Great offshore bite, but frustrating having to throw everything back. 5-5-2018 Lots of pics

Lee, Rick and I took advantage of the slack winds and headed out to 50' to 60'. We were ready for just about anything, we had tons of chum, live pins, and shiny new trolling plugs from Australia. The intent was to troll for kings and then find a place to setup and chum up some cobia.

We trolled some structure and first fish in the boat was a bonita. Made a few more passes but nothing, so moved to next spot which had a better bait show. The gags started pounding our plugs with hookups on almost every pass and couple of double hookups.

We also picked up up a nice 8lb. red snapper on a yozuri deep diver. We decided to anchor up and put the chum out. Rick was bottom fishing live pins, Doc was working an jig, and I had a flatline out with a live pin. Rick was kept busy with a constant gag bite then he hooked up a 5' or 6' bull shark to add a little variety. Rick also got our only keeper of the day, nice king. Doc was jigging up gags until the red snapper showed up then they him busy hitting his bucktail. We had some old frozen shrimp we were adding to the chum slick and a school of 8 to 10 pound snapper came right up to the surface to feast on the shrimp chum. My flatline went off but the king cut it off above the leader. I put on a new stinger rig and a fresh pin and put it out again and got hit immediately.  The king took off like a rocket, I put all the pressure I dared on him to no effect. The Stradic 6000 drag was no match and I was close to getting spooled so I thumbed the spool and finally the 30lb braid failed. I would have like to seen that fish. I have landed 50 and 60 lb cobia on that same rig.

We finally had a couple of good size cobia come up and even look at the flat line pin but they were not eating and eventually took off.

The wind started to pick up so we pulled anchor and decided to troll toward the house. We hit 3 more spots with structure and the gags were ready and willing. We had several more double hookups. We can only hope they are as cooperative come June 1.


Replies

  • xmuskyguidexmuskyguide Beautiful HomosassaPosts: 1,646 Captain
    Great job on some very nice fish guys!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 3,785 Captain
    I guess it’s better than going offshore with no bites. Thanks for the report 
    You should have been here yesterday
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,486 Captain
    That was like fishing in the old days! Would have been a 300 lb trip easily. Maybe the gumbo closer to shore forced a lot of gags out to the clear areas. Some of the gags had a weird yellow color to them. 

    The interesting thing was that there wasn't that much bait and the schools we found were mid water. The baitballs had fish arches around them that looked like kings. But they were mostly suspended gags. 

    Most of the good fish were on Yozuri deep divers that only go 14-17' and Nomad plugs that run at 30'.

    Ask Butch to tell you about those Nomads. They're expensive, but they are the best engineered plug I've ever seen. They are going to be a game changer around here for grouper trolling. 
  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Posts: 1,372 Officer
    Ok, Butch, could you give us the rundown on the nomads, thanks and nice report. 
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,002 Moderator
    I like those plugs. Would be great to pull under a ballyhoo spread in the keys.
    Solid trip guys !
    "You'll get your weather"
  • butchbalbutchbal Posts: 450 Deckhand
    edited May 2018 #7
    Ok, Butch, could you give us the rundown on the nomads, thanks and nice report. 
    As Doc said, these Nomad lures are expensive at $26.00, but they are very well made. They were designed for big tuna and billfish. The most clever innovation is the attachment point, the attachment ring is looped through a hinged plate that can pivot a little left and right so that after a heavy hit the attachment is not bent off the center line of the lure. They run true out of the box and stay true with no adjustments. You can get 20',30', or 40' foot divers. Supposedly they run the same design depth from 3 to 10 knots and 100' feet back, although you will need a heavy rig. You can get a limited selection of their sizes and patterns from here: www.strikertackle.com in the USA, or the full selection from Australia's Nomad Lures site.

    Tom (Ruff One) is who turned me on to them. Refer to his recent post for more info on rigging them.

