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.
Quick rundown on the "bobber rig". This is an effective rig for targeting spanish mackerel, jacks, bluefish, ladyfish, and other surface striking species from the surf or pier.
"Check, Re-Tie, Repeat"
A good habit to get in when throwing the jig for snook (and other large gamefish like redfish and tarpon) is checking the leader very often; not just after catching a fish. Dragging the jig through rocky bottom and around bridge pilings can chafe a leader very quickly. And, it doesn't take much wear on a leader to lose a fish. Start with a long leader, check it often, re-tie when you see frays and chafing, and keep your odds up! In most jig situations the odds are in the fish's favor, don't give them anymore of an advantage than they already have!
Pro Tip- When you see ANY marks on flurocarbon leader it is time to re-tie! Not only is the strength compromised; when fluro becomes nicked or frayed in anyway it loses all of its invisibility properties.
A knocker rig, as mentioned yesterday, is a great rig for fishing the entire water column. A knocker rig is easy to make and easy to use. A small sinker is placed directly on the leader, and will only slide between the swivel and hook. Continue to let line out and the bait will slowly sink through the entire water column. This rig puts your bait in front of fish at all levels, from top to bottom.
"Keep On Spooling"
It doesn't work everywhere; but in certain areas "spooling" the bottom is a deadly technique for catching weary muttons and flag yellowtails.
Using the slide rig (catch #29); let your sinker rest on the bottom and continue to feed out line. The ideal situation is for the sinker to rest motionless on the bottom and the bait to float freely with the current. Keep a feel for how fast the line is feeding out, when the speed suddenly increases...your on! Engage the reel and crank like mad until you come tight on the fish. Be sure to keep light pressure on the line, a big mutton can burn some line off quick and backlash a reel in no time!
Use the lightest sinker possible to reach the bottom. A light sinker is less likely to scare the fish and allows for more sensitivity in feeling the bite.
"Let it Slide"
The slide rig, also known as Carolina rigs, may be one of the best all around fishing rigs. It can be customized to fit fresh and saltwater applications and a huge variety of depths.
Making a slide rig is easy:
1. Slide a egg sinker on your main line, it is allowed to float freely.
2. Tie on a swivel, this will keep the swivel from sliding down to the hook.
3. To the other side of the swivel rod on appropriate length leader.
4. End with hook of choice and the rig is ready to go!
Pro Tip: Always try to use the lightest weight possible. Lighter sinkers will spook the fish less and allow a better feel for those subtle bites.
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