DEEP SEA FISHING BAIT, TACKLE, & GEAR TIPS
18. Familiarize Yourself with the Equipment and Bait
If you’re new to saltwater fishing, you’ll notice the equipment and bait are somewhat different from what you might be used to. Knots are different too. Therefore, get familiar with these things before you get out on the ocean. This will help to ensure that you spend more time fishing, and less time trying to tie certain knots properly, (IntracoastalAngler.com, 2015).
19. Use What You Know
Use only brands of fishing line that you are familiar and comfortable with. Unknown bargain lines will often let you down at the worst moment, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
20.Don’t Use a Wire Leader
Don’t use a wire leader if you can get by with monofilament. You will get more strikes this way. Wire also kinks easily, which may cause it to break. Even toothy fish, like Spanish mackerel and bluefish, can be caught on mono leaders, if the material is heavy enough (at least 50- or 60-pound-test), and if you cut back the mono whenever it begins to look gnawed, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
21. Use the Right Line
If an individual chooses to go “down below” some time, a cod-line is a must for everyone to enjoy saltwater fishing. A perch-line may also be beneficial, and if it’s time for mackerel fishing, a mackerel jig is going to be an excellent aid, (HowtoCatchFishNetwork.com, 2015).
22. Cut and Burn
If you have trouble cutting through a spiderwire braid, try using a lighter or a match, (Dodson, 2013).
23. Tough Knot
The Bimini Twist (also known as the Twenty-Times-Around Knot), is the only knot that maintains 100 percent strength under all conditions. Use it to double the line for a strong leader connection, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
24. Cut Back That Front Part
Change monofilament often. Once it begins to look dull or feel rough, it is no longer strong. At the very least, cut back that front part of the line to remove the weaker section, and then retie the leader, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
25. Big Fish with Rough Lips
Big fish with rough lips require extra-heavy monofilament. It takes 80- to 100-pound test to land a 100-pound tarpon, or 50- to 80- pound tests to land a really big Snook. Casting a long length of that stuff is difficult, so divide the leader into two stages. Keep the heavy stuff short (e.g., 12- to 20- inches), and use lighter (e.g., 30- to 40-pound-test), for the secondary section when fishing around heavy cover or structure, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
26. Quick Sinking
Gel braid lines are more sensitive than monofilament. They also have a smaller diameter that offers less resistance in current, which makes them an excellent choice for fishing lures that sink quickly, especially jigs. They have become very popular with heavy jigs in extremely deep water. Some anglers fish them in depths in excess of 300 feet, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
27. Lubricate a New Reel
Lubricate a new reel to make sure no critical areas were overlooked at the factory. Lube it again at the end of the fishing season, or every six months if you fish throughout the year. Bait casting reels may need a touch on the level wind gears more often. Always use light oil in those areas where grease is not required, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
28. Skip the Swivel
If you must use a wire leader, skip the swivel if possible. Make a loop in the wire with a Haywire Twist, and tie the doubled mono to the wire loop with an Albright knot, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
29. Larger Diameter Line
The Connector Knot is the best way to attach a larger diameter line to a smaller one, because it slips through guides easily, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
30. Circle Hooks
Hook sizes and shapes are critical with all types of bait. Circle hooks, for instance, are popular, because they very rarely hook fish in the throat, and their hookup rate is as good, or better than, the conventional J-hook. Treble hooks are a poor choice for bait fishing since they are easily swallowed and do far more damage than when attached to a lure. Any fish that escapes with a treble hook in the throat is a dead fish, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
31. The Circle Hook
Use a circle hook if you would like a higher hook up ratio. These hooks guarantee more catches because of the minute gap and the reverse point. They are generally better for the fish, since they do not hook in the gut, just the lip, (Pilkington, 2015).
32. Drop a Dropper
When jigging, tie on a salt-water fly, or soft plastic bait above the jig, using a dropper loop. Some theorize that fish are competitive, and since the jig looks like a fish chasing a smaller bait fish, they dart in to steal the food, (Bishop, 2015).