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/discussion/255828/lure-talk-homosassa-3-14-2018

    Having said that, my old go-to lures, Yozuri Deep Divers and Rapala X-Raps did nearly as well in enticing strikes yesterday. All my trolling plugs have now been converted to single in-line hooks. (again thanks Tom!). It seems that you get more second and third strikes on misses than when using trebles. It happened quite a few times yesterday; you would see the rod bend and straighten on a miss, and then a solid hookup seconds after. I have removed my share of big trebles from fishing buddy's hands who were trying to unhook an unruly fish. Single in-lines reduce that chance by 66%.

    We caught a lot of fish yesterday and I didn't notice any fewer hookups than with trebles. What I did notice was an absence of lizard fish hookups, maybe they weren't there or maybe they can't get their mouths over the big single hook.

  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Posts: 1,372 Officer
  • Rick1-2Rick1-2 HorseshoePosts: 962 Officer
    nice fish, wish it was this rick with u guys :)
  • EarthmoverEarthmover Posts: 337 Deckhand
  • Almost PerfectAlmost Perfect Posts: 577 Officer
    Nice. I wanted to get some trolling in also but didn’t happen. 
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Contender 27 Cuddy
  • Ruff OneRuff One HomosassaPosts: 1,968 Captain
    First off, really nice day on the water. Love all those grouper!! To bad they're not open. Sucks. The Atlantic side grouper season opens May 1st. Come on open the gulf side then too.
          Yes, you have a quality lure in the Nomad DTX series. They are well built, and I tested them last time out, and they do everything they advertise. I have fished the DTX 165(dives to 34ft) and recently the DTX 140(dives to 28ft). They are pricy, but a new rapala is not cheap either. But, I admit, I am a lure addict and I can't help myself!! And yes, I have already lost one to a mackeral, and I jumped up and down and screamed like a little girl!  They also have a DTX 200, that will dive to 40 ft. Wow! I fish under 20 ft most of the time, but if I fished out in those deeper areas and had some wreck numbers, I would be dragging those 200's over those spots and I bet there would be some cobia that would hit the deck. 
           Are they better then a rapala x rap? Good question. You could drag rapalas and be happy with your results, but I think these Nomad lures have been brought along for trolling up tunas and billfish, so you have to have a quality, strong, enticing action to target those beast. So, if the will handle those fish, they will survive the brutal strike of our gag groupers. 
            I will use the new Nomads, but I will also use the rapalas, and I will also use the Sebiles , and the yo zories. They all have their place.  But, I bet that one of the lures going in my spread(which is only 2 rods, maybe 3) will be one of the new Nomads. 
           I see Butch that you have gone to the single inline hooks. Isn't that the way to go! We love it. It is so much easier to release fish, and probably the best thing, a whole lot safer for the angler. 
           Great post, it's nice to start seeing some fishing post, and from yours you can tell it was a memorable day, even if you had to release em. 
           
            
           
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • barhopper51barhopper51 Posts: 561 Officer
    Love it. Thanks for the great report.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,486 Captain
    edited May 2018 #14
    Tom, the Nomads from Striker Tackle now come with REALLY heavy duty inline hooks installed right out of the box. They are set up and sized perfectly for each size of the plug. 

    The unique thing about the Nomads is the pivoting line attachment ring that keeps the plug running straight regardless of kinks in the leader or bends in the lure. It's hard to explain this without seeing the lure, but it works. We were using short solid #7 wire leaders (never a bad idea with $26 plugs), which would get bent with each fish. Despite the kinks, the plugs kept running true.

    They also seem to have a really hard finish. I don't recall seeing many tooth marks after catching maybe 20 fish. The front inline hook also doesn't scratch the sides of the lure like a treble hook does.

    The action is interesting. It goes from a broad wobble at 2.5 mph to tighter and tighter shake as you increase speed. We mostly ran at 5 mph or maybe a little faster and the lure wobbled more than the mag 30s. The only downside is that you need to use a fairly heavy rod because the plug pulls hard as it digs down.

