Want a little extra stealth? Try this...
Keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol in your tackle box and wipe down your fluorocarbon leader from time to time. A quick wipe will remove any surface dust or grime that may be clinging on to your leader, and also temporarily removes any cloudiness in your leader as well.
Pro Tip: Always replace fluorocarbon leaders when they show any abrasion, chaffing, or wear. As soon as fluorocarbon becomes chaffed it loses all of invisibility properties.
"Mix in a Curve"
Fish, snook especially, can get tired of seeing the same lure time after time. While some lures have a long tried and true history, throwing a little curve at the fish sometimes can trigger a bite when the classic lures are being ignored.
Pictured is a Gambler Lures swim jig(normally considered a bass lure) that when presented correctly absolutely drives snook crazy. Of course that may be because they don't see it much...YET!
"A 'Single' Advantage"
Throwing lures with a single hook, as opposed to several treble hooks, is a great choice to consider when snook fishing at night. Using a single hook lure has advantages for the angler and the snook. Anglers tend to find that a single hook "sets", and stays in, much better than treble hooks do. Anglers also find that a single hook is much easier to remove from a snook's mouth than a large mouthful of treble hooks is. On that same note, snook that are going to be released very often suffer less damage from one single hook than they do from treble hooks.
Flair Hawk style jigs are a great choice for snook fishing at night. As is a DOA Baitbuster, like the one in this snook's mouth just before being released.
A small (shad style) swimbait is an excellent lure for covering large amounts of new or unfamiliar waters. Rigged on a jighead (as pictured) a small swimbait can be buzzed just below the surface, swam steadily at varying water depths, or hopped along the bottom. These options make this lure one of the most versatile in the tackle box.
Most lure companies make a small shad style bait; but the DOA CAL and Gambler Lures Little EZ are two great choices. More info on soft plastic baits coming soon...
"Soft Plastic Variety"
Soft plastic jerkbaits (like the DOA CAL Jerkbait Pictured) are a great inexpensive way to add a lot of variety to your tacklebox. By rigging them a few different ways a soft plastic jerkbait can be used to fish as a surface bait, mid-level lure, or for even bouncing along the bottom. (Upcoming Catch365 Video Tip on rigging soft plastic lures this week.)
Looking at a wall of lure colors can be a little bit perplexing and overwhelming. But, to start picking out lure colors is actually pretty simple. Start with a bag of pearl(white), rootbeer(or similar dark color), and a natural baitfish pattern (like DOA #419-Greenback). These colors will cover clear, murky, and dirty water situations (More on Lure color selection coming soon also).
Stay tuned for more info this week on rigging soft plastics, fishing methods, and picking out colors. As always feel free to come by JUNO BAIT for more info. Also, check out artificial lure expert Capt. Eric at The Freight Train Fishing Charters website for updates and tips on lure fishing (http://www.freighttrainfishing.com)
Thanks as always for reading,
"Mix it up"
Sometimes a slight lure change is all it takes to fire up fish that have turned off. If they won't bite the DOA Shrimp anymore, toss a Vudu shrimp at them. A slight variation can get a school of fish fired back up in a hurry!
Pro Tip: When fishing schooling redfish; try throwing a slightly different lure(or same lure in slightly different color) before the fish stop biting. Changing it up is a great way to keep them biting.
"Eyes on Top"
The way a snook's, and other top apex predators, eyes are positioned always has them looking up. Pay attention to where they are positioned in the water column and present your baits or lures accordingly.
If the snook are laid up in a shadow line a foot or two below the surface, try to keep the baits floating right over their heads. If they are stuck tight to the bottom; try to get the bait down just above them. Try to keep the baits moving just over their heads for the best luck.
"Money Minnow is well...money!"
Today's tip is another good one from Eric at The Freight Train Fishing Charters.
The Yum Money Minnow is a great lure for provoking strikes from snook, trout, and even redfish when other lures just aren't working. It is best rigged texas style on a lightly keel weighted worm hook. This keeps the bait weedless allowing it to be fished through heavy cover and even down in the grass where the fish are sometimes hiding.
In clear water situations go with the more natural baitfish colors. In dirty or stained waters try brighter colors to stand out more.
While lure companies make A LOT of different colored lures, sometimes they don't make JUST the color your looking for.
When it comes to soft plastic swimbaits here is a trick Eric Gates from The Freight Train Fishing Charters uses to get specific colors he is looking for.
Start by buying your favorite brand of soft plastic swimbait in a plain base color (White is always a great starting point). Grab some assorted color sharpies and get creative with your colors. Add scales, stripes., gills, fins, spots, etc to really make your baits come alive.
Also, this is a great way to avoid buying a huge amount of production colors. A couple packs of white swimbaits and a few sharpies can provide countless color combos.
"Work With the Wind"
A light breeze to steady wind, can be a huge asset when fishing inshore flats for snook, trout, redfish, and other gamefish. Set up a drift at the upwind side of a flat, and let the wind push the boat along. This allows for the quietest approach and less spooked fish. Also, with the wind at your back it is easier to make longer casts in front of the boat to cover more water and reach spookier fish easier.
On really windy days use a sea anchor, or even a five gallon bucket, to help slow and control your drift.
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