. This isn't a tournament so we only can gain from sharing with each other.

    Your observation is correct about the new penney gulp. It always seems to produce fish.
    This place Rocks if yer a crabber

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by troutman57 View Post
    This isn't a tournament so we only can gain from sharing with each other.
    My sentiments EXACTLY!!!

    In tournament fishing i totally get the whole tight lipped, im gunna kill you if you are at my spot mentality!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member gbaswolf's Avatar
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    I'm not sure this is open to anything or just FISHING. But my Tips and Pointers for winning tactics are don't bet against the 11-0 Green Bay Packers.
    Tight lines!

  10. #10
    Senior Member troutman57's Avatar
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    Making the most of low water
    Another timely tip for the winter tides and the lack of water they bring. The extreeme low tides that winter brings can be a huge asset to your fishing any particular area year round. The obvious tip is CAUTION! I, like most folks here have misjudged a tide and banged my lower unit and had to get out and push many times. I now make mental notes of landmarks at the end of my canal and at the mouth of the river. For example if this one rock at the end of my canal is showing at all it tells me to stay tight to the channel while running the river. At the mouth of the Homosassa there are a few scattered rocks on the left as I head out and a seawall on the right. I always look at both of them and they tell me where i can run safely. If I am ever unsure I am idling or on the trolling motor. This is really not any news but just simple common sense.
    So when I fish real low water on the flats I use this to my advantage by keeping my eyes open for a few things that might help me catch a few more fish and navagate a bit more safely. Most of us have plotting GPS units aboard so plot a course to the fishing grounds during a period of extreeme low tide and repeat it later and you know it is safe under most conditions. Look for edges.....there are edges everywhere. The edge of a false channel the edge of a normally underwater shell mound or the edge of a kelp bed that is usually hidden. These edges are always a great place to look for trout and redfish. Look for Pot holes...... If you are just squeaking through an area on a flat and then you see a good sized area of 2' water mark it and return. Those pot holes are where the trout and reds will hunker down during the low tides. Look for drains....A drain is an area that has strong current that is amplified during extreeme low water. The drains/cuts are way more visable during a low water period and a great place to look for those lazy fsh waiting for a meal to be wash right into thier mouths. Another characteristic of a drain is that it usually has softer bottom in the deeper area and hard bottom on both edges that is why it formed in the first place. As most of us know where hard bottom meets soft there are usually fish. When marking these spots be sure to have a descriptive waypoint identifier. Otherwise you will have a bunch of numbers that mean nothing later on. Look for fish chasing your bait or spooking off. We will often see (we saw this yesterday) trout chasing our baits and then refusing them. These areas hold fish and because they didn't bite now doesn't mean they wont bite maybe after a tide change or maybe just a different bait. Another great advantage of low water is reading your bottom finder. Pay attention as to how areas of hard bottom show on your depth finder as opposed to soft mud bottom. With low water you can often see the hard bottom and then take note of how your unit displays it. We have all heard from some folks that love the low water because it puts or traps the redfish where they can get after them but there is way more to it for us with boats that just can't get back into those areas.
    When expolring the skinny stuff in a newer area be sure to do it when there is already an incomming tide or you are sure one is on the way. You will get stuck from time to time so this will reduce your stranded time. Remember that strong east winds and/or strong high pressures will both push water off our shore. I have learned about how much through trial and error and you can too.
    This place Rocks if yer a crabber

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