    I'm a cheap SOB and sort of a Mann Stretch 30 kind of guy. But I hate needing to keep bending the eye to keep them running straight. I'm going to pick up a couple of Nomads to break out of the box for those "special moments".  
  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 4,901 Captain
    Good report, Lots of good fish thrown back.
    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • Ruff OneRuff One HomosassaPosts: 1,968 Captain
    All nomads come with single in line-except the 140's, they have trebles. I had to change those out. You are right about the finish, it seems a whole lot better then the rapalas. After a season with rapalas, I have to retire plugs, because they are beat up. I will know after this coming season. I have wire rigs ready to attach, if needed. If I trolled out deeper, where the kings play, wire would be in front of my plug. Nomads, Rapalas, Sebiles, all are Cadillac's compared to the Manns. I quite using those 15 years ago, for plenty of good reasons. Just carry one six pack of beer over to Billys instead of two, and put the saving toward some quality lures. LOL. 
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Top ContenderTop Contender Posts: 599 Officer
    It’s that time of year, good weather and great fishing.
  • Almost PerfectAlmost Perfect Posts: 577 Officer
    Quit telling everyone about the plugs! Stryker is sold out and will probably raise their prices now. That might not be bad though. I have a bunch and can flip them on eBay. 
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Contender 27 Cuddy
  • FishesmanFishesman Posts: 417 Deckhand
    Have your lures needed much tuning after changing from trebles to singles? I ordered a box, but haven't tried them out yet. It seems the weight difference would cause tuning problems.
  • butchbalbutchbal Posts: 450 Deckhand
    Fishesman said:
    Have your lures needed much tuning after changing from trebles to singles? I ordered a box, but haven't tried them out yet. It seems the weight difference would cause tuning problems.
    I have replaced trebles with single inlines on both X-Raps and Yozuri deep divers and have not had to do any tuning unless the attachment loop gets bent with use. 
  • wvinfl12wvinfl12 Posts: 248 Deckhand
    Boy I sure do like seeing reports like this
  • RedbonzRedbonz Posts: 4,538 Captain
    Sounds like it might be a good year.....
    If it don't fit force it. If it breaks it needed replace anyways. :banghead
  • rmeladine1982rmeladine1982 Posts: 43 Greenhorn
    If anybody is interested in Nomad DTX minnows we just got a new shipment in at www.strikertackle.com 


  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 616 Officer
    What size spinning reels are you using, I’m noticing a Penn battle and fierce in the great pics in your post . How do you set your drag while trolling , locked down or loose enough they pull drag after a strike. Never trolled for grouper but would like to know the basics if I ever get a chance. Also how do you connect the lure to the main line. Any info would be awsome. 
  • butchbalbutchbal Posts: 450 Deckhand
    edited May 2018 #25
    Tony Roma said:
    What size spinning reels are you using, I’m noticing a Penn battle and fierce in the great pics in your post . How do you set your drag while trolling , locked down or loose enough they pull drag after a strike. Never trolled for grouper but would like to know the basics if I ever get a chance. Also how do you connect the lure to the main line. Any info would be awsome. 
    Tony,

    I use both spinning gear and variable drag conventional reels when trolling. On the spinning reels I usually leave the drag set where I would normally fight a fish. The rule of thumb I use is 30% of the line test. For variable drag reels, set the lever in the "strike zone"  and tighten the drag adjustment knob to the drag resistance you want, typically 20% to 30%  of line test. You should be able to strip some line by hand without to much problem. This leaves most of the range for the lever to be applied as required.

    When toothy critters are around, Spanish, kings, wahoo, etc, I use 24" of #6 wire with a haywire twist attachment to the plug or stinger rig and the same to a swivel on the line end. When it's colder and grouper are the only likely target I use 36" of 50# mono or flouro attached with a uni knot to both the swivel and terminal gear.

    The reels we we using that you saw in the pictures were 6000 series Penns with 30# braid.


  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 616 Officer
    That’s great info, thanks
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