33. Pink Balloons for Live Baiting are Best
Many experts agree that using pink balloons to hold up live bait seems to attract more yellowtail kingfish to the bait. When using a balloon as a float for live bait, remember to tie the balloon off to the rod end of the swivel. If you tie it off to the bait end, you can almost guarantee leader line twists and tangles, (Bishop, 2015).
34. Lures Work Better
Most lures work better if attached to the line or leader with a loop knot. This allows a more natural action for bait, as well, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
35. Lures That Look New and Bright
Fish bite best on lures that look new and bright. Buy only lures you know you will need, and buy just enough to last a few trips. Rinse the used lures, and dry them before returning them to the tackle box, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
36. Noisy Lures
When fishing turbid water, try noisy top water lures. Lures with a rattle or pop, worked slowly, are easy for the fish to locate. Smaller is sometimes the best on calm days, but bigger is better in choppy water, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
37. Know the Bait
Learn what the larger fish are feeding on during each season of the year, and especially when you are fishing for them. True, this is something you need to pay attention to in regards to any type of fishing. However, when it comes to deep sea fishing, you will most likely need to buy a specific type of bait for the best success. Talk to some experienced anglers who specialize in catching the type of fish that you’re going after, (BraidProducts.com, 2014).
38. Change Your Bait Regularly
It’s a good idea to always keep fresh bait on your line when you’re deep sea fishing. If you’re not getting a bite, mix it up and try something new. Listen to the captain and crew for advice, and have some patience, but also try to nix bait that’s not working, (HumanBeing, 2011).
39. Unwanted Transfer
Be sure to rinse your hands after applying sunscreen while out on the boat. The smell and taste can transfer to the bait you’re handling, causing the fish to stop biting, (BraidProducts.com, 2014).
40. Live Bait Stays in Top Condition
Live bait stays in top condition longer if kept in a well with good circulation. Incoming water is always best, but if that’s not possible, use an aerator. Warm water cannot hold as much oxygen as cool, so temperature is critical. In an aerated, non-circulating system, the water must be changed every few hours to remove waste material that replaces oxygen in the water, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
41. Bottom Bait
If bottom fishing, try using fishing lures, such as, large jigs or heavy-duty rigs to get the baits down deep, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).
42. Drifting a Bait
Live and cut baits can both be drifted with a weight, on your line, to keep it near the bottom, or suspended beneath a bobber or popping cork. The difference between this fishing method and bottom fishing is motion. Drift fishing requires some weight to get the bait down, but the motion of the boat moves the bait through the water slowly. You can also drift bait under a bobber or popping cork, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).
43. Shrimp, Crabs, and Crustaceans
Shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans can be kept alive and healthy for many hours in an ice chest if they are packed in wet newspaper or damp vegetation so they do not make direct contact with the ice or ice water, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
44. Crabs for a Full Moon
During full moons, use soft crab imitations as bait. That’s the time when crabs shed their shells, and stripers come looking for them, (Dodson, 2013).
45. Shark Bait
For bait, you need something that bleeds. Sharks go crazy for blood, so the more the better. The usual suspects for shark bait are tuna, eels, and stingrays, (WorldFishingNetwork.com, 2013).
Chumming, or chunking, is an effective addition to the bait fishing techniques you use. By releasing tiny bits of ground up bait, called chum, into the water, you create a scent trail that the fish can follow to your boat and your baits. Chum can be ground fish, creamed corn, cat food, or just about anything that creates a fish-like scent. Simply throw pieces of bait into the water, around where you are fishing, to bring feeding fish close to your boat, (TakeMeFishing.org, 2015).
47. Three Ingredients for Chumming
Chumming requires three ingredients: fresh or fresh-frozen material, a current to carry it, and judicious use. The idea is to create a line of food that draws fish from far away. Toss in too much food over a short period of time, and the fish may hang too far back and simply enjoy a free lunch. Too little chum may not move them at all. Start slowly, and gradually increase the chum until you get results, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).
48. Take Care of Your Gear
Keep fishing knives sharp, and cover the blade when not in use, (Benton, 2014).
49. Soak It In a Bucket
Before storing a reel for any length of time, soak it in a bucket of fresh water for several hours to get all of the saltwater out of the line and the interior corners of the reel, (FieldandStream.com, 2015).