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.
Ask any seasoned pier fisherman from Juno Beach down to Miami what one lure they can't do with out, and a majority of them will most likely say....Crappie Jig. A crappie jig (yes the same little jigs they use for speckled perch in the rest of the country) is a dynamite lure for a whole host of species commonly caught on south Florida Piers.
A white 1/8oz crappie jig is a perfect match for small glass minnows and baby pilchards. Fish it on very light spinning rod with light monofilament or braid and 30lb flurocarbon leader for best results.
"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.
"Lures and Loop Knots"
Almost all lures perform better when tied on with a loop knot. A loop knot allows them to move more freely, and get the most action possible out of the lure.
Tying a loop knot is simple, video demonstration to follow.
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,
"Ilanders" are a must have lure for anybody who trolls offshore. Few lures have the time honored tradition of catching fish like Ilanders can and do. Fished in front of a ballyhoo, squid, bonita strip, or even plain an Ilander will help put more fish in the box!
"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.
The "Gotcha",by Seastriker, is a great lure for fast striking aggressive fish like spanish mackerel, jacks, and bluefish. It's heavy weight and bullet like shape make it great for casting. And, it's pointed nose gives it great side to side action with quick jerks of the rod.
Gotcha's are best fished on 10-15lb test with a short leader. Wire leaders will work in dirty water situations. In clearer water switch to mono or even flurocarbon leader to get more bites.
"Bust em on a Baitbuster"
The Baitbuster by DOA Lures is a dynamite lure to throw when fish are feeding on 3-5" baitfish. While it was designed to imitate a finger mullet, it resembles a wide variety of other small baitfish. Available in a wide variety of colors and three weights, it is always possible to find a Baitbuster to meet the conditions.
Pro Tip: The "trolling model" of the Baitbuster is not just for trolling. Use it when you need a little extra distance on your casts or to get down to the bottom in a stronger current.